Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CatholicNick seems not to have learned much least not on the issue of "church unity" and the 29,000 30,000 33,000 58 zillion denominations argument.

Here is the comment to which I reply.

 I don't see why infallibility is necessary to have formally-established dogma. If a group gets together and says "this is our formally-established dogma. Nobody is infallible of course but this is our formally-established dogma, b/c although nobody is infallible, this dogma is actually true", what's wrong with that? You need to give an argument that infallibility is a necessary precondition for formally-established dogma. A Prot church DOES have a single, unified hierarchy. I have told you this many times; it's disappointing to see you haven't learned anything in the years since I pointed it out to you.

Instead, every pastor is self-appointed and does their own thing. That depends entirely on the church/denomination.

What makes you think these overgeneralisations do anyone any good?

  The PCA has no authority over someone like James White

Duh, but PCA does have authority over someone like a PCA pastor.
Just like an EO priest doesn't have any authority over someone like CatholicNick

  You're stopping short of asking the full question: not "join A church" but WHICH?

Well, of course, but we each have to answer the same question. Which church? Which infallible interpreter? EOC? WatchTower? Salt Lake City? Seriously, these answers have been around for many years. Why haven't you advanced the argument any?

Surely Jesus wasn't saying "I don't care which denomination you attend, just as long as you attend one".

Please argue for this assertion.

Suppose Jason (Stellman) wants to dump the PCA and go solo, so now he's attending his own start-up church. Is that just as good?

If he did so b/c he doubted paedobaptism and embraced credobaptism, that would be a good thing*. If PCA went apostate like Rome has, it could be a good thing. If he did it to reach previously unreached ppl, sure, why not? For reasons of swapping out doctrine, no, it wouldn't be good, b/c PCA's doctrine is very, very good. But all churches are "start-up" churches, so I don't really understand what you're saying. RCC does not extend back from Jesus and the apostles; neither does EOC or any other church.

This only begs the question as to what is "Major" and what isn't. 

Of course it does, but the NT tells us. And I already reminded you of it. A shame you once again refused to advance the argument.

It further raises the question why join a Church that is wrong on "smaller things" rather than seek out or form one that is right on both Major and Minor?

I did, and I found one that is about the closest to right on things major and minor that's in my area. I'm blessed; there are several like that and I am a member of one of them.

Once you start making a list of "Majors" then you'll see things begin to break down.

That's false; I've done that before and it worked out fine. There are also these things called confessions that have stood for hundreds of years. Those also work quite well.

 The difference between Jason and others is that Jason was willing to attempt to derive such a list.

No, the difference between him and others is that he had already given up on Sola Scriptura.

You don't realize that you're essentially acting as Pope when you go around saying "smaller issues like pædobaptism or church polity".

You need to argue for this. I don't think I'm infallible; I merely recognise that I have responsibility to do what Jesus told me to do. And I've already pointed out where the NT teaches the major/minor distinction.

Who says those are "smaller issues" when HISTORICALLY those and similar issues have bitterly divided Protestantism.

The fact that they don't corrupt the Gospel or necessary doctrine fundamentally "says" those are smaller issues. As for whether they have bitterly divided ppl, why should it bother me that men before me have been sinners and let conflicts go farther than they should have? And why doesn't it bother YOU that the same is true of RCC and RC history? One of us can deal with his own history.

Luther and Calvin hated and damned the anabaptists, and the more traditional Confessionally Reformed and Baptists would still find each other objectionable and closed communion.

So? RC and EO bishops/popes/patriarchs have hated and damned each other, and they would still find each other objectionable and closed communion.

  it's absurd to suggest a hierarchic, democratic, and individualist polity are equally acceptable.

I didn't suggest that. I"m afraid you may be having difficulty with the idea that people can recognise that a given idea is a minor matter and also that someone else is wrong on that minor matter and also that, since it's minor, it does not merit wholehearted anathemas. Since Jesus and the apostles did that, who am I to demur?

If you are in a debate about some major point of doctrine or morality with a good friend who's of a different denomination, which "church" do you approach for correction as per Christ's instructions in Matthew 18 to "tell it to the church"?

At the risk of stating the obvious, no church. How am I supposed to address "the church" when we're not part of the same church? How would you deal with an EO friend about his disaffirmation of the filioque?

*It should go without saying that I am a Baptist. I'm speaking as a Baptist here, since Nick asked me the question. 


James Swan said...

I don't see why infallibility is necessary to have formally-established dogma.

The revised edition of Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology opens with an entire section and includes this very issue. Google has a preview here:

Berkhof, Systematic Theology

See the discussion beginning on page 18 (the hyper link above should start on that page, hopefully).

Sometimes we simply assume the term "dogma" belongs to the Romanists, but it doesn't. It's the property of the church. Berkhof's discussion is well worth the read, particularly pages 21 and following.

James Swan said...

Instead, every pastor is self-appointed and does their own thing.

I hate to use "LOL" but when I actually do laugh out loud, I guess it's apt.

I don't recall where I read it, perhaps it was the Champ's blog, but it was pointed out that there are quite a few Romanist parish simply doing their own thing.

James Swan said...

Typo, perhaps due to the LOL. Above, it should have been "parishes".

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"How would you deal with an EO friend about his disaffirmation of the filioque?"

Conversely, how does an EO deal with his Catholic friend who affirms the Filioque?

natamllc said...

You guys are way to much for CatholicNick! He's probably been to confession at least twice a day this week just because of you!

I hold the parish priest holds to the perseverance of the Saints in that regard? :)

natamllc said...

geeesh, me too! grrrr, a typo:

I "hope" the parish priest holds....