Friday, May 20, 2011

The Hermeneutic system of heretics is very old

Irenaeus around 200 AD described the Gnostic system, which is very similar to the system of modern heretics

I have been watching the latest Harold Camping videos over the last few days at the Ezekiel thirty three 3 You Tube site. [Added: May 24, 2011 - It turns out the guy who did this filming infiltrated into Harold Camping's ministry and this guy does not even believe the Bible at all; much less Camping's false teachings and predictions. wow.] I also also listened again to Dr. White's debates with Harold Camping that are from almost a year ago. At the time I first heard about this guy back around 1988, another guy was also predicting the rapture. I dismissed them easily as nuts, citing in my mind Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32 and Acts 1:6-8. I have been amazed at all the followers that Camping has, I had no idea that this “movement” was that widespread. I am amazed at all the money that people have wasted on billboards and artwork and cars with professional signs. Truly amazing.

In his debates with Dr. White, Camping just ignored everything that Dr. White said and went on with his own interpretive system, allegory, numerology, subjectivism and connecting different passages together that have nothing to do with each other.

Irenaeus around 200 AD wrote of the Gnostics that did that, grabbing a verse here and connecting it with a verse somewhere else.

Sound Hermeneutics and theology and reading whole chapters and whole books of the Scriptures at a time for context are the great need in local churches.

It is obvious that all those large crowds of people that go to Joel Osteen or Kenneth Copeland or Benny Hinn meetings do not read their Bibles in large sections in context (chapters, paragraphs, books).

What is really ironic is that Camping told everyone years ago that the church age had ended, and that everyone should flee the churches, and yet he has, what appears to be a "church service" there, shown in the videos. (pulpit, audience, etc.)

It is incredible to watch him, and his followers, and to think that they really believe this stuff.


"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Matthew 24:36 (see also Mark 13:32)

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

Acts 1:6-8

www.aomin.org (for Dr. White's debates with Harold Camping and other messages on his heresies.)

Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:8:1

In this passage, Irenaeus tells us the Gnostics do 2 things -

1. They gather information from sources other than the Scriptures.


Camping keeps claiming he does not do that (as other heretics also claim); but the way he connects numbers in different passages and "breaking down" the numbers is really outside from Scripture and also from his own mind. He is an outside source, using his strange system of how to connect verses and allegorical and mystical interpretations of numbers.

Chapter VIII.-How the Valentinians Pervert the Scriptures to Support Their Own Pious Opinions.

1. Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavor to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. . . .


2. They Connect different passages together without following the context or argument of either passage.

". . .
In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skillful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skillful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king's form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives' fables, and then endeavor, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions. We have already stated how far they proceed in this way with respect to the interior of the Pleroma."

Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1:8:1

I was amazed again listening to Harold Camping connect "the book" in Daniel 12 with Mark 4:33-34, I Cor. 2:13, and 2 Peter 3:8 and a verse from Genesis 41 and then add his thoughts and connections and "breaking down the numbers" and the repetition of "we know" and "its very clear" and "this means that" and "that number means that" and "only the Bible", etc.

These are the same methods that other heretical groups do, having sources outside of the Scriptures and connecting individual passages that have nothing to do with each other, and ignoring the context of verses.

The Word of Faith (Financial Prosperity and Healing/ Name it Claim it) movement and many on TBN does this. Just some of these false teachers: the late Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, T. D. Jakes, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey and Eddie Long. Their other sources came from the "New Thought" of E. W. Kenyon and other positive thinking mind over matter cults; and are their assumptions about positive thinking and the innate power of saying words and formulas; and their wrong ideas about God, that they get from their own greedy desires for money and wealth and success. Not only that, their messages lack citing verses in their context and they just jump from one verse on healing or God's blessing or prosperity or answered prayer in one passage, and jump to another completely different verse and connect them together wrongly. For example, they take a phrase from Romans 4:17, that God "calls into being that which does not exist" and connect it with Ephesians 5:1, "be imitators of God", and then say that we can create our own money, wealth, success, healing by imitating God the same way as God created things out of nothing in Genesis 1, "be, and it became"; and they even say things like "speak words to your wallet; you big fat wallet full of money"; and "body, I take authority over you and speak healing to you right now", etc. They, like Mormons, another cult and false religion, also take Psalm 82:6 and John 10 out of context and say "you are little gods" and you can call things into being which do not exist. It is amazing that so many people actually think that is good teaching.

Same thing that Roman Catholics do about Mary (and other issues), using sources other than the Scriptures (human oral traditions), and seeing her in the arc of the covenant, and connecting her to obscure verses in Ezekiel, etc. as others have pointed out.

Yes, the hermeneutical method of heretics is very old.

32 comments:

Kristen said...

Ah yes.

Harold Camping's new fangled numerology is JUST LIKE Marian devotion which Christians have been practicing for 2000 years. Exactly the same thing.

How perceptive of you.

We have a wacko that is universally (almost) known to be a wacko by Catholics and Protestants alike. You try to say that the Catholics do the same thing?

This is the pattern with virulent Reformed epologetics that I've noticed. The most hair brained connections and arguments are made from the most random places in order to cast the Church that Christ founded as some kind of pagan den established for the lust of power or something.

If the Church is really as bad as you want to believe than you should not have pull arguments about Harold 'Former Calvinist' Camping from the hat!

Interesting that you quote Irenaeus. He said, about Mary, that she is the New Eve. Her obedience undid Eve's disobedience. Of course this is exactly the kind of 'connecting the dots' that you are trashing.

I honestly wonder how you guys see the forest through the trees. What person reads Irenaeus and walks away thinking that the church is invisible and that when Irenaeus is discouraging errant teaching he is not doing so FROM the church that he believed is visible, founded by Christ, maintained by the succession of bishops and indefectible?

I mean, you must of read Irenaeus right?

Ken said...

Hi Kristen,
Thanks for your comments.
I was not really thinking of the "new Eve" theme of Irenaeus and Tertullian, but the bad use of the arc of the covenant in the OT and other obscure passages, etc., wrongly connected together, and other passages to promote Marian devotion and practices and doctrines and dogmas.

By itself, the "new eve" passages do not say that we can pray to Mary as an intercessor or that she is the source of all graces, etc. I have read them, yes, and the idea of Mary as "advocate" is wrong, contradictory to I Timothy 2:5, and "source of salvation" is wrong and over the top. These are bad seeds that started the later false doctrines about her.

By themselves, those statements of Irenaeus and Tertullian and others (? later) only show us that God chose Mary as the instrumental cause of bringing the Messiah into the world, so in that sense, she was an instrument of bringing redemption to the world. She was not a source though. That idea took off after that and did damage for many years and centuries.

It is a bad testimony to Muslims, and has been for centuries for them to see so called "Christians" bowing down in front of pictures of Mary and statues of Mary and actually praying to her and praising her. Muhammad thought the Trinity included Mary, the Mother - Qur'an Surah 5:116; 5:73; 6:101

The early church had left its first love and sound doctrine and drifted into false doctrines and heresies and exalting traditions of man. (Revelation 2:4-5 - Islam later conquered the east and N. Africa and what is today called Turkey (where Ephesus and the other churches were warned.)

The Roman Catholic and other eastern churches should repent of all the extra-biblical things about Mary that they have added on and get back to the Bible and at least not be a continued stumbling block to the Muslim world.

David Gustafson explains the Mary - Eve parallel in a much more biblically sound way on pages 102-104 in his debate with Roman Catholic Dwight Longnecker in the book, Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate. Brazos Press, 2003.

Kristen said...

Ken.

I have spent quite a bit of time conversing with Muslim neighbors and people online.

The big stumbling blocks for them are:

1) The incarnation - Man CANNOT become God they say.

2) The crucifixion - God would never allow himself to be put to death

3) The Trinity - Jesus is not God.

I have in fact, never heard them object to Marian devotion.

Besides - if our goal in life is to not offend Muslims or give them a stumbling block should we stop preaching that Jesus is God become man because that is a stumbling block for them?

Rhology said...

Kristen,

This paragraph from Ken explains:
It is a bad testimony to Muslims, and has been for centuries for them to see so called "Christians" bowing down in front of pictures of Mary and statues of Mary and actually praying to her and praising her. Muhammad thought the Trinity included Mary, the Mother - Qur'an Surah 5:116; 5:73; 6:101



Why do you think the Qur'an identifies the Trinity as Father, Son, and Mary?

Kristen said...

Rhology,

Why does the Quran mistake Mary for part of the Trinity? I don't know. Mohammed was fundamentally confused on many aspects of Christianity. The Ouran also says that Jesus did not die on the cross - instead it was a lookalike. Do you deny that Jesus was crucified on the cross as a result of the Quoan being wrong? Should Christians stop preaching the crucifixion because the Quran got it wrong?

Rhology said...

Hi Kristen,

Why does the Quran mistake Mary for part of the Trinity? I don't know.

I think I do. I can't count how many Roman churches I've seen in which Mary was made at least as prominent as Jesus and the cross.
Any Muslim, ignorant of the Bible and outside context, would have every excuse to think that RCs think Mary is deity. What else do you want? Y'all light candles to her. Pray to her. Put her up on your altars. Talk about her all the time. I mean, there's nothing to distinguish your actions toward Mary from your actions toward God, even when one looks into it a little bit.


Do you deny that Jesus was crucified on the cross as a result of the Quran being wrong?

I'm afraid this confuses what we're talking about.

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

“Harold Camping's new fangled numerology is JUST LIKE Marian devotion which Christians have been practicing for 2000 years”.

“The Roman Catholic and other eastern churches should repent of all the extra-biblical things about Mary that they have added on…”

“I can't count how many Roman churches I've seen in which Mary was made at least as prominent as Jesus and the cross.”

James White: “How does this make Camping like Rome? Simple. Rome can tell us all about Mary's physical condition at the birth of Jesus, and about indulgences, and purgatory, and celibate priests, but she cannot tell you about the sovereign decree of God in salvation.”

It is very telling and unfortunate that the only way Protestants know to deal with their Harold Camping (or sola scriptura) embarrassment is to drag the Catholic Church into their pot of shame. See how the conversation quickly turns to the only Church that can actually say something about the situation were Mr. Camping a Catholic? I say to Protestants; you have camped with Harold, deal with his situation. Can you?

Rhology said...

Yes, Camping has been dealt with.

Dozie, this is ridiculous. Amazingly, astonishingly ridiculous. A guy who attends a church whose hierarchy has for decades hidden and protected child molesting clergy and who can't bring themselves to kick out liberals, pro-aborts, and other heretics wants to come and lecture us Reformed ppl about a guy whom we all regard as a heretic and have written publicly against for years?
What a joke.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The Word of Faith (Financial Prosperity and Healing/ Name it Claim it) movement and many on TBN does this. Just some of these false teachers: the late Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, T. D. Jakes, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey and Eddie Long. Their other sources came from the "New Thought" of E. W. Kenyon and other positive thinking mind over matter cults; and are their assumptions about positive thinking and the innate power of saying words and formulas; and their wrong ideas about God, that they get from their own greedy desires for money and wealth and success. Not only that, their messages lack citing verses in their context and they just jump from one verse on healing or God's blessing or prosperity or answered prayer in one passage, and jump to another completely different verse and connect them together wrongly. For example, they take a phrase from Romans 4:17, that God "calls into being that which does not exist" and connect it with Ephesians 5:1, "be imitators of God", and then say that we can create our own money, wealth, success, healing by imitating God the same way as God created things out of nothing in Genesis 1, "be, and it became"; and they even say things like "speak words to your wallet; you big fat wallet full of money"; and "body, I take authority over you and speak healing to you right now", etc.

Yes, the hermeneutical method of heretics is very old."


Wow! You make a compelling argument, James!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Ken: It is amazing that you decry the hermeneutics of Gnostics when Protestantism embraces that very same thing today. Protestantism and Gnosticism both use the Scriptures to deny the authority of the Church itself.

And while you and your compatriots debase Mariology, the simple fact of the matter is that Mariology such as that embraced by Irenaeus developed to combat heresy rather than foment it as your article implies. All these years of debating Catholics and you still have not grasped that simple notion.

Instead of throwing out ill-founded comparisons that make you out to be some sort of a "pro-gnostic-ator", maybe you ought to actually study how Mariological definitions were used in the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon instead.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

"Hello Ken: It is amazing that you decry the hermeneutics of Gnostics when Protestantism embraces that very same thing today."

How does "Protestantism" embrace the very same hermeneutics as the Gnostics?

steelikat said...

It's simple. Mary is a person, created in the image of God. It is demeaning to the dignity of a created person (and thus indirectly her Creator) to call her a mere "arc" or "vessel."

The part about Jesus being the Covenant is correct however. In his very Person He fulfills the Covenant.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello TF, Ignoring the many similiarities in theology between the Gnostics and Protestants, particularly the Calvinist flavor kind, there are three ways that Protestantist hermeneutics mirror the Gnostic version:

1. Like its Gnostic progenitor, Protestantism downplays, if not outright rejects, the role of Church as interpreter. Lex orandi, lex credendi is to Gnostic and Calvinists like Holy Water or garlic is to a vampire.

2. Protestantism, with its emphasis on sola scriptura, like Gnosticism, ignores the authority of the Church which comes from Christ. Scripture is indeed holy and inerrant, but its inerrancy comes from the authority of the Apostles, which was conferred by Christ.

3. Protestantism, like Gnosticism, promotes private judgment. "I know better than you what the Bible means" is the bedrock foundation of Protestantism just as it was for Gnosticism.

In opposition to the Gnostics, Irenaeus and others appealed to things like Apostolic succession, Sacred Tradition, and the role of Mary as the New Eve or comparing her to the Ark of the Covenant and emphasized her humanity to emphasize Christ's human nature to combat them. Given the many parallels between Gnosticism and Protestantism, it is little wonder that Protestants reject those doctrines like the Gnostics did before them. As Ken said the hermeneutics system of heretics is very old indeed.

God bless!

James Swan said...

I have been watching the latest Harold Camping videos over the last few days at the Ezekiel thirty three 3 You Tube site

That guy was clever, he fooled everybody in order to make his documentary. If you watch today's entry, it is obvious to me E33 was never a Campingite.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer,

Leaving aside your very inaccurate characterizations of Gnosticism, can I take from your statement, "there are three ways that Protestantist hermeneutics mirror the Gnostic version," that you have renounced your previous claim that "Protestantism embraces that very same thing"?

Or are you trying to assert that the three points of alleged similarity actually support your "very same thing" slur?

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Fan, you wrote: “Leaving aside your very inaccurate characterizations of Gnosticism, can I take from your statement, "there are three ways that Protestant hermeneutics mirror the Gnostic version," that you have renounced your previous claim that "Protestantism embraces that very same thing"?

Me: Nope. I still opine that Protestantism embraces the same sort of hermeneutics as Gnosticism. I provided three examples where they are alike. There are many, many more examples to prove my point. I just chose not to list them all in a comment box. If my usage of the word ‘similarities’ was too diplomatic for your tastes or offended your sensibilities, I apologize.

You wrote: “Or are you trying to assert that the three points of alleged similarity actually support your "very same thing" slur?”

Me: I acknowledge that I have a pretty bad Southern Ohio accent “causin’” me to drop vowels off of words, but I wouldn’t call it slurrin’. On the other hand I find it very telling about your character by not labeling what Mr. Temple wrote against Catholic Mariology to be a slur as well particularly when he uses St. Irenaeus, a Catholic saint whose relics your Calvinist forebearers tossed into a river in a pique, wrote this about the Blessed Virgin Mary:

“That the Lord then was manifestly coming to His own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation which is supported by Himself, and was making a recapitulation of that disobedience which had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience which was [exhibited by Himself when He hung] upon a tree, [the effects] also of that deception being done away with, by which that virgin Eve, who was already espoused to a man, was unhappily misled—was happily announced, through means of the truth [spoken] by the angel to the Virgin Mary, who was [also espoused] to a man. For just as the former was led astray by the word of an angel, so that she fled from God when she had transgressed His word; so did the latter, by an angelic communication, receive the glad tidings that she should sustain (portaret) God, being obedient to His word. And if the former did disobey God, yet the latter was persuaded to be obedient to God, in order that the Virgin Mary might become the patroness (advocata) of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so is it rescued by a virgin; virginal disobedience having been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience.” Against Heresies. Book V, Chapter 19: 1.

Let me ask you: do you embrace what St. Irenaeus, a Catholic bishop, wrote above? Is Mary truly an advocata as Irenaeus states? Do you side with Louis de Montfort and Alphonsus Liguori who agree with Irenaeus or do you side with Marcion and Valentinus? Do you agree with Irenaeus’ teaching that humanity was rescued from sin by Mary’s obedience, that God having to persuade her to become the mother of Jesus shows that she had free will to reject Him, or that Mary’s cooperated in bringing about God’s salvific plan ? Or does your Mariophobia cause you to side with Marcion and Valentinus instead?

TBC

Paul Hoffer said...

Cont.

For that matter do you agree with Irenaeus’ use of Catholic-style four fold hermeneutics here-literal, spiritual (allegorical), moral and anagogic)-to compare Mary with Eve and then making her out to be the New Eve? (So much for Ken Temple’s misuse of Book One, Chapter VIII:1) Or do you reject it like Marcion and Valentinus did?

Or perhaps you agree with Irenaeus’ appeal to the primacy of the Church of Rome in refutation of the Gnostic position in Against Heresies, Book Three, Chapter II or his appeal to Apostolic Succession in Book Three, Chapter III? Or do you stand with Marcion and Valentinus in opposition?

Or perhaps you agree with Irenaeus’ approval of a teaching magisterial Church as he enumerates in Against Heresies, Book One, Chapter X:1 or his total rejection of the notion of “private judgment” in Book Five, Chapter XX? Or do you side with Marcion and Valentinus and set out to impose your own personal opinions of what the Scriptures teach over that of the Church?

In the future, you might want to deal with what I write rather than dealing in accusations. Ken Temple's comparison between Gnostism and Catholic Mariology is fatally flawed.

God bless!

Kristen said...

What Paul said.

It is very disheartening to see Protestants quote church fathers so flippantly and so anachronistically in order to score some kind of theological point and it almost always ends poorly.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer,

It's just that your statement "Protestantism embraces that very same thing" is so far from the truth, that I was hoping that perhaps a little mature reflection had encouraged you to try qualify it a bit more.

I'll explain just how foolish your accusation (as well as your attempted support for it) is in a future comment (probably by way of a blog post).

-TurretinFan

Ken said...

That guy was clever, he fooled everybody in order to make his documentary. If you watch today's entry, it is obvious to me E33 was never a Campingite.

wow. it is Sunday, May 22, at 5:50pm, my time. I just watched the Ezekiel 33 3 "one day left" - it looks like you are right. You know, I had a weird feeling on the other videos that they were making fun of Camping, and maybe that is what came through.

I have been in the mountains camping (ha, ha, "camping" !! ) with family and friends, since Friday, so I missed a lot of discussion and debate.

I wonder what Harold Camping will say now.

Paul Hoffer said...

TF: I did limit my statement to the hermeneutics of the Gnostics as opposed to their fanciful canon or their exegetical outcomes.

As for my "foolishness," God did choose the foolish of the world to shame the wise. And I would be the first to admit, that I am among the least and most foolish of God's creatures. But that said, I would much rather be a foolish Catholic than the most wise Protestant ( cf. 1 Cor. 1:27).

Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing what you have to say on the matter and perhaps we'll see how mature you can be in covering the subject matter. You are not off to a good start as you didn't bother answering any of my questions I posed to you in my previous comments and you have already attempted to poison the well by calling me foolish, suggesting that my view is immature and conflating my statement into an accusation even though I did provide evidential support for my contention. But then again, given the state of modern apologetics, we all are much more skillful in exercising 1 Pt. 3:15 as opposed to its companion injunction in 1 Pt. 3:16, so I will forgive your lack of charity here.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer,

Thanks for sharing.

-TurretinFan

Ken said...

Kristen wrote:

I have spent quite a bit of time conversing with Muslim neighbors and people online.

The big stumbling blocks for them are:

1) The incarnation - Man CANNOT become God they say.

2) The crucifixion - God would never allow himself to be put to death

3) The Trinity - Jesus is not God.

True, those are the first big three stumbling blocks. We agree on that. But why put another stumbling block up for people or Muslims to make matters worse? Paul says the only stumbling block should be Jesus and His cross (which includes those three issues above, because the stumbling block is that God became a man and allowed Himself to be crucified and atoned for our sins so that no works or rituals or religious deeds could justifiy us. ( I Corinthians chapters 1-2)

I have in fact, never heard them object to Marian devotion.

I have heard it many times in 27 years of dealing with Muslims. They see the Popes in the news and they see the statues and say "this is idolatry". Ask them if they think praying to Mary is ok or bowing down in front a stature or icon of Mary or kissing a stature or icon of Mary?

Besides - if our goal in life is to not offend Muslims or give them a stumbling block should we stop preaching that Jesus is God become man because that is a stumbling block for them?

Never said that was our goal - obviously, Evangelicals, Protestants, Reformed Christians agree with those 3 points (that are the biblical stumbling blocks to Muslims when evangelizing them) you made and that is where we focus; along with original / inherited / internal sin issue (matthew 5-7; mark 7:14-21, Luke 18:9-14), etc. the bible is clear that we should put up additional unbiblical stumbling blocks. I Cor. chapters 1-2, chapter 8, Romans 14

Ken said...

Here is an article I wrote in December of 2010 that shows that Muslims do have a problem with the Mariology with the eastern churches (Coptic, EO, OO) in the Middle East, and the Roman Catholic Church.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/12/muslims-quoting-coptic-and-roman.html

Ken said...

Paul Hoffer wrote:

Hello Ken: It is amazing that you decry the hermeneutics of Gnostics when Protestantism embraces that very same thing today. Protestantism and Gnosticism both use the Scriptures to deny the authority of the Church itself.
. . .
1. Like its Gnostic progenitor, Protestantism downplays, if not outright rejects, the role of Church as interpreter. "

This is just not true; just because we reject the Roman Catholic Church magisterium and claim to be THE ONE church that Jesus founded and that it is infallible, etc. does not mean we reject the role of a good and biblical church and its role in interpreting Scripture.

Harold Camping's local church disciplined him first in 1988 and ex-communicated him. That was what a good local church did and should do.

So, your first point is just wrong. The elders and pastors and teachers of a local church should work hard at interpreting the Scriptures properly in teaching, preaching, counseling, discipling, evangelizing people.

Ken said...

Paul Hoffer wrote:

"2. Protestantism, with its emphasis on sola scriptura, like Gnosticism, ignores the authority of the Church which comes from Christ.

This is also wrong - in the quote from Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:8:1 - it says that the Gnostics derive things from sources other than the Scriptures. That is the opposite of Sola Scriptura principles. It is the Roman Catholic Church that has added on human traditions that have been added onto with layer and layer of hard crusts that have grown on the ship in the harbor, and those things have been elevated as main principles - purgatory, indulgences, NT priests, baptismal regeneration, ex opere operato sacerdotal powers, Marian devotion and practices, dogmas, transubstantiation, treasury of merit, Papal infallibility, etc. All of those things are like the Gnostics, from sources other than the Scriptures .

Ken said...

Continuing - re. Paul Hoffer comments

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book 3:2:1

This is closer to the RC system. "Living voice" - relying on unwritten oral tradition. (not verifiable as from the apostles or Jesus)

1. When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce:

(viva voce = "living voice", "oral tradition") - this is what the Roman Catholic emphasized, just like the Gnostics. The RC is more similar to Gnosticism in this sense, claiming that the traditions that "came out" centuries later were orginally there spoken from Jesus to the apostles; and apostles taught orally in the churches, but were not written down.

. . . wherefore also Paul declared, “But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world.” 1 Cor. ii. 6. And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself. . . .

so, it is RC that is closer to the Gnostic system of hermeneutics, as Irenaeus shows in both 1:8:1 and 3:2:1

Ken said...

Turretinfan may write a blog post responding to Paul Hoffer’s comments at his blog, but I thought I would offer my own response here.

Paul Hoffer wrote: (to Turretinfan)

Let me ask you: do you embrace what St. Irenaeus, a Catholic bishop, wrote above?

Some of it, yes; but not all of it. Irenaeus is not infallible, as you also must agree.

Is Mary truly an advocata as Irenaeus states?

No, but she was the instrument that God used to bring the Messiah into the world, and He is the Advocate – I John 2:1-2; Romans 8:33-34; Hebrews 7:25. (If even that is what Irenaeus means, we don’t have the Greek, so we have to guess what Greek word is behind the Latin.

As the footnote says at the ccel website of Irenaeus on 5:19:1, which you quoted -
[This word patroness is ambiguous. The Latin may stand for Gr. ἀντίληψις, —a person called in to help, or to take hold of the other end of a burden. The argument implies that Mary was thus the counterpart or balance of Eve.]


Do you side with Louis de Montfort and Alphonsus Liguori who agree with Irenaeus or do you side with Marcion and Valentinus?


It is you who have connected de Montfort and Liguori with Irenaeus, which is wrong. de Montfort and Liguori came centuries later and definitely went overboard in their Mariology. This is the point we are making, centuries of added traditions being layer on over and over and creating many false doctrines that were never there.

We do not side with Marcion and Valentinus at all – it is the RC that seems to side with their methods as in Against Heresies 1:8:1 and 3:2:1.


Do you agree with Irenaeus’ teaching that humanity was rescued from sin by Mary’s obedience,

Yes, in the sense that she was the human instrument that God used to bring the Messiah-Savior into the world, however, Jesus is the only Savior and He has all the grace and power to save. Mary is not co-redemptrix at all; she is not co-mediator at all. (1 Timothy 2:5)

that God having to persuade her to become the mother of Jesus shows that she had free will to reject Him, or that Mary’s cooperated in bringing about God’s salvific plan ? Or does your Mariophobia cause you to side with Marcion and Valentinus instead?

“You have found favor with God” means that God graciously gave her the power to obey and be a godly woman and be the mother of the Messiah, but not sinless. (Remember Augustine's prayer that made Pelagius angry.) We are not afraid of Mary at all. She is good and we want the Biblical picture of her, not the gaudy statues and icons and prayers to her, which are all wrong and unbiblical. It is you who side with Gnostics by adding to the Scriptures, connecting different passages wrongly, using allegory where it is not intended by the author, and claiming that unwritten traditions were vive voca and passed down secretly from Jesus to apostles and then suddenly came out in the traditions of the church centuries later. ( Your system has been shown to be closer to the Gnostics as Irenaeus describes for us - Irenaeus Against Heresies, 1:8:1; 3:2:1)

Ken said...

Again -
David Gustafson explains the Mary - Eve parallel in a much more biblically sound way on pages 102-104 in his debate with Roman Catholic Dwight Longnecker in the book, Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate. Brazos Press, 2003.

Irenaeus and others were wrong to assume that Eve was a virgin. That is just not provable. Genesis 2:24-25 seems to imply that they enjoyed the one flesh physical relationship for a while before the fall in Genesis 3:1; and before becoming pregnant in Genesis 4:1. (but this cannot be proven and admittedly, one cannot be dogmatic about this.) The "naked and not ashamed" and "one flesh" and 'cleaving" seems to point to that though.

Gustafson points out that the New Eve parallel is better seen as a chiasmus -

A fallen angel appeared to an unfallen woman
and brought temptation and the fall of mankind

(Satan to Eve)

An unfallen angel appeared to a fallen woman (not sinless, as RC claims)

(Gabriel to Mary)

to announce that she would be used to be the mother of the messiah, who would bring salvation to undue what the devil did in tempting Eve.

Turretinfan said...

"Harold Camping's new fangled numerology is JUST LIKE Marian devotion which Christians have been practicing for 2000 years. Exactly the same thing."

I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the person who posted this, yet it is dead wrong historically. The Marian devotions of Rome today are not 2000 years-old Christian practices.