Thursday, January 31, 2008

Creed of Pope Pius IV

The Creed of Pope Pius IV

"The "Professio fidei Tridentina", also known as the "Creed of Pope Pius IV", is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull "Iniunctum nobis" under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 - 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 - 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church, but it is rarely used these days."

Some Highlights:

I also accept the Holy Scripture according to that sense which holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, and to whom it belongeth to judge the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I embrace and accept each and everything which has been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.

I also profess that there are truly and properly Seven Sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all are necessary for everyone;

I steadfastly hold that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invoked, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated. I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, of the Mother of God, ever virgin, and also of other Saints, ought to be kept and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them.

I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, and by the ecumenical Council of the Vatican, particularly concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and his infallible teaching. I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church hath condemned, rejected, and anathematized.

This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, I do so profess and swear to maintain inviolate and with firm constancy with the help of God until the last breath of life.

"The decrees of the Council of Trent contain no profession, but in the twenty-fourth session such a form was suggested. This was prepared by a commission of cardinals under the direction of Pius IV. in 1564. It must be subscribed or sworn to by all priests and public teachers of that church, and also by Protestant converts (hence called the "Profession of converts"). It was solemnly affirmed during the Vatican Council of 1870 at its second session...Since that time the Roman Catholic Church has added two articles which enter into the profession, one on the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, and one on the infallibility of the pope..." Schaff

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Underwhelming Trent Vote, Part 4

Since there still seems to be some confusion over exactly what the 44% vote at the Coucil of Trent was on, I thought I would address the issue one last time (see part 1, 2, 3). I have been waiting to see if Gary would address some of the mistakes in his post on this subject, but since that hasn’t happen yet, I will go ahead and share what information I have.

Gary’s post entitled “The 44% Solution: Why Anti-Catholics Should Trust Their Instincts” seems to be relying heavily on a paper from Peter Duncker (The Canon of the OT at the Council of Trent, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, vol 15) which describes much of the discussion around the canon that occurred at Trent. After reading through this article again, I am not quite sure how Gary ended up at the conclusions that he did.

First, Duncker points to the better citation from the Concilium Tridentinum (CT) dealing with the discussions on February 15th (the date of the 44% vote):

“February 15th—Third General Congregation. Severoli again gives the more extensive account (footnote CT. I, 31-33)”

But instead of pulling Severoli’s account in volume 1 of the CT, Gary pulls from volume 5 (pg 10) which is a section that is confusing and contradictory according to Duncker (pg 290, CBQ). Now, instead of explaining why there may be some discrepancies in the above mentioned accounts, let me just quote what was stated by Jedin in History of the Council of Trent (pg 56, footnote) in regards to the vote:

“Severoli, C.T.,Vol. I, p. 32,1. 42, clearly shows that the result of the vote of 15 February relates to the addition of the anathema and not, as Massarelli endeavours to prove, ibid., p. 480, l. 42, to the acceptance without discussion of the Florentine canon; above all, and contrary to what the acts, Vol. V, p. 10, ll. 1-6, seem to hint at, not to a distinction of various degrees of authority.”

So Jedin, the great historian on Trent, says the vote was on the addition of the anathema (not on refutations, not on distinctions). Duncker seems to agree (pg 291). Now, whether Gary believes this or not I can not ascertain. I re-read Gary’s post and he seems to be unsure of his own opinion and he seems to have misread Duncker:

“The 44% vote had nothing to do with the contents of the canon, rather it appears that the vote concerned the inclusion of a anathema (the application of canonical penalties to those who deny what is stated). I should note that, according to Dunker, there is some slight disagreement among the sources and it is not completely clear whether this vote was on the inclusion of the anathema or whether it was on whether it would be illicit for the council to include a refutation of some of the attacks on the canon in its decree. Dunker makes a good case that the 44% vote was on the latter and not the former.”

First, Gary needs to read pgs 290-291 of Duncker again because Duncker makes a case for the anathema as the subject of the vote, not the discussion. Plus, the “discussion” that Duncker was referring to was actually around the distinction of degrees of authority (pg 290), not on a refutation to attacks as Gary states. I am not going to quote Duncker here because it’s just not that interesting, but if Gary reads pgs 289-292 carefully, I think he will see his errors.

Second, Gary’s post appears to be in conflict with his own book (Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger) where he states:

“The Third General Congregation (February 15) offered two questions for final approval by the entire congregation. The first question asked if the Council of Trent should approve all the books which had been approved at Florence; each and every one of the fathers responded in the affirmative [L. placer]. The second question asked if an anathema should be added to the decree on the canon. The inclusion of an anathema was carried with 24 votes in favor, 15 votes against.” (pg 236)

Oddly enough, the answers that Gary was originally searching for can be found in his own book!!

He did not document the 16 abstentions, but everything else he needed is there (the vote, the date, the place), including a citation to Jedin’s account from pg 56 which I quoted above to clarify this whole matter. I would suggest Gary go back and read Duncker, Jedin, and his own book and consider revising his post on this subject. Perhaps he was a bit too hasty in attempting to respond to Dr. White because these mistakes just shouldn’t have occurred.

With that said, let me remind you of Jedin's analysis of the vote on the anathema:

“The result of the above-mentioned vote of the general congregation of 15 February committed the Council to the wider canon…”

Metzger's original quote may have appeared to be misleading, but I think his assessment of the effect of the vote was in-line with Jedin. The 44% majority vote to include the anathema committed the Council to the final canon we find in the decree of April 8, 1546.

My question from my prior post regarding this vote on the anathema remains:

“That’s right. The decision to adopt the Florentine canon as an article of faith was agreed to by only 44% of the council members.

I guess my questions is, why did 56% of the council members believe that the biblical canon that was supposedly taught throughout church history, accepted by Hippo/Carthage and later confirmed by the Council of Florence, perhaps shouldn’t be an article of faith? In other words, if the historical witness of the canon was so clear that Luther (and Protestants in general) could be accused of “throwing out 7 books of the Bible” (a common RC apologist claim), why were 56% of the council members not in favor of making the canon an article of faith?”

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Underwhelming Trent Vote, part 3

Gary Michuta sent an email to tell me that he has corrected his original post (The 44% Solution: Why Anti-Catholics Should Trust Their Instincts) primarily with regards to authorship on the posts here. He has also included a brief reply to some of my points, but I don’t think he has really addressed most of the issues. In Gary’s defense, I think he is a bit busy with real life so I understand he may not have the time to go through everything at the moment.

In the meantime, though, I would like to respond to a few things Gary has written. First, Gary’s new post addressing his corrections can be found below his original post. Unfortunately, Gary doesn’t have individual links for his articles, so you will have to look through his homepage to find the corrected and new posts.

In one correction, Gary admits his mistake in where the "44% vote" took place:

“Second, the "44% vote" was not made in the particular councils (the classes), but the General Council. When writing the article, I was referencing the Latin texts and as you can see in CT, v. 5, p. 10, the header read "classes."

However, in his revision of the original article he maintains that the vote is still a straw vote (even though he now knows it occurred in the general congregation):

“Why is there disagreement on what this vote was on? Because the 44% vote had no effect on the final decree. It was a straw vote taken during an ongoing discussion Moreover, if you look closely at the quote above (Concilium Tridentinum, volume 5, p. 10) you will see that the vote didn't decide anything for the General Council. The document explicitly states "(sed nihil decretum)", which is translated "(but nothing was decided)."

First, Gary is in conflict with the Catholic historian Jedin (an expert on Trent) who stated “The result of the above-mentioned vote of the general congregation of 15 February committed the Council to the wider canon…” (History of the Council of Trent, vol 3, pg 57). Second, Gary’s reference again to the “sed nihil decretum” still does not address the fact that the use of this wording was questioned by Duncker (CBQ, vol 15, pg 291) in a paper Gary used in his rebuttal. Since Gary does admit the confusion in the CT around this vote, I don’t think he can make such a firm statement as “you will see that the vote didn't decide anything for the General Council”:

“Carrie is also correct in noting, and I mentioned this in my article, that the diaries and the acts give conflicting accounts of exactly what this vote represented (including even the tallies). I believe the confusion was due mainly to two reasons. First, the "addition of arguments" and "the anathema" questions are different but also very interrelated. It would be easy to see why different people understand the vote to represent different things. Second, whenever Trent does an important vote, more times then not, it is very precise, individual's votes are recorded, and additional comments are carefully noted. As Duncker notes, this vote is a mess. I can only conclude from this what I state in my article; the 44% vote was little more than a straw vote.”

What is the proof it was a "little more than a straw vote"? Gary has offered no evidence to back this up.

Finally, Gary says:

I think Carrie and I can agree, however, on the main points of my article, (1) The Wikipedia article that was cited in Carrie's article was overly interpretive of Metzger to the point of being misleading, (2) The "44%" was not on the final adoption of the decree on April 8, 1546, but February 15, 1546, and (3) Whatever the "44%" vote represented, it was not on the adoption of the Florentine canon.”

Yes, I can agree to #1 and #2, but not #3. I think Gary’s wording on #3 is imprecise and also misleading, and I think my critique of Gary’s original article still stands. The vote did mean something.

Finally, Gary’s summary of the Metzger quote that started this whole discussion does not solve any problems for me:

“Metzger was really saying was that the Decree on the Canon promulgated on April 8, 1546 was the first decree on the Canon to include an anathema, which was adopted by a 24 to 15 vote with 16 abstaining.”

That’s right. The decision to adopt the Florentine canon as an article of faith was agreed to by only 44% of the council members.

I guess my questions is, why did 56% of the council members believe that the biblical canon that was supposedly taught throughout church history, accepted by Hippo/Carthage and later confirmed by the Council of Florence, perhaps shouldn’t be an article of faith? In other words, if the historical witness of the canon was so clear that Luther (and Protestants in general) could be accused of “throwing out 7 books of the Bible” (a common RC apologist claim), why were 56% of the council members not in favor of making the canon an article of faith?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Quotable Sippo #4

I have an occasional feature called, "The Quotable Sippo." It's very simple, I just let Catholic apologist Art Sippo speak for himself. Recently, Dr. Sippo provided some of his insights, and well... let's just let the good doctor speak for himself:

"Pseudopodeo and his anti-Catholic cronies are always lying about the Catholic Church."

"As a Catholic Apologist my goal is to extirpate heresy from the face of the Earth. That means that all Protestantism must go. Period."

"Make no mistake about it. Protestantism is false religion. IMHO it is little better than Mormonism in that regard."

"But the legitimacy of all Protestant religions is threatened by the continued existence of Catholicism. That is why so many Protestants are anti-Catholic bigots including the pro-Nazi Mr. Swan."

"Protestantism is an abomination. It has no right to exist. No one in its clutches can command parity with the humblest practicing Catholic. You have no valid ministers, few if any valid sacraments, false teachings on all subjects especially morals, and yet you have the effrontery to demand parity with the faithful of God own Church.Your people left cursing us and calling us foul names: R o m a n i s t s, Papists, Whore of Babylon, idolaters, Anti-Christs, and worse. Now you want us to pretend that it just doesn't matter and that in some way they were justified in doing so.I would be unfaithful to the Gospel I received if I did not rebuke you. Your leaders are outside the Church of God and your people followed them. We Catholics have kept the faith and followed Christ in his Church as he told us to do. We didn't go anywhere. We didn't change anything. You have no right to expect us to repent because of your errors."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Icon't take it anymore

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Can we get some more peanuts in the front please?

If you don't get it, don't worry- it wasn't that good.

Starting from where I left off in the combox of the previous post on icons...

What in the text indicates that Uzzah was treating the Ark "as if it had intrinsic value"?
This is what I mean by ad hoc...God clearly defined how the Ark was to be transported. The Israelites neglected to do that. Where was Uzzah venerating or doing anything to the Ark besides walking beside it and putting out his hand to steady it? More eisegesis on CrimsonCath's part.

Uzzah was, in his own way, a proto-Gnostic. You don't try to grab the divine without permission, outside of the specific channels He provides, or you will be destroyed.

Eisegesis. This reminds me of the way that RCs often try to push prohibitions of contraception onto the text on Onan.

Does that text itself explicitly say any of this? No.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I wonder how it would even be possible to worship Him on your understanding unless He were standing in front of you

Just b/c we are prohibited from using icons in worship, you don't know how I'd worship Christ? "In spirit and in truth" is where I'd start.

even then, if you could not disregard His humanity entirely

Which has nothing to do with the question at hand. And of course I don't do so.

why do you venerate Scripture as the Word of God?

Red herring - it is far from the same thing as the way RCs and EOx venerate icons. I don't recall the last time I or anyone in my church bowed down before, lit incense before, lit candles before, and prayed to the Bible.

Without the Christological explanation, they all lack justification.

Another naked appeal to "Christological explanation"s, without an argument.
Just b/c Christ is the eikon of the Father and took on human flesh, why does it follow that it's OK to perform worshipful actions in front of statues of dead people and pray to them?

It certainly doesn't mean that there are no more signs and symbols in Christian practice,

As if that were part of the argument.
But we're talking about communication with the dead through worshipful actions directed at icons here. Let's try to stay on point.

and it certainly doesn't mean that there is no longer worship through icons.

No longer? When was there before? The OT? Where?

The saints are likewise venerated as "in Christ."

1) And are in some cases treated as more merciful and generous than Christ Himself.
2) Where is the justification to pray to them as Christ?
3) They're dead and the Bible forbids communication with the dead. Christ is not dead.

Service of God's instruments is not service of other gods (1 Chron. 29:20, Dan. 2:26, Rev. 3:9); rather, it is a form of service to the One True God.

Except that worship and serve are bound up in the same ideas and terms in the OT as the post demonstrates.

And yes, service is less than latria.

Not in the eyes of the OT. That's the point.

Given that the instruments of God (like Scripture, David, the Ark, Daniel) are venerated in the Old Testament

Not even close to in the same way as modern RCs and EOx do.

Matt said:
1) Where is "religious context" specified in the Old Testament? Where does the Scripture clarify what is in and what is out?

When it says you shall not bow down to them or serve them.
This is the same attitude as pro-death people and those tempted towards sexual immorality - how close can we get to the line? They never stop to consider that we should remain FAR away from any question of wrong, especially on so delicate and important an issue as the worship of the One True God when He's said over and over again that He's a jealous God!
We might ask ourselves then: "Is it OK to light a candle to the dead person? OK, how about to light a candle AND burn incense? Great, how about both of those AND praying to them inaudibly requests that I'd otherwise share with Jesus, since they can probably read my thoughts?"

Religious context is where you're rendering worshipful actions. It's not that hard unless you belabor it in order to protect your manmade traditions.

2) If you were living in the seventeenth century, would you bow to the king of your country?

Sure, fine. So what? I can guarantee that I wouldn't bow down to a picture of him AND light a candle to his image AND burn incense before it AND say an inaudible prayer to the king while doing those things in front of the image. Why? B/c those are things we do to God, not men.

If so, then why is that not going against the command of God(?)

B/c I'm not rendering worshipful actions in a religious context to him.

This "religious context" stuff is really unpersuasive.

That has nothing to do with whether the argument stands. I don't control your spirit; I can only point the way.

Bowing down to kings is often a "religious context" (think of the Caesars or the Eastern emperors who proclaimed themselves to be gods).

Precisely. And the early Christians did what exactly when commanded to do so?

It seems like some of the criticisms are against doing things to "dead" (who are, to my mind, more alive than we are) people through the mediation of an image which are perfectly OK with living people: making requests (petitionary prayer)
Until you tell me that you do ***ALL*** of the following to a living person, this is a non-point:
1) Kiss their image. While they're not there.
2) Burn incense and light candles to their image. While they're not there.
3) Set up that image in church. While they're not there.
4) Pray inaudibly to them and expect them to read your thoughts and carry the prayer to God. While they're not there. And you can't say it audibly to their ears since the dead don't hear with their physical ears.

We honor them as rational animals created by God, imago Dei, etc.

Not according to the way that you act towards them. This insults our intelligence.

What really matters is that what I MEAN by the term is actually contrary to the word of God.

Which is what Dr White was trying to tell you. *You* don't get to define the terms of what is acceptable worship to the Lord. Maybe you should think about letting Him do that.

Something overlooked by your analysis is that some of the passages are referring to FALSE GODS!!!

They are, of course, no gods at all, and yet these people condemned in the OT bow down before them and do worshipful piety to them in a religious context.
Your dead people to whom you pray thru icons are no gods at all, either, as you would agree. There's a reason why God didn't accept worship on the high places or in Samaria in OT Israel and Judah, you know. Your assertion begs the question that it's OK to bow down to dead people as long as you intend to worship God thusly.

CrimsonCatholic continued:
so that both were forbidden of any creature.

I didn't say that. I am pointing out that there are certain contexts in which the distinction advanced by RCC and EOC does not hold, and religious actions is one of those categories. That's why I keep pointing out the religious worship/non-religious non-worship contexts in your counter-examples.

Luke xiv.10

Nobody is doing anythg religious in that context. It's a dinner.

Now in the Old Testament no distinction in the Hebrew is drawn between these words when applied to creator or creature.

My point is clear for all to see, above.

Nor do they appear to be categorically forbidden in the context of religious practices.

Then give me JUST ONE example where somebody other than God received actions of worshipful piety in the Bible and your case is much-bolstered.

Mike Burgess said:
Luke 20:34-38
John 11:25-26
Hebrews 12:1-24

I've made multiple comments on this topic already.
1) God says BOTH - that the dead are not destroyed but merely appear to us to be asleep.
2) Yet there is obviously a changed relationship. You agree since you don't do ALL OF THE FOLLOWING to a living person
  • Kiss their image. While they're not there.
  • Burn incense and light candles to their image. While they're not there.
  • Set up that image in church. While they're not there.
  • Pray inaudibly to them and expect them to read your thoughts and carry the prayer to God. While they're not there. And you can't say it audibly to their ears since the dead don't hear with their physical ears.
3) God still forbade contact with those who have died physically. He must consider it pretty important that we not do so.

I'd probably have to know what you're looking for in each of those passages, though.

Col 3 - who is dead at the beginning of the chapter?

This refers to the spiritually dead who are raised by regeneration.

What does St. Paul say idolatry is in v. 5?

I assume you mean "why does...?".
B/c idolatry is forbidden and sinful.

What does that contextually tell us about "motive" and its relevance?


You seem quite devoted to (at least implicitly) the regulative principle of worship.

Not at all, I'm a Southern Babdist.
But I decry that which affirms what God has prohibited.

What about anything short of what He commanded in the OT?

Since rendering worshipful piety to pictures of dead people and talking to them doesn't fall under this category, I fail to see how this is relevant.
If you really want to know, feel free to email me.

Daniel Clendenin's Eastern Orthodoxy A Western Perspective

I read that one.

Jeremy said:
I agree with the comments about "religious context" being arbitrarily defined.

Yes, of course!
Doing ALL OF THE FOLLOWING to an image of a dead person is just CLEARLY non-religious.
1) Ascribing non-human inabilities to these dead people (ie, hearing you when you pray silently)
2) Falling down before them
3) Lighting candles to them
4) burning incense to them
5) addressing THEM in prayer

The insults to readers' intelligence continue.

If it is permissible to bow down before someone outside of a "religious context", is it not also permissible to murder, commit adultery, steal or give false testimony - so long as these are only done outside of a "religious context"? Clearly not

The question at hand is whether it's OK to do to dead people what you do to God - worshipful actions.
This would only be analogous if you wanted to see if I'd argue whether it's OK to murder God, commit adultery away from God, steal from God, etc...

Rhology asserts that this verse "makes it clear that we are to bow down to no one other than God" - in otherwords, we shouldn't bow down to anyone. However, this is false. What the passage actually states is that we shouldn't bow down to "them"

Right, to the false gods. Who are not gods at all. Neither are dead people gods.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Anti-Protestants Should Sharpen Their Latin

Gary Michuta has written a critique of my December post on the “underwhelming” Trent post entitled The 44% Solution: Why Anti-Catholics Should Trust Their Instincts in addition to a questionable video he posted to YouTube (Dr White captured his name in a screenshot before it disappeared). First let me note that I have explained some of the confusion around the vote in a recent post already.

Gary opens saying:

“'Cursed be he who misleads a blind man on his way!'” For me, the verse really hits home the importance of being as accurate as I possibly can whenever I write or give a talk…That is why whenever I run across something that does not seem right to me (especially when it concerns non-Catholics) red flags go up and I try to do my best to go the extra mile to make sure everything is accurate… It seems to me that this is what happened to a member of our loyal opposition named James Swan.”

Apparently, going the “extra mile” doesn’t include noticing my signature or the “posted by Carrie” at the bottom of the post. Oops.

“You can see the red flags going up in Swan’s mind. Something seems out of whack with these numbers. Unfortunately, James didn’t trust his instincts and published this article, not only once, but twice. Indeed, the republished article didn’t escape the attention of another Protestant apologist, whom I respect, James White who wrote:’…I am more than happy to learn new things from folks like James Swan and others who post on his blog as well…’”

No red flags for James Swan since he didn’t write the post. Now, the reference to “others who post on his blog” should have indicated that Beggars All is a group blog and perhaps a “red flag”…

“In a way, I do understand why Swan and/or White ignored the red flags and went with the story. Bruce Metzger is a very reputable Protestant scholar and the quote comes from a well respected work, namely, The New Testament Canon: It’s Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987)…”

Agreed. In reality, I (Carrie) did look for other sources for this vote but could find none and trusted Metzger.

“One big flag came when I noticed that the quote given in my copy of Metzger did not match the one given in Swan's article.”

My post was an oldie from my own blog. I (Carrie) had originally come across the numbers while looking at a Wiki article and that is the source I used. When questioned on the accuracy of the Wiki article, I found the numbers confirmed by Metzger. The exact wording of the quote was not a concern.

“I also checked the link to Wikipedia that Swan provided, but I was unable to find the quote there either.”

Hmmm, either my original link was wrong or things were rearranged. Either way, the source of my quote can now be found here. (still Carrie)

“The second red flag came when I noted the absence of any footnote in Metzger for his figures. Where did Metzger get the 24 to 15 voting tally?”

Metzger does cite Jedin and Maichle at the end of the paragraph. Jedin’s chapter on this topic gives the vote numbers and date of the vote as I have previously outlined.

“Both Swan and White clearly believe that the "44% vote" was on the approval of the entire Decree. For example, Swan wrote:”

Yes, that was my (Carrie) construal of the vote as phrased by Metzger. I’m still not sure Metzger’s phrasing was incorrect as I previously outlined.

“When I see red flags, I do a little digging. The first place I looked was the same place I looked to confirm the Council’s position on the book of Esdras, the Concilium Tridentinum”

That’s great. I (Carrie) am somewhat jealous that Gary is fluent enough in Latin that he can read through the Concilium Tridentinum (CT). It would be nice if he would actually translate his findings, though.

Now, here is where Gary starts to lose me:

“There was some voting on this topic, not on April 8th, but February, 15, 1546. However, it took place, not in the General Council, but the particular councils known as the classes.”

“After further digging, I finally discovered the 24 to 15 vote. As the Catholic historian Peter Dunker [sic] records”

“Concilium Tridentinum, volume 5, p. 10… The 44% vote had nothing to do with the contents of the canon, rather it appears that the vote concerned the inclusion of a anathema (the application of canonical penalties to those who deny what is stated). I should note that, according to Dunker [sic], there is some slight disagreement among the sources and it is not completely clear whether this vote was on the inclusion of the anathema or whether it was on whether it would be illicit for the council to include a refutation of some of the attacks on the canon in its decree.”

First, according to both Jedin and Duncker, the congregation of February 15th was a General Congregation, not a class. Second, Gary’s scan from vol 5, pg 10 shows a date of February 18th, yet the “44% vote” took place on February 15th according again to both Jedin and Duncker. February 18th was a particular congregation according to Jedin as corroborated by the “classes” title at the top of Gary’s scan.

Now, as Gary mentioned, there was some confusion about this vote as outlined by Duncker based on the source material (CT). It appears as if Gary has pulled the wrong page, perhaps he could supply a translation?

“Why is there disagreement on what this vote was on? Because the 44% vote had no effect on the final decree. It was a straw vote taken during an ongoing discussion in the classes, not in the General Council where amendments were adopted.”

Based on Jedin and Duncker, Gary is wrong on this one. The vote took place on February 15th in the General Council.

“Moreover, if you look closely at the quote above (Concilium Tridentinum, volume 5, p. 10) you will see that the vote didn't decide anything even in the class. The document explicitly states "(sed nihil decretum)", which is translated "(but nothing was decided)."

Not to be too flip, but I think Gary should now be the one seeing red flags. Duncker, who Gary directed me to in his own article states the following:

“Thirdly, both texts on the distinction contain a term of which we have not yet heard : "ari auctoritate" in Massarelli's Diary ; "pari reverentia" in the Acts. The Acts even state that the Fathers, voting by a majority in favour of the anathema, thereby (itaque) approved the addition of the words, "pari pietatis affectu recipimus" in the decree. It seems to us that Massarelli has here introduced words that were not used at the meeting itself ; they would be used later in another context but, according to Massarelli, they expressed the idea of the majority of the Fathers, who did not want any distinction between the books. This explains why he adds, "sed nihil decretimi," vis. about these words.” (Duncker, Catholic Biblical Quarterly (15), 1953, p. 291)

The bolded words are found in the scan of CT which Gary posted and on which he is basing his argument. However, in the quote above (which matches Gary's "evidence") is where Duncker is outlining some discrepancies in the CT where Severoli’s diary, Massarelli’s diary, and the Acts give conflicting information. I’m starting to think Gary’s Latin is a bit rusty. Gary is going to have to work out these citations issues before we can even deal with his argument. His evidence (CT scan) conflicts with his star witness (Duncker).

"Swan and White has apparently misunderstood Metzger. Moreover, Metzger didn't really read Trent very carefully because the vote he recorded likely wasn't even on the anathema and even if it was "nothing was decided” by it.”

Well, if it is true that Metzger did not read Trent carefully then I think the same can be said for Gary.

“What’s the difference between a propagandist and an apologist? A propagandist is mainly concerned with mocking and ridiculing his opponents for the entertainment of his co-religionists using whatever information he or she finds to be damaging. An apologist, however, takes his opponents seriously and recognizes that the opponents do have a rationale for what they believe. A good apologist feels the strength of his opponent’s position before critiquing it.”

Unfortunately for Gary, I think he has yet to ascertain anyone’s position, including Trent’s. The propagandist vs apologist may have been an overshot on this one.

“The very fact that James Swan had a red flag or two, I think, says some good things about James Swan. As for the "44% vote" idea, this one has been sent to the graveyard of bad arguments, may it rest in peace.”

Again, the post in question was mine (Carrie). And I will admit that Metzger’s quote was a bit confusing. But unfortunately for Gary (again), he has yet to prove anything except that his reading of both Duncker and Latin have disproven his own argument. I'm afraid the victory dance on the grave of my argument will have to wait until he locates the correct page in the CT.

*For the record, my jabs at Gary are meant to point out his own mistakes using his own measure. Hence, the title of my post is meant as a joke. I do think there is more to the story on this topic, but I will leave Gary to figure out where he went wrong for now.

(written by CARRIE)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Trent's Underwhelming Canon Vote, part 2

A few weeks ago I posted on the Underwhelming Vote of Trent based on a quote from Metzger. I have been meaning to expand on this topic based on details from the Catholic historian Hubert Jedin, but have been short on time. A recent post by Dr. White gave me the necessary kick in the pants.

The Metzger quote seems to imply that the vote at Trent on the biblical canon occurred on April 8th, 1546 when in reality the vote (24 yea, 15 nay, 16 abstain) took place on February 15th. The final decree on Scripture and Tradition (which included the canon list) was given on April 8th. Metzger actually cites Jedin’s History of the Council of Trent which supplies the necessary detail, so I believe his wording was intended to summarize the overall process (rather than being inaccurate).

I will be citing here (and in future posts) extensively from Jedin’s History of the Council of Trent. Jedin’s work on the Council of the Trent is probably the most extensive and objective documentation available and provides the necessary insight that the Concilium Tridentinum lacks for the general reader. To understand the significance of this discussion it is important to remember the Roman Catholic apologetic claim that the canon ratified at Trent was the same canon taught throughout history. If true, we would expect the canon discussions at Trent to be essentially a "no-brainer".

With regards to the “underwhelming vote”, Jedin says:

“The discussion of the canon of Scripture, which began in the general congregations of 12 and 15 February, showed that there was unanimous desire to take up the canon of Holy Scripture within the limits within which the decree of the Council of Florence of 4 February 1441 for the reunion of the Jacobites, had circumscribed it. Two questions were to be debated, namely, should this conciliar decision be simply taken over, without previous discussion of the subject, as the jurists Del Monte and Pacheco opined, or should the arguments recently advanced against the canonicity of certain books of the Sacred Scriptures be examined and refuted by the Council, as the other two legates, with Madruzzo and the Bishop of Fano, desired? The second question was closely linked with the first, namely should the Council meet the difficulties raised both in former times and more recently, by distinguishing different degrees of authority within the canon?

With regard to the first question the legates themselves were not of one mind. In the general congregation of 12 February, Del Monte, taking the standpoint of formal Canon Law, declared that the Florentine canon, since it was a decision of a General Council, must be accepted without discussion. On the other hand Cervini and Pole, supported by Madruzzo and a number of prelates familiar with the writings of the reformers and the humanists, urged the necessity of countering in advance the attacks that were to be expected from the Protestants by consolidating their own position, and of providing their own theologians with weapons for the defence of the decree as well as for the instruction of the faithful. However, their efforts were in vain; in fact Pacheco, who shared DeI Monte's view, proposed in the general congregation of 15 February to prevent any future discussions whether this or that book was part of the canon by adding an anathema to the decree, that is, by declaring it article of faith. The discussion was so obstinate that there remained no other means to ascertain the opinion of the Council than to put the matter to the vote. The result was that twenty-four prelates were found to be on Del Monte's side, and fifteen (sixteen) on the other. The decision to accept the Florentine canon simpliciter, that is, without further discussion, and as an article of faith, already contained the answer to the second question.” (History of the Council of Trent, pg 55-56)

As Jedin states later on pg 57:

“The result of the above-mentioned vote of the general congregation of 15 February committed the Council to the wider canon…”

Hence, the final decree of April 8th, which defined the books of the canon, was decided by the earlier vote to accept the Florentine canon as an article of faith. The unanimous vote on the final decree many weeks after the first vote on February 15th (and after much discussion) does not negate the difficulties seen with that first vote. In fact, considering that the underwhelming vote of February 15th centered around accepting a canon already defined by a prior council and yet there was still dissension, clearly shows there was much confusion about the exact nature of the canon. Again, if the biblical canon of the Church was a consistent teaching throughout history, further affirmed by a decree at Florence, why the confusion?

The RC claim that "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" continues to not hold water. It was not until April 8th, 1546 that the Church "put a full stop to the thousand-year-old development of the biblical canon" (Jedin, pg. 91). However, the discussions that occurred before and after the vote (and their implications) are what I find the most interesting. In the interest of time and length of this post, I will take that topic up in a future post.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rome offers a plenary indulgence

I'd like to note this in relation to what took place at the Svendsen-Pacwa debate during the Audience Questions section.
(Edit in green text)
Father Pacwa, answering an audience question...
Question: "Please comment on the view of today's Vatican regarding the selling of indulgences in history."

Pacwa (almost verbatim): "The Vatican hasn't said anythg about selling indulgences b/c it was condemned earlier in the C of Trent. There was abuse of selling of indulgences and the reason that Vatican didn't say anythg was b/c it's not being done."

First of all, that's awesome for our RC friends. In particular I'd love to know why such goodies as plenary indulgences are only granted from time to time rather than all the time. And why the RCC doesn't just go all the way and become Reformed, where the one sacrifice of Christ provides for a true plenary indulgence. As to the former, I wonder if Indulgentiarum Doctrina has anything to say?

In my review, I noted that Fr Peter Stravinskas disagreed w/ Pacwa's assertion, and apparently the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is coming down somewhere near Stravinskas' side as far as I can tell. So I guess here we have a problem between Stravinskas and Pacwa, and it leads to a few questions:
  1. What is the difference between buying an indulgence with money and buying one with stuff you do?
  2. Is this not demonstrative of disunity among RC clergy? (I know Mateo wouldn't agree that this is a big deal, but he's not the majority opinion so far as I've seen.)

Pretty good stuff. Either way, I hope all the Roman Catholics who can will take advantage. I sure would.
And what good fortune to die just a few hours after hooking one of these dandies!
I'm gonna go ahead and post screen shots of the article here b/c another link I found turned out to be dead just hours after I saw the article that links to it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Catholic Scholars on the Biblical Canon

Here are some excerpts from the Jerome Biblical Commentary, a book produced by the contributions of a large group of Catholic scholars as outlined in the editor's preface:

"The question of the Catholic interpretation of the Bible constantly reappears. It seemed to the editors that the best way to expose the misunderstanding implicit in this question was to produce a commentary written entirely by Catholics. This would allow readers off all persuasions to see a representative group of Catholic scholars at work – not the isolated and allegedly liberal mavericks, but some fifty contributors teaching in the Catholic colleges and seminaries in the United States, Canada, and abroad."

The Jerome Biblical Commentary
Brown, Fitzmyer, and Murphy
Imprimatur: Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, Archbishop of Baltimore

In the section entitled Canonicity, the issues surrounding the acceptance of the deuterocanonicals into the canon is discussed:

"Doubts about the deuterocanonical books keep recurring in the history of the Church among those who are aware of the Jewish canon. Those who prefer the shorter canon or express some doubt about the full canonical status of the deuterocanonicals include Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen, Epiphanius, Rufinus, Gregory the Great, John Damascene, Hugh of St. Victor, Nicholas of Lyra, and Cardinal Cajetan.

As mentioned earlier, the Council of Trent accepted definitively the deuterocanonicals, and it did so directly in opposition to the Protestant preference for the Jewish canon. Although as Catholics we accept the statement of the Council as binding in faith, it is wise for us to know some of the difficulties that surround this statement. Even on the eve of the Council the Catholic view was not absolutely unified, as the mention of Cajetan in the preceding paragraph clearly indicates. Catholic editions of the Bible published in Germany and in France in 1527 and 1530 contained only the protocanonical books. The Fathers of the Council knew of the 4th century African councils that had accepted the deuterocanonical books, and they knew the position taken at Florence; but at the time of Trent, there were insufficient historical tools to reconstruct the real picture of the canon in the 1st century." (pg 523)

As with the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the authors of The Jerome Biblical Commentary outline some of the uncertainty that existed within the Catholic Church throughout history with regards to the OT canon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Luther's View of Church Councils (1)

I've been meaning to post some information on Luther's view on Church councils. I'd like to begin in a place many wouldn't expect, with one of Luther's earliest biographers and arch-enemies, Johannes Cochlaeus. The excerpt below is from the Book, Luther's Lives.

Keep in mind, one of the paradigm's Cochlaeus used to evaluate Luther was to use Luther’s own words, set up in such a way that they appeared contradictory and absurd. Cochlaeus divided up the life of Luther into seven distinct periods, each represented by one of the heads on the monster. Each head held a contradictory opinion to the other. Cochlaeus explains:

“Thus all brothers emerge from the womb of one and the same cowl by a birth so monstrous, that none is like the other in either behavior, shape, face or character. The elder brothers, Doctor and Martinus, come closest to the opinion of the Church, and they are to be believed above all the others, if anything anywhere in Luther's books can be believed with any certainty at all. Lutherus, however, according to his surname, plays a wicked game just like Ismael [lat. ludere—Luder, Saxon pronunciation for Luther]. Ecclesiastes tells the people who are always keen on novelties, pleasant things. Svermerns rages furiously and errs in the manner of Phaeton throughout the skies. Barrabas is looking for violence and sedition everywhere. And at the last, Visitator, adorned with a new mitre and ambitious for a new papacy, prescribes new laws of ceremonies, and many old ones which he had previously abolished—revokes, removes, reduces. This is the sum of my book.”

Here is the excerpt from Cochlaeus explaining Luther's view on councils from his chapter on the year of Luther's life, 1523:

"[Luther] in another pamphlet, using the most shameful flatteries and the crudest pretexts of Scripture, he set up the German common people as the judges of doctrines and decrees — not only decrees of the Pope and the Bishops, but also of the General Council. For, among other things, he said as follows:

'In business of this sort, namely in judging doctrines and in appointing and removing teachers, or caretakers of souls, it is by no means appropriate to pay attention to human laws, rights, habits, usage, or custom, etc.; whether a matter has been so ordained by the Pope, or by the Emperor, by Princes or Bishops; whether the whole world, or half the world, has held to it; whether it has lasted one year or a thousand years. For the soul of a human being is an eternal thing, and above all that is temporal; therefore, it ought to be ruled only by the eternal Word.'

And again, The words and doctrines of men'(he said)'have decided and ordained that judgment about doctrine should be entrusted to Bishops, Teachers, and Councils; and that all the world should accept whatever these people have decided as a law and as an article of faith. But see how shamelessly and foolishly this vainglory of theirs, through which they have placed the entire world under a yoke, fights against God's Law and Word. For Christ decreed precisely the opposite, and took the right and the power of judging doctrines away from any Bishops, Teachers, or councils at all, giving both of these universally to each and every Christian. For he says, in John 10, "My sheep know my voice," and again, "My sheep do not follow strangers, but flee from them, for they do not know the strangers' voice," and again, "However many came, they are thieves and robbers: my sheep do not hear them."

Here you see entirely clearly whose the right of judging doctrines is. A Bishop, the Pope, the learned, and anyone else at all have the power of teaching; but the sheep must judge, whether these men teach the voice of Christ, or that of strangers. I ask, how can Bulls about waters contradict this, Bulls which clamor, "Councils, Councils - Bishops, teachers, and everyone must listen to the councils"? Do you think that the Word of God should yield to your usage, your custom, your bishops? Never. For who does not here see that all bishops,colleges, monasteries, universities, with their whole community, rage against this plain word of Christ; who does not see how shamelessly they take the judgment of doctrines away from the sheep, so that they may hand it over to themselves, through their own decrees and acts of boldness? Therefore, they most certainly must be considered as robbers and thieves, as wolves and Apostate Christians, as people who - as has here manifestly been proven against them - not only deny the Word of God but even decree and act in opposition to it, as befits the Antichrist. They create the Antichrist's Kingdom, according to St Paul's prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2.'And below: 'Owing to their seditious delusion, Paul concludes, as one certain of victory, that for this reason alone those who lord it over us, and teach us contrary to God's word and will more than deserve to be driven out of Christendom and to be avoided as wolves, thieves, and robbers.'"

The difference between latria and dulia is ad hoc and imaginary

Mateo tried to distinguish between latria and dulia and I think it's worth spending a little time on. I'll shamelessly swipe from my own post on the topic:

The transparent teaching of the OT is NOT to fall down before images. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do so. So do pagans, Hindus, Shintos, animists, etc. The RC/EO excuse partly consists of pleading a difference between latria and dulia as Mateo said. The lexical differentiation is, however, disproved by the OT itself.

The reason that such distinctions are made in the 1st place is to justify the behavior of rendering worshipful actions of religious piety to someone other than the One True God. As a monotheist, it stands to reason that one would need to come up with a reason why such is not prohibited, especially since Exodus 20:5 makes it clear that we are to bow down to no one other than God, and yet here they are bowing down to someone other than God.

Ex 20:5 - you shall not worship (bow down to) them nor serve them.
God discusses His wrath and visiting the iniquity on children, etc.
In Heb, shachah is "worship" or "bow down" and `abad is "to serve".

Yet the LXX translates `abad as latreuo and douleo (out of which come latria and dulia in Latin) both. So here we are forbidden to "`abad" anyone other than God.

Let's see some other psgs where that is the case.

Ex 23:33 - they shall not live in your land... for if you serve their gods, it will be a snare
`abad here is LXX douleo.

Deut 28:64 - there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, etc
`abad here is LXX douleo.

Judg 10:10 - we have served other Baals
`abad here is LXX latreuo. Would anyone argue that this is not idolatry?
I can hear it now: "Lord we didn't give latria to the Baals, we just gave them dulia."
(Edited 19Jan2008)

In the Heb mindset, you can't worship him whom you don't serve.
You can't separate it out biblically. That's why the LXX doesn't just use latreuo or douleo; the Hebrew term is richer than that.

1 Sam 7:3 - remove the foreign gods... serve Him alone
`abad here is LXX douleo.

1 Kings 9:6 - serve other gods and worship them
Both appear.

Ex 4:23, Ex 12:31, Ex 23:24, Deut 4:19, the list goes on.

The NT likewise shows no hint of the distinction.
Rom 14:18 - does service to Christ not involve worship? douleo
Gal 4:8 - when you did not know God you were slaves to those which by nature were no gods. douleo
So these Galatians were not involved in idolatry? It would've been OK to serve those gods, just not worship them?

Col 3:24 - it is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Is this less than latria?

1 Thess 1:9 - you turned from idols to serve a living and true God. douleo
Is he not saying you turned from idolatry to true worship?

The disturbing part of all this is the attempted separation of what our RC and EO-dox friends are defending and what Scripture teaches is wrong.
I'll illustrate by way of comparison:

Exodus 20:15 - you shall not steal.

In Hebrew, the word is "ganab".
In the LXX, ganab is translated "foneuseis" and these words have a similar usage to "klepto" in Grk, which is often used by the NT to express the same idea.
Several 100s of years after the time of Christ and the time of the writing of the NT, the argument could go like this:
"Yes, the property 'belonged' to a brother in Christ, but you know, we all hold all things in common like the book of Acts says. I didn't steal it from him, you see. He may want it back and accuse me of stealing it from him, and yes, I have it and he never explicitly gave me permission to remove it from his property, but that's OK. We're all free in Christ, and we don't use the word 'steal' the same way anyway."

I'd like to know the difference between the two situations.

As I've said before, when you ask a dead person to pray for you, you light candles, kneel and prostrate yourself before an icon, kiss the icon, burn incense, and pray at the icon. These are worshipful actions. These are actions that God has reserved for Himself in the Old Testament. Is man left up to the task of determining what is right worship before God, or does God determine that for us?
It is simple ad hoc equivocation to say that one can "proskuneo" before an image of a dead person, light candles, burn incense, and pray to them. Prayer is a worshipful action. Bowing down is a worshipful action, as in Exodus 20:5.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Intentional icons

Piggybacking on the recent post on images... some thoughts on God directing how He shall be worshiped follow.

I don't think I'll be able to do much in this combox, but maybe God will be merciful to my schedule.
Our Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox friends defend the blatant violations of Old Testament directions for YHWH's worship by appealing to their intentions.

Leviticus 10:1-3

1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.

2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

3Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the LORD spoke, saying,
'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy,
And before all the people I will be honored.'"
So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.
God's instructions were clear as to how He should be worshiped, when, by whose hand, etc. These men violated those instructions. This is not pagan worship or the intrusion of a different religion into Judaism; this is disobedience to how they were to worship. Intention played no part.

Exodus 25:10-15

10"They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high.

11"You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it.

12"You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it.

13"You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

14"You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them.

15"The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it.
Here God gives instruction for how the Ark of the Covenant shall be transported. And the consequence of disobeying with good intention:

2 Samuel 6:2-7

2And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.

3They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.

4So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark.

5Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.

6But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.

7And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God.

Uzzah's intentions were good, as the text says - to stop the ark from falling over. Indeed - what a terrible thing to have the ark fall over! But God destroyed him b/c Uzzah did not treat God's worship and instructions on worship as foremost and holy.
The Lord struck out in anger and wrath over the breaking of His instruction, despite the good intentions of David, Uzzah himself, no doubt the guys who lent the oxen and cart, the people in the procession, etc.


Acts 10:24-26
24On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

25When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him.

26But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man."

Revelation 22:8-9

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

9But he said to me, "Do not do that I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God."

There is a way to bow down to mere humans and honor them in righteousness, as attested to by Scripture, without it being a sin. But not in a context of worship, which is the heart of the matter and the objection we have to RC and EO-dox practice.

Deuteronomy 4:15-18

15"So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,
16so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,
18the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.

What's the definition of a graven image here? "The form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth."
Presumably, something like this.
Let's leave aside the question of making an image of Christ here and focus on v. 16 - no image of form male or female. How is making an image of a dead person (ie, a saint) for worship not a violation of this command?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dividing Line Listeners: Math Made Easy

If you are a listener to James White's radio show The Dividing Line and you don't live in Arizona and aren't good with math, time and clocks then this post is for you. As Dr. White so frequently reminds those of us who like to play with our clocks twice a year, clocks in Phoenix don't change!

So to keep up with the Dividing Line in your own time zone iGoogle makes it easy! Once you have set-up and signed into your Google account, go to iGoogle and just chose the "World Clocks" gadget. The change the settings, one clock to your time zone and the other to Dividing Line time like I've done below.

Remember Dividing Line time is:

Most Tuesday Mornings at 11:00am MST

Most Thursday Afternoons at 4:00 MST

You're welcome,


The Helping Hands of Turretinfan

I wanted to point out an error I made a few days ago. I stated that in this research project on an oft-cited Luther quote by Roman Catholics I was all on my own, while on the other side of the Tiber, a Roman apologist, Steve Ray, and Paul Hoffer were busy working together (I'm expected to respond to three different people). A few days ago a Roman apologist pointed out that I was "lazy" because I hadn't translated a document for him that he was using to build arguments from (it was in Latin and he couldn't read it).

My error really isn't an error (I was using bait and switch), well it wasn't a few days ago. But now if I claim "I'm all alone" I would not be telling the truth. Turretinfan has put together a very interesting post:

A Quick Footnote to the Luther Citation Dialogue

I'm very thankful to him for such an intriguing entry. Here are some others:

Luther Citation Discussion - Status Report

I've been very busy the last day or so, mostly preparing material for a lecture. I have not had a chance to check my detractor's blog for the latest Spy vs.Spy developments (or, to translate, "I've been too lazy").

However (and maybe my detractors have already mentioned this), I've had a suspicion that the quote we've been chasing entered into popular usage through a secondary source. That is, an early writer, probably a Catholic writer, pulled the quote from Luther's writings. In fact, I think it's very possible that my detractor actually figured out this secondary source already to give weight to my theory:

St. Robert Bellarmine, Disputations About the Controversies of the Christian Faith Against the Heretics of This Time (Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei Adversus Hujus Temporis Haereticos), 3 volumes: Ingolstadt: 1586-1593 [published 1856; digitized 5 March 2007] [online link to the relevant section, p. 76] [Catholic]:"si diutius, inquit steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, ut Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, propter diversas ad conservandam fidei unitatem, conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus." English translation: none provided.

Could Bellarmine be the culprit? Or was it the Preface to the Rheims New Testament (1582) that my detractors found? Or was this source used by Bellarmine? Bellarmine seems like a likely candidate for both Catholics and Protestants to be the source for subsequent usage of this quote.

The Roman apologist, Ray, and Hoffer have done some interesting work on this. I realize that the three of them don't agree on all their own findings. However, I think the Roman apologist and I are united in the fact that Steve Ray's "Letter to Zwingli" does not exist, and that the treatise I brought forth is that from which the quote comes. The Roman apologist though has been arguing that intelligent men throughout history are using the quote in a similar way to that of Mr. Ray. It's really the argument that "x number of people have used the quote like Steve Ray has, so Swan is wrong on his interpretation." I'd like to leave this apologist some advice from Catholic apologist Karl Keating:

"We are to believe that, if "most theologians" hold a position on a certain issue, the position must be true. That’s flabby thinking. Recall the movie Twelve Angry Men. It was about how one juror held out for acquittal, turned out to be right, and eventually convinced the other eleven. No one watching that movie would have thought it good if the lone juror had decided to go along with the others merely because "most jurors" initially believed in the defendant’s guilt. Keep in mind that theologians do not enjoy the charism of infallibility. At times "most theologians" simply are wrong about a particular point. We need to examine the point itself, not take a hand count.

Along these lines Henri de Lubac wrote about an incident in the life of Paul Claudel, the French statesman, poet, and playwright. In 1907 Claudel received a letter from Jacques Riviere, "a young intellectual nearly destroyed by the pernicious philosophies of the day." Riviere wrote, "I can see that Christianity is dying. . . . People no longer know why our towns are still surmounted by spires which are no longer the prayers of any of us; they don’t know what is the point of those great buildings which are now hemmed in by railway stations and hospitals and from which the people themselves have expelled the monks; they don’t know why the graveyards display pretentious stucco crosses of execrable design." De Lubac remarked, "And Claudel’s answer to that cry of anguish was undoubtedly a good one: ‘Truth is not concerned with how many people it convinces.’"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Use of Images

It has been pointed out to me that my use of images depicting Christ could be confusing or even inappropriate. As such, I have replaced the images on my most recent posts.

There are some who believe that any representation of Christ (in a painting, movie, etc.) are prohibited by the second commandment. I am not sure where I stand on this issue, but I would rather err on the side of caution.

I do not approve of most of the Catholic images that I have used in my posts. In fact, the prayer cards depicting mass with the crucifixion floating above the altar turn my stomach, but I have used them to illustrate a point. I apologize if my use has offended anyone.

Great thanks to the people who have advised me in this situation.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Holy, Holy Orders

I have had this catechism quote sitting on deck for a bit, but after Gene's post on TurretinFan's Holy Water debate I thought I would post it:

"In the first place, then, the faithful should be shown how great is the dignity and excellence of this Sacrament considered in its highest degree, the priesthood.

Bishops and priests being, as they are, God's interpreters and ambassadors, empowered in His name to teach mankind the divine law and the rules of conduct, and holding, as they do, His place on earth, it is evident that no nobler function than theirs can be imagined. Justly, therefore, are they called not only Angels, but even gods, because of the fact that they exercise in our midst the power and prerogatives of the immortal God.

In all ages, priests have been held in the highest honour; yet the priests of the New Testament far exceed all others. For the power of consecrating and offering the body and blood of our Lord and of forgiving sins, which has been conferred on them, not only has nothing equal or like to it on earth, but even surpasses human reason and understanding.

And as our Saviour was sent by His Father, and as the Apostles and disciples were sent into the whole world by Christ our Lord, so priests are daily sent with the same powers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ."

Catechism Of Trent

Leibniz Jenga

After taking the time to demonstrate a Catholic apologist constructed a whole line of argumentation from a Leibniz text he can't read because its written in a language he doesn't know, the response I received back was as follows:

What can ya do, folks? We can only provide rational arguments and documentation. Whether a person will respond to solid logic and factuality is up to them.

If rational arguments are based on a bad foundation....well, however good the argumentation is does not matter. First build a solid foundation, then build from it. To imply I have not responded to "rational arguments and documentation" and "solid logic" when the premise is not proven is not "solid logic."

"I don't think Leibniz's context proves anything in favor of Swan's case; nor does it detract from ours."

One can "think" what he wants. He can "think" he has solid arguments based on material he can't read. Until he actually provides a sound basis by which to argue from, he has provided a lot of words and no substance. I see no reason to watch a discussion rapidly multiply in words on both his end and mine based on such a shoddy foundation. He says, "Not to blunt but this is sheer nonsense and I am in a hurry." Indeed, it is sheer nonsense, that two grown men have to dialog over speculations on a context neither can read. I'm sorry, my time is not worth such frivolity.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The "Luther Quote" Via Leibniz (revised)

I've never really done this before, but I decided to experiment with this post and follow the revision method that one particular Catholic apologist uses. This Romanist recently called me "lazy", so I figured, why bother taking the time to make a new blog entry? I know it makes things easier for people to follow (who wants to read the same thing over looking for changes and revisions? I doubt very few...). I have tried to make it a habit of not even revising errors and mistakes I've made, though I have done it in the past. Even in my original aomin entry on Steve Ray's quote, Steve caught that I left the word "European" off a book title. I did not go back and revise this error, though I could have. I made the error, Steve called it out. With this blog entry though, I'm going to revise it based on the content of recent Romanist replies, as often as I want to. I have some typo's here as well.

I’m continuing to look through the argumentation provided by a Catholic apologist in the recent “Luther quote” saga. This entry is directed towards his blog article of January 5, 2008. So far, as this entry has been posted, this Romanist strove to respond to every line. That's his standard, not mine. To follow that method is to watch words multiply to book length. While I'm sure some people enjoy that method, I don't, and most of the people reading my blog probably don't either. I realize this guy considers his responses thorough refutations, and anyone not participating in this method when responding is judged as being "refuted." Well, again, that's his standards, not mine. I played by his method only once: I composed a very lengthy response to him on Luther's Mariology. I guess since he didn't respond to every inch of it, he was refuted (of course, I'm sarcastically pointing out the obvious: simply because someone responds to every line, doesn't mean that they've soundly refuted every line). well, in this experiment, I've not responded line by line, but I've attempted to use one of this Romanists methods: excessive text. I've attempted to follow some of the rabbit trails, etc.

He states at one point that I "routinely questions [his] findings in almost every case, simply because [he is] a Catholic, rather than attempt actual counter-arguments, which [I do] in rare cases only, and then almost always [I stop] arguing as soon as I counter-reply." I question his research because my earliest introduction to work noticed very poor methods. He's gotten better. He thinks it's because he's Catholic, yet if you check my blog, you'll notice I do the same on Luther to everyone I've interacted with on Luther, even Lutherans. I stop counter-replying for two reasons. first, this guy can out write me, and I don't have the time to invest into his every point (I have more time this week, obviously), and second, many of his arguments are silly, personal attacks, or rabbit trails. These also are time-consuming.

It’s hard to fathom that only a few words of Luther’s could generate such an immense amount of words from both this Romanist and myself. My concerns have been very simple: context, and citation integrity. The Luther quote in question, allegedly written to Zwingli, states, “If the world lasts for a long time, it will again be necessary, on account of the many interpretations which are now given to the Scriptures, to receive the decrees of councils, and take refuge in them, in order to preserve the unity of faith.”

I have chastised those involved in Catholic apologetics, particularly recent Catholic apologists and layman, for citing this quote without knowing or reading the context in which it appears. This Romanist agrees: "That may be true with some recent people who used the quote (including Steve Ray)..." Of the older Catholic apologists, it is possible they read the source (though I wouldn't be surprised if eventually we find out they in fact citing a conflation of the quote found in a secondary source). For the sake of the argument, I'll grant it's most likely they did read the context. Indeed Catholic historian Hartmann Grisar did, that's for sure, so I have never argued that the ALL "old school" Catholic apologists havn't read the context, or I wouldn't have cited Grisar and commented on him as I did.

He states, "if we approach the matter simplistically, as Swan has been doing all along, nothing will be accomplished." This is simply untrue. I've theorized that the differences in the Latin and German may be from a secondary source that conflated the quote. This is hardly approaching the matter simplistically. I also have a few very old reprint texts from the Catholic writers in the 16th Century. It's quite possible one of them is responsible. I've also strove to do the same thing this Romanist has done in terms of researching the texts. On the other hand, what really is simple is to read the context for the quote that I have provided. I had one particular Roman Catholic, no fan of my work comment, "I agree that full context can make a significant difference. James did some good work here..." (of course, he then went on to chastise me for something of mine he didn't like!).

Of course, I can understand that sometimes a Luther "factoid" one comes across in a secondary source from a trusted historian isn't worth the time looking up (like say, a quote from Luther affirming his belief in sola scriptura). However, with this particular quote, when the context is checked, the citation doesn’t state Luther conceded the need for a Council to solve their dispute. This Romanist says that I neglect the "historical context and Luther's overall thinking, while railing against us about immediate textual context." Indeed, that's the point isn't it?... The immediate context. This guy knows enough about Luther to know his views changed over the years. Whether or not Luther at some point may have conceded the need for a council because of the failure of sola scriptura at some later point is not the issue- it's interesting, but not the issue. The issue is the immediate context.

Luther did not concede a council would be that which could unify the Reformers in That These Words Of Christ, “This Is My Body,” etc., Still Stand Firm Against The Fanatics (1527) [LW 37]. He states in this treatise, "If the world lasts much longer, men will, as the ancients did, once more turn to human schemes on account of this dissension, and again issue laws and regulations to keep the people in the unity of the faith. Their success will be the same as it was in the past." Both earlier and in the text after this particular quote, Luther states that councils will result in failure, because "human schemes " "laws and regulations " are not the work of the Holy Spirit, but of men. The text goes on to say, "In short, the devil is too clever and too mighty for us" because "If we wish to stand upon the councils and counsels of men, we lose the Scriptures altogether and remain in the devil’s possession body and soul." Luther isn't conceding anything. He's describing precisely what men do when faced with dissension- come up with ways to try to stop it. Earlier in the same text, Luther describes the way councils arose, and attributes the Devil saying, " It serves my purpose well that they should neglect the Word and not dispute over the Scriptures, but that at this very point they should be at peace and believe what the councils and the fathers say." The immediate context is here for all to see.

The Romanist says my purpose is to chastise Catholics as "incompetent or even dishonest by citing this quote and drawing certain conclusions from it" and that I have a "strong polemical purpose to run down Catholic apologists." Obviously, this guy fails to remember the paper of mine he used to link to approvingly on his website: The Roman Catholic Perspective of Martin Luther (Part Two). In this paper, I pointed out "There is a wealth of Roman Catholic authors whose opinions and research are worthy of a close look." This isn't a short paper either. Perhaps this Romanist forgot my discussion with Catholic apologist Art Sippo on Luther biographies in which I defended Catholic historian Joseph Lortz against the vitriol of Sippo. Obviously, I'm not the awful Catholic-hater this Romanist paints me to be.

He quotes me saying "Steve Ray doesn't care "if he's cited Luther accurately." well, obviously, he failed to tell his readers this was from my response to Steve Ray, and indeed that conclusion followed from my review of his 11 page PDF rant against me. In regard to Steve's response in those 11 pages, I proved my point. Since then, Steve has made it very clear via private correspondence he cares. I take his word for it. My continued dialog with Steve should have been clear enough to the Romanist that this situation has changed.

Primarily though, many modern Roman Catholics use this quote for its obvious polemical value: it appears to imply sola scriptura is a failure, and Luther conceded the need for a council. Since the context doesn't state this, it is a misuse of a quote. To narrow the field down, the quote is a favorite of Catholic laymen, frequently using it on discussion boards and in blog entries. It also has a history of being cited by Catholic apologists, both old and new (here are a few examples). Of course, it is the recent Catholic usage that concerns me. The Romanist has brought forth a few Protestant sources using the quote. Why a Protestant source would use it will be looked at at a later time. Primarily, the issue is, why do the current Catholics use it? Simply because a Protestant may use it does not let Catholics off the hook for mis-citing Luther.


This Romanist argues that my chastisement of Catholic apologetics in this matter is quite unjustified, because “Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz: a Lutheran philosopher, who had one of the most brilliant minds of all time, also cites the same source.” “Leibniz would have little reason to misquote Luther; nor is it plausible to posit that he completely blew a citation of Luther, radically opposite from its own context, as Swan claims all the Catholics have done. "If the Catholics were guilty of this, so is Leibniz. If he is not, they are not.” “Swan's alleged "ace in the hole" against Catholics has far less force (if it ever had any), with a Lutheran genius being right in there with the rest of the alleged incompetents.”

The quote in question via Leibniz (as cited and provided by the Romanist) is as follows:

“Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, De Scriptura, Ecclesia, Trinitate, (written approximately between 1680-1684), in Philosophische Schriften 4, Number 403, p. 2288 [published in 2006 by Akademie Verlag] [see the cover] [Lutheran]: ‘si diutius steterit mundus iterum fore necessarium propter diversas sacrae scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem Conciliorum decreta recipiamus et ad ea confugiamus.’ English translation: none provided. Primary source listed: "Luther lib. 1. contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium . . . Zur Sache vgl. Luthers Erste Vorrede zum Schwabischem Syngramm von 1526 (WA 19, S. 461)”

A Summary of the Argument

1. Leibniz was a brilliant non-Catholic Lutheran, and cites the same Luther quote as Catholic apologists. Therefore, Catholic apologists cannot be considered non-scholarly for citing this quote.

Response: I have not asserted that simply because the quote is cited, it is therefore mis-cited. Even in its Latin form, the quote can still be cited accurately and interpreted by Luther's context. The Latin form can work just as well as the German- depending on the context it's placed in. Without the context from Leibniz in a language either of us can read, the question is begged as to whether Leibniz stands or falls with Catholic apologists.

2. Since Leibniz was a scholar and a Lutheran, he has no reason to misquote Luther to make him say something other than what the original context of Luther's statement is.

Response: As brilliant as Leibniz was, this Romanist fails to point out that Leibniz was not primarily a theologian, but rather a philosopher who put forth theological insights. Nor do I think he was he an expert on Luther. He states, "That's clearly not required, either. It's embarrassing to even have to point this out: so self-evident is it." We need to keep in mind though, it is this Romanist who has harped on the fact the Leibniz was a Lutheran, not I. My point is that simply because he was a brilliant Lutheran does not mean he was brilliant on Luther.
I have studied Leibniz’s philosophy, but I don’t recall ever reading any of his treatises on Luther, if any exist. He states of this, "I've written many treatises on Luther (perhaps more than any Catholic critic of Luther on the Internet today). Does that mean that Swan now trusts my judgment when I cite Luther?" This though is not the point. I was not positing that a large set of writings from Luther on Leibniz make him qualified to quote Luther accurately. I was pointing out that simply because Leibniz was a brilliant Lutheran does not mean he was brilliant on Luther. If this Romanist can produce the facts that Leibniz was both the former and the later, I'd be interested in this information.

This particular source notes there is little theological similarity between Luther and Leibniz, and on the page previous, notes his interest and sympathy for Roman Catholicism. The Romanist calls this information "a non sequitur . . ." What this information points out though, is Leibniz was of a different mind than Luther. It doesn't mean he was out to get Luther, but it shows Leibniz was not postively disposed to Luther's life and theology. The Romanist can deny it, but this type of bias can often taint one's writing (as I demonstrate below with "Luther was a glutton"). As to Leibniz's sympathy for Catholicism, He says, "As usual, any slightest association with Catholicism taints one's ability to accurately cite a Lutheran source, according to Swan. This is, of course, mere guilt by association." No, what it shows is that Leibniz not only was far from Luther theologically, but also veered toward Rome. This doesn't mean he will necessarily slight Luther, it does show though that he may have reasons to view Luther with a bias when he studied him.

While Leibniz may not have intent to misquote Luther, since he was not an expert on Luther nor theology, it is within the realm of possibility for him to err on a Luther citation. He comments, "Let Swan prove it, then, rather than merely asserting possibilities, as usual. Propaganda may work by rote repetition, but serious logical, historical argument does not operate in that fashion." I grant I would have a burden of proof if I stated Leibniz did misquote Luther. The Romanist needs to be more careful. I asserted it was within the realm of possibility for him to misquote Luther, particularly for the reasons I just outlined. Without a context for the citation in a language both the Romanist and I can read as put forth by Leibniz, there isn't any way of determining how he's using the quote. I can only note a possibility. He may in fact be quite accurate in his citation of Luther.
Neither have I argued Catholic apologists deliberately misquote Luther out of malicious intent. Rather, I've argued they either possibly misunderstand Luther in context, or rely on a source that perhaps misunderstood Luther in context. Their devotion to Rome often makes it impossible to get through to them on this, as the Romanist demonstrated by use of quotations from me. He argues I'm actually lying about this. He produces a bunch of quotes from me:

When I said, "Catholics don't seem to have any problems citing Luther, knowing full well they can't produce a context"- this is based on many years of dialog over quotes just like the one this paper is about. to be fair, I should have said "some Catholics" since i haven't dialoged with "all Catholics."

When I said, "Won't somebody in Catholic apologetics do the right thing?", I then went on to explain, "I have stated more than once, that these Catholic apologists, when going to print with their books, claiming to be deep in history is to cease being Protestant, should live up to their standards. If they make a historical statement, they should go deep into history to validate that statement when challenged." The Romanist should realize this charge was directly aimed at Steve Ray, a person the Romanist agrees with me about(Ray did not read or know the context for the quote he cited, and when responding to me did not produce the context when challenged).

When I said, "One may think I'm nitpicking, and this is an isolated incident. . . . The current trend in Catholic apologetics is to throw Luther quotes in, regardless of what Luther actually said"- The Romanist misquoted me out of context. I actually said, "After sifting through eleven pages, I still doubt that Steve Ray cares about his methodology. Rather than simply admitting he hasn't read "Epis. ad. Zwingli" and has no idea as to what Luther actually said on this or where he said it, I received back eleven pages of obfuscation. One may think I'm nitpicking, and this is an isolated incident. I recently checked another Luther quote used by Mr. Ray and came up with the same conclusion- Mr Ray didn't actually read what Luther said. The current trend in Catholic apologetics is to throw Luther quotes in, regardless of what Luther actually said. It gets the troops all riled up."

Obviously, by the Romanist's selective citation, he paints me worse than I actually am. well, that's his perspective, he's entitled to it. Any fair-minder reader will see the truth.

3. Since Leibniz was brilliant, it is not plausible to posit he mis-quoted Luther.

Response: The Romanist is arguing brilliant people may be infallible, at least that's the way his Leibniz characterization comes across. Simply because Leibniz was brilliant, does not mean he was incapable of an error in citation. He has set Leibniz up as a man particularly in fields that are not their specialty. In fact, it is fairly clear that Leibniz misunderstood Luther's character. In a letter to Arnauld, Leibniz states,
"This Lutheran minister of whom Your Highness speaks must have good qualities, but it is some thing incomprehensible and marking an extremely blind prejudice that he can regard Luther as a man destined by God for the Reformation of the Christian religion. He must have a very low idea of true piety to find it in a man like him, imprudent in his speech and so gluttonous in his manner of living." [Discourse on Metaphysics (Illinois: Open Court Publishing, 1991), p.101].

Luther was not a glutton. This was a typical unfounded charge put forth by Roman Catholics like Cochlaeus, refuted by both Luther and those who wrote about Luther. Obviously, Leibniz proves that, despite his brilliance, he had a poor understanding of the historical Luther. Not knowing which sources Leibniz had of Luther's or which biographies, entitles Leibniz to the benefit of the doubt. However, that he had no biographies of Luther, or arrived at the idea that Luther was glutton from those writings of Luther's he did have simply is a position I would not want to defend.

In regard to Leibniz's error calling Luther a glutton, despite the fact that the historical record does not warrant this charge, The Romanist refers to it as "disparaging remarks about Luther." No, Leibniz makes an historical statement about Luther. The facts of history for Leibniz prove Luther was not "a man destined by God for the Reformation of the Christian religion." Leibniz was clearly in error. This does not render Leibniz incapable of citing Luther accurately. what it does imply is that Leibniz was not brilliant in his treatment of Luther. Maybe in some other possible world Leibniz was, but not in this one. To arrive at Luther was not "a man destined by God for the Reformation of the Christian religion" because of his language and gluttony is simply nonsense.

As to which sources on Leibniz should be used, the Romanist states, "It should entitle [Leibniz] also to not being subjected to this present analysis from James Swan. A rudimentary amount of propriety and intellectual humility is in order." Here is clear obfuscation, and a clear example as to why the Romanist's "line by line" complete refutations are not that. Instead of noting that Leibniz made a historical error, and that this error was most likely based on the texts utilized, he responds I don't have the right to ask such a question!

4. If Leibniz did misquote Luther, he is as guilty as the Catholic apologists.

Response: This follows. If Leibniz utilized the "Luther quote" in the same way and for the same point as done by Catholic apologists, he would likewise fall under my condemnation and chastisement. The Romanist asks, "So will Swan now chastise him (along with Westcott and other Protestants who also noted the same thing)? And will he revise his sweeping conspiratorial-like statements of Catholic incompetence?" Based on whatever person or book I'm dealing with, that is who get chastised for error. Particualrly now though, it is the current trend in Catholic apologietcs misquoting Luther. These are the people I'm dialonig with and about.

It does not follow though that every Luther quote cited by Leibniz would be under suspicion, nor does it follow that every citation of Luther provided by Roman Catholics would be suspicious. Further, simply because Leibniz is a Lutheran does not entitle him to a free pass. Protestants, and smart ones at that, have mis-cited Luther as well. for instance, last year I documented the typical misquotation of Luther wishing to throw the Book Of Esther in the Elbe, when in actuality, the text reads "Esdras."

On a Rabbit trail, the Romanist responds, "My debate about Luther and Esther with James Swan is most illuminating as to Swan's highly biased use of secondary sources and the curious double standards entailed in his accusations of others in the realm of text citation. Anyone who thinks he has a superior grasp of research ability, over against us lowly ignorant Catholics, simply must read this revealing exchange!" These cyber-dialogues are not technically debates. Their aren't anty rules or protocal. The Romanist calls virtually anything a "debate." I have never posited all Catholics are " lowly ignorant." This is the Romanist's own invention. There is indeed a caricature going on in his presentation of exactly who I am.

5. It cannot be claimed that Catholic apologists are all completely incompetent, if indeed Leibniz uses the quote in question similar to its usage by Catholic apologists.

Response: This does not follow. What it would demonstrate is that Leibniz may have committed the same research error as many catholic apologists in this matter: not checking a primary source for the context. Or, Leibniz may have mis-read the text in the same way Hartmann Grisar did. Further, I have not claimed that Catholic apologists are completely incompetent. I have claimed that those citing outrageous Luther quotes need to be held accountable to justify the quotes used by providing a context. If they fail to provide a context, it proves that sloppy research has occurred, and by extension, opens up the possibility that similar research methods have been utilized in other areas.

Final Comments:

The Romanist does not provide a context either of us can read in english for the quote used by Leibniz, either Luther's or that of Leibniz. I find this quite odd, considering I think he’s attempting to prove Leibniz used it in the same way the Catholic apologists have (i.e.- Luther conceded or needed a Church council because of the failure of sola scriptura). Leibniz may in fact do this, but the Romanist hasn’t demonstrated it. Without a context, we have no way of knowing. Since the Romanist has brought this philosopher into the discussion, it is his responsibility to produce the context. If he’s done so in later blog entries, I’ll eventually get it to it.

If the Romanist can substantiate the Lutheran credentials of Leibniz, I’d like to see them. By credentials, I mean a deep familiarity with Luther’s writings- perhaps a biography or a lengthy treatise on Luther. For the argument to work, the Romanist would do better to produce one of the top Lutheran theologians, like Walther using the “quote” in the same way Roman Catholics do.

One final revision to the revision: I just noted the Romanist has entire new post on Leibniz, which I did not read prior to composing this. One thing I'm hopeful for, is a context we can both understand for Leibniz. If one is not provided, it seems to me to be the same situation all over again: quotes are being pulled without knowing the context. Now, we've got to locate a Leibniz context to solidify what Leibniz said. Once again, this is not my responsibility. If there isn't a Leibniz context somewhere in the Romanist's recent blog entries that he can read and understand, I can't help but see an incredible irony. If there is one, kudos to him for presenting substance to solidify the facts.

I skimmed through the newest entry. He states:

"Here is the link to the page in question from Leibniz, that I provided. Readers may scroll forward and back, to get plenty of context. If Swan wants to make an issue of that, let him get his own Latin translators and make a go of it. We've done more than enough work on this, and continue to do so. If Swan wants to make a challenge, then he has the responsibility to do the work that constitutes the substance of the challenge."

Well, indeed there is a Latin context. However, posting comments on Leibniz, alleging agreement with one's position, when one does not know the context, is indeed very similar to what I've complained about all along. In this instance, I can think of no other response than to state: Leibniz quoted the same Latin quote. So what? He may, or may not agree with you (until you understand the context to find out). To post it proves.....NOTHING.

After spending a little time reviewing the recent post on Leibniz, I decided to add yet another revision. In this instance, I'm going to follow the Romanist's pattern of blog entry revision, simply because I do not think the content to respond to warrants another full entry. I mean no insult. I try to be a focused as possible. This Romanist tends to try to respond to every line. I do not. The main issue is whether or notthe Romanist actually knows the context of Leibniz at this particular point in order to make the charges and arguments he's making.

The Romanist says:

"The context was already provided with the link. That saves people a lot of work, with this marvelous capability of every reader following the link to get all the context he wants. If Swan and his friends are too lazy to make the Latin translation themselves, then I suppose we will have to do all the work yet again, just as we've been doing all along. Wouldn't it be better, though, in an argument charging context violations, to illustrate this in the argument itself? Then one's case would at least have some "teeth". But our opponents have not done that. They simply make the bald charge and assume that it has force, without even attempting to prove and establish it."

Well, there isn't anybody helping me in this. I have no "friends" going to libraries or looking up information for me. That somehow I'm "lazy" in this matter because assertions of agreement are being made with a text that the Romanist can't read is simply ludicrous. Rather, the charge is simple: if he's going to make assertions about a text he hasn't read with comprehension, it would behoove him to save his assertions until after reading the document he's cited. I haven't charged context violation. I have simply pointed out, that to make the assertions he's made about Leibniz in this matter requires the proof of actually reading the context with comprehension.

"In any event, when one looks at the larger passage, it appears that the citation occurred in a simple outline-like list of propositions, with something from Luther about the Psalms immediately preceding it, and mention of Brentius (Brenz) immediately after. Here is the entire paragraph preceding the quote: Lutherus praef. in psalmos. Scio esse imprudentissimae temeritatis eum qui (audeat) profiteri aliquem scripturae librum (a se in omnibus partibus) intellectum. Methinks Leibniz' own context will not resolve this problem for Swan. But he can keep trying to make desperate arguments if he likes. Leibniz, like the others who used the citation, seems to think that it stands on its own without need of further explanation or context."

I hesitated before responding to this paragraph, because I'm trying to take the content of it seriously. "with something from Luther about the Psalms "...what? The Romanist cannot read Latin, yet he states that "Leibniz, like the others who used the citation, seems to think that it stands on its own without need of further explanation or context." To my knowledge, the Romanist hasn't any idea what this particular writing is about, because the Romanist cannot read the language it was composed in, yet he knows the intent of usage as put forth by Leibniz! I don't have a "problem" to resolve on this point, as demonstrated in my response above. Rather, the problem is guessing rather than proving. The Romanist can guess all he wants, but I feel it is simply a smokescreen to call my argumentation "desperate" when he makes arguments based on a text he can't read.

I have one final point of tedious bibliographic speculation. In the Leibniz book the Romanist cites, the quote in question is footnoted by line at the bottom. I admit, since I can't read the language, I'm not sure if the footnote is a reference, or a cross-reference. Neither do I think the Romanist knows. In the quote itself, it begins with "Luther lib. 1. contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium." The footnote at the bottom reads, "Zur Sache vgl. Luthers Erste Vorrede zum Schwabischem Syngramm von 1526 (WA 19, S. 461)" The question I have is about the footnote. I provided a translation of the text WA 19, S. 461 earlier, and the quote wasn't there. Perhaps the Romanist can explain this to me- why a quote not in the context of WA 19, S. 461 is given on the page.