Monday, September 13, 2010

Michael Liccione on The Authority Question

Or, "We simply assume 'the Church'."

In comment #24 of the "Called to Communion" thread, Michael Liccione said:
How to locate and identify “the Church,” and what kind of teaching authority she has, are questions to be answered by divine revelation.
This of course was part of a larger argument he makes, but these are his foundational assumptions. Breaking that out into two separate items:

1. How to locate and identify "the Church" is a question to be answered by divine revelation.

2. How to locate and identify what kind of teaching authority "the Church" has is a question to be answered by divine revelation.

(Nearby, he describes his larger argument this way: I will say that the form of the argument is conditional. Thus, if we are to reliably distinguish between divine revelation on the one hand and human opinions about the “sources” on the other–whatever those sources are taken to be–we need “a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely preserved from error under certain conditions.” Taking Scripture “alone” as the needed “final” authority doesn’t cut it. For one thing, Scripture is a book, and books do not tell us how to interpret them. For another, given that Scripture itself does not assert sola Scriptura, taking Scripture alone as the final authority is itself a developed doctrine that cannot be considered irreformable if the Church is always fallible.)


Elsewhere he says virtually the same thing: in order to distinguish “the propositional content of divine revelation from mere human opinions about the data taken as sources,” disputes about how Scripture and Tradition answer the above questions only be settled by a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely protected from error under certain conditions.

Talk about starting with your conclusion. The Roman Catholic Church actually posits itself as "“a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely preserved from error under certain conditions.”


So we can set out the argument this way:

P1: If we are able to reliably distinguish between divine revelation and human opinions [about what actually is "divine revelation"], then [God will provide(?)] “a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely preserved from error under certain conditions.”

P2: We [can only assume that God would give us an infallible way to] reliably distinguish between divine revelation and human opinions.

C: Therefore, [God provides(?)] “a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely preserved from error under certain conditions.”


I hope someone will please let me know if I am missing something here.


Elsewhere, he says "But the debate is precisely about the extent to which something called "the Church," the Mystical Body of Christ which, together with the risen Christ, makes up "the whole Christ," has been granted such authority. I don't believe, and never have been able to believe, that we can dispense with the living voice of "the" Church—whichever communion of churches that may be—in ascertaining what God has revealed to us. In that belief, I am far from alone."

The authority question restated, February 5, 2009.

I've discussed this at length. Here, for example, Adrian Forescue "assumes the church":
All we suppose, before we come to the Church, is that our Lord Jesus Christ was a man sent by God and whom we must follow if we wish to serve God in the proper way; that he founded one visible Church, to which his followers should belong; that this Church is, as a matter of historic fact, the communion of Rome (not, however, supposing anything about the papacy, but supposing only visible unity and historic continuity). This much must be presupposed and therefore does not rest on the authority of the Church. All else does. (Pgs 26-27, the parenthetical note is Fortescue's).
Before him, John Henry Newman said:
Till positive reasons grounded on facts are adduced to the contrary, the most natural hypotheses, the most agreeable to our mode of proceeding in parallel cases, and that which takes precedence of all others, is to consider that the society of Christians, which the Apostles left on earth, were of that religion to which the Apostles had converted them; that the external continuity of name, profession, and communion, argues a real continuity of doctrine; that, as Christianity began by manifesting itself as of a certain shape and bearing to all mankind, therefore it went on so to manifest itself; and that the more, considering that prophecy had already determined that it was to be a power visible in the world and sovereign over it, characters which are accurately fulfilled in that historical Christianity to which we commonly give the name. It is not a violent assumption, then, but rather mere abstinence from the wanton admission of a principle which would necessarily lead to the most vexatious and preposterous scepticism, to take it for granted, before proof to the contrary, that the Christianity of the second, fourth, seventh, twelfth, sixteenth, and intermediate centuries is in its substance the very religion which Christ and His Apostles taught in the first, whatever may be the modifications for good or for evil which lapse of years, or the vicissitudes of human affairs, have impressed upon it.
And once you make this assumption (and only then), then do you [or rather, Catholic theologians]
return to the sources of divine revelation: for it belongs to them to point out how the doctrine of the living Teaching Authority is to be found either explicitly or implicitly in the Scriptures and in Tradition.”
These "implicit" or "explicit" ways that "the doctrine of the living Teaching Authority" are found either in the Scriptures or Tradition or both? ("Tradition" not being genuine "tradition," but rather, something that some church father or council may have said that this "living Teaching Authority" has "picked and/or choosed" to be a part of "Tradition"?)

In this way "the living Teaching Authority" is equated with "divine revelation" in that it identifies both "the Church" and also "how to locate and identify what kind of teaching authority "the Church" has".

Am I missing something? Is this the Michael Liccione method?

46 comments:

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Roman Catholics on "The Authority Question": Sola Ecclesia

Versus

Protestants on the "The Authority Question": Sola Scriptura

The history of the Roman Catholic Church is checkered and blemished. While I do think there is much good that the Catholic Church has done, there has also been much damage that the Catholic Church has done too.

Also, the Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, and other non-Catholic groups have noted the obvious fallibiilities of the Catholic Church. The most obvious recent case would be the Catholic clergy pedophile scandal.

So when Catholics cite sola ecclesia or "The Authority of the Church" as such an important theological consideration that people must concede to, well, many non-Catholics are non-plussed and unimpressed. My favorite skeptics of sola ecclesia are the many cultural Catholics. They sometimes snicker and laugh at the idea of the Authority of the Church.

John Bugay said...

Hi Truth -- My favorite skeptics of sola ecclesia are the many cultural Catholics. They sometimes snicker and laugh at the idea of the Authority of the Church.

One of the specific reasons why I left the Roman Catholic Church was because I could not accept that they were everything they said they were (with respect to "authority"). In that case, I refused to "pick and choose" (as they say, or be a "cafeteria Catholic"), and I also refused to teach my kids to do that.


By the way, for anyone who is interested, I contacted Michael Liccione via email and invited him either to comment here, or to provide a link which might clarify or shed some light on his opinion (which I hope to look at in more detail). He declined to participate because of time constraints in a new job, etc., but he provided the following link:

http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2010/06/bad-arguments-against-magisterium-part.html

And given that this link is a "Part IIIa," there are at least four other parts involved, and I'll likely want to give those a look in the meantime.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Here's a thread comment from a post titled: "The History of Twentieth Century Catholicism":

"Having obtained a Master’s degree in theology from a Catholic school in recent years, I have to disagree with your assessment that “liberal” and “conservative” are “political designations used mostly by journalists”. I have found them to be very accurate designations that most liberal Catholics use to describe themselves.
Furthermore, I don’t agree with the claim that “the true Catholic is doctrinally traditional, socially “liberal”, and theologically progressive”.

If by “socially liberal”, you mean 1) in favor of abortion and contraception and 2) in favor of homosexual marriage, it cannot follow that they are “doctrinally traditional”. Yet, a shocking number of my classmates at the Catholic school of theology were in favor of just those two things."

John Bugay said...

Hi Truth -- without having taken a look at your link, I'd say that many Catholics that I grew up with, in the Pittsburgh area, would be called "socially liberal" not because of the reasons you mentioned (i.e., abortion and homosexual marriage), but rather socially liberal in the economic sense, that is, supporting the kinds of policies favorable to labor unions, seeking to build a safety net (and more). That kind of thing.

I have aunts and uncles who would always have voted a straight Democrat ticket, before some of these "really social social issues" came to the foreground.

Randy said...

His argument says there are two places we can go. We can say everything is just human opinion. Romans is Paul's opinion about God. An opinion that gained respect among other humans but never being raised to the level of divine revelation.

The other option is to say that somehow in some way something does get raised to the level of divine revelation. One could argue about precisely how that happens but if you say it does not happen then all you have left is human opinion.

John Bugay said...

Couple of things Randy:

1. Romans IS Scripture. It's not just Paul's opinion. It IS divine revelation

2. The Scriptures are "God-breathed." The Word of God. Nothing else is "God-breathed." So elevating anything else to that status (whether by argument or by some warm fuzzy feeling that someone within "tradition" got about the authority of "the Church") is simply to usurp God's own authority. That cannot be acceptable.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Bugay,

If one is going to assent to being a Catholic, then one must assent to its teachings or else one should not call oneself a Catholic. How one comes to assent to the Catholic faith is a matter of reasoning, no different than how anyone comes to have faith in any religion (I am purposely leaving out the fact of grace which moves our reason to faith because it would only cloud the issues you present here). However, once one accepts by a reasoned faith the truth of the teachings of the Church, then there is no room for doubting the validity of them for doubt is the opposite of faith. Thus, "the Church as a living, dominically instituted authority that is divinely preserved from error under certain conditions” is a item of faith which allows no doubt.

Interjecting the notion of Catholic theologians tends to obfuscate issues as the extent of a theologian' authority depends on their relationship to the Magisterium. Even Pope Benedict takes pains to distinguish between what his personal views as a theologian and his pronouncements in his capacity as pope.


What you of hit upon here is the the reason that it would be impossible for me to be a Protestant, because your use of private judgment factors in human doubt. If there is doubt, there is faithlessness. Period. What certainity/certitude of the truth does Protestantism have there is room to doubts the tenets for which an adherent to it holds?

I would submit that reasoning is a tool one can use to come to faith, but it is no substitute for it as the use of "assuming" in your formulation indicates. Your use of propositional formulation here is like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail or a pair of pliers to saw a board in half. Wrong tool for the wrong job.

I would note one other thing about Mr. Liccone's link to his tu quoque article, there is a thing called a virtuous circle which is the opposite of a fallacious vicious circle argument. You might want to consider while you are doing your logic diagramming.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

This sentence should have read:

"What certainity/certitude of the truth does Protestantism have if there is room to doubt the tenets which an adherent is to hold?

I apologize for my butter-thumbs.

Constantine said...

I think Randy may have brought us into the fundamental epistemological difference between Christianity and Romanism.

To the Apostles, the Scriptures were not only “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), as John noted, but they were delivered with the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:5) They were revealed by the very work of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10). The Apostle Peter describes Paul’s writings as being written with the knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:15). And Paul makes a very clear distinction between his own opinions and the very word of God (Galatians 1:11-2). He warns the Galatians not to follow his opinions but only the Gospel they had previously accepted. (Gal. 1:9)

So the Holy Spirit is at work on both the preaching and hearing end of the Gospel proclamation and it is both the preaching and the hearing that validates God’s word.

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 1 Thess. 2:13.

No believer can argue about that because, as Paul says, the word “is at work in you who believe.”

Peace.

natamllc said...

John

a good point was made there, partly, by Randy!

I don't believe Paul imagined his letters would be selected to be added by the Holy Spirit through men to compile a completed series of Texts both old and new as he wrote them or others penned for him his inspired thoughts, opinions and directions, hopes and dreams, that became the settled Words of Truth, our Bible! I believe he surely sensed His presence as he was expressing his opinions and most learned understanding of both the Law and Gospel to those he wrote to.

I imagine he marvels even now just how much has been spoken and written about his letters, if he were of a mind to do so, that is, to look down upon us now discussing what he was offering as his God inspired opinions about the right and wrong that confronted him that he needed to address with those that way, written and not in person, given to his charge and care during his remarkable days on earth!

I would say the same for all the writers of the Scriptures. I would say their humility was partly a reason God used them by their humble words at times and by their diligent opinions always as they walked and talked and defended the Faith once delivered to the Saints for which their defense cost them belligerence at the hands of others as Our Dear Lord suffered it too! Some were beaten. Some were killed. Some got to die of old age, in prison! Far far more just died or will die of old age on their way to their Elected place in Heaven!

For me, that is what settles it. There certainly are a lot of writings from the period and after and even things written in here, I suppose, we must pay attention too because they are God breathed and inspired and just plain truthful history providing us more to clearly understand what has been written and what is yet to come about revealed in what has been written.

Of course, as we wholeheartedly believe, what was settled on, those 66 books we hold dear, was settled long before we came to read and learn what God is all about and is still up to, who He is and the promises to us, the Grace because of His Mercy His Words convey upon our dry and thirsty souls!

I never tire arguing for His Word! You don't seem to tire much either, now that I think about it? :)

Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

natamllc said...

PH

I wonder how the one conflates to the other?

You wrote: Even Pope Benedict takes pains to distinguish between what his personal views as a theologian and his pronouncements in his capacity as pope.


What you of hit upon here is the the reason that it would be impossible for me to be a Protestant, because your use of private judgment factors in human doubt.[sic]


A couple of things to note.

How can you argue for infallibility writing that making a distinction between his personal views and those of his papacy? Seems to me that is a contradiction?

Everything God is infallible! Your religion asks way to much for me to believe that your pope is infallible seeing you just established that he too reasons with his own personal views about his office!

Thank God we read these words in Scripture:

Rev 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?"
Rev 5:3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,
Rev 5:4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
Rev 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."
Rev 5:6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders
I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Rev 5:7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.



And, ironically, while you exhort us that we are using our "private judgment" you are presently using yours while making your distinction why you are not accepting the Reformation the Scripture teaches God's Elect experience!

Hmmmmmm?

Please note my emphasis on "the Reformation". The reformation I write about is this one that guys like Martin Luther and John Calvin "reclaimed" as their own once they wrestled with the bondage they realized they were in:

Heb 9:8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing
Heb 9:9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
Heb 9:10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
Heb 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.


What does seem to be infallible is that Scripture establishes the conflict between our private judgment and the Spirit of Grace through the Faith once delivered to the Saints.

Constantine said...

What you of hit upon here is the the reason that it would be impossible for me to be a Protestant, because your use of private judgment factors in human doubt.

Would it be bad form to inquire why your private judgment towards Rome does not factor in human doubt?

If there is doubt, there is faithlessness. Period.

No, actually. Doubt and faith can coexist as in Mark 9:24. In the meaning of the Book of Hebrews, faith is a “faculty to perceive the unseen world of God and to make it the primary object of one’s life.” (G.E Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament.) So one could, in several senses, have faith and doubt.

What certainity/certitude of the truth does Protestantism have if there is room to doubt the tenets which an adherent is to hold?

Actually certainty/certitude of the truth will never be found in any part of God’s creation – RC or Protestant. In fact the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3:4) So, Paul, to look for truth in any church is to be lookin’ in the wrong place.

Interestingly, too, doubt is built into the Christian religion and is even an Apostolic command: “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thess. 5:21). In the first of Galatians, Paul sets the standard for truth as the combination of the gospel preached by the apostle (Gal. 1:8) and which was received by God’s people by the leading of the Holy Spirit (1:9). This is also the theme of Acts 17 and the “more noble Bereans”.

The Roman position of blind acceptance seems the antithesis of the Apostle’s command. And, by relying solely on an earthly “Magisterium” it cuts off half of the Apostolic formula for truth about anything.

In sum, certainty is a gift from God that results from the preaching of His Word AND the acceptance by His faithful, both sides of the operation being the work of the Holy Spirit.

We haven’t interacted in a while, Paul, so I wish you well and hope you are prospering in Ohio.

Peace.

Constantine said...

Does anybody else get the "URL Too Large" error when trying to post here?

It looks like the posts go through even when you get the error.

Just an FYI to avoid double posting!


Peace.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Paul Hoffer: "If one is going to assent to being a Catholic, then one must assent to its teachings or else one should not call oneself a Catholic."

Paul Hoffer, there are many liberal Catholics, many cultural Catholics, and many cafeteria Catholics who really do NOT "assent" to all the Church's teachings in various sundry ways, and two things stand out as a result:

(1) They all still call themselves Catholics.

(2) Their local parish clergy still call them Catholics. Their tithes and offerings, whether occasional are not, are still welcome for the upkeep of the parish and the diocese (not to mention any legal expenses).

------

So if a conservative Catholic wants to exercise his private judgment and say to his fellow liberal Catholics that they should not call themselves Catholic, by all means, please go ahead and shout it from the parish rooftop.

Tim Enloe said...

All this talk of the "doubt" that would necessarily intrude because of "private judgment" just misses the point. Along with the usual Protestant counter-arguments about how Catholics also use "private judgment," there is this to consider as well:

Liccione and his like-minded friends are basically radical skeptics about the human ability to know, and, because their concept of "faith" does not permit radical skepticism they embrace the only solution to skepticism, its polar opposite, radical fideism.

They want EPISTEMOLOGICAL certainty - rational arguments that cannot be gainsaid by anything. Some of them go so far as to speak as if having the correct metaphysics and / or Christology is the real object of their "faith" rather than Christ and Him crucified. Perhaps they do trust in Christ at bottom of it all (only God knows), but the way they TALK, it's all this big intellectual game that, to borrow from Chesterton, involves them in the utterly futile endeavor of trying to stuff the world inside their heads.

Utterly unchallengeable rational certitude, however, is neither the biblical definition of "faith" nor a goal that any human being can expect to achieve. Hence, at the end of the day these guys have nothing left but to claim that they have found something that "works" for them, and since they can't imagine anything else that "works" for them, they cease all inquiry. It never occurs to them, I guess, that maybe the problem is that their imagination is too small to handle the real world.

John Lollard said...

Tim, that was brilliant. Thank you.

Jae said...

TUAD said, "The most obvious recent case would be the Catholic clergy pedophile scandal."

What an ignorant remark. Typical Protestants, can't even distinguish between personal sins and departure from truth by teaching what is morally and biblically wrong as true (most if not all of protestant churches)...examples: artificial contraception, gay-marriage, etc.

Just follow the Anglicans!

Eh bien, c'est ce qui arrive quand tout le monde est pape!

John Lollard said...

This is what I understand the least. The verse that Catholics appeal to as the promise of magisterial and papal infallibility most often is Matthew 16:19, that the gatea of Hades shall not prevail against the Ekklesia.

Apparently, I'm supposed to understand this to mean freedom from doctrinal error. I don't know why. Apparently I'm supposed to understand this as meaning that the enemy has sent out armies of demons (I guess that's the gates?) and all these armies want to do is trick the pope in to teaching that Mary was a sinner and her body rotted into dust. But those armies won't succeed, because Jesus promised that they wouldn't. Those armies couldn't care less about orgies in cathedrals, clergy-only brothels, the rape of pilgrims, the slaughtering of innocent people, putting an exhumed and rotting corpse on trial, assasinations and political intrigue. None of that stuff has anything to do with Hades or demons or the enemy. They're more interested in things like denying purgatory.

I'm sorry, but if your organization can be described as a 'pornocracy', then the gates of Hades have prevailed against your organization. Whether you've got spotless doctrine or not.

Jae said...

Everybody sins, why even Paul was a genocidal maniac, Peter was a bonafide sinner, the pope is a sinner, in fact all of us are sinners!

But it's a different thing for a christian church to teach and proclaim heretical teachings as true. If itis so that the church could err at all then it follows she could err in ANY POINT - Then what would stop us to believed that what you got are all wrong in the first place?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Natamllc,

You asked: How can you argue for infallibility writing that making a distinction between his personal views and those of his papacy?

I respond: I can argue for infallibility because the source of infallibility is the Holy Spirit. When the pope speaks ex cathedra, it is the Holy Spirit who guided him to do so and protected him from erring in doing so. I can do so because I at least understand that infallibility is a limitation on the pope’s authority that prevents him from teaching error. I make the distinction between his personal views and those of made plain when he speaks ex cathedra because the teachings of the Church state such. My opinion is irrelevant.

You queried: Seems to me that is a contradiction?

I respond: Only because you don’t understand or accept the teachings of the Catholic Church.

You wrote: Everything God is infallible!

I write: I agree which is why I accept the Church’s teaching that the Pope is infallible when he speaks or writes ex cathedra because he is being guided by the Third Person of the Holy Trinity Who is infallible.

You wrote: Your religion asks way to much for me to believe that your pope is infallible seeing you just established that he too reasons with his own personal views about his office!

I respond: I never said such a thing. I did say that one forms their assent using one’s reason, but once one forms that assent and accepts by faith that God established a Church and that He gave His Church a guarantee of His faithfulness to us then one’s personal views are no longer at issue. The simplest way to put it is that the Pope does not teach infallibly when the Holy Spirit is not leading him to do so.

Further, you quoted Rev. 5:1-7. That’s truly moving Scripture. In fact, the fifth Chapter of Revelations is one that as a Catholic I can truly feel inspired with the moving testimony of the Church triumphant in action later on. I agree that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the only One Who can reveal God’s plan of salvation written on the scroll. It is just the Scriptures state that Jesus makes use of His Church to do so.

You wrote: And, ironically, while you exhort us that we are using our "private judgment" you are presently using yours while making your distinction why you are not accepting the Reformation the Scripture teaches God's Elect experience!

I respond: I don’t need to use anything more than my reason to reject the Reformation’s deviations from the truth as taught by the Catholic Church. If one was truly moved by Scripture to reform the Church, one would have stayed in it to do so. Leaving the Catholic Church was an act of cowardice. There is nothing brave about being a heretic.

to be continued

Paul Hoffer said...

You wrote: Please note my emphasis on "the Reformation". The reformation I write about is this one that guys like Martin Luther and John Calvin "reclaimed" as their own once they wrestled with the bondage they realized they were in.

I respond: The great figures of the Council of Trent, St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Philip Neri, St. Francis de Sales did far more to reform the Church than someone like Calvin could ever hope to claim. Martin Luther I would put into a different category as it can not be argued that he did serve as a catalyst to get the Church to reform itself sooner as opposed to later, but history has shown us that God has always used heretics that way.

I am not quite sure why you would be quoting Heb. 9:8-12, one of our proof texts that establish the superiority of the eucharistic sacrifice over OT sacrifices since we offer up the one true sacrifice Jesus Christ in support of what you think Luther and Calvin did so great but you generally are oblique when you quote Scriptures like this.

You wrote: What does seem to be infallible is that Scripture establishes the conflict between our private judgment and the Spirit of Grace through the Faith once delivered to the Saints.

I write: Hence why we Catholics do not rely upon it like Protestants do.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Constantine,

You queried: Would it be bad form to inquire why your private judgment towards Rome does not factor in human doubt?

I respond: Not all my friend. I do doubt that I will understand everything that the Catholic Church holds, but I do not at all doubt the verity of what the Catholic Church does hold to be true. St Augustine and St. Anselm put it bit different-faith leads to understanding. Since I know by faith what the Church teaches is true, it enables me to focus my researches, my reflections on the Word of God, and my prayer life on those things so my will and understanding conforms with the Church that Christ established and which the Holy Spirit still guides to this day. I hope that clears things up a tad.

You wrote: Actually certainty/certitude of the truth will never be found in any part of God’s creation – RC or Protestant. In fact the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3:4) So, Paul, to look for truth in any church is to be lookin’ in the wrong place.

I respond: if God is true and Jesus Christ is God then He is truth (Jn. 14:6). St. Paul writes in several places that the Church is the body of Christ. If he is correct in this assertion, then the Church as Christ’s Body is also has the truth in it. Since the Church is Christ’s creation, then it is the one place where certainty/certitude can be found in this creation. There is only one Church that identifies itself as that Christ’s creation-the Catholic Church.

You wrote: Interestingly, too, doubt is built into the Christian religion and is even an Apostolic command: “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thess. 5:21).

I respond: the testing or proving as is in the version of the Scriptures I have in my hands that St. Paul is referring to is as to the new prophecies referred to in verse 20. This is a pretty good verse as to why the novel teachings of the Reformers should be tested and rejected since they do not conform with what the Catholic Church teaches. Men can deceive and be deceived, but the Spirit of God, speaking to us by his Church, can neither deceive us nor be deceived.

You wrote: In the first of Galatians, Paul sets the standard for truth as the combination of the gospel preached by the apostle (Gal. 1:8) and which was received by God’s people by the leading of the Holy Spirit (1:9).

I respond: The Catholic Church teaches that the Gospel as taught by Paul and that which has been received by the Church is the same one it teaches now. And referencing Acts 17:11 is an example of faith leading to understanding as I have mentioned.

You wrote: The Roman position of blind acceptance seems the antithesis of the Apostle’s command. And, by relying solely on an earthly “Magisterium” it cuts off half of the Apostolic formula for truth about anything.

I respond: There is nothing blind about my acceptance. Although I am a cradle Catholic, I study the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church as best I can within the capabilities that God chose to give me. The difference is that my understanding is directed to knowing better God’s truth. It seems that often the understanding that Protestants have is directed at disproving it.

You wrote: In sum, certainty is a gift from God that results from the preaching of His Word AND the acceptance by His faithful, both sides of the operation being the work of the Holy Spirit.

I respond: I agree! It all boils down to grace.

You wrote: We haven’t interacted in a while, Paul, so I wish you well and hope you are prospering in Ohio. Peace.

I respond: That is my loss to be sure. I enjoy discoursing with you. I wish you and yours the same. God’s blessings always

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello TUAD (I hope you don’t mind me abbreviating your handle)

You wrote: Paul Hoffer, there are many liberal Catholics, many cultural Catholics, and many cafeteria Catholics who really do NOT "assent" to all the Church's teachings in various sundry ways, and two things stand out as a result:

(1) They all still call themselves Catholics.

(2) Their local parish clergy still call them Catholics. Their tithes and offerings, whether occasional are not, are still welcome for the upkeep of the parish and the diocese (not to mention any legal expenses).

I respond: I have never said that the Church is not made up of both saints and sinners but as far as what label one wants to place on oneself, that is their problem. What is the point of being Catholic in name, yet not adhering to Catholicism. One can lie to others and fool them or one can lie and it is even said that one could fool oneself, but one can not lie to God and fool Him. I am sure that there are kind of folks who call themselves Reformed, but that does not mean that they really are as is frequently pointed out here and on other Reformed minded blogs.

BTW, do you find anything admirable about those folks who label themselves as Catholics but do not follow what the Church teaches?

You wrote: So if a conservative Catholic wants to exercise his private judgment and say to his fellow liberal Catholics that they should not call themselves Catholic, by all means, please go ahead and shout it from the parish rooftop.

I respond: the rooftop at my Church is pretty steep and covered with slippery tiles so I respectfully exercise my private judgment and decline to follow your suggestion. Seriously though, I have no problem pointing out the errors of a Nancy Pelosi or a John Kerry , one the Kennedy clan or even a Cardinal Mahoney. I have done so in the past and I am sure that I will I get up the gumption to do so again. I also have no problem praying that they will amend their ways as well. St. Paul had no problem rebuking St. Peter; St. Catherine of Sienna and St, Francis of Assisi had not qualms of correcting a pope; and Dante had no problem assigning popes and bishop to hell. What we do have a problem with is questioning the magisterial authority of the Church.

I hope to respond some more tomorrow. God bless!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Paul Hoffer: "BTW, do you find anything admirable about those folks who label themselves as Catholics but do not follow what the Church teaches?"

Depends on what Church teaching that they are not following.

Eg., it is often said that there are and will be Catholics who will be in Heaven despite Church teaching, not because of Church teaching. For these Christians I wholeheartedly applaud their departure from Magisterial dogma.

Eg., I abhor Catholic clergy, priests and bishops, who are either pedophiles and fornicators or who have covered up Catholic clergy pedophiles and Catholic clergy fornicators. I assume you'd agree that Catholic clergy who commit pedophilia and fornication while wearing the collar, as well as the clergy hierarchy who covered up for them, do still call themselves Catholics despite not following what the Church teaches on clergy pedophilia and clergy fornication.

"What we do have a problem with is questioning the magisterial authority of the Church."

John Lollard said it quite well. So well that it bears repeating.

Questioning the magisterial authority of the Church?

Lollard: "Apparently, I'm supposed to understand this to mean freedom from doctrinal error. I don't know why. Apparently I'm supposed to understand this as meaning that the enemy has sent out armies of demons (I guess that's the gates?) and all these armies want to do is trick the pope in to teaching that Mary was a sinner and her body rotted into dust. But those armies won't succeed, because Jesus promised that they wouldn't. Those armies couldn't care less about orgies in cathedrals, clergy-only brothels, the rape of pilgrims, the slaughtering of innocent people, putting an exhumed and rotting corpse on trial, assasinations and political intrigue. None of that stuff has anything to do with Hades or demons or the enemy. They're more interested in things like denying purgatory.

I'm sorry, but if your organization can be described as a 'pornocracy', then the gates of Hades have prevailed against your organization. Whether you've got spotless doctrine or not."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Jae: "But it's a different thing for a christian church to teach and proclaim heretical teachings as true. If it is so that the church could err at all then it follows she could err in ANY POINT - Then what would stop us to believed that what you got are all wrong in the first place?"

I'm not sure why you have a mental block. Just because the Catholic Church is wrong on some things does not mean that the Catholic Church is wrong on all things.

What a stupid thing to think.

Paul Hoffer said...

Dear Truth Unites and Divides: Thank you for answering my question to you and a pragmatic answer at that. Of course, it would have been helpful to know what your criteria is for deciding which Catholics make the cut in your eyes and which ones don’t. I do not personally know of any Catholics who deny Marian doctrines or the Communion of Saints or the Mass as a sacrifice though. The only Catholics I know about dissenting from the Magisterial teachings of the Church are the ones who want to use artificial birth control, defend abortion, promote homosexual marriage, women priests and so forth. If you find such things to be admirable and will lead Catholics into heaven despite Church teachings then we really do not have too much more to talk about. On the other hand, if you are talking about folks like Kung or de Chardin, or liberal Catholics or sedevacanists, what is it exactly that you do find admirable about them. Is dissent enough of a criterion to get into heaven. If that is the case, why isn’t Satan there? After all, isn’t his real crime against God that he dissented from His magisterial authority?

You wrote: “I abhor Catholic clergy, priests and bishops . . .”

Me: I abhor their sin as well but according to Protestant doctrine where all men are sinners and there is no mortal sin or venial sin, do you believe that their sinful behavior is any more sinful than anyone else? As a Catholic I do believe in mortal vs. venial sin as taught by the Church so I would have a basis for holding these men up for abhorrence and excoriation. How do you justify holding some men up for special abhorrence with a theology that teaches that all are sinner and are equally guilty in the eyes of God?

As for Mr. Lollard’s comment, it is a nice piece of hyperbole but I thought we were talking about the authority of the Church here not the sinfulness of the people in it. Besides, what Mr. Lollard’s comments really show is that he is not familiar with Exodus 32:7-14. And on a more practical note, make no mistake-what those priests and bishops did is sinful according to Catholic teaching whereas in some Protestant denominations all one has to do is get a majority vote to redefine sin not to include those things. Rather than seeking forgiveness from the One Who Died on the Cross, it would seem that many denominations of Protestantism are trending towards finding forgiveness in Webster’s. We both have something to be ashamed of.

God bless!

John Lollard said...

Hey Jae, excellent point. If the magisterium can be wrong about one thing, then can be wrong about anything. At all.

But praise God for the human faculties of thought!

I don't know how you make the leap from "it'd sure stink if..." to "therefore didn't happen". It's a pretty
big leap. Let's try it this way. If the Magisterium is fallible, then it can be wrong, and it can be wrong on anythig. We have no reason to suspect the Magisterium to be infallible and prooftexting Matt 16 gives the opposite impression. Therefore, the Magisterium could have erred on anything, and may even have erred whole-pig.

Constantine said...

I can argue for infallibility because the source of infallibility is the Holy Spirit. When the pope speaks ex cathedra, it is the Holy Spirit who guided him to do so and protected him from erring in doing so.

Facts not in evidence.

The source of infallibility certainly is the Holy Spirit but it is not a trait He shares with His creation (Isaiah 48:11). Only his Word passes that test (Psalm 19:9)

But what’s most curious about this infallibility thing, is why, in the “one true church” it has been used so sparingly. If the RCC is, in fact, that organization outside of which there is no salvation (Unum Sanctum), one could reasonably assume a plethora of infallible pronouncements – everything that is said should be infallible.

And especially about the Roman distinctives i.e. efficacious sacraments, man forgiving sins, transubstantiation, priests as “alter Christi”, etc. etc. etc. Why no infallible pronouncements about the Roman distinctives?

“Papal primacy, as presently exercised, constitutes a block both to further development of the ecumenical movement and to reform movements with the Catholic Church…It (historical knowledge) indicates very clearly that the form of the papacy defined by Vatican I, with its absolute power of primacy and magisterial “infallibility,” is not founded in the New Testament. Neither is it the original constitutional form of the Church, nor even that of the Catholic Church throughout its history. No new findings are needed to reach this conclusion….In addition, Catholic theology should examine the extent to which the definitions concerning primacy and infallibility have the character of dogma. For it is also Catholic conviction that dogma must have biblical foundations or, rather, foundations in the Gospel. And, of course, this foundation must now be shown in terms of the textual evidence ascertainable via historical criticism. It was, after all, the same Vatican I – probably without being aware of the significance of its statement – which asserted with respect to papal infallibility: “The Holy Spirit was not promised to Peter and his successors in order that they might promulgate through his revelation a new doctrine, but that under his guidance they might preserve and faithfully interpret the revelation transmitted through the apostles, or the deposit of faith (depositum fidei).” The faith transmitted through the apostles, i.e., in Holy Scripture, may not be expanded by new teachings. Every interpretation must be proved to be the interpretation of apostolic doctrine”

Ohlig, Karl-Heinz. Why We Need the Pope: The Necessity and Limitations of Papal Primacy. Trans. Dr. Robert C. Ware. St. Meinrad, Indiana, USA. Abbey Press, 1975. Trans. of Braucht die Kirche einen Papst?. Germany, 1973. p. ix.


So if Paul Hoffer is right – that the Holy Spirit keeps the RC from error – and Vatican I says that the Holy Spirit was given NOT to the apostles to create new doctrine and that dogma must have “biblical foundations” of which there is none for the doctrine of infallibility – what then of this mystical, magical doctrine?

RC theology runs aground on the erroneous irreformable and “infallible” pronouncements of its leader.

Peace.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Paul Hoffer,

Your first paragraph to me was a non-sequitur. Likely based on non-comprehension. Let me try this from a different angle.

I wrote: "Eg., it is often said that there are and will be Catholics who will be in Heaven despite Church teaching, not because of Church teaching. For these Christians I wholeheartedly applaud their departure from Magisterial dogma."

Let me flesh this out with some examples. Suppose 30% of Catholics don't believe in the Real Presence. Furthermore, suppose they also know that the Church teaches the Real Presence and they don't accept the Church's teaching. Lastly, suppose that some of these Catholics who don't believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, in fact, die and go to Heaven.

For these Christians I wholeheartedly applaud their departure from Magisterial dogma.

Another example. Let's assume Joe is a Catholic policeman. Joe never fornicates. Joe is single. Joe masturbates. Joe has done it for years. He knows that the Church teaches that masturbation is mortal sin. He does not go to confession and seek penance. Instead, he effectively thinks this: "The Church teaching on masturbation is ridiculous crap. But hey, I grew up Catholic, my family is Catholic, and the Catholic Church does do some good things. So I do accept and affirm a lot of teachings of the Church, but this crock about masturbation being a mortal sin is absurd. Fuggedaboutit!"

Joe the Catholic policeman then dies in the line of duty without confessing his masturbation to a priest. Joe goes to Heaven to be with Jesus.

For these Christians like Joe I wholeheartedly applaud their departure from Magisterial dogma.

Another example. Betty Homemaker is a long-time Catholic who majored in European History and is knowledgeable about Church history. Betty effectively thinks the Magisterium's Doctrine of Indulgences is garbage. She's too polite to say so, but she believes it in her heart. She thinks it's stupid. And she thinks the Catholics who fall for it aren't too bright. Betty rejects the Church's teachings on this particular point of dogma.

Betty dies and goes to Heaven.

For these Christians like Betty I wholeheartedly applaud their departure from Magisterial dogma.

natamllc said...

JAE,

But it's a different thing for a christian church to teach and proclaim heretical teachings as true.

And what might those heretical teachings be that you have in mind?

I sincerely am asking you because I would like to know what it is you are thinking the heretical teachings to be?

natamllc said...

PH: I respond: I can argue for infallibility because the source of infallibility is the Holy Spirit. When the pope speaks ex cathedra, it is the Holy Spirit who guided him to do so and protected him from erring in doing so.

Hmmmmmm? And you still maintain that Peter is the first Pope of Roman Catholicism then and now?

I am wondering if you read John Lollard's response above?

Can you conflate and relate his remarks then with yours there that I cite above, your response to my earlier question?

Do you agree with John that those sins he has chronicled have their basis in existential facts and are not just some foolish imaginings of a lunatic man?

natamllc said...

PH: I can do so because I at least understand that infallibility is a limitation on the pope’s authority that prevents him from teaching error.

Paul, can you point me to a Scriptural citation for that claim?

PH: I make the distinction between his personal views and those of made plain when he speaks ex cathedra because the teachings of the Church state such. My opinion is irrelevant.[sic]

Yes, your opinion is irrelevant, unless you also, as those that have gone on before the current pope, are in a position to vote the majority and your vote counts as that one vote that seats the next in line for the See of Rome from the body of Cardinals, voting, and just before the burning and the white smoke fills the stack the white smoke bellows forth from? In your case now, then, opinions matter, don't they?

Wouldn't your opinion be relevant to the infallibility of the pope's office and edicts so that what he says or writes ex cathedra after installation to the See, when presented to the world? Thus they carry weight all the way to each of his subjects and ironically, including your opinion which you now claim to be irrelevant?

It is interesting the point Tim Enloe made in this regard:

TE: It never occurs to them, I guess, that maybe the problem is that their imagination is too small to handle the real world.

I guess we can conflate that with swallowing the pig whole? Or not?

PH: I respond: Only because you don’t understand or accept the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Why do you believe that? How do you know what is in my heart that I don't believe?

PH: I write: I agree which is why I accept the Church’s teaching that the Pope is infallible when he speaks or writes ex cathedra because he is being guided by the Third Person of the Holy Trinity Who is infallible.

What if you are wrong? Are you not now claiming your opinion, which you claim is irrelevant, is right, thus making it infallible, too?

Talk about swallowing pig whole! I would have to say those words epitomize that aphorism!

Assuming now you believe the Bible is produced by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you have made a distinction above about the Holy Spirit regarding His inspiration as one of the Holy Trinity. He indeed is Infallible and He is God.

Of the Scriptures inspired by Him, which ones do you adhere to in not adhering to the things not in evidence from the Scriptures He inspired to conflate that claim to the infallibility of papal office authority, which is your claim? Do you now claim the pope is God on the earth when he speaks ex cathedra?

Again, as one observed above, I guess the devils' gates, which are few or many, move then? That certainly is a dichotomy that defeats the verse!

Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

natamllc said...

PH: I can truly feel inspired with the moving testimony of the Church triumphant in action later on.

Paul, will expand what you mean by "in action later on"?

In your mind, when is the Church "triumphant"?

natamllc said...

PH: If one was truly moved by Scripture to reform the Church, one would have stayed in it to do so. Leaving the Catholic Church was an act of cowardice. There is nothing brave about being a heretic.

Hmmmmmm? In light of John Lollard's indicting and painfully real words above about the "pornocracy" existent within the Magisterium and the Roman Catholic Church Priesthood which it has become and in fact, is, even still in some regards, in part, I will off out a brave coward and heretic then!

Now, I don't write that with an relish. Sin is sin and everyone has its nature and there really isn't much of a distinction to it from any Scriptural basis of it.

I do rely upon these Words as Truth in evidence to the facts I know:

Rom 3:10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Rom 3:12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
Rom 3:13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
Rom 3:14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
Rom 3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Rom 3:16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
Rom 3:17 and the way of peace they have not known."
Rom 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."



It's like one Pastor said from the pulpit, as I recall, "there are sinners in hell right now just like there are sinners in Heaven right now. It is all a matter of election and adoption which sinner you are.

It is not a matter of sin!

All your words do, Paul, is establish that you are working out your salvation from a position of self-right judgments.

For which sins you do not know about do you these things you believe to equate atonement for those sins seeing it is a work of righteousness you are doing to atone for those sins you know you are guilty of?

How do you die in self-righteous works believing these are what is necessary and acceptable, jointly with the finished Work of the Cross of Christ and expect to enter into Christ's Righteousness after you die?

John Lollard said...

So, Mr. Hoffer, I read the Bible reference you mention, to Exodus 32. I presume you're trying to refer to the general golden calf incident.

Great!

Let's refer to the golden calf incident. Israel committed grave sin and came under the wrath of God. Elsewhere, Israel fell into doctrinal error and also fell under the wrath of God. If you keep reading, God is merciful and forgiving, slow to anger and quick to forgive, and yet will enforce justice to the fullest extent on those who are arrogant and boastful.

I'm not sure how on earth you think Israel's doctrinal error (where they started praying to a statue.. weird... why would God forbid an innocuous thing like that?) gets you out of your predicament. If anything, it sticks you deeper in that hole.

Which, by the way, the predicament is about authority. The most common Catholic claim is that Matthew 16:19 is the establishment of magisterial infallibility. The verse explicitly refers to the Church being able to resist the gates of Hell.

Why am I supposed to believe that resisting the gates of Hell means exactly, no more and no less, than to continue teaching as a matter of faith and not of private judgement the deposit of faith free from doctrinal error? Maybe you could argue that's included in there, but when I think of the gates of Hell being opened and unleashed upon the Church and the enemy prevailing, I think of things like the pedophile scandal, the pornocracy, the cadaver synod, and the murders of Rome.

Either the forces of Hell have no interest in clerical orgies and senseless violence and aggression, or that verse means something other than what you want it to mean.

I just really have a hard time believing that the Roman church was as corrupt and repulsive as it once was, and yet has stood firm against the gates of Hell by not teaching that Mary consummated her marriage to her husband. Maybe I'm crazy.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Lollard, I would never comment on your mental state or doubt the sincerity of your views. Because of all the comments here, it would be counterproductive for me to try to answer them all individually. There are not enough hours in the day to do that. You do raise some points that I feel dovetail with somethings that Mr. Enloe raises in his statement that I will try to address. Please forgive me if it takes a couple of days to do so.

God bless!

Jae said...

TUAD said, "I'm not sure why you have a mental block. Just because the Catholic Church is wrong on some things does not mean that the Catholic Church is wrong on all things. What a stupid thing to think."

The Catholic Church through the ages have been claiming that when she declare, promulgate and teach a doctrine in matters of faith and morals she CANNOT ERR. Either you accept this or not it doesn't matter because the claim had already been made and thus your presupposition that the Church went wrong on "some" things doesn't really hold water.

This is an "arrogant" claim that she made following her Master, a man claiming to be GOD!.

Therefore, the stupid remark is unwarranted and thus should rightly stay in your mouth.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The Catholic Church through the ages have been claiming that when she declare, promulgate and teach a doctrine in matters of faith and morals she CANNOT ERR."

Not only CAN "she" ERR in teaching doctrine in matters of faith and morals, but "she" DID ERR in teaching doctrine in matters of faith and morals.

Again, that's not to say that "she" erred in all of her doctrines. That would be a stupid thing to say.

Pax.

Jae said...

NATAMLLC said, "And what might those heretical teachings be that you have in mind?"

Thanks for the question.

Setting aside our "differences" of opinion about Justification by faith alone, Bible Alone and for Catholics Justification by faith through love and Bible and the Church.

Again, we can accuse each other of heresy (error) so it's none tangible.

The important points are, just to be brief because I have already posted this topic - Did our church fall astray by declaring and teaching what is morally wrong as of today being morally right just because of the pressures of the secular world?

Do agree that, Truth is Truth, it is One, same from the old to the present, unchangeable, steadfast?

If so, before 1930 ALL Christian Churches agreed that artificial contraception is unnatural and against the will of God...until the Anglicans opened the doors in their Lambeth Conference in 1930 then afterwards one by one, protestant churches caved-in. We are not yet talking about abortion.

How about gay-marriage? If you belong in one of these churches where Evangelical Lutheran Church, Church of Christ, Congregationalist, Episcopalian church, Anglican church ,Unitarians, Presbyterian church and other independent evangelical churches say gay-marriage is a blessing and in no way contrary to the Bible - what would you do? Do you think according to your opinion they are heretical?

Jae said...

TUAD said,"Not only CAN "she" ERR in teaching doctrine in matters of faith and morals, but "she" DID ERR in teaching doctrine in matters of faith and morals."

You still didn't get the crucial point. Well what you said is according to your opinion.

Peace.

Paul Hoffer said...
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Paul Hoffer said...
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Paul Hoffer said...

There is one post I do want to comment on before I work on a group one. If I come across as frankly cross, I apologize but I have done my best to tone this down. I also apologize for this being off subject, but I feel justified in doing so since Natamllc has chosen to judge me and my heart.

Natamllc, you wrote: In light of John Lollard's indicting and painfully real words above about the "pornocracy" existent within the Magisterium and the Roman Catholic Church Priesthood which it has become and in fact, is, even still in some regards, in part, I will off out a brave coward and heretic then!

I respond: Mr. Lollard’s argumentation is an ad hominem argument that is obfuscatory at best and disingenuous at worst. As a gentleman, I have chosen not to point to similar sins of your ministers and preachers because it has nothing to do with the argument at hand. I will break that self-imposed rule in order to address your argument. Under your theology, your own sins are just as great as those you claim done by some non-existent “pornocracy” and are just as damning. Frankly, according to your notions of total depravity you can not legitimately denounce sinful priests without denouncing yourself equally. So paraphrasing Our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, remove the beam from your own eye hypocrite before looking for the mote in your neighbor’s.

Moreover, at least the Catholic Church acknowledges the problem within it and has worked to correct it, something that apparently the sons and daughters of Wittenburg and Geneva here have chosen not to acknowledge among your own congregations. See, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1850676/posts and http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/11/it-aint-just-catholic-priests-more.html . Do you not know that Satan focuses his attacks on our pastors and our leaders to cause us to lose faith, to demoralize us and lose hope? Your use of such argumentation is furthering the father of lies’ work.

You wrote: Now, I don't write that with a relish, [etc, blah, blah, blah.]

I respond: You quote from Rom. 3 but your usage shows that you don’t understand it or Catholic teaching otherwise you would not be judging me or my heart as you folks are wont to say. Since you like to quote the Psalms, why haven’t you made the connection here between Romans 3 and Psalms 13-14?

John Bugay said...

Constantine said...Does anybody else get the "URL Too Large" error when trying to post here?

I frequently get that and other error messages. But once the comments page goes away, it does appear as if the comments ends up being posted. We need to follow-up with Blogger to find out what's going on with this error, the missing comments etc. We just have not had the time to systematically follow up with that.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Jae: "You still didn't get the crucial point."

Whatever "point" you were trying to establish is relatively worthless in comparison to the point that the Catholic Church DID ERR in teaching doctrine in matters of faith and morals.

natamllc said...

JAE,

surprised me there!

Thank you for your honest reply!

I have nothing further unless you might want to discuss something further?