Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Vatican Movie List


Given 2000 years or so, one would hope a Church claiming the ability to infallibly interpret the Bible would've actually done so. But, if you've looked even slightly below the surface of such a grandiose claim, you know it's smoke and mirrors:

Catholic Encyclopedia: (a) Defined Texts.—The Catholic commentator is bound to adhere to the interpretation of texts which the Church has defined either expressly or implicitly. The number of these texts is small, so that the commentator can easily avoid any transgression of this principle.

So, instead of interpreting the Bible, just how has the Roman Church spent her valuable time? Why, we all know being entertained is so important, the Vatican actually spent time to compile an official "best film list." See for yourself here:


Vatican Best Films List

106 comments:

Turretinfan said...

What? The Golden Compass didn't make the list?

:)

bkaycee said...

Gee, I thought for sure the Godfather would have made the list. :)

kmerian said...

Mr. Swan, what kind of interpretation do you want? Why is a "official" interpretation of "and x begat y who begat z etc..." even necessary? It's not. It is a red herring argument, the scriptures are clear enough no official interpretation of every single verse is necessary.

Rhology said...

Oh, so *that's* why they force laypeople into doing their apologetics for them thru their inaction! I knew they'd have to be doing SOMEthing.

Turretinfan said...

kmerian,

You wrote: "the scriptures are clear enough no official interpretation of every single verse is necessary."

Is that just your own opinion, or is there actually an official statement that your church has made to that effect?

Having read copious amounts of the literature produced by your church that's not the impression that I get (i.e. I do not get the impression that the "official position" is that there few official interpretations because Scriptures are so clear). Instead, I get the impression that the "official position" would be closer to the idea that the "the Church" teaches what it teaches so clearly that no one really needs to have recourse to interpreting the Bible at all.

What say you?

-TurretinFan

Kepha said...

Wow! MEl Gibson's The Passion of the Christ didn't make it! I guess this shows that politics can determine not only theology but movie lists as well. After all, don't want to upset the Jews.

Peter Sean Bradley said...

Kepha,

The list was compiled in 1995. The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004.

All,

Why isn't evangelization - in the form of reinforcing and commending movies with Christian values - something that is inappropriate for the Catholic Church to engage in?

Oh, wait. I forgot where I was. :-)

Rhology said...

That's evangelisation?

Boy, could YOU ever use a little Way of the Master training...

Turretinfan said...

Well, Chariots of Fire is on the list - and is part of the life story of a Reformed (at least formally ... Church of Scotland I believe) missionary to China.

That's at least very tangentially about evangelism.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Really great post, James, especially considering all the terrific uses of time in which many of your fellow Protestants have been engaged lo these hundreds of years. They've all been incessantly evangelizing people and building up the Kingdom into the unity He demands, and stuff. You know, like lobbying for secular Israel, ordaining and marrying homosexuals, putting together ecumenical movements which throw out any remnant of the Gospel, splitting, "re-forming," defending wars, dodging wars, and... oh, no, wait. None of that has happened in the name of Christ when other pursuits were left undone. Certainly not by any central, visible authority figure, on that little bit we can agree. I really liked the log/speck, pot/kettle image which came to mind when reading this. Thanks again.

Turretinfan said...

MB,

Are you really willing to admit that this is a speck in the Vatican's eye and a bit of kettle-blackness?

-TurretinFan

Kepha said...

Mr. Bradley,

Thanks for the corection.

Mike Burgess said...

TF,
No. A bit of facetious fun, just as I'm sure James' post was. I don't think for a minute that his was a serious criticism. Are you saying there isn't a whiff of hypocrisy, though? Chastising "the Vatican" for not spending every waking moment infallibly interpreting the whole of Sacred Scripture? No room for a rejoinder there?

Turretinfan said...

MB,

There's a bit of fun in James' post, to be sure. The underlying point, though, is a serious one:

Why the slow pace?

If the Vatican could really infallible interpret Scripture, why isn't the progress in understanding the Bible advancing at a pace of greater than one book of the Bible per millenium (a pace that itself would be the hare to the Vatican's tortoise).

Is it because there is no interest among the membership to have such an infallible interpretation?

Is it because it uses up a lot of time that is better spent on other things?

Is it because it costs money, and the coffers are running low?

Is it on the papal "honey-do" list, but just hasn't been a high enough priority yet?

The idea that publishing a "great movies" list is a waste of time is only amusing because of the obvious insignificance of such a list as compared with the infallible interpretation of a single verse of Scripture.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Why the slow pace? This sums up the rationalism of Protestantism. It ignores the means whereby we are nourished by the Word, to wit: living in constant communion with Him and receiving Him in the Eucharist, in the preached Word, in the sacraments in general, all of which take place in the life of the Church as an organic entity.

To say that direction to the flock in a media-saturated culture in the form of the movie list is insignificant when one remembers that the vast majority of us are inundated with far more of this than we spend on study of Scripture and the like, and that we are constantly to be on guard about what we put into our minds, is a strange criticism indeed. Perhaps you who demand lists of infallible teachings and infallible interpretations of every Scripture from an authority you reject ought to get together and examine your own priorities and show us up by coming up with the interpretations we all ought to come up with by the Holy Spirit. Let me know when you and the Lutherans and Anglicans and the Anabaptists and the Pentecostals get around to that.

The point Westminster makes about infallible interpretations being what the Holy Spirit already says in Scripture (see WCF 1:10) seems to me to be far more open to criticism than the reason for infallible interpretations by the Magisterium as required by circumstances within her prudential judgment. You do understand that the Church believes Herself to be blessed with the perpetual presence of the Lord and that He Himself chose not to answer on occasion? He Himself chose not to make authoritative infallible pronouncements on every OT Scripture, but that's not a reason to reject Him.

Turretinfan said...

MB said: "Why the slow pace? This sums up the rationalism of Protestantism. It ignores the means whereby we are nourished by the Word, to wit: living in constant communion with Him and receiving Him in the Eucharist, in the preached Word, in the sacraments in general, all of which take place in the life of the Church as an organic entity."

It's rationalistic to want to know what the Bible means? That's an interesting comeback.

In fact, man does not live by bread - even the Eucharist - but by the Word of God, as it is written.

The communion of saints has its place, but that doesn't justify interpretation at a speed of less than one word per supposed "pope."

The progress by these supposedly infallible interpreters makes Chartes look like Starbucks.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

You're right. (Not about the spelling of Chartres, but I digress.) Of course, no interpretation has been going on apart from the miniscule amount you mention. How could we have been so silly? We have been waiting with bated breath for some new controversy to come along so that we could get more infallible interpretations, but noone thought to start a monastic society and make one of its tenets the denial of the necessity of something which can be pronounced upon, but alas...

It is rationalistic for you to presume that the only meaning attributable is an infallible pronouncement. It is rationalistic for you to presume that the Church declared that the reason for infallible pronouncements is so everyone will have comprehensive theological makeup. It is projection of your rationalism onto us to make the claim that because the Church has not pronounced at least one infallible interpretation on every single verse that therefore She has failed.

Mike Burgess said...

And I'll quote you back to yourself to show you what I mean:

"If the Vatican could really infallible interpret Scripture, why isn't the progress in understanding the Bible advancing at a pace of greater than one book of the Bible per millenium ..."

You're equating infallible interpretation with progress in understanding the Bible. Where'd you get that idea? What magisterial source says that?

Turretinfan said...

"You're right. (Not about the spelling of Chartres, but I digress.)"

You've got me there.

"Of course, no interpretation has been going on apart from the miniscule amount you mention."

Oh, plenty of fallible interpretation, but everyone's got a fallible interpretation ...

"How could we have been so silly?"

no (other) comment

"We have been waiting with bated breath for some new controversy to come along so that we could get more infallible interpretations, but noone thought to start a monastic society and make one of its tenets the denial of the necessity of something which can be pronounced upon, but alas..."

Ah - so the excuse is that it takes a perfect storm of error for your church to be able to interpret infallibly?

"It is rationalistic for you to presume that the only meaning attributable is an infallible pronouncement."

It's silly of you to presume that I have made such a presumption.

"It is rationalistic for you to presume that the Church declared that the reason for infallible pronouncements is so everyone will have comprehensive theological makeup."

It's strange of you to presume that I have made such a presumption.

"It is projection of your rationalism onto us to make the claim that because the Church has not pronounced at least one infallible interpretation on every single verse that therefore She has failed."

It's absurd for you to make up claims that I haven't made.

Your church hasn't failed: it hasn't even tried. It hasn't tried, because the idea that we need an infallible interpreter to understand Scripture is total balderdash and an enormous red herring.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"Oh, plenty of fallible interpretation, but everyone's got a fallible interpretation ... "

You certainly do.

TF:
"Ah - so the excuse is that it takes a perfect storm of error for your church to be able to interpret infallibly?"

Excuse? No, an explanation to hard-hearted and hard-headed does not entail an excuse. The Lord infallibly interprets when He wishes, through the Magisterium He set up. You have no problem with the concept that He speaks infallibly through His Church when it comes to bringing people to the Scriptures, so what's really your beef?

Seems I remember a good deal made about the need for certainty concerning one's salvation back in the Reformed circles. One must know one is saved, entailing infallibility in one's own understanding. One must have certainty in one's own interpretation to be certain of the truth of the Gospel and its correct definition, necessitating infallibility or else one cannot be sure of the means of salvation, etc. One must trust that one has infallible Scriptures, and one must trust sources other than those Scriptures for one's certitude about their infallibility. You just want to cut things off at a certain point because you want to be your own master, all while making much of God's sovereignty.

TF:
"It's silly of you to presume that I have made such a presumption."

I quoted you to yourself to show what I meant. Take issue with yourself. What else are we to make of it when you equate "infallible interpretation" with "progress in understanding the Bible"?

TF:
"It's strange of you to presume that I have made such a presumption."

See above.

TF:
" It's absurd for you to make up claims that I haven't made."

"You" and "your" in my antecedent have an antecedent of their own: Protestants. Are you, Turretinfan, "all Protestants?" Certainly there have been many Protestants who have rationalistically claimed "that because the Church has not pronounced at least one infallible interpretation on every single verse that therefore She has failed." You have an ego, you do. So, my claim stands, because it was not about you in the singular.

TF:
"Your church hasn't failed:"

Nor will She.

"it hasn't even tried."

Earlier She was criticized because She did try, i.e., She did make infallible pronouncements. Which is it, man? Are you all going to criticize for the exercise of the charism or for not exercising the charism? Oh, right, any port in a storm.

"It hasn't tried, because the idea that we need an infallible interpreter to understand Scripture is total balderdash and an enormous red herring."

We just need an angry Augustinian monk or a dour Scotsman or a somesuch to convince us that we are all capable in whatever station we're in to interpret the Scriptures, right? Of course, we'll pay lip service to "the Church." But when their "authoritative pronouncement" differs from ours, ours trumps. Hier stande ich. After all, I have the Holy Spirit Who convinced me.

Turretinfan said...

TF (previously): "Oh, plenty of fallible interpretation, but everyone's got a fallible interpretation ... "

MB: "You certainly do."

Everyone does ... to err is human.

TF (previously): "Ah - so the excuse is that it takes a perfect storm of error for your church to be able to interpret infallibly?"

MB: "Excuse? No, an explanation to hard-hearted and hard-headed does not entail an excuse."

A rose by any other name ...

MB: "The Lord infallibly interprets when He wishes, through the Magisterium He set up."

He just really, really rarely wishes, eh? There's a more obvious explanation: this is not the Lord speaking, but a corrupt church speaking: not "the Magisterium" but simply a magisterium.

MB: "You have no problem with the concept that He speaks infallibly through His Church when it comes to bringing people to the Scriptures, so what's really your beef?"

Huh?

MB: "Seems I remember a good deal made about the need for certainty concerning one's salvation back in the Reformed circles. One must know one is saved, entailing infallibility in one's own understanding. One must have certainty in one's own interpretation to be certain of the truth of the Gospel and its correct definition, necessitating infallibility or else one cannot be sure of the means of salvation, etc. One must trust that one has infallible Scriptures, and one must trust sources other than those Scriptures for one's certitude about their infallibility. You just want to cut things off at a certain point because you want to be your own master, all while making much of God's sovereignty."

You are confusing infallibility with uncertainty amidst your self-defeating attempt to suggest that Calvinists want to be their "own master."

TF (previously): "It's silly of you to presume that I have made such a presumption."

MB: "I quoted you to yourself to show what I meant. Take issue with yourself."

You must have trouble distinguishing the the things you make up about my position from the things I actually say. Suggestion: read more carefully and interpolate less.

MB: "What else are we to make of it when you equate "infallible interpretation" with "progress in understanding the Bible"?"

It's folks from your side of the Tiber who claim we need an infallible interpreter in order to grow in our understanding of the Bible. Ask them ...

TF (previously): "It's absurd for you to make up claims that I haven't made."

MB: ""You" and "your" in my antecedent have an antecedent of their own: Protestants. Are you, Turretinfan, "all Protestants?""

Ah ... you used a group that doesn't represent me and applied a second person pronoun to it. Kind of like if I talked about "non-Protestants" and that applied "you" to claims that only Eastern Orthodox make. Yeah, that would make a lot of sense.

MB: "Certainly there have been many Protestants who have rationalistically claimed "that because the Church has not pronounced at least one infallible interpretation on every single verse that therefore She has failed." You have an ego, you do. So, my claim stands, because it was not about you in the singular."

Of course ... as noted above ... when you say "you" you don't mean "me" --- you mean people who make different claims from those I do.

Makes perfect sense.

Glad you brought it into the conversation, since it is so completely relevant and not at all a red herring.

TF (previously): "Your church hasn't failed:" MB: "Nor will She. TF (continuing): "it hasn't even tried." MB: "Earlier She was criticized because She did try, i.e., She did make infallible pronouncements. Which is it, man?"

No, I was using hyperbole. You could claim she tried, but it is such a pathetic try, that one could compare it to a man "trying" to run a marathon by going a 50 meters and stopping.

She hasn't made any real attempt ... that's the point.

MB: "Are you all going to criticize for the exercise of the charism or for not exercising the charism? Oh, right, any port in a storm."

The criticism is that she pretends to have charism, and she pretends that we (non-papists) are missing out on that very important charism, but then she basically makes no use of this supposed charism herself.

Frankly, it's wise that she doesn't try to use this charism she doesn't have ... because if she did try, it would soon become plain to all that she makes mistakes like every human institution.

TF (previously): "It hasn't tried, because the idea that we need an infallible interpreter to understand Scripture is total balderdash and an enormous red herring."

MB: "We just need an angry Augustinian monk or a dour Scotsman or a somesuch to convince us that we are all capable in whatever station we're in to interpret the Scriptures, right?"

Another red herring ... what a lovely roll! Everyone's capable of interpreting the Scriptures, and the unstable and unlearned do so to their own destruction. Even you should know that.

MB: "Of course, we'll pay lip service to "the Church." But when their "authoritative pronouncement" differs from ours, ours trumps. Hier stande ich. After all, I have the Holy Spirit Who convinced me."

No, no ... you're right - it's better to do what men tell us than what God tells us ... that's exactly what we should learn from the way that apostles responded to those men who sat "in the seat of Moses." (eye roll)

But to be serious, like the Apostles, like Athanasius, and like Huss and Luther, we can and must place conscience above even the teachings of our church.

Don't like that? Why not? The conscience is a divine institution, and one that predates the apostles. Furthermore, believers have the Holy Spirit. They should ignore him, simply because men say otherwise.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"He just really, really rarely wishes, eh? There's a more obvious explanation: this is not the Lord speaking, but a corrupt church speaking: not "the Magisterium" but simply a magisterium. "

Mark 6:1-6.

TF:
"Huh?"

No (further) comment.

TF:
"You are confusing infallibility with uncertainty amidst your self-defeating attempt to suggest that Calvinists want to be their 'own master.'"

I'm not confusing anything, I'm drawing a conclusion based on real experience with real Reformed pastors who out of one corner of the mouth say that the pastor, when preaching expositorially, is the mouth of Christ and then out of the other deny infallibility while functionally embracing it.

TF:
" You must have trouble distinguishing the the things you make up about my position from the things I actually say. Suggestion: read more carefully and interpolate less."

I have no such trouble. You apparently did, viz. the mistake you made regarding the antecedent of "you." I considered making the same suggestion to you but thought it somewhat condescending. You don't give that much consideration. You don't consider yourself "Protestant." Fine. Everyone else in this world and the next does, which you will see eventually.

TF:
"Glad you brought it into the conversation, since it is so completely relevant and not at all a red herring."

Tell that to James Swan, to whom my commentary was originally addressed and for whom you wish to act as agent. Jump in and you will get wet, chum. Don't wish to be identified, then don't identify.

TF:
"No, I was using hyperbole. You could claim she tried, but it is such a pathetic try, that one could compare it to a man 'trying' to run a marathon by going a 50 meters and stopping.

She hasn't made any real attempt ... that's the point."

Reminding me yet again of the criticism of the Sanhedrin and their ilk of our Lord Jesus. You're in such good company.

Ignoring many nice interspersed opportunities, I will address your last point.

TF:
"Don't like that? Why not? The conscience is a divine institution, and one that predates the apostles. Furthermore, believers have the Holy Spirit. They should ignore him, simply because men say otherwise."

Demonstrate which among the various strands of the one, true church has the Holy Spirit in re: baptism, eucharistic presence, ordination, succession, ecclesiology, etc.

Turretinfan said...

TF (previously): "He just really, really rarely wishes, eh? There's a more obvious explanation: this is not the Lord speaking, but a corrupt church speaking: not "the Magisterium" but simply a magisterium. "

MB: "Mark 6:1-6."

Let's see what that says, and whether it has anything at all to do with the conversation:

Mark 6:1-6
1And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Nope ... it really doesn't have anything to do with this conversation. Red herring detected.

TF (previously): "Huh?" MB: "No (further) comment."

Ah, so this is an exercise in obfuscation, eh?

TF (previously): "You are confusing infallibility with uncertainty amidst your self-defeating attempt to suggest that Calvinists want to be their 'own master.'"

MB: "I'm not confusing anything, I'm drawing a conclusion based on real experience with real Reformed pastors who out of one corner of the mouth say that the pastor, when preaching expositorially, is the mouth of Christ and then out of the other deny infallibility while functionally embracing it."

You'll be surprised to hear that from where I'm standing, it still sounds like you are confused. No orthodox Reformed pastor claims to have infallibility, even when preaching, even when serving as the mouth of Christ. I'm guessing they didn't claim to be infallible (functionally or otherwise) ... that would be an inference you drew that they would immediately distance themselves from.

TF: " You must have trouble distinguishing the the things you make up about my position from the things I actually say. Suggestion: read more carefully and interpolate less."

MB: "I have no such trouble. You apparently did, viz. the mistake you made regarding the antecedent of "you." I considered making the same suggestion to you but thought it somewhat condescending. You don't give that much consideration. "

Don't smother me with your kindness, now. It's amazing you are still are trying to turn that "you" into a third person reference, instead of just admitting you made a comment that didn't apply to the person with whom you were discussing the issues.

MB: "You don't consider yourself "Protestant." Fine. Everyone else in this world and the next does, which you will see eventually."

No ... that's not it. Again, you haven't understood what was written. "Protestant" is as useless a category as "non-Protestant" to this sort of discussion. You're a non-Protestant, but it would be totally idiotic for me to automatically group you in with other non-Protestants like Hindus and make a red herring comment like "you worship Krishna."

TF (previously): "Glad you brought it into the conversation, since it is so completely relevant and not at all a red herring."

MB: "Tell that to James Swan, to whom my commentary was originally addressed and for whom you wish to act as agent. Jump in and you will get wet, chum. Don't wish to be identified, then don't identify."

Fan, TurretinFan - shaken not stirred. (laughing)

I'm not James Swan's agent 007 or otherwise ... I'm just someone who was irritated by the Reformation-bashing sarcasm you posted.

TF (previously): "No, I was using hyperbole. You could claim she tried, but it is such a pathetic try, that one could compare it to a man 'trying' to run a marathon by going a 50 meters and stopping.

She hasn't made any real attempt ... that's the point."

MB: "Reminding me yet again of the criticism of the Sanhedrin and their ilk of our Lord Jesus. You're in such good company."

Ah yes, in 2 Opinions, where the Sanhedrin criticized Christ for not teaching ... (more eye rolls)


TF (previously): "Don't like that? Why not? The conscience is a divine institution, and one that predates the apostles. Furthermore, believers have the Holy Spirit. They should ignore him, simply because men say otherwise."

MB: "Demonstrate which among the various strands of the one, true church has the Holy Spirit in re: baptism, eucharistic presence, ordination, succession, ecclesiology, etc."

There are two things that need to be addressed here.

(1) My claim above was that believers have the Holy Spirit. That is the case. The question about "which strand" seems to assume that an organization, rather than an individual, has the Holy Spirit.

(2) We have answered each of the issues of what the Holy Spirit says (and doesn't say) about baptism, the presence of Christ in Christian communion, ordination, "succession," and ecclesiology.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"Nope ... it really doesn't have anything to do with this conversation. Red herring detected."

As the actual point goes whizzing overhead, Turretinfan glances around, ever vigilant for red herrings. Ah, what's that over there? Something else entirely! Safely continuing in unbelief, he scoffed: who are these men who have proffered infallible teachings? Where did they get such wisdom? Are they not the sons of carpenters and shipbuilders and hags? Do we not have their sisters among us yet? And the teachers offended him. The teachers marvelled at his unbelief (and the unbelief of those like him but with whom he wished both to identify and simultaneously not to identify) and they went about the business of teaching in the villages.

TF:
"Ah, so this is an exercise in obfuscation, eh?"

You've got me, Clouseau. You're astonishing.

TF:
"No orthodox Reformed pastor claims to have infallibility, even when preaching, even when serving as the mouth of Christ. I'm guessing they didn't claim to be infallible (functionally or otherwise) ... that would be an inference you drew that they would immediately distance themselves from."

Rrrrrright, because Christ was fallible, and everything. I see what you mean now. Yyyyyyyeah. You're a sharp one, you are.

TF:
"Don't smother me with your kindness, now. It's amazing you are still are trying to turn that "you" into a third person reference, instead of just admitting you made a comment that didn't apply to the person with whom you were discussing the issues."

Once you discern the difference between second person singular, second person plural, and third person, get back to me. This is tiresome. (Hint: third person would require different pronouns. Look them up.)

TF:
"No ... that's not it. Again, you haven't understood what was written. 'Protestant' is as useless a category as 'non-Protestant' to this sort of discussion. You're a non-Protestant, but it would be totally idiotic for me to automatically group you in with other non-Protestants like Hindus and make a red herring comment like 'you worship Krishna.'"

Your canard is wearing thin. You're being purposely overly pedantic, and it doesn't sell well. See above.

TF:
"I'm just someone who was irritated by the Reformation-bashing sarcasm you posted."

As I was by the Catholic-bashing tripe "you" posted. That one was collective, as in plural. Plural means more than one.

TF:
"Ah yes, in 2 Opinions, where the Sanhedrin criticized Christ for not teaching ... (more eye rolls)"

The eyes are undoubtedly on the lookout for crimson fish. Keep at it, Clouseau. It wasn't only the Sanhedrin, as evidenced by the inclusion of the phrase "and their ilk," but suffice it to say that I sincerely doubt elucidationwill sink in. (More of my now legendary kindness.)

TF:
"There are two things that need to be addressed here."

If you say so.

"1) My claim above was that believers have the Holy Spirit. That is the case. The question about 'which strand' seems to assume that an organization, rather than an individual, has the Holy Spirit."

Point out the passages from Holy Scripture which explicitly describe the manner of the possession of the Holy Spirit by the generic believer. Let's see how they bear on the issue at hand.

"(2) We have answered each of the issues of what the Holy Spirit says (and doesn't say) about baptism, the presence of Christ in Christian communion, ordination, 'succession,' and ecclesiology."

You and the mouse in your pocket? Not even as small a sector of Protestantism as Reformed Christianity can agree on these things. And yet you say you have already answered them? Do let's see where the answers are written.

Turretinfan said...

TF (previously): "Nope ... it really doesn't have anything to do with this conversation. Red herring detected."

MB: "As the actual point goes whizzing overhead, Turretinfan glances around, ever vigilant for red herrings. Ah, what's that over there? Something else entirely!"

While that is certainly well written, the "something else entirely" is precisely what we have seen again and again in this dying conversation.

If you cannot defend a point, it seems as though retreat to a new point. In this case your new point is:

MB: "Safely continuing in unbelief, he scoffed: who are these men who have proffered infallible teachings? Where did they get such wisdom? Are they not the sons of carpenters and shipbuilders and hags? Do we not have their sisters among us yet? And the teachers offended him. The teachers marvelled at his unbelief (and the unbelief of those like him but with whom he wished both to identify and simultaneously not to identify) and they went about the business of teaching in the villages."

Comparing onesself to Jesus would be great if you taught what he taught. You don't. So don't make the comparison: it's offensive to those of us who are his disciples.

TF (previously): "Ah, so this is an exercise in obfuscation, eh?"

MB: "You've got me, Clouseau. You're astonishing."

Frankly, I suspect that most of the readers are astonished by other things, like the fact that you keep diverting to other things rather than face the problems of a church that is supposedly needed to provide infallible interpretation of Scripture, but never (what never? No never. What never? Well, hardly ever) gets around to infallibly interpreting Scripture.

TF: "No orthodox Reformed pastor claims to have infallibility, even when preaching, even when serving as the mouth of Christ. I'm guessing they didn't claim to be infallible (functionally or otherwise) ... that would be an inference you drew that they would immediately distance themselves from."

MB: "Rrrrrright, because Christ was fallible, and everything. I see what you mean now. Yyyyyyyeah. You're a sharp one, you are."

Christ was not fallible, his disciples are. Deal with it.

TF (previously): "Don't smother me with your kindness, now. It's amazing you are still are trying to turn that "you" into a third person reference, instead of just admitting you made a comment that didn't apply to the person with whom you were discussing the issues."

MB: "Once you discern the difference between second person singular, second person plural, and third person, get back to me. This is tiresome. (Hint: third person would require different pronouns. Look them up.)"

You're the one that needs to look them up, dude. You're the one using second person to describe non-parties to the conversation. If you were a two-year-old, this would be excusable. Since you are not, it is simply laughable that you continue to pretend as though this claim:

MB(previously): "It is projection of your rationalism onto us to make the claim that because the Church has not pronounced at least one infallible interpretation on every single verse that therefore She has failed."

But even if you could find justification for using the second person rather than the third person, the whole matter is, as I've pointed out ... a distraction if that's not a claim I've made.

But it seems you'd rather deal with straw men than the actual criticisms levelled against your church.

TF: "No ... that's not it. Again, you haven't understood what was written. 'Protestant' is as useless a category as 'non-Protestant' to this sort of discussion. You're a non-Protestant, but it would be totally idiotic for me to automatically group you in with other non-Protestants like Hindus and make a red herring comment like 'you worship Krishna.'"

Before I provide your reply, I'd like to ask the reader to carefully consider whether you (a) provide a reasonable explanation for how the grouping relates to the conversation, (b) mock and use ad hominem, or (c) something else.

MB: "Your canard is wearing thin."

Responding to your use of an irrelevant classification is not a "canard" under any normal definition of that term.

MB: "You're being purposely overly pedantic, and it doesn't sell well. See above."

Pedantic, eh? To go back to your earlier analogy, isn't there a little pot/kettle thing going on here?

And that's it, folks. That's all the response MB provided on that point. A claimed "canard" and an accusation that I'm being "pedantic" and overly so, and not only overly so, but purposely overly so.

TF (previously): "I'm just someone who was irritated by the Reformation-bashing sarcasm you posted."

MB: "As I was by the Catholic-bashing tripe "you" posted."

A) If your church was Catholic, I'd be part of it. It's not, so let's put a stop to the pretenses.

B) If you consider even very mild criticisms of the Vatican to be "Catholic-bashing" you are probably never going to be able clearly to see her errors. The criticism that the Vatican is a supposedly infallible interpreter that amazingly, practically never infallibly interprets is a rather mild criticism.

MB: "That one was collective, as in plural. Plural means more than one."

And, as any English teacher would inform you - if the plurality of people you have in mind doesn't include the person to whom you are speaking, the normal thing to do is to use third person (they) not second person (you).

In this case, given your hostile tone, I think we can reasonably conclude that you view not only my brother James' but also my own comments as "Catholic-bashing," despite the fact they are are relatively mild and not directed against the Catholic chuch, but against the Vatican.

TF (previously): "Ah yes, in 2 Opinions, where the Sanhedrin criticized Christ for not teaching ... (more eye rolls)"

MB: "The eyes are undoubtedly on the lookout for crimson fish. Keep at it, Clouseau. It wasn't only the Sanhedrin, as evidenced by the inclusion of the phrase "and their ilk," but suffice it to say that I sincerely doubt elucidationwill sink in. (More of my now legendary kindness.)"

Notice how there's no support for the claim there, but simply more mocking rhetoric. Calling me "Clouseau," though ... that at least put a smile on my face.

TF: "There are two things that need to be addressed here." MB: "If you say so."

I do! Hey, does this mean you actually concede something, even the most minor thing?

TF (previously): "1) My claim above was that believers have the Holy Spirit. That is the case. The question about 'which strand' seems to assume that an organization, rather than an individual, has the Holy Spirit."

MB: "Point out the passages from Holy Scripture which explicitly describe the manner of the possession of the Holy Spirit by the generic believer. Let's see how they bear on the issue at hand."

I'd be happy to do that, but I have a couple requests first:

a) Deny that believers have the Holy Spirit (to make my proving it more than just a waste of my time); or

b) If you don't deny it, than admit it. But if you admit it, then there's no need for me to prove it to you. Why should I prove to you things that you already believe?

TF (previously): "(2) We have answered each of the issues of what the Holy Spirit says (and doesn't say) about baptism, the presence of Christ in Christian communion, ordination, 'succession,' and ecclesiology."

MB: "You and the mouse in your pocket?"

How did you guess. I'd name him after Clouseau's sidekick, but sadly I don't remember that particular detective having one.

No, "we" Reformed folk. One would think (reading over your previous comments) that you already realized that I identify myself with Reformed Christianity. I'm sorry if my pronoun use obscured matters for you.

But of course, with that "we," it is I who am the mouse in the pocket.

MB: "Not even as small a sector of Protestantism as Reformed Christianity can agree on these things."

You asked for answers, not agreement. People disagree all the time.

As for it being a "small sector," the disciples of Christ were a small sector of the Jewish nation. Will you mock their number as well?

MB: "And yet you say you have already answered them? Do let's see where the answers are written."

I thought you claimed to be familiar with Reformed theology. Do you really need me to direct you to the works of Turretin, Witsius, Hodge, and others?

Do you honestly believe that we haven't answered even one of those questions?

-TurretinFan

kmerian said...

TF, I suppose I can see your point, and in a way you are correct. But I am correct too, the church teaches the truth completely, the Bible compliments that truth. Therefore there is no need to infallibly interpret every single verse.

That is not to say that personal interpretation is not allowed, most certainly it is and encouraged. But, when there is a dispute between the churches teaching and personal interpretation, the churches teaching must be considered as correct.

Turretinfan said...

Kmerian,

Thanks for your comment.

You wrote: "TF, I suppose I can see your point, and in a way you are correct. But I am correct too, the church teaches the truth completely, the Bible compliments that truth. Therefore there is no need to infallibly interpret every single verse.

That is not to say that personal interpretation is not allowed, most certainly it is and encouraged. But, when there is a dispute between the churches teaching and personal interpretation, the churches teaching must be considered as correct.
"

While I would disagree with the view you are presenting, I agree that you are presenting the standard teachings of modern Roman Catholicism.

Maybe I'd have one minor quibble. The claim that the "church teaches the truth completely," must not be quite right ... at least not yet - by the standards of modern Roman Catholicism.

It must not be the case, because there are still plenty of gray areas where the truth is simply not provided, right? Does the RCC endorse Thomism, Molinism, or some third option?

Indeed, it is only in those gray "undefined" areas that disagreement among RCC-ers is permitted, from what I can see.

But let me ask you to consider something: if your personal interpretation conflicts with that of your church, how do you rule out the possibility that your church made a mistake and you actually got it right? Is it simply faith in your church as being the true church and consequently the voice of God?

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"While that is certainly well written, the 'something else entirely' is precisely what we have seen again and again in this dying conversation. If you cannot defend a point, it seems as though retreat to a new point."

I didn't realize you (you, TF, and you, James Swan) had asked me to defend the dogma. I made a rejoinder to Swan's attempted witticism and you stuck your nose in. After being engaged by you, I responded to you and your ilk with criticism you may or may not appreciate at your leisure; in the course of doing so, you chose to revive your tired, old "Protestant doesn't apply to me... blah blah, You're not really Catholic, I am... blah blah blah blah," in response to my suggestion:

Perhaps you who demand lists of infallible teachings and infallible interpretations of every Scripture from an authority you reject ought to get together and examine your own priorities and show us up by coming up with the interpretations we all ought to come up with by the Holy Spirit. Let me know when you and the Lutherans and Anglicans and the Anabaptists and the Pentecostals get around to that.

The funny thing is, you had just gotten through "demand[ing]" that the Magisterium speed things up and get with the program. You don't wish to admit that, and want to pretend that you weren't a target of the criticism so you could take offense and pile on with misguided pedantry. I pointed this out and you were too obtuse to pick up on it.

TF:
"Comparing onesself to Jesus would be great if you taught what he taught. You don't. So don't make the comparison: it's offensive to those of us who are his disciples."

I didn't compare myself to Him. I made an illustrative equivalence between Him and His Apostles and their successors, as He did when He said "Who heareth thee heareth Me; who rejecteth the rejecteth Me." I refuse to take the time to cast pearls from the four Gospels before you showing how the Church maintains His teaching to this day. Calling yourself His disciple carries great burdens with it. Woe betide the one who comes to Him later and says, "Lord, Lord" and did not do what His appointed servants said.

TF:
"Christ was not fallible, his disciples are. Deal with it."

Christ was not fallible, and neither were His Apostles when they exercised the charisms they received from the Lord. You accept that. As I said before, you arbitrarily cut the principle off at a point which allows you to wallow in your heresy. Come out.

TF:
" You're the one using second person to describe non-parties to the conversation. If you were a two-year-old, this would be excusable. Since you are not, it is simply laughable that you continue to pretend as though this claim:
[omitting my own words][sic; your sentence is unfinished]

...But even if you could find justification for using the second person rather than the third person, the whole matter is, as I've pointed out ... a distraction if that's not a claim I've made. But it seems you'd rather deal with straw men than the actual criticisms levelled against your church."

I respond:

"If the Vatican could really infallible interpret Scripture, why isn't the progress in understanding the Bible advancing at a pace of greater than one book of the Bible per millenium (a pace that itself would be the hare to the Vatican's tortoise).

Is it because there is no interest among the membership to have such an infallible interpretation?

Is it because it uses up a lot of time that is better spent on other things?

Is it because it costs money, and the coffers are running low?

Is it on the papal "honey-do" list, but just hasn't been a high enough priority yet?

The idea that publishing a "great movies" list is a waste of time is only amusing because of the obvious insignificance of such a list as compared with the infallible interpretation of a single verse of Scripture.

... It's rationalistic to want to know what the Bible means?

... Your church hasn't failed: it hasn't even tried. It hasn't tried, because the idea that we need an infallible interpreter to understand Scripture is total balderdash and an enormous red herring.
"

All of which, taken together, demonstrate that you were making the claim, which, for those not paying attention (read: you) was to "demand lists of infallible teachings and infallible interpretations of every Scripture from an authority you reject."

If your jeers were not a mocking "demand" for infallible interpretations, then I recommend you take some remedial instruction in clarity of communication. You still won't accept the criticism even after all that, so I am done bothering with you about it.

TF:
"But it seems you'd rather deal with straw men than the actual criticisms levelled against your church."

To coin a phrase you initiated a few threads ago, I had no such burden, but be that as it may, let me ask you forthrightly, to what denomination do you belong? OPC? RPCNA? PCA? (Please, please, Lord, let it be PCUSA.)

TF:
"Responding to your use of an irrelevant classification is not a 'canard' under any normal definition of that term."

Your repeated dismissal of Protestant as irrelevant (when in fact, I mentioned several, more specific groups earlier in the actual point I was making) is indeed a groundless belief thrown out for the sake of making an unrelated point, to wit that you Reformed are "really" the "Catholic" ones. Deal with it.

TF:
"Pedantic, eh? To go back to your earlier analogy, isn't there a little pot/kettle thing going on here?"

No, because I was actually correcting you. You were, to correct you again, being purposefully overly pedantic when you were wrong, and that made you look foolish.

TF:
"And that's it, folks. That's all the response MB provided on that point. A claimed "canard" and an accusation that I'm being "pedantic" and overly so, and not only overly so, but purposely overly so."

Want some more?

TF:
"If your church was Catholic, I'd be part of it. It's not, so let's put a stop to the pretenses."

Mine has the historical, Apostolic, Scriptural, Patristic pedigree. Yours doesn't. By all means, stop the pretense. I do hope you come fully into communion with the Church Catholic, though. Even though I don't particularly like you, I love you and want what's best for you: eternal life with God our Father in His Son through His Spirit with His Church.


TF:
"If you consider even very mild criticisms of the Vatican to be "Catholic-bashing" you are probably never going to be able clearly to see her errors. The criticism that the Vatican is a supposedly infallible interpreter that amazingly, practically never infallibly interprets is a rather mild criticism."

If you consider my criticisms of groups you don't identify with "Reformation-bashing," then I don't expect you to get any further. Your inconsistency is becoming legendary.

One infallible interpretation that has been made concerns Matthew 16:18. That has a lot of bearing on any subsequent discussion, and you reject that one, so what difference does it make how many more there might be? You wish to limit things to infallible interpretations of Scripture, but those are not the only infallible teachings, and furthermore, the claim has never been that all you need is a list of infallible interpretations of passages of Sacred Scripture and you know it. Further evidence of rationalism, whether residual or inherited from your Reformed forebears or whether original to you, I dare not say.

TF:
"Deny that believers have the Holy Spirit (to make my proving it more than just a waste of my time); or If you don't deny it, than admit it. But if you admit it, then there's no need for me to prove it to you. Why should I prove to you things that you already believe?"

Remembering the point you never answered in our discussion of the acceptance of the canon of Scripture and accepting it as "an" authority, I never denied that the believer "has" the Holy Spirit. That is a deflection of the question I asked you: what, exactly, does that mean for the generic believer? Specific Scripture references, please.

TF:
"I'd name him after Clouseau's sidekick, but sadly I don't remember that particular detective having one."

He had Cato, the foil. Granted, not a "sidekick" in the traditional sense, but I think I shall always think fondly of your wigged icon having a mouse named Cato in his shirt ruffle now.

TF:
" No, "we" Reformed folk. One would think (reading over your previous comments) that you already realized that I identify myself with Reformed Christianity. I'm sorry if my pronoun use obscured matters for you.

But of course, with that "we," it is I who am the mouse in the pocket."

It's too bad you've landed inthe wrong pocket. You've been carried far away by the innovators of strange doctrines. Scratch your ears, little one.

TF:
"You asked for answers, not agreement. People disagree all the time."

I asked for answers showing that the Holy Spirit guided you all to the same answers. Scripture is Scripture and the Spirit is One, right? Or shall I assume you deny every other sector of Reformedom the Spirit as well as you deny it to us?

"As for it being a 'small sector,' the disciples of Christ were a small sector of the Jewish nation. Will you mock their number as well?"

I didn't mock your number, I suggested that the Spirit would
A) more likely have granted you all (wink wink) more unity if yours was His movement
and
B)That remnant did not - because it was never intended to - stay small.

TF:
"I thought you claimed to be familiar with Reformed theology. Do you really need me to direct you to the works of Turretin, Witsius, Hodge, and others?

Do you honestly believe that we haven't answered even one of those questions?"

I thought that's what you'd say. But, see, those are private theological opinions none of you are bound to and which you all must, because they are not Sacred Scripture, deny are infallible and must therefore be treated by you as essentially dross. You have no way of verifying their veracity (save circularity, I'd grant that). So, since I was asking for an apples to apples comparison and didn't get one, consider my question reiterated.

The Dude said...

TF,
This kind of touches on the last post between you and kmerian - do you think infallibility not only applies to positive statements, but can also apply to negative statements? For instance, if certain interpretations of verses were *excluded* by the Church, would that satisfy the concerns you have - or are you wanting the Church to give a single positive interpretation of verses? I'm not sure you would ever really get that as I believe the Church does not think verses necessarily have just a single meaning or that the depths of Scripture could ever really be exhausted.

Lvka said...

I don't see "The Edges Of The Lord" listed there... Hmmm... :-\

Turretinfan said...

MB: "I didn't realize you (you, TF, and you, James Swan) had asked me to defend the dogma. I made a rejoinder to Swan's attempted witticism and you stuck your nose in."

Ah - so your rejoinder was not designed to address the point of Swan's post? Interesting.

"After being engaged by you, I responded to you and your ilk with criticism you may or may not appreciate at your leisure;"

ok

"in the course of doing so, you chose to revive your tired, old "Protestant doesn't apply to me... blah blah, You're not really Catholic, I am... blah blah blah blah," in response to my suggestion:

Perhaps you who demand lists of infallible teachings and infallible interpretations of every Scripture from an authority you reject ought to get together and examine your own priorities and show us up by coming up with the interpretations we all ought to come up with by the Holy Spirit. Let me know when you and the Lutherans and Anglicans and the Anabaptists and the Pentecostals get around to that."

You make false representations, and my clearing those up is "tired, old" and "blah blah blah"? If so, it is only because the false representations are being made not for the first time.

MB: "The funny thing is, you had just gotten through "demand[ing]" that the Magisterium speed things up and get with the program."

Again, you don't seem to understand the point of the criticism. I'm not the least interested in your church pretending to use its phoney gifts, I'm trying to help you see that they are phoney gifts, by pointing out the absurdity of their great supposed helpfulness superimposed on their virtual disuse.

MB: "You don't wish to admit that, and want to pretend that you weren't a target of the criticism so you could take offense and pile on with misguided pedantry."

I suspect that "weren't" was meant as a "were." I can take offense at plenty of the ridiculous ad hominem stuff you posted above, from the name calling to the false claims about what my position was, to comparing your church to Jesus. I don't need to imagine that your original comment was directed specifically at me. And, of course, I'd be much happier if you just addressed the issues, rather than trying to make things personal.

MB: "I pointed this out and you were too obtuse to pick up on it."

That would be another example of your attempt to make this personal, rather than to deal with the issues.

TF (previously): "Comparing onesself to Jesus would be great if you taught what he taught. You don't. So don't make the comparison: it's offensive to those of us who are his disciples."

MB: "I didn't compare myself to Him. I made an illustrative equivalence between Him and His Apostles and their successors, as He did when He said "Who heareth thee heareth Me; who rejecteth the rejecteth Me.""

a) Is an "illustrative equivalence" supposed to be different from a comparison? LOL

b) The idea that you, or your church, are the "successors" to the Apostles is subject to the same criticism as above: namely that you (collectively) don't teach what they taught.

MB: "I refuse to take the time to cast pearls from the four Gospels before you showing how the Church maintains His teaching to this day."

You couldn't show Jesus teaching papal infallibility, purgatory, prayers to (or for) the dead, or a mountain of other papist nonsense if you tried. It's not lack of time, but lack of ability that stands in your way.

And, of course, that's the real reason that your church pretends to have infallibility: because many of her doctrines cannot be obtained from Scripture. If she were teaching only what Jesus and the Apostles taught, as evidenced in Scripture, she would not need to claim infallibility for herself.

MB: "Calling yourself His disciple carries great burdens with it. Woe betide the one who comes to Him later and says, "Lord, Lord" and did not do what His appointed servants said."

Indeed.

TF (previously): "Christ was not fallible, his disciples are. Deal with it."

MB: "Christ was not fallible, and neither were His Apostles when they exercised the charisms they received from the Lord. You accept that."

The Apostles, when they exercised the gift of prophecy were not speaking of themselves. It was not their word, but God's word. The disciples were themselves fallible men.

MB: "As I said before, you arbitrarily cut the principle off at a point which allows you to wallow in your heresy. Come out."

That's a fine accusation, but an untrue one. It's absurd, because everyone knows I don't reject the heresies of Rome a priori, but because of Scripture. It's also absurd, because there is no "principle" that is being cut off that is to be extended to making your church infallible. The gift of prophecy is not something your church has. One has only to read the accounts of the council of Trent to see that such is the case.

TF (previously): "You're the one using second person to describe non-parties to the conversation ... But it seems you'd rather deal with straw men than the actual criticisms levelled against your church.

... If the Vatican could really infallible interpret Scripture, why isn't the progress in understanding the Bible advancing at a pace of greater than one book of the Bible per millenium (a pace that itself would be the hare to the Vatican's tortoise).
... "

MB: If your jeers were not a mocking "demand" for infallible interpretations, then I recommend you take some remedial instruction in clarity of communication."

Look at that ... above when you claim I don't get your point, I'm "obtuse." When you think I'm claiming you don't get my point, I need to "take some remedial instruction in clarity of communication." Lovely.

But actually, I've been constantly suggesting that you shouldn't presume things I don't say: that you shouldn't try to interpolate. If your interpolations have gone awry are you now going to blame me?

And, of course, you were making the same claim "Chastising "the Vatican" for not spending every waking moment infallibly interpreting the whole of Sacred Scripture?" before the "jeers" that you quoted.

MB: "You still won't accept the criticism even after all that, so I am done bothering with you about it."

(Ironically, those are not the last words of the post. So presumably this is criticism for not communicating the idea that I really have been dying for a phoney magisterium to drum up some Scripture interpretations and claim them to be infallible? That stretches the credulity of the reader.)

TF (previously): "But it seems you'd rather deal with straw men than the actual criticisms levelled against your church."

MB: "To coin a phrase you initiated a few threads ago, I had no such burden, but be that as it may, let me ask you forthrightly, to what denomination do you belong? OPC? RPCNA? PCA? (Please, please, Lord, let it be PCUSA.)"

I'm not going to tell you which denomination I belong to, and it matters not one whit for the conversation. I know you'd like to try to make this personal, but that's one reason I don't give out personal information.

Again, though, you're just confirming what I noted above, namely that you are not prepared or able to defend your church against these criticisms. That should make you reconsider your adherence to her doctrines.

And its no ill reflection on you. You are clearly a bright guy with a great vocabulary. The problem is that your position is simply indefensible. There is no good explanation for the superimposition of:

1) A supposed need for an infallible interpreter of Scripture; and

2) Virtually no exercise of the alleged gift of infallible interpretation.

Just as there is really no historical reason to think that Jesus taught the doctrine of papal infallibility, transusbstantiation, the use of images, prayers to/for the dead, etc. etc.

TF (previously): "Responding to your use of an irrelevant classification is not a 'canard' under any normal definition of that term."

MB: "Your repeated dismissal of Protestant as irrelevant (when in fact, I mentioned several, more specific groups earlier in the actual point I was making) is indeed a groundless belief thrown out for the sake of making an unrelated point, to wit that you Reformed are "really" the "Catholic" ones. Deal with it."

Heh. I must confess that I like that point (and it is true that Reformed Christianity is part of the Catholic faith), but it was not on my mind. The point was that was on my mind is that "Protestant" is not a helpful category for theological discussions of any significant precision.

TF (previously): "Pedantic, eh? To go back to your earlier analogy, isn't there a little pot/kettle thing going on here?"

MB: "No, because I was actually correcting you. You were, to correct you again, being purposefully overly pedantic when you were wrong, and that made you look foolish."

(see above)

TF (previously): "And that's it, folks. That's all the response MB provided on that point. A claimed "canard" and an accusation that I'm being "pedantic" and overly so, and not only overly so, but purposely overly so."

MB: "Want some more?"

Not more of the same ... that would be a waste of everyone's time. Do you have something else to offer?

TF (previously): "If your church was Catholic, I'd be part of it. It's not, so let's put a stop to the pretenses."

MB: "Mine has the historical, Apostolic, Scriptural, Patristic pedigree."

It's doctrines (such as Purgatory and papal infallibility) lack historical, Apostolic, Scriptural, or even (in many cases) patristic support.

Furthermore, obviously the Reformation in Europe was a reformation of the church of Western Europe, and consequently has the same genetic lineage. But modern Roman Catholicism is different from its medieval ancestor, as also the Reformation is different from its medieval ancestor.

Thankfully, the Reformation is different from its medieval ancestor for the right reasons, and in significantly valuable ways.

MB: "Yours doesn't. By all means, stop the pretense. I do hope you come fully into communion with the Church Catholic, though. Even though I don't particularly like you, I love you and want what's best for you: eternal life with God our Father in His Son through His Spirit with His Church."

I'm assured by Scripture of eternal life with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the Church, and the holy angels.

I'm concerned for you, because you so vocally oppose the gospel as proclaimed by the churches of the Reformation. I don't know your heart (and I don't automatically assume that because your ecclesiology and hermeneutics are wrong, you're necessarily unsaved), but I exhort you to repent of your sins, and trust in Christ alone for salvation: for those who seek salvation by any other way will not find it.

TF (previously): "If you consider even very mild criticisms of the Vatican to be "Catholic-bashing" you are probably never going to be able clearly to see her errors. The criticism that the Vatican is a supposedly infallible interpreter that amazingly, practically never infallibly interprets is a rather mild criticism."

MB: "If you consider my criticisms of groups you don't identify with "Reformation-bashing," then I don't expect you to get any further."

To refresh your recollection, you included in your litany of things you didn't approve of: "re-forming" (with the quotation marks). In context, I think it's fair to say that you had Reformed churches on your list. Or have I done you wrong, and misinterpreted your comment?

MB: "Your inconsistency is becoming legendary."

I AM LEGEND!

But frankly, I have to be somewhat amused by how personal you try to make this, rather than just dealing with the issues.

MB: "One infallible interpretation that has been made concerns Matthew 16:18. That has a lot of bearing on any subsequent discussion, and you reject that one, so what difference does it make how many more there might be?"

The answer is staring you in the face above. To demonstrate consistency (and shatter my legendary status), the reason the paucity of interpretations is significant is not because we would accept any of them, but because the paucity itself demonstrates the lack of a true gift of infallible interpretation.

It's a gift that's practically never exercised, because - in fact - there is no gift.

It's a bit like the reason the Emporer has such a low dry cleaning bill.

MB: "You wish to limit things to infallible interpretations of Scripture, but those are not the only infallible teachings, and furthermore, the claim has never been that all you need is a list of infallible interpretations of passages of Sacred Scripture and you know it."

You want to talk about other things, but those aren't really the issue now.

MB: "Further evidence of rationalism, whether residual or inherited from your Reformed forebears or whether original to you, I dare not say."

If staying on topic and not diverting to other subjects whenever one is unable to handle the objections is "evidence of rationalism" then sign me up for this rationalism stuff, baby.

TF (previously): "Deny that believers have the Holy Spirit (to make my proving it more than just a waste of my time); or If you don't deny it, than admit it. But if you admit it, then there's no need for me to prove it to you. Why should I prove to you things that you already believe?"

MB: "Remembering the point you never answered in our discussion of the acceptance of the canon of Scripture and accepting it as "an" authority, I never denied that the believer "has" the Holy Spirit."

You responded to my claim that believers have the Holy Spirit with your demand. I am asking what it is, exactly, you think I need to prove to you.

Thus, I gave you options: admit it or deny it. If you admit it, don't demand that I prove it to you.

MB: "That is a deflection of the question I asked you: what, exactly, does that mean for the generic believer?"

It's not an answer, and not a deflection either. It's a request for clarification. Do you admit or deny that believers have the Holy Spirit? What's the point in trying to discuss with you what that means for the believer, unless you agree on the premise?

MB: "Specific Scripture references, please."

Why? Are you willing to consider my interpretation of those references in the event that they conflict with your preconceived ideas, including those you adopted from your church?

Is this a serious request for an explanation, or simply a waste of my time? But of course, the predicate question of whether believers have the Holy Spirit needs to be addressed, as noted above - otherwise the whole discussion is moot.

TF (previously): "I'd name him after Clouseau's sidekick, but sadly I don't remember that particular detective having one."

MB: "He had Cato, the foil. Granted, not a "sidekick" in the traditional sense, but I think I shall always think fondly of your wigged icon having a mouse named Cato in his shirt ruffle now."

My little yellow friend! How could I forget!

MB: "It's too bad you've landed inthe wrong pocket. You've been carried far away by the innovators of strange doctrines. Scratch your ears, little one."

With all due respect, it is you who are in the wrong pocket. And you've buttoned it shut on yourself, by refusing to acknowledge the fallibility of your church. That's the interesting difference between our churches: the Reformation acknowledges the higher authority of Scripture, and welcomes critical investigation in light of Scripture: the same is not (and certainly has not been) the case of Rome.

But most amazingly, you consent to that ... unable to look outside the pocket to see whose pocket it is is ... unable to follow your conscience and the Word of God if it conflicts with your church.

TF (previously): "You asked for answers, not agreement. People disagree all the time."

MB: "I asked for answers showing that the Holy Spirit guided you all to the same answers."

Did you ask that? I must have been too obtuse to catch that fine print. It's a pointless request. We don't reach the same answers on everything, as you are well aware.

MB: "Scripture is Scripture and the Spirit is One, right?"

Agreed. And yet we are fallible men.

MB: "Or shall I assume you deny every other sector of Reformedom the Spirit as well as you deny it to us?"

I don't deny anyone what is not mine to control. I deny that there is evidence of the Spirit in the life of Rome. Instead, Rome is full of idols, necromancy, superstition, and legalism. It has rejected the Gospel, it has persecuted those who preached it, and has now apostatized to the point where it claims to worship the same god as Islam, opposes the just penalty of death for murder, and has apologists running around claiming that atheists who remain atheists can be saved without the Gospel and without the Church.

Meanwhile, its enormous membership does not (for the most part) even take its teachings seriously, when they conflict not with conscience but with personal desire.

TF (previously): "As for it being a 'small sector,' the disciples of Christ were a small sector of the Jewish nation. Will you mock their number as well?"

MB: "I didn't mock your number, I suggested that the Spirit would
A) more likely have granted you all (wink wink) more unity if yours was His movement
and
B)That remnant did not - because it was never intended to - stay small."

Most people who are technically in communion with Rome are not faithful to the teachings of Rome on a whole host of issues, many of them quite practical. That's a real example of disunity. Of course, it is not principled disunity (like the disunity among Christians who disagree over whether infants should be baptized), but it is real disunity.

Our principled disunity results from our human fallibility, our so-far incomplete understanding, and the like. To what shall we attribute the unprincipled disunity of your church?

And to what shall we atttribute also the principled disunity in your church between Molinists and Thomists (to take but one example that immediately pops into mind)?

Ah, but you may wish to rejoin that there is "more unity" in your church, than in our churhces. How on earth does one measure unity so as to make such a comparison? There's a certain organizational unity that you have, but is that type of unity a good thing or a bad thing? Scripture seems to suggest that, in some circumstances, the latter can be the case.

TF (previously): "I thought you claimed to be familiar with Reformed theology. Do you really need me to direct you to the works of Turretin, Witsius, Hodge, and others? Do you honestly believe that we haven't answered even one of those questions?"

MB: "I thought that's what you'd say."

Really? A minute ago you were claiming that you were looking for answers upon which we all agree. Now you predicted a different answer? Must be part of my legendary inconsistency - so inconsistent that you can predict that I will misunderstand your question and answer according to my misunderstanding! Remarkable.

MB: "But, see, those are private theological opinions none of you are bound to and which you all must, because they are not Sacred Scripture, deny are infallible and must therefore be treated by you as essentially dross."

The flaw in your logic is that if something is not infallible it is therefore dross. You don't apply that standard to the fallible teachings of your own church. Ah, but you think for some reason we apply that standard to the teachings of our churches?

Not so. By comparison to Scripture, of course Turretin, Witsius, and Hodge are to be considered dross. Yet, at the same time they have answered the very questions you have posed, and are useful tools to aid our understanding. Their works are fallible and yet are princely among us worms.

MB: "You have no way of verifying their veracity (save circularity, I'd grant that)."

We have Scripture. You may discount that, because you'd never use it to verify the veracity of your own church's teaching, but you ought not to discount it - because we do so use Scripture (as indeed, it was intended to be used).

MB: "So, since I was asking for an apples to apples comparison and didn't get one, consider my question reiterated."

Presumably the question is already completely answered in the comments above. If not, feel free to reiterate yet a third time, in the hopes that it will be the charm.

-TurretinFan

P.S. Obviously, I posted a significant number of replies already, and I'll try not to let this be the last, if you end up posting something further. But I may slow down in how soon I reply, as time will be rather constrained the next few days.

Turretinfan said...

The Dude wrote: "This kind of touches on the last post between you and kmerian - do you think infallibility not only applies to positive statements, but can also apply to negative statements?"

Yes.

The Dude continued: "For instance, if certain interpretations of verses were *excluded* by the Church, would that satisfy the concerns you have - or are you wanting the Church to give a single positive interpretation of verses?"

There's a different between saying "John 3:16 means X" (positive) and "John 3:16 doesn't mean Y" (negative). There is, however, also a difference between saying "Y" is false, and saying "John 3:16 doesn't mean Y."

In the first example, we would call both things interpreting Scripture. In the second exmaple, we'd call only the second thing interpreting Scripture ... although (in effect, and glossing over a few details) the former thing prevents John 3:16 (and John 3:17 and every verse of the Bible) from being interpreted to mean Y.

Obviously, for example, given the so-called Second Council of Nicea, and its adoption of the use of Icons purporting to be of Christ, certain interpretations of verses like "keep yourselves from idols" are ruled out.

So, while I can see the point you are getting at, I still wouldn't call that interpreting Scripture, as such.

The Dude also said: "I'm not sure you would ever really get that as I believe the Church does not think verses necessarily have just a single meaning or that the depths of Scripture could ever really be exhausted."

There are various historical methods of interpreting Scripture. One interesting way, was a view that held that every verse has exactly four meanings.

Indeed, as you point out, one could speculate that the depths of Scripture could never be exhausted even by an infallible interpreter.

For the purposes of the critique, thuogh, the point is to demonstrate how little "infallible interpretation of Scripture" has been done. If we compare the remarkably few such interpretations to a simple "one verse one meaning" baseline, we get the result most favorable to the Vatican: if we compare it to the unsearchable depths of Scripture standard, we get a result that is the least favorable.

In short, the criticism is really designed to make the reasonable person stop and think: is it really the case that we need "the Church" to infallibly interpret Scripture, or are fallible interpretations of Scripture actually perfectly adequate.

If the Vatican had published a commentary on the whole Bible and stamped it with infallible authority, we couldn't make the criticism that the Vatican seems to think the task relatively unimportant. But they haven't. They are content mostly not to exercise this supposed gift that they have, and I think it is a reasonble (though obviously not the only) conclusion to draw from that, that the Vatican simply doesn't have the gift of infallible interpretation of the Bible, and is wise enough to be cautious in claiming to exercise such a gift.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"Ah - so your rejoinder was not designed to address the point of Swan's post? Interesting."

The point of my rejoinder was to address what I see as the hypocrisy of criticizing the Catholic Church as "personified" by her Magisterium for unconstructive usage of time. I did so by specifically pointing only a sliver of the idiotic usage of time by various descendants of the various so-called reformations. You seem to have made more of the other aspect than I initially did.

TF:
"You make false representations, and my clearing those up is "tired, old" and "blah blah blah"? If so, it is only because the false representations are being made not for the first time."

I didn't make any false representations. You clearly "made demands" (mocking though they were) of the Magisterium, and you clearly did so with the purpose of demonstrating a failure on the part of the Magisterium. You wish to deny that you did either of those things by asserting that you merely claimed that "the Magisterium hasn't even tried" to exercise Her authority to infallibly interpret Scripture, at least functionally since you are pointing out what you consider the paucity of such pronouncements. You then have the temerity to present smallness as a quality characteristic of Christ's Church in the form of the remnant at Her inception and apply that to your sector of separated Christianity as though it were a noble aspect. I find that ironic at best. Paucity is divine in your scenario when it suits you, not when it doesn't.

TF:
"Again, you don't seem to understand the point of the criticism. I'm not the least interested in your church pretending to use its phoney gifts, I'm trying to help you see that they are phoney gifts, by pointing out the absurdity of their great supposed helpfulness superimposed on their virtual disuse."

Which illustrates precisely why I resorted to comparing you to those who criticized our Lord for, say, not lifting Himself off the Cross, for not performing signs when He clearly had already done so, for not authoritatively pronouncing on every Old Testament Scripture, or for not immediately establishing a worldly Kingdom. You seem to apply your limited understanding of the purpose of one charism which is one aspect of the Magisterium as a whole organic entity and in so doing miss the forest for the trees. Your criticism amounts exactly to that of an early NT era Jew against our Lord and His Apostles, to wit: well, where's the Kingdom you keep talking about? Why's Rome still oppressing us? Or that of a Hindu or Muslim of today, to wit: Well, your Jesus said that His generation would not pass away before "all these things" including His supposed Parousia occurred, so where is He?

TF:
"And, of course, I'd be much happier if you just addressed the issues, rather than trying to make things personal."

Said the man who made things personal some time ago by calling me dishonest. For the record, I am writing some original material and will make copious references outlining and substantiating many of the claims you say I won't address. I'll post a link for you and email you to let you know when the various bits are compiled and online.

TF:
"a) Is an 'illustrative equivalence' supposed to be different from a comparison? LOL"

No, the phrase "illustrative equivalence means exactly comparison but I was taught not to repeat words and phrases needlessly as that tends to appear redundant. The emphasis, though, was on the fact that I was not comparing myself but the Apostles and their successors. You misspoke when you alleged I was comparing myself. This is another inconsistency since you seemed to be upset by what you took to be the same confusion of first, second, and third person. ("Onesself" was your operative word.)

TF:
"b) The idea that you, or your church, are the 'successors' to the Apostles is subject to the same criticism as above: namely that you (collectively) don't teach what they taught."

But they did and do. See aforementioned forthcoming material , if you haven't already familiarized yourself with the best academic and more rigorous literature on the matter.

TF:
"You couldn't show Jesus teaching papal infallibility, purgatory, prayers to (or for) the dead, or a mountain of other papist nonsense if you tried. It's not lack of time, but lack of ability that stands in your way.

And, of course, that's the real reason that your church pretends to have infallibility: because many of her doctrines cannot be obtained from Scripture. If she were teaching only what Jesus and the Apostles taught, as evidenced in Scripture, she would not need to claim infallibility for herself."

Of course I can, and am doing so. And have done so. As an aside, you wish to include derivation from Scripture as solely authoritative, which I deny, since of course Scripture nowhere says that only Scripture is God's Word, but that is for my positive presentation. Suffice to say there is also Scriptural warrant, even from the Gospels, demonstrating many of the things you say are not there.

TF:
"The Apostles, when they exercised the gift of prophecy were not speaking of themselves. It was not their word, but God's word. The disciples were themselves fallible men."

The successors of the Apostles, when they exercise the gifts of the teaching authority given them, are not speaking of themselves. It is not their word, but God's word. The successors themselves are fallible men.

TF:
"That's a fine accusation, but an untrue one. It's absurd, because everyone knows I don't reject the heresies of Rome a priori, but because of Scripture."

As has been said before, you depend upon Her for the Scriptures and then misuse them to reject Her, which is the real absurdity. This is the real self-defeating position.

TF:
" The gift of prophecy is not something your church has. One has only to read the accounts of the council of Trent to see that such is the case."

What was that you said about bringing irrelevancies into the discussion? Who mentioned prophecy?

Me, previously:

"You still won't accept the criticism even after all that, so I am done bothering with you about it."
TF:
"(Ironically, those are not the last words of the post. So presumably this is criticism for not communicating the idea that I really have been dying for a phoney magisterium to drum up some Scripture interpretations and claim them to be infallible? That stretches the credulity of the reader.)"

The rest of my post was about matters other than the squabble over pedantism, pronouns, and your dismissal and deflection. It makes me sad to watch you approximate the behavior of those who mockingly demanded a sign with no faith. Or the behavior of the Roman soldiers who demanded our Lord tell them who had struck Him or spit upon Him. Jesus was at least as reticent in many respects as you accuse the Magisterium of being in the exercise of Her infallible interpretation of Sacred Scripture and yet you wouldn't - and shouldn't - dare deny His necessity, usefulness, or importance. Most "evidence" of His work, presence and witness is apparent only through faith and not discernible to those unwilling to consider the claims He made about Himself, compounded by what the natural man perceives as inability on His part or failure resulting from a refusal on His part to act as they think He ought to have acted according to their standards.

TF:
"I'm not going to tell you which denomination I belong to, and it matters not one whit for the conversation. I know you'd like to try to make this personal, but that's one reason I don't give out personal information."

I asked for a specific reason, and it isn't because I want to make this personal. I could expend unnecessary effort documenting fallacies and errors of each of the ones I listed and more, just from the Reformed, presbyterian camp for the purposes of my point, but if I decide to do so, it will be on my venue. I respect your right to privacy even while posting in a public forum. You have presumably legitimate reasons for doing so, although I don't think anyone accepts that hiding your denominational affiliation serves your stated purpose. Not disclosing your local congregation or presbytery, that's understandable, but don't expect me to believe that you're not stating your denomination because you were worried big, bad Mike would get personal. I'm surprised someone using a pseudonymous shield who throws pejoratives and derides the honesty of his interlocutor would have the temerity to play the victim. I do appreciate the way you occasionally remind me of Gospel narratives and discourses our Lord gave, e.g. whitewashed tombs, cumin and rue, and so forth.

TF:
"The problem is that your position is simply indefensible. There is no good explanation for the superimposition of:

1) A supposed need for an infallible interpreter of Scripture; and

2) Virtually no exercise of the alleged gift of infallible interpretation."

See above; there is no good reason for the superimposition of a claim of some 1st century rabbi to be able to raise dead people to life and virtually no exercise of the alleged gift. There is no reason for the superimposition of the supposed ability of that same mystic to be able to tear down a huge Temple complex and rebuild it in three days and the obvious lack of a Temple complex today, much less three days after someone else destroyed it. There is no reason to superimpose... hmmm, I'm belaboring a little.

TF:
"It's doctrines (such as Purgatory and papal infallibility) lack historical, Apostolic, Scriptural, or even (in many cases) patristic support."

Uh huh. Stay tuned.

TF:
"Furthermore, obviously the Reformation in Europe was a reformation of the church of Western Europe, and consequently has the same genetic lineage. But modern Roman Catholicism is different from its medieval ancestor, as also the Reformation is different from its medieval ancestor."

The so-called reformations were Western. That's true. Modern Catholicism is different and modern derivatives of these reformations are decidedly different. There is a difference in the differences.

TF:
"I'm assured by Scripture of eternal life with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the Church, and the holy angels."

Provided you suffer, persevere, etc. I agree. And I hope you do.

TF:
"I'm concerned for you, because you so vocally oppose the gospel as proclaimed by the churches of the Reformation. I don't know your heart (and I don't automatically assume that because your ecclesiology and hermeneutics are wrong, you're necessarily unsaved), but I exhort you to repent of your sins, and trust in Christ alone for salvation: for those who seek salvation by any other way will not find it."

Thank you for your concern. You do not know my heart except as evidenced by our severely limited interaction. I do not presume because of your incorrect ecclesiology and hermeneutics, sacramentology, that you are not a member of Christ's Church, presuming you have received the rite of initiation in baptism under the Triune formula. I have repented, do repent and will repent of my sins so long as God gives me strentgh so to do. I similarly adjure you. I do trust in Christ alone and in the ordinary means He established because it is Him working through them. I presume you trust in Him as well although you deny means and methods in some respects. I do vocally reject the various other gospels often proclaimed by various reformations since they depart from the historical Christianity at sundry points and differ widely with each other in many instances. Since their pretended consistency with the Christianity of the Bible and subsequent history and with other departures such as Albigensianism, Wycliffism and Lollardy, Hussitism, etc., is illusory, I also reject them. This does not mean they have apostasized in every respect or that they do not retain some connection with the true Church. I vociferously denounce their errors and praise their virtues and adherence to tradition where such may be found.

to be continued...

Dozie said...

"Why the slow pace?

If the Vatican could really infallible interpret Scripture, why isn't the progress in understanding the Bible advancing at a pace of greater than one book of the Bible per millenium (a pace that itself would be the hare to the Vatican's tortoise)."

What is this man's business with the Catholic Church?

What is his business with the speed at which the Catholic Church interpretes her scriptures?

Does he really want to see the Catholic Church interprete scriptures, and why would he?

How many of the scriptures interpreted by the Church does he accept so far?

Turretinfan said...

Dozie,

You're missing the point.

Let me try to put it simply:

1) We see people claiming that it is necessary for an infallible interpreter of Scripture to exist.

2) Some of those people claim that the infallible interpreter is what they call "the Catholic Church," which deny is "Catholic," but that's a point for another time. We'll call this supposedly infallible interpreter "the Vatican" for short.

3) If (1) and (2) were true, we'd expect to see the Vatican using its supposed gift of infallible interpretation. However, it practically never uses it ... as noted by the tortoise pace at which interpretation has proceeded.

4) Therefore, we reject at least (2). Ultimately, for additional reasons, we also end up rejecting (1) as well.

That is to say, we know that the Vatican is not a "needed infallible interpreter," because if it were such, it would actually do its job with some sort of regularity.

Even if you don't agree, do you understand the argument?

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...

TurretinFan:

Your argument, frankly make no sense at all.

"...we know that the Vatican is not a "needed infallible interpreter," because if it were such, it would actually do its job with some sort of regularity.”

Well, how would you define Vatican’s job? Put another way, what do you believe is Vatican’s job? Are you able to answer?

In any case, whatever Vatican’s job is, it should have been clear to you that you were not the one who created the job description and by this criterion alone, you are not qualified to say if the Vatican is doing its job or not. What I see in your arguments is either a wish to become Catholic or an engagement in some sort of mental gymnastics.

Again, I ask, do you wish to see the Vatican doing “its job with some sort of regularity”? If no, you've wasted your time making an empy argument - you've wasted time, period.

Again: “If (1) and (2) were true, we'd expect to see the Vatican using its supposed gift of infallible interpretation. However, it practically never uses it ... as noted by the tortoise pace at which interpretation has proceeded.”

One should ask, who made the law regarding the frequency of Vatican’ infallible interpretation of the bible? Did you make the law or someone else? What are your expectations of the Vatican in terms of the number of interpretation? Do you hope to see one interpretations per day, week, month, year, decade, etc?

You, like many other protestants, spend far too many of your waking hours worrying about things that Catholics have no problems with. You are really in no place to the "Vatican" how to govern the Church. More could be said.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Dozie:

You wrote: "TurretinFan: Your argument, frankly make no sense at all."

I answer: There's some symmetry here, as your rebuttal makes little sense to me.

I had written: "...we know that the Vatican is not a "needed infallible interpreter," because if it were such, it would actually do its job with some sort of regularity.”

You responded: "Well, how would you define Vatican’s job? Put another way, what do you believe is Vatican’s job? Are you able to answer?"

I answer: I don't think the Vatican has a continued reason for existence. The critique, however, focuses on the claims of her apologists against outsiders who say we can follow the teachings of Scripture without the help of the Vatican.

Do you follow? As a matter of logic, it doesn't matter whether the Vatican has a legitimate job elsewhere than interpreting Scripture infallibly, or whether the Vatican has no legitimate job at all. Either way, we can reject the hypothesis that the Vatican has a legitimate job "infallibly interpreting" Scripture.

You wrote: "In any case, whatever Vatican’s job is, it should have been clear to you that you were not the one who created the job description and by this criterion alone, you are not qualified to say if the Vatican is doing its job or not."

I answer: You were not the one who created President Bush's job description (the U.s. Constitution does that). By that criterion alone, you are not qualified to say if he's doing his job or not. Does that sound true to you? It shouldn't. It's absolutely as improper as your comment.

But let's make the analogy actually fit the situation. Suppose someone said we need President Bush because we need someone to interact with world leaders. Suppose further that in all his presidency Bush only once ever even spoke to a foreign leader. I think we'd all see that the supposed reason why needed Bush (under this hypthoetical scenario) was a pretense.

At the end of the day, that's the same problem here. It's a pretense to say that we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture. We don't.

You wrote: "What I see in your arguments is either a wish to become Catholic or an engagement in some sort of mental gymnastics."

I answer: Rather than trying to look behind my arguments, I'd suggest you look at the issue of whether the claim that we need an infallible interpreter is a true claim. Ask yourself whether that's a true claim. If you say, "no," so be it. There's no need to continue, because we've established to your satisfaction that such an apologetic for the Vatican is improper.

If you say, "yes, we need an infallible interpreter," then ask yourself whether the Vatican is really your best bet in that regard. After all, the Vatican has practically never infallibly interpreted the Scripture.

You wrote: "Again, I ask, do you wish to see the Vatican doing “its job with some sort of regularity”? If no, you've wasted your time making an empy argument - you've wasted time, period."

I answer: I am trying to open your eyes to the fact that either (A) the Vatican itself doesn't really see this as its job or (B) the Vatican doesn't take its job seriously. I'm willing to let you choose between (A) and (B) or to provide a third option if you think I've falsely dichotomized. What I think would be deeply improper is for you to try to avoid the issue.

I had again written: “If (1) and (2) were true, we'd expect to see the Vatican using its supposed gift of infallible interpretation. However, it practically never uses it ... as noted by the tortoise pace at which interpretation has proceeded.”

You wrote: "One should ask, who made the law regarding the frequency of Vatican’ infallible interpretation of the bible? Did you make the law or someone else? What are your expectations of the Vatican in terms of the number of interpretation? Do you hope to see one interpretations per day, week, month, year, decade, etc?"

I answer: Intuitively, less than one book per millennium seems a little slow to me. I'm not saying there is any fixed rule, but just that I think everybody who thinks about will come to the same conclusion. This is an argument from common sense: something I presume you to have, in order for the argument to make sense.

I answer: "You, like many other protestants, spend far too many of your waking hours worrying about things that Catholics have no problems with."

I answer: I agree, and that's bad news for those who remain unconcerned about the errors of their church. There are many people who sleep soundly at night who should be worried, because they are being led astray by their church. Yes, I do worry at least in part because folks on the other side of the Tiber choose to remain blissfully ignorant of the false doctrines of Rome. I care about those people, and I want to see them open their eyes, recognize truth for truth and error for error, and either reform their church or (if it is irreformable) come out.

You wrote: "You are really in no place to [tell] the "Vatican" how to govern the Church. More could be said."

I answer: I am in a place to demonstrate that the Vatican's apologetic claims are inconsistent with the Vatican's actions. I am sorry if you think that infallibly interpreting less than one book per millennium is consistent with the claim that we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture. I'm not sure more could be said in that regard.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

“I don't think the Vatican has a continued reason for existence.”

This is not new.

There are any number of jihadists, atheists, God haters, feminist groups, etc who wish the Vatican would disappear. You’ve just taken your seat among them.

“The critique, however, focuses on the claims of her apologists against outsiders who say we can follow the teachings of Scripture without the help of the Vatican.”

Have you been able to follow the teachings of Scripture without help? For many, the help is the Vatican. Put Protestantism in the mirror and tell yourself the truth about what you see. You have scriptures but you are messed up to the core.

Protestantism needs serious help and all your argumentation is to mask your need for help even when you are at the brink of death.

By the way, I defend the Catholic Church; who do you defend? You see, the moment you answer this question honestly, you will begin to see how sick Protestantism is.

“We can reject the hypothesis that the Vatican has a legitimate job "infallibly interpreting" Scripture.”

If you do not reject the Vatican, what else would you be doing? You are not simply protesting the Vatican, you are a protestant. This defines who you are and we should not marvel when you act out your identity.

”You were not the one who created President Bush's job description (the U.s. Constitution does that). By that criterion alone, you are not qualified to say if he's doing his job or not. Does that sound true to you? It shouldn't. It's absolutely as improper as your comment.”

Those who voted in the election or were qualified to do so could evaluate President Bush’s performance based on some intelligent criteria. It does follow that not every criticism is legitimate or appropriate. By the same token, if you know individuals who voted for the pope or were able to do so; perhaps they could give you their assessment of the pope. The point is the Vatican and Washington are not exactly the same. You, of course should have known this.

”Suppose someone said we need President Bush because we need someone to interact with world leaders. Suppose further that in all his presidency Bush only once ever even spoke to a foreign leader. I think we'd all see that the supposed reason why needed Bush (under this hypthoetical scenario) was a pretense.”

Until you understand the basic principles of Catholicism, you will continue to make analogies that make thinking people gasp. Again, you make arguments that Catholics are not able to recognize what you are talking about. The reason for the kind of arguments you make is that you think you are at war with the Catholic Church. Because of your hostility, you fail to understand and respect how Catholics view their faith and therefore raise lousy, tired questions. Of course, your mission could be to teach Catholics how to be Catholics.

The pope or the Vatican does not have to interpret every verse in the bible. The Catholic Church is a family and as such there is a language, there is a culture, and a manner of living that every obedient son or daughter learns, even from infancy.

The Vatican interprets the Bible when it says that the whole of the Bible is the word of God and as such should be approached in certain manner and with a certain attitude. It interprets the bible when it insists on the central message of the bible – the good news about Jesus. The Vatican interprets the Bible when it teaches what is required of Catholic living; it interprets it when it teaches of man’s responsibility to God and to his neighbor. It teaches the bible when it teahces us the proper way to worship and how to act before God.

The Vatican interprets the Bible when it corrects and admonishes those who cross the boundaries of the central message of the Bible or who confuse the message of the Bible. It interprets the bible in more ways than you can think, and faithful Catholics understand and recognize what their Church is saying to them.

Again, you go on hunger strike over the Catholic Church on an issue Catholics would not recognize as an issue. Imagine Osama Bin Laden worrying why San Marcos, Texas, is not the capital of the United States? Do you get it? First, Osama is not a friend of America, and second, this is an issue that Americans are not worried about. Yes, it is an awkward question, but it is similar to what you are asking.

In any case, I wait for you on this side of the Tiber; hope you wake up soon.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Dozie,

Let me address one of your insults and leave it at that.

"There are any number of jihadists, atheists, God haters, feminist groups, etc who wish the Vatican would disappear. You’ve just taken your seat among them."

The Reformed churches (and I personally) stand against each of those three groups you listed. I've posted against Islam, against atheists, and against feminists (all of whom are God-haters). They wish the Reformed churches would disappear.

You too clearly wish we weren't here. Does that mean you've taken a seat with them? (It's a rhetorical question, in case that's not apparent.)

The bottom line is that while you may have a passionate partisan spirit, you don't have a reasoned defense of the inconsistent behavior that the Vatican exhibits. As far as this particular illustration of her inconsistency goes, I'm afraid I cannot make it any clearer to you.

My suggestion: read the Bible. See if the Bible makes any mention of popes, or crucifixes, or candles, or invocation of passed on believers, or purgatory, or indulgences. If you find those doctrines and practices taught in the Bible - then perhaps yours is the religion that derives from the Bible. If not, perhaps your religion has another source.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...

"My suggestion: read the Bible. See if the Bible makes any mention of popes, or crucifixes, or candles, or invocation of passed on believers, or purgatory, or indulgences. If you find those doctrines and practices taught in the Bible - then perhaps yours is the religion that derives from the Bible. If not, perhaps your religion has another source."

Mr. Turrentinfan, you simply don't get it at all. You probably have not heard that the Catholic Church does not go by "scripture alone". Long before there was the bible, there was the Catholic Church. You make these statements about finding something in the scriptures as though you have discovered something new and profound. You go and show me the canon of scriptures or the doctrine of the Trinity, or the verse showing the two natures of Christ in the bible and I would be glad to show you anything you ask for in the bible.

How anyone could believe in Sola Scriptura does nothing but confirm what I have been saying for a while: the problem with Protestantism is the mind - the desire to let it languish. Pitiful.

The Catholic Church did not have to wait for the bible to be printed so it can analyze it, critique it, left,right, back, and center before deciding what kind of christianity it wants to be - baptist, methodist, lutheran, reformed, or whatever. It was already a Church and gave your community the Bible. The Bible is a product of the Church; it is part of Catholic Tradition - the Church could have continued without bothering to compile it. It is profoundly silly to suggest that the Catholic Church has to find every article of its faith in the Bible.

Again, you will need to learn to communicate with Catholics if you value your time.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Dozie,

You wrote: "Mr. Turrentinfan, you simply don't get it at all. You probably have not heard that the Catholic Church does not go by "scripture alone"."

Actually, that's my point. A great deal of your church's doctrines are human innovations, rather than doctrines derived from Scripture.

If only your church would subordinate itself to the word of God! But it does not, and it has hardened itself against Scripture, which is why it is properly viewed as apostate.

You wrote: "Long before there was the bible, there was the Catholic Church."

Let me try to clarify a few things for you historically:

a) The Scriptures were complete in the first century of Jesus' incarnation.

b) I listed several doctrines in my last post. No one can demonstrate that any of those doctrines or practices were taught or performed by the apostles. In fact, even some apologists of your church would admit that the apostles did not teach those doctrines or engage in those practices.

c) Your church may have an historical connection with the ancient churches that were at Rome (mine also has an historical to that church), but they did not believe the same set of doctrines you believe, nor did they practice religion as you practice it. To call them "Catholics" in the sense of modern Roman Catholics is to engage in anachronism.

You wrote: "You make these statements about finding something in the scriptures as though you have discovered something new and profound."

No. It's not a new point. One sees the same point being made by ancient Christians in settling doctrinal disputes. I'm sure there must have been some who did what you do, and say "My church says 'X'" but mostly they seemed to be interested in establishing their doctrines and practices from Scripture.

You wrote: "You go and show me the canon of scriptures or the doctrine of the Trinity, or the verse showing the two natures of Christ in the bible and I would be glad to show you anything you ask for in the bible."

Since you phrased it in the alternative, I'll pick the Trinity:

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Of course, many other verses could be presented. That's just one. Notice that it is "the name" (singular) but three persons are identified.

I could have picked the doctrine of Christ's two natures:

Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

In one respect, the canon (i.e. list) of Scripture is simply its table of contents. If you accept by faith each of the inspired books, you may easily name those books for yourself, and write out your own table of contents.

May I safely presume that you will now seek to demonstrate each of the doctrines and practices I previously mentioned from Scripture?

Dozie: "How anyone could believe in Sola Scriptura does nothing but confirm what I have been saying for a while: the problem with Protestantism is the mind - the desire to let it languish. Pitiful."

Not only is searching the Scripture not evidence of a "a desire to let [the mind] languish," it is Godly wisdom. It is noble. Refusal to do so, and failure to examine the teachings of one's church by the standard of Scripture: that truly is a darkness of mind to be pitied.

You wrote: "The Catholic Church did not have to wait for the bible to be printed so it can analyze it, critique it, left,right, back, and center before deciding what kind of christianity it wants to be - baptist, methodist, lutheran, reformed, or whatever."

If your point is that your church has little concern for what the Bible says, in terms of how she is to live and teach, I agree. That's not a good thing, that's a bad thing.

You wrote: "It was already a Church and gave your community the Bible."

That seems to be your historical anachronism at work again. A few notable points:

1) The Old Testament was given to us by God via the prophets. It was preserved by the Jews. Although we primarily got our knowledge of the text of the Hebrew Bible from a sect of Judaism that religiously copied the text, we now have an alternative source in the scrolls found more recently: those called the "Dead Sea Scrolls." The OT was also preserved in Greek and Latin (as well as other languages) translations.

2) The New Testament was given to us by the apostles and evangelists. It was preserved over the centuries both in the original Greek as well as in various translations by men of many tongues, not only Latin but also Aramaic, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, Gothic, Arabic, and so on.

3) Thus, the idea that your church gave us the Bible is not just anachronistic, it is demeaning to God: the true giver of Scripture.

4) Worse than that, if you are going to claim historical connection with the medieval church of Rome, you need to come to grips with the fact that the medieval church of Rome kept the Scriptures out of the common tongue of Western Europe, persecuted (and had killed) those who translated the Bible into the common tongue, and burned those Bibles in the common tongue that they could find.

Now, certainly that is not modern Roman Catholicism, which gives an indulgence for reading the Bible half an hour a day and condemns capital punishment.

You wrote: "The Bible is a product of the Church; it is part of Catholic Tradition - the Church could have continued without bothering to compile it."

See above about the true origin of Scripture. I fully agree that your church could go on without the Bible, and that's the point.

You wrote: "It is profoundly silly to suggest that the Catholic Church has to find every article of its faith in the Bible."

It's only profoundly silly to those who think that churches get to make up their doctrines without being held accountable to a higher standard. For people who believe that God gave us a Bible for a reason, it's profoundly silly to refuse to read it and examine one's church in light of it.

You wrote: "Again, you will need to learn to communicate with Catholics if you value your time."

You need to learn to search the Scripture if you want to discover what part of what your church teaches is the same as what Jesus and his apostles taught, and what part is new.

You can refuse to do so, of course. That's your prerogative. If you do so, however, you leave yourself in the dark. The Bible has triumphed by God's Providence over those who have tried to suppress its propagation. Take advantage of this fact, and examine the Scriptures to see whether what you are being taught in your church is the truth.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...

“Dear Dozie:

Please do not repeat this mistake!!

“Actually, that's my point. A great deal of your church's doctrines are human innovations, rather than doctrines derived from Scripture.”

Of course it is one thing to make assertions and claims and another thing to make intelligent substantiation of the assertions. You have repeatedly mentioned the papacy, candles, crucifixes, purgatory, and indulgences as man-made traditions. To show that you have a clue regarding what you are talking about and not simply repeating James White etcetera, I challenge you to name the man or woman (to broaden your chance of answering) who "made" the items you continue to complain about.

“The Scriptures were complete in the first century of Jesus' incarnation.”

If only if you knew that a century is a 100 years, it would help the discussion. What I expected you to say was that the bible was completed, printed and made available to all before the Church was started. It would not matter if the bible (the written word of God) was completed 30 days after Pentecost; the fact is that God saw it fit to establish his church and then the New Testament. While the Word of God is absolutely essential for the life of the Church and of the baptized, the bible is not.

”I listed several doctrines in my last post. No one can demonstrate that any of those doctrines or practices were taught or performed by the apostles. In fact, even some apologists of your church would admit that the apostles did not teach those doctrines or engage in those practices.”

You have already been challenged on this; show us they are man-made. I want you to name names and not simply repeat a tradition of the anti-catholics. Which man or woman is responsible for the man-made traditions you talk about?

”Your church may have an historical connection with the ancient churches that were at Rome (mine also has an historical to that church), but they did not believe the same set of doctrines you believe, nor did they practice religion as you practice it. To call them "Catholics" in the sense of modern Roman Catholics is to engage in anachronism.”

Anachronism - a favorite word of the anti-catholics (Bill Webster, James White, Eric Svendsen, Mr. King). I suppose such word makes one look more intelligent than he really is.

In any case, one has to marvel at the faithlessness found in Protestantism. While they run around chanting the Sola fide mantra, they lack evidence of faith in God. Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. But Protestants, in the guise of unheard-of scholarship have the temerity to say: "Your Church (the Catholic Church) is not the early Church and mine is not either".

Anyone with an atom of wisdom will notice that this is a loser’s stance. Remember Solomon’s Wisdom in 1 Kings 3 v 16-27. The lady whose son it was begged the King to save the child, while the other woman said: “It (the child) shall be neither mine nor yours”. And then she asked the King, “divide it”. The imposter, especially the unskilled one, will always have a weak claim to that which he disputes.

The argument that there are things believed in the Church today which the early Church did not believe is a matter of thinking outside the box – the skull that is. We ask the accuser to look in the mirror. I am sure he has changed if he is more than a month old. I am also sure that he looks different today than he looked 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. Regardless of he passage of time, is he still same individual? I hope so.

Furthermore, the Catholic Church in America is different from the Church in Africa, in some respects. But it is still the same church.

However, the more important issue is this: What happened to the early Church if it is neither Catholic nor anything else? I wish the accuser will answer this in light of what Catholics are required to believe – that Christ’s word is forever sure and worthy of belief. When we hear the promise of Christ on the pepertuity of his church, our only response will always be: "thanks be to God".

”One sees the same point being made by ancient Christians in settling doctrinal disputes. I'm sure there must have been some who did what you do, and say "My church says 'X'" but mostly they seemed to be interested in establishing their doctrines and practices from Scripture”.

Can our accuser, a sola scriptura man, find the assertion he makes above in his bible? He loses credibility if he can’t. Can he show where the bible (even the one he uses) says that to establish doctrine, you must find the doctrine in the bible?

On the other hand, a Catholic can have confidence in Christ when he says: “whoever hear you hears me”.

More could be said.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Dozie:

"Of course it is one thing to make assertions and claims and another thing to make intelligent substantiation of the assertions."

I agree.

"You have repeatedly mentioned the papacy, candles, crucifixes, purgatory, and indulgences as man-made traditions. To show that you have a clue regarding what you are talking about and not simply repeating James White etcetera, I challenge you to name the man or woman (to broaden your chance of answering) who "made" the items you continue to complain about."

Let's suppose for the sake of the argument that I cannot name the person responsible. What then?

Does a practice suddenly become apostolic if we cannot identify precisely who innovated the practice?

I had written: “The Scriptures were complete in the first century of Jesus' incarnation.”

Dozie wrote: "If only if you knew that a century is a 100 years, it would help the discussion."

I answer: Yes, that's right. The Scriptures were complete before A.D. 100. That doesn't mean that everyone who was a Christian had a pocket edition and an extra to give away. It means the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the Scriptures and of the inspired prophets, apostles, and other Scripture writers was complete. The Scriptures still had to be copied and disseminated.

Dozie wrote: "What I expected you to say was that the bible was completed, printed and made available to all before the Church was started."

The communal worship of God goes back to the earliest times, when even Cain and Abel offered sacrifices. The congregation of Israel was the church of God in the Old Testament, and all believers are he church of God in the New Testament. There were worshipers of God before Moses, before the incarnation, and before the Apostle John finished writing his Revelation.

Dozie wrote: "It would not matter if the bible (the written word of God) was completed 30 days after Pentecost; the fact is that God saw it fit to establish his church and then the New Testament."

See above.

Dozie wrote: "While the Word of God is absolutely essential for the life of the Church and of the baptized, the bible is not."

That's one of those assertion you seem to like to make (note your own comment about assertions above). If you could obtain the Word of God from somewhere else than the Bible, I wouldn't have a problem with it. My issue is that Christ is ascended and Pentecost is long gone. The apostles are gone, and what they are left are what Justin Martyr called "their memoirs."

That's how the Word of God has been bequeathed to us: not by a continuation of signs, wonders, miracles, and prophecies, but by the written Word of God - the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments.

Dozie wrote: "Anachronism - a favorite word of the anti-catholics (Bill Webster, James White, Eric Svendsen, Mr. King). I suppose such word makes one look more intelligent than he really is."

Why do you suppose you have heard that comment from each of them, and from me now as simply the latest person to mention it to you? It is the truth.

Dozie wrote: "Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. But Protestants, in the guise of unheard-of scholarship have the temerity to say: "Your Church (the Catholic Church) is not the early Church and mine is not either"."

Let the Early Church Fathers speak for themselves, and you will find that few if any of those doctrines I already identified for you, are not found in their lips. They don't believe what you believe. None of them ever heard of transubstantiation (don't confuse that with "Real Presence"), none of them prayed the rosary, and none of them had heard of the doctrine of papal infallibility.

Dozie wrote: "Anyone with an atom of wisdom will notice that this is a loser’s stance. Remember Solomon’s Wisdom in 1 Kings 3 v 16-27. The lady whose son it was begged the King to save the child, while the other woman said: “It (the child) shall be neither mine nor yours”. And then she asked the King, “divide it”. The imposter, especially the unskilled one, will always have a weak claim to that which he disputes."

Your argument here fails. The true mother asserted the weaker claim: she said to Solomon that the other woman could have the child.

It also fails because the grandeur of one's claims can be more a sign of arrogance, than of validity. Solomon's device cannot be applied to every situation.

Finally, it fails because the early church is not like a baby, in that there is no reason that it must "belong" completely to one of us in order for it to be of any value. A halved baby is useless, but the early Christian writers are useful regardless of whether they are uniformly orthodox.

Dozie wrote: "The argument that there are things believed in the Church today which the early Church did not believe is a matter of thinking outside the box – the skull that is. We ask the accuser to look in the mirror. I am sure he has changed if he is more than a month old. I am also sure that he looks different today than he looked 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. Regardless of he passage of time, is he still same individual? I hope so."

We humans change, yes. But the truth does not change. The Word of God does not change, because it is the Word of a God who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The bottom line, though, is that the particular doctrines and practices I've identified for you - and which the rules of your church require you to believe or do - are not apostolic doctrines and practices.

Now, if you want to say that these were a later revelation of God, let that be your claim: but be clear about it.

Dozie wrote: "Furthermore, the Catholic Church in America is different from the Church in Africa, in some respects. But it is still the same church."

Those sorts of differences are not really what I had in mind, whether or not they demonstrate the innovative character of your church.

Dozie wrote: "However, the more important issue is this: What happened to the early Church if it is neither Catholic nor anything else?"

The early church was Christian. It was not "Catholic" in the way that you use that term, it was not "Orthodox" the way that the Russian Orthodox Church uses that term, and it was not unified in every respect. Even in the times of the Apostles there were divisions and parties within the church. The early church is an historic reality, not something to be shoehorned into modern denominational or sectarian categories.

Dozie wrote: "I wish the accuser will answer this in light of what Catholics are required to believe – that Christ’s word is forever sure and worthy of belief."

It is worthy of believe and it is sure. The problem is not with the word of God, but with men (human beings) who are themselves imperfect. There have been errors in every generation.

Dozie wrote: "When we hear the promise of Christ on the pepertuity of his church, our only response will always be: "thanks be to God"."

It seems you assume that the perpetuation of the church is a perpetuation of an institution/organization rather than of the Gospel that defines it. There will always be those who follow God, because the Word of God cannot be stopped.

I had written: ”One sees the same point being made by ancient Christians in settling doctrinal disputes. I'm sure there must have been some who did what you do, and say "My church says 'X'" but mostly they seemed to be interested in establishing their doctrines and practices from Scripture”.

Dozie wrote: "Can our accuser, a sola scriptura man, find the assertion he makes above in his bible? He loses credibility if he can’t. Can he show where the bible (even the one he uses) says that to establish doctrine, you must find the doctrine in the bible?"

Of course, yes, we can derive the position that doctrine must be derived from Scripture, itself from Scripture. But let me turn the matter on its head for a bit. How else could we establish doctrine? How could we possibly demonstrate that such a way was a valid way of establishing doctrine?

There is a way, of course. The way is for God to provide a prophet to speak for him. The pope, however, is not a prophet.

What's the only place where we can be sure to find the Word of God? I think you know the answer.

Dozie wrote: "On the other hand, a Catholic can have confidence in Christ when he says: “whoever hear you hears me”."

The apostles left us the New Testament. That's the way they communicated to us in the 21st century. The apostles themselves have gone to heaven almost two millenia ago. The Word of God that they preached is provided to us in the unchanging Word of the New Testament. Men come and go, but the Word of God endures forever.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

“Does a practice suddenly become apostolic if we cannot identify precisely who innovated the practice?”

It becomes very probable that you do not know what you are talking about. And, if you do not know much about a topic, you should have the humility not to talk as though you are an authority on the matter. I am glad you have conceded you don’t have a clue about the origins of Catholic Traditions. They may after all not be what you thought they were.


Dozie wrote: "While the Word of God is absolutely essential for the life of the Church and of the baptized, the bible is not."

”That's one of those assertion you seem to like to make (note your own comment about assertions above). If you could obtain the Word of God from somewhere else than the Bible, I wouldn't have a problem with it. My issue is that Christ is ascended and Pentecost is long gone. The apostles are gone, and what they are left are what Justin Martyr called "their memoirs."”

Of course the bible is important and that is why the Catholic Church took pains to copy and preserve the texts. The point is that the Church functioned without your King James bible (or similar texts) for a long time. I am not sure that when Thomas sailed to India he took a copy of King James with him. When Paul and Barnabas went on their missionary journeys, I am certain they had no bibles. You can’t make excuses for them because while they were foundations of the church, they were not outside or it – they were part of it.

For your information, the Church is the primary trustee of the Word of God. The command to go and teach all was made to them. If you can’t trust the Church, there is no reason why you should trust yourself.


Dozie wrote: "Anachronism - a favorite word of the anti-catholics (Bill Webster, James White, Eric Svendsen, Mr. King). I suppose such word makes one look more intelligent than he really is."

”Why do you suppose you have heard that comment from each of them, and from me now as simply the latest person to mention it to you? It is the truth.”

Lousy Protestant lingo.


”Let the Early Church Fathers speak for themselves, and you will find that few if any of those doctrines I already identified for you, are not found in their lips. They don't believe what you believe.”

First of all, I have no confidence in your identification or discussion of the early church fathers. You do not have the background to understand them as you do not of the Catholic Church. Because the Church grows, the ECFs do not have to belief everything I believe, but I have to believe everything they believed. Can you say that?


”Your argument here fails. The true mother asserted the weaker claim: she said to Solomon that the other woman could have the child.”

False, even Solomon recognized the eloquence of her case in the matter; thus, she made a stronger case. The other lady made a weak case because, for selfishness, she was ready to destroy the baby she had no part in, just as Protestants are ready to dismiss the early Church they are no part of.


”We humans change, yes. But the truth does not change. The Word of God does not change, because it is the Word of a God who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Why do you think there was need for the New Testament? In any case, the Church is a living organization, it grows, it hears and learns. Remember the promise – when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. Apparently, the Church did not have all the truth on the day the promise was made. The Spirit teaches, and the Church responds according to the leading of the Spirit. Sound strange to you?


“The early church was Christian. It was not "Catholic" in the way that you use that term, it was not "Orthodox" the way that the Russian Orthodox Church uses that term, and it was not unified in every respect. Even in the times of the Apostles there were divisions and parties within the church. The early church is an historic reality, not something to be shoehorned into modern denominational or sectarian categories.”

Sorry response. The question was, “what happened to the early Church”? What became of it? Where did it disappear to?


“The apostles left us the New Testament.”

Pure nonsense. First of all, how many apostles do you know for sure wrote anything? Maybe, fewer than four out of twelve. It becomes very clear that leaving you a written testament was not a primary concern for them.


This is what happens when one is uprooted from Tradition. They make wild and bold arguments that sound good only to them because their arguments are manufactured in thin air. They make unreasoned arguments.
Now, since you believe in sola scriptura, could you show from scripture that what you assert about the apostles is true. Again, I expect you to not answer as is your manner.


“That's the way they communicated to us in the 21st century.”

Then the majority of the apostles failed to communicate. Peter, for example, communicated more with his life and death than by pen. The ancients realized that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of faith.


“The apostles themselves have gone to heaven almost two millenia ago. The Word of God that they preached is provided to us in the unchanging Word of the New Testament.”

Funny! Again you ignore the primary instruction and lunch into your imagined but unbiblical idea. The instruction was: “go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”. Do you get that? Not one word about writing, let alone writing being the only way of preserving the message.


“Of course, yes, we can derive the position that doctrine must be derived from Scripture, itself from Scripture. But let me turn the matter on its head for a bit.

Wait a minute! Before you run off and avoid providing the biblical texts that support your position, do you care prove that you must find a doctrine in the bible before you can do so. Citations please!


“How else could we establish doctrine? How could we possibly demonstrate that such a way was a valid way of establishing doctrine?”

The same way doctrine was established in Acts 15.


“What's the only place where we can be sure to find the Word of God? I think you know the answer.”

In the Church – the pillar and foundation of the truth. Even your bible bears witness to the Church.


“It seems you assume that the perpetuation of the church is a perpetuation of an institution/organization rather than of the Gospel that defines it.”

Of course, the Church is that kingdom built by Christ. It is a physical reality. How else would you know the church is being perpetuation? Is it by seeing angels flying around?

By now it should be clear to you that you have ideas that are foreign to the New Testament scriptures. But I am sure you assure yourself of making solid argument. The bible knows nothing of unattached Christian – “do not forsake the gathering of the saints…”.

The gospels support the teachings of the Church and confirm that the Church teaches is true. However, it is the Church that defines what the true gospel is.


“There will always be those who follow God, because the Word of God cannot be stopped.”

Men hear the gospels not from wind and air, and not from angels. They hear the gospels from people sent out by the Church. Thus, “outside of the Church there is no salvation”. The command to go preach and teach was entrusted to the Church.

In any case, I can’t afford to continue to give you the amount of time I am committed to you. Bye.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Dozie:

Thanks for your final comments. I'll gladly take the final word on this particular exchange.

I had written: “Does a practice suddenly become apostolic if we cannot identify precisely who innovated the practice?”

Dozie wrote: "It becomes very probable that you do not know what you are talking about."

Notice how, instead of answering the question, you tried to turn and make it personal? That's not a good thing, and I think it's representative of the bulk of your commentary.

But let's critique your criticism. By your standards, if someone cannot name the inventor of the microwave oven, then it becomes "very probable that [the person does] not know what [they] are talking about." That's absolutely absurd. If someone wanted to claim that people in the time of Isaac Newton had microwave ovens, we'd expect to see some evidence of that, not claims that if we don't happen to know the inventor, then we don't know what we're talking about.

The same applies here. There's no evidence of the existence of the various already-identified doctrines and practices either in Scripture or in the first and second centuries. For you to claim that they are apostolic is simply to make an assertion that cannot be supported historically. It's just as unsupported (if not as obviously ludicrous) as a claim that George Washington used a microwave oven.

Dozie wrote: "And, if you do not know much about a topic, you should have the humility not to talk as though you are an authority on the matter."

It's difficult to respond to this, because it's unclear what sort of authority you think I think I am. I know enough about history to know that those doctrines/practices are later innovations and not apostolic doctrines/practices. Humility is an important thing, but it is not a dirty sock to stuff in someone else's mouth to shut them up.

Dozie wrote: "I am glad you have conceded you don’t have a clue about the origins of Catholic Traditions."

Frankly, I suggest you learn how to read. Not only didn't I concede that (or anything like that), I think I've demonstrated that you yourself are unable to deal substantively with the topic. Instead, as illustrated here and above, you choose to insult your theological opponents, without addressing the substance of the issues.

Dozie wrote: "They may after all not be what you thought they were."

Given the weight of the evidence, it seems much more probably that they are not what you claim them to be.

Dozie had previously written: "While the Word of God is absolutely essential for the life of the Church and of the baptized, the bible is not."

I had responded: ”That's one of those assertion you seem to like to make (note your own comment about assertions above). If you could obtain the Word of God from somewhere else than the Bible, I wouldn't have a problem with it. My issue is that Christ is ascended and Pentecost is long gone. The apostles are gone, and what they are left are what Justin Martyr called "their memoirs."”

Dozie now wrote: "Of course the bible is important and that is why the Catholic Church took pains to copy and preserve the texts."

As already pointed out to you, its anachronistic to call the early Christians "the Catholic Church." Believers (even from Old Testament times) have continually copied and preserved the text of Scripture, both in the original and authentic languages, as well as in translations.

Dozie continued: "The point is that the Church functioned without your King James bible (or similar texts) for a long time."

This is essentially nonsensical. The early Christians were already copying and circulating both the Old and New Testament books as we can determine from the earliest Christian writers - both explicitly (as with Justin Martyr) and implicitly (in other cases, by the fact that they quote NT scripture).

Dozie continued: "I am not sure that when Thomas sailed to India he took a copy of King James with him."

Assuming the legend of Thomas traveling to India (whether by land or sea) is true, since India did not speak English at that time (although I cannot tell who the name of the person who first brought English to India) Thomas would have had no reason to bring an English translation with him.

Furthermore, while I cannot name even one of the translators of the King James Version, I know that particularly translation hadn't been made at that time. Nevertheless, we have good reason to infer from the translations that took place everywhere else that the gospel went, that translations into the native languages of India and China also took place. When (in modern times) evangelical missionaries came to India, what do you suppose they more or less immediately started work on (hint)?

Dozie wrote: "When Paul and Barnabas went on their missionary journeys, I am certain they had no bibles."

They didn't have completed Bibles, since it was not all written yet. They may well have had the original gospel of Luke, and they had the gift of prophecy (something neither you nor I have). The Old Testament had already been completed, though, and they would have had access to those manuscripts (either in the original Hebrew language or in Greek translation) in their journeys.

Dozie wrote: "You can’t make excuses for them because while they were foundations of the church, they were not outside or it – they were part of it."

Faith in Christ is the foundation of the church of Christ. The apostles built on that foundation (Christ the Rock), as do we today.

Dozie wrote: "For your information, the Church is the primary trustee of the Word of God."

For your information, through most of the middle ages, unbelieving Jews were the primary trustees of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. They carefully copied and preserved the text. Nevertheless, the Old Testament did not come from the Jews, but from God, just as the New Testament did not come from the Greeks and Romans but from God.

Dozie wrote: "The command to go and teach all was made to them."

The command to go and make disciples of all nations is arguably applicable to each believer in his particular station in life. In fact, I think even your church would not disagree with that interpretation.

If it is only the church as a church (i.e. in an official capacity) that should be doing so, I hope you'll lead the crusade against lay apologetics in your church.

Dozie wrote: "If you can’t trust the Church, there is no reason why you should trust yourself."

I'm reminded of the old Woody Allen joke: "Who are you going to believe, your own eyes, or me!?"

The first problem, though, is that you seem to confuse "the Church" with your church, which is merely a church.

How can you determine whether your church teaches the truth? Are you saying it is impossible? If so, you are contradicting Scripture.

Dozie had written: "Anachronism - a favorite word of the anti-catholics (Bill Webster, James White, Eric Svendsen, Mr. King). I suppose such word makes one look more intelligent than he really is."

I had responded: ”Why do you suppose you have heard that comment from each of them, and from me now as simply the latest person to mention it to you? It is the truth.”

Dozie now replied: "Lousy Protestant lingo."

I note again that labelling and insults are substituted for intelligent response.

I had written: ”Let the Early Church Fathers speak for themselves, and you will find that few if any of those doctrines I already identified for you, are not found in their lips. They don't believe what you believe.”

Dozie wrote: "First of all, I have no confidence in your identification or discussion of the early church fathers."

You don't have to have confidence in my identification or discussion of them. Look for yourself. That's what I said. Notice how you try to make even my advice to you to do learn something out to be about me.

Dozie wrote: "You do not have the background to understand them as you do not of the Catholic Church."

a) You don't know my background. You assume a number of things, some of which have already been (by your own admission) demonstrated to be false.

b) My background is totally irrelevant. The early church fathers spoke in a way that can be understood by people generally, not in some secret papal code language.

c) As noted above, they were not part of modern Roman Catholicism, and to suggest such (by your continued anachronistic labeling attempts) is to demonstrate either your ignorance of history or your lack of love for the truth (I will not judge for you, which is the case).

Dozie wrote: "Because the Church grows, the ECFs do not have to belief everything I believe, but I have to believe everything they believed. Can you say that?"

a) Here's an example of me knowing your church's view better than you do. You don't have to believe everything they believed, either. That's not what Catholicism teaches.

b) No, I only have to believe what the Word of God teaches. The ECFs have an historical value, as well as a non-binding didactic value. They do teach, but they are a lesser authority than the Word of God.

c) You claim that "the church grows" - I call it your church (and its predecessors) innovating new doctrines along the way. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The bottom line is that they did not believe those doctrines or practice those practices I identified above. Why not? Because those doctrines and practices are not apostolic.

I had written: ”Your argument here fails. The true mother asserted the weaker claim: she said to Solomon that the other woman could have the child.”

Dozie wrote: "False, even Solomon recognized the eloquence of her case in the matter; thus, she made a stronger case."

a) Your original assertion was that it was a stronger CLAIM not stronger CASE that mattered.

b) Solomon did not recognize eloquence, he recognized the truth of the matter.

c) The point of the story is to demonstrate the wisdom of Solomon, not the arguing abilities of some woman. She prevailed not because she was wise, but because Solomon was wise.

Dozie wrote: "The other lady made a weak case because, for selfishness, she was ready to destroy the baby she had no part in, just as Protestants are ready to dismiss the early Church they are no part of."

It's interesting that asking that the Early Church be permitted to speak for itself is what you call "dismiss[ing]" it. I would think refusing to let the early writers speak for themselves would be more destructive of their testimony.

Furthermore, of course, we view the early church as our brethren and fathers in the faith, not as our children. We don't try to force them to believe what we believe, and we would hope you'd have the same respect for them.

I had written: ”We humans change, yes. But the truth does not change. The Word of God does not change, because it is the Word of a God who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Dozie answered: "Why do you think there was need for the New Testament?"

If you are going to claim that your church provides additional Scriptures beyond the New Testament (thereby making your comment relevant to the conversation), we will weigh her claims in the balance, just as we did when the Gnostics made similar claims. I don't think you'd be so foolish as to do so.

Dozie continued: "In any case, the Church is a living organization, it grows, it hears and learns."

You claim that. In fact, of individual churches and of individual believers in churches, that is true. Such a fact, however, does not change the fact that the teachings and practices of the apostles are different from the teachings and practices of modern Roman Catholicism.

Dozie wrote: "Remember the promise – when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth."

That promise was fulfilled. The gift of inspiration came upon those whom God chose, and now, Scriptures are complete.

Dozie continued: "Apparently, the Church did not have all the truth on the day the promise was made."

See above. On other hand, there is delicious irony in your implicit suggestion (again, in order for your comment to be relevant) that you know more than the apostles.

Dozie wrote: "The Spirit teaches, and the Church responds according to the leading of the Spirit. Sound strange to you?"

Sounds questionable to me, whether your church is actually inspired. The council of Trent performed no signs, wonders, or miracles. The members of the second council of the Vatican did not heal people when their shadows passed over them.

I had written: “The early church was Christian. It was not "Catholic" in the way that you use that term, it was not "Orthodox" the way that the Russian Orthodox Church uses that term, and it was not unified in every respect. Even in the times of the Apostles there were divisions and parties within the church. The early church is an historic reality, not something to be shoehorned into modern denominational or sectarian categories.”

Dozie responded: "Sorry response."

Pot / kettle. Your rebuttal is just a hollow statement of your own partisan opinion. It doesn't address the substance of the matter.

Dozie wrote: "The question was, “what happened to the early Church”? What became of it? Where did it disappear to?"

It should be obvious, but the people who made up the early church died. Some of them left behind writings, writings that I suggest we should let speak for themselves (an idea that you mistakenly liken to murdering an infant).

I had written: “The apostles left us the New Testament.”

Dozie answered: "Pure nonsense."

Wow. Your opinion is strong but absurd. That the apostles left us the New Testament is something that is foundational to an understanding of Christian history. I suggest you get studying.

Dozie wrote: "First of all, how many apostles do you know for sure wrote anything? Maybe, fewer than four out of twelve."

Ok. I don't have any problem with that number. It doesn't affect what I said.

Dozie wrote: "It becomes very clear that leaving you a written testament was not a primary concern for them."

Actually, as you ought to know, providing Scripture was not their idea at all. They spoke (via Scripture) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Dozie wrote: "This is what happens when one is uprooted from Tradition."

Your argument seems to me to be an example of an argument that results from someone blinded to the truths of Scripture and history by their traditions.

Dozie wrote: "They make wild and bold arguments that sound good only to them because their arguments are manufactured in thin air. They make unreasoned arguments."

Pot / kettle. I invite anyone to look through and see how often you have made wild and bold arguments that have fallen apart once the historical evidence has been considered, and once reason was applied (one doesn't have to look far: look at your claim that the apostles leaving us the New Testament is "Pure nonsense.").

Dozie wrote: "Now, since you believe in sola scriptura, could you show from scripture that what you assert about the apostles is true."

Sola Scriptura is the practical reality that Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith. That, of course, is a very simplified explanation, but it's handy.

But to answer, your question, yes - we establish all of our doctrines from the Scriptures. Everything we label as an apostolic doctrine is actually something they taught, as evidenced by Scripture. Thus, our claims are supported not only dogmatically, but historically.

Dozie wrote: "Again, I expect you to not answer as is your manner."

Pot / kettle. Anyone can read through this dialog and see who has been answering, and who has been trying to make things personal.

I had written: “That's the way they communicated to us in the 21st century.”

Dozie wrote: "Then the majority of the apostles failed to communicate."

The only reliable source of information about any words of the apostles of any significance is in Scripture. Within Scripture, we have some Apostles speaking who were not themselves authors of Scripture (Judas, for example, has recorded words in the Gospels). That's just an historical reality. That does not mean that they didn't communicate: it means that (a) they were not inspired to write Scripture, and (b) the Spirit did not deem their words to be of sufficient importance for us to be recorded in, for example, the historical portions of Scripture.

Furthermore, there were other prophets and prophetesses. Again, though, aside from Scripture, we don't have the inspired words they spoke (though we have, for example, Agabus' words in Scripture).

Dozie wrote: "Peter, for example, communicated more with his life and death than by pen."

You claim that. To claim that Peter's live and death were more important than the Scripture he wrote seems to be a rash judgment on your part. You have no standard by which to make that determination - and I don't recall even your church teaching that.

Dozie wrote: "The ancients realized that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of faith."

The blood of martyrs is a powerful witness, but the Word is what instructs. I agree with the sentiment behind that maxim, although I would hope no one would be so foolish as to imagine it to be literal.

I had written: “The apostles themselves have gone to heaven almost two millennia ago. The Word of God that they preached is provided to us in the unchanging Word of the New Testament.”

Dozie wrote: "Funny!"

It's not funny. It's factual.

Dozie continued: "Again you ignore the primary instruction and lunch into your imagined but unbiblical idea."

The idea that the apostles died and left behind Scriptures is neither imagined nor unbiblical. To suggest otherwise is self-refuting.

Dozie wrote: "The instruction was: “go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age”. Do you get that?"

Of course I get that, it's in the Bible. I think you imagine it to mean something it doesn't ... but let's see how you continue:

Dozie continued: "Not one word about writing, let alone writing being the only way of preserving the message."

Scripture clearly explains that not everything Jesus said and did is written in the gospels. Are you sure you want to make an argument from silence?

Furthermore, do you suppose (contrary to Scripture) that the apostles wrote Scripture on their own initiative? Surely not.

If then, this command you mention makes no mention of Scripture, why on earth would you think it relevant to the topic? (Unless, again, you want to make the logically invalid argument from silence.)

I had written: “Of course, yes, we can derive the position that doctrine must be derived from Scripture, itself from Scripture. But let me turn the matter on its head for a bit."

Dozie replied: "Wait a minute! Before you run off and avoid providing the biblical texts that support your position, do you care prove that you must find a doctrine in the bible before you can do so. Citations please!"

a) I have previously provided Biblical citations for other doctrines, and you simply ignored them. Why would I waste my time giving you more?

b) You still owe me Biblical citations for the various doctrines that you promised you prove from Scripture. Why would I make this presentation so one-sided?

c) I have provided you the Biblical argument (without citations) already, anyway. I'll be happy (figuratively speaking) to provide you with citations, if some part or other of the Biblical argument is something you honestly think isn't taught by the Bible.

In case it was missed, the very short argument was, "What's the only place where we can be sure to find the Word of God? I think you know the answer."

I had written: “How else could we establish doctrine? How could we possibly demonstrate that such a way was a valid way of establishing doctrine?”

Dozie replied: "The same way doctrine was established in Acts 15."

Through a council of inspired men. Yes, if we had inspired Apostles, we could do that, as I already observered.

(recall that I wrote: "There is a way, of course. The way is for God to provide a prophet to speak for him. The pope, however, is not a prophet.")

I had written: “What's the only place where we can be sure to find the Word of God? I think you know the answer.”

Dozie answered: "In the Church – the pillar and foundation of the truth. Even your bible bears witness to the Church."

The statement that you are referring to doesn't say that we can find the Word of God in the church apart from Scripture. Of course, one can find it there, as long as Scripture is there. It also doesn't promise that churches (whether of Rome or of Corinth) will be inspired, or otherwise invariably speak the Word of God.

Without such a promise, and given both the negative examples in Scripture and common sense, it should be apparent that the only sure place we (today) can look to is the unchanging Word of God, found in two Testaments.

I had written: “It seems you assume that the perpetuation of the church is a perpetuation of an institution/organization rather than of the Gospel that defines it.”

Dozie wrote: "Of course, the Church is that kingdom built by Christ. It is a physical reality. How else would you know the church is being perpetuation? Is it by seeing angels flying around?"

Christ's kingdom is not of this earth. He said so himself. Those who are his disciples are those who follow him. There is a role for churches as a visible manifestation and aid for believers. Nevertheless, the way that we know the Gospel is being spread is by people's lives being changed by it.

Dozie wrote: "By now it should be clear to you that you have ideas that are foreign to the New Testament scriptures."

Pot / kettle. You seem almost ready to admit that you have ideas that foreign to the Bible. You want to excuse that.

On the other hand, I submit all my doctrines and practices to the authority of Scripture. If my doctrines are unscriptural, I will reform them. That's a critical dose of humility missing from a church that declares its earthly head (and assemblies of bishops) to be "infallible" under certain circumstances.

Dozie wrote: "But I am sure you assure yourself of making solid argument."

I appreciate the challenges to Biblical theology. They do help me to strengthen the Scriptural arguments.

Dozie wrote: "The bible knows nothing of unattached Christian – “do not forsake the gathering of the saints…”."

Agreed. And the "saints" there is a reference to other believers, as noted above. There is an important role for churches in the New Testament era, and no room for lone uncommunicant Christians.

Dozie wrote: "The gospels support the teachings of the Church and confirm that the Church teaches is true."

No they don't. If they did, we wouldn't have this run-around from folks like you, who cannot show us the Rosary, Purgatory, Indulgences, Papal Infallibility, Images of Christ, Irreformability of Councils, Baptism of Bells, Communication with Dead Believers, etc. etc. etc. from Scripture.

Dozie wrote: "However, it is the Church that defines what the true gospel is."

No. God does. God speaks through Scripture. He does not speak through your church.

I had written: “There will always be those who follow God, because the Word of God cannot be stopped.”

Dozie wrote: "Men hear the gospels not from wind and air, and not from angels."

Ok.

Dozie wrote: "They hear the gospels from people sent out by the Church."

The gospels are written. They can be conveyed personally or impersonally. The usual way is personally. Churches do send out people for such a purpose, but all Christians have a duty to share the message with those they know.

Dozie continued: "Thus, “outside of the Church there is no salvation”."

That's a good rule of thumb. It's not one, however, that someone who subscribes to Vatican II can assent to. According to the writings of that council, the plan of salvation includes Muslims and Jews (who are clearly outside both your church, and the church properly defined by the Gospel).

Dozie wrote: "The command to go preach and teach was entrusted to the Church."

The command was actually given to particular people at a particular time. There is applicability to all believers, and consequently to the churches.

Dozie wrote: "In any case, I can’t afford to continue to give you the amount of time I am committed to you. Bye."

Bye. I hope you'll seriously consider evaluating your church's doctrines by Scripture, to see whether what they teach is so. You'll find that it is not.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Dozie wrote: "First of all, how many apostles do you know for sure wrote anything? Maybe, fewer than four out of twelve."

Ok. I don't have any problem with that number. It doesn't affect what I said.

Dozie wrote: "It becomes very clear that leaving you a written testament was not a primary concern for them."

Actually, as you ought to know, providing Scripture was not their idea at all. They spoke (via Scripture) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


Nota bene: Turretfin, at long last, concedes that his (and James Swan's) criticism of the Church's claim to have an infallible interpretive ability necessary for the believer is incorrect. Turretinfan believes that
a) the Word of God is entirely inscripturated
b) the Scriptures were given through the Apostles and other select witnesses by the Holy Spirit
c) the Scriptures are necessary for the believer
d) and that anyone claiming a gift such as inspiration, propheticity, infallibility, or the like, must exercise it far more frequently than seems to be the case, given the proportionality of Apostles to Gospels, Apostles to Epistles, Apostles to accounts of Acts, and Apostles to Apocalypses. QED.

TF, to Dozie:
"The only reliable source of information about any words of the apostles of any significance is in Scripture. Within Scripture, we have some Apostles speaking who were not themselves authors of Scripture (Judas, for example, has recorded words in the Gospels). That's just an historical reality. That does not mean that they didn't communicate: it means that (a) they were not inspired to write Scripture, and (b) the Spirit did not deem their words to be of sufficient importance for us to be recorded in, for example, the historical portions of Scripture.

A) Prove to an hypothetical agnostic outsider that they are the Apostles (and other inspired writers') words. In order to do so, you must rely on subsequent witness. The Scriptures are infallible, but in order to maintain that what you have in your Bible is, in fact, all and only Scripture, you must accept that God providentially provided an organic and institutional means whereby they were maintained in integrity. This means that the maintenance must have been infallible or else you fall back to the position held by some Reformed (Sproul comes to mind) that you have a fallible collection of infallible works. There is no certitude there. Or you could take the alternate tack of a Metzger and maintain that inspired does not mean canonical, but that does nothing for your present position, and I think we're all relatively clear that you do not adhere to this position.

Note also that the maintenance does not indicate a position of superiority. I analogize by way of referring to the nuanced and complex discussions regarding Subordinationism. The equality of the maintenance with the equality of the initial inspiration are both divinely appointed, and the leap is not far to see that the infallible interpretation does not indicate superiority over maintenance or inspiration, since, again, they are all of divine appointment.

Dozie wrote to TF:
"Remember the promise – when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth."

TF replied:
"That promise was fulfilled. The gift of inspiration came upon those whom God chose, and now, Scriptures are complete."


It is eisegesis of the highest order to interpret the passage as indicating that Jesus intended the close of Scripture when referring to the leading by the Holy Spirit into all truth. This does not speak to the material sufficiency of Scripture. You cannot, to coin a phrase, show Jesus teaching such a thing.

Nor can you give Scriptural citations to the effect that the comprehensive content of the Word of God was inscripturated. You can give Scriptural citations that we are not to add to nor detract therefrom, and you can give citations that thus and so is Scripture, and you can give a Scriptural citation indicating that "the Man of God" (a term pregnant with meaning which can be gleaned by examining all of its antecedents in Scripture which does not coincide with "each and every believer at all times in every place") might be equipped for every good work, but you cannot demonstrate from Scripture that only Scripture is the Word of God, nor can you demonstrate that only Scripture is infallible.(Nor for that matter, can you demonstrate that being "equipped for every good work" is germane to the discussion, because your point is that what is necessary for faith is the Scriptures, and works have nothing to do with faith - either obtaining or maintaining it. Unless you're a NPPer. But you aren't. Paul was.)

Dozie wrote to TF:
"The gospels support the teachings of the Church and confirm that the Church teaches is true."

TF responded:
"No they don't. If they did, we wouldn't have this run-around from folks like you, who cannot show us the Rosary, Purgatory, Indulgences, Papal Infallibility, Images of Christ, Irreformability of Councils, Baptism of Bells, Communication with Dead Believers, etc. etc. etc. from Scripture."


As I noted in my most recent comment, you are of course stuck on the groove that your Reformed forebears waxed, namely , that everything has to be explicitly derived from Scripture. But you and I both know that the Westminster standards are perfectly clear in this area: see WCF I, vi. I quote:
' The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and the government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.'

But for the erroneous (see above) implication that Scripture must be the source, I would hardly quibble with this, but as I have noted, Scripture does not make this claim for itself, or, rather, God does not make this claim for Scripture in Scripture. In answer to your lengthy exchange with both myself and Dozie (whom God bless), I would point out to you that God just as there is no such thing as a Christian apart from the organic and institutional Church, which is the Kingdom of God, there is no such thing as the Word of God apart from the Church to which He attached Himself voluntarily at Creation and at the Recreation in the second Adam. The Scriptures are not an independent witness. They are Him speaking through His emmisaries in His Church to His Church and in which He still speaks by means He established. They are also witnesses to the nations.

This brings up another point. You said that Christ's Kingdom "is not of this earth," which is true insofar as He was speaking of its origin, but not as to its end. The entire point was to indicate that the expectation of the Jews and even of the Apostles concerning the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom was incorrect.

As to the inclusion of the nations in said restoration, it is eminently clear that the language of Vatican II to which you referred do not indicate what you are trying to get them to indicate, because the ones whom God includes in His plan of salvation, (here the monotheists of mention) will inevitably be made members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We do not know how this may happen apart from the ordinary means, but we do know that God is not bound by His ordinary means. How He chooses to bring them into union with His Son and at what point in eternity He chooses to do so is His business. It is really rather foolish to even use such overtly temporal language, as St. Paul pointed out. They were saved, they are being saved, and they will be saved. Same as us, God willing.

Since the following criticism was also originally directed at me as well, I will quote it and make a partial response.

TF said:
"You still owe me Biblical citations for the various doctrines that you promised you prove from Scripture. Why would I make this presentation so one-sided?"

The examples you gave me were crucixes, transubstantiation, papal infallibility, and prayers to/for dead people, iirc.

Of course, I needn't remind you that St. Paul preached "Christ and Him crucified," nor that he "publicly portrayed" Christ as crucified. (See what you can dig up about what the operative word, proegraphe, means in Galatians 3:1. I am not a Greek scholar of any sort, but trustworthy men both Catholic and Protestant indicate that it is more than simply "explained" or "described." It also, contextually, can't simply mean "having been written down in words to you before.")

As far as transubstantiation is concerned, I am loathe to enter into an extended discussion for the purpose of grasping your knowledge of medieval metaphysical terminology here in Mr. Swan's combox, but if you have been to my site (and you have), you will know that the philosophical and metaphysical background to this and other issues is something on which I have expended no little effort. Suffice to say that the Scriptures indicate that the Eucharist is the self-same sacrifice of Christ, and there was no symbolic sacrifice of Christ. We partake of Him. He is not illusory or invisible, nor is He solely Spirit. This is why Paul made so much of His crucufixion, for example. His presence in the breaking of the bread, as at the Emmaus road encounter, etc., is real, substantial and vivifying, because He is real, substantial and vivifying. One of Calvin's real virtues was his insistence on this. Unfortunately, he misunderstood the means of reception for a variety of reasons. Calvin unwittingly fell prey to an error due insufficiently comprehending Chalcedonian orthodox Christology. I don't wish to expend much effort on this point here. As I said, I'm, working on a batch of original material, but I ask your forebearance as it is painstaking work.

In re: papal infallibility, this is ground well-trod. Jesus' ministry was centered around His self-identification as the anointed heir of David in his roles as King and Priest. The Davidic, Solomonic Kingdom has ample Scriptural description and historical consequences such that I feel confident in referring you to the appointment of 12 stewards (plus one for the King's territory) who served the King in 1 Kings 4, and to Isaiah's words in chapter 22 of his prophecy (concerning the chief steward and the office of the keys). The clear refernce to these (and more) by our Lord in Matthew 16, Luke 22, Acts 1 (and especially for our pourposes here, vv 6-8 and vv 20-26), etc., is beyond question. The continuation of the Church He built (and which He identified as His Kingdom) is likewise beyond question. It beggars belief to suggest that the Church was indwelt by the Holy Spirit at its inception as indicated by various gifts including the possession of infallible truth but that She was thereafter left bereft of such indwelling. I realize you have explicitly maintained that believers have the Holy Spirit, but you have indicated that the same Holy Spirit Who could and did lead into all truth decided to completely remove any semblance of infallibility or miraculous evidence of His presence. I reiterate my incredulity at the dichotomy in the operation of the Holy Spirit in your arrangement. You admit He inspired men to an infallible exercise of an infallible gift but deny that He could or did bequeath an infallible exercise of a charism designed to maintain correct adherence to that aforementioned gift. This is arbitrary and goes against the teaching of Scripture itself in the promises God made about His Church. Individual errors which do not fit all the criteria for infallibility do not negate it. Peccability does not negate it. Sparse application does not negate it. None of the objections you raise negate it. And, worse for you, your regula fide is inoperable because of the self-defeating nature which has already been pointed out to you numerous times.

As to prayers to/for dead people, one Scriptural example will suffice: St. Paul's prayer for Onesiphorus and the prayer for his household in 2 Timothy 1:16-18. This passage indicates that Onesiphorus has passed (when coupled with 4:9, doubly so.) St. Paul prays for him. QED.

We'd like our Scripture reference(s) which teach that all of the Word of God was inscripturated now, please.

Turretinfan said...

MB wrote: "Nota bene: Turretfin, [sic] at long last, concedes that his (and James Swan's) criticism of the Church's claim to have an infallible interpretive ability necessary for the believer is incorrect."

Dude, that's not what I said. May I suggest that you read more carefully.

MB: "Turretinfan believes that
a) the Word of God is entirely inscripturated
b) the Scriptures were given through the Apostles and other select witnesses by the Holy Spirit
c) the Scriptures are necessary for the believer
d) and that anyone claiming a gift such as inspiration, propheticity, [sic] infallibility, or the like, must exercise it far more frequently than seems to be the case, given the proportionality of Apostles to Gospels, Apostles to Epistles, Apostles to accounts of Acts, and Apostles to Apocalypses. QED."

Presumably this is supposed to be some sort of parody. I'm not amused. We simply have very little record of the Apostles exercise of their gifts. I suppose MB is trying to draw some sort of parallel between my criticism of the Vatican’s obviously bogus claim to be an infallible interpreter of Scripture and the small number of infallible books. The problem with the parallelism is that we’re quite willing to accept that Scripture suffices. If the Vatican ever admitted that its revelation sufficed, the continued need for it to serve as an infallible interpreter would go away.

MB suggests that to prove an hypothetical agnostic outsider that the words of the Bible are the Apostles’ words, I’d have to rely on subsequent witnesses. I don’t see this as much of a problem. There are a number of reasons why it is not a problem, but the chief one is that the hypothetical agnostic is an epistemic outsider. He lacks common ground. The idea that I need to prove that Scripture is Scripture to such a person is not something I accept.

MB misleadingly asserts that “It is eisegesis of the highest order to interpret the passage as indicating that Jesus intended the close of Scripture when referring to the leading by the Holy Spirit into all truth. This does not speak to the material sufficiency of Scripture. You cannot, to coin a phrase, show Jesus teaching such a thing.”

In fact, of course, MB overlooks the fact that I did not bring up the passage to prove that (and his failure to note such a fact is what makes his comment misleading), I merely demonstrated that the passage was consistent with that. There’s a world of difference. On the other hand, Dozie brought up the passage – and brought it up to prove something from it that cannot be proved from it.

MB makes claims that I cannot demonstrate exhaustive inscripturation of the Word of God. Of course, it’s not my duty to do so. That’s not to say, of course, that it cannot be done – simply that such a task is entirely unnecessary. The burden is always on the proponent of revelation, as Scripture itself indicates.

MB seems to admit that there are many doctrines and practices of Catholicism that cannot be demonstrated to be apostolic or Christian from Scripture. That doesn’t phase him, apparently because he thinks I must prove to him that his church doesn’t have authority to make stuff up. That’s already addressed above. The proponent of revelation has the burden.

Whether or not there is some other new Word of God, the Vatican is not such a voice. Its testimony contravenes Scriptura, particularly with respect to the Gospel. Thus, we can reject its claims to be the voice of God on Earth as false.

MB provides his interpretation of the words of Vatican II, but if you read what Vatican II actually says about how the plan of salvation includes Jews and Muslims as such, it does not state that “the ones whom God includes in His plan of salvation, (here the monotheists of mention) will inevitably be made members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.” Undoubtedly there is some ambiguity in what is said (creating a need for an infallible interpreter of the infallible interpreter ad nauseum), but a significant number of members of MB’s church have asserted that it means that they can be saved without becoming members of MB’s church – in this life at least.

After some mildly interesting claims to try to derive various papist practices and doctrines from Scripture, MB asserts: “We'd like our Scripture reference(s) which teach that all of the Word of God was inscripturated now, please.”

Of course, that issue is addressed above – at least in part. I’d be happy to leave it at that, and simply indicate that the view of complete inscripturation is a practical one, not a dogmatic one: there have been no newcomers that have exhibited inspiration, without definitively shutting the door against God providing new revelation in the future.

In fact, of course, the usual prooftexts are ones that MB already brought up in his post. They don’t satisfy him, but he knows what they are. The closing words of Revelation would probably one of the more unavoidable examples. But MB won’t accept, it would seem, that they mean anything beyond the idea that someone shouldn’t add something to the Revelation of John.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Since his is the (at this point) penultimate post, I shall simply point out TF's total refusal to defend his regula fide, and he so refuses because he cannot. Sola scriptura, to remind those still reading this, holds that the sole infallible rule of faith for determining matters of faith and praxis is Scripture itself. This necessarily entails that there must be a teaching in that rule of faith which is exclusively self-referential. To state it more plainly, Scripture has to say that only Scripture is useful for determining faith and morals. It must say that it contains everything by which Christians devise doctrine (which also informs practice) with such sufficiency that nothing else is necessary or possible. I do not misunderstand the subtle distinction made between sola scriptura and solo scriptura, either. Mathison's book has a nice discussion on the distinction, and Oberman is helpful as well; the fact remains that the usefulness of ecclesial authorities is admitted but then quickly denigrated to the point of rendering it moot. (See especially TF's comments about conscience and it's role in superceding what any of those ecclesial authorities might variously say about Scripture. I remind my interlocutor about the necessity of having a competent conscience, one that is properly formed. He presumably agrees, as I agree with Him that the conscience is a divine institution; be that as it may, it strikes me as a bit funny that a Reformed man like TF makes so much of conscience while out of the other side of his mouth makes much of the Dordtian definition of total depravity. Distinction between depravity in fallen man and depravity in redeemed man has never been Reformedom's strong suit.)

He leaves with dismissive remarks about the citations I gave him and the brief exposition I provided. He leaves, but not without passing shots which attempt once again to shift a burden. Heretics deny, almost exclusively. They are, to borrow a phrase, almost alwaysright in what they affirm, they are almost always wrong in what they deny. TF denies the authority of the Church. He denies he has a burden to prove he is not bound to Her. He deflects by using lofty language claiming to be more Catholic than the Church, and he deflects actual arguments while refusing to make a positive case for the central tenet of his faith. Perhaps he'll actually surprise me yet.

Turretinfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

MB claims: "To state it more plainly, Scripture has to say that only Scripture is useful for determining faith and morals."

I've already demonstrated why that's not correct.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

No, you haven't.

Mike Burgess said...

See, you have a burden now. You made an assertion that you demonstrated something and I denied you did. The burden is clearly on you, right? I'd be laughed out of logic 101 if I made that assertion, but that's precisely what the adherent of sola scriptura does when he assails the teaching of the Church but attempts to adhere to a portion of the Church's teaching, namely the content and authenticity of Scripture. the recognition of the canon was a function of God's providence in the (rather late) course of His activity in the new Church He founded on Christ and also on Peter and the other Apostles and the faith of Peter and the faith of the Apostles. (Because they are all the rock, you see. There isn't a mutually exclusive thing going on there.)

And even funnier is the fact that I you, in one breath, say you can do the equivalent of naming all the copious scripture passages which prove Scripture's supreme and uniquely infallible sufficiency with one hand tied behind your back, and in the next, rely on my post wherein I illustrate the futility of using certain (as you call them) prooftexts, as if they satisfy the claim which has to be made for sola scriptura to function. Even one would do, and the one attempt I can remember to do so falls miserably flat, as I also illustrated.

So, despite what you had to say about St. John's Apocalypse and the adjuration of the angel in Revelation 22, you have yet to show how your rule of faith can possibly be self-defeating and yet function, much less how a fallible collection of anything can be infallible. But to head you off at the pass, which "book of prophecy" is it in Rev. 22? How do you know? If it is not identical with the whole of canonical Scriptures, then your attempt to utilize it in defense of sola scriptura is woefully misguided. I suppose you could make the novel argument that it also contained St. John's yet-to-be-penned tome, and I couldn't really take you to tsk since time is irrelevant when St. John received the "book of prophecy" to which the admonishment applied, but I suspect you will stop short of doing so since there is no such explicit self-identification there in Revelation.

Interestingly, though, I would wager that we both hold that there are those who have added to and/or detracted from the words therein, which brings up the substance of the warnings. "If anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book," it says, and yet such a one cannot have had a share to begin with in your scheme, if memory serves. ONce given, it is irrevocable, according to TULIP. Or was that verse a rhetorical device? Careful how you answer...

Turretinfan said...

Mike,

You wrote: "No, you haven't."

I answer: Yes, I have.

Let me try to make this clear to you:

The burden of proof is on the proponent, not the opponent. Thus, if you want to claim that your church has divine inspiration, that burden is on you - not on me to prove contrariwise.

I find myself in the position of rejecting the human innovations of your church.

The most startling being the contrast between the confession of Pius IX, which includes the declaration: "This true catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, is what I shall steadfastly maintain and confess, by the help of God, in all its completeness and purity until my dying breath, and I shall do my best to ensure that all others do the same. This is what I, the same Pius, promise, vow and swear. So help me God and these holy gospels of God."

This declaration is the traditional view of Catholicism. It is legalistic, in that there is truly no requirement to believe all the articles that make up what P9 called the "true catholic faith" in order to be saved. Indeed, some of the articles (such as Trent's definition of justification, the ridiculous fantasy of transubstantiation, or the idolatry of the idea of showing honor and reverence to purported images of Christ) are contrary to Scripture.

Vatican II, however, errs in the opposite extreme stating: "But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind."

The idea that the Muslims, who deny Christ, worship the one true God (or can be saved as Muslims) is so clearly contrary to the Word of God, as to demonstrate that the spirit that moved Vatican II is not the Holy Spirit, even if one will be able to stomach that spirit that attempted to impose the innovations that Vatican I attempted to impose.

That, sir, is enough of a demonstration. You, as a member of your church, are bound not to accept any position that conflicts with the teachings of your church. That prevents you from seriously considering what the Scripture has to say, and provides me with an excellent reason not to present a Scriptural argument that you will simply reject because it disagrees with your church.

Ask yourself this question: are you really willing to consider whether your church's teaching that one can worship the Creator while denying Christ is true?

And if so, how will you go about it? How could you possibly know whether the most recent claims of your church are false? Even if Mary were added as a fourth member of the Trinity, would you be able to stand up and say, "No, that's wrong?" Or is whatever your church does above your ability to test and see whether it is the true word of God or an anti-Christ.

I don't need your answers here. I hope that they will stir your conscience to a recognition of the absurdity of putting your trust in a human institution, even one that you believe is historically linked back to the apostles.

-TurretinFan

Rhology said...

The burden of proof is on the proponent, not the opponent.

Unless Burgess would like to step out and repudiate the idea that he also believes the Scr to be theopneustos, God's self-revelation to mankind, and therefore infallible and inerrant. Maybe then he'd have a point (and, of course, a host of other, new problems).

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"Let me try to make this clear to you:

The burden of proof is on the proponent, not the opponent. Thus, if you want to claim that your church has divine inspiration, that burden is on you - not on me to prove contrariwise.

I find myself in the position of rejecting the human innovations of your church."

I respond:
Let me try to make this clear to you.

The burden is on the one who asserts revelation, and the Catholic Church has met its burden many times over to the world, to naysayers, to schismatics and heretics. The content of that revelation is, at least partially included in the content of Sacred Scripture. Just as the oracles of God were entrusted to the Jews in the Old Testament and intertestamental period, so too were the oracles of God entrusted to the Church in the New Testament era. The Church is identified both in those Scriptures and through historical witnesses as being an institutional structure which has a hierarchical structure of office holders who were endowed with charisms, some of which were transferred to the successors of the initial group of office holders, as Scripture testifies in sundry places.

The office holders in the incipiency of the Church exercised their office of interpreting Scripture infallibly and gave this conciliar approach as a model for their successors to follow, and we see this reflected historically many times subsequently. The primacy of the Petrine office is also similarly attested to in Scripture and in subsequent history as recorded in the writings extant from many of the earliest office holders themselves reflecting their own understanding of their office and the structure, mission, and nature of the Church.

The revelation which the proponent has a burden to prove also has as a constituent element the function of those officeholders in the ministry of the keys. The exegesis of the passages and concomitant historical study leave no room for doubt about the implications of this office.

You have repeated your assertion that the successors of the officeholders have exhibited a startling lack of exercise of one aspect of the office they claim. You criticize the dearth of pronouncements by means of a ratio of Popes to books of Scripture, etc. You make it quite plain that, in your view, this paucity is indicative of a lack of such an ability. When it is pointed out to you that you fall prey to the criticism in a remarkably similar vein, you scoff. Stated another way, you make precisely the assertion that your opponents make with regard to infallibile pronouncements when you stated that the Holy Spirit moved the inspired men to write Scripture when and as frequently as He saw fit, and that the relatively small number of infallible Apostles who left any record of such infallibility is of no concern because what's important is that there is some Scripture from them, and it is exactly as much as Hod intended. This, simply, is the position of the Church with regard to infallible pronouncements: there are as many as He has seen fit to give so far. Since history is not yet at an end, and since Christ promised (among many other things) that He would be with His Church until the end of the age, the teaching function (that aspect of making disciples) continues and is the work of the Spirit as He moves men to will and to do.

The priesthood which all believers have received is a participation on the Priesthood of Christ, but Scripture tells us that it is not of the same fulness as that bestowed on those ordained to the episcopacy or diaconate, and the chronologically immediate delegation of the order of priest as an authorized sacerdotal officiant (probably while some Apostles were still alive and certainly while some of their contemporaries were alive) all speak to the continuation of the traditioning of the revelation which is Her burden to prove, demonstrate, or otherwise carry, regardless of the verbiage used.

I am fully cognizant that my prose is often prolix and it can sometimes take a couple or three reads to wrap one's head around my sentences, but I have been painstaking in these efforts to show exactly that I fully accept the burden and have provided you with some preliminary defenses of doctrines and practices which stem from the divinely instituted and maintained Church to which and for which He gave Himself.

You, on the other hand, have made wild accusations based on ignorance or malice but have not backed them up except to say "they're not Scriptural, they're not Scriptural, they're not Scriptural." You sometimes come close to acknowledging that the Scriptural standard you rely upon is one aspect flowing out of the foundation lain on the Apostles and handed on through their successors, but you also hold that those Scriptures give you license to sit in judgment of your ancestors in the faith who held the teaching office and taught distinctively and definitively doctrines and practices at the same time they are your sole link to the Scriptures. Whitewashing history by heaving the "anachronism" grenade when confronted with copious evidence to that effect from ECFs, local councils, regional synods, ecumenical councils, etc., doesn't serve you well, especially when your only retort is "let them be what they are, they certainly aren't Catholic, they hold to sola scriptura," etc. etc. etc. Nevermind that we do, they were, and they didn't, etc. etc. etc.

And once - just once - I'd like to see one of you engage the challenge to verify sola scriptura from Scripture instead of retreating to the "why should I bother?" fallback excuse. Man up. Who cares if you have a burden or not? Defend it. I have been doing so with my side, to the best of my meager abilities. You haven't even attempted to examine my arguments. You called them "mildly interesting" at one point, but you've expended a fair amount of energy and time on this thread alone without doing anything other than tell me to read more carefully, deny things gratuitously, assert things gratuitously, and call me a liar, oh, and play the victim because other kids didn't play nice in the sandbox by "trying to make things personal" for poor, anonymous Turretinfan.

Mike Burgess said...

Correction by addendum of inadvertant exclusion:

"...but you also hold that those Scriptures give you license to sit in judgment of your ancestors in the faith who held the teaching office and taught distinctively and definitively doctrines and practices [with which you take issue (allegedly from Scripture)] at the same time they are your sole link to the Scriptures."

Turretinfan said...

MB:

You claimed: "call me a liar."

Please identify where I called you a liar. If you cannot, please withdrawn your assertion.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Oh, I will happily withdraw the word "liar," and replace it with "misleads" "dishonest" if you prefer exactitude here, TF. You're a peach. Such a stickler for precision when it suits you. Surely you won't deny that those two (among one or two others I can't immediately recall) were yours. Nor that they mean "liar."

Is that the sum total of your response? Good grief.

Turretinfan said...

MB:

First of all, I appreciate your willingness to admit you overstretched the point.

As far as responses to your discussion of Sola Scriptura versus Scripture plus the Tradition of your church, that's the sum total of my response (for now and in this place)..

I just haven't seen anything new from you that would justify (or necessitate) my providing additional responses to your same incorrect claims that somehow your church gets effectively to claim inspiration without their claims being tested by examination of Scripture.

The closest you come (that I saw) was your assertion: "... the Catholic Church has met its burden many times over to the world, to naysayers, to schismatics and heretics." This statement of your opinion is in some ways parallel to my rebuttal that the Reformation has demonstrated over and over again that your church sets itself against the Gospel of Christ.

What differentiates the two is that I have provided at least one concrete example of how your church has rejected not only its historic roots but the Gospel of Christ (specifically the implicit denial that salvation can occur outside the "Catholic faith" as defined by Pious IX.

Since it seems you are unwilling to reproduce those burden-meeting activities that you believe your church has performed, even though I've provided the counter-demonstrations, I think there is nothing further that needs to be said on the issue of epistemology.

That is to say, we have not been given a reason to consider the words of your church to be the Word of God, and consequently we simply consider her many innovations human innovations, rather than divine innovations.

Now, as I mentioned before (in a way that apparently hurt your feelings, which wasn't my intent) I found some of your comments on specific innovations to be of interest (though they were not the main topic under discussion). I have noted what they were, both to think them over and to consider providing a reply (probably via my own blog, rather than in this comment box). You seemed to suggest that they might be sort of first draft or initial thoughts on the subject. If you finalize them further let me know, as I would want my response on those issues to be to the best arguments and explanations you have, and not to something off the cuff.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

TF:
"First of all, I appreciate your willingness to admit you overstretched the point."

Well, I just pointed out that I made an imprecise word choice, but I still think it's a distinction without a difference. It's insignificant.

TF:
"I just haven't seen anything new from you that would justify (or necessitate) my providing additional responses to your same incorrect claims that somehow your church gets effectively to claim inspiration without their claims being tested by examination of Scripture.

The closest you come (that I saw) was your assertion: "... the Catholic Church has met its burden many times over to the world, to naysayers, to schismatics and heretics." This statement of your opinion is in some ways parallel to my rebuttal that the Reformation has demonstrated over and over again that your church sets itself against the Gospel of Christ."

Initially, I would say that this is because I am preparing the bulk of my positive presentation for another venue, not this combox. A response isn't necessary but I would have thought you would proffer at least something as to your positive presentation, if indeed you have one and wish to publish it so as to avoid conveying the inability to do so for which you erroneously criticize the Church.

Secondarily, you are incorrect as to your assertion that the Church's claims are above examination by Scripture; as I stated explicitly, there are Scriptures aplenty by which the claims can be verified, but the Scriptures themselves leave no room for the idea that only the Scriptures are the standard by which the claims may be examined and verified. You are asking them to do more than they themselves provide for. To explicitly anticipate the usual objection, this does not mean that they are not usually helpful and often necessary. Nor does it mean that anything actually (and not just apparently) contrary to them is permissible. I referred to WCF I, vi to make the point that your own standards allow for such a position.

Thirdly, I need to take issue with your imprecise use of "inspiration" regarding the areas outside of the direct composition of Scripture we are discussing. I would ask that if you're going to criticize my position, criticize it, not something of your own devising. I am unaware of any official Magisterial teaching which applies that technical term in the way you did, even considering your qualifier "effectively."

Lastly, I gave (admittedly very limited) illustrations of how less than a handful of doctrines and practices you reject are not contrary to the Gospel or to Scripture. I didn't have much to go on because you never explicated your specific objections to any of them. (By the way, I'm not sure why you think my feelings were hurt, but rest assured I have pretty thick skin. I don't at all appreciate anyone calling my veracity or integrity into question as you have done, but your description of my meager efforts didn't bother me at all.) You haven't said what exactly is contrary to the Gospel about transubstantiation. You haven't said what's contrary to the Gospel about veneration of saints and angels or icons. You haven't said what the problem with crucifixes is, nor with papal primacy. I suspect a lack of sufficient knowledge about these and other topics (especially if the main source of your information is polemical material directed against them.)

That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask you: I'm fairly certain I remember you stating you had a collection of the works of St. Robert Bellarmine. Could you give me an ISBN or the publisher's information please?

TF:
The most startling being the contrast between the confession of Pius IX, which includes the declaration: "This true catholic faith, outside of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, is what I shall steadfastly maintain and confess, by the help of God, in all its completeness and purity until my dying breath, and I shall do my best to ensure that all others do the same. This is what I, the same Pius, promise, vow and swear. So help me God and these holy gospels of God."

This declaration is the traditional view of Catholicism. It is legalistic, in that there is truly no requirement to believe all the articles that make up what P9 called the "true catholic faith" in order to be saved. Indeed, some of the articles (such as Trent's definition of justification, the ridiculous fantasy of transubstantiation, or the idolatry of the idea of showing honor and reverence to purported images of Christ) are contrary to Scripture.

Vatican II, however, errs in the opposite extreme stating: "But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind."



Perhaps you are unaware of Pius IX's address on this issue from December of 1854. In this audience he said "We must hold as of the faith, that out of the Apostolic Roman Church there is no salvation; that she is the only ark of safety, and whosoever is not in her perishes in the deluge; we must also, on the other hand, recognize with certainty that those who are invincible in ignorance of the true religion are not guilty for this in the eyes of the Lord. And who would presume to mark out the limits of this ignorance according to the character and diversity of peoples, countries, minds and the rest?" and his encyclical Quanto Conficiamur from August of 1863 which says "It is known to us and to you that those who are in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion, but who observe carefully the natural law, and the precepts graven by God upon the hearts of all men, and who being disposed to obey God lead an honest and upright life, may, aided by the light of divine grace, attain to eternal life; for God who sees clearly, searches and knows the heart, the disposition, the thoughts and intentions of each, in His supreme mercy and goodness by no means permits that anyone suffer eternal punishment, who has not of his own free will fallen into sin."

Compare this and you will see that the fathers of Vatican II were consistent with Tradition and Pius IX (both of which are also consistent with Scripture, and I would refer to my previous discussion of Acts and so forth in other places including comboxes here).

TF:
"Since it seems you are unwilling to reproduce those burden-meeting activities that you believe your church has performed, even though I've provided the counter-demonstrations, I think there is nothing further that needs to be said on the issue of epistemology."

I already told you, I'm composing a lot of original material with citations and documented references for my own site. I'm far from unwilling. Retraction, please. You've provided counter-demonstrations? When? I saw a lot of bare assertions (as mentioned ad nauseam).

As has been pointed out, you can consider the developments innovations inasmuch as you consider the full explication of the Trinity, Chalcedonian Christology, the canon of Scripture, Augustinian predestinarianism (which is not double predestination, mind you), etc. etc. etc. innovations and traditions of men as well. They were done by the same men at the same times.

Turretinfan said...

MB,

Thanks for the dialog here. I hope you'll take to heart the points I've raised, and I'll certainly be mulling over (and looking forward to the remainder) what you said.

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

I cut this off somehow.

TF:
"You seemed to suggest that they might be sort of first draft or initial thoughts on the subject. If you finalize them further let me know, as I would want my response on those issues to be to the best arguments and explanations you have, and not to something off the cuff."

It was indeed. You, again, don't need to respond to my points but I was actually asking for a response which would at least initially provide a positive presentation of the Scriptural defense of sola Scriptura. As indicated, I've read what are some of the best Reformed and Lutheran works on the matter and if you want to rest on them, let me know. Suffice to say I found them wanting and can explain why. (In fact, I can reiterate it succinctly: there is no Scripture which says Scripture is sufficient, and despite your objection, there must be for that rule of faith to function.)

Mike Burgess said...

Turretinfan,
You're welcome, and likewise. As I said, I'll email you to let you know when I post pieces, unless you don't want me to. I have considered everything you've said and then some many times over the years. You know where I've ended, and not for lack of investigation.

God bless.

Turretinfan said...

MB (as to your comment about wanting to get a more detailed defense of Sola Scriptura from me): At some point the solution to that issue might be for us to debate the subject of sola scriptura in some sort of written format. I've completed one such debate, and am currently engaged in a second. That would presumably provide a more structured format and readable location than in a practically unrelated combox.

I have no idea whether written debates are your cup of tea, or whether you would feel yourself inclined toward that sort of activity.

In any event, I appreciate your interest in continued discussion on these issues (whether or not by the format of a written debate).

-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

Do let me know about the Bellarmine, too.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

I think that even asking for an infallible interpretation of Scripture is strong evidence that Protestants are hopelessly confused over the doctrine and Scripture itself.

Turretinfan said...

LOL:

I assume that's a joke?

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

No, take it as it is written. No joke meant at all. Sorry that you Protestants are so limited by sectarian chaos that you need an infallible definition of what the word 'is' is.

Frankly, as a Catholic I don't even need the Bible. I have the Church and the Sacraments.

Turretinfan said...

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ himself.” - Jerome, Prologue to Commentary on Isaiah.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

Jerome was right in so far as his comments are consistent with the 'free access' doctrine of the Church [CCC 131ff]. The catechism even quotes him in context[CCC 133].

Nevertheless, the possession of a book and the constant bickering of the Protestants are not what St. Jerome had in mind at all.

Show me where, in St. Jerome's mind, the possession of a book was more of a priority than entering into the life of our Catholic Church?

Indeed, the study of the sacred page is the soul of theology [CCC 132] but nowhere does the Church teach that even ignorance of the Writ is grounds for spiritual condemnation. If I never read the Bible, yet lived in Christ's Church I would still be on solid ground in this life and the next.

Like I intimated already, if a Catholic had a choice between a copy of the Bible to read or the Visible Church and the Sacraments the choice wouldn't be hard. Life outside the Church is death.

Turretinfan said...

You're talking about the same Jerome that bickered so much and who translated the Bible into the vulgar tongue?

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

Is that all you have? I expected a little more effort from a disciple of James White. So much for holding my breath.

So, translating the Bible into Latin is bickering? I guess you'd have to agree that the Greek MSS of the Gospels were no more than bickering with the Aramaic originals, right?

By the way, you are the one who brought Jerome into this. You are trying to refute your own witness.

Turretinfan said...

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you're unaware of Jerome's bickering ways. If you don't need the Bible, I suppose you don't need the fathers either, eh?

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

Please improve on your novice tactics a little. You are making James White look like an amateur. I can forgive your immature view of Scripture, but at least put together a better refutation of my points. Right now you appear to be a rather inexperienced dilettante wearing the rags of a dirty party dress borrowed from a larger sibling.

Why is it that you Calvinists have to recreate the Catholic Fathers into imaginary Protestants? No Catholic underestimates the value of St. Jerome, but least we forget, you are the one who cited him, not me. Important to point out, Jerome was very prone to ascetism. Still, I suppose you would only associate yourself with him and his writings to the the degree that he can be recaste into the mold of a secret proto-Calvinist?

As I have implied, and will now equivocally state in order to leave no room for doubt, life within the Church does not require reading Jerome, the Fathers or the Bible. Neverhteless, at every Mass the Bible is read, the Fathers are discussed and the The Body is shared with the body in Sacramental Communion with God.

Turretinfan said...

What points? Your comments are strings of nonsense riddled with insults.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

I haven't thrown any harder elbows at you than you have at the Church. Starting with, 'What, the Golden Compass didn't make the list' and continuing from there. Let's survey a few more:

TF:
The idea that publishing a "great movies" list is a waste of time is only amusing because of the obvious insignificance of such a list as compared with the infallible interpretation of a single verse of Scripture'.

LL:
A waste of time to WHO? So now the 'refrormers' are deciding what is to be the priority in a Church they loathe? I find you petty and trite. The Church's teaching are clear enough to me, so I find it laughable that you are so confused and easily befuddled by our doctrines. A verse by verse declaration is absurd. Get one from James White.

Also, a 'great movies list' is a waste of time? Tell that to James White, who by the way, has a 'great books list' and and recommends reading particular selections ALL THE TIME!

Calling my posts 'strings of nonsense' is no less than an admission of defeat. I can cover more, but it may be you who are a waste of time.

Turretinfan said...

I realize that when you think your church is "the Church" you can start to take criticisms of her as a personal insult. That doesn't justify your position, but it makes it understandable.

Perhaps I've overstated the matter. Perhaps your comments are more than just nonsense laced with insults. Unfortunately, all the insults and nonsense are concealing the vital points that you think "defeat" our position.

Can you try to state concisely (without spouting nonsense or flaming Dr. White) what point or point you think you've made?

I'd be happy to deal with your points if you actually have points ...

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

Reading that you are calling for a verse by verse declaration is the topic. In this thread, you have written:

'...this is not the Lord speaking, but a corrupt church speaking: not "the Magisterium" but simply a magisterium'.

It never ceases to amaze Catholics that you call for a verse by verse interpretation from a 'corrupt Church' that you would have nothing to do with.

Why don't you give me an example of 'nonsense' that I have spouted?

James White 'flames' everyone who disagrees with him, so please don't play the victim here. I am way too familiar with your teacher and 'Whitism'.

To recap:

[1] As a Catholic I need no book in my salvific experience and reading the Bible is not required for redemption, though is strongly recommended.

[2] You pretended to be familiar with St. Jerome and overlooked his ascetic practices when you cited him.

[3] I made you look silly by pointing out that your spiritual boss has recommended a great many books, but you ridicule the Church for having a list of good movies!

That about does it.

Turretinfan said...

"It never ceases to amaze Catholics that you call for a verse by verse interpretation from a 'corrupt Church' that you would have nothing to do with."

Perhaps that is because they don't understand the criticism. Do you think that you understand the criticism? If so, could you state what the criticism is?

You asked for an example of nonsense from yourself. Here's one: "I guess you'd have to agree that the Greek MSS of the Gospels were no more than bickering with the Aramaic originals, right?"

As to your numbered points:

1) Christians also don't think reading the Bible is an absolutely necessary thing for salvation.

2) It's interesting that you leap to the conclusion that I pretend familiarity with Jerome, but it is irrelevant that I didn't mention his ascetic tendencies here (I have mentioned them elsewhere, where that was relevant).

3) My friend Dr. White doesn't claim to have the ability to infallibly interpret Scripture. If he did, I'd take him task for spending time doing other things.

-TurretinFan

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

You accused Jerome of bickering for his writings and works, so I pointed out the obvious implication to the Greek Gospel MSS. Deeply sorry if that popped your ears to hard.

I am the Christian here. You are a 'Calvanist'. You indeed stated in no uncertain terms that the existence of a book was a greater importance than the Visible Church established by Christ. Sounds like gnosticsim to me!

You jumped to fast and cited Jerome to try to trump my post about the centrality of the Catholic Church over the importance of a book. Then you got slammed.

Again you rely on throwing boney elbows rather than honestly presenting even YOUR OWN worldview. To wit, if James White claimed infallible power to interpret the Bible you'd most likely call him a 'Popist copycat' and demand his resignation and excommunication, not set him to the task of making declarations. Or, maybe you ARE so devoted to 'Whitism' that you await his every command...?

Turretinfan said...

You tried to draw a distinction between Jerome and the "constant bickering" of "Protestants." You got "slammed" (to borrow your colorful language) when it turned out that Jerome himself was fond of bickering.

If you are going to try to draw a distinction between Christian and Calvinist (a distinction most of your co-religionists don't make), you might at least learn the right spelling first.

Thanks for demonstrating for us that you are as unfamiliar with Gnosticism as you are with Calvinism.

You stated: "Frankly, as a Catholic I don't even need the Bible." I pointed out what Jerome would have told you. You didn't like that, but that doesn't surprise me.

You've drawn a false dichotomy with respect to Dr. White. My insisting that he actually use his supposed infallibility would, of course, come after calling him to repentance and pressing for his excommunication if he were unrepentant.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

Let's cover what you wrote, not what you heard the voice in your head say while you were typing:

[1] You wrote earlier, 'Christians also...' implying that Catholics are not. I used your own language in my rebuttal. Sorry if that 'put a needle to it'.

[2] You brought in Jerome much earlier and I placed his comments in context [CCC 132], but let me make this easier for you. Can you tell me where St. Jerome called for a verse-by-verse declaration on Scripture, as you now are? Unless you can, then it is you who took his words out of context and tried in vain to make him into a Calvanist/Whitist.

[3] You, like the docetist whom your sect springs from, deny the Real Presence. So, yeah, you're a gnostic focused on nothing more than the 'gnosis' rather than the experience of Eucharist Unity.

[4] You also wrote, 'My friend Dr. White doesn't claim to have the ability to infallibly interpret Scripture. If he did, I'd take him task for spending time doing other things'.

Now you incorporate my rebuttal into a new and improved post on the subject:

'You've drawn a false dichotomy with respect to Dr. White. My insisting that he actually use his supposed infallibility would, of course, come after calling him to repentance and pressing for his excommunication if he were unrepentant'.

[4] Jerome would have repudiated his own comments if he read how you tried to use them today. If given the choice between the Scripture and the Church, which do you think he would have kept?

Turretinfan said...

1) You inferred what you inferred. What was implied is that you are not a Christian. That's based on your cavalier attitude toward Scripture, something that is not a common trait to all those who profess your religion.

2)
a) The CCC is not the context of Jerome, except if Jerome was time lord from Dr. Who.

b) Jerome wasn't faced with the salad of errors that we call Roman Catholicism. Therefore, he was not in a position to request that "the Magisterium" demonstrate it's supposed ability by actually doing what it claims it can do.

3) You need to learn more both about Calvinism and Docetism. Your unsupported assertion doesn't match the facts.

4) (first of your two points labeled "4") Is there a point to your comments?

5) (second of your two points labeled "4") I know how fond of Scriptures Jerome was, but (as noted above) Jerome never got the chance to observe Roman Catholicism (much less pick between that and the Bible). As Pastor King points out in this post, however, one would expect Jerome to side with Scripture over the bishop of Rome, if he thought the two were in conflict.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

You see, rather than make subtle inuendo like you do, I come right out and say it. I am the Christian and you are the slanderer whose sect is based on the lunacy of a medieval heretic. To the point now:

[1] I read the Scripture as much as any docetist/whitist/calvinist. Still, the Scripture matters LESS than the Church and Jerome would agree with me. So would the Apsotles who didn't even possess what you and I call the Bible.

[2]What Jerome WAS faced with was heresy and division, but unlike you, he was Christian enough to appeal to Rome for guidance. He could very well have made the same mistkes the Church in the east made by not following Roman primacy, be that as it may. Since he is YOUR source in this exchange maybe you ought to follow his lead and appeal to Rome.

[3]Sorry about repeating the '4'.

[4] So the CCC isn't the context by which we look at Jerome? Really? Then either is your 'Pastor King'. How is it you think his post has any more authority than that of some Mormon? It's either amazing or foolish how you treat Catholic writers. Somehow, a 'reformed' hater of the Church is to be taken seriously when the topic is antiquitie's Catholic intellectuals? That's like letting a Mormon have a say on the Sacraments. Jerome is ours. You can have Luther and the other atheists from the 'reformation era'.

[5] Jerome didn't observe Catholocism? For such a proto-protestant he spent a lot of effort asking of Rome!

Turretinfan said...

per your preface: Since you've demonstrated your lack of familiarity with the subject I'm not especially concerned by your harsh judgment. But I agree that you are not subtle.

1) Are you trying to take back what you so frankly said earlier? As for Jerome, see (2).

2) I pointed you to an article about Jerome by Pastor King (no, not Martin Luther King, Jr.) on this very subject. It corrects your mistaken view of Jerome.

3) not a problem

4) I can't make you read an explanation about Jerome, but I can point out that the reason to read Pastor King's post is not because of Pastor King's beliefs, but because of the evidence that he presents.

5) Jerome was neither a "Protestant" nor a Roman Catholic. The article to which I've already pointed you provides more explanation.

-TurretinFan

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

My familiariy with the subject matter is deep and valuable, your denials notwhitstanding.

[1] Haven't taken anyhting back. Looking over my posts they speak for themselves with clarity and alacrity, your zealous rebuttal notwithstanding.

[2] Pastor King runs Jerome through a sectarian worldview [i.e. Mormonism/Calvinism]. Jerome makes it clear that he hold Rome as unaffected by heresy and realies on Rome to make an orthodox decision. All King does is HIGHLIGHT the small number of verses that can be stretched thin enough to make Jerome look like a 'protestor'. Stop it already.

[3] The evidence King uses is that which can be twisted out and made to fit his sectarian pretext. That is obvious my King's use of BOLD whenever Jerome's comments can be beaten into some new shape.

[4] Exactly. Jerome was a Catholic. Both the term 'Roman Catholic' and 'Protestant' are terms coined by heretics.

Rhology said...

My familiariy with the subject matter is deep and valuable

Wow, so's your humility.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

Rhology:

If TF can be accutely gauche in social grace, then so can I.

Turretinfan said...

In what other ways can one be gauche?

Lockheed said...

"The evidence King uses is that which can be twisted out and made to fit his sectarian pretext."
Actually, that's exactly what ROME does to all the ECFs on a daily basis. Protestants do not need to cast the ECFs as pre-protestants, we simply do not attempt to anachronistically read our views into their writings as the modern apologists for Rome must do.

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

lol...in no other way at all. Why does my tautology bother you?

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

Lockheed:

For you to make Jerome into anything other than a Catholic is as irrational as a Mormon making Calvin into a follower of Joseph Smith or a Muslim turning Moses into a prophet of Allah.

The one being anachronistic is you and your boy TF.

Turretinfan said...

1) I assume your nick is supposed to indicate a distate for Lorraine Boettner, who wrote: "Roman Catholicism."

2) Jerome shared some views with Roman Catholics, some with Reformed folks (folks who have the Catholic faith, though they don't make that the name of their denomination). On some points, he goes off in a totally different direction.

-TurretinFan

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

TF:

[1] Nope. Lothair of Lorraine was a rather unimportant emperor of the12th century.

[2] The term 'Roman Catholic' is an invention made up by non-Catholics. Jerome was a Catholic whose life and theology were cultivated and controlled by the very Church you despise.

Paul said...

"[2] The term 'Roman Catholic' is an invention made up by non-Catholics. Jerome was a Catholic whose life and theology were cultivated and controlled by the very Church you despise."
---------------------
From Jason Engwer:

"Here are some examples of the Roman Catholic Church referring to itself as Roman, even using the term "Roman Catholic". The first quote claims that every Christian church has the Roman church as its only foundation. If Rome is your only foundation, why would you object to being called "Roman"?


"Indeed, 'from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her.'" (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, 834)



"I acknowledge the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all the Churches." (First Vatican Council, 2:12)



Notice that, in the following quote, the universal church is referred to as "Roman":


"They adopted an attitude of opposition and, prodigal of their good name and enemies to their own honour, they strove to their utmost with pestilential daring to rend the unity of the holy Roman and universal church and the seamless robe of Christ', and with serpent-like bites to lacerate the womb of the pious and holy mother herself." (Council of Florence, session 9)


"Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the Sources of Revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the True Church in order to gain eternal salvation." (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, 27)

source:
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/10/riding-high-in-saddle.html#2842996846318516714

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

Paul:

The term 'Roman Catholic' was adopted by the Chruch in the same way that the word 'Christian' was adopted by the Disciples of Jesus. By appropiating it and taking it way from the critics. For an historical reference, I direct you to the Apostles Creed as an example, '...one holy, Catholic...'

Lockheed said...

"For you to make Jerome into anything other than a Catholic is as irrational as a Mormon making Calvin into a follower of Joseph Smith or a Muslim turning Moses into a prophet of Allah."

Ah yes, Jerome... Jerome had no clue about the "sacrifice of the Mass", papal succession, the See of Rome, the Marian dogmas, and so on. To claim he was in anyway what passes for a modern 'Roman' Catholic is to read your bias back into history and prove once and for all that you're little more than an random insult generator.

Paul said...

"The term 'Roman Catholic' was adopted by the Chruch in the same way that the word 'Christian' was adopted by the Disciples of Jesus. By appropiating it and taking it way from the critics. For an historical reference, I direct you to the Apostles Creed as an example, '...one holy, Catholic...'"
---------------
By appropiating it and taking it way from the critics.

Can you provide an example of this?

DrOakley said...

Lothair of Lorraine opined:

James White 'flames' everyone who disagrees with him, so please don't play the victim here. I am way too familiar with your teacher and 'Whitism'.

Along with numerous other ad-hominems.

I rarely invest my time in comboxes, but I found your arrogance, condescension, and poor spelling, so compelling I had to take a moment to congratulate you on rivaling even Art Sippo as one who truly causes me to wonder if you are not just parodying a Roman apologist. I mean, your nick does spell "LoL," so the possibility surely exists.

First, TurretinFan is my superior in many areas of study and knowledge (and surely yours, from your statements), so I find your consistent assertions that I am somehow behind him, pulling the strings, not only insulting but downright absurd. Do you people really think I am nigh unto omnipresent? I am greatly honored that you think I am behind every person commenting on Rome's claims on the Internet, but I assure you, I am not. I am very thankful for Turretinfan and all the others who press the claims of truth in this forum, and I can learn much from them.

Now, aside from your giving your religion a major black eye by your insufferable behavior, I have to ask: are you one of the legion of Rome's "apologists" who are very brave behind a keyboard, yet, when challenged to back up their claims, suddenly discover an overwhelming need to floss their cat's teeth? I encounter so many of your ilk who will accuse me of all sorts of things in comboxes yet, when challenged to back up their statements on The Dividing Line, disappear into the bushes. Might you wish to back up just the insults you have posted in this one thread in direct and public communication with me, sir? And can I call you Jesse? That is your name, isn't it? You link to your YouTube channel via your profile, and the names of your videos match the articles posted on the Answering Islam site under the name Jesse Toler. I'm sort of wondering how such a condescending Roman apologist managed to get onto the AI site, but that's a different matter.

In any case...would you like to call in and defend what you have said on this thread live, before my listening audience? 877-753-3341. I'm sure you know the schedule. :-)

james

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

DrOakley:

Oh please stop playing the victim. You call us 'Romanish' and use terms like 'Romanism' not to mention flaming guys like Peter Ruckman by calling his group 'Ruckmanites'. So stop it. Your ad himinems are legendary.

You showing up here to defend TF shows that in his case, you are at least pulling HIS strings. Don't be so simple minded to think that I suggested you are behind every critic of Rome. I said no such thing. You think too much of yourself.

The folks at AI know that I am Catholic, and my articles on that site deal with another topic entirely. You are sounding way too cultish now. Now what? You gonna get with the folks at AI and have my articles taken down? Pull some more strings?

As far as backing up my claims on the Dividing Line, why don't you allow comments on your YT videos and I'll introduce myself properly.

Lastly, a Mike Diamond from some sedavacantist sect thumped you on your show and all you could do was hang up on him.


Terribly sorry for the spelling errors. I'll at least spell my name right and the more important verbs so that there is no doubt how to read my ad hominems, and who wrote them

Jesse Toler

Turretinfan said...

I think we can safely take that response from LoL as confirmation that he won't be calling in.

a) The phrase "...one holy, Catholic..." is not in the Apostle's Creed.

b) LoL claim that Dr. White calls Roman Catholics "Romanish." If you search Dr. White's website, you'll find one instance of that word. The one instance was in a statement from "Brother John Mary" of the St. Benedict Center, a Roman Catholic whose behavior rivals LoL, although he seems more brave.

c) I suppose LoL is referring to "Brother Peter" Diamond who kept trying to turn to texts that have nothing to do with justification, while remaining unable to walk through Romans 8 with Dr. White. Here's a link to that program, "Brother Peter" appears in the second half of the program.

d) In LoL's defense, Jerome did believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. One doubts he would have been so foolish as to make that doctrine an essential doctrine of the faith. And of course, one will search in vain for Jerome advocating the immaculate conception or bodily assumption of Mary. Of course, some of the Reformers also thought that Mary was a perpetual virgin, though they never were so absurd as to think that question one that related to the essentials of the faith.

e) What LoL seems to be missing throughout this conversation is that "Catholicism" for the ancients was based on maintaining the apostolic faith, not based on one's relation to a Roman bishop. And the bishops of Rome have departed from the Apostolic faith, which is why they are not properly called "Catholic" even though that term is frequently used. We can determine that they have departed from the Apostolic faith by comparing their doctrines with the doctrines taught in the Holy Scriptures.

-TurretinFan

DrOakley said...

LoL wrote:

+++Oh please stop playing the victim. You call us 'Romanish' and use terms like 'Romanism' not to mention flaming guys like Peter Ruckman by calling his group 'Ruckmanites'. So stop it. Your ad himinems are legendary.+++

I would assume that is "hominems" but that aside, you are, again, in error: I do refer to Romanists (and someone such as yourself, given your outrageous behavior and inability to show any self-reflective insight, would qualify for that term quite appropriately), but I do not believe I have ever used the term "Romanish." But let's say I did. An ad-hominem is a form of argumentation, sir. You seem to be confused about the proper definition of the term, or its use, or both. To refer to the cultic followers of Peter Ruckman as Ruckmanites would only be an argument if I was in fact making an argument. As any rational person knows, my arguments against Ruckmanism, or Romanism, do not partake of the mere use of terminology, such as the incessant use of the phrase "fundamentalists" or "anti-Catholic" by folks on your side. So once again, it seems you wish to make assertions without providing meaningful proof. I'll tell you what, I'll make this easy for you. I have debated Fr. Mitch Pacwa five times over the course of about 15 years. That would add up to almost 15 hours of exchange. Please identify the "legendary" flames I used in those debates. That should be easy, right? I look forward to getting your list.

+++You showing up here to defend TF shows that in his case, you are at least pulling HIS strings. Don't be so simple minded to think that I suggested you are behind every critic of Rome. I said no such thing. You think too much of yourself+++

The fact that I have taken note of a thread on a blog of one of the men who writes for my own blog (James Swan) being pursued by a second person who writes on my blog (Turretinfan) means I am pulling his strings? An amazing feat of logic once again, sir. The facts are as I stated them, and it is painfully obvious you have nothing but empty bluster to provide in reply. A common failure of the Art Sippo brand of Roman Catholic apologist.

+++continued+++

DrOakley said...

+++The folks at AI know that I am Catholic, and my articles on that site deal with another topic entirely. You are sounding way too cultish now. Now what? You gonna get with the folks at AI and have my articles taken down? Pull some more strings?+++

I am not a part of AI, however, I do know that they would find your wild-eyed, irrational, egotistical, insulting diatribe to be more than a bit troubling. I know that I will have to modify my recommendation of the site if you are allowed to post as a contributor, for clearly, you are not in control of your words or behavior.

+++As far as backing up my claims on the Dividing Line, why don't you allow comments on your YT videos and I'll introduce myself properly.+++

What an amazingly irrational demand. Open my videos up for all the loonies of the planet to use them as a platform for every form of irrationality, or we will not be blessed by your participation? I see. So, in other words, you will, as so many of your predecessors, make public accusation, but, you will not face me directly. You are amongst a large crowd, so to speak.

+++Lastly, a Mike Diamond from some sedavacantist sect thumped you on your show and all you could do was hang up on him.+++

Really? Tell me, how long was Mr. Diamond on the air, Jesse? I see that Turretinfan posted the link to the program. I just checked it. Peter came on 35 minutes into the program. I thanked him for calling and ended the call at 51:50. That's nearly seventeen minutes on the air. Tell me, Jesse, would I get seventeen minutes on Catholic Answers Live? I invite any fair minded, rational person to listen to the call for themselves.

+++Terribly sorry for the spelling errors. I'll at least spell my name right and the more important verbs so that there is no doubt how to read my ad hominems, and who wrote them+++

That is plain, to be sure. It is a shame that you do not see how outrageous your behavior is. You should give some consideration to self-reflection.

james

James Swan said...

LOL,

I hope you've enjoyed the opportunity to share your feelings. I'm now shutting this post down. I've been very tolerant in letting you say what you want, despite the fact you've violated the meager rules and parameters of this blog. Those can be found here (permanently linked on my side bar)- Information About Commenting On This Blog. Note specifically, point #5-

5. Finally! I Get To Say What I Want To Those Mean Anti-Catholics!
You’re fooling yourself if you think you can leave comments attacking James White, William Webster, David King, Eric Svendsen, etc. I don’t forward your comments to them. There is a very good chance I will simply delete your comments if you get personal. It’s OK to interact with their work, but I respect these guys too much to allow slander. You can attack me all you want, but still, be careful with your polemical passion.


I suggest you use your own blog to voice any further feelings and concerns you may still have.