Thursday, July 03, 2008

5 questions for James

James (the Romanist one),

At least James (the Reformed one) called you THE Champion, rather than acting as if that were your given name, so that's something.

I'd like to ask five questions on this issue of Luther questioning the Canon before Trent and Robert Sungenis' response to your question thereon.

1) Who is right - you or Sungenis?
2) How do you know that?
3) Has the Magisterium pronounced on this?
4) If so, were you imbued with infallibility when you read their statement? / If not, is there any way to be sure who's right since there's no infallible judgment on the matter?
5) Since this is a theological matter - ie, how to treat Luther who was either a heretic or not a heretic for "questioning" the Canon before Trent - can you give me a reason to accept this as a matter of ignorance and/or misjudgment on the part of the party who was wrong (either you or Sungenis) vs an example of disunity within the Roman church?

Thanks!

17 comments:

Lvka said...

how to treat Luther who was either a heretic or not a heretic for "questioning" the Canon before Trent

...we treat him in the same vein as Arius, who agitated his heresy before Niceea; as Nestorius, who agitated his heresy before Constantinople; and, in short, like all the rest of the other agitators and heretics that ever lived. And we do that because the faith was given once and for all to the Saints, and is not subject to any change or alteration, nor do Synods "invent" any previously-inextant dogmas. :-| ( Show-No-Mercy Execution-style!). :-|

Rhology said...

Lvka,

You're not Romanist, so...

And you're begging the question - Luther questioned a Canon that apparently wasn't even set at his time. Your own church STILL hasn't set a Canon of Scr, so one wonders where you have room to talk.

Unless you refer to calling him a heretic for some other reason, in which case it's irrelevant to this post.

Lvka said...

Our Church does have a fixed set of Canonical Books. (Sorry, but this isn't the first millennium any longer).

Rhology said...

Incorrect.

You apparently don't learn when corrected.

Lvka said...

The Triabloguers write a lot of aberrations about our religion. ("Trust No1"). The Orth. Canon is available in all Orth. Bibles, as well as in the 12 Menaions, (which contain among many other things the entire OT readings for the entire Church year) and was defended at at least two Church Councils some 500 yrs ago (Iasi and Jerusalem).

Rhology said...

Last I checked, that article I link to contains almost no text from the pen of the T-blogger and quite a lot of quotations from Eastern Conciliarist sources. Maybe you could deal with your own sources.

Why should anyone believe you rather than these published sources? This is a serious question.

Lvka said...

Because I'm telling You what one finds in Orth. Bibles, Councils and Service books. What these people present, I have no idea.

Ben Douglass said...

Since the the Canon of Scripture was not infallibly defined prior to the Council of Trent, Martin Luther was not guilty of heresy for denying the canonicity of James prior to the Council of Trent (though he was a heretic on other grounds). However, given that the Epistle of James was universally received as Scripture by the Church in Luther's day, he involved himself in extreme rashness and temerity by making insulting comments about it. Even if a man is of the opinion that a certain book is not Scripture, if he fears God, he will refrain from insulting that book unless he can be absolutely sure that that book is not Scripture.

Matthew Bellisario said...

First of all, this is not me versus Robert Sungenis here. Trying to pit me against Robert Sungenis is a deplorable and shameful act, and I do not appreciate it. I respect Robert's assessment on the subject, and after further reading, I do not completely disagree with what he has written. I do however wonder why you only posted part one of our email exchange and not both parts in which Robert explains the subject in further detail.

Unlike many here, my sole existence in life is not to be right for the sake of being perceived as right, but for the proclamation of the Truth. If in point, theologians did have some liberty before Trent to contest certain books of the Canon, this would also imply that the proper avenues be taken to do so. Although Robert did say that Luther could have legitimately contested the books, the question must be asked if he took the proper avenue to do so.

As I said in my first post on the subject on the other thread, I do not think Luther had the right to do what he did, in the manner that he did. It is one point to disagree and bring your case before the Church to scrutinize, and quite another to outright compose your own commentary on the Scriptures and outright slander and reject Sacred Scripture. Cardinal Cajetan cannot be compared to Luther in the manner in which he contested. Even so the Cardinal was corrected by the Church and judged to be wrong.

Luther however had no business to do what he did, in the manner in which he did it. This I still standby, while recognizing that formally contesting the canon and appealing to the Church on the subject would not have been considered an act of heresy, granted. Whether or not Luther would have been justified in contesting the book of James in this manner is irrelevant at this point, being that he never did so. In fact he took the liberty to put together his own treatise on the matter completely blaspheming Sacred Scripture, not because of any contest over the Canon historically, but because of his heretical doctrine.

As far as

Rhology said...

To recap...

Lvka has no answer. He's a one-man Magisterium, apparently.

Ben Douglass agrees with James Swan.

Matthew James Bellisario concedes the point and moves the goalposts from Luther's canon to his doctrine.

It's a good day. Happy 4th of July.

Lvka said...

My answer lies in the Tradition of our Church (there's where all the answers lie). Why I should set the private opinions of individual theologians above what the entire Church has traditioned us through Scriptures, Menaions and Councils is beyond me.

Rhology said...

And how do you know what the "entire Tradition" of the church is? Where is it expressed? Can I read about it too? Or do you just know that in some mysterious way? Or did your bishop or priest tell you?
Why should I believe that YOU know the "entire Tradition" of the church better than these scholars who wrote those linked-to texts?

Lvka said...

Well, ... You were curious about the Biblical Canon, right? That is, the books that are publicly read in Churches and used for instruction, right? Well, these books are to be found in the Gospel, Apostle, and Menaions. (Each day of the Church Year having asigned to it a certain number of OT and NT readings that are contained there).

GeneMBridges said...

Why I should set the private opinions of individual theologians above what the entire Church has traditioned us through Scriptures, Menaions and Councils is beyond me.

So, your latest claim is that these are "private theologians" expressing their private opinions.

Funny, some of them teach in Orthodox seminaries. That makes them your ecclesiastical betters. So, whose opinion should we trust, yours or theirs? You keep talking about "the entire Church" but every appeal to "the entire Church" is an appeal to nothing more than a group of local churches and ultimately to the opinions contained within them. How do I know which opinions to trust?

Let the record show, Lvka will agree with his ecclesiastical betters when it suits him, but when they disagreee with him, they suddenly turn into "private theologians" expressing their "private opinions." That's textbook special pleading on Lvka's part.

Well, ... You were curious about the Biblical Canon, right? That is, the books that are publicly read in Churches and used for instruction, right? Well, these books are to be found in the Gospel, Apostle, and Menaions. (Each day of the Church Year having asigned to it a certain number of OT and NT readings that are contained there).

Funny, you say you have a "fixed canon" but you don't. We've been over this many times with you. You have canonS, not A canon. What is published in a Romanian Bible isn't a measure of the content of the canon. We've been over that with you before. You keep repeating yourself as if you've never been answered. Try again.

Lvka said...

Gene,

The Canonical books are the ones which are read and taught publicly in Churches (canon meaning rule or advise or law; and canonical means advisable or lawful: thus we have canons regarding Scriptures, canons regarding penance, canons regarding prayers [whether they be public or private], canons regarding fasting, canons regarding kneeling and bowing, canons regarding worship in general, canons regarding the marital life [of both clergy and laity], etc -- in short, canons regarding our day-to-day, every-day Christian life).

Since all Orthodox Churches everywhere have the same Church-service-books with the same content, which was settled by the Church as a whole, and in the Church as a whole, around 1,000 yrs ago, what's canonical and not becomes clear. Since the opinion of these theolgians does not coincide with that of the Church in whose name they presume to be speaking, their opinions cannot be regarded as more than individual opinions (since they obviously do not represent that of the [geographical as well as historical] community, who settled this matters ages ago).

And no theologians or clergy are above the Church. (That's why we have no Pope). [Protestantism only managed to change "clericalism" with "experts", PhDs and degrees].

Rhology said...

Lvka,

Give us the list of those books.
Also, since other churches in the EO communion have a different list, tell us how you know which is right.

When and where was the Canon settled?

And why does Kallistos Ware disagree with you?

Lvka said...

Those books are The Gospel on the Altar, The Apostle in the strana, and the 12 Menaions, each for a month, also in the strana. Eastern Orhodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Judaism became crystalized at about the turn of the first millennium.