Monday, March 28, 2011

The normative value of the truth

David Waltz is here again and is nagging me about Dr. Peter Lampe. He says,
I label Lampe a "liberal" and a "revisionist" because I KNOW (as do you) that he rejects inerrancy (I provided clear examples), and IS revising early Church history. He embraces the methods and presuppositions that pretty much ALL liberals and revisionists accept. I do not see this as a "slur by innuendo", THESE ARE FACTS; but I do wonder why you see it as such.
Just what “methods” and “presuppositions” are these that ALL liberals and revisionists accept? David is painting with a broad brush here, and in fact, as I’ve argued many times in the past, I’ll say that his accusations are simplistic, generalized, and they have no correspondence with what’s really happening either in history or Biblical studies.

I’ve resisted getting into some of the specifics of his accusations, simply because so much background material needs to be presented, that’s not necessarily going to make for interesting reading. And I’ve had more important things that I’ve wanted to say. But I’m going to spend a bit more time here and show where David’s accusations fit (or rather, don’t fit) into the world that we are discussing.

First, listen to his condescending tone.
I have cautioned John about using liberal/revisionist historians like Duffy and Lampe in the AF threads linked to above (and in a number of combox posts)—but alas, my reflections have pretty much fallen on 'deaf ears' (I suspect because I am not Reformed)—perhaps John will give some thought to Garry Williams' reservations...
If he were making good “cautions,” it would be one thing. But his charges have no substance. He thinks, “if I cite a conservative Presbyterian who says that Eamon Duffy is a “revisionist,” then Eamon Duffy is a revisionist.” But that’s just name-calling. Second-hand name calling, in fact. He does nothing to show how Duffy might actually be a “historical revisionist.”

Take a look at the first link he provides. The Exiled Preacher published some notes from a conference talk given by Garry Williams, who appears to be Director of the John Owen Centre in Wales, and someone who would be highly familiar with all of the nuance of the Reformation in England. Here seems to be the core of Williams’s complaint against Duffy and one other writer:
1. They provide a re-examination of the state of church in England at the time of the Reformation. The Anticlericalism in England that seemed to drive the reform was not as popular as once thought [Duffy says]. There was no great cry for reform of the pre-Reformation English Church. The Church was part of everyday life for most people.

2. Slow speed of the English Reformation caused the Reformation to take time to settle in because it was not generally embraced by the masses.

3. Mary Tudor’s reign was more successful [than once] thought; she was a competent monarch. England was more conservative than once believed. People were happy to revert to Rome under Mary's reign.
It is on these views that Williams seems to consider Duffy “a revisionist.” He then moves on from this point. I’m wondering if David Waltz can speak to the issues? What, precisely, is being revised? Does David even know, or care to know? Or is it just an opportunity to smear a person’s work because someone else called him a “revisionist”?

This is a specialized conference (“The Westminster Conference for theological and historical study with special reference to the Puritans”), and it doesn’t surprise me at all that these folks would disagree with some of the opinions put forth by a Roman Catholic historian. Especially not English folks, talking about the English Reformation. On the other hand, Williams says nothing about Duffy’s writings on the papacy. I would tend to think he’d find those writings to be accurate and agree with them.

Williams’s statements about the English Reformation [the nuances of which most of us are unfamiliar with] are no reason to throw out everything else that Duffy has ever said. We’re not even sure what Williams actually said. This report comes to us through the filter of another, who was taking down notes. Davies’s own notes are unclear (and I’ve written to him for clarification, but as yet have not had a response from him). It is not clear in what way Duffy wishes to “overturn the traditional Protestant view of the English Reformation.” Davies does not state what specifically about the “Traditional Protestant View of the English Reformation,” (other than that Mary Tudor was a better Queen in Roman Catholic eyes than Protestant eyes), nor is it clear, what precisely about the “Traditional Protestant View” that he thinks Duffy is hoping to overturn. Nor is mention made of the fact that Duffy, as a Roman Catholic, is going to have historical views about the Reformation that may be at odds with “Traditional Protestant views” at any rate.

Further, David provides no clue as to how, precisely, Duffy’s work on the English Reformation intersects with what he has written about the early papacy. Or how any alleged “revisionism” here, in a discussion of the English Reformation, affects Duffy’s work with regard to the papacy. For all we know, Duffy may in fact provide a more sophisticated view of the English Reformation than the one that has come down to us through “traditional Protestant sources”.

Duffy’s alleged “revisionism” did not prevent WSC Professor Scott Clark from passing on two selections that quote from Eamon Duffy’s work, including my own article and a selection from Reformation Italy, a URCNA missionary church plant sponsored by a Southern California church that maintains close ties with Westminster Seminary California.

If David wants his charges to have any credibility at all on this, he will be able to tell us something specific about what Duffy’s view is on the English Reformation and how, precisely his work either distorts or in any way “revises” that history. And further, he will need to say how this affects what Duffy, a Roman Catholic, reports about the papacy. Merely citing someone (however well-meaning) who calls him a “revisionist,” while providing no documentation for that charge, is simply name-calling.

Steve Hays has said on a number of occasions, “truth is normative”. The Scriptures are what they are, because, being “God-breathed,” they are the ultimate truth. How do we respond, then, when we are presented with new information? If a thing is true, if Galileo, for example, through his observations, determines that the earth revolves around the sun, and those observations are determined to be true, then our understanding of Scriptures such as such as 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5, Ecclesiastes 1:5 need to be revisited. The Scriptures themselves are true and normative. Galileo presents additional (and true) knowledge. The Scriptures stand; we are the malleable ones. We acknowledge that it is our understanding that is lacking.

When you are presented with new and verified information, and you change your views because you have new information, that’s not being “revisionist”. That is a matter of accepting reality as it is. Of accepting the truth.

Such a thing is difficult, and it takes hard work. But this is precisely the type of thing that conservative Biblical scholarship has done over the centuries. In recent years, when someone like Peter Enns puts forth the theory that the Old Testament relies on myths of the Ancient Near East (ANE) culture. There is no substitute, however, for doing the hard work of truly understanding the ANE [more specifically, Egyptian culture and education], and determining what the true relationship between those two is. And at this point I’ll say that I’m no expert on this topic, but I’ll heartily recommend this brief lecture series from Dr. John Currid, “Crass Plagiarism? The Problem of the Relationship of the Old Testament to Ancient Near Eastern Literature”.

If you download and listen to this series, you’ll understand a great deal about why I don’t concern myself with David Waltz and his criticisms. Enns is a scholar who panics, and says, “gee, there are lots of parallels between ANE culture and literature and the OT. It must be that the OT borrows from that information.” The implication, of course, is that the Old Testament is not truly inerrant. On the contrary, Currid (and scholars like Gregory Beale and the administration at WTS that forced Enns to resign) is not afraid to take on that thesis on its own terms.

In fact, Currid dismantles Enns’s theory and presents a compelling account that it is Moses, educated in Egyptian myth and culture, and Yahweh himself, who is demonstrating who is the true power in history, in the face of Egyptian myths and legends. In reality, it is Yahweh who is laughing in the face of Egyptian myth, not by “copying” those myths, but by demonstrating where the true power in the universe is seated. At the end of Currid’s lectures, there is no question but that it is Yahweh who is absolutely humiliating the greatest world power of that era.

We see this type of thing in our own day. Superman dies in the movie (or at least, is incapacitated by Kryptonite), but then he comes to life again to save the world. Is Superman the reality? Or rather, is the Superman story based on an ultimate reality (in this case, the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ) that rather resonates in our hearts (Romans 1:18-19)? The New Testament provides the compelling narrative that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, making claims to be the Son of God; His resurrection and ascension (and the attendant miracles of his life) are an exceedingly powerful testimony that He Is Who He Says He Is, and that other “messiah” types of stories in our world are copies of the true reality.

Fast forward to today (and in fact, to the last 1500 years of history – the true “Catholic Moment”). The Roman Church claims that it is the chief and sole representative of the authority of Jesus Christ on earth. Are Roman claims true? If they are true, then golly, we’d better snap-to. But if Roman claims to authority are not true, then what are we left with?

45 comments:

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Could not sleep, so I jumped online and checked in on my blog and BA; I see that you have a new thread, and in this thread you write:

>>Just what “methods” and “presuppositions” are these that ALL liberals and revisionists accept? David is painting with a broad brush here, and in fact, as I’ve argued many times in the past, I’ll say that his accusations are simplistic, generalized, and they have no correspondence with what’s really happening either in history or Biblical studies.>>

Me: James White, and a good many other EV apologists, have clearly delineated the primary “methods” and “presuppositions” that liberal theologians and historians rely upon; that you are ignorant of this comes as a major surprise me. I paint "with a broad brush", because the “methods” and “presuppositions” that separate conservative and liberal Christians are demonstratively 'black and white'.

You accuse me of being "simplistic", and yet, in a number of the threads at Articuli Fidei where I have delineated the “methods” and “presuppositions” of liberal scholarship, you have been noticeably absent, and have failed to supply a conservative critique of the liberal paradigm.

Have much more to contribute, but I need to try and get some sleep; have a busy day tomorrow, so please do not think that (it will probably be Tuesday before I can further interact with this new thread of yours), the somewhat 'tardy' further reflections on my part suggests reticence.


Looking forward to a robust and charitable discussion...


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Could not sleep, so I jumped online and checked in on my blog and BA; I see that you have a new thread, and in this thread you write:

>>Just what “methods” and “presuppositions” are these that ALL liberals and revisionists accept? David is painting with a broad brush here, and in fact, as I’ve argued many times in the past, I’ll say that his accusations are simplistic, generalized, and they have no correspondence with what’s really happening either in history or Biblical studies.>>

Me: James White, and a good many other EV apologists, have clearly delineated the primary “methods” and “presuppositions” that liberal theologians and historians rely upon; that you are ignorant of this comes as a major surprise me. I paint "with a broad brush", because the “methods” and “presuppositions” that separate conservative and liberal Christians are demonstratively 'black and white'.

You accuse me of being "simplistic", and yet, in a number of the threads at Articuli Fidei where I have delineated the “methods” and “presuppositions” of liberal scholarship, you have been noticeably absent, and have failed to supply a conservative critique of the liberal paradigm.

Have much more to contribute, but I need to try and get some sleep; have a busy day tomorrow, so please do not think that (it will probably be Tuesday before I can further interact with this new thread of yours), my somewhat 'tardy' further reflections on my part suggests reticence.


Looking forward to a robust and charitable discussion...


Grace and peace,

David

John Bugay said...

James White, and a good many other EV apologists, have clearly delineated the primary “methods” and “presuppositions” that liberal theologians and historians rely upon; that you are ignorant of this comes as a major surprise me. I paint "with a broad brush", because the “methods” and “presuppositions” that separate conservative and liberal Christians are demonstratively 'black and white'.


I've read your blogposts and, as the one I've described here, there is no real substance to them.

Please, cite for me chapter and verse where James White outlines the principles by which I should not rely on Peter Lampe as a historian.

John Bugay said...

I'm going to go into more detail about the "Bauer thesis," but it's important to note that conservative New Testament scholar (and Professor of NT at Dallas Theological Seminary) Darrell Bock, in his 2006 study of second century Gnosticism, notes that Lampe's work actually undermines one major pillar of "the Bauer thesis".

"In his major study of Rome in the first two centuries, Lampe explained an element of orthodoxy's success there. I twas simply the majority belief among the many options; it was more attractive to the masses (Lampe 1989, 323). So one of Bauer's two content pillars is made of sand."

Bock actually takes pains to distinguish between the useful historical and methodological components of "the Bauer thesis" -- and the clarity of that approach makes a lie of your "lump-them-all-together" approach.

Raymond said...

First, listen to his condescending tone....

John - here are some highlights of your 'tone' gleamed off of your work here recently.

Bryan puts up a couple of flamboyant photographs and elaborately explicates a phenomenon of his own creation....

What you do is not scholarship. You do not "weigh the evidence." Your tactic is slur by innuendo...

Tacking on the words "grace and peace" is a mere band-aid that does not hide what you're really doing....

I think you are just a poorly-programmed bot, and I'm convinced you have nothing meaningful to say at all...

Lay off the "brother" stuff -- we're not good buddies. I don't even know you, and if you've gone from being Reformed into Roman Catholicism, I don't consider that to be a "brotherly" activity...

Looking at your response, briefly, you've picked up the typical Roman authority line...

Raymond said...

(that took about 3 minutes to compile just off of the most recent of your 160 posts Beggars All).

You complaining of a 'condescending tone' would probably go a lot further if you yourself weren't so damn condescending.

John Bugay said...

Raymond, it is no crime to describe what someone is doing.

If I have to "explain" this to you, though, then it is condescending.

Now, Raymond, dear Raymond, do you understand?

Raymond said...

You get all upset and righteous when you perceive 'name calling' but even amidst your indignation you are 'name calling' others.

You act all pious in the light of somebody being 'condescending' just as you condescend.

You opine about the hearts of people and suggest that they believe what they believe for celebrity as you trumpet your name and your own beliefs around the city square.

It is truly amazing that anybody would take you seriously.

John Bugay said...

I get neither upset or righteous. If you don't take me seriously, why are you here?

Do you have something of substance to say?

Raymond said...

If you don't take me seriously, why are you here?

For the same reason that many people can't help but watch a real life train wreck?

John Bugay said...

The fact is, Raymond that the Roman Church is a train wreck upon Christianity, and I report on it. If you don't like my tone or language, keep in mind the unseemly character of my subject matter. Maybe to sensitize yourself you ought to read some of the canons of the Medieval church.

Raymond said...

Who said anything about being Catholic?

John Bugay said...

You are free to go away.

Tim Enloe said...

I always wonder when threads like this come up: where is the sense that scholarship, like anything else, has to be approached with a critical attitude? And by "critical" is not meant "adversarial," as in, e.g., "He's a LIBERAL. You can't trust his book." By "critical" is meant the recognition that many factors are involved in the truth, and many are also involved in our understanding of the truth. "Liberals" are not always wrong, nor "conservatives" always right. It's neither helpful nor properly critical to imagine that because a man is a "Liberal" with respect to some cherished issue X in our minds, he just simply can't be trusted across the board.

Raymond said...

You are free to go away.

And you are free to continue your public exercise of peering into the hearts of people you have never met and contemplating their motivations for all of your friends while you complain about the 'tone' of others.

Tim - Ask John. It's simple. If 'X' scholar has anything that can be construed as harmful to the Catholic Church than those statements are flawless. If that same scholar uses the same methods to say anything that can be construed as harmful to John's beliefs than, well, that scholar is wrong about that.

John Bugay said...

Tim, I think the thing I'm trying to say is that, I appreciate Lampe, not for his biblical doctrines, but precisely because he is Galileo in this situation.

The thing that keeps getting lost is that, the two "errors" that Lampe points out in the Pastorals all involve travel arrangements. So-and-so wasn't here at that point because they were there.

Well, nobody even has the dating down precisely on Paul's letters. How can they say whether or not someone was there or not.

And if these two items are incorrect, according to Lampe, that merely strengthens his case as to whether Romans 16 is a part of the original letter to the Romans. If Lampe is wrong about these travel arrangements, then his case for Romans 16 is only slightly less persuasive.

But we inerrantists are inclined to believe that Romans 16 was part of the letter in any event. It seems as if Lampe is only bringing up Aquila and Priscilla to appease the "liberals" who are not inclined to believe his account of Romans 16.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The normative value of the truth"

I recall a James Swan post where he talks about reading Barth. And that he likes some of Barth's stuff while rejecting other of Barth's theology.

I commented, saying that I do the same thing with RC and EO doctrine.

John Bugay said...

If 'X' scholar has anything that can be construed as harmful to the Catholic Church than those statements are flawless.

Raymond, there are lots and lots of things that your namesake, Raymond Brown, for example, believed, that I would disagree with. And where I disagree with him, I am more than prepared to cite scholars who make a case contra to what he is saying, on any given point.

For example, he believes that the Gospel of Matthew was written around 80AD. I don't agree with that particular dating, and I would cite someone like D.A. Carson (Intro to the New Testament) who actually addresses why a more traditional dating in the 60's is more plausible.

And secondly, Brown's dating of the gospel in 80 AD plays absolutely no role in his analysis that, for example, the office of mono-episcopacy developed around Ignatius's time in the east, and only around 150 ad in the west (i.e., Rome).

This, in fact, is the method of all of those Roman Catholic scholars whom I do cite -- Francis Sullivan, Raymond Brown, Klaus Schatz -- their work is largely corroborated by similar work on the Protestant side.

That is the sole basis for my citing these individuals.

John Bugay said...

Hi TUAD -- I think Barth wrote a lot about everything. I haven't read his work, but from what I understand, his doctrine of the Trinity is exceptional, whereas his doctrine of Scripture is not so great.

We have to "test everything, and hold onto what is good" (1 Thess 5:21).

David Waltz said...

Hi Raymond,

It is refreshing to see that another reader of John's anti-Catholic threads has discerned his blatant use of double-standards; I was beginning to think objective readers had completely abandoned BA.

BTW, did you catch the following from John's pen:

>> David, I get what you are saying about Bavinck. I have the utmost respect for him. I'm not going to make a judgment on how the editors are summarizing; that's a four volume set, and I've not read anything of it except for some extended quotes that Michael Horton picked up in "Covenant and Salvation".>>

Me: Note that John admits he has not read Bavinck's magnum opus, but then states that he has "utmost respect for him". I sincerely wonder if I am the only reader who trying to discern the basis of John's "utmost respect" for Bavinck, for he has not read THE most important work from his pen, which should serve as the primary basis for such evaluations.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello John,

While drinking my morning coffee, I was pondering over the direction my next response to your opening post should take, but when I jumped online and read your comments to my late evening/early morning combox post, the direction that I should take became crystal clear. In your 6:09 AM response you wrote:

>>I've read your blogposts and, as the one I've described here, there is no real substance to them.>>

Me: This speaks volumes, for some pretty bright folk from diverse theological paradigms have stated the exact opposite (i.e. that the threads at AF dealing with this particular genre were informative and insightful.)

>>Please, cite for me chapter and verse where James White outlines the principles by which I should not rely on Peter Lampe as a historian.>>

Me: ??? This may sound a bit condescending, but I feel it is necessary to be blunt at this point: please try responding to what I actually have written; I have never said that James has critiqued Peter Lampe (neither as a historian, nor as a theologian), what I said was:

"James White, and a good many other EV apologists, have clearly delineated the primary “methods” and “presuppositions” that liberal theologians and historians rely upon..."

Forgive me for not taking the time to search James' website for the numerous critiques that he has leveled against such liberal scholars as Crossan, Erhman, Lynn, Spong, et al., and the near constant charge/s that he levels against Muslim apologists who rely on liberal scholarship, for I am a pretty sure that you are quite aware of James' stance on this issue.

Now as for YOUR relying "on Peter Lampe as a historian", you are quite selective on what you accept from his pen, and have offered your readers no solid basis on why you are selective.

And for the record, I do not dismiss ALL liberal scholarship (including Lampe), but I do take issue with the assessment/s of liberals (and even conservatives) when their theories are arrived at by presuppositions that are by their very nature unverifiable.

I have prior commitments that I need to attend to, so I must stop here for now.


Grace and peace,

David

John Bugay said...

Well, now, hello David, grace and peace to you, etc., etc., is it not possible to have the utmost respect for a person based merely on his position in the church?

I'm wondering, what have you read from the pen of Pope Alexander VI that causes you to allow that he "held the office" of vicar of Christ in any capacity whatsoever?

Raymond said...

John.

So you are caught engaging in abject duplicity - both in your whining about 'tone' and your ever selective citations of scholarship and you respond by asserting something about Raymond Brown simply because we share the same first name?

Is that a reasonable argument? Not really but I can play that game too.

Your namesake, John Shelby Spong is wrong about a ton of stuff. I can cite scholars who disagree with him. I think most would agree that Raymond Brown is more orthodox than John Shelby Spong so I win!

Tim Enloe said...

Raymond:

Everyone is selective. Everyone has to be. What you're chastising John for is done in spades by Catholic apologists all the time. "Selectivity" simpliciter is not a problem. Problems arise in the rough-and-tumble of trying to persuade someone else that one's selective construction of arguments is true, or more likely to be true, than someone else's.

The only reason I commented on this thread is because I've been the victim of unreflective people crying foul because I occasinoally quote - or even merely have in a bibliography - some reference to something said by someone who is purportedly a "Liberal." This just simply doesn't mean anything with respect to the truth value of the argument being made. The argument stands or falls on its own merits, not because it comes from the pen of a "Liberal" or a "Conservative." These are question-begging words, more often than not, that take the place of critical thought in apologetics discussions.

John Bugay said...

Raymond, the "namesake" comment was a friendly joke. I did not associate you with him in any other way.

Nor was there an assertion attached to it. I cited a belief that Brown had, and I told how and why I would disagree with it, while still agreeing with him on some other point.

Did you not understand that?

John Bugay said...

Tim, I would be fairly certain that Raymond will misconstrue what you mean when you say "question-begging".

Tim Enloe said...

And this problem is particularly bad in the field of history. History is a "social science," not a "hard science." Historical arguments are never, and by their very nature never CAN be, one hundred percent airtight, susceptible to no intelligent counter-argument. A historical reconstruction is not good because a "Conservative" made it, nor is it bad because a "Liberal" made it. It has to be evaluated on its own terms, and with respect to its relative fit with the vast body of known information. Some aspects of reality do indeed go beyond "information," especially when supernatural claims are involved, but even there there must be some sort of critical awareness in operation. No one ever said the interface between faith and reason would be easy to navigate, but much apologetic material pretends that it really is quite easy.

In any case, a HISTORICAL argument cannot be properly evaluated as a HISTORICAL argument by whether it steps on "conservative" toes.

Raymond said...

Tim - Everybody discerns scholarship. That is unavoidable. However, what we have here with John is an obvious obsession to find anything written by anybody who has something bad to say about the Catholic Church (or something that he think damages the claims of the Catholic Church).

Everything that John talks about is filtered through his unique filtration system where the only items that get through are things that he thinks damages the Catholic Church.

…and then he expects people to accept the claims that he highlights while reserving for himself to reject other conclusions given by those same scholars.

He acts as if the entire edifice of Catholicism is about to topple over because Peter Lampe imagines that the monarchial papacy did not exist until the 2nd century. Game over. But when Peter Lampe says something about scripture that is hard for a Reformed Presbyterian to swallow...well John can disregard that.

John Bugay said...

Raymond, I posted this the other day, from the late Edward Kilmartin, S.J.:

* * *

In Trent’s Decree on Holy Orders, Canon 6 states that there is in the Church “a hierarchy instituted by divine ordination, which consists of bishops, presbyters and ministers.” While this teaching conforms to the idea of existence of such offices from the beginning of the Church, it does not harmonize with the historical facts. The Second Vatican Council’s Lumen Gentium [28] offers a more realistic view based on a more secure historical consciousness and exegesis of Scripture. Here we read “Thus the divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times (ab antiquo) have been called bishops, priests, and deacons.” Hence in no way does Vatican II affirm that the priesthood was instituted at the Last Supper in the sense understood by Trent (pg 378)

* * *

It is not Lampe; in fact, it is from a Roman Catholic author.

Why does he suppose that Trent was, uh, not harmonized with historical facts? Do you think he was just making something up out of a profound hatred for "Romanism"? Or do you suppose that he (and those at Vatican II) were onto something?

Raymond said...

John - Do you give us the right to disagree with Edward Kilmartin?

Let's look at what Vatican II says and compare it to Trent:

Trent: “a hierarchy instituted by divine ordination, which consists of bishops, presbyters and ministers.”

Vatican II: “Thus the divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times (ab antiquo) have been called bishops, priests, and deacons.”

Both affirm what really matters: that Holy Orders are divinely instituted. I am not sure how Kilmartin can read in both cases "divinely instituted' and then say that V2 denies that it was not "divinely instituted."

Also in LG # 28 we read: Christ, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, (176) has through His apostles, made their successors, the bishops, partakers of His consecration and His mission.(62*) They have legitimately handed on to different individuals in the Church various degrees of participation in this ministry.

We see 'divinely instituted...by Christ.'

Further, from the opening section that is cited:

For the nurturing and constant growth of the People of God, Christ the Lord instituted in His Church a variety of ministries…This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ, the eternal Shepherd, established His holy Church…and He willed that their successors, namely the bishops, should be shepherds in His Church even to the consummation of the world…And all this teaching about the institution, the perpetuity, the meaning and reason for the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff and of his infallible magisterium, this Sacred Council again proposes to be firmly believed by all the faithful.

That sounds pretty consistent with Trent if you ask me. Do you disagree?

John Bugay said...

Raymond -- In the first case, it was the "hierarchy" that was "instituted" at the Last Supper; in the second case, it was the "ecclesiastical ministry" that was "exercised in different degrees..." though still "divinely instituted. I don't have it in front of me, but the account given by Sullivan (following Brown) is that these offices "developed" by divine guidance. That is a good bit different from what Trent said, in saying that "the full hierarchy of bishops, presbyters and ministers being divinely instituted" at the Last Supper.

That sounds pretty consistent with Trent if you ask me

Sure it *sounds* consistent, but it is not saying the same thing. Rome is the master of using equivocal language. They are "backing off" in the language because they simply know that the Trent account is not consistent with historical facts. The same is true with the papacy. The language between Vatican I and Vatican II regarding the papacy are giving theologians fits. They can't be reconciled.

Raymond said...

John.

I just cited LG where it says: This Sacred Council, following closely in the footsteps of the First Vatican Council, with that Council teaches and declares that Jesus Christ...

Cite a single statement from Vatican I about the papacy that is 'reversed' or 'rejected' or 'changed' by Vatican II.

Merely using different words such as "hierarchy" versus "ecclesial ministry" does not intend to 'shift gears' in a manner that changes meaning.

Further, nowhere does Vatican I state that the hierarchy was not 'exercised in different degrees', so your previous example does not suffice.

John Bugay said...

Raymond: In that post where I cited Kilmartin, I also said, parenthetically, "The astute Roman Catholic apologist here will chime in and say, “oh yeah, well, it doesn't deny it.” See below on the use of fuzzy language."

Really I said that! And golly gee, what did you come back with? Consider yourself an astute Roman Catholic apologist!

Check it out here: http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/03/vatican-ii-vs-trent-on-holy-orders.html

The problem is, what you're left with, is that Kilmartin actually said this: in no way does Vatican II affirm that the priesthood was instituted at the Last Supper in the sense understood by Trent

So whose word do I take for what they really said? Yours, or Kilmartin's?

Raymond said...

Really I said that! And golly gee, what did you come back with? Consider yourself an astute Roman Catholic apologist!


Condescending tone noted.

The problem is, what you're left with, is that Kilmartin actually said this:

Why is this anymore a problem for me than Peter Lampe is a problem for you where he denies Pauline authorship of an epistle?

I'd like to know, by the way, which scholars are 'having fits' about reconciling Vatican I and Vatican 2?

John Bugay said...

Condescending tone noted.

I am glad and truly humbled to see that you have been able to learn this concept through my tutelage. Now if you would only learn what I am teaching about Catholicism, then I could truly say my efforts have not been in vain.

Kilmartin is a problem for you because he knows more than you do, and as Matthew Schultz has cited Dulles, we are to believe what theologians like Kilmartin say about what the RCC teaches, not what laymen like you think it teaches. Protestants are not bound by authority in that way, so I may agree or disagree with Lampe based on my own judgment of his case.

I will have that other info for you shortly.

Raymond said...

Kilmartin is a problem for you because he knows more than you do...Protestants are not bound by authority in that way, so I may agree or disagree with Lampe based on my own judgment of his case.


Ah, very telling.

Go ahead and cite the magisterial teaching that lay people are bound to accept the conclusions of every historian or theologian who happens to be Catholic on matters of history and theology.

But you cannot do that and you know it.

You have set up rules by which to judge us that are your own invention.

There is simply no way in which a Catholic is bound to historians, John.

Catholics are bound by A) Scripture, B) Holy Tradition, C) the living Magesterium.

Now that this is settled and you have admitted that you reserve the right to disagree with Lampe - I will say that I reserve the right to disagree with Lampe.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Raymond said:

Go ahead and cite the magisterial teaching that lay people are bound to accept the conclusions of every historian or theologian who happens to be Catholic on matters of history and theology.

Go ahead and cite where John said that lay Catholics are bound to accept the conclusions of every Catholic theological and intellectual authority.

This is the same reading comprehension problem you demonstrated earlier with respect to your (false) charge of "name-calling" hypocrisy and your recent failure at Triablogue to understand elementary ethical distinctions.

Either you can't make fine distinctions or you're unwilling to make fine distinctions. Whether it's incompetence or malignance, it prevents you from making meaningful contributions and disqualifies you from being taken serious. It's becoming clear that there's clearly little value in engaging your comments.

Catholics are bound by A) Scripture, B) Holy Tradition, C) the living Magesterium.

Which just brushes over the finer distinctions of the role Catholic theologians play in interpreting and expressing the teachings of the Magisterium to the laity. These theologians are often members of the Magisterium or are directly appointed to the Magisterium to these teaching tasks. They're far higher on the ecclesiastical totem pole than you are. But yet again we see how lay Catholic apologists think that having a keyboard and an Internet connection allows them to be, in all but name, the official interpreters of what Rome really teaches, over and against the learned and more authoritative conclusions of Catholic scholars. It's all very Evangelical Protestant, the only difference being that the lay Catholics are privately interpreting the Magisterium rather than the Bible.

John Bugay said...

Raymond, you said, Go ahead and cite the magisterial teaching that lay people are bound to accept the conclusions of every historian or theologian who happens to be Catholic on matters of history and theology.

Of course, you'll feel free to move the bar. Kilmartin is not just "every historian or theologian." But what you've done is give yourself a blank check to reject anything and everything that you don't like.

Here's that citation of Dulles that I mentioned earlier:

After the Magisterium has spoken, theologians play an indispensable role in giving effect to its pronouncements. Just as they took part in preparing the way for the pronouncements to be made, so too they inform the public about what has been decreed and in doing so interpret the documents.

You must be familiar with CCC 87: Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

Of course, that's just fuzzy enough that you may feel free to disagree with anything that a Cardinal Dulles might have to say about a theologian like Kilmartin, whose job as a theologian is to "inform the public [guys like you] about what has been decreed," in this case, the discrepancy between Vatican I and Vatican II.



Now that this is settled and you have admitted that you reserve the right to disagree with Lampe - I will say that I reserve the right to disagree with Lampe.


I gave a specific reason why I am free (and you are free) to disagree with Lampe. But that's not your free ticket just to dismiss what he says because you don't like it. Interact with his work and prove him wrong. But if you reject him just because you don't like his conclusions, you're a fool, in just the same way the Roman church was a fool to censure Galileo.

In case you haven't noticed, since he wrote in 1987, the papacy is now effectively shopping around for "a new situation" in which it may exercise its ministry.

I'll guarantee you, Lampe's work is taken most seriously by those who feel like they have the most to lose. (And that would be, those whose power rests on a false base).

Penny said...

Go ahead and cite where John said that lay Catholics are bound to accept the conclusions of every Catholic theological and intellectual authority.


OK.

Kilmartin is a problem for you because he knows more than you do...Protestants are not bound by authority in that way.

Apparently, John thinks I am bound by Kilmartin at least.

Matthew - have you ever stopped and looked at what John is spouting objectively? You seem simply eager to pat him on the back at every turn more than anything else.

Raymond said...

OK - I am not 'Penny.' At library researching and apparently this 'Penny' didn't log off blogger.

John Bugay said...

Raymond: For example:

The development from Pastor aeternus to Lumen Gentium, from speaking of the bishops as the episcopate to speaking of the bishops as “a college...or a college of bishops” (collegium ... seu corpus episcoporum),is far more considerable than a simple semantic shift. “Episcopate” is somewhat more abstract than “college of bishops,” and it fails to express the dynamic relationship of the bishops among themselves… (Michael J. Buckley, S.J., “Papal Primacy and the Episcopate: towards a relational understanding,” New York: Crossroad Herder, © 1998, pg 77).

Just wait until you’ve got to take into account a millennium’s-worth of Orthodox (and Oriental) bishops who have been slighted.

Also, By no means is that the only problem which the college of bishops initially poses. Lumen Gentium, no. 22, did not include in its description of the Episcopal college the local churches of which the bishops were shepherds and representatives. If one fails to place this section within the context of Lumen Gentium no. 23, one would have an understanding of the college of bishops without the simultaneous and explicit recognition of the communion of churches, indeed, without mention of local churches at all. The perspective would remain that of a universalist ecclesiology, and the college of bishops would read as if it were primarily a governing board of the whole Church (80).

Then there are the vital relationship between the bishop and the local church within which he is to represent the leadership and the sanctifying presence of Christ (81) … and the Apostolic Tradition which insists that the bishop is to be chosen by all of the people and that this selection is to be approved by the assembled [local] bishops and elders (86).

Not that I care about all of these problems created by the Voice of Rome asserting itself loudly over the centuries, but I did say that the differences between Vatican I and Vatican II created all kinds of problems, and you had asked about it.

John Bugay said...

Apparently, John thinks I am bound by Kilmartin at least.

If not "bound," you gotta "receive him with docility."

John Bugay said...

I have also cited Hermann Pottmeyer, in his 1998 work "Towards a Papacy in Communion," (New York: Herder & Herder) cites Chapter 3 of Vatican I: "On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff:

9. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

He goes on to say, "Anyone relying exclusively on this definition for the interpretation of Vatican I can very easily come to the conclusion that the council made a dogma of the absolute sovereignty and monarchy of the pope. However, an examination of the conciliar debates has shown that this was not the council's intention" (70-71). He then goes on and spends the next five pages clarifying why Vatican I really didn't mean what it said, as stridently as it said it.

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Raymond said:

Apparently, John thinks I am bound by Kilmartin at least.

Even if that followed from what you quoted, you're changing your position. I have little patience for this kind of slippery apologetic.

Matthew - have you ever stopped and looked at what John is spouting objectively?

And just what would that look like? What is "objectively" supposed to mean in this context? (Should I note your "condescending" use of "spouting"?) Like David Waltz's vacuous appeal to the term, it's just a cover for saying that anyone who disagrees with you is deeply biased.

You seem simply eager to pat him on the back at every turn more than anything else.

Just the empty, unsubstantiated slander I've come to expect from your posts.

Of course, it's easy enough to turn this around on anyone. People tend to celebrate people who share their beliefs, and tend to celebrate such people (or their actions) in proportion to the extent that they successfully articulate and defend those shared beliefs. Nothing in this tells us if what they celebrate is right or wrong. If you want to suggest I'm a blind partisan for team Beggars All, you need to do a little more than simply imply it.

James Swan said...

Raymond said...
OK - I am not 'Penny.' At library researching and apparently this 'Penny' didn't log off blogger.


LOL, poor Penny, now forever stuck with her face and child on Beggars All, not to mention also having Romanism attributed to her!