Monday, June 08, 2015

Rod Bennett's lecture on You Tube - "The Four Witnesses Brought me home"

https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/rod-bennetts-lecture-the-four-witnesses-brought-me-home/

Please watch and listen to the video first.  You may not understand what I am getting at in my article there after the video of Rod's lecture, without listening to Rod first.

29 comments:

michael said...

Ok, I listened to the video. He has a great voice. Maybe he should be a news caster? :)

Now what?

thanks

Ken said...

I wrote a lengthy article there at "apologetics and agape" interacting with Rod's points. What did you think about what I wrote?

michael said...

Well Ken, slow on the up tick; I didn't realize the connection between the video and your response just after it or below the video box.

Now I'm getting the picture. It's coming clear.

Ok, read what you wrote in response to Rod.

What did I think about what you wrote? Basically both you and Rod gave me a refresher course on Church History. Your detail was much more thorough than Rod's. Both seemed to chime the bells of history.

I'd like to challenge you to rewrite what you wrote from this paradigm and foundation:::>

Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Eph 3:13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

It's only a novice who would not comprehend all the "suffering" you have put into gaining the knowledge base and foundation for speaking with some authority or writing. It's clearly there and you clearly have attained to a level or depth rather of knowledge and understanding that probably most have not and have no idea about, the early Church Father, the Apostolic Fathers of the later part of the First through Third Centuries and history created by them.

Why do I ask you to rewrite this same response from the basis of Ephesians 3:8-13?

Because we need to be awakened to this reality which it seems we are entering into a dark ages sort of church lifestyle around the world:::>

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Rev 12:12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"

continued:::>

michael said...

continued:::>

And for this reason too. Consider the Apostle Paul's apologetics before King Agrippa?
Pay close attention to verse 18:::>

Act 26:12 "In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

What seems to me to be lacking in all this discourse these days is we have to get beyond just coming into a demonstration of our own personal attainment of Church History and world History. We have to start including the reality if not blatantly rubbing it in our noses that fact that the accuser of the brethren is accusing us day and night, like in "all the time", before God Our Heavenly Father. In these discourses we don't lay too much blame where we should. Yes, we have all fallen. Yes, Adam is the kingpin here. He's the one who listened to his wife and openly rebelled against God's prohibition. It is "the why" of this rebellion that needs to be emphasized, in my view, why we see so much variety and disunity from the Resurrection and Life to date. There is a reason in the unseen world that needs to be properly placed in these discourses.

It seems to me we toy with the "I'm as smart as you" back and forth banter by demonstrating our level of knowledge of the topic at hand instead of self sacrificing as you read there in Ephesians 3:13, a self sacrificing and heavy lifting evangelism so that more and more Grace spreads through more and more people and the Gospel gets to every creature for a witness and then THE END SHALL COME.

continuing:::>

michael said...

continued:::>


I have my opinion as to why this subtlety exists. Here it is in a nutshell by asking a simple profoundly powerful question that underscores what we read in Revelation 12 about the accuser of the brethren bringing accusations against us by name "day and night", unceasingly accusing us with the truth of our failures before God Our Heavenly Father:::?

Who has a vested interest in keeping this world going on and on and on?

It aint Peter!

Here's Peter's resolve which should be ours now, too:::>

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Besides all that I do have some other thoughts, just things I thought were missed or not emphasized about certain of these people spoken about by Rod or written about in your response, but won't put them down now. Maybe after I hear back from you your response to my response to your response to Rod's talk? :)

thanks Ken

Ken said...

I agree with you Michael about Ephesians 3 and 2 Peter 3 - true believers in Christ need to be involved in evangelism and missions and apply it "through the church" - Ephesians 3:8-10.

Those are great passages and very crucial to my own ministry and thinking.

Interesting to me that you started with Ephesians 3:8-13. I have another friend who - those verses are his driving force for his ministry.

I am not trying to show off knowledge of church history; but I study it now because -

1. I teach former Muslims, who have turned from Islam to Jesus Christ; I teach church history (among other Bible courses) and that is an important and greatly neglected part of discipleship.
-- studying church history helps me answer their questions about the canon of Scripture and the doctrine of the Trinity. Those are very important issues that only by studying church history can I be prepared to answer their questions.
2. My friend Rod Bennett left the Evangelical faith and became Roman Catholic and challenged me to know it better. It is very important to have answers to honest questions. Other Evangelicals are being persuaded to convert to Roman Catholicism and that is not a good thing!

It may seem like a waste of time to you for me to spend that much time in those areas, but it was actually in the context of evangelism with Muslims and Roman Catholics and people that have questions about Roman Catholicism, the doctrine of the Trinity, how the canon of Scripture came to be, that motivated and drove me to those questions and issues.

I hope that is helpful.
I appreciate your comments.

michael said...

Ken,

my apologies if my comments seemed to say "what your response was" was a waste of time! Far from it!

I guess I could have been a bit more forthright and blunt by saying we should have more and more people as thorough as you in response to guys like Rod instead of what seems to be what I perceive as vollies of knowledge shot back and forth one upping the other's knowledge.

I didn't think that was what you were doing.

What I was requesting is what you indicate in the your response. That's why I was asking you to rewrite it including these things I touched on from Ephesians 3 and Revelation 12.

YES to your comment about //I teach church history (among other Bible courses) and that is an IMPORTANT AND GREATLY NEGLECTED PART OF DISCIPLESHIP//.[my emphasis added]!!!

One of the things I'll add now is that Jerome, as you know, translated the Bible into the Latin language so those of that era could read the Bible for themselves. What does the Catholic Church do but hijack the language so as to keep the "vulgar"/"common" people in the dark about the Word of God as time passes, cultures and languages changed. How ironic, isn't it? That right there should tell you something is up when a religious order doesn't want their people reading and understanding the Scriptures for themselves. It kind of goes against what Luke records about Jesus doing, here:::>

Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Or the Apostle Paul, here:::>

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


So, again, accept my apologies for not being as clear as I should have been in responding to your article.

michael

Ken said...

Thanks Michael !
I am tempted to think you are my friend who loves Ephesians 3:8-10 and missions and evangelism through the local church as his life and ministry verses.
Maybe you are.
(smile)

Kevin Failoni said...

Let me interpret Bennets sermon. When scripture tells the believer to beware of false teachers and keep yourself from idols, don't listen, just submit to Rome. K

Kevin Failoni said...

Listening to Bennets presentation is amusing. Here is a Roman Catholic lecturing about" added revelation" of the misfits like the Montanists, Albegensies, Luther, Smith, etc. If anyone would be able to spot added revelation it should be a Catholic, they have added enough of it. Its truly amazing listening to a Roman Catholic complain about departing for the true church and doctrine. They say love is blind. This man needs a case of ingrown eyeballs. I would have saved him allot of pain when he was going through his "journey home" Just look in history for those persecuted for the church, and look for the persecutor for the apostasy.And we know who that was. God made it easy, clear. K

Fariba Kanga said...

James, During the Second Vatican Council, Joseph Ratzinger gave an address to the German-speaking bishops on revisions he wanted to see in the schema On the Sources of Revelation, which eventually became Dei Verbum. In the speech he gives a very interesting explanation of the relationship between scripture and tradition. I think Catholics and Protestants would find it equally interesting and enlightening. The address was translated by Fr. Jared Wicks, the Luther scholar (whom I know). I'd be interested in reading your response. Here is a link to the pdf: http://www.scotthahn.com/download/attachment/3345

Btw, I am Catholic but not interested in apologetics. I actually find some of your posts on Luther quite interesting as I have read Luther for years and am always on the lookout for new books in the world of Luther scholarship. I keep up with Lutheran-Catholic dialogue. Anyway, I'm interested in reading your response to the above text, as it is (to me) the finest explanation of Scripture and Tradition I have ever read. Also, it gives an interesting insight into the workings of a Church council.

Peace.

Ken said...

Hi Fariba,
If you are still checking -

I have not had time to read that document you linked to, yet, which is at Scott Hahn's website.

( I am Ken who wrote this article, James did not write this article. My article is acutally at "apologetics and agape" follow the link.)

I was just wondering about your name - it is Persian, right?

I know many Persians / Iranian women with that name, Fariba - فریبا

Most Persians/Iranians with that name come from Islamic background.
I was just curious, is your background/parents Persian and were they Muslims ? (at least one of your parents)

How did you get to become Roman Catholic?

There are some Roman Catholics in Iran, but few; there are some Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox also, but few. Maybe they do have names such as Fariba, so correct me if I am wrong.

I was just curious.

Fariba Kanga said...

Hi Ken. My apologies for misdirecting the comment. My name is Persian, but I have never been Muslim. I am ethnically mixed. One of my parents was Muslim. I'm surprised you know so many people named Fariba. I don't know any!

I do realize that the article was on Hahn's website, but I have never read anything by Hahn. I was looking for something by Ratzinger and came across the pdf. It also caught my attention because it was edited and translated by Jared Wicks. I am a "convert", but I can't really say that I ever was Protestant because the denomination I belonged to was almost Unitarian. I was being totally transparent about my intentions in my last comment. I run a hobby blog called Incarnational Catholic (https://incarnationalcatholic.wordpress.com/). A quick look at my blog will confirm that it has nothing to do with trying to convert Protestants. I mostly reflect on/quote from books I read and post hymns, poems, etc. If pressed I would certainly defend my beliefs, but I am more concerned with ecumenism than the sort of apologetics you engage in (I recently The Early Luther by Berndt Hamm). I am sharing the Ratzinger speech because it is an interesting take on scripture and tradition, one I have never come across before in catechetical books on the Catholic faith. Certain parts of it surprised me. I'd also be interested in reading Catholic apologists' responses to it. Anyway, if you feel so inclined, I would be interested in reading your response (or James').

Ken said...

Fariba,
Thanks for sharing all of that of your background - very interesting!!
To go from Unitarianism to Roman Catholicism is certainly unique and rare, I would guess.

I hope to be able to get time to read the Ratzinger document with deeper understanding and respond.
I read some of it and what he said about Tertullian's work, "Prescription about Heretics" was interesting.

It sounded like he was discussing the whole debate of the partim partim theory of tradition and Scripture
(partim-partim = revelation is from 2 sources = partly from written Scripture and partly from unwritten tradition)

[ or is revelation from one source - Scripture alone, and tradition is merely the interpretation and theological development of Scripture = Scripture is materially sufficient, but not formally sufficient - that it is not the Protestant view of Sola Scriptura. But that claim is hard to substantiate when the latest ex cathedra statement by a Pope - the 1950 Bodily Assumption of Mary - has no Scriptural support; not even from a phrase or textual materials in Scripture. That ex cathedra statement seems to lend more support for the partim-partim theory)

from the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). As I understand this issue, Roman Catholic scholars to this day disagree with each other on what the Trent document intended and meant. (2 sources of Revelation- Scripture and Oral Tradition or the material sufficiency theory.)

But I need to grasp it with understanding before I make more comments.

But all that stuff is deeply related to the apologetic issues that Protestants and Roman Catholics have been debating since Luther, Calvin, and Trent. (smile)
Sincerely,
Ken T.

Ken said...

should have been Tertullian's Prescription Against Heretics

Ken said...

These are very much central issues to apologetics between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

At the beginning he says that there is only one source, that is Revelation, and revelation comes in two forms, Scripture and Tradition.

Skipping around the Ratzinger document:

Wow. Ratzinger's quote of Thomas Aquinas was really great:

11. All the intermediaries through which faith comes to us are above suspicion. We believe the prophets and apostles because the Lord has been their witness by performing miracles, as Mark (16:20) says: “...and confirming the word with signs that followed.” And we believe the successors of the apostles and prophets only in so far as they tell us those things which the apostles and prophets have left in their writings."

De Veritate (about The Truth) - Question 14, article 10, no. 11

http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/QDdeVer14.htm

The last sentence sounds like Sola Scriptura of the Protestants; and Ratzinger even writes that this "sounds offensive to us"

But, when he talks about the dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary of 1950, he admits it has no evidence in Scripture or early history until the 5th Century; so he seems to me to contradict himself.

Ken said...

Ratzinger: "I repeat: There is no affirmation that is not found in Scripture but can be traced but can be traced back with any historical probability to the time of the apostles. If this is so, and it is so, one may not define tradition as the communication of unwritten affirmations." (p. 275)

the word "probability" gives him some wiggle room.

but the second sentence is exactly the opposite of what most Roman Catholic apologists today say about 2 Thess. 2:15 and John 21:25 - they say other traditions were taught orally, but only "come out" centuries later - like truths and dogmas and practices about Mary and Papal doctrines and indulgences and purgatory. Ratzinger even says that John 21:25 was "a verse that later served as a source for the partim-partim theory." (p. 276)

Ratzinger also says that the idea of unwritten traditions alongside of Scripture was a Gnostic idea. (yes, sounds like what Irenaeus wrote in Against Heresies 1:8:1 and 3:2:1) - yet that sounds like what Roman Catholicism teaches about things not found in Scripture, like Marian dogmas, etc.

"For most of the Fathers the idea of tradition as a set of affirmations communicated alongside of Scripture was an idea they rejected as gnostic." (p. 275)

Sounds like Roman Catholicism's official understanding of 2 Thess. 2:15 and John 21:25 to me.


Fariba Kanga said...

Calling this speech a work of apologetics is all a matter of perspective. As you point out, Ken, what Ratzinger is saying is at odds with the partim-partim theory and the explanation Catholic apologists give. This is part of the reason why I'm sharing it. I want to know what Catholic apologists think too.

Do notice that Ratzinger is emphasizing Revelation first. The Word of God precedes how it is received. This is key to understanding the speech. Parts of it were inspired by his dissertation on Bonaventure (which Wicks references in the footnotes, I think). The Scriptures are the Word of God for the believer. While Revelation is known by Scripture and Tradition it is not true that part of God's Word is in Scripture while part is in Tradition. The whole is in Scripture. The difference between Ratzinger's position and say Luther's (who also emphasizes the pro me in relation to the Word of God) is Ratzinger's emphasis on Church as the "receiver". The Church as the Body of Christ receives the Word of God and the Church exists in history. For Ratzinger, while the Assumption was only believed starting in the 5th century, it doesn't follow that it is extra-Biblical. But what is equally problematic is turning to the Scriptures to "prove" the Assumption because that is not how Revelation is known. Ratzinger uses the same argument to call into question an absolutist view of the Historical-Critical method. The "revealed" alone (ie. the Scriptures) can't be used to prove definitively what is received as revealed because that doesn't take into account the believer's faith which is necessary for the Scriptures to be the Word of God for him/her (that the Scriptures are objectively God's Word is doubtlessly true but it only means anything if the person reading it has faith) or the Church in history. History alone is not sufficient because it can't say anything about God's Revelation, just what can be empirically demonstrated. You are right that Ratzinger views the partim-partim theory as Gnosticism (like the fathers). Hope this makes sense. I apologize if I wasn't too clear. I haven't read his dissertation yet. Just know the basics.

Ken said...

Clarification on that -
"For most of the Fathers the idea of tradition as a set of affirmations communicated alongside of Scripture was an idea they rejected as gnostic." (p. 275)

Ratzinger's statement sounds more like a Protestant way of understanding the early fathers; which is the opposite way that most RC apologists and Roman Catholicism's official understanding of 2 Thess. 2:15 and John 21:25, it seems to me.

Even though Ratzinger speaks this way, he goes on to say the Scripture is inside the church, and the church like a living organism, "brings out" the true sense of Scripture, which, it seems to me, comes out more and more in history and in the development of doctrine, etc. and so, though Ratzinger brings lots of things that sound "protestant", in the end, he is still affirming that there are other extra truths that are only revealed through the church and history and interpretation, which is claimed to be reserved for their magisterium of teachers - the Pope, councils, cardinals, bishops, theologicans in unity with the Pope. But, as Dr. White says, something to the effect of - "the three legged stool of Scripture, Tradition, and Pope is lop-sided, with the leg of the Pope being massively big, since he decides what is Scripture and what is Tradition." (not a direct quote, but the meaning from my memory, as far as I can remember, it is accurate.) If it is that lopsided, no one can sit on it - that is, it is not useful.

It seems to be a clever way of trying to avoid all those Protestant sounding statements.

Other statements that seem pretty "Protestant" like -
"We do not believe the Church as such, in so far as it bases itself on Scripture." and "Thus even if the supreme Pontiff, together with a council, were to teach that Tobias' dog had no tail, we should not believe him." (p. 276)

Kevin Failoni said...

Ken said " Ratzinger brings lots of things that sound Protestant" You really have to listen with false teachers. I think it was in 2008 outside the the Vatican, I believe on Luther's birthday, Ratzinger was speaking on justification and reelecting on Luther. He said we can all agree with Luther that we are justified by faith ( always keep listening with Catholics), as it is formed in love. There it is. Be sanctified before you are justified. The bible teaches a person is justified by faith alone in Christ alone because God applies the merits of Christ through faith alone. But Ratzinger, in his subtle way expounds Roman theology, that we merit the merit of Christ, "formed in love" K

Ken said...

For Ratzinger, while the Assumption was only believed starting in the 5th century, it doesn't follow that it is extra-Biblical.

I guess that is what Ratzinger believes, but it (BA of Mary) sure seems extra-biblical (it is just NOT THERE; not even in a material sense, which many RCs admit) and, and to make it a de fide dogma that one has to believe in order to go to heaven; well, that is a contradiction to the gospel and verses such as Galatians 2:16 and 2:21 and Romans 5:1, etc.

Ken said...

Kevin,
You are right because they are sneaky and subtle. On the one hand he says all those things and quotes from Aquinas that sound like Sola Scriptura and Luther type things and anti-Gnostic, but on the other he has the great "and" or "nevertheless" - the church "brings out" the hidden sense of Scripture in living tradition centuries later. right.

Ken said...

One of the main verses that Roman Catholics use to try and say that oral, unwritten tradition is revelation is 2 Thessalonians 2:15. But once one studies the background of this book and when it was written (early in the apostle Paul's ministry - say 51 or 52 AD - only Galatians and 1 Thess. is older in the Pauline corpus); he obviously was teaching the Thessalonian churches things that were later all written down in Ephesians, Colossians, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, etc.

To say Paul was teaching orally on Papal infallibility, the bodily Assumption of Mary, Transubstantiation, the power of relics, Purgatory to the Thessalonians, but it wasn't written down until centuries later, some millennia later, . . . well . . . is a big stretch indeed.

Ratzinger seemed to be saying something to the effect that the Scriptures are like a living organism inside of the womb of the church and that the gestation period was centuries or millenia and those truths were birthed centuries or millennia later.

Fariba Kanga said...

Ratzinger seemed to be saying something to the effect that the Scriptures are like a living organism inside of the womb of the church and that the gestation period was centuries or millenia and those truths were birthed centuries or millennia later.

Ratzinger would probably agree with the first half of your statement but disagree with your claim that the truth was "born" centuries later. People already believe something before it is dogmatically pronounced. Something is only "officially" declared when it is challenged. Ratzinger elsewhere seems to define the Assumption of Mary as her resurrection, probably thinking more along the line of the doctrine of the Dormition of Mary in the East.

Yeah. Ratzinger is a historically-minded theologian. No historian I know (Catholic or otherwise) believes that Paul taught Transubstantiation, Papal infallibility, etc. orally. That there were aspects of the teachings present in the first century seems plausible. After all, Paul preaching to the Gentiles was unheard of in one sense but Christ already set the tone for such missionary activity.

Fariba Kanga said...

Actually, for Ratzinger the Assumption is an eschatological reality - not just a truth about her but a foreshadowing of what will be true for us. The difference between Mary's Assumption and the current state of the saints is one of degree. Both are in the presence of God, but Mary is "more so" because of her Immaculate Conception. For Ratzinger, both the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are tied to Christology. But if course, this is only his view. Rahner had a different one. Catholic teaching is like a fence not a series of propositions. The faith is essentially a lifestyle. It's undeniable that this aspect of the Church is often overshadowed by doctrine, canon law, etc. But it is all-encompassing and that is hard to capture in words. At the end of the day, the question is one of ecclesiology. What is the Church and what role does it play in the context of salvation history? Luther has one ecclesiology, Catholics have another, the Orthodox have another. Ecclesiology, much overlooked in theological discussions, makes all the difference in how the Scriptures are approached.

Fariba Kanga said...

One final point. One verse never makes or breaks a teaching. Remember that until fairly recently, the literal sense was only one of the four senses of Scripture not the only sense of Scripture. There is a dialogical and dialectical relationship between the Scripture, the believer, and the faith of the Church. In faith (of the individual in the context of the Church) a verse can have multiple meanings (although the essential truth remains the same). Ex. Matthew 8:8 read in the context of chapter 8 of Matthew vs. 8:8 read in the context of a prayer before the reception of communion. I'm afraid Catholic apologists tend to overlook the four senses of Scripture when talking about the Bible and the faith of the Church. It is misguided to read the Scriptures purely "scientifically" (with all the assumptions that come with the empirical sciences). In conclusion, there is no "official" Catholic way of reading any verse in the Bible. The Scriptures are read as a whole, in the context of the Church. Christ is the key to the whole and "covenant" is the major theme. From my understanding, the Evangelical approach is different.

Ken said...

The four-fold method of interpretation of Scripture was first stared by Clement of Alexandria, then developed more by Origen, who was a heretic; and it became entrenched in Medieval exegesis.

It was a bad method, because it looked for hidden meanings and analogies in verses where the context had nothing to do with the interpretation. A classic example of that is to say that Mary was the ark of the covenant and she is spoken of in Ezekiel 44:1-4 - the gate that no one may enter, etc. (later writers trying to defend the perpetual virginity of Mary used these verses)

Only when the context and intention of the author is clearly meant to be taken as an allegory or symbol, should we take it that way.

Ken said...

Ratzinger would probably agree with the first half of your statement but disagree with your claim that the truth was "born" centuries later. People already believe something before it is dogmatically pronounced.

True, he would probably disagree with the second part; and true that dogmas started as a "pious belief" earlier; but many Roman Catholics dogmas did not even start as a "pious belief" until centuries after the NT was finished, and the idea is no where in the Scriptures. A writer in the 3rd or 4th century makes a statement, that is taken to extreme; then someone in the sixth or 8th century says something else and it is developed into something that becomes dogma in 1215 or 1854 or 1870 or 1950.

Ken said...

No historian I know (Catholic or otherwise) believes that Paul taught Transubstantiation, Papal infallibility, etc. orally.

Many Roman Catholic apologists imply that (or even say it outright - I remember some that said that in debate with me in comboxes) with the way they use 2 Thessalonians 2:15. I have witnessed them using that and John 21:25 to say that Jesus and the apostles taught the Mary dogmas and doctrines and practices and Papal authority and Transubstantiation there, it just was not written down at the time and came out later.

Most are more subtle with it; but there is plenty of that kind of treatment of John 21:25 and 2 Thess. 2:15 from Roman Catholics.