Monday, September 20, 2010

Enjoy Your Catechisms, Heretics

My church uses the Heidelberg Catechism. Recently I came across the following from The preface to The Catechism of the Council of Trent:

QUESTION VI.
The Heretics have chiefly made use of Catechisms to corrupt the Minds of Christians.

For those who proposed to themselves to corrupt the minds of the faithful, aware that it was impossible that they could hold immediate personal intercourse with all, and thus pour into their ears their poisoned doctrines, by adopting a different plan with the same intent, disseminated error and impiety much more easily and extensively. For besides those voluminous works, by which they sought to overthrow the Catholic faith (to guard against which, however, containing as they did open heresy, required perhaps little labour or diligence), they also composed innumerable smaller treatises, which, carrying a semblance of piety on their surface, deceived the simple and the incautious with incredible facility.

Well, that warmed my heart! Reformation theology spread partly because of such documents like the Heidelberg Catechism. Wear your heretic badge proudly.

47 comments:

Tim Enloe said...

Ah, if only the Catechism-idea was more widespread among Protestants today. I wasn't raised with one, so I had to learn theology and biblical thinking mostly on my own in my 20s, when I started getting intellectually curious. I'm presently teaching junior highers who have been Christians all their lives, whose heads are full of Bible stories and Bible factoids, but who, lacking catechetical training, simply have no clue how to read the Bible and figure out what it means. They can read it in the sense of decoding the letters and words so as to pronounce them properly, but they really have no clue what any of it means. They just don't have the categories in their minds that catechisms would have provided them. We've lost a lot in modern Protestantism, not having and using these excellent tools.

Dozie said...

"Wear your heretic badge proudly"

It may be pointless; you have already been identified.

John Bugay said...

Dozie, we look not only to "be identified," but to make disciples of all nations.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Tim!

Don't you mean you are currently teaching junior highers?

Ah! And you, a teacher! What these awful heretical catechisms have done to us and our English grammar!

;-)

Disclaimer: This comment was produced by someone who had nothing of any real value to add to the conversation at this time.

Ryan said...

As a guy who went to an IFB Christian school and was one of those junior highers, what Tim said is spot on.

James Swan said...

I wasn't raised with a catechism either. I've had to play catch up. The Heidelberg Catechism has a simply beauty to it. I realize the Westminster is heavier, but I like the simplicity of the Heidelberg.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Actually, I did have something to add. No catechism for me growing up, either.

However, my son recently purchased a parakeet. I was unsuccessful in getting him to name it "Heidelbird."

Tim Enloe said...

Pilgrim,

I actually wasn't aware there was an issue with presently / currently. I checked a few grammar resources, and they're divided on the question. So I take it that my usage is permissible, until the Divinely-Founded English Language Magisterium infallibly decides. Even then I might decide to just become invincibly ignorant of the whole matter.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I was raised old school; you know, presently is future perfect, something which is going to be done soon as opposed to an action that is happening now (currently).

Nonetheless my point stands; sola Scriptura, er, I mean Protestant catechisms are the source and cause of all evil in the world, including the dumbing down of our education system, and, er, YEC, as my Catholic friends are presently--that is, currently saying.

Jae said...

"Wear your heretic badge proudly"

I second the motion!

In her entire thousand years of history the Church always have a fair share of heretics and these people are so proud of their own abilities as true brand (all are appealing to the holy Writ) the likes of Arius, Nestorius, Donatist, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zwingli, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, Ellen White and a lot more proud misguided folks.

I'll stay with my One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of God as proclaimed in the Creed of Nicea. Can't go wrong.

John Lollard said...

I sat down once with a Catholic friend of mine witb Trent and the definition of the Immaculate Conception. I explained that according to these documents, it is heresy and anathema to understand the doctrine, the bindingness of the doctrine, and to still deny them. Then I explained thre doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, that it was declared binding for saving faith, denied it and then turned to a friend nearby and denied it to him, and asked my friend whether I was a heretic. He said no. So I'm kind of glad when Catholics are willing to be honest and consistent and admit that I am a heretic in their sight - it is a breath of fresh air from trying to convince me that they're just like me but with statues.

Jae said...

@ John,

You are not alone on this one even the great catholic Thomas Aquinas didn't agree with this dogma.

The Marian dogmas, as with all Catholic dogmas, are part of God's revealed truth. God's revealed truth is an integrated whole. Why? Because God's revealed Truth is none other than Jesus Christ, His Son! We cannot divide Christ up into pieces we like and pieces we don't. That would be an error. (viz. we have the essentials and the rest are not important slogan)

Let's try a brief analogy since we both understand the language of Mathematics. I LOVE math. I love subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, etc. I love it all. Well, except addition. I have a problem believing in addition. What would happen to my belief of math? It would fall apart, because without addition, you cannot do any of the other stuff.

And we aren't required to fully understand all of the Church's teachings. We are, however, required to give religious assent to all of the Church's teachings. Why? Because they have been given to us by Christ. They are a gift. Marian dogma is by nature Christological as well Or to put it even more succinctly: Marian dogma is part of who Jesus is. Reject it--you're rejecting it IN JESUS.

Reject one truth you reject all.

A good biblical article about the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother of God:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0510fea5.asp

Peace

Tim Enloe said...

TurretinFan:

Apologies, but I can't locate the original thread. After you see this, maybe someone can delete it, since it isn't on this topic.

After you asked me about my view of the sacraments the other day, I went and dug my Turretin out, an old friend whose company I've not had time to keep for a number of years now. I re-read his material on the efficacy of the sacraments in Vol. 3, and wanted to answer your question to me by saying that I substantially agree with Turretin. That is, I deny that grace is a physical substance physically transmitted "ex opere operato" through the sacraments, but with Turretin, I affirm that God nevertheless really does "covenantally" communicate grace to us in the sacraments.

Hope that helps.

John Lollard said...

God's revealed Truth is his Son, Jesus Christ the One and Only. Not the ordinary peasant woman who brought Him into the world. Christ is glorious because He is Christ.

There is no part of God's Truth that contains mentions of Mary being anything more then an ordinary peasant who was blessed to carry Our Lord. Anything more about her than Scripture records is a fabrication of men and a lie from the enemy. All the Marian dogmas were later inventions that have no Scriptural or Apostolic witness whatsoever. Those who teach it are liars, those who believe it are being lied to, as it is a lie with no basis whatsoever, neither in history, the Bible, Tradition, or anything but the whims of men in fancy robes wishing to
itch the ears of believers.

And so I completely reject this dogma of the Roman church and laugh in the face of her utterly impotent anathemas against me for doing so. It is a false doctrine.

So am I a heretic?

Constantine said...

JAE wrote,

In her entire thousand years of history the Church always have a fair share of heretics and these people are so proud of their own abilities as true brand (all are appealing to the holy Writ) the likes of Arius, Nestorius, Donatist, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zwingli, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, Ellen White and a lot more proud misguided folks.

Check me if I’m wrong here, but I think Arius, Nestorius and Donatus lived more than a thousand years ago. Or are you saying that the Roman Church ceased to exist in 1000 A.D.?

I'll stay with my One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of God as proclaimed in the Creed of Nicea.

Go ahead. I think a majority of us would rather stay with the “One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church” as proclaimed in the Gospels. Interesting, though, Nicaea specifically denied the primacy of Rome. So do you mean the church started in 1000 A.D. that made claim to Roman primacy or the one started a millenium earlier that did not?

Peace.

Tim Enloe said...

Anyone who doesn't yet grasp why the distinction between "Magisterial" and "Radical" reformers is so important when interpreting the Reformation period and talking about "Protestantism" today need only read JAE's historically "flat" mish-mash of every "heretical" person from Arius to Ellen White.

A major problem with these apologists is that they don't read real history books seriously, can't responsibly trace the development and distortion of ideas across the centuries, and culpably fail to make proper distinctions. No one who has seriously studied serious Reformation history - or any serious history of ideas, period - would ever class Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, and Ellen White in with Calvin and Luther. They are two radically different classes of thinkers beginning from radically different first principles and so issuing in radically different ending points.

Contrary to these superficial apologists, the important evaluative tool for a list like that is not "they were all prideful." That simply begs all of the important questions and flattens the interpretation of historical records into a hopeless mishmash of careless half-truths and total untruths.

For all the moaning some did about my words a few weeks ago about Protestants being able to face history with our eyes open, this just shows again that at least we bother to (1) read the actual sources, and (2) read them with a critical eye. The best these legions of little hack-converts can do is approach the serious discipline of historical interpretation with an "Any stigma is good enough to beat a dogma" mindset, added to endless begged questions about "the one true Church" and mushy-gushy stories about how once they were blind, but now they see.

It's 99% nonsense, and the more proper description of their activities is "the blind leading the blind." I've said we need to be kind to others, and that's true. Well, sometimes the only way to be kind is to call foolishness what it is and pull out the rod for its backside. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

I appreciate this latest comment, Tim, especially the following:

It's 99% nonsense, and the more proper description of their activities is "the blind leading the blind." I've said we need to be kind to others, and that's true. Well, sometimes the only way to be kind is to call foolishness what it is and pull out the rod for its backside. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

Tim Enloe said...

I felt I had to make that remark, because I know a certain Professional Apologist is hanging around and has apparently been once again rummaging through his dirty sock drawer to find anything he can use against me. He's a paradigm case for these converts - uncontrollably spew whatever superficial bilge comes to the top of the undisciplined mind, then whine when the Protestant calls it nonsense and uses a bit of strong language to describe the folly of the apologist.

I therefore anticipate someone objecting that although I say we should be kind, I am myself not being kind to speak about people such as JAE as I did. The problem, I think, is that our culture confuses "kindness" with "niceness" - with not "stepping on toes" or making someone "feel bad." However, Scripture doesn't generally care about whether what it says makes us "feel bad" or "steps on our toes." On the contrary, it frequently talks hard to us because on some level we are all fools and slow to heed what it says.

Proverbs is full of warnings to those who do not control their emotions and their tongues, and who, on top of that, persistently refuse correction while pretending to be "wise" in their conceits. It's difficult to prove all the relevant points in blog comment boxes, but it is simply a FACT that the majority of Catholic apologists on the layman's level (1) haven't got a clue what the Reformation was about, (2) don't bother to prepare themselves to find out what it was about, and (3) persistently refuse to be corrected by those who know better.

All this, but especially the last, makes them biblical fools, and Scripture tells us how to deal with fools. On the one hand it says that rods are for the backs of fools - meaning that "kindness" toward fools may require hard language rather than "niceness." On the other hand, it says that a really bad case of foolishness exhibits itself in scoffing even at the rod of correction. This certainly fits most of these people, especially the more bombastic they are.

The question that remains, then, for us Protestants, is whether we are to "answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes," or "don't answer a fool according to his folly, lest you become like him yourself."

John Bugay said...

Tim, in answer to your question, at least one or two of our resident fool Catholic Apologists have been relegated to the new Blogger spam sweeper. So that will make the decision- making process a bit easier.

Dozie said...

“it is simply a FACT that the majority of Catholic apologists on the layman's level (1) haven't got a clue what the Reformation was about, (2) don't bother to prepare themselves to find out what it was about, and (3) persistently refuse to be corrected by those who know better.”

I submit to you that there are lots of fellow Protestants who can say the very same things about Tim Enloe and all other Protestant bloggers here. Paul McCain for one does not think that Calvinists understand what the Reformation was about nor does he think that Calvinists have sufficiently attempted to find out. Here is what Mr. McCain said recently about Reformed Churches:

“Reformed Christianity, that is, the churches that are heirs of the work of Zwingli, Bucer and Calvin, represent, not a Reformation of the Church, but rather, its deformation” (http://cyberbrethren.com/page/2/)

So, I think it is diversionary to accuse Catholics of not understanding the Reformation when Protestants accuse other Protestants of misrepresenting the so called Reformation (which is no reformation at all). At this point, Protestants are not saying anything worth listening to. The starting point then for Protestants is to begin to communicate well within Protestantism so as to communicate better to non Protestants. Until then, be assured, Tim, that those who have followed your blogging have come to expect your signature fury as customary and definitional of your style – it is full of self and nothing else.

BTW, if you stay long on this blog, you will infuriate many other Protestants, especially those who are not as "scholarly" as you want to be.

"I therefore anticipate someone objecting that although I say we should be kind, I am myself not being kind to speak about people such as JAE as I did."

It is not like Tim Enloe is new on the blogshere. He has a pretty long track record of confused positions and resolutions. One day he is too busy and resolves to quit commenting, the next day he is back at it. One day he is too quick to respond and says many uncharitable things about fellow Protestant apologist, the next day he claims he has learned his lessons and hopes to do better. This has gone on for years, Tim, that I do not know who takes you seriously. Your blogging is like a timed bomb; if one lets it, it will explode on its own. Your consistent inconsistency has become a brand.

Dozie said...

“it is simply a FACT that the majority of Catholic apologists on the layman's level (1) haven't got a clue what the Reformation was about, (2) don't bother to prepare themselves to find out what it was about, and (3) persistently refuse to be corrected by those who know better.”

I submit to you that there are lots of fellow Protestants who can say the very same things about Tim Enloe and all other Protestant bloggers here. Paul McCain for one does not think that Calvinists understand what the Reformation was about nor does he think that Calvinists have sufficiently attempted to find out. Here is what Mr. McCain said recently about Reformed Churches:

“Reformed Christianity, that is, the churches that are heirs of the work of Zwingli, Bucer and Calvin, represent, not a Reformation of the Church, but rather, its deformation” (http://cyberbrethren.com/page/2/)

So, I think it is diversionary to accuse Catholics of not understanding the Reformation when Protestants accuse other Protestants of misrepresenting the so called Reformation (which is no reformation at all). At this point, Protestants are not saying anything worth listening to. The starting point then for Protestants is to begin to communicate well within Protestantism so as to communicate better to non Protestants. Until then, be assured, Tim, that those who have followed your blogging have come to expect your signature fury as customary and definitional of your style – it is full of self and nothing else.

BTW, if you stay long on this blog, you will infuriate many other Protestants, especially those who are not as "scholarly" as you want to be.

Dozie said...

"I therefore anticipate someone objecting that although I say we should be kind, I am myself not being kind to speak about people such as JAE as I did."

It is not like Tim Enloe is new on the blogshere. He has a pretty long track record of confused positions and resolutions. One day he is too busy and resolves to quit commenting, the next day he is back at it. One day he is too quick to respond and says many uncharitable things about fellow Protestant apologist, the next day he claims he has learned his lessons and hopes to do better. This has gone on for years, Tim, that I do not know who takes you seriously. Your blogging is like a timed bomb; if one lets it, it will explode on its own. Your consistent inconsistency has become a brand.

John Bugay said...

Dozie, your personal comments aren't helpful here. The real issue is the doctrinal one: how we are made right with God.

We acknowledge we are sinners saved by grace. One operative part of that is that we are sinners, and remain sinners. As a friend of mine put it, "I didn't get me saved, and I can't keep me saved."

In the Catholic system, after Baptism (and even the role of baptism is debatable), you get put on a treadmill -- you are like the rat in the cage: you keep pressing the bar and the church keeps dropping food pellets. The Church dribs and drabs out grace to you.

But in the Biblical model, God's grace is given freely and in abundance.

That's what we fight about. That's what we care about. The Roman Church does not have that strangle-hold on God's grace.

You tell us why the institutional Church gets to be so important in God's scheme; we tell you why it's not.

The personal information you provide is not helpful.

rcfirst said...

"In the Catholic system, after Baptism (and even the role of baptism is debatable), you get put on a treadmill -- you are like the rat in the cage: you keep pressing the bar and the church keeps dropping food pellets. The Church dribs and drabs out grace to you."

John, really, shame on you. The previous statement of yours is untrue, and what's more, you know it to be untrue. The Church doesn't provide grace. That comes from God alone. The sacraments, among other things, are special occasions to be able, if one is properly disposed, to receive God's grace.

Your comment was deliberately silly, and you know it.

John Bugay said...

The Roman Church sees itself as the dispenser of grace. I don't see how my statement is untrue.

The "efficient instrumental cause" of grace is "Christ's humanity and the sacraments" (Ott). Where else do you get the *right* sacraments other than through the Roman Catholic Church?

It's true, they've had to allow that grace comes from other sources. Forced by circumstances, "reformulated positively". But at Trent, that "positive reformulation" wasn't in view. It was all "Mine Mine Mine".

The Catholic life is one of reliance on the Church for sacraments and grace.

Drip... drip... drip...

But don't miss Mass, or practice contraception. In that case, the grace drip gets turned off.
My statement was not silly.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Forgive me. I'm not trying to be snarky here. My understanding is that Mary is the dispenser of all grace in the Roman Catholic Church. Can someone clear this up for me?

John Bugay said...

It's complicated Tim.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Well that clears it up.

John Bugay said...

The "through Mary" sort of goes like this: God --> Mary --> Jesus --> Church --> Sacraments --> Poor Roman Catholic layperson

Dozie said...

"My understanding is that Mary is the dispenser of all grace in the Roman Catholic Church. Can someone clear this up for me?"

If you seriously want to understand Catholic teaching about Mary, what are you doing asking a Protestant? Do you seriously hope that a Protestant of the stripe we find here will give you authentic presentation of Catholic doctrine on Mary, or are you hoping to hear the same old slander you are used to hearing? If you are interested in knowing what Catholics teach about Mary, find a Catholic source (papal documents, Catechism of the Catholic Church, EWTN, Catholic Answers, Google, etc).

While we are talking about Mary, I wonder how many Protestants would want their mother or wife talked about in the manner Protestants talk about the mother of Christ (dismissively and almost as a nuisance to Christ)? How is it that Protestants seemingly enjoy talking down on Mary?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

If you seriously want to understand Catholic teaching about Mary, what are you doing asking a Protestant? Do you seriously hope that a Protestant of the stripe we find here will give you authentic presentation of Catholic doctrine on Mary, or are you hoping to hear the same old slander you are used to hearing?

There are Protestants here who derive their understanding of Mary and her role in Catholicism through both scholarly resources and official Catholic documentation, not to mention personal experience with the Roman Catholic tradition. You claim that we won't be able to represent it properly, and that we will even merely engage in "slander," but that's a judgment you make without evidence. If you'd prefer us to cite official documents defending our statements, then you could respectfully ask for some documentation, rather than assuming we're incompetent liars.

While we are talking about Mary, I wonder how many Protestants would want their mother or wife talked about in the manner Protestants talk about the mother of Christ (dismissively and almost as a nuisance to Christ)? How is it that Protestants seemingly enjoy talking down on Mary?

Perhaps its time you took your own advice and read Reformed Protestant sources on Mary rather than holding to flimsy characterizations of how Protestants approach Mary, characterizations that probably arose from reading the discussion boards at Catholic Answers.

John Lollard said...

The irony is, Dozie, that no matter how many Catholic sources we go to, no matter how many councils, papal encyclicals, catechisms, early Church writers, or Catholic scholars on official pontifical councils we cite, you still make thr exact same accusations of misrepresentation.

Not to mention, the presentation isn't any different.

Dude, you wanna talk about treating Mary in a way we wouldn't like of our mothers? If my mom had a saint cult dedicated to celibrating her chastity, I would be deeply offended. People praying to my mom? That's outriggt creepy. People asking my mom to ask me to do something because they think I'm more likely to listen to her? That's pretty annoying and inconsiderate. Bowing down to alleged apparitions of my mom in tortillas and window smudges! Really, if you treated my mother like you treat Mary, I might honestly try to sue you for slandering her character.

Mary was a wonderful woman who believed in her Son for salvation and was regenerated by the Holy Spirit. She sinned, she had sex with her husband, she died, and she will be raised to life by the child that she bore. If you were to say that about my mom or my wife, I'd be thrilled.

rcfirst said...

"People asking my mom to ask me to do something because they think I'm more likely to listen to her? That's pretty annoying and inconsiderate."

"When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
'They have no wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servers,'Do whatever he tells you.'”

"She sinned, she had sex with her husband, she died, and she will be raised to life by the child that she bore."

Yeah, silly old broad, she just got lucky that the God of the Universe picked HER to be the Mother of the Savior of the World.

Women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Sheesh.

John Lollard said...

rcfirst, let's think about your Bible quote. From what I understand, you are using this quote to show that Jesus loves it when we use his mom to play telephone for us. I suppose that because Jesus does something His mother asks of Him, this means that he'll do whatever His mom asks Him.

In the Gospels, it says that there were at various times thousands of people following Jesus around, and that he performed all kinds of miracles for them. Here's an example of someone not Mary asking Jesus for a favor, and His response:

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

It's weird how much more genial Jesus is here to a blind beggar than He is in the John 2 account.

Thousands of people during His life asked Christ for miracles, and He performed them. That He did the same for Mary is just evidence that He loved Mary like He loves all believers.

"Who are my mother and my brothers?" He asked. Then He looked at those seated in a circle around Him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." - Mark 3:33,34

Mary sinned, she had sex with her husband (in accordance with Jewish law), and she died. She was a normal woman who was blessed beyond measure - kecharitomene means "highly blessed/favored" - to carry our Lord. There was nothing special about her womb, either before or after the birth of Christ. It was a blessing that had absolutely nothing to do with her. Mary did not earn the virtue of carrying Christ, and Mary herself even acknowledges as much after receiving the news.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
- Luke 11:28

She obeyed Jesus and believed in Him for salvation, and therefore she is blessed. Not because of anything intrinsic in herself, nor just for being His earthly, physical mother.

Dozie said...

"There was nothing special about her womb, either before or after the birth of Christ".

The above is most offensive to a christian conscience but demostrates the Protestant attitude towards Mary that is simply unbelievable. Perhaps, the author of the above should include "during" to the before and after. Protestantism is a religion from hell and is destined to it.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Dozie writes:

The above is most offensive to a christian conscience but demostrates the Protestant attitude towards Mary that is simply unbelievable. Perhaps, the author of the above should include "during" to the before and after. Protestantism is a religion from hell and is destined to it.

Thank you for demonstrating your spiritual priorities--Protestantism isn't destined to hell for denying Jesus, but for denying Mary.

John Lollard said...

I'm reminded again of the distinction between a theology of glory versus a theology of the cross.

There was nothing special about Mary's womb while Jesus was gestating therein. It was a normal human womb, just like your mother's womb. There was nothing special about the manger into which He was born, there was nothing special about the house where He lived, there was nothing special about the trees that made the timbers upon which He suffered death.

Jesus Christ lived in every way like a normal human being His life defines normal for a human's relationship to God. He performed miracles because He sought God's will, and He had to grow in His understanding like any of us.

There was nothing special about Mary's womb. The specialness was the One who lived therein, and that He had forsaken so much of His rightful glory to take up residence on this earth.

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy hi who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might provide atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." - Hebrews 2:14-18

"He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not" - Isaiah 53:2-3

On the face of a theology of glory is a respect for God, but if you look a little deeper, it's really a very low view of Christ's incarnation. Scripture says that Christ emptied himself of all of his rightful glory to suffer with us in every way that we suffer, even to the point of being tempted and feeling rejected by God, even to the point of crying and even to the point of taking on a digestive tract. He made Himself low, as low as possible, and for that reason He is glorified all the higher.

That is a theology of the cross, which was just as foolish and offensive back then as it is today. God became nothing, and took as His mother a normal woman, and He probably stepped in donkey poo, too, walking around Jerusalem in sandals.

I'm saddened at your reaction. God's grace is huge, and His humility is just as huge.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

If you seriously want to understand Catholic teaching about Mary, what are you doing asking a Protestant?

I'm asking here because Catholics regularly visit and comment on this site. If you do not wish to talk to me about Mary from a Catholic viewpoint, that's fine.

But you may be right. It was, perhaps, naive of me to expect the Catholics who regularly post here to actually want to help me understand what they believe.

Dozie said...

"It was, perhaps, naive of me to expect the Catholics who regularly post here to actually want to help me understand what they believe".

The ordinary reading of your request suggests that it was directed at the blog "contributors" here and not at Catholics; John Bugay understood that hence his Protestant response.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I said "someone," which is inclusive of "anyone." You have made it clear, though, that you're not interested. No problem, friend.

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

"There was nothing special about Mary's womb while Jesus was gestating therein. It was a normal human womb, just like your mother's womb. There was nothing special about the manger into which He was born, there was nothing special about the house where He lived, there was nothing special about the trees that made the timbers upon which He suffered death".

Quite a theology!!! So, was there anything special about Jesus? Was there anything special about his death, his blood, or his incarnation? You have already denied any significance to his cross and his birth.

What is repulsing is the bravado attitude with which many Protestants approach the things of God - sort of grabbing God by the horns and directing him wherever they wish. There is nothing sacred in the culture of this damnable religion.

John Bugay said...

Dozie, the Word is important, it is a lamp unto our feet. Anything not in the word is not important, and in some cases, harmful.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Dozie writes:

Quite a theology!!! So, was there anything special about Jesus? Was there anything special about his death, his blood, or his incarnation? You have already denied any significance to his cross and his birth.

John Lollard was using special in a rather qualified sense and was applying this sense to particular aspects of Christ's birth and death. Your equivocations here are both transparent and unreasonable.

Dozie said...

"John Lollard was using special in a rather qualified sense and was applying this sense to particular aspects of Christ's birth and death. Your equivocations here are both transparent and unreasonable".

The questions were primarily directed at John Lollard, who does not seem to be shy with his keyboard, but your response only shows you are willing to defend any silliness propounded by an "uncritical" Protestant.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Dozie writes:

your response only shows you are willing to defend any silliness propounded by an "uncritical" Protestant.

That neither follows from what I wrote nor serves as an adequate explanation of your equivocations.

It would be easier to take your assertions seriously if you defended them with actual arguments.

John Lollard said...

Hey Dozie,

I said:
"There was nothing special about Mary's womb. The specialness was the One who lived therein, and that He had forsaken so much of His rightful glory to take up residence on this earth."

Which you somehow translated into denying the uniqueness of Christ. John 1:14 in my translation calls Him the One and Only, but others translate this as "unique God", which is probably more accurate.

Jesus is the unique Son of God, coeternal with the Father. He is our Creator. He emptied Himself of all rightful glory and lived as a normal man in every way, which (as Hebrews argues) is what qualifies Him to be our High Priest and intercde on our behalf. He remained glorious always because of His identity as YHWH, yet He did not feel that identity something to hold on to at all costs. He voluntarily relinquished it and made himself nothing (really, Scripture says "nothing"), living as a human being despite sharing in the Name of YHWH.

Christ is glorious because He is Christ. Nothing can ever add to it, and nothing can ever subtract from it. If the tree that crucified Him were magic trees with miraculous healing sap, they add nothing to His gory. He is glorious be cause He is Christ. If the womb that housed Him were made of solid gold encrusted with diamonds and secreted pure hormones unstained by original sin, it adds nothing to His glory. He is glorious because He is Christ. If His mom was just some backwoods peasant with normal reproductive organs, and if the wood that made the cross is just plain ol' wood just like that from the trees in my backward, it can do nothing to lessen the glory of Jesus' Name. He is YHWH, who is from everlasting to everlasting.

He washed His disciples' feet. I can guarantee you that wasn't a rosy experience. Peter objected, of course, refusing to let his Lord become that lowly. But Christ insisted.

It is not bravado. It is the consistent account of Scripture. YHWH the Son has taken on human flesh, has emptied Himself of all glory to live and be tempted in every way like His brothers yet to be without sin. He walked among us and felt our weakness, He felt our emotions, and He triumphed over them in dying a despicable and shameful death at the hands of violent, wicked men. It is foolishness to the world, and life to those who believe. It was the stumbling block to the Jews, and I guess today it remains a stumbling block to the Gentiles.

The King of Kings became a manual laborer.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us about agape. Among the attributes of Love is humility. Jesus is Love, and He is not proud. In all HIs greatness, He remains humble.

I have tried to argue as much as possible from Scripture. If anyone rejects to the way in which I have handled Christ's humility in the Incarnation, they are welcome to correct me with Scripture, as indeed I may have misunderstood. But emotionalism and outrage about how dare I describe God as His Word describes Him is kind of silly.

Phillippians 2:5-11