Daniel and the Universal Kingdom

Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Apologetics, Catholicism, Church History, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Featured, History, Protestantism, Redemptive History | 1,677 comments

Daniel 2 contains a fascinating prophecy which speaks of God’s plan to set up a Kingdom upon earth that is not of human origin and will come to cover the whole earth. Christians as far back as the Early Church Fathers have interpreted this prophecy as referring to the Catholic Church being established by Christ, expanding all over the world, and lasting forever. After reflecting upon the prophecy, I see no other plausible interpretation. Let me explain my thoughts.

Back at the Babylonian Exile, God caused the Emperor Nebuchadnezzar to have a mysterious dream which only the Prophet Daniel could explain. In verses 2:31-45, Daniel interprets the dream in some pretty plain terms.

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was of a large statue that was divided into Five Sections: the statue’s Head was made of Gold, the Chest was made of Silver, the Lower Torso was made of Bronze, the Legs were made of Iron, and the Feet were made of an Iron-Clay mix (2:31-33). Then he saw “a stone not cut by human hands” was hurled down from the sky and struck the statue at the Feet, reducing it to pieces, and this stone went on to become “a great mountain that filled the whole earth” (2:34-35).

That was the dream which Daniel was then given the task to explain.

Daniel begins by telling King Nebuchadnezzar that he and his Babylonian Empire are the Head made of Gold (2:37-38). Then Daniel says another Empire will arise, not as fancy as Gold (i.e. Silver), and this second Empire will take over and become the new world super power. After that, a third Empire, the Kingdom of Bronze will succeed the Kingdom of Silver. This third Empire will be succeeded by a Kingdom of Iron, followed lastly by a Kingdom of Iron-Clay, which signifies “a divided kingdom” (2:41), partly strong and partly weak (2:42). And it will be in the time of this Iron-Clay divided Empire that God will set up His Kingdom which will never be destroyed, and in fact will shatter all kingdoms that stand in its way (2:43-45).

It really isn’t difficult to make a coherent interpretation of what Daniel is talking about. We know from the text that the sections of the Body represent a succession of world Empires and that the clock starts with the Babylonian Empire. We also know from other parts of the Bible as well as undisputed world history that the Persian Empire came in and replaced Babylon, and after that Alexander the Great came in and replaced the Persian Empire with his Greek Empire. The next big Empire to immediately come along was the Roman Empire, which we all know was the big dog at the time of Christ. As the Roman Empire began to erode, it eventually broke into two Empires, an Eastern (Byzantine) and a Western (Latin), starting around the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325AD. It was about this time that Christianity began making huge growth in the public sphere such that we see Christianity as a force to be reckoned with among the pagan remnants. And as we know, Christianity ended up long outlasting the Roman Empire(s) and that Christianity grew and grew to spread all over the world.

For apologetics purposes, we should note that the only “candidate” that fits this prophecy/interpretation is the Catholic Church. We see how the Catholic Church was around at this time and that this is the time when the Catholic Church began to grow in influence. There is no Protestant denomination that really fits as even a possible candidate. No Protestant denomination was around at the time frame of AD300-400, and Protestantism usually explains the Reformation was necessary because the Gospel started to become more and more lost over the centuries as Catholicism grew — despite the fact this Prophecy says these “dark ages” were going to be the time when the Church really begins to spread its wings!

The only ways I see a Protestant not being indicted by this Prophecy is to try and claim a different timeline or different Empires, but this is too tall of an order to fill. For example, what succession of Empires comes close to fitting the Five that were just mentioned? And the way the timeline goes, if you start the Kingdom of God too late down the centuries, e.g. starting at the time of the Reformation, then you have to both explain away the influence of Christianity during the “dark ages” of AD400-1400, as well as explain which Protestant denomination really comes close to modeling an united heavenly Kingdom that spreads all over the world. For those Protestants who say the Church went underground all this time, that certainly doesn’t fit the description that this Kingdom would be like a huge mountain that covers the earth, an image impossible for anyone to not see!

In conclusion, any attempts to get around the plain, straightforward traditional Catholic interpretation will cause more problems than it solves, leaving the Catholic Church as the most obvious candidate of this Scriptural Prophecy.

***

END NOTE: The above apologetic also works very effectively against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who officially teach the same succession as the above, but they say the Iron-Clay Empire represents the British-American Empire, which is when the Watchtower comes on the scene. This interpretation suffers from the flaw of leaving a 1500 year gap between the last two Empires, conveniently side-stepping the disastrous implications to JW theology. To add to this, the JW interpretation has never produced a Church that fits the description of one which will cover the whole world, putting them in a similar dilemma to any given Protestant denomination.

1,677 Comments

  1. De Maria–

    I need to “dumb this down” for you to a considerable extent, don’t I?

  2. ERIC January 22, 2015 at 4:19 pm
    De Maria–
    I need to “dumb this down” for you to a considerable extent, don’t I?

    C’mon Eric,

    You know if I get sarcastic with you, you begin to cry and beg that I be taken off the board. So, I’m not going to argue with you. Besides, I make it a habit not to argue with stupid people. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    This lesson is very simple. Listen up. I’ve tried to teach you this over and over again. You don’t understand Scripture because you discarded the Sacred Traditions which are the basis of the Scripture. Its very simple. Concentrate.

  3. De Maria wrote to Eric:

    I’ve tried to teach you…
    —————-

    I wrote to De Maria:

    Show means to participate as a witness. The witness shows without being part of the evidence. The witness is abstracted from the evidence as much as possible. On the other hand, Teaching means to participate as a witness AND as a part of the evidence.
    —————-

    My grip on this topic is firm. Can I get a witness ?

  4. De Maria, you wrote:
    The proof is that you keep asking for things that only Protestants who don’t understand Catholicism would request.

    Response:
    Do we have a universal negative somewhere in there ? You don’t know everything asked by “only Protestants who don’t understand Catholicism”. Give us the proof and the criteria for such a claim. I know the criteria:

    De Maria doesn’t ask or request these things.
    De Maria is a Catholic.
    Therefore, Catholics don’t ask or request these things.
    ————————

    The second premise is unproven. I can’t ask the Magisterium because they don’t know De Maria. The Catholic Church is no help either. The CC doesn’t believe, profess or teach that De Maria is Catholic. I know how to prove the second premise ! I will ask the fallible, yet credible, witness known as De Maria. De Maria knows if De Maria is Catholic. Why didn’t I think of this earlier ?

  5. De Maria–

    It is traditional for those who “attempt to teach” to have something of value to share.

  6. ERIC January 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm
    De Maria–
    It is traditional for those who “attempt to teach” to have something of value to share.

    As I said before, Protestants don’t care about the Scriptures as much as they do about maintaining their traditions of men. You have just confirmed it.

  7. ERIC W January 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Response:
    Do we have a universal negative somewhere in there ? You don’t know everything asked by “only Protestants who don’t understand Catholicism”.

    But I don’t need to. I can identify the one’s that are asked.

    Give us the proof and the criteria for such a claim.

    If you had entered the Catholic paradigm, you would know. But since you haven’t, you don’t.

    I know the criteria:….

    Neh. You claim to, but you don’t. If you did, you wouldn’t have asked for the criteria. You would have recognized it.

    You keep claiming to having entered the Catholic paradigm. But we don’t believe in faith alone. You can’t simply claim to have entered the Catholic paradigm. Especially when you don’t even know that that entails.

    I’ll let you know when you’ve done so.

  8. De Maria–

    Those who purposefully twist Scripture in order to maintain their “traditions of men” rank pretty doggone low on my scale of respectability. And make no mistake, your so-called “sacred” tradition is just a worthless pile of human traditions.

  9. ERIC January 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm
    De Maria–
    Those who purposefully twist Scripture in order to maintain their “traditions of men” rank pretty doggone low on my scale of respectability. And make no mistake, your so-called “sacred” tradition is just a worthless pile of human traditions.

    Anytime you want to go through Scripture comparing your traditions to Scripture and Catholic Tradition to Scripture, I’m ready, willing and able to show you your errors.

  10. De Maria wrote:
    I’ll let you know when you’ve done so.

    That’s why I wrote:
    The “Brain Lock” paradigm “handlers” get to judge how I enter for the sake of argument.

  11. De Maria wrote to Eric:
    Anytime you want to go through Scripture comparing your traditions to Scripture and Catholic Tradition to Scripture, I’m ready, willing and able to show you your errors.

    Response:
    The paradigms are incommensurable.

    Wosbald wrote:
    ….when the truth is that Catholic ecclesiology and Reformed ecclesiology are simply incommensurable.

    And Wosbald asked:
    Does any leg of a stool “derive” from any other? Or do they all abide in organic interrelation?
    ———————-

    You can’t show Eric’s writings are in fact errors. You can only attempt to show how they lack consistency WITHIN one paradigm among incommensurable paradigms. They may be errors WITHIN the catholic paradigm, but that’s not the same as showing any of Eric’s writings are objective errors.

    Are you aware of no standard between the incommensurable ? You live in such an airtight and artificial way. People move in and out between paradigms. That’s why I told Eric we still have hope.

    If we accepted your crazy offer, then folly would sit in our house. How unfair ! You want to compare incommensurable traditions to a text that derives from……

    De Maria wrote to Woz:
    To highlight the difference, I tweaked Eric W’s formula and said:

    the New Testament is derived from the Teaching of Jesus Christ, by the Magisterium as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
    ———————-

    IOW, it derives from Catholic Tradition or something adequate to it ! Catholic Tradition in Scripture proves that Scripture derives from Catholic Tradition. A beautiful circle of folly for the Protestant who gets shown their error from the fallible, yet credible, Catholic Witness named De Maria.
    ————————

    Wake up De Maria. “I believe”, when said by the real De Maria, isn’t the same as the objective “De Maria believes”. The objective is handled differently in the catholic paradigm. The Magisterium will have the final word on the objective in this grand pistic paradigm. The Protestant paradigm treats them the same within its own paradigm(s). Are you Protestant or Catholic ? Make up your mind.

  12. De Maria–

    You lose BY DEFINITION…for as Protestants, our only authoritative tradition IS Scripture. If you PROVE me wrong by Scripture, then Scripture is right and I am wrong…and I will shift my position accordingly. That’s what Protestantism IS.

    Humans, it so happens, (including me) are fallible. Semper reformanda. We are constantly endeavoring with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength to get back to Scripture, back to Scripture, back to Scripture.

    Not only that, but if Catholicism, supposedly protected by a charism of God, is proved wrong on some minutia concerning half a verse (on topics which have been dogmatically decreed), then the whole house of cards FALLS.

    You can begin with your interpretation of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and of Revelation 12:2.

  13. Eric, you wrote to De Maria:
    You lose BY DEFINITION…for as Protestants, our only authoritative tradition IS Scripture. If you PROVE me wrong by Scripture, then Scripture is right and I am wrong…and I will shift my position accordingly. That’s what Protestantism IS.

    That’s why they try to distance you from the Scripture. Burn the book, or the Eric, perhaps even both. The incommensurable can’t be compared under ashes. De Maria, isn’t that so ?

  14. Eric W.

    Its advisable to understand the argument before you do anything for the sake of argument.

  15. De Maria–

    Well, well, then…how’s about taking your own advice?

  16. I’m the one explaining to you the argument. You’re the one responding with snippy remarks which have nothing to do with the topic.

    But I understand. Since your denomination has discarded Sacred Tradition. You don’t understand the Scripture. As an example, the latest verse I explained to you. And your response amounted to, “that’s not what it says.” You deny and reject the Catholic Doctrine in Scripture, but have nothing from Scripture to support your own man made doctrines.

    And then, you get snippy.

  17. De Maria–

    I most certainly did NOT say “that’s not what it says.”

    No, I evaluated your exegesis more like this: “That’s not even close to what it says. That’s not in the ball park. That’s ‘guano crazy,’ as Wosbald likes to say!”

    It’s like interpreting “For so so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” as something on the order of “Roses grow wild in China this time of year.”

    And Catholic exegetes do NOT interpret the passage as you do, no matter what you may assert.

    When your arguments rise above the level of “flying-rodent doo-doo,” I’ll start being less snippy.

    However, that may be, Eric W. is correct. You have no real right to appeal to Scripture. You don’t rely on the Bible as the “norming norm.” You rely on the Magisterium and their interpretation. You don’t go to Scripture to see what it may say. You go to Scripture to back up what you already know to be true from Catholic dogma.

    This is what brought on the Reformation. When people started reading the Bible for themselves–when they started to study it in the original languages–they figured out real quick that what the church had been saying it said…was a complete crock.

    If you want us to come back into the fold, all you have to do is to present convincing evidence from Scripture that Rome is unique and special in the eyes of God. Give us convincing biblical evidence for episcopal polity, purgatorial fire, virginity in partu, clerical celibacy, sacramental justification, Marian devotion, infant baptism, penance, apparitions, incorruptibility, immaculacy, assumption, papal infallibility, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., and etc.

    Most of what Catholicism has added to Scripture is from way out in “left field.” You’re not supposed to add to Scripture AT ALL according to Scripture, but that’s what “Sacred Tradition” does. According to Sacred Tradition, the Apostles not only gave us written Scripture (which can be checked and double checked) but oral Scripture, as well (which cannot be checked at all). Jesus whispered into the Apostles’ ears–well, actually, just Peter’s ear–fun, little “secret knowledge” stuff, which was then relegated to the elite in the church (because we all know how intensely the NT speaks of an elite). We all know that “gnosis” is a time-honored means of passing on divine revelation, right?

    In all actuality, what it is, is a time-honored method of ADDING to divine revelation!

  18. Eric wrote to De Maria:
    This is what brought on the Reformation. When people started reading the Bible for themselves–when they started to study it in the original languages–they figured out real quick that what the church had been saying it said…was a complete crock.

    Response:
    That’s a sample of what it means to insert self into the Protestant Paradigm(s). We are necessary to our paradigms because the paradigms direct seekers to Protestants reading their Bibles. It’s not really hard to understand. De Maria serves a paradigm that never gives time to recognize De Maria. However, there’s one exception. The defenders of the catholic paradigm employ the visible activities of De Maria to argue a Motive of Credibility, i.e., her catholic unity and invincible stability. You don’t need to ask questions about the interior gifts of faith or grace because they can’t be regarded as motives. I wonder if De Maria has any MoC. He wants us to believe him, yet we know De Maria is fallible.

  19. Eric,

    “You have no real right to appeal to Scripture.”

    Of course RCs have that right – the Magisterium circumscribes possible interpretations but that in no way entails RCs cannot interpret Scripture or appeal to it – if it did, there would and could be be no RC commentaries or writings or theological development.

    “You don’t go to Scripture to see what it may say. You go to Scripture to back up what you already know to be true from Catholic dogma.”

    I see – so before you subscribed to any of your confessions, you first examined every jot and tittle to ensure it conformed to Scripture. Sola always ends up reducing to solo doesn’t it. Btw did you do that for every book and sentence of Scripture as well? Or did you just assume the canon and its inerrancy/inspiration/authority/closure first and then afterwards look to Scripture to back it up?

    I note a non-believing Jew would also use this exact same type of argument to impugn the credibility of the apostles and their exegesis of the OT.

    “When people started reading the Bible for themselves–when they started to study it in the original languages–they figured out real quick that what the church had been saying it said…was a complete crock.”

    Yawn. Yes the evil RC church had no role in preserving Scripture and was just trying to fool everyone. Amazing how the Eastern Orthodox didn’t jump in line with the Reformation then – maybe they didn’t understand Greek either.

    “If you want us to come back into the fold, all you have to do is to present convincing evidence from Scripture that Rome is unique and special in the eyes of God. Give us convincing biblical evidence…”

    So basically you want Rome to follow your version of sola scriptura and hermeneutic and so undermine its own claims to persuade you. Obviously that makes no sense.

    “You’re not supposed to add to Scripture AT ALL according to Scripture, but that’s what “Sacred Tradition” does.”

    Sacred Tradition forms the proper lens through which to read and understand Scripture. It doesn’t add to Scripture, Scripture came out of Tradition (the church was operating for decades before the last inspired word was penned); Tradition is what helped shape the recognition of the canon in the very first place you take for granted.

    “According to Sacred Tradition, the Apostles not only gave us written Scripture (which can be checked and double checked) but oral Scripture, as well (which cannot be checked at all). Jesus whispered into the Apostles’ ears–well, actually, just Peter’s ear–fun, little “secret knowledge” stuff, which was then relegated to the elite in the church (because we all know how intensely the NT speaks of an elite). We all know that “gnosis” is a time-honored means of passing on divine revelation, right?”

    What in the world are you talking about? Tradition is not some secret hidden thing in the Vatican vault or a game of telephone.

  20. ERIC January 23, 2015 at 10:54 am
    De Maria–
    I most certainly did NOT say “that’s not what it says.”….

    Lol! You are funny. For a linguist, you don’t seem to understand the subtleties of language. What I actually said, was, And your response amounted to, “that’s not what it says.”

    And, you deny it above and then substantiate it below. And that’s the way it goes. You contradict yourself over and over and then pretend you’re making sense.

    No, I evaluated your exegesis more like this: “That’s not even close to what it says. That’s not in the ball park. That’s ‘guano crazy,’ as Wosbald likes to say!”

    ROFL!!! As I’ve said before. When you’re debunked, you do your best to change the subject.

    It’s like interpreting “For so so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” as something on the order of “Roses grow wild in China this time of year.”

    If you were an actual linguist and if you hadn’t abandoned the Traditions of Jesus Christ, you would be able to discern that the time of year when roses grow in China is not part of that which Jesus Christ taught which is the basis of Scripture.

    And Catholic exegetes do NOT interpret the passage as you do, no matter what you may assert.

    They won’t disagree with my exegesis because they will recognize therein, “the living Tradition of the whole Church”.

    When your arguments rise above the level of “flying-rodent doo-doo,” I’ll start being less snippy.

    Wow? What an intelligent rebuttal. Is this from the book of concord?

    However, that may be, Eric W. is correct. You have no real right to appeal to Scripture. You don’t rely on the Bible as the “norming norm.”

    Where is that in Scripture? Show me. Chapter and verse, please.

    You rely on the Magisterium and their interpretation.

    Yep. Scripture says:

    Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Therefore, the Scripture recognizes the Church as the Magisterium. The Teacher of God’s wisdom.

    You don’t go to Scripture to see what it may say. You go to Scripture to back up what you already know to be true from Catholic dogma.

    That’s true. That is what Scripture tells us to do.

    Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Notice how they accepted the Word which the Apostles taught them and then confirmed them in Scripture. That is the Catholic Way. Its called the Three legged stool.

    This is what brought on the Reformation. When people started reading the Bible for themselves–when they started to study it in the original languages–they figured out real quick that what the church had been saying it said…was a complete crock.

    That contradicts Scripture. Scripture says that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God (Eph 3:10) and that which Christ commands (Matt 28:19-20). Therefore, you put the traditions of the reformers above the Word of God.

    If you want us to come back into the fold, all you have to do is to present convincing evidence from Scripture that Rome is unique and special in the eyes of God. Give us convincing biblical evidence for episcopal polity, purgatorial fire, virginity in partu, clerical celibacy, sacramental justification, Marian devotion, infant baptism, penance, apparitions, incorruptibility, immaculacy, assumption, papal infallibility, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., and etc.

    All I have to do is teach the Gospel. Whether you come back to the fold is between you and God. If you are a member of the Elect, God will bring you back. If you’re not, then you’re not. But as for me, I’ve done my duty.

    Most of what Catholicism has added to Scripture is from way out in “left field.” You’re not supposed to add to Scripture AT ALL according to Scripture, but that’s what “Sacred Tradition” does.

    Sacred Tradition is the basis of the New Testament. But the additions to the Scripture are those false doctrines which the Protestants teach like, sola Scriptura and sola Fide.

    According to Sacred Tradition, the Apostles not only gave us written Scripture (which can be checked and double checked) but oral Scripture, as well (which cannot be checked at all).

    Oral Scripture? And you’re a linguist?

    Oh, right, this is your common way of talking. Before we go any further on that line of thinking, you’ll have to show me where Sacred Tradition says that the Apostles gave us “oral Scripture”. Then, you’ll prove to yourself that you’re simply making things up.

    Thanks for saying the ridiculous things you say. Because it should be enough for any person who is searching in good faith to see that you are not debating in good faith. It is enough for you to write confusing things to which you think no one will be able to respond.

    Jesus whispered into the Apostles’ ears–well, actually, just Peter’s ear–fun, little “secret knowledge” stuff, which was then relegated to the elite in the church (because we all know how intensely the NT speaks of an elite). We all know that “gnosis” is a time-honored means of passing on divine revelation, right?
    In all actuality, what it is, is a time-honored method of ADDING to divine revelation!

    Let’s go doctrine by doctrine. Where is Sola Scriptura in Scripture? Show me, chapter and verse.

  21. ERIC W January 23, 2015 at 11:44 am
    Response:
    That’s a sample of what it means to insert self into the Protestant Paradigm(s). ….

    Look up the word “paradigm”. Then report to me. I want to see its etymology and its definition. Then, use it in three sentences.

    After that, we’ll begin to study logical paradigms and logical fallacies. I want to see it all by tomorrow or you get an “F”.

  22. +JMJ+

    Eric W wrote:

    [The premise “De Maria is a Catholic] is unproven. I can’t ask the Magisterium because they don’t know De Maria. The Catholic Church is no help either. The CC doesn’t believe, profess or teach that De Maria is Catholic. I know how to prove the second premise ! I will ask the fallible, yet credible, witness known as De Maria. De Maria knows if De Maria is Catholic.

    This (wholly negative) apologetic is prefaced on the metaphysical impossibility of Sacramentalism. Which is implicitly anti-Incarnational. This is a form of anti-Christ (Gal 1:8-9).

  23. Wosbald wrote:
    This (wholly negative) apologetic is prefaced on the metaphysical impossibility of Sacramentalism. Which is implicitly anti-Incarnational. This is a form of anti-Christ (Gal 1:8-9).

    Response:
    This apologetic is legitimate within catholicism. Besides, a Prot. denial of Sacramentalism doesn’t entail the metaphysical impossibility of Sacramentalism. I’m showing a strange thing in catholicism. Sheer Sacramentalism can provide grounds for saying De Maria is Catholic. I say this because one can be Catholic and not know it. Infants are the best example. We should remember that it’s not the same thing to predicate Catholic to Church and De Maria. They are very different subjects.

    What use is Sacramentalism in this thread with De Maria ? I raised the issue of obstacles to receiving grace. The issue of obstacles presupposes Sacramentalism. Your paradigm recognizes possible obstacles to Sacramentalistic effects. It’s fair game to ask any catholic claimants about obstacles in themselves.

    You already know this if you followed the thread. Do you know that no one tempted me with an answer ? It’s one of many issues left in silence.

  24. ERIC W January 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Response:
    This apologetic is legitimate within catholicism. …..

    You’re jumping ahead. First, paradigms. Get to work. Otherwise you’ll keep writing nonsense your entire life.

  25. De Maria,
    …many issues left in silence

  26. Does anyone think catholics argue like Van Tillian presuppositionalists, while denying the value of presuppositionalism ? De Maria’s words are telling:

    You’re jumping ahead. First, paradigms. Get to work. Otherwise you’ll keep writing nonsense your entire life.

    Presuppositionalism concentrates on meaning and predication. Presups conclude that without a Christian worldview (Essentials of Reformed Prot. Theology are taken for granted) language is reduced to meaningless, or nonsense to quote a noble “handler.” De Maria, instead of answering my issues point-by-point, resolved to focus on stuff found in transcendental challenges. I think he is reducing my words to nothing because I’m not fully “IN” the catholic worldview. I reject it in real life, so he can’t allow a visitors pass no matter how much I learned as a Catholic.

    On the other hand, Eric W “belongs” to the Catholic paradigm in reality. This reality is partial and inferior to our noble handler. VII supports this. Just like the Presup who claims that Atheists belong to the Christian worldview, so putative Catholics handling putative authoritative documents claim that Eric W belongs. I can be summoned to the highest courts (see the Roman Catechism), but can’t request a hearing for my Ethical Demand. Why no hearing ? The CCC handlers are security guards.
    ————————————–

    De Maria wrote to Eric W:
    Its advisable to understand the argument before you do anything for the sake of argument.

    Inspired by De Maria’s comment:

    A great physician was invited to an understaffed hospital. He was excited and said in himself, ” I have no patient there, but I will help for the sake of the patient.” When he arrived, he visited the Security Window. The Guard was firm, faithful and renounced pension plans. He loved things advisable like rule books.

    “No, you may not enter” said the Guard. “Why”, asked the great physician. You have no patient here, so that means you don’t KNOW any patient here. “No KNOWING means no UNDERSTANDING”, he shouted. The physician went away sad because rules are rules.

    The Guard wasn’t fired. This angered HR, so they appealed. HR won the appeal and got the Guard fired. The new policy reads:

    Any guests invited, especially guests with previous knowledge of helping patients, will be treated like staff. The Guards will guard the guests.
    ———————————-

    I love Apologetics without being defensive !

  27. +JMJ+

    Rant on, Eric W. Rant on.

  28. In reading the responses from the Protestants one wonders if they are unaware of the number of Catholic converts, including the man who runs this site, who left Protestantism for Catholicism? People who understood sola scriptura, sola gratia, the history of Lutheranism, the history of Calvinism, were highly trained and in many cases were ordained ministers of the Presbyterian or Reformed Churches, and gave it all up to become lay Catholics. It is as though blindness has stricken the Protestants; or quite possibly they just want to argue.

    One finds people who read the New Testament who believe that they can justify whatever form of Protestantism they hold based on what was written there. So, “the gates of hell will not prevail against It” (the Church Jesus founded) is a justification for Protestantism. So renaming a man with the perfectly good name of Simon as “Rock” and noting that He would build His Church on that man is a justification for Protestantism.

    Ripping seven books out of the Bible, in order to avoid some difficult and Catholic concepts, is within the ability of the Protestants. Luther wanted to remove James and Revelations as well but…. When I understood what Luther was doing, the real question was “why not?” Luther was doing something new, and he was using a book compiled by the Church, maintained by the Church, and presented to the faithful at Mass.

    I remember a Lutheran response to me noting that the Lutheran was defending the Lutheran reformation, not the Protestant reformation. He did not want to be tied to non-Lutherans. I have on several occasions read Presbyterians who attempted to justify all “creedal Protestant religions.” Just don’t ask them to back Luther when he crosses tenets with Calvin.

    And, having been a Protestant, I was aware of the gaps between Protestants before I got to the idea of Catholicism. We Protestants did not agree, including the holders of various and sundry creeds. Hence the Yellow Pages under Church has myriad religions. I haven’t looked lately but I believe that there were nine different Baptist Churches, four Lutheran and four Methodist Churches, several Presbyterian Churches. What is it within Baptist circles (or Lutheran circles, or Methodist circles, or Presbyterian circles) that keep Baptists apart? Lutherans apart? Methodists apart? Presbyterians apart?

    Among my acquaintances were Presbyterians Pro-Life. Why did they append “pro-life” to their denominational name? There are now Presbyterian Churches which accept the killing of the innocent under some condition or other. Did the innocent do anything to deserve death? No, but the current political zeitgeist is open to the death of the innocent and those churches were open to the culture which spawned industrialized abortion. Industrialized? 55,000,000 to 60,000,000 dead children in the US since 1973.

    And there are churches in favor of this which is why they accede to the position on their websites. Perhaps they no longer believe we are made in God’s image and likeness? Well, that is just another indefensible position.

  29. James–

    1. What I meant is that the Magisterium is not accountable to the straightforward reading of Scripture. You are not allowed to even consider bibkically refuting anything they have declared infallibly, no matter how fanciful their declaration. This is a situation at polar opposites with the Bereans.

    2. No, not every jot and tittle…but I sought a paradigm which matched the clear intent of Scripture, from my reading of it.

    3. Yes, James, the Medieval Church could, in many respects, be described as evil. The EO was effectively isolated from developments in the West thanks to their dhimmitude to the Muslims. Those who were influenced through contact with Europe, like Cyril Lucaris, were in such a minority that they were quickly blotted out.

    4. Rome’s following of my stance on Sola Scriptura would do nothing to undermine its interpretive accuracy or authority IF WHAT IT TAUGHT WERE TRUE. A geocentrist RadTrad has nothing to fear from science unless basic observation of the Solar System reveals him to be in error.

    5. Judaism uses the Talmud as the filter/lens through which they interpret the Tanakh (the OT). Catholicism uses Sacred Tradition as their filter for the OT (and NT). And Protestantism uses just the NT as the lens through which they see the OT. Some Protestants misuse their confession or catechism as an eisegetic tool to read their paradigm back into Scripture.

    Do you honestly believe that Scripture would have gone unnoticed and unheeded without the church to authenticate it? O ye of little faith!!

    6. On a map of the southernmost quarter of the Saudi Peninsula, you will notice a dashed line between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and between Saudi and Oman. The boundaries between them are undefined (because the boundary runs through uninhabited and uninhabitable wasteland).

    Catholic Sacred Tradition is like that. The moment we try to pin you guys down on a particular citation or document, you move the markers. There are no fixed borders. Sure, you have a rough summary of Tradition available in the Catechism, but nothing definitive. Judaism realized the danger of shifting sands and set their Tannaitic Tradition (their oral tradition) in stone with the publication of the Mishnah around 200 A.D.

    You also have no provenance. The Islamic oral tradition, the Hadith (narratives of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and sayings), have a very closely guarded and meticulously researched provenance concerning the origin of the tales (and through whom they were passed along) down to the point in time they were committed to writing.

    No distinct borders and no extant provenance make for a rather amorphous body of work.

  30. Donald–

    We are well aware of the small trickle of converts from Geneva to Rome. By contrast, you all seem blissfully ignorant of the torrential gush of converts in the other direction. Within a generation, once thoroughly Catholic Latin America will be majority Pentecostal.

    Our seminarians are exposed to many different theological paradigms and must make up their owns minds concerning them. Catholic seminarians, on the other hand, get a much narrower, provincial education. (The same is true of liberal seminaries.) It is inevitable that some of ours are convinced of error. But those who stick know why they believe.

  31. Eric W,

    Does anyone think catholics argue like Van Tillian presuppositionalists, while denying the value of presuppositionalism ? De Maria’s words are telling:

    Yes and no. Clearly, the Romanists here are governed by their presuppositions. We all are to some extent.

    Van Til embraced the use of evidences in a way the hardcore Roman Catholic cannot. That’s because the actual historical and exegetical evidence shows that Rome is just flat-out wrong biblically and is small-c catholic only if you define catholicity by what a bunch of medieval bishops did at Trent in a mad scramble to not lose Europe to Protestantism.

    Van Til also understood the broad circularity involved in his argument. This is most unlike Rome who can’t see its narrow circularity. The motives of credibility are insanely circular. Rome denies that Scripture is self-authenticating, so its use of Scripture is inevitably circular. It can believe Scripture only if the church first says it is Scripture but then it uses Scripture to prove the church. It’s a vicious circle.

  32. Robert,

    You still haven’t learned your lesson? Even after the thrashing you got from Dr. Cross only recently on this very topic?

    Rome denies that Scripture is self-authenticating, so its use of Scripture is inevitably circular. It can believe Scripture only if the church first says it is Scripture but then it uses Scripture to prove the church. It’s a vicious circle.

    Really?!?!?

  33. Kenneth–

    Cross actually “thrashed” someone on something?? This I’ve got to see!!

    Provide a link to the thread.

  34. That’s because the actual historical and exegetical evidence shows that Rome is just flat-out wrong biblically and is small-c catholic only if you define catholicity by what a bunch of medieval bishops did at Trent in a mad scramble to not lose Europe to Protestantism.

    Well, now we’ve got the anti-Catholic bigot position represented, so I guess the discussion is complete.

    Eric, you were saying something about your seminarians being educated in “many different theological paradigms.” How does Robert Rothwell end-up being an anti-Catholic conspiracy theorist so backwards that he would fit right in with the anti-Catholics of a hundred years ago?

  35. Jonathan wrote:
    Well, now we’ve got the anti-Catholic bigot position represented, so I guess the discussion is complete.

    I had my apologetic associated with a form of anti-Christ. Maybe CCC is Anti-happy.

  36. ERIC January 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

    1. What I meant is that the Magisterium is not accountable to the straightforward reading of Scripture. You are not allowed to even consider bibkically refuting anything they have declared infallibly, no matter how fanciful their declaration. This is a situation at polar opposites with the Bereans….

    But you and Robert and your namesake refuse to go through Scripture and compare. It is you who are at polar opposites of the Bereans.

    And here’s the reason why you refuse to compare your doctrines to Scripture. Because they ain’t there. All you want to do is sit back and say, “That’s not true!” “it ain’t so!” But you have nothing of your own to provide because all of your stuff is right in between your ears. No where else.

    Here are a few examples. The Catholic Church teaches that God speaks through the priests. Protestants say, “Blasphemy!”

    What does Scripture say:

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    The Catholic Church teaches us not to presume that we are saved. Protestants say, “I saved myself by my faith alone!”

    What does Scripture say:

    1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    The Catholic Church teaches us that Priests are our Fathers through the Gospel. Protestants say, “don’t call anyone, father!”

    1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    The Bereans would love to go through the Scriptures and compare doctrines. Protestants are the polar opposites of Bereans.

  37. Eric January 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    “Donald–

    We are well aware of the small trickle of converts from Geneva to Rome. By contrast, you all seem blissfully ignorant of the torrential gush of converts in the other direction. Within a generation, once thoroughly Catholic Latin America will be majority Pentecostal.

    Our seminarians are exposed to many different theological paradigms and must make up their owns minds concerning them. Catholic seminarians, on the other hand, get a much narrower, provincial education. (The same is true of liberal seminaries.) It is inevitable that some of ours are convinced of error. But those who stick know why they believe.”

    Great! Is that why you are offering us the fruits of Pentecostalism in Latin America, rather than the fruits of Presbyterianism?

  38. De Maria wrote to Eric:
    But you and Robert and your namesake refuse to go through Scripture and compare. It is you who are at polar opposites of the Bereans.

    Let’s compare. I agree with the following:

    WCF:
    There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.

    Bible:
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. – Col.1:18

  39. Or Lutheranism. Or Calvinism. Or whatever flavor of the month he is today.

  40. ERIC W January 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm
    De Maria wrote to Eric:
    But you and Robert and your namesake refuse to go through Scripture and compare. It is you who are at polar opposites of the Bereans.
    Let’s compare. I agree with the following:
    WCF:
    There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.
    Bible:
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. – Col.1:18

    Some very interesting things for you to learn. First, Jesus named Simon, “Cephas”. It means “stone”. It also means, “head”.

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2776&t=KJV
    the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.
    metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent
    of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife
    of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church
    of things: the corner stone

    John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

    In Matt 16:18-19, Jesus appointed Simon, the head of or the foundation stone of, the Church.

    In either case, the symbolism is clear. Simon was to preside over the Church.

    Then, Jesus appointed Simon as the Shepherd of His Flock. The Flock is His Church and the Shepherd would lead or guide His Church.

    John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Now, the WCF says that there is “no other” head of the Church because they are Protestants and Protestants deny that any man can represent Christ. But Scripture says differently.

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

  41. Jonathan,

    Well, now we’ve got the anti-Catholic bigot position represented, so I guess the discussion is complete.

    Someone has to counter anti-Protestant bigots like yourself. Remember, we’re the cause of all evils in the Western world, according to you.

    Eric, you were saying something about your seminarians being educated in “many different theological paradigms.” How does Robert Rothwell end-up being an anti-Catholic conspiracy theorist so backwards that he would fit right in with the anti-Catholics of a hundred years ago?

    Fascinating. Where’s the “anti-Catholic conspiracy theorist” in anything I’ve said? Oh wait, you think anyone who thinks Trent is a fundamental denial of the gospel out of step with vast swaths of prior tradition is automatically a bigot. Of course, you can’t substantiate this charge with anything but “The Protestant scholars I, Jonathan Prejean think are acceptable, don’t say Trent is a denial of the gospel according to my, Jonathan Prejean’s, extremely limited awareness of them; ergo, those who don’t tow the line with them are bigots.”

    You can square the circle all you want, but praying to Mary is idolatry and believing that your personal merit gets you into heaven puts you under the anathema of Galatians.

  42. Kenneth,

    You still haven’t learned your lesson? Even after the thrashing you got from Dr. Cross only recently on this very topic?

    The motives of credibility simply aren’t credible to anyone who doesn’t first accept what Rome says the church should be. Dr. Cross can go on and on about their glory, but they are viciously circular. Catholicity only proves Rome if you accept Rome’s qualifications and definitions of catholicity. Don’t accept Rome’s definition of it, and any number of denominations become as likely or more likely to be Christ’s true church than the denomination whose headquarters is in the Vatican. Same is true of holiness. Same is true of all sorts of things.

    Bryan’s argument boiled down finally to, well, the PCA started bureaucratically in 1973, therefore it can’t be the church Christ founded. That’s a boring argument that, as he is wont to accuse others of, begs the question and assumes that Rome’s bureaucracy goes back to 33 AD.

    Don’t confuse long-windedness from a PhD in philosophy with a good argument.

  43. Donald,

    Great! Is that why you are offering us the fruits of Pentecostalism in Latin America, rather than the fruits of Presbyterianism?

    Eric is not a Presbyterian. And Presbyterians don’t believe that Presbyterianism is the only true church (well, most of them don’t anyway). And neither Presbyterians nor any other Protestant that I know of uses the size of Protestantism as proof that is the church Christ founded (like the post all these comments are on does at least implicitly.

    Rome claims to be the only true church (at least most of the time. Half the time, Rome acts as if we’re just fine being Protestants and are as orthodox as she is. Thank you Vatican 2). Rome bases a large part of this claim on its size. What happens when Romanism is abandoned by the millions. Something tells me the claim won’t change. It’s like when your own scholars point out that the traditional exegetical basis for doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception and man in his prelapsarian state is just laughably wrong. Rome will quietly stop that exegesis but keep the doctrine because, you know, no change.

  44. @Robert:

    Remember, we’re the cause of all evils in the Western world, according to you.

    Sin is the cause of all evils in the Western world. Protestantism just defined the characteristic social form.

    Oh wait, you think anyone who thinks Trent is a fundamental denial of the gospel out of step with vast swaths of prior tradition is automatically a bigot.

    Or an ignoramus. It’s just a question of which. That is, historically speaking, an absolutely ridiculous position.

    Of course, you can’t substantiate this charge with anything but “The Protestant scholars I, Jonathan Prejean think are acceptable, don’t say Trent is a denial of the gospel according to my, Jonathan Prejean’s, extremely limited awareness of them; ergo, those who don’t tow the line with them are bigots.”

    Says the guy who can’t produce any proof of *any* actual Protestant patristics scholars who make that claim. It’s not my lack of awareness, but the fact that they don’t exist except in your fevered imagination. Show me a book with your anti-Catholic hate documented, Grand Dragon Rothwell. Stop talking, and give me a bibliography.

    You can square the circle all you want, but praying to Mary is idolatry and believing that your personal merit gets you into heaven puts you under the anathema of Galatians.

    And so every prior Christian stands condemned before your “Reformation.” So much for the mythical “Western catholic tradition” you claim to exist.

    Your delusional “strain of the Western catholic tradition” nonsense is about as plausible as the aliens building the pyramids. If you’re willing to make up reality, then the only thing I can do is to point out that it’s foolish. No one who knows anything about the Fathers believes this garbage anymore.

  45. De Maria,

    Slow down ! I wrote the pope of Rome. Give me the texts for head and cornerstone of the Pope(s). This Berean knows Rome existed at the time of Jesus. Just supply the pope of Rome from the Bible.
    ———————

    You wrote:
    John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
    In Matt 16:18-19, Jesus appointed Simon, the head of or the foundation stone of, the Church.
    In either case, the symbolism is clear. Simon was to preside over the Church.

    Response:
    Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ? If so, then why did Jesus need to “appoint” Simon as head or foundation stone of the church ? Is the appointment distinct because the original name change DIDN’T signify presiding over the Church ? You need to explain this relation and the import of the sequence.
    —————————-

    You wrote:
    Now, the WCF says that there is “no other” head of the Church because they are Protestants and Protestants deny that any man can represent Christ. But Scripture says differently.
    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    Response:
    What if I told you that Protestants deny any man, save Christ, can be Head of the Church? Proof: Col.1:18
    Why should I swallow YOUR implicit meanings found in “represent Christ” ?

  46. +JMJ+

    Robert wrote:

    The motives of credibility simply aren’t credible to anyone who doesn’t first accept what Rome says the church should be. Dr. Cross can go on and on about their glory, but they are viciously circular. Catholicity only proves Rome if you accept Rome’s qualifications and definitions of catholicity.

    The Motives of Credibility are addressed to the Natural Man. They are not addressed to the Supernatural Man/”The Christian” in order to convince him that the best/most authentically (re)constructed/most faithfully run “church” (i.e. fraternal organization) is the Roman Catholic iteration.

    To those who presuppose their own Supernaturality, what value could they ever possibly see in Motives of Credibility? None, since they priorly see themselves to be in possession of that Free Gift proffered by the RCC.

  47. And PS, Robert, Kenneth Winsmann has been getting crickets at coffeehouseinquisition.com at his attempt to get any Protestant to show any kind of historical continuity in Protestant distinctives. It isn’t there. That was a *claim* made by Protestants that simply did not hold up under modern historical methods.

  48. Wosbald wrote to Robert:
    The Motives of Credibility are addressed to the Natural Man. They are not addressed to the Supernatural Man/”The Christian”….

    Response:
    VII recognizes Christians OUTSIDE the visible confines of the Church bearing the MoC. Directing Protestants to the MoC is the same as MoC address The Supernatural Man/Christian/Protestant.

  49. Robert: Rome claims to be the only true church

    That is correct, all of the time. What Vatican II did was recognize the validity of the sacrament of baptism with some Protestant religions, but not all. So, validly baptized, Christian. Not necessarily Catholic. I learned this coming in from the outside, somewhere out there where you are.

    I had the privilege of taking part in a 900+ response dispute with Mormons, whose baptism is not Christian. It was a great dialogue. They did assure all of us who are not Mormon that they belonged to Jesus as was evidenced by the name of their church.

  50. Robert: “Eric is not a Presbyterian. And Presbyterians don’t believe that Presbyterianism is the only true church (well, most of them don’t anyway). And neither Presbyterians nor any other Protestant that I know of uses the size of Protestantism as proof that is the church Christ founded (like the post all these comments are on does at least implicitly.”

    I stand corrected on Eric and will assume that he is not a Presbyterian.

    Either Presbyterians don’t believe that Presbyterianism is the only true church or they do. If some do, and some don’t, well you cannot square that circle.

    However I am aware that some Presbyterians don’t believe in abortion and some do and promulgate that bit of info at their website if one does a search on abortion. Presbyterians, it would appear, believe the same things but differently depending on which Presbyterianism is being asked.

    I did not mention the size of Protestantism and don’t have any idea of what that proves or even why you would bring it up.

    I did note that one cannot use the New Testament to justify Protestantism. Having been a Protestant – evangelical Pentecostal – I would have some insight on this. One has to actively deny Jesus’ words to justify the Protestant position. Imagine what that did for me when I understood it. The Person Who is the Truth told me something, and I finally realized that I could not deny it or undermine it. He told it not only to me, but to anyone who read what He said. Your argument it seems is with Him. Tell Him what He said or perhaps how He should have said it to permit you to justify your position. If He needs correction, have at.

  51. Donald Todd wrote:
    The Person Who is the Truth told me something, and I finally realized that I could not deny it or undermine it. He told it not only to me, but to anyone who read what He said.

    Reading what He said is impossible without the RCC telling you what to read. The Church Who is the Truth told you what to read, then you finally realized.

  52. +JMJ+

    Eric W wrote:

    Wosbald wrote:
    .
    The Motives of Credibility are addressed to the Natural Man. They are not addressed to the Supernatural Man/”The Christian”….

    VII recognizes Christians OUTSIDE the visible confines of the Church bearing the MoC. Directing Protestants to the MoC is the same as MoC address The Supernatural Man/Christian/Protestant.

    #Contextomy

  53. Wosbald,

    Who cares if you think I quoted you out of context. You equated “Supernatural Man/”The Christian” with
    “those who presuppose their own Supernaturality” and “they priorly see themselves to be in possession of that Free Gift proffered by the RCC”.

    My comment can take or not take you out of context. It doesn’t matter. Maybe your comments inspired something related, but not necessarily opposed to your comments. My comment stands alone. I repeat….

    Directing Protestants to the MoC is the same as MoC address The Supernatural Man/Christian/Protestant.

    Is the comment true or false ?

  54. ERIC W January 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm
    De Maria,
    Slow down ! I wrote the pope of Rome. Give me the texts for head and cornerstone of the Pope(s)

    I did, Eric. What happened to your Catholic paradigm?

    This Berean knows Rome existed at the time of Jesus.

    But you’re not a Berean. And apparently, whatever paradigm your wearing today, doesn’t realize that the Catholic Church had not yet moved to Rome until well after Jesus had ascended to the Father.

    Just supply the pope of Rome from the Bible…..

    When you supply the WCF from the Bible.

    Response:
    Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ?….

    No. But the name change is significant! I think you’ve made a breakthrough!

    Now consider, God is our Rock and Jesus is the Rock, correct?
    Why would Jesus (i.e. God) turn to Simon and say, “You are rock”? Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

    Exodus 7:1
    King James Version (KJV)
    7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

    Exodus 18:13-15
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    Exodus 19:9
    King James Version (KJV)
    9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

    God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name:

    John 21:15-17
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
    Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock. And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.

    This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name (Matt 16:19).

    What if I told you that Protestants deny any man, save Christ, can be Head of the Church? Proof: Col.1:18

    You just did. And I explained to you that the person whom the WCF agrees is the Head of the Church, turned around and appointed another head to represent Him when He ascended to the Father. And this is explained in Scripture.

    So, its a matter of whom you would rather believe. Our Lord and Saviour or the WCF.

    Why should I swallow YOUR implicit meanings found in “represent Christ” ?

    They aren’t mine. Anyone who understands English can see them if they want to be honest.

  55. +JMJ+

    Eric W wrote:

    My comment can take or not take you out of context. It doesn’t matter. Maybe your comments inspired something related, but not necessarily opposed to your comments.

    Apology accepted, Captain Needa.

    ————————————————————————————————

    Eric W wrote:

    My comment stands alone. I repeat….
    .
    Directing Protestants to the MoC is the same as MoC address The Supernatural Man/Christian/Protestant.
    .
    Is the comment true or false ?

    Ah. A rabbit trail. A red herring.

    No thanx.

  56. ROBERT January 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    You can square the circle all you want, but praying to Mary is idolatry

    On the contrary, praying to Mary and the Saints is merely recognition that we are under the new dispensation of Jesus Christ, wherein we dwell upon Mt. Sion with the Saints and like Jesus, we can communicate with them.

    Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    You guys are still living under the bonds of the Old Covenant. Whereas, we have been set free by Our Lord.

    and believing that your personal merit gets you into heaven puts you under the anathema of Galatians.

    It is not we who believe that, but you. You believe that you save yourself by your merit, that is the merit of your faith alone. Therefore, it is you who is under the anathema of Galatians.

    Whereas, we don’t believe we save ourselves at all. We await God’s judgment. Not presuming to consider ourselves more than we truly are.

    Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    And we cast our hope upon the Mercy of our Lord:

    1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

  57. ROBERT January 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Eric is not a Presbyterian.

    What is he today? Calvinist, Lutheran, what? And what are you?

    And Presbyterians don’t believe that Presbyterianism is the only true church (well, most of them don’t anyway).

    Because its not. They got that one right, didn’t they?

    And neither Presbyterians nor any other Protestant that I know of uses the size of Protestantism as proof that is the church Christ founded

    They could hardly do that, couldn’t they. Because, if they take each denom by itself, they are mere splinters to the House of God.

    (like the post all these comments are on does at least implicitly.

    What would you expect after 2000 years of Christianity? The Truth stands the test of time.

    Rome claims to be the only true church (at least most of the time.

    The Catholic Church is the one that Jesus Christ built. The Orthodox and some of the other ancient sacramental religions also can be called “true churches”. But none of the Protestant denoms.

    Half the time, Rome acts as if we’re just fine being Protestants

    Be the best person you can be. Yessir. Keep the Commandments and love your fellow man.

    Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    and are as orthodox as she is.

    That’s not true. Faith alone is still a heretical teaching.

    Thank you Vatican 2). Rome bases a large part of this claim on its size. What happens when Romanism is abandoned by the millions. Something tells me the claim won’t change.

    Its prophecied, Robert. A prophecy doesn’t always come true. See Jonah and the Ninevites. However, Jesus did wonder whether any faith would be left upon earth when He returned.

    It’s like when your own scholars point out that the traditional exegetical basis for doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception and man in his prelapsarian state is just laughably wrong. Rome will quietly stop that exegesis but keep the doctrine because, you know, no change.

    We don’t follow scholars, Robert. We follow the infallible Church of which Scripture says:

    Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

  58. De Maria wrote:
    Ah. A rabbit trail. A red herring.

    VII Ecumenism, with all of its ecclesial analogical relations with outsiders, is one big rabbit trail. A red herring. The important issue for Protestants is to repent, submit, do penance and believe the Supernatural Man who sees themselves to be in possession of that Free Gift proffered by the RCC. Sorry, I meant they should do these things for the God of the Free Gift. De Maria, Isn’t that so ?

  59. Anyone who doesn’t understand my exchange with Wosbald,

    I’m not allowed to show analogical relations between RCC Supernatural Man and the Protestant Supernatural Man. My work belongs to rabbit trails and red herrings. If my work goes bye bye, then VII work goes bye bye.

  60. There was so much dumb crammed in those posts that I didn’t even see this part.

    It’s like when your own scholars point out that the traditional exegetical basis for doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception and man in his prelapsarian state is just laughably wrong.

    Oh, how stupid! “Man in his prelapsarian state?” Add that to this list of ridiculous claims you made on which you can’t cite anybody. You are so screwed up when it comes to rational thinking that it’s amazing your head can face forward.

    And before anyone starts saying that I think Robert is an actual Grand Dragon, I obviously don’t think he is in the Klan. My point is that this brand of anti-Catholicism, accusing us of betraying centuries of tradition at Trent, is the same sort of irrational antipathy and stereotyping based on no evidence that the Klan has peddled for its entire existence. The Klan and their always have “reasons” to trash Catholics, Jews, and brown people, and the “reasons” are as good as Robert’s historical “reasons.” This idea that Catholics “betrayed the Gospel” before the Reformation is just as credible as the idea that Catholics were moles undermining American society at the direction of the Pope. They are crazy, ludicrous charges, and they always were.

  61. De Maria, you wrote:
    I wrote the pope of Rome. Give me the texts for head and cornerstone of the Pope(s)

    Response:
    We know you think Peter was the pope of Rome. That’s not the same as giving me texts about the pope of Rome. Try harder because you don’t get a nod when Peter and pope of Rome are wedded without proof. Bible proof, please.
    —————————–
    You answered:
    No. But the name change is significant! I think you’ve made a breakthrough!

    Response:
    Thx for the answer. Please finish my request before asking me to consider additional information. I repeat….

    If so, then why did Jesus need to “appoint” Simon as head or foundation stone of the church ? Is the appointment distinct because the original name change DIDN’T signify presiding over the Church ? You need to explain this relation and the import of the sequence.
    ——————————
    You wrote:
    You just did. And I explained to you that the person whom the WCF agrees is the Head of the Church, turned around and appointed another head to represent Him when He ascended to the Father. And this is explained in Scripture.
    So, its a matter of whom you would rather believe. Our Lord and Saviour or the WCF.

    Response:
    My God ! You RC Apologists are so overbearing. Look at what you wrote: “turned around and appointed another head to represent Him” I asked a question about “appointed”. You gave no reply. I pushed back on YOUR stuff. I don’t care where you got it from. It belongs to you now. The Bible gives us one Head. See Col.1:18. Maybe we can discuss this verse by itself. I did bring it up first. “Represent” can be discussed if you can stay on one thing without jumping around. You will defend everything stated. Too hard ? Then stop now. I will “handle” everything you give.
    ————————-

    Please understand that the mask of your Epistemological *Sine qua non* was lifted for all to see. An impoverished ignorance lives underneath !

  62. @De Maria:

    We don’t follow scholars, Robert.

    Neither does Robert. I tend to agree that the Protestant understanding of authority is unjustified, but in truth, there isn’t any scholarship that rebuts the Catholic view of Scripture either.

  63. ERIC W January 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm
    De Maria, you wrote:
    I wrote the pope of Rome. Give me the texts for head and cornerstone of the Pope(s)….

    What? You’re very confused.

    ERIC W January 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm
    De Maria wrote:
    Ah. A rabbit trail. A red herring.

    Very confused, indeed.

    Take a break, Eric W. Have a spot of tea and bourbon whiskey. Calm your mind. You don’t happen to drink diet soda, do you?

    See you tomorrow.

  64. Jonathan,

    And so every prior Christian stands condemned before your “Reformation.” So much for the mythical “Western catholic tradition” you claim to exist.

    Yes, a lot of Christians prior to Trent were guilty of idolatry. Every Christian is guilty of idolatry. All sins are forms of idolatry. Every great Christian in the history of the church from Peter to Augustine to Calvin to Hodge and so on have all committed idolatry. The advantage of Westminster, for example, is that it doesn’t condemn to hell those who refuse to commit idolatry. Then there is Rome…

    And Trent isn’t a rubber stamp on the earlier tradition. You want Protestant patristic scholars who say that: Calvin, Pelikan, Schaff, J. Ligon Duncan, Michael Haykin, and the list goes on. Not that you will see any of them as scholars. Remember, for Jonathan, Protestants are idiots and the source of all social evils in the universe. As you pronounce that from your post of impartiality.

    Oh, how stupid! “Man in his prelapsarian state?” Add that to this list of ridiculous claims you made on which you can’t cite anybody. You are so screwed up when it comes to rational thinking that it’s amazing your head can face forward.

    There is absolutely no exegetical justification for the distinction between image and likeness that is required for the Romanist view of grace overcoming our natural God-given tendency to slip into non-being. None whatsoever. But Rome keeps up that Thomistic view of grace. It’s because for Rome exegesis really doesn’t matter.

    And PS, Robert, Kenneth Winsmann has been getting crickets at coffeehouseinquisition.com at his attempt to get any Protestant to show any kind of historical continuity in Protestant distinctives. It isn’t there. That was a *claim* made by Protestants that simply did not hold up under modern historical methods.

    I don’t follow that blog.

    As for Protestant distinctives, I don’t need to rehash what others have done looking to Clement, Diogenetus, Chrysostom, Cyril (Fairbairn) and others pointing to a clear notion of extra nos righteousness. You don’t accept those arguments. I get it. You’ve shown no ability to actually put on Protestant lenses or even consider any position except whatever your current patristics scholar of the moment happens to believe. You’ve done this here. You’ve done this with Steve Hays. Typically, you end up accusing somebody of bigotry and going off and declaring victory. Whatever.

    Look, the RC position makes sense when you put on RC glasses. It’s quite compatible with fallen man’s tendency to think his salvation is finally dependent not on God but on himself. I get it. Problem is, it’s not exegetically grounded.

  65. De Maria,

    It is not we who believe that, but you. You believe that you save yourself by your merit, that is the merit of your faith alone. Therefore, it is you who is under the anathema of Galatians.

    I specifically deny that my faith has any merit whatsoever in regards to justification. That is a Romanist conception of faith. The only merit that justifies me is the merit of Christ. My faith is an empty hand. All it does is receive and rest on Christ. And the only reason I have it is because God granted it to me sovereignly and irresistibly.

    No room for my merit at all.

  66. ROBERT January 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I specifically deny that my faith has any merit whatsoever in regards to justification.

    I don’t care what you deny. You consider yourself saved because of the merit of your faith. Ipso facto, you consider yourself meritorious enough to enter heaven. And you don’t even allow God the right to judge your merit, you judge it for yourself.

  67. Wosbald,

    The Motives of Credibility are addressed to the Natural Man.

    Yes, and the natural man finds them wholly incredible—as in, circular, pointless, and question-begging—unless he first accepts that the church should be what Rome says it is. As I said, if you don’t a priori assume Rome’s definition of catholicity, for example, the catholic motive of credibility doesn’t point to anything resembling Rome.

    One must try on Rome’s glasses and interpret the evidence in Roman ways before the motives of credibility are credible. Bryan Cross et. al. himself proves this by positing that “there must be a principled means and it must look like this” before going off to “prove” Roman Catholicism via the motives of credibility.

  68. De Maria,

    I don’t care what you deny. You consider yourself saved because of the merit of your faith. Ipso facto, you consider yourself meritorious enough to enter heaven. And you don’t even allow God the right to judge your merit, you judge it for yourself.

    My faith has no merit. I don’t consider myself meritorious enough to enter heaven because I have faith. I’m meritorious enough to enter heaven only because of what Christ has done. My faith doesn’t “mix” with that to make me worthy of heaven. Not in any way.

    And I specifically allow God to judge my merit. That’s why I must turn to Christ alone. If God lets me into heaven based on the merit of my faith, I’m toast.

    Faith alone is shorthand for Christ alone. It’s how we preserve the fact that my justification isn’t dependent on the quality of my cooperation with Christ to get some personal, partly-Robert originated merit so that I can cross the finish line and get the final justification to make up for the insufficiency of my initial justification.

    Christ doesn’t just meet me halfway. He gives me his righteousness. He takes away all claims I have to my own merit. It’s Christ’s merit and Christ’s merits alone. It remains always and ever his merit, contra Trent.

  69. Sorry for….
    De Maria, you wrote:
    I wrote the pope of Rome. Give me the texts for head and cornerstone of the Pope(s)….
    What? You’re very confused.
    ERIC W January 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm
    De Maria wrote:
    Ah. A rabbit trail. A red herring.
    —————–

    Tomorrow, Lord willing.

  70. Jonathan–

    If Kenneth has been getting “crickets,” then I guess I must be one of those infernal chirpers myself. We have been going at it, and so far, he has not gained the upper hand. You should help out!

    Modern historical methods discount the resurrection and biblical infallibility and early papal primacy and early Marian devotion and on and on. Should we really care an awful lot about “modern historical methods”?

    I really don’t give a fig whether the ECF’s are on our side or not. I simply believe that, to some extent at least, they clearly are. All I care about is that the New Testament is on our side, and I don’t think there’s much question about that.

  71. @Robert:

    The advantage of Westminster, for example, is that it doesn’t condemn to hell those who refuse to commit idolatry.

    No, it only condemns to hell the faithful Catholics after Trent.

    And Trent isn’t a rubber stamp on the earlier tradition. You want Protestant patristic scholars who say that: Calvin, Pelikan, Schaff, J. Ligon Duncan, Michael Haykin, and the list goes on. Not that you will see any of them as scholars.

    I’m talking about Protestants living today. Calvin and Schaff are long dead. I’ve read Pelikan and Haykin, and neither of them say what you say about Trent deviating from the patristic tradition. I’m not aware of Duncan having any scholarly work in this area at all. You are just making crap up about books you haven’t even read. The list not only doesn’t go on; it’s zero.

    There is absolutely no exegetical justification for the distinction between image and likeness that is required for the Romanist view of grace overcoming our natural God-given tendency to slip into non-being.

    Except that the distinction between the terms is not required for the belief. But just keep saying things that aren’t true about our beliefs.

    As for Protestant distinctives, I don’t need to rehash what others have done looking to Clement, Diogenetus, Chrysostom, Cyril (Fairbairn) and others pointing to a clear notion of extra nos righteousness. You don’t accept those arguments. I get it.

    Fairbairn said that Cyril endorsed extra nos righteousness? Where? There are no “others.” Stop talking, and show me.

    You’ve done this here. You’ve done this with Steve Hays. Typically, you end up accusing somebody of bigotry and going off and declaring victory. Whatever.

    This isn’t about “victory.” There’s no winning with hate. The point is that there are still people, in the 21st century (!), who still believe this completely over-the-top story from almost five centuries ago that they were the ones following the tradition that the mainstream church had abandoned. And let’s not forget that even 50 years ago, beliefs about race that we consider completely ridiculous now were still prevalent. This is the theological equivalent. Everybody agrees that the Protestant criticisms of the Catholic Church and Trent were way over the top, and sensible people have moderated those cricitisms. Then, there are people like you.

    There’s this song “Zombie” by the Cranberries about this sort of thing: “But you see, it’s not me/it’s not my family/in your head, in your head, they’re still fighting.” And there are Catholic nuts like this in Sinn Fein, Islamic radicals in the Middle East, Japanese WWII soldiers stuck on islands for fifty years … all of these people who just can’t get through their heads that the war is over.

    That’s what this is. That’s why you’re talking about “victory.” I’m not the least bit interested in beating you; I just want your brand of craziness in pursuing the conflict to end. If you can’t get it through your head that Catholics aren’t the enemy anymore, then you need to move into the 21st century, or even the late 20th. The fact that the scholarship on this sort of thing is a ghost town should be your clue that you need to pull your head out and look around. No responsible scholar is advocating this kind of war with Catholics anymore where we’re accused of betraying the Western tradition (whatever that would even be), falling under the anathema of Galatians, or any of the Reformation-era polemics. The bomb-throwing will just end up blowing whatever split-P you inhabit up.

  72. ROBERT January 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    My faith has no merit.

    You said it yourself.

    I don’t consider myself meritorious enough to enter heaven because I have faith. I’m meritorious enough to enter heaven only because of what Christ has done. My faith doesn’t “mix” with that to make me worthy of heaven. Not in any way.
    And I specifically allow God to judge my merit.

    No, you don’t. Because you have claimed that you are saved because of your faith. But tell me, how much faith is that and how do you measure it? God alone judges the heart. God alone. And you are not God.

    That’s why I must turn to Christ alone.

    For what? You’ve already judged your salvation.

    If God lets me into heaven based on the merit of my faith, I’m toast.

    But your denom claims you are saved by faith alone. Go figger.

    Faith alone is shorthand for Christ alone.

    Another one of those misnomers? Scripture alone isn’t really alone. Faith alone isn’t really alone. Faith alone isn’t even faith anymore, now it’s really Christ?

    Do you people ever look at a dictionary? Do you ever say anything that you actually mean?

    It’s how we preserve the fact that my justification isn’t dependent on the quality of my cooperation with Christ to get some personal, partly-Robert originated merit so that I can cross the finish line and get the final justification to make up for the insufficiency of my initial justification.

    Because all you have to do is claim to have faith and you are in, according to you. So, it all comes back to your right of private judgment.

    Christ doesn’t just meet me halfway. He gives me his righteousness. He takes away all claims I have to my own merit. It’s Christ’s merit and Christ’s merits alone. It remains always and ever his merit, contra Trent.

    It remains Robert alone. Because faith alone isn’t really faith alone. And it isn’t Christ alone. It is Robert alone. Robert alone saves himself because of the merit of his faith alone according to his judgment alone without regard to what the Word of God says or what Christ says or what anyone says but Robert alone.

  73. ERIC January 25, 2015 at 6:39 pm
    ….
    I really don’t give a fig whether the ECF’s are on our side or not. I simply believe that, to some extent at least, they clearly are. All I care about is that the New Testament is on our side, and I don’t think there’s much question about that.

    You don’t give a fig about the New Testament. All you care about is sustaining the doctrines of the Reformers and giving that your flavor.

  74. Jonathan,

    I’m talking about Protestants living today. Calvin and Schaff are long dead. I’ve read Pelikan and Haykin, and neither of them say what you say about Trent deviating from the patristic tradition. I’m not aware of Duncan having any scholarly work in this area at all. You are just making crap up about books you haven’t even read. The list not only doesn’t go on; it’s zero.

    So if a Protestant is dead, his conclusions are automatically wrong? Got it.

    Pelikan, for one, specifically says that Trent condemned as heresy beliefs that were long accepted as orthodox in Western Christianity. So in that respect at least, Trent clearly deviates from what came before it. It codified one stream of thought in a way to the exclusion of others.

    Except that the distinction between the terms is not required for the belief. But just keep saying things that aren’t true about our beliefs.

    I know it’s not required. It’s the belief that matters, not any grounding for it in Scripture. The traditional distinction is not found in Scripture, and therefore all attempts to build it are false. But all Rome does is keep holding to the nonsense when what it thought was biblical justification is vitiated completely. All in the name of Apostolic tradition of course.

    Fairbairn said that Cyril endorsed extra nos righteousness? Where? There are no “others.” Stop talking, and show me.

    You can read Fairborn’s well-balanced article itself:

    From what I have written, it is clear that there are important similarities and differences between Cyril’s understanding of justification and that of Protestantism. Cyril repeatedly writes of the believer’s righteousness as one that is given by another, by Christ, from the outside. This emphasis on Christ as the source of the Christian’s righteousness is similar to the Protestant understanding of the passive nature of the Christian’s righteousness. Cyril, as much as Luther or any Protestant subsequently, sees the righteousness or holiness of the Christian as that which belongs to Christ and which Christ actively grants to the believer, who passively receives it through faith and grace. But as we have seen, there are also differences between Cyril and many classical Protestant writers. Cyril does not adopt a forensic framework as the dominant aspect of his soteriology. He does not distinguish justification and sanctification to any great degree at all. And he certainly does not make justification the central idea of his soteriology. Thus, Cyril stands as a caution against the potential dangers of a theology that is too exclusively forensic or makes the justification/sanctification distinction too sharply.

    http://www.tftorrance.org/journal/participatio_vol_4_2013.pdf

    That’s what this is. That’s why you’re talking about “victory.” I’m not the least bit interested in beating you; I just want your brand of craziness in pursuing the conflict to end. If you can’t get it through your head that Catholics aren’t the enemy anymore, then you need to move into the 21st century, or even the late 20th. The fact that the scholarship on this sort of thing is a ghost town should be your clue that you need to pull your head out and look around. No responsible scholar is advocating this kind of war with Catholics anymore where we’re accused of betraying the Western tradition (whatever that would even be), falling under the anathema of Galatians, or any of the Reformation-era polemics. The bomb-throwing will just end up blowing whatever split-P you inhabit up.

    Couple of points:

    1) Nice split-P reference. Go have communion with fully orthodox Nancy Pelosi and the neb-pagans at Boston College. Apparently, you all believe the same stuff or are at least fully orthodoxy. You’re all in the one true church after all, and all in good standing.

    2) I don’t view Roman Catholics as the enemy. I view your institutional church as the enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ that has millions bound in slavery to works-righteousnessness. Thankfully for them, many individual RCs don’t buy into the system.

    3) Modern scholarship is, generally, far more interested in giving peace a chance than it is in the truth. You can’t get far in the academy these days if you believe a RC or Protestant colleague is going to hell. That says far more about how postmodern liberalism has infected the academy than it does about any pursuit of truth.

    4) I’ve never said Trent is a betrayal of the entire Western tradition. The entire Western tradition is a mix of wheat and chaff. Trent, for the most part, made chaff into orthodoxy that one must believe or go to hell.

    5) You’re not interested in “making nice” or rectifying age-old polemics. If you were, you’d speak of Protestants as fully orthodox, if maybe a little confused at times or not in the best church they could be in, just like your modern church and its theological/biblical scholars do. Quit pretending otherwise. You betray yourself every time you blame Protestantism for all social ills, talk about Calvin, or prattle on about any host of other matters.

    I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt, I really would. But you’ve given me no good reason to do so.

  75. De Maria,

    But tell me, how much faith is that and how do you measure it? God alone judges the heart. God alone. And you are not God.

    Jesus said it only has to be as big as a mustard seed.

    And the Bible in many places tells us that God wants us to know that we are his. It doesn’t say God wants us merely to hope we might one day perhaps be one of his. If I can’t evaluate my faith sufficiently to have assurance that I belong to Christ, than neither can you have the 51% certainty that is the best Rome can offer.

    Or do you want to be honest and tell me you have no idea at all whether you’re going to go to heaven or not?

  76. Jonathan–

    Whence came this sudden obsession with Robert Rothwell? He’s just an associate editor at Tabletalk. I don’t think he’s written any books, and very few articles on Catholicism. Mind sending me a link demonstrating your point about his virulent bigotry against you all?

    Certain faith traditions isolate themselves from other traditions: liberals, Catholics, fundamentalists. I’m not sure why. I was talking about our academic, Ph.D.-granting seminary programs in terms of Evangelicals not being (as) isolative. Schools like TEDS (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Westminster-Philadelphia, Asbury, Concordia-St. Louis, and Fuller. A lot of schools just churn out pastors and D.Min.’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Perhaps one can get some background in evangelical theology at Notre Dame. Christian Smith is there (an Evangelical convert to RC-ism), as are actual Evangelicals like Mark Noll and Alvin Plantinga. Of course, none of these teaches in the seminary as far as I know. Some liberal sems have a couple of token borderline Evangelicals. Yale has Miroslav Volf and Nicholas Wolterstorff, for example.

  77. De Maria–

    We do indeed believe in Scripture ALONE. It alone is the final arbiter in disagreements over theology.

    As Roger Olson has observed:

    “Scripture is our norming norm and tradition is our normed norm and that in a doctrinal controversy Scripture alone has absolute veto power while The Great Tradition (orthodox doctrine) has a vote but not a veto.”

    We also believe in justification BY faith ALONE. In some sense, we cannot say that it is by Christ alone because then everyone would be justified. It must be procured by conversion (faith and repentance). Though our faith is a gift to us, justification is only for those who have been so gifted.

  78. ROBERT January 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Jesus said it only has to be as big as a mustard seed.

    To move mountains.

    Matthew 17:20
    And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    But not to be saved. To be saved, you have to add love to your faith, love:

    1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    And the Bible in many places tells us that God wants us to know that we are his. It doesn’t say God wants us merely to hope we might one day perhaps be one of his. If I can’t evaluate my faith sufficiently to have assurance that I belong to Christ, than neither can you have the 51% certainty that is the best Rome can offer.
    Or do you want to be honest and tell me you have no idea at all whether you’re going to go to heaven or not?

    And in many places, Scripture warns you that you might fall.

    1 Corinthians 10 King James Version (KJV)

    1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

    12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    Protestants are those who think they stand, yet they might yet fall. It is Christ who judges our salvation.

    Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    There is no such thing as assurance of salvation. And it definitely is not so by proclamations of faith alone.

  79. ERIC January 25, 2015 at 8:43 pm
    De Maria–
    We do indeed believe in Scripture ALONE. It alone is the final arbiter in disagreements over theology.

    But you said it wasn’t really Scripture “alone”, but Prima Scriptura or Scripture first. Are you changing already?


    As Roger Olson has observed:
    “Scripture is our norming norm and tradition is our normed norm and that in a doctrinal controversy Scripture alone has absolute veto power while The Great Tradition (orthodox doctrine) has a vote but not a veto.”

    Lol! Show me the whole thing from Scripture. You can’t. Because it isn’t there.

    We also believe in justification BY faith ALONE.

    By faith alone but the faith which justifies you is not alone. That is what you said and it is part of the WCF. A total self contradiction. But you abhor contradictions and yet the ooze out of your mouth so easily.

    In some sense, we cannot say that it is by Christ alone because then everyone would be justified. It must be procured by conversion (faith and repentance). Though our faith is a gift to us, justification is only for those who have been so gifted.

    And Scripture tells you who is so gifted:

    Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Yeah, those who exercise a faith which accompanied by works are thus gifted with justification by God.

    And the Catholic Church doesn’t get confused or mixed up in the titles of its doctrines. Faith and works is not faith alone which is accompanied by works. Nor is it Scripture and Tradition which is alone. The Catholic Church speaks the Wisdom of God and speaks it directly. Unlike the confusing and self refuting lies which come from the Protestants.

  80. De Maria wrote to Eric:
    Unlike the confusing and self refuting lies which come from the Protestants.

    Response:
    Is this a De Maria self refuting lie ? Or is De Maria a poor handler of some things Catholic ?

    1. In commenting on John 1:42 and Matt 16:18-19, De Maria wrote:

    In either case, the symbolism is clear. Simon was to preside over the Church.
    ——————————-

    Since it was so clear, I asked:
    Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ? [the other part was ignored]

    De Maria wrote:
    No.
    ————————————

    “In either case”…..I asked about one case by itself and we got……NO

    Conclusion:
    John 1:42 doesn’t symbolize Simon was to preside over the Church.
    ———————————–

    With the symbolism out of the way, we can move on to Matt. 16:18-19. Can we say that RC Apologists sometimes use name signification (with a Lexicon, of course) for the art of word alchemy ?

    De Maria handled:
    Jesus appointed Simon, the head of or the foundation stone of, the Church.

    Eric W handled:
    Jesus taught that Jesus was the Rock of the Church.
    ———————————-

    If Jesus taught that Jesus was the Rock of the Church in Matt.16:18,19, then my position on Col.1:18 is not afraid of rival headship from Matt.1:18,19.
    ———————————

    Here’s De Maria’s original flow in a nutshell.

    1. Word Alchemy with Peter’s name.
    2. Mistaken identity of the Rock in Matt 16.
    3. Contradiction of symbolism.

    I will leave John 21:17 and 2Cor.5:20 aside because my reply is enough for the Bible flurry.
    ——————————-

    If you can, and I’m not sure if you can, please focus on Col.1:18. Don’t focus on other considerations contributing to the Prot. understanding of Col.1:18. Just handle Col.1:18 first by yourself. I walk away with Jesus as Head alone. After handling Col.1:18, can you say the same thing ? Please avoid the desire to make me defend the whole WCF just because I cited one thing that’s agreeable. Unlike your Church, I recognize my individuality and can move in and out of paradigms. I don’t embrace and defend confessional statements like you do. The buck stops with me and my agreement. Engage with me and the particulars I offer.

  81. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 3:40 am
    De Maria wrote to Eric:
    Unlike the confusing and self refuting lies which come from the Protestants.
    Response:
    Is this a De Maria self refuting lie ? Or is De Maria a poor handler of some things Catholic ?
    1. In commenting on John 1:42 and Matt 16:18-19, De Maria wrote:
    In either case, the symbolism is clear. Simon was to preside over the Church.
    ——————————-
    Since it was so clear, I asked:
    Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ? [the other part was ignored]
    De Maria wrote:
    No.
    ————————————
    “In either case”…..I asked about one case by itself and we got……NO

    You really ought to go back to school and take a basic English communication class.

    You asked, “Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ? ”

    The way it is written, you ask, “Is the name change the only thing which signifies “preside over the Church”? And the answer to the question is, “no”. Because there are other things as well, such as the giving of the keys and the appointment as Shepherd of the Church as well as his being named first amongst the Apostles throughout Scripture.

    If you intended to ask whether there was anything else which signified this “preside over the Church”? The answer would have been, “yes”.

    Your communication skills are atrocious. And your reading comprehension is even worse. Proof below.

    De Maria handled:
    Jesus appointed Simon, the head of or the foundation stone of, the Church.
    Eric W handled:
    Jesus taught that Jesus was the Rock of the Church.
    ———————————-
    If Jesus taught that Jesus was the Rock of the Church in Matt.16:18,19, then my position on Col.1:18 is not afraid of rival headship from Matt.1:18,19.

    No, Eric, Jesus appointed Simon the Rock. Why would He consider Simon a rival, when He appointed him to the position? Do you know what “rival” means?

    Here’s De Maria’s original flow in a nutshell…..
    I will leave John 21:17 and 2Cor.5:20 aside because my reply is enough for the Bible flurry.
    ——————————-
    If you can, and I’m not sure if you can, please focus on Col.1:18. Don’t focus on other considerations contributing to the Prot. understanding of Col.1:18.

    There are some basic rules for understanding Scripture. I’ve repeated the first often enough. Today’s a new day, maybe you still remember. But if not, I’ll remind you. The New Testament was written on the basis of pre-existing Sacred Tradition. Therefore, if you understand the Tradition, you will understand the New Testament.

    Here’s another rule, which I thought that Protestants accepted. But which they obviously, don’t. Since they like to make entire false gospels by taking one verse from Scripture and embellishing upon it their errors.

    This rule is that Scripture does not contradict itself. Therefore, yes, I can provide a barrage of Bible verses to support the fact that Jesus Christ appointed Simon as His Vicar. Do you know what “vicar” means? Look it up, it will be good practice for you to crack open a dictionary.

  82. De Maria–

    1132. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).

    Lol! Show me the whole thing from Scripture. You can’t. Because it isn’t there.

  83. De Maria,
    I will grant that my basic English communication is poor. Now that you recognize, you are responsible to help with some work of mercy. Maybe you can help me word it. I will, according to charity, retract the charge of contradiction of symbolism. When the English is corrected, then we can evaluate any contradictions.

    Original:
    Did the name change ALONE signify this “preside over the Church” ?

    New:
    Did the name change in John 1:42 signify this “preside over the Church”? Can the verse stand on its own as a signification of Simon to “preside over the Church ?
    —————————-

    You wrote:
    No, Eric, Jesus appointed Simon the Rock. Why would He consider Simon a rival, when He appointed him to the position? Do you know what “rival” means?

    Response:
    You say Simon and I say Jesus. Do you say Simon because the text leads us there ? Or do you import other teaching ? Or both ? My use of “rival” is related to my confession of Christ as the only (in any sense) Head of the Church. Any text of the Bible, if it teaches another Head of the Church (in any sense), will be a rival to my confession. Now that I explained my use of rival, I feel free to ignore your questions. The questions and some possible answers are not germane.
    ————————-

    You wrote:
    There are some basic rules for understanding Scripture. I’ve repeated the first often enough. Today’s a new day, maybe you still remember. But if not, I’ll remind you. The New Testament was written on the basis of pre-existing Sacred Tradition. Therefore, if you understand the Tradition, you will understand the New Testament

    Response:
    Very loving. Thx. Ok, I’m not opposed to what you wrote in a formal way. ST occurred before the NT was writtten. The ST is proximate in a sense. With that said, now consider something remote; It’s remote, yet near. The NT was written by the principle operation of God the Holy Spirit. ALL knowledge (mind of God) existed in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if you understand ALL knowledge, you will understand the NT.

    Why did I write this ? The ball is in your court to delimit Tradition from ALL knowledge. I will bear responsibility for all other things. This is just a starter.
    —————————-

    You wrote:
    Here’s another rule, which I thought that Protestants accepted. But which they obviously, don’t. Since they like to make entire false gospels by taking one verse from Scripture and embellishing upon it their errors.
    This rule is that Scripture does not contradict itself. Therefore, yes, I can provide a barrage of Bible verses to support the fact that Jesus Christ appointed Simon as His Vicar. Do you know what “vicar” means? Look it up, it will be good practice for you to crack open a dictionary.

    Response:
    Please focus on this entire reply. Now focus on the details. Please isolate the part about Col.1:18. If everything here is somehow indirect, then give me something direct. I made my wishes clear. If it’s hard, then stop doing this. Your charity is becoming obscure. You CCC guards and the rules ! Too funny !

    You asked:
    Do you know what “vicar” means?

    Stop adding so much info….slow down and let’s go part by part. Vicar is very important, so let’s deal with Head (Col.1:18, the first verse I cited). This is request #2.

  84. De Maria–

    You wrote:

    “No, Eric [W.], Jesus appointed Simon the Rock. Why would He consider Simon a rival, when He appointed him to the position? Do you know what “rival” means?”

    The word “rival” doesn’t even appear in the NT. And Jesus’ frequent rebukes of Peter makes Peter a DISCIPLE receiving instruction, not a rival.

    I think it’s fairly clear that Christ did appoint Peter (as the Rock) to some position. But to what and for how long is totally vague. The rest of the disciples also bind and loose according to Matthew 18. A great many Protestant exegetes, by the way, identify not Christ and not Peter’s faith but Peter himself as the Rock to whom Jesus refers.

    Humanly speaking, Peter is a little cornerstone, a small foundation of some sort, upon which Christ, as THE cornerstone, as THE foundation, as THE bedrock, will build his church. (“Petros” [Peter] means not an intimidating, immense ROCK but a small stone or pebble.) Moreover, he becomes that small cornerstone by virtue of his demonstrated faith.

  85. @Eric:
    I meant Robert’s comments *here* more than whatever publications are out there. And my point isn’t that these guys matter much, although Sproul and MacArthur have some audience. The point is going forward. If Robert becomes and elder or a pastor, then those ideas get passed on to a new generation, and the war never ends. People never get past it.

    We’ve had this discussion about true and false churches before, and it’s relevant here. Plenty of Protestants believe that the way Trent articulates the Gospel is not a good or helpful way to explain things, and maybe even that it’s technically incorrect in some sense, but that it isn’t endorsing anything that either explicitly or implicitly falls under the anathema of Galatians (salvation by works in the Judaizing sense). That is essentially what the joint declaration on justification says, not that we don’t disagree, but that we don’t disagree in a way that is intended to deny that salvation is a gracious gift of Christ.

    The fact that the Gospel is being taught badly is an adequate basis for separation (as per Protestants like Carl Trueman), but it isn’t an adequate basis for saying that Catholicism is not Christian, i.e., that Catholics lack faith in Jesus as Savior. In other words, “not a true church” means “not as it should be,” but it doesn’t imply complete failure. That is a revisitation of historical Protestant creeds based on a better mutual understanding of Scriptural history.

    From a historical perspective, that’s all we’re asking. Just recognize that an absolute rejection of Trent in this respect is an absolute rejection of what came before Trent, all the way back to the second century at least. The Protestants like Fairbairn that I’ve read are actually pretty fair about that; they say outright that the criticism applied to Catholicism and Orthodoxy is the same one they apply to the Fathers. But for that reason, they don’t follow the over-the-top Reformation-era rhetoric about the Catholic Church being a synagogue of Satan. Instead, they accept that we are Christians in the same Tradition as the Fathers, but that Tradition needs some Biblical revision. That is the non-crazy space where we can have meaningful dialogue, because it is grounded in facts and reality and because it respects all positions, including those of historical authors.

    Maybe I’m just not as ambitious as most Catholic apologists, but I’m not even trying to advocate for the correctness of Catholicism in that respect. I just want the extremism of the Reformation to be moderated in a manner consistent with what history has taught us. The war should be over; we should be at the point of reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

  86. ERIC January 26, 2015 at 7:09 am
    De Maria–
    1132. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. ….

    Lol! Show me the whole thing from Scripture. You can’t. Because it isn’t there.

    Duh. Protestants require explicit text in Scripture. We don’t.

  87. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 7:18 am
    De Maria,
    I will grant that my basic English communication is poor. Now that you recognize, you are responsible to help with some work of mercy…..

    That’s what I’ve been doing Eric W. But, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

    But knowing and accepting that the problem exists is half the battle. Now, that you have recognized it, go work on it. Do your diligence so that one day, you will be able to convey what you truly intend to say.

  88. De Maria,
    Do your diligence so that one day, you will be able to convey what you truly intend to say.

    Response:

    See how you treat those who humble themselves in your presence ? You went through all this crap to evade and avoid a real comparison of teachings to scripture. You knew what I meant. That knowledge makes you culpable before God. Also, the way I worded it was acceptable because you wrote “either case”. “ALONE” was easy to understand in context.

    It was an obvious contrast between John 1:42 and [Matt.16:18,19 & John 1:42]. Either John 1:42 ALONE, or Matt.16:18,19 WITH John 1:42. I had NO REASON to consider other verses out there in all possible worlds. You cited those verses and I bravely dealt with them. I cited Col. 1:18. You didn’t deal with it in a brave manner.

  89. Jonathan,

    We’ve had this discussion about true and false churches before, and it’s relevant here. Plenty of Protestants believe that the way Trent articulates the Gospel is not a good or helpful way to explain things, and maybe even that it’s technically incorrect in some sense, but that it isn’t endorsing anything that either explicitly or implicitly falls under the anathema of Galatians (salvation by works in the Judaizing sense). That is essentially what the joint declaration on justification says, not that we don’t disagree, but that we don’t disagree in a way that is intended to deny that salvation is a gracious gift of Christ.

    But the problem is that the Joint Declaration, on the Protestant side, was endorsed only by theological liberals and it carries no de fide weight on Rome’s side. It’s a muddle and largely pointless document until it can attain the agreement of conservative Protestants and Rome officially states de fide that Protestantism is a valid expression of Christianity.

    The fact that the Gospel is being taught badly is an adequate basis for separation (as per Protestants like Carl Trueman), but it isn’t an adequate basis for saying that Catholicism is not Christian, i.e., that Catholics lack faith in Jesus as Savior. In other words, “not a true church” means “not as it should be,” but it doesn’t imply complete failure. That is a revisitation of historical Protestant creeds based on a better mutual understanding of Scriptural history.

    It all depends on what “Christian” means. Roman Catholicism is clearly part of the overall Christian tradition as defined by the earliest church councils. But then again, so are all confessional Protestant denominations. Rome isn’t a complete failure, at least not historically. It continues to produce some of the best Trinitarian thinkers, for instance.

    I’ve never said that RCs lack faith in Jesus as Savior. I’ve said that anyone who knowingly embraces all that Rome teaches lacks faith in the biblical Jesus. I’m sorry you’re upset that Protestantism traditionally defines holding to heresy as a soul-damning thing. Rome USED to believe that as well.

    And I’m still a bit puzzled as to why you think Carl Trueman would think that Roman Catholics who embrace Trent embrace and teach the gospel. Yeah, he has an appreciation for much RC thought. So do I. Typically the thinkers I respect don’t go around accusing Protestantism of being the root of all Western social evils while ignoring all the abuses of Rome that made the Reformation and historical necessity and inevitability.

    From a historical perspective, that’s all we’re asking. Just recognize that an absolute rejection of Trent in this respect is an absolute rejection of what came before Trent, all the way back to the second century at least. The Protestants like Fairbairn that I’ve read are actually pretty fair about that; they say outright that the criticism applied to Catholicism and Orthodoxy is the same one they apply to the Fathers. But for that reason, they don’t follow the over-the-top Reformation-era rhetoric about the Catholic Church being a synagogue of Satan. Instead, they accept that we are Christians in the same Tradition as the Fathers, but that Tradition needs some Biblical revision. That is the non-crazy space where we can have meaningful dialogue, because it is grounded in facts and reality and because it respects all positions, including those of historical authors.

    The scholars you note point out that there is no such thing as the “Tradition of the Fathers” on such topics as justification. This is what I’ve been saying ad nauseum.

    The point is that anathematizing Trent doesn’t mean anathematizing all that came before it. Not when Trent anathematized vast swaths of the Western tradition when it came to justification (Pelikan). Not when Trent enshrined a two-source version of revelation that didn’t put a primacy on Scripture. And on it goes.

    You can’t have it both ways. You want to say on the one hand that the church fathers were not Tridentine Roman Catholics but then want to say that to reject Trent is to reject the church fathers. Doesn’t work that way.

    Maybe I’m just not as ambitious as most Catholic apologists, but I’m not even trying to advocate for the correctness of Catholicism in that respect. I just want the extremism of the Reformation to be moderated in a manner consistent with what history has taught us. The war should be over; we should be at the point of reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

    Reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement does not entail believing that your partner is in a state of salvation even when you believe he is believing damnable heresy. What you are advocating is essentially what the modern gay rights movement advocates: “We can have dialogue as long as you admit at the outset that it’s okay to engage in homosexual behavior.” What you are saying is “We can have dialogue as long as you admit at the outset that Rome doesn’t teach a false gospel.”

    And yet there’s nothing forthcoming from you to indicate that you believe Protestantism teaches the true gospel and everything that indicates you believe it teaches a heretical gospel. Be consistent. Tell me that John Calvin and Martin Luther were great Christian scholars and theologians who are fully in the mode of what came before them. Because apparently that is what a Protestant has to admit about Rome in order for you to think you are having a reasonable dialogue.

  90. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 9:13 am
    De Maria,
    Do your diligence so that one day, you will be able to convey what you truly intend to say.
    Response:
    See how you treat those who humble themselves in your presence ? ….

    You humbly admitted your error. And you asked for assistance. Now, look, you’ve gone and ruined it by getting prideful and using foul language.

    Calm down and speak clearly.

  91. De Maria wrote:
    You humbly admitted your error. And you asked for assistance.

    Response:
    I did this out of charity. You thought I erred, so I found a way to continue talking. Admit and move on when dialogue partners clog the pores. Assistance was asked of you because something didn’t satisfy you. Satisfaction is important in a dialogue. Ask Jonathan.
    —————————-

    You wrote:
    ….you’ve gone and ruined it by getting prideful and using foul language.

    Calm down and speak clearly.

    Response:
    My entire exchange was designed to show the real outcome of so-called dialogue with a RC. This is how they see everyone except themselves. They even see other RCs this way.

    1. Prideful
    2. foul language
    3. calm down
    4. speak clearly

    Translation:

    1. Prot. will is full of pride. That’s why they reject RCC claims.
    2. Conform to our manners.
    3. 3rd or 4th rule as a reminder
    4. Conform your words with RCC words, or De Maria words.
    —————————–

    I’m not surprised De Maria wanted an open confession from me. They wait in secret for opponents to admit something lower on the being scale. De Maria is shrewd because he left this in silence:

    Eric W wrote:
    ST occurred before the NT was writtten. The ST is proximate in a sense. With that said, now consider something remote; It’s remote, yet near. The NT was written by the principle operation of God the Holy Spirit. ALL knowledge (mind of God) existed in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if you understand ALL knowledge, you will understand the NT.
    Why did I write this ? The ball is in your court to delimit Tradition from ALL knowledge. I will bear responsibility for all other things. This is just a starter.

    Answer what I wrote, De Maria. Watch De Maria beg for Mercy after he bravely answers. He is very low on the scale of being, no ?

  92. Jonathan–

    I had no clue as to Robert’s last name or position. I myself am a nobody from nowhere and assume everyone else here is, too.

    I have tried like mad to get you all to agree to soteriological basics: initial justification, progressive justification, and final justification are in all respects subsumed under Sola Gratia. God only “crowns his gifts” as Augustine says. But I keep getting serious push back.

    To my mind, you specifically do NOT subscribe to Sola Gratia…though you vehemently insist that you do. For example, you inexplicably come to the aid of De Maria, who almost flagrantly espouses justification by works. I can’t get a straight answer out of any of you (at least one that is not almost immediately withdrawn). I will accept you as within soteriological orthodoxy when you unequivocally embrace Sola Gratia.

    Accepting you as within orthodox Christianity on the whole would involve your backing down some on Mary and the Eucharist and Purgatory. I believe soteriological unity is the most important, however. Your salvation is most likely not negated by these other tenets, I very much believe that you do not INTEND idolatry. (Sorry if I don’t believe that you actually avoid it.)

  93. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Response:
    I did this out of charity…..

    You don’t know the meaning of the word. And you’ve contradicted yourself. You mentioned your intentions before and they had nothing to do with charity.

  94. Eric said,

    For example, you inexplicably come to the aid of De Maria, who almost flagrantly espouses justification by works.

    Justification by faith and works. And this is straight from Scripture:

    James 2:24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

  95. For all to see,

    De Maria wrote:

    You really ought to go back to school and take a basic English communication class….

    Your communication skills are atrocious. And your reading comprehension is even worse. Proof below.
    ——————————-

    Eric W wrote:
    I will grant that my basic English communication is poor. Now that you recognize, you are responsible to help with some work of mercy. Maybe you can help me word it. I will, according to charity, retract the charge of contradiction of symbolism. When the English is corrected, then we can evaluate any contradictions.

    Eric W wrote:
    I did this out of charity.
    ————————-

    De Maria wrote:
    You don’t know the meaning of the word. And you’ve contradicted yourself. You mentioned your intentions before and they had nothing to do with charity.

    Response:

    I saved this one for the end. Folks, you will love this one. I promise.

    De Maria wrote:
    If you intended to ask whether there was anything else which signified this “preside over the Church”? The answer would have been, “yes”.

    De Maria wrote:
    You mentioned your intentions before….

    Do a fact check. The only one who MENTIONED intentions in the context of this exchange was YOU. De Maria “YOU”.
    ——————————-

    It was a pleasure exposing your malicious projections onto Eric W “YOU”. Eric W “I” is still safe and forgives.

    Jonathan, see how God is in my “YOU” and “I” ?

  96. Eric W said:

    Do a fact check. The only one who MENTIONED intentions in the context of this exchange was YOU. De Maria “YOU”.

    ERIC W January 21, 2015 at 3:33 am
    De Maria, you wrote:
    What is it that you think you did?
    Response:
    ….. This whole thing I wrote was an ad hominem….

    That is you, mentioning the intention behind your writings. Unlike you, I have no problem with reading comprehension. The tone and content of your writings speak volumes.

    And, as I said before, that is what you are reduced to doing. There are no real arguments in your messages. You are reduced to attacking the persons rather than the arguments because you have nothing intelligent to say.

  97. Eric W January 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Donald Todd wrote:
    The Person Who is the Truth told me something, and I finally realized that I could not deny it or undermine it. He told it not only to me, but to anyone who read what He said.

    “Reading what He said is impossible without the RCC telling you what to read. The Church Who is the Truth told you what to read, then you finally realized.”

    Your response has every benefit except one: It is absolutely false. It was not the Catholic Church which told me what to believe, it is the words of the gospels credited to Jesus. I believed Him. He is responsible. Once I found Him credible, then I had to find out where what He had said was seen as true and binding. It was after that realization that I found the Catholic Church.

  98. De Maria,

    You need more malicious ammo to project…

    ERIC W January 21, 2015 at 3:33 am
    De Maria, you wrote:
    What is it that you think you did?
    Response:
    Gave you light through painful means. You put yourself out there and I appreciate it. This whole thing I wrote was an ad hominem minus all the bad stuff associated with ad hominem.
    ————————

  99. Donald Todd, you wrote:
    Your response has every benefit except one: It is absolutely false. It was not the Catholic Church which told me what to believe, it is the words of the gospels credited to Jesus. I believed Him. He is responsible. Once I found Him credible, then I had to find out where what He had said was seen as true and binding. It was after that realization that I found the Catholic Church.

    Response:
    Thx for your reply. Was it a coincidence that you “found” a Catholic Church that taught “words of the gospel credited to Jesus” ? The very same words that helped you find “Him credible” ? You confused finding with inventing. You invented a CC that MUST include those words of the gospels credited to Jesus. I’m sure you have more to the story, but the charge of “absolutely false” is not true.

  100. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm
    De Maria,
    You need more malicious ammo to project…
    ERIC W January 21, 2015 at 3:33 am
    De Maria, you wrote:
    What is it that you think you did?
    Response:
    Gave you light through painful means. You put yourself out there and I appreciate it. This whole thing I wrote was an ad hominem minus all the bad stuff associated with ad hominem.
    ————————

    No use trying to conceal your malicious intent with the last part of that statement. I’m used to Protestant double speak and self contradictions which are aimed at fooling the uninitiated.

    When you say, Sola Scriptura, you claim it is by a Scripture which is not alone. But, you actually do mean Scripture alone.
    When you say, Sola Fide, you claim it is by a faith which is not alone. But you actually do mean, Faith alone.

    Therefore, when you say, ad hominem minus the bad stuff associated with ad hominem, you actually mean “ad hominem” and all that entails.

  101. De Maria,

    I didn’t think you would use the extra ammo. How much distance can one person put between Col.1:18 and their focused attention ?

  102. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    De Maria,
    I didn’t think you would use the extra ammo. How much distance can one person put between Col.1:18 and their focused attention ?

    I’ve already shown you why you have misunderstood Col 1:18. You complained about the whirlwind of verses which I produced to support the Catholic Doctrine.

    Here we go. Some very interesting things for you to learn. First, Jesus named Simon, “Cephas”. It means “stone”. It also means, “head”.

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2776&t=KJV
    the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.
    metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent
    of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife
    of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church
    of things: the corner stone

    John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, ….

    In Matt 16:18-19, Jesus appointed Simon, the head of or the foundation stone of, the Church.

    In either case, the symbolism is clear. Simon was to preside over the Church.

    Then, Jesus appointed Simon as the Shepherd of His Flock. The Flock is His Church and the Shepherd would lead or guide His Church.

    John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Now, the WCF says that there is “no other” head of the Church because they are Protestants and Protestants deny that any man can represent Christ. But Scripture says differently.
    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

  103. De Maria, you wrote:
    I’ve already shown you why you have misunderstood Col 1:18. You complained about the whirlwind of verses which I produced to support the Catholic Doctrine.

    Response:
    I called it a Bible flurry. Everyone should complain about a whirlwind of verses. Let me get this straight. We MUST go outside Col.1:18 to show me why I misunderstood Col. 1:18 ? Ok, I’m not against this in principle or practice. I just want to know why is it so hard to start inside the text before going outside ? I know, start at the text WITH me like I tried to get you to do. Break down the text and context. I don’t want too much. Give something rough and ready.

    Do you like Douay-Rheims ?

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy:

  104. Eric W.

    Do you like Douay-Rheims ?
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy:

    Do you see there any rule saying that Christ is forbidden from appointing a Vicar to represent Him?

  105. De Maria, I answer with a provisional no.

  106. Nor do I.

  107. De Maria,

    So fun ! When do you show me, from within the text, that I misunderstood Col.1:18 ?

    I repeat my confession to compare to Col.1:18

    WCF
    There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.
    ———————

    Leave the secret maneuvers to me. You can get hurt. Just ask me:

    Do you see there any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

    I have a better idea. I answered your question and you answered your question, so answer my question.

  108. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm
    De Maria,
    So fun ! When do you show me, from within the text, that I misunderstood Col.1:18 ?

    I already did. Several times.

  109. De Maria,

    Unwritten De Maria Sacred Tradition rule:

    Everyone answers De Maria questions, including De Maria.

    Did I just dogmatize an unwritten tradition ? So that’s what it feels like to be a RC.
    —————-

    I said you would get hurt. Now everyone can see how you play unfairly.

  110. ERIC W January 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm
    De Maria,

    I said you would get hurt. Now everyone can see how you play unfairly.

    Oh no! Are you crying?

  111. @Robert:

    So if a Protestant is dead, his conclusions are automatically wrong? Got it.

    No. If a historian has been dead 100 years and mounds of additional evidence have been assembled that seriously undermine his claims, then we don’t pretend that he is still correct contrary to the evidence.

    Pelikan, for one, specifically says that Trent condemned as heresy beliefs that were long accepted as orthodox in Western Christianity. So in that respect at least, Trent clearly deviates from what came before it. It codified one stream of thought in a way to the exclusion of others.

    If you’re thinking of the book I have in mind (The Riddle of Roman Catholicism), you’re talking about a line written over fifty years ago, before Vatican II, before the JDDJ, and before Pelikan’s conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy, making a moderate claim that “some” medieval theologians and Fathers held JBFA. By the time Pelikan, as an Orthodox Christian, wrote a commentary on Acts, it was clear that he didn’t see any contrast between the Bible’s version of JBFA and the Tridentine or Orthodox views on the subject. He even commended Trent’s summary of the sacrament of confession as being from the New Testament. It’s certainly not clear to me that he still believed that Trent had closed off a strand of Tradition; on the contrary, he seemed to have accepted that there was no fundamental opposition between Tridentine justification and the version of JBFA held by “some” theologians.

    So don’t tell me what Pelikan allegedly believed about Trent without actually doing your homework. And especially don’t cite him to say that Trent anathematized “vast swaths of the Western tradition” (he didn’t say that even in the very early work) or that Trent dogmatized “mostly chaff.” He’d have to be saying that the Christian tradition he affirms is “mostly chaff.” Which brings me to Fairbairn. After spending the entire article corroborating Catholic Daniel Keating”s scholarly conclusions, note that Fairbairn commends Cyril for not being exclusively forensic, exactly what Catholics taught at Trent. And you apparently didn’t even read Fairbairn’s conclusion, which was practically aimed at guys like you:
    Protestants, schooled in on-going disputes with Roman Catholicism, are often quick to point out the difference between imputed righteousness and imparted or infused righteousness, and the classical Protestant concept of justification is closely tied to the first of these, in opposition to the second. It seems to me, though, that Protestants sometimes extend this dichotomy into an opposition between imputed righteousness and participatory righteousness, thus unhelpfully applying concepts borrowed from anti-Catholic polemic to anti-Orthodox polemic. (Whether those concepts are appropriate even in dialogue with Roman Catholics is another question, but one I will not address here.) I believe Cyril’s thought demonstrates that this is a false dichotomy. Instead, Cyril teaches us that participatory righteousness – or better, our participation in the one who is himself righteous – is the very heart of imputed righteousness. To say this in Protestant terms, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the Christian when the Christian is united to Christ, who is the righteous one. But to say the same thing in Orthodox terms, participation in Christ, because it is a personal participation granted to the believer at the beginning of Christian life, implies that his righteousness becomes ours.

    Pelikan, nope. Fairbairn, nope.

    I don’t view Roman Catholics as the enemy. I view your institutional church as the enemy of the gospel of Jesus Christ that has millions bound in slavery to works-righteousnessness. Thankfully for them, many individual RCs don’t buy into the system.

    And the anti-Semites say that they don’t hate Jews, just the Evil Zionist Conspiracy. This is a distinction without a difference. You are saying that what makes Catholics distinctive, the thing by which they self-identify, is the enemy. News flash: THIS IS CRAZY TALK. You know what the “institutional church” is made of? Catholics!

    Modern scholarship is, generally, far more interested in giving peace a chance than it is in the truth. You can’t get far in the academy these days if you believe a RC or Protestant colleague is going to hell. That says far more about how postmodern liberalism has infected the academy than it does about any pursuit of truth.

    You seem to be about as bigoted against pomo libruls are you are against Catholics. They’re not evil people. Misguided, sure. Wrong, certainly. But they aren’t evil for being misguided or wrong. Some of them DO evil things based on misguided and wrong beliefs, but that isn’t the same thing.

    I’ve never said Trent is a betrayal of the entire Western tradition. The entire Western tradition is a mix of wheat and chaff. Trent, for the most part, made chaff into orthodoxy that one must believe or go to hell.

    Chaff into orthodoxy, huh? Try to find a citation for that.

    You’re not interested in “making nice” or rectifying age-old polemics. If you were, you’d speak of Protestants as fully orthodox, if maybe a little confused at times or not in the best church they could be in, just like your modern church and its theological/biblical scholars do. Quit pretending otherwise. You betray yourself every time you blame Protestantism for all social ills, talk about Calvin, or prattle on about any host of other matters.

    But you sure do jump when I snap my fingers! I think Calvinism is a bad idea, and I think Calvin had bad ideas. It doesn’t make him evil, any more than it makes Nietzsche or Marx evil. But bad ideas at the societal scale tend to produce massive evil. I would be wrong to accuse them of being malevolent, but that doesn’t stop me from disagreeing. Likewise, you shouldn’t falsely accuse Trent of being what it isn’t.

    But the problem is that the Joint Declaration, on the Protestant side, was endorsed only by theological liberals and it carries no de fide weight on Rome’s side. It’s a muddle and largely pointless document until it can attain the agreement of conservative Protestants and Rome officially states de fide that Protestantism is a valid expression of Christianity.

    That wasn’t the point of the document. We don’t agree on justification, and in any case, that has nothing to do with whether Protestantism is “a valid expression of Christianity.” The point is that the over-the-top accusations, like the ones you make, simply can’t be sustained as a historical matter.

    It all depends on what “Christian” means. Roman Catholicism is clearly part of the overall Christian tradition as defined by the earliest church councils. But then again, so are all confessional Protestant denominations. Rome isn’t a complete failure, at least not historically. It continues to produce some of the best Trinitarian thinkers, for instance.
    I’ve never said that RCs lack faith in Jesus as Savior. I’ve said that anyone who knowingly embraces all that Rome teaches lacks faith in the biblical Jesus. I’m sorry you’re upset that Protestantism traditionally defines holding to heresy as a soul-damning thing. Rome USED to believe that as well.

    And this is what separates you from the smart Protestants. If Fairbairn believed as you do, then he would have to say that Cyril holds a soul-damning heresy, and Augustine, and every other Christian (although I guess you’d except the anonymous author of the Epistle to Diognetus and St. Clement of Rome, even though they don’t believe JBFA either). If denying the Protestant version of JBFA is a “soul-damning” heresy, then nobody was saved from the first century until the Reformation. That is a *fact*. People who do not accept that are fantastically deluded.

    And I’m still a bit puzzled as to why you think Carl Trueman would think that Roman Catholics who embrace Trent embrace and teach the gospel. Yeah, he has an appreciation for much RC thought. So do I. Typically the thinkers I respect don’t go around accusing Protestantism of being the root of all Western social evils while ignoring all the abuses of Rome that made the Reformation and historical necessity and inevitability.

    Don’t be an idiot. Several popes have explicitly said that the Reformation was our fault. That’s why we don’t hold Protestants responsible for what has resulted from it. But that doesn’t mean that bad ideas didn’t come out of the Reformation or that bad things didn’t result. We’ve taken responsibility for our actions, but you can’t get off of your “we recovered the Gospel, and we were on the side of the angels” delusion. Neither of those were true; we were both wrong.

    The scholars you note point out that there is no such thing as the “Tradition of the Fathers” on such topics as justification. This is what I’ve been saying ad nauseum.

    Yes, without providing any citations that agree with your conclusion. Fairbairn thought Cyril had belief on justification. So did Pelikan. It’s not as if the Fathers were all over the map, except in your head.

    You want to say on the one hand that the church fathers were not Tridentine Roman Catholics but then want to say that to reject Trent is to reject the church fathers. Doesn’t work that way.

    I don’t say that to reject Trent is to reject the church fathers. What I say is that to condemn Trent’s doctrine of justification as heresy is to condemn the patristic understanding of salvation as well. Every criticism leveled against Trent on justification is one leveled against the Fathers. There is no daylight between Trent and Orange on justification, for example.

    Reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement does not entail believing that your partner is in a state of salvation even when you believe he is believing damnable heresy. What you are advocating is essentially what the modern gay rights movement advocates: “We can have dialogue as long as you admit at the outset that it’s okay to engage in homosexual behavior.” What you are saying is “We can have dialogue as long as you admit at the outset that Rome doesn’t teach a false gospel.”

    On the contrary, when you say that the Fathers don’t have a teaching on justification, you are *exactly* like the people who say that the Bible doesn’t teach against homosexuality. When people go back and read the scholarship, they don’t even understand what sort of methodology could possibly be employed to justify it. That is the same as you talking about the Fathers. You say these crazy things like that the Fathers are compatible with both the Catholic view and the Protestant view, just like these hacks talk about the Bible being “compatible with” both the condemnation of homosexuality and gay marriage. It’s insane; the two things are opposite, the issue has been studied in voluminous literature, and one side is very clearly wrong. You can’t trash Catholicism and Orthodoxy as heresy without tarring the Fathers with the same brush; it’s completely impossible.

    And yet there’s nothing forthcoming from you to indicate that you believe Protestantism teaches the true gospel and everything that indicates you believe it teaches a heretical gospel.

    Absolutely, I do believe that Protestantism is heresy.

    Tell me that John Calvin and Martin Luther were great Christian scholars and theologians who are fully in the mode of what came before them. Because apparently that is what a Protestant has to admit about Rome in order for you to think you are having a reasonable dialogue.

    Are you mental? This isn’t a fairness thing. You are doing the same thing that the people who say that gay marriage is in the Bible are doing. John Calvin and Martin Luther were in fact not “fully in the mode of what came before them.” Those are FACTS that even Protestants admit (like Fairbairn does with Cyril), just as the FACTS support that the Bible morally condemns homosexual unions. I’m saying that you can’t have a reasonable discussion with someone who is in denial in the facts. And what you are saying about Trent being in discontinuity with the patristic understanding of salvation (at least on justification) is every bit as nuts as the claim that the Bible is OK with gay marriage.

    Protestants can’t say anymore that the Fathers support their understanding of salvation and reject Trent’s. That has been removed from the table by a massive accumulation of facts and evidence; the Protestant view of salvation is absent, and it can only be produced by revision, while Trent is easily consistent with the Fathers. That war is over. You need to accept the reality and deal with it.

  112. De Maria, you wrote:
    Oh no! Are you crying?

    Response:
    You were unjust yesterday. Repent and purify your memory. Forget the past and press on.

    Do you see there any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

    Without a command from you, I answered. We know the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully. Under a good use of Law for the unjust, I command you to answer my question.

  113. +JMJ+

    De Maria wrote:

    Eric W wrote:
    .
    Gave you light through painful means. You put yourself out there and I appreciate it. This whole thing I wrote was an ad hominem minus all the bad stuff associated with ad hominem.

    Therefore, when you say, ad hominem minus the bad stuff associated with ad hominem, you actually mean “ad hominem” and all that entails.

    Eric W’s ad hominem has a purpose. Though, in Reformist hands, the ad hominem would be much more accurately labeled the ad naturem. The doctrine of Total Depravity can only mean the preaching of the Gospel of Self-Loathing.

  114. Jonathan, you said, “You say these crazy things like that the Fathers are compatible with both the Catholic view and the Protestant view, just like these hacks talk about the Bible being “compatible with” both the condemnation of homosexuality and gay marriage. It’s insane; the two things are opposite, the issue has been studied in voluminous literature, and one side is very clearly wrong. You can’t trash Catholicism and Orthodoxy as heresy without tarring the Fathers with the same brush; it’s completely impossible.”

    I keep reflecting on this blog theme of Daniel and the Universal Kingdom, and I think to say it as simply as possible;
    we’re talking about a Kingdom, not an Empire.

    There is a vast difference between the two. I think many Protestants are very comfortable because they see themselves as being part of the Empire. Where does the Bible ever talk about an Empire? They mistake the Bible for THE KINGDOM and go off into their realms of the Empire to spread the Bible.

    There are only two Kingdoms. Satan knows the Bible backwards and forwards and uses it to his advantage.

    I’m not interested in the Empire Strikes Back.

  115. Wosbald, you wrote:
    Eric W’s ad hominem has a purpose. Though, in Reformist hands, the ad hominem would be much more accurately labeled the ad naturem. The doctrine of Total Depravity can only mean the preaching of the Gospel of Self-Loathing.

    Response:
    If you weren’t such a murderous Darth, then I would like you. “In Reformist hands” ? Ask De Maria if this is ad hominem. Or is the Self in Self-Loathing attacked with an ad hominem ? You may get an answer. After the answer, all will see how Wosbald’s ad hominem, without saying it’s ad hominem, has a purpose. I allow the unjust handler to handle it. It’s right for the just to order the unjust.

  116. W January 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Donald Todd, you wrote:
    Your response has every benefit except one: It is absolutely false. It was not the Catholic Church which told me what to believe, it is the words of the gospels credited to Jesus. I believed Him. He is responsible. Once I found Him credible, then I had to find out where what He had said was seen as true and binding. It was after that realization that I found the Catholic Church.

    Response:
    ” Thx for your reply. Was it a coincidence that you “found” a Catholic Church that taught “words of the gospel credited to Jesus” ? The very same words that helped you find “Him credible” ? You confused finding with inventing. You invented a CC that MUST include those words of the gospels credited to Jesus. I’m sure you have more to the story, but the charge of “absolutely false” is not true.”

    Was it a coincidence that I found the Church? Nope. It was grace.

    I did not invent the words in the gospel, I merely read them.

    I did not invent a Catholic Church which believed Jesus’ words. It was there long before I ever arrived on the scene and will be here when I leave.

    When I told you that you were absolutely false, that was absolutely true. Therein is a problem. Jesus is the Truth per the gospel. He told us that Himself. Paul tells us about the fate of liars. Your presumption in re-inventing my history to suit your position means that you are required to lie. Is that what you want to offer Him?

  117. @Eric:
    I’m not being fair in not responding to you, so I will spend some time on that. My primary purpose in being at CCC was to answer anti-Catholic venom, and I’ve switched into that gear, but you’re being entirely reasonable in your last questions, and I should get back to them. Apologies for the delay.

  118. Eric,

    “1. What I meant is that the Magisterium is not accountable to the straightforward reading of Scripture. You are not allowed to even consider bibkically refuting anything they have declared infallibly, no matter how fanciful their declaration. This is a situation at polar opposites with the Bereans.”

    No, rather it is Protestantism’s principles that are at polar opposites with the Bereans. Would the Bereans have been justified in rejecting Paul’s message and authority because they considered it “fanciful”? Of course not, yet many Jews did exactly that. The “straightforward” reading is precisely what’s in question. Jews rejected the Apostles reading of the OT because it wasn’t “straightforward”. Arians rejected the Church’s reading of Scripture because it wasn’t “straightforward”. And so on.

    “2. No, not every jot and tittle…but I sought a paradigm which matched the clear intent of Scripture, from my reading of it.”

    Right. So you then give the confessions (the ones you accept anyways) the benefit of the doubt and “go back” to Scripture to support their statements. But then you also continually hold anything they profess in dock and feel free to reject if so convicted. Private judgment is never given up.

    “3. Yes, James, the Medieval Church could, in many respects, be described as evil.”

    Sure – but not in the case of keeping people away from Scripture. Keeping people away from bad/heretical versions of Scripture is not the same.

    “The EO was effectively isolated from developments in the West thanks to their dhimmitude to the Muslims. Those who were influenced through contact with Europe, like Cyril Lucaris, were in such a minority that they were quickly blotted out.”

    The East did interact with the West. The Lutherans tried to get support of Augsburg Confession from the East – Jeremiah II Patriarch of Constantinople was cordial with them and there was a series of 3 replies between them as Lutherans tried to take into account his issues, but he finally gave up and closed with:
    “Therefore, we request that from henceforth you do not cause us more grief, nor write to us on the same subject if you should wish to treat these luminaries and theologians of the Church in a different manner. You honor and exalt them in words, but you reject them in deeds. For you try to prove our weapons which are their holy and divine discourses as unsuitable. And it is with these documents that we would have to write and contradict you. Thus, as for you, please release us from these cares. Therefore, going about your own ways, write no longer concerning dogmas; but if you do, write only for friendship’s sake. Farewell.”

    Schaff comments:
    “The Answers of Jeremiah received the approval of the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 and may be regarded, therefore, as truly expressing the spirit of the Eastern Communion towards Protestantism. It is evident from the transactions of the Synod of Jerusalem that the Greek Church rejects Lutheranism and Calvinism alike as dangerous heresies.”

    Schaff comments on the Synod of Jerusalem and Confession of Dositheus (directed in response to Calvinism and Cyril’s confession):
    “This Synod is the most important in the modern history of the Eastern Church, and may be compared to the Council of Trent. Both fixed the doctrinal status of the Churches they represent, and both condemned the evangelical doctrines of Protestantism.”

    It is also a matter of debate amongst scholars whether Cyril’s confession was a forgery or accurately represented him – the Synod calls it a forgery – Schaff:
    “The Orthodox Confession of Peter Mogilas is likewise sanctioned again, but the Confession of Cyril Lucar is disowned as a forgery. The Six Chapters [of the Synod] are very prolix, and altogether polemical against the Confession which was circulated under the name of Cyril Lucar, and give large extracts from his homilies preached before the clergy and people of Constantinople to prove his orthodoxy.”

    Wikipedia:
    “The Orthodox historian Bishop Arseny (Bryantsev) challenged the authenticity of the correspondence and, incidentally, points to the 50 letters of Cyril of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich and Moscow Patriarch Filaret, stored in a Moscow archive of the main Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the evidence of Cyril’s commitment to Orthodoxy, as well as in his 1622 letter in which he speaks of Protestantism as a blasphemous doctrine”

    But even if he did write and endorse it, he was a lone wolf – Schaff:
    “Cyril left no followers able or willing to carry on his work, but the agitation he had produced continued for several years, and called forth defensive measures. His doctrines were anathematized by Patriarch Cyril of Berea and a Synod of Constantinople (Sept., 1638), then again by the Synods of Jassy, in Moldavia, 1643, and of Jerusalem, 1672; but on the last two occasions the honor of his name and the patriarchal dignity were saved by boldly denying the authenticity of his Confession, and contradicting it by written documents from his pen.”

    So as I said, it’s odd that if Protestantism just obviously happened because everyone could see what tricks Rome was playing by studying the original languages that the East didn’t jump right along with it – either then or centuries later – they obviously weren’t working with the evil misleading latin translations.

    “4. Rome’s following of my stance on Sola Scriptura would do nothing to undermine its interpretive accuracy or authority IF WHAT IT TAUGHT WERE TRUE.”

    Of course it would. Rome doesn’t buy that Scripture is only validly interpreted by applying a ghm-only hermeneutic to Scripture – it views ghm as useful but limited and only one tool of many. You want it to deny its starting principles and authority and become Protestant – then you’d happily join – that’s not a very big commitment from you.

    “A geocentrist RadTrad has nothing to fear from science unless basic observation of the Solar System reveals him to be in error.”

    Supernatural revelation is not natural revelation.

    “5. Judaism uses the Talmud as the filter/lens through which they interpret the Tanakh (the OT). Catholicism uses Sacred Tradition as their filter for the OT (and NT).”

    I thought the Bereans were Sola Scripturists. Did Judaism forget about its SS roots?

    “And Protestantism uses just the NT as the lens through which they see the OT. Some Protestants misuse their confession or catechism as an eisegetic tool to read their paradigm back into Scripture.”

    Right – so no sola for you, just solo. And you’re kidding yourself if Protestantism uses “just” the NT like some tabula rasa – there are a whole host of presuppostions and filters going on there – I already mentioned the assumption that ghm is the only valid hermeneutic for exegesis (let alone the question of how best to apply it, otherwise ghm-only practitioners would all be in agreement), and that’s only one of many layers – https://souldevice.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/sola-scriptura-death-by-a-thousand-or-ten-qualifications/

    “Do you honestly believe that Scripture would have gone unnoticed and unheeded without the church to authenticate it? O ye of little faith!!”

    No, Scripture was being heeded long before the 4th century. That’s why Tradition is part of the 3-legged stool. But that does not negate the fact that certain books now considered canonical were disputed and certain books held highly and as potentially canonical were rejected. Part of that criteria was how such candidates for the canon reflected the life and practice of the church. Which you just happily take for granted in “reading back” the doctrines of inspiration/inerrancy into every book/passage in your canon to back it up.

    “Catholic Sacred Tradition is like that. The moment we try to pin you guys down on a particular citation or document, you move the markers. There are no fixed borders.”

    Tradition is living – the common practice, worship, life of the church grows through the generations. That does not make it secret/hidden or a game of telephone.

    “Sure, you have a rough summary of Tradition available in the Catechism, but nothing definitive.”

    Dogma is definitive. The Assumption is part of Tradition. Romans is inspired is part of Tradition. Public revelation ceased with the death of the last apostle is part of Tradition. Nicea’s and Trent’s decisions are part of Tradition. And so on.

    “Judaism realized the danger of shifting sands and set their Tannaitic Tradition (their oral tradition) in stone with the publication of the Mishnah around 200 A.D.”

    So they had other parallel authorities besides Scripture alone.

    “No distinct borders and no extant provenance make for a rather amorphous body of work.”

    I’m not sure what’s amorphous about the common life, teaching, worship of the church. Tradition is available for all to see. So is Scripture. Just because both require authoritative interpretation at times does not make either hidden or nebulous wax noses.

  119. ERIC January 26, 2015 at 7:40 am
    De Maria–

    The word “rival” doesn’t even appear in the NT.

    It does appear in Eric W’s writings though.

    And Jesus’ frequent rebukes of Peter makes Peter a DISCIPLE receiving instruction, not a rival.

    Jesus’ appointment of Peter as Chief of His Church didn’t make him a rival either. But an Apostle with a God given duty.

    I think it’s fairly clear that Christ did appoint Peter (as the Rock) to some position. But to what and for how long is totally vague.

    That’s because you guys don’t understand Scripture. Let me break it down to you:

    Jesus Christ declared Simon, the Head of His Church.

    Matthew 16:18-19
    King James Version (KJV)
    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Why did Jesus give Simon the name, “Rock”? Perhaps you never wondered. Here’s why. Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

    Exodus 7:1
    King James Version (KJV)
    7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

    Exodus 18:13-15
    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law,
    Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    Exodus 19:9
    King James Version (KJV)
    9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.
    God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name, Rock along with the keys to the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19) and appointed him Shepherd over the Church (John 21:15-17).

    In the same way, Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock.

    John 21:15-17
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

    16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
    This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in the God’s name.

    Ok, let’s go through it.

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter,

    Jesus, speaking to Simon, names him “Rock”. That is the meaning of the name “Peter”. Heretofore, the only Rock in Scripture has been God. Therefore, Jesus has given Simon, His own name. This is significant. It means that Simon is now God’s representative upon earth. The rest follows logically.

    and upon this rock I will build my church;

    Since Peter is Christ’s representative, it is logical that Jesus would organize His Church around St. Peter. This is why we can say that the Church is the Body of Christ. It is Christ’s CORPORATION. St. Peter is the Chief Officer. The Apostles the Board of Directors.

    and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    Again, because Peter is Christ’s representative, it is logical that the Church will prevail against the gates of hell. Hell is in a state of siege from the moment that Jesus was conceived. Upon His death, Jesus stormed hell and set the captives free:
    Hebrews 9:15-17

    King James Version (KJV)
    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
    16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
    17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

    From this point on, the Catholic Church which Jesus established has kept Satan in a state of siege. From the moment that any man is baptized, they are snatched out of Satan’s hands and joined to the Church:

    Acts 2:38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.….47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    The Catholic Church sets the captives free in the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the gates of hell do not prevail against that infallible institution which Jesus Christ built upon that infallible office.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Everything which Peter binds upon earth is bound in heaven. Everything he looses upon earth is loosed in heaven. That is not only infallibility. That is also saving power. God has given the office of Peter awesome power.

    The rest of the disciples also bind and loose according to Matthew 18.

    But only in union with Peter. It is to Peter He gave the keys.

    A great many Protestant exegetes, by the way, identify not Christ and not Peter’s faith but Peter himself as the Rock to whom Jesus refers.

    That’s great.

    Humanly speaking, Peter is a little cornerstone, a small foundation of some sort, upon which Christ, as THE cornerstone, as THE foundation, as THE bedrock, will build his church. (“Petros” [Peter] means not an intimidating, immense ROCK but a small stone or pebble.) Moreover, he becomes that small cornerstone by virtue of his demonstrated faith.

    As long as you recognize that it is upon Peter that Christ built His Church. You’re on the right track.

  120. Donald Todd, you wrote:
    Paul tells us about the fate of liars. Your presumption in re-inventing my history to suit your position means that you are required to lie. Is that what you want to offer Him?

    Response:
    Don’t wear your heart on the sleeve. I didn’t re-invent your history or misrepresent some Donald Todd chronology. No one is offering lies.
    —————————–

    Let’s return to something you wrote:
    Once I found Him credible, then I had to find out where what He had said was seen as true and binding. It was after that realization that I found the Catholic Church.

    Response:
    Why didn’t you try to find the place where others found Him credible ? That place seems to be more proximate to your discovery.
    ———————————–

    You wrote:
    It was not the Catholic Church which told me what to believe, it is the words of the gospels credited to Jesus.

    Response:
    Nice try. You want the reader to abstract and isolate “the words of the gospels” from a group of people who found Him credible AND “where what He had said was seen as true and binding”. If the words were credited to Him, then the authors (whoever they were) were first in the crediting line. Were the authors among those you found Him credible or thought His words were true or binding ? Both ?

    Be careful how you answer. Before you know it, you will be inserting yourself into the answer. Your finding and/or inventing will be under scrutiny.

    Test all things; hold fast what is good. – 1Thess.5:21

  121. De Maria,

    A little bird told me that John MacArthur said: The Holy Spirit is God’s Vicar on earth…just an option to consider.

  122. @Eric W:
    MacArthur is blaspheming against the doctrine of the Trinity if he actually said that. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t surprise me.

  123. ERIC W January 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm
    De Maria,
    A little bird told me that John MacArthur said: The Holy Spirit is God’s Vicar on earth…just an option to consider.

    Not for me. You didn’t look up the word, vicar, did you? You probably should.

    vic·ar
    ?vik?r/Submit
    noun
    noun: vicar; plural noun: vicars
    (in the Roman Catholic Church) a representative or deputy of a bishop.
    (in the Episcopal Church) a member of the clergy in charge of a chapel.
    (in the Church of England) an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layman.
    (in other Anglican Churches) a member of the clergy deputizing for another.
    a cleric or choir member appointed to sing certain parts of a cathedral service.

    The Holy Spirit is God. Not a vicar. A vicar is by definition, a human being sent to do God’s work.

    Maybe you ought to give John MacArthur a dictionary.

  124. Jonathan and De Maria,

    Actually, if to be the vicar of Christ means, per the CCC

    937 The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” (CD 2).

    Then Rome commits blasphemy and MacArthur is essentially correct, especially since His point is that the Holy Spirit is the “another Comforter” of full equality with the Father and Christ, not the Vatican.

    Unless of course you want to deny that when the pope claims to be the vicar of Christ, he is claiming to have supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls. Silly me, I thought that was God’s prerogative.

  125. It is not even remotely scriptural to state that the Holy Spirit is GOD’S vicar on earth. Indeed it doesn’t make sense in any Christian denomination.
    It is full blasphemy.

  126. ROBERT January 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm
    Jonathan and De Maria,
    Actually, if to be the vicar of Christ means, per the CCC
    937 The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” (CD 2).

    It does.

    Then Rome commits blasphemy

    Why? Jesus Christ gave the Pope the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. What did you think that meant?

    and MacArthur is essentially correct, especially since His point is that the Holy Spirit is the “another Comforter” of full equality with the Father and Christ, not the Vatican.

    A vicar is not of full equality with the one who sends him. The vice President, the vicar of the President, so to speak, is not equal to the President. He must say and do only that which he is sent to say and do.

    Unless of course you want to deny that when the pope claims to be the vicar of Christ, he is claiming to have supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls. Silly me, I thought that was God’s prerogative.

    That is silly you. Because you neglect to consider that God has the right to give His vicar any power that He wants. That is God’s prerogative. Or do you deny that God can give one human being power over others?

    Have you ever heard of David? Yeah, the King.

  127. Alert ! Know one should read Jonathan’s link because Canon Law presupposes the truth contained in CCC 937.
    Good job Robert !
    ——————–

    De Maria wrote:
    A vicar is not of full equality with the one who sends him. The vice President, the vicar of the President, so to speak, is not equal to the President. He must say and do only that which he is sent to say and do.

    Response:
    Wow ! I’m gonna break down strongholds. Everyone should focus on “He must say and do only that which he is sent to say and do”. Applies to Jesus the Second Person of the Trinity, no ? Is Jesus a Vicar of God or not a Vicar of God ? You folks seem to say that Divinity precludes any Vicarship among the Persons. I can hear you guys and gals saying, “Vicarship belongs to the sons of men; therefore, not God.” But we know that Two Persons speak and do what the Father said to speak and do. Something of Vicarship is with the Godhead relations.

    Let it sink in. All blasphemy charges, including you Debbie, are puffs of smoke rising from my argument death furnace. Wosbald, life is worth living. Stop trying to climb in the furnace.

  128. Debbie,

    I know Debbie and brave mean the same thing, If it doesn’t, then it should. I asked a question to De Maria.

    Do you see there [Col.1:18] any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

    No reply from De Maria can be found. Not being found doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. That’s why silence is shrewd. Other reasons make silence unjust. Enough of De Maria, please try to answer my question in light of the Bible and WCF. Be brave.

    WCF:
    There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.

    Bible:
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. – Col.1:18

  129. @Eric W:

    But we know that Two Persons speak and do what the Father said to speak and do. Something of Vicarship is with the Godhead relations.

    No. The divine persons do and say what the Father does and says because they only have one divine will and one divine operation among them, which is completely unlike any other relation. That is why it is blasphemous to deny the uniquely divine quality of this oneness, although we may speak of this analogously.

    There IS an analogy to vicarship in the Trinity, and that is the Incarnation. Jesus’s obedience in His human will is the pattern of, and analogy for, human obedience. Therefore, the Incarnation, not the unity of the divine will, is the model for the human will following and representing the divine will on Earth. As the Church is the Body of Christ in this sense (that’s Wosbald’s Incarno-Sacramentalism), the vicarship of Christ, the representation of God on earth (acting as Christ’s hands and feet), is patterned after Christ’s human operation in His salvific tasks. The Pope possesses this authority to the highest degree, but it is only the highest degree possible for this representation of Christ according to humanity, so it does not include authority that is properly (and only) divine.

    This is why you and Robert miss blasphemy where it is and see blasphemy where it isn’t. You are in error because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matt. 22:29).

  130. @Debbie:
    I forgot to mention this earlier.

    I keep reflecting on this blog theme of Daniel and the Universal Kingdom, and I think to say it as simply as possible;
    we’re talking about a Kingdom, not an Empire.

    That is a brilliant thought, and I had not thought about it that way. Perhaps this is why the excessive enthusiasm over the Christian Roman Empire came about. People forgot that the Kingdom of God was a kingdom, not an empire, so that it could never be one over all the different nations of the world in that sense.

    It could likewise be why the Popes saw themselves as necessarily being secular rulers, which is really what begat the Reformation. You could have put your finger on why our Protestant brothers are Protestants in the first place!

    This is really a fascinating concept, the kind to keep and ponder in the heart.

  131. Jonathan,
    I hadn’t thought about it either, but I am convinced that twisting beautiful truths, ideas, scriptures, etc…. is what really messes us all up (the real terror of Satan, “no God didn’t really mean that . . . .”).

    This literally came to me during prayer as a tap on the shoulder, I ignored it initially, but the tap came again and then the burning and that is when I recognized the importance. I still am trying to wrap my head around it, but it fits perfectly into Daniel’s prophecy .
    Unlike many on this sight, I am more interested in the Church of today and specifically what it will be into eternity. The popes of the last 100 years have known that the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ is in the minds of men, not in the heart of Church, the Body of Christ, the Kingdom. The prayer of the Our Father says it all. All the parables about the Kingdom say it all.

    The True Church is the Eucharistic Church. I fear soon, even some Catholics will misinterpret the Body of Christ in all its glorious mystery and put it aside for what men of ‘enlightenment’ can understand. Two of the most importance reasons for having ONE vicar of Christ here on earth is to invite men into salvation and protect the Incarnation from defilement .

    Peace.

  132. Eric W,
    “I know Debbie and brave mean the same thing, If it doesn’t, then it should.”

    HA HA, thanks, I think / . / . /. >?

    This is interesting to me because my motto for 2015 is to love boldly. To go in when and where I am led, not when and where I want to go. Not only does it disarm me, but also those that are hurting so bad they can’t see straight. We seem to fumble through it in humility and that is the arena the Holy Spirit loves to work in.

    As to your thoughts about Colossians 1:15-20, it so imperative to read it in its entirety. I feel a tremendous responsibility to this reading of Holy Scripture because it was one of the ‘biggies’ in reversion journey back into the Catholic Church. I have quoted it several times on this blog. Get a good Catholic study guide and take a couple of days praying over it and let the Holy Spirit guide you BOLDY.

    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

    For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

    all things have been created through him and for him.

    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,

    so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

    and through him to reconcile to himself all things,

    whether things on earth or things in heaven,

    by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  133. Jonathan,

    No. The divine persons do and say what the Father does and says because they only have one divine will and one divine operation among them, which is completely unlike any other relation. That is why it is blasphemous to deny the uniquely divine quality of this oneness, although we may speak of this analogously.

    The only people around here denying the uniquely divine quality of this oneness are the Roman Catholics in delivering to the pope the supreme care of souls that belongs to God alone. Yes the Father and Son have one divine will and operation. Both will that the Father will give to the Son and both will that the Son will receive from the Father:

    So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. John 8:28

    That in no way means that there is not something that can be spoken of in the sense of vicarship. The very fact that God had to veil His glory and come and speak to us AS A MAN points to vicarship in some sense. The Son says what the Father says by speaking on behalf of the Father.

    For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. John 12:49

    There IS an analogy to vicarship in the Trinity, and that is the Incarnation. Jesus’s obedience in His human will is the pattern of, and analogy for, human obedience. Therefore, the Incarnation, not the unity of the divine will, is the model for the human will following and representing the divine will on Earth.

    And of course this human obedience is patterned on the divine obedience of the Son to the Father, which makes the incarnation an act of vicarship in the sense that Eric W. and I are talking about.

    As the Church is the Body of Christ in this sense (that’s Wosbald’s Incarno-Sacramentalism), the vicarship of Christ, the representation of God on earth (acting as Christ’s hands and feet), is patterned after Christ’s human operation in His salvific tasks.

    If all that is meant is that the church should model faithfulness to God, then this is not a problem. But you guys say that the church literally is the body of Christ. That is the fundamental problem and explains why conversion to Roman Catholicism is hardly ever couched as conversion to Christ but conversion to the church. It explains why the sacraments as done by the priest are far more significant than the actual speech of God recorded in His Word. It accounts for a whole host of Romanist errors.

    The Pope possesses this authority to the highest degree, but it is only the highest degree possible for this representation of Christ according to humanity, so it does not include authority that is properly (and only) divine.

    If this is indeed true, the CCC is wrong to entrust the supreme care of my soul to the pope. But you and I both know that it is not. To defy the Magisterium is to defy Christ. James continually asserts that the Magisterium has identical authority to Christ and the Apostles. That’s divine authority. I’m not allowed to come to a conclusion different than the Magisterium. God doesn’t speak to His people through His Word. He speaks to them through His Magisterium. To defy the Magisterium whenever the Magisterium says it is infallible is to defy God.

    You have popes in the nineteenth century claiming themselves to be the tradition, and thus to be divine revelation. When the pope, and only the pope has the final infallibility and is not subservient to Scripture or even the councils, you have a man claiming, in essence, to be God. This is why the papacy must go if there is ever to be reconciliation between Rome and Geneva or even between Rome and Constantinople for that matter.

    This is why you and Robert miss blasphemy where it is and see blasphemy where it isn’t. You are in error because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matt. 22:29).

    Au contraire, it is the hardcore Romanist who thinks that lame 15 minute homilies in the mass are sufficient to instruct people in/give them knowledge of the Scriptures. It is the hardcore Romanist who affirms with Trent that salvation ultimately dependent not on the will and power of God (as John says in chapter 1 of his gospel) but on the quality of my cooperation with infused grace. It is the hardcore Romanist who makes God’s power an utter failure, because apparently Christ is praying for some whom God knows will never be saved and, indeed, can never be saved.

  134. Ah, the great mystery of the Most Precious Blood shed on the Cross. This Precious Blood is the game changer . . . it is the eternal covenant, the scourge of demons, the stream of mercy, the foundation of the world, the power of the Holy Spirit, hope of the penitent, etc….

    It is so much more precious than gold – why? The Holy Trinity resides INSIDE Jesus Christ.

  135. “But you guys say that the church literally is the body of Christ”.

    Yes, bingo, see Colossians 1:15-20

    That is what mean of enlightenment can’t wrap their heads around.

  136. Debbie,

    “But you guys say that the church literally is the body of Christ”.

    Then be consistent. Worship the church. Worship your fellow RC. Not just the saints. All of them. Full-on, no stop. No more messing around with distinctions between veneration and worship. If the church is Christ, then like Christ it is to be worshipped.

    The church as Christ’s body is not a literal metaphor. If it is, then Jesus is made out of leaves because He is the vine and He’s made out of wood and hinges because He is a door. He has a coat of wool because He is a lamb and a mane because He is a lion.

    But even if it were a metaphor, there is a distinction between the head and the body. Rome rejects this distinction by making the pope the one who has ultimate, supreme care for my soul.

  137. ERIC W January 28, 2015 at 3:51 am
    Debbie,
    I know Debbie and brave mean the same thing, If it doesn’t, then it should. I asked a question to De Maria.
    Do you see there [Col.1:18] any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?
    No reply from De Maria can be found.

    Eric W,

    Go back. Read carefully. You’ll find that I asked you that question. And true, there is no response from you.

    Applies to Jesus the Second Person of the Trinity, no ? Is Jesus a Vicar of God or not a Vicar of God ? You folks seem to say that Divinity precludes any Vicarship among the Persons. I can hear you guys and gals saying, “Vicarship belongs to the sons of men; therefore, not God.” But we know that Two Persons speak and do what the Father said to speak and do. Something of Vicarship is with the Godhead relations.

    Hm? So, now you’re saying that Jesus is the Vicar of God?

    Do you believe that Jesus is God, or not?

    For that matter, do you believe that the Holy Spirit is God? or not?

    Oh, yeah. And I know you won’t answer these questions. But remember, I asked them of you.

  138. @Robert:
    I might get back to some of the points, and I might not, but why would anyone who uses the term “hardcore Romanist” even be viewed as a serious person? Do you not realize that you sound like a lunatic?

  139. To all and sundry (especially the latter)–

    John F. Kennedy, faithful son of the Church that he was, reminded us that “here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”

    Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5, reminds us that “whoever is in Christ” is an “ambassador for Christ.”

    It looks to me as if we are all duly appointed “vicars” of Christ!

  140. Robert,
    Best to read Ecclesia De Eucharistia by Pope St. John Paul II for a better grasp of this great mystery.

    “The Son of God became man in order to restore all creation, in one supreme act of praise, to the One who made it from nothing. He, the Eternal High Priest who by the blood of his Cross entered the eternal sanctuary, thus gives back to the Creator and Father all creation redeemed. He does so through the priestly ministry of the Church, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Truly this is the mysterium fidei which is accomplished in the Eucharist: the world which came forth from the hands of God the Creator now returns to him redeemed by Christ.”

    “23. Eucharistic communion also confirms the Church in her unity as the body of Christ. Saint Paul refers to this unifying power of participation in the banquet of the Eucharist when he writes to the Corinthians: “The bread which we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:16-17). Saint John Chrysostom’s commentary on these words is profound and perceptive: “For what is the bread? It is the body of Christ. And what do those who receive it become? The Body of Christ – not many bodies but one body. For as bread is completely one, though made of up many grains of wheat, and these, albeit unseen, remain nonetheless present, in such a way that their difference is not apparent since they have been made a perfect whole, so too are we mutually joined to one another and together united with Christ”.42 The argument is compelling: our union with Christ, which is a gift and grace for each of us, makes it possible for us, in him, to share in the unity of his body which is the Church. The Eucharist reinforces the incorporation into Christ which took place in Baptism though the gift of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:13, 27)”

  141. Eric,

    He who said: ‘This is my body” is the same who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, and ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me” …

  142. ERIC January 28, 2015 at 10:56 am
    To all and sundry (especially the latter)–
    John F. Kennedy, faithful son of the Church that he was, reminded us that “here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”
    Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5, reminds us that “whoever is in Christ” is an “ambassador for Christ.”
    It looks to me as if we are all duly appointed “vicars” of Christ!

    You sound surprised. As though you’ve discovered something new.

    True. And we’re also apostles.

    But Christ appointed the 12 directly.

    And we’re also disciples.

    But Christ appointed the 72 directly.

    And we’re also sons of Mary.

    But Christ gave St. John to Mary as her son, directly.

    And yes, we’re all vicars of Christ.

    But Christ appointed St. Peter as His Vicar, directly.

    1 Peter 2:5
    Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    Well, at least he quit arguing that the Holy Spirit is the Vicar of Christ.

    795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

    Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church.
    Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

    Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

    A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”

    But, now he’s claiming to represent Christ. I guess he forgot that he was belittling the Church for what he considered a blasphemous idea in a separate thread.

  143. Jonathan,

    Why would anyone who uses the term “hardcore Romanist” even be viewed as a serious person? Do you not realize that you sound like a lunatic?

    Its not any crazier than saying John Calvin wrote spiritual pornography or that John Frame and Vern Poythress are fundamentalist hicks, or that Sproul and MacArthur are troglodytes. Its not any less serious than saying nonsense like if you don’t affirm Ecumenical 7, you aren’t affirming Ecumenical 1.

    But if it makes it any better for you, I can change my phrase to “Fundamentalist Roman Catholic.”

  144. Debbie,

    And yes, we’re all vicars of Christ.
    But Christ appointed St. Peter as His Vicar, directly.

    Well aside from the fact that this is selective, since Jesus’ appointment of Paul and James was no less direct, the problem really isn’t the mere title “vicar of Christ.” The problem is what one means by that. And what Rome traditionally means by that is that the pope is, essentially, an organ of ongoing revelation that cannot be questioned whenever he says he cannot be questioned. That is, essentially, to equate him with God. When you have popes claiming to be the tradition—to be divine revelation—you have them claiming to be Christ, the very Word of God. Now if Rome wants to backpedal some of its claims as to what it means for the pope to be the vicar of Christ, things could perhaps be different, but I’m not holding my breath regarding the Vatican. I actually am sad about that.

  145. Robert,

    “And what Rome traditionally means …. blah blah blah”

    Who told you all of this?

    It certainly wasn’t a Catholic. It is so misconstrued that I don’t even know where to begin.

    So I’ll just say that today is the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas;
    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

  146. James–

    1. Yes, if the Bereans had found Paul’s message not to jibe with Hebrew Scriptures, they would have been justified in rejecting it. Instead of reading the Tanakh in a straightforward fashion, many Jews went according to the interpretation of oral tradition (Mishnah), which the NT describes as “the traditions of men.”

    Do you HONESTLY believe that Jesus’ divinity is not definitively expressed in the NT? The Arians purposefully (or at least, unspiritually) misinterpreted the clear message of Scripture.

    2. No, private judgment is NEVER given up, nor should it ever BE given up. Your supposed virtue in giving over your mind into the keeping of the Vatican is not even slightly noble.

    3. I’m sure there might be some truth to the limitation of access to Scripture being capable of curtailing the proliferation of heresy. Mightn’t it have been practiced more as a safeguard for holding on to earthly power? (You’re not suggesting that Rome might go back to the practice if they were technologically able to accomplish it, are you?)

    More later. Slumberers awake….

  147. Debbie,

    Good old Pius IX, under whose auspices papal infallibility was conveniently codified, claimed to be the sacred tradition itself:

    Pius, angry, dressed him down that evening with the famous words, I am the church! I am the tradition!

    If tradition is divine revelation, that is a claim that the pope himself is divine revelation, no matter how nicely you qualify it. He’s putting himself on the exact same level of Christ, the Word of God, the revelation of God. It is an implicit claim to deity. This is what you get when you have Vicar of Christ and impute to it what Rome imputes to it.

    You have earlier popes talking about how one cannot be saved if one is not in submission to them.

    These are all claims to deity. Perhaps they weren’t originally intended that way, though one is not always sure. But that’s what they are. They must be rejected.

  148. Encyclical Promulgated on 10 August 1863
    To Our Beloved Sons, S. R. E. Cardinals and to Our Venerable Brothers, the Archbishops and Bishops of Italy.

    Our Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction.

    How much cause we have to grieve over the most cruel and sacrilegious war brought upon the Catholic Church in almost all regions of the world during these turbulent times, and especially declared upon unhappy Italy before our very eyes many years ago by the Piedmontese Government and stirred up more violently day by day, each of you, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, easily understands. In the midst of our great distress, however, as long as you keep watch with us, we are deeply comforted and consoled. Although you are, indeed, most deplorably harassed by every grave injustice possible, torn away from your own flock, exiled and even cast into prison, nevertheless, with your profound virtue you have never neglected to speak and to write in ardent defense of the teachings of God, his Church, and this Apostolic See.

    2. Consequently, we give thanks because you fervently rejoice to suffer insult in the name of Jesus. We extend to you merited praise in the words of our most saintly predecessor, Leo: “May you endure with all your heart the trials of your love, which you have undergone in reverence for the Catholic faith; may I accept the sufferings inflicted upon you as if I were bearing them myself. I know, however, that it is a cause of joy rather than of sorrow that with the strength of our Lord, Jesus Christ, you have persevered invincible in your evangelical and apostolic teaching . . . And when the enemies of the Christian faith were tearing you away from your respective churches, rather than being contaminated by their impiety, you preferred to endure the injustice of undergoing exile.”[1]

    3. Would that we could announce the end of such terrible calamities besetting the Church! Never will there be grief enough over the corruption of morals so extensively increasing and promoted by irreligious and obscene writings, theatrical spectacles and meretricious houses established almost everywhere; by other depraved arts and monstrous portents of every error disseminated in all directions; by the abominable impurities of all vices and crimes growing constantly and the deadly virus of unbelief and indifferentism spread far and wide; by contempt for ecclesiastical authority, sacred things, and laws and by the outrageous plundering of Church possessions; by the bitter and constant abuse of consecrated Church officials, of the students of religious communities, of virgins dedicated to God; by the diabolical hatred of Christ, his Church, teaching, and of this Apostolic See. These and almost innumerable other evils perpetrated by the embittered enemies of the Catholic Church and faith, we are daily compelled to lament.

    4. All these agonies seem to prolong and delay that most yearned for time when we shall see the full triumph of our most holy religion, of justice, and of truth. This triumph cannot fail us, however, even if it is not given us to know the time destined for it by almighty God. Even though our heavenly Father permits his holy Church to be afflicted and plagued by various tribulations and distresses while serving during this most miserable and earthly pilgrimage, nevertheless, because it has been founded

    by Christ, the Lord, upon an immovable and most firm rock, it cannot be shaken or overthrown by any force or violence. Rather, “it is strengthened, not weakened by persecutions. The Lord’s vineyard is always clothed with a richer harvest, for while each grain dies singly, it is born again many-fold.”[2]

    5. That is what we see happening, beloved sons and venerable brothers, even in these most sorrowful times as a special blessing from God. For although the immaculate Spouse of Christ may be vehemently troubled at the present time by the work of the wicked, yet she is triumphing over her enemies. Yes, indeed, she is conquering her enemies and shines wonderfully bright with your unparalleled faithfulness, love, and respect towards us and this Chair of Peter, and with your outstanding constancy and that of the other venerable brothers, the bishops of the whole Catholic world. She shines with many pious works of Christian charity multiplying rapidly each day; with the light of blessed faith illuminating many regions evermore each day; with the exceptional love and devotion shown by Catholics towards the Church itself, towards us, and this Holy See; with the eminent and immortal glory of martyrdom. You know, in fact, how in Tonkin and especially in the regions of Cochin China, bishops, priests, laymen and even peaceful women themselves, and young boys and girls, emulating the martyrs with their unconquerable spirit and heroic virtue, disdained the most inhuman torture, and greatly rejoiced to pour out their lives for Christ. All these joys should be no slight consolation to us and to you in the midst of the overwhelming anguish that torments us.

    6. Now, since our Apostolic Office demands we carefully and zealously

    defend the cause of the Church committed to us by Christ, we condemn those who attack and despise the Church itself, its sacred laws, ministers, and this Apostolic See. Hence, with this letter, once more we confirm, proclaim and condemn totally and singly that which in many consistorial allocutions and in our other Letters we have been forced to deplore, declare and condemn.[3]

    7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.

    8. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom “the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior.”[4] The words of Christ are clear enough: “If he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a Gentile and a tax collector;”[5] “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me;”[6] “He who does not believe will be condemned;”[7] “He who does not believe is already condemned;”[8] “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”[9] The Apostle Paul says that such persons are “perverted and self-condemned;”[10] the Prince of the Apostles calls them “false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master. . . bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”[11]

    9. God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation.

    10. Furthermore, beloved sons and venerable brothers, we cannot be silent about another most pernicious error, an evil that is pitifully tearing apart and deeply disturbing minds, hearts, and souls. We are referring to that unbridled and damnable self-love and self-interest that drive many to seek their own advantage and profit with clearly no regard for their neighbor. We mean that thoroughly insatiable passion for power and possessions that overrides all the rules of justice and honesty and never ceases by every means possible to amass and greedily heap up wealth. Completely absorbed in the things of earth, forgetful of God, religion and their souls, they wrongly place all their happiness in procuring riches and money. Let such people recollect and meditate seriously upon the very sobering words of Christ, the Lord: “What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?”[12] Let them also reflect upon the teaching of Paul: “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that drag men down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil; it is through this craving that some have wandered away and pierced their hearts with many pangs.”[13]

    11. Now, truly, we cannot conceal the fact that we are in great anguish since there are some clergy in Italy who, forgetful of their vocation, do not blush in the least to spread abroad false doctrine, even in subversive writings. They arouse the people against us and this Apostolic See; they oppose our civil rule and that of the Chair itself; they shamelessly and zealously support the wicked enemies of the Catholic Church and this same See. Deserting their bishops and us, emboldened by the approval of the Piedmontese government and its Parliament, these ecclesiastics in open contempt of ecclesiastical censure and penalty have become impudently fearless in organizing certain condemnable societies commonly known as Liberal Clerical, of Mutual Assistance, For the Emancipation of the Italian Clergy, and other associations animated by the same depraved spirit. Although deservedly forbidden to perform their holy ministry, nevertheless, like brazen intruders, they sinfully and illicitly exercise it in many churches. We, therefore, disapprove and condemn the behavior of the same ecclesiastics. At the same time, we admonish and exhort, again and again, these unfortunate men to return to their right mind and heart and take thought for their own salvation, seriously considering “that God tolerates no example of conduct more from others than from priests when He sees those, whom He ordains for the improvement of others, give example of their own depravity.”[14] Let them fervently reflect that their confused state must be repaired before the tribunal of Christ. May these pitiful churchmen heed our paternal advice and willingly render us the consolation of a repentant clergy. May they seek refuge in us day by day, begging pardon for their defection with suppliant prayer and humbly imploring absolution from ecclesiastical censure.

    12. You are certainly aware, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, that every kind of impious and deceitful writing, lies, calumny, and blasphemy has been let loose from hell. No pain has been spared to transfer schools

    to non-Catholic teachers and to appropriate churches for non-Catholic worship. With a multiple of other, surely diabolical treacheries, arts, and undertakings, the enemies of God employ every effort to destroy completely—if that were possible—the Catholic Church, seduce and corrupt the people, especially guileless youth, and uproot our holy faith and religion from the souls of all.

    13. We are fully confident that you, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, strengthened by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, will continue steadfast in your outstanding episcopal zeal. With one mind and heart and with redoubled dedication, may you persist in defending the House of Israel, may you fight the good fight for the faith and defend from the snares of the enemy the faithful entrusted to your care. Admonish and exhort them to be strong in our sacred faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Urge them to persevere firmly established in our divine religion, which alone is true and eternal and prepares for salvation and even, to a very great extent, preserves and prospers civil society.

    14. Through the parish priests chiefly and other ecclesiastics known for integrity of life, gravity of morals, and constant adherence to sound doctrine, may you teach unremittingly and accurately: at one time preaching the divine word, at another instructing the people in the mysteries of our august religion, its doctrine, precepts, and discipline. You, above all, know that many evils generally arise from ignorance of divine matters essential for salvation. Hence, you will understand that it behooves you to use every care and diligence that so detrimental a condition be prevented.

    15. Before we bring our letter to its close, however, we cannot restrain from bestowing due praise upon the Italian clergy, who with the highest degree of devotion to us and this Chair of Peter and to their bishops, have certainly not strayed. Following the noble example of their bishops and bearing all hardships with utmost patience, they fulfill their duty most laudably. We put our trust in the hope, moreover, that this same clergy, with the help of divine grace and walking worthily in their vocation, will always strive to be shining examples of piety and virtue.

    16. We continue, too, with fitting and public praise for the many consecrated virgins who violently driven from their monastaries, despoiled of their recompense, and reduced to beggary, have not broken faith with their Spouse. Enduring the most deplorable conditions, they pray day and night in the holy house of God where they patiently await His mercy and beseech Him for the salvation of all, even that of their enemies.

    17. We rejoice, also, in praising the people of Italy who, with deep Catholic sensibilities, abhor the many impious and destructive efforts taken against the Church. With filial piety, respect and obedience, they take great pride in honoring us, this Holy See, and their bishops. Amid very serious difficulties and impeded by dangers, each day and in many ways they faithfully offer us tokens of their love and devotion, alleviating the wants of this Apostolic See, at times with money, at other times with other gifts.

    18. In the midst of so many calamities and confronted with such fury against the Church, we are not despondent for “Christ is our counsel and our strength; without him we can do nothing, through him we can do all things. While confirming the preachers of the Gospel and the ministers of the sacraments, he said: ‘Lo, I am with you always, to the end of time.'”[15] We know for certain, moreover, that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church which stands and will stand immovable with Christ Jesus, our Lord, as guardian and protector, who has built the Church and who has been “yesterday and today and forever.”[16]

    19. With ever more ardent zeal and humility of heart, let us, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, never stop offering our prayers and petitions to God through Jesus Christ that His Church, driven by this most turbulent tempest, may recover from such great disasters, enjoy the most blessed peace and freedom throughout the world, and gain new and more splendid triumphs over her enemies. Let us pray that the errant be flooded with the light of his divine grace, may turn back from the path of error into the way of truth and justice and, experiencing the worthy fruit of repentance, may possess perpetual love and fear of his holy name.

    20. That the merciful God may more readily grant our most fervent prayers, let us invoke patronage of the immaculate and most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Let us seek likewise the intercession of the most holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the blessed in heaven, that with their efficacious prayers before God, they may implore mercy and graces for all and powerfully avert all adversities and dangers afflicting the Church everywhere and especially in Italy.

    21. Finally, as a most certain pledge of our singular benevolence toward you, we lovingly impart our heartfelt Apostolic Blessing upon you, beloved sons and venerable brothers, and upon the flock committed to your care.

    Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, 10 August, 1863, in the eighteenth year of Our Pontificate.

  149. The above was written by good old Pope Pius IX entitled
    Quanto Conficiamur Moerore (On Promotion Of False Doctrines)

  150. De Maria–

    The Scripture is there…and you agreed with it…Christ appointed ME his vicar directly, just not explicitly. He didn’t name me by name in Holy Writ. That doesn’t make it any less so…or any less direct.

    Remember that there are more than one Eric here. I never said anything about the Holy Spirit’s being God’s vicar…though in some sense it cannot be gainsaid. One can be God AND God’s messenger at one and the same time in Trinitarian thought.

    I simply adore Jehanne D’Arc!! And she’s entirely correct. But Rome has not continued to be the church (and in many ways was not then). She was killed by crooked prelates for political gain.

  151. ROBERT January 28, 2015 at 11:49 am
    Debbie,

    Well aside from the fact that this is selective, since Jesus’ appointment of Paul and James was no less direct,

    Show me where Jesus changed their names and gave them the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Provide the chapter and verse.

    the problem really isn’t the mere title “vicar of Christ.” …. I actually am sad about that.

    God speaks through the Catholic Church. If you don’t like what God is saying, that’s your problem.

  152. “One can be God AND God’s messenger at one and the same time in Trinitarian thought.”

    Oh my goodness Eric, this is what Muslims believe, what are you thinking?

    * Muslims believe that Jesus is a very elect and highly esteemed messenger of God. No Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe this.

    * That he was sent by God as a messenger to the Jews in order to return them to the pure and true religion of Moses, and to relieve them of some of the regulations which had been placed upon them in ancient times.

    * They believe the Holy Spirit is the Angel Gabriel, highly esteemed as the “Trustworthy Spirit”

  153. ERIC January 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm
    De Maria–
    The Scripture is there…and you agreed with it…Christ appointed ME his vicar directly, just not explicitly. He didn’t name me by name in Holy Writ.

    This is the linguist speaking, isn’t it? I can tell, because you make even less sense than the non-linguist Eric.

    Sooo, Christ appointed you directly, but not directly and explicitly but not by name. Ok. And you are saved by faith alone but not by a faith which is alone. AND, you believe in Scripture alone but not its not Sola Scriptura, more like Prima Scriptura.

    That doesn’t make it any less so…or any less direct.

    Of course not. And you walked with Christ, did you? How long have you been around? Before Christ was, you are and He was glad to see your day. I get it.

    Are you writing from Bellevue?

    Remember that there are more than one Eric here. I never said anything about the Holy Spirit’s being God’s vicar…though in some sense it cannot be gainsaid. One can be God AND God’s messenger at one and the same time in Trinitarian thought.

    Soooo, God is not God, but only represents God. Ok. Novel Protestant idea. Who teaches that? Calvin? Luther?

    I simply adore Jehanne D’Arc!! And she’s entirely correct. But Rome has not continued to be the church (and in many ways was not then). She was killed by crooked prelates for political gain.

    It was English prelates who permitted the Catholic Saint to be martyred. And those English Prelates did it against the orders of the Catholic Church.

  154. Debbie,

    Oh my goodness Eric, this is what Muslims believe, what are you thinking?

    What in the world are you talking about. Muslims specifically deny that Jesus is God. Eric just said that one can both be God and be God’s messenger at the same time in Trinitarian thought, and he is exactly right. Jesus, after all was a prophet.

    Muslims err in saying that Jesus was ONLY a messenger. But Jesus certainly was a messenger.

  155. Debbie,

    Ask Luther and the Reformation-era Protestants how kind and maternal Rome was to them. And we have a pope complaining about people seeking power and prestige! Incredible. The same pope whose office has historically been all about seeking power and prestige, with it being a mark of faith to believe that the pope not only has spiritual authority but secular authority as well. In point 11 he specifically whines that others are teaching people to disregard the pope’s civil authority. The lack of self-reflection is incredible. And he is the infallible Vicar of Christ who claimed to be divine revelation. Remember, he is the tradition. Or was that not an infallible statement? How would one even know?

    I mean, his sentiments are nice, but where is the recognition that the papacy has been one of the biggest violators of this principle.

  156. De Maria demanded:

    Show me where Jesus changed their names and gave them the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Provide the chapter and verse.

    In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, “I will give you [singular] the keys.” Notice the tense of the verb. It is future tense, which means that at this point in his ministry, he had not yet bestowed the keys on Peter.

    But nowhere do we have any explicit record of the keys ever having been given to Peter. Nor do we have anything in tradition that records this monumental event for us. Is it possible that Jesus gave the keys to Peter but that this even was never recorded for us? It is possible. But it is most improbable. Why? Because Matthew doesn’t like loose ends. When his Gospel makes a prediction, it also gives us its fulfillment. For example, when he records Jesus predicting his death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21), he actually includes a passion and resurrection narrative within his gospel. This is hardly surprising given Matthew’s fondness for bookends. In a Gospel that starts off by telling us that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, it is only fitting that it would end with the words, “I am with you even to the end of the age.” God with us. So I find it highly unlikely that Matthew would fail to tie up this loose end relating to the keys of the kingdom.

    And lo, two chapters later, however, we find Jesus using identical language of binding and loosing. Only the authority (symbolized by the keys) he gives to all his disciples. Is there a contradiction here? Not at all. When Jesus said to Peter, “I will give you,” he did not thereby exclude the giving of binding/loosing authority to others. He merely made this promise singularly to Peter. But that did not preclude him making the same promise to all of his disciples.

    So I say that Matthew 18:18 provides us with the “fulfillment” of the promise Jesus made back in 16:18. I therefore see nothing that would support the notion of an “infallible pope” even remotely implied in the promise to give the keys. In fact, the context of Matthew 18 makes clear that Jesus is talking about church discipline and not giving Peter or anyone else a carte blanche to make up doctrine as they go along for the remainder of church history.

    But your popes have defined falsehoods like their own infallibility, Mary’s Assumption and Immaculate Conception and Lord knows what else may be coming down the pike.

    So when you say:

    God speaks through the Catholic Church. If you don’t like what God is saying, that’s your problem.

    , I say, you’re wrong. You only believe this because you assume it to be true at the outset. But you have nothing even close to evidence to support your bare assertion.

    Rome says, in effect, “Only what we teach is what God has revealed because we say so, and you can’t disagree with us unless we say so–and we don’t.” And somehow you’re on board with this. Amazing.

  157. Robert,
    You really want to stand by this,
    “But Jesus certainly was a messenger.”

  158. Debbie,

    Do you really want to deny that Jesus brought a message from the Father:

    For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. John 17:8

    So yes, I stand by that statement. Jesus is most certainly MORE than a messenger/prophet, but He is not LESS than that. This isn’t difficult. The Muslims aren’t wrong because they say Jesus was a prophet. They’re wrong because of the kind of prophet they thought he was and because they say he was only a prophet.

    Denying that Jesus was God’s messenger isn’t a mark of orthodoxy for Rome as far as I know. If it is, I don’t even know how we can have any kind of discussion about Jesus revealing to us the will of the Father. Did the Evangelists record Jesus’ words for no purpose?

  159. Robert said:

    Remember, he [the pope] is the tradition. Or was that not an infallible statement? How would one even know?

    Depends upon the Roman Catholic you ask. Liberals tend to be (not surprisingly) infallible minimalists and would tend to argue that comparatively few papal statements meet the 1870 requirements for infallibility. George Tavard (famous Roman Catholic ecumenist) once argued that not even Unam Sanctum, despite the use of the language of “We declare, and define and state” and all that rose to the level of an infallible statement. The argument is convoluted and clearly driven by an ecumenical agenda to find common ground with Lutherans. But that just goes to show you that its possible to spin papal statements in a number of directions. Liberal love to quote canon law to this regard. Canon 749, §3, says, “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”

    But who defines what is “manifestly evident?” Liberals err on the side of caution and end up denying that almost anything is “manifestly evident.” Take, for example, ordinatio sacerdotalis. This encyclical basically slams the door on the possibility of women ever being ordained to the priesthood. But is it infallible? Yes, say the conservatives. In fact, Ratzinger basically said as much when he was running the CDF. But then he became pope Benedict (and still is). He had the golden opportunity to “clarify” his earlier comments made as a mere cardinal. But he never did. That’s proof, say the liberals, that infallibility is working–because it prevented him from teaching error–namely the error that women aren’t suited for holy orders (considered from a Roman Catholic liberal point of view.)

    Most conservatives, however, think the matter is settled. John Paul II has simply clarified a teaching that has always been part of the ordinary magisterium. No exercise of the extraordinary magisterium was required in this instance, which is why there was no need for him to say, “I’m speaking ex-cathedra here, folks.”

    So back to canon 749 §3. To liberals it is clear as day that the pope never intended to permanently shut the door on further discussion about women’s ordination. To the conservatives it is clear as day that the all male priesthood is an infallible, irreformable teaching of the Church ®.

    Much the same can be said of Rome’s take on scripture. There is nothing even approaching consensus as to what texts have been infallibly defined and which have not been. What we need is an infallible list of what has been infallibly defined. But I don’t think Rome has the slightest clue as to what that list would look like.

    What good is to have an infallible interpreter when it seldom does any infallible interpreting? What good is to have infallible teaching when there is no way to know what has been infallibly taught?

  160. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Well, well, well. I hadn’t seen that name in a while. Lets see what you’ve got today.

    De Maria demanded:
    Show me where Jesus changed their names and gave them the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Provide the chapter and verse.

    Yes, I did. Let’s see what you provided instead.

    In Matthew 16:19

    That’s not about Sts. James and Paul. So, no real answer to my demand. Ok. Let’s see what you are actually bringing to the table.

    Jesus said, “I will give you [singular] the keys.”

    Correct. He gave St. Peter the keys the Kingdom. Singular. No one else.

    Notice the tense of the verb. It is future tense, which means that at this point in his ministry, he had not yet bestowed the keys on Peter.

    Not so. For instance. When I say to my son, “I’ll give you the keys to my car.” I actually hand them to him right then. It doesn’t take centuries. And the proof is this. In two more chapters, which amount to maybe a day or so, He says to the Apostles as a whole:

    Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    Obviously, they already have the keys. You didn’t think that St. Peter was supposed to keep them to himself, did you?

    But nowhere do we have any explicit record of the keys ever having been given to Peter.

    Well, yes, we do.

    See, as I keep telling Protestant folk. You read the Scripture apart from the context of the Sacred Tradition which is the basis of the Scripture. The pre-existing Doctrine says that Jesus gave to Peter the keys, right then.

    Nor do we have anything in tradition that records this monumental event for us.

    Well, yes, we, Catholics do. It is part of Catholic Tradition and it is recorded in writing right there in the New Testament.

    Is it possible that Jesus gave the keys to Peter but that this even was never recorded for us?

    Don’t you believe the New Testament?

    It is possible. But it is most improbable. Why?….

    Uh, you’re not understanding. I’m not a Protestant. I believe that Christ speaks through His Church. But, apparently, you think that I might exchange your word for the word of Christ.

    That ain’t going to happen.

    Now, the reason why you don’t believe the Catholic Church is because you’ve discarded the Teachings of Jesus Christ which are the basis of the New Testament. Otherwise you’d read the New Testament and recognize therein, the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

    So, if you want to debate with Eric or Robert about the meaning of this or that, go ahead. But, as for me, I’ve got Christ, the Head of the Church, speaking to me through the Church. Why would I want to listenn to you or any other man who does not agree with Him?

    To be cont’d

  161. cont’d with Michael Taylor

    So when you say:
    God speaks through the Catholic Church. If you don’t like what God is saying, that’s your problem.
    , I say, you’re wrong.

    And who are you? I say you’re wrong. So?

    Oh, I get it. You’ve got pope envy. Ambitions of becoming Pope, have you? Well, first you’ll have to convert to the Catholic Church. Then, you can be considered.

    You only believe this because you assume it to be true at the outset.

    Well, yeah.

    Hm? Let me see if I can explain this to you.

    1st. Christ is the Head of the Church.
    2nd. Christ is infallible.
    3rd. Therefore, the Church is infallible because it is led by Christ infallibly.

    No. Don’t get it?

    Let me see. You say that Christ is the Head of your church.
    But you admit that your church is fallible.
    So, how can Christ be the Head of your church? Is Christ a fallible Head?
    Is He a fallible leader who can’t guide your church or any other infallibly?

    Getting a clue yet?

    But you have nothing even close to evidence to support your bare assertion.

    Yes, I do. I have the Scriptures, which you claim to believe, but actually don’t.

    Rome says, in effect, “Only what we teach is what God has revealed because we say so, and you can’t disagree with us unless we say so–and we don’t.” And somehow you’re on board with this. Amazing.

    Let’s see what Scripture says:

    Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    That Church teaches the Wisdom of God.
    The Wisdom of God must be, by definition, infallible. Or it wouldn’t be the Wisdom of God, would it?

    Or is God’s Wisdom fallible? Decide. Because this is key to understanding the Scripture.

    If you agree that the Wisdom of God is infallible. Then the Church which Teaches the Wisdom of God must also be infallible in doing so.

  162. Robert,
    Jesus ate fish with some people for lunch one day.

    Not quite the same as saying that He took five barley loaves and two small fish and fed 5,000 men (not counting the sundry).

    You sound like the ‘believer’ who likes to downplay this and instead highlight the ‘probability’ that the greedy people following Jesus in the wilderness had loaves and fishes stuffed up under their robes.
    What really happened is that Jesus preached to the crowd about caring and sharing and they responded by bringing out food from under their robes that they had been hiding from each other. Once everyone learned how to share, there was plenty for everyone with twelve full baskets left over.

    Remember you’re witnessing to many more than just little old me.

    To say Jesus was “at the least a messenger” is rather uninspired and makes a mockery of the Holy Trinity.

    Come on, I’m going to give you the same challenge I gave Kevin and many others. Wear your heart on your sleeve and spill out your true belief and love in our Lord and give me a little more than, “Jesus is most certainly MORE than a messenger/prophet”.

    The Gloria is always a good place to start.

  163. ROBERT January 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm
    Debbie,
    Do you really want to deny that Jesus brought a message from the Father:

    No one is denying that. But bringing a message from the Father does not make Him a mere vicar.

    Jesus is God the Son. God doesn’t speak through Jesus. Jesus is God. He and the Father are one.

    For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. John 17:8

    Ok. But does Jesus come as God or not? Was Jesus, God, when He said those words? That’s important to this Vicar business. Because He is either speaking as God the Son. Or as a Vicar who is a mere human representing God.

    You tell me.

    So yes, I stand by that statement. Jesus is most certainly MORE than a messenger/prophet,

    Good and true. But show me where Scripture says He is a vicar?

    but He is not LESS than that.

    Agreed. Now show me where Scripture says He is a vicar?

    What about vicar? Have you stopped talking about Vicar? And have you changed the subject from the Holy Spirit being God’s Vicar?

    Yeah. I think you’ve changed the subject. But ok. Let’s see what else you’ve got.

    This isn’t difficult.

    You seem to be having trouble with it.

    The Muslims aren’t wrong because they say Jesus was a prophet.

    Ok.

    They’re wrong because of the kind of prophet they thought he was and because they say he was only a prophet.

    Ok.

    Denying that Jesus was God’s messenger isn’t a mark of orthodoxy for Rome as far as I know.

    Who said anything about denying that Jesus is God’s messenger? Does Vicar mean messenger? Since when?

    If it is, I don’t even know how we can have any kind of discussion about Jesus revealing to us the will of the Father. Did the Evangelists record Jesus’ words for no purpose?

    Hm? You seem to have confounded the entire argument on purpose. What started this discussion? Was it that Eric W. said:

    A little bird told me that John MacArthur said: The Holy Spirit is God’s Vicar on earth…just an option to consider.

    And you agreed. Now, I want you to show me from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is God’s vicar. You must show me where the Holy Spirit is not God, but only acting in God’s place. That is what vicar means.

    A vice president is not the president but is only acting in the President’s place. Show me from Scripture. Chapter and verse.

  164. Jonathan said:

    Maybe I’m just not as ambitious as most Catholic apologists, but I’m not even trying to advocate for the correctness of Catholicism in that respect. I just want the extremism of the Reformation to be moderated in a manner consistent with what history has taught us. The war should be over; we should be at the point of reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

    This is rich fare, is it not? First, what kind of Catholic apologist would you be if you were not advocating for the correctness of Roman Catholicism? Second, is it not just a bit one-sided to speak of the “extremism of the Reformation” without mentioning the extremism on your own side? (Look no further than this forum to see that extremism from time to time.) Third, it is vague and misleading to speak of “what history has taught” in any meaningful fashion, when exactly what history teaches on particular matters of doctrine is far from a settled. The more we read, the more we find diversity of opinions over a broad range of doctrinal issues. The myth of radical continuity between Tridentine Romanism and the teachings of the ECFs seems to be your given. You assert it boldly. But you’ll forgive us if we don’t simply take your word for it.

    Bottom line: If Rome’s gospel is false (or at least false enough), then we cannot concede that the war is over. That means, if we are to be consistent with our own principles, that we cannot call you “Christian.” That’s not intended to be a put-down. It’s simple honesty. If we cannot be honest, then there can be no reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

  165. Michael Taylor said:

    Bottom line: If Rome’s gospel is false (or at least false enough), then we cannot concede that the war is over. That means, if we are to be consistent with our own principles, that we cannot call you “Christian.” That’s not intended to be a put-down. It’s simple honesty. If we cannot be honest, then there can be no reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

    I agree. And the knife cuts both ways.

    If the Protestant gospels are false (or at least false enough), then we cannot concede that the war is over. That means, if we are to be consistent with our own principles, that we cannot call you “Orthodox Christians” because you teach heresies. That’s not intended to be a put-down. It’s simple honesty. If we cannot be honest, then there can be no reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

    You do understand, I hope.

    Now, do you believe that Jesus is the Head of your church? Yes or no.
    Do you believe that your church is fallible? Yes or no.

  166. @De Maria:

    Not so. For instance. When I say to my son, “I’ll give you the keys to my car.” I actually hand them to him right then. It doesn’t take centuries. And the proof is this. In two more chapters, which amount to maybe a day or so, He says to the Apostles as a whole: Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    Obviously, they already have the keys. You didn’t think that St. Peter was supposed to keep them to himself, did you?

    Hate to break it to you, but the future tense doesn’t work this way in Greek. You cannot use the future tense to state present, ongoing action. In English, we can use the present tense to speak of the future: “Tonight my band is playing.” Greek can do the same: “Messiah is coming” (John 4:25). But the converse isn’t true in Greek. You can’t use the future tense to talk about what is happening in the moment. So, no, Jesus wasn’t giving the keys to Peter in that moment.

    Yet you seem to feel otherwise based on a rather facile comparison to English. But perhaps you’re really alluding to some magisterial teaching that I may be unaware of. If so, please enlighten us. Has Rome redefined the Greek future tense such that it can now function as the present tense? Please direct me to your resource for making this claim. But if it is not something infallibly defined by Rome, then save your breath. For then it would just be your private opinion, which in this case is wrongheaded because it is based on the assumption of equivalency between Greek and English.

    But what I am glad to see is that you agree with me that “the keys” were given in Matthew 8:18. I think this is when all the disciples, including Peter, got the keys.

    But now I ask you this. Wouldn’t you have to agree, based on Romanist tradition, that the word “disciples” in this context must refer to only those ordained to the episcopate? So rather than speaking broadly of Christians in general, Matthew is narrowing the focus to only those who can exercise that binding/loosing authority implied by “the keys.” But surely this isn’t something any old “disciple” can have. Surely, on a Roman Catholic reading, Matthew must be speaking only of those with apostolic succession, right?

    It would seem that way in light of your manmade tradition. But we have to ask ourselves how Matthew is using the term “disciple,” in this context. Personally I see no reason why “disciple” as any other meaning than “follower of Christ” and therefore can refer to anyone in the believing community, clergy or not. But don’t take my word for it, take Rome’s. What? You mean Rome hasn’t infallibly defined the use of the word “disciple” for us? You mean all we have is your private judgment on the matter? So on what basis do you limit the “keys” to a small clerical caste? And on what basis do you infer infallibility from the authority to bind/loose? The context is one of discipline. So how exactly does that translate into the power to define doctrine infallibly? Connect the dots for me.

  167. @De Maria:

    Now, do you believe that Jesus is the Head of your church? Yes or no.
    Do you believe that your church is fallible? Yes or no.

    The church isn’t mine, so I have no idea what mean when you say, “your church.” Unpack that for me and perhaps I can begin to give you an answer.

    I suspect we both agree that Jesus is head of the church but that we have different ideas on what “the church” is. Yes, I believe Jesus is infallible. No, I do not think his infallibility as head resides in his body, the church. Nor do I think there is a smaller head/heads that govern the church. That would be a hydra-church–a church with many heads. But scripture speaks of a single, head–Christ himself.

    I believe the head of my church is infallible because the head of my church is also the Word of God himself. The Word alone is infallible. The only access we have to that word are the scriptures. That means the scriptures alone are our only infallible rule of faith. So while the church isn’t infallible, it does have an infallible guide–namely the scriptures.

    So why do you believe that the Roman Catholic Church is infallible? It seems to me that you believe Rome is infallible because Rome claims to be infallible. So your view is this: Rome is infallible because Rome says so. Fascinating. How can anyone really believe this?

  168. Michael Taylor said:

    Hate to break it to you, but the future tense doesn’t work this way in Greek.

    Hate to break it to you but we’re both reading in English. The Greek scholars who translated the text didn’t happen to mention anything about your problems.

    In English, we can use the present tense to speak of the future: “Tonight my band is playing.”

    I’m reading and quoting the English text.

    Greek can do the same: “Messiah is coming” (John 4:25). But the converse isn’t true in Greek.

    You’re doing it again. You’re pretending to be the pope. There’s no such rule, Michael! Stop it! You’re just a regular joe like me and have no authority to tell me what the PERSPICUOUS statement says.

    I understand that verse. Or is the text not perspicuous? Tell me it isn’t and contradict your Protestant doctrine.

    Here’s the contradiction, Michael. Your tradition claims that anyone can understand the Scripture without assistance. Yet you keep giving your assistance where it hasn’t been requested.

    If I were to ask anyone to explain to me the Scripture, it wouldn’t be you. I don’t agree with Protestant hermeneutic. You guys don’t understand that the New Testament was written on the basis of Catholic Tradition. Therefore, you don’t understand the Word of God.

    You can’t use the future tense to talk about what is happening in the moment. So, no, Jesus wasn’t giving the keys to Peter in that moment…..

    Yeah. I can.

    But what I am glad to see is that you agree with me that “the keys” were given in Matthew 8:18.

    That’s 18:18 and no, the Church could lock and unlock because Jesus had already given St. Peter the keys. Notice that there is no mention of the keys in that verse.

    I think this is when all the disciples, including Peter, got the keys.

    It doesn’t matter what you think. What? Do you consider yourself the pope? Really? Why do you think I should care what you think when Christ speaks through the Church and you are contradicting His Word?

    But now I ask you this. Wouldn’t you have to agree, based on Romanist tradition, that the word “disciples” in this context must refer to only those ordained to the episcopate? So rather than speaking broadly of Christians in general, Matthew is narrowing the focus to only those who can exercise that binding/loosing authority implied by “the keys.” But surely this isn’t something any old “disciple” can have. Surely, on a Roman Catholic reading, Matthew must be speaking only of those with apostolic succession, right?

    Yes. You’re getting it!

    It would seem that way in light of your manmade tradition.

    What a disappointment. I thought you might be getting a clue. You don’t seem to understand that it is you who profess your right to “private interpretation”, which, if you look at it rightly, simply means your right to invent man made traditions.

    But we have to ask ourselves how Matthew is using the term “disciple,” in this context.

    YOU have to ask yourself. I’m a Catholic. The Church has done the thinking for me and has told me that the term disciple is being used in the sense of Apostolic Succession. The foundation of the Church is the reference there. If you read Matt 18:17, that should be clear to you, as well.

    Personally I see no reason why “disciple” as any other meaning than “follower of Christ”

    That’s because you, personally, don’t care what Christ was teaching. You simply want to justify yourself.

    and therefore can refer to anyone in the believing community, clergy or not. But don’t take my word for it, take Rome’s. What? You mean Rome hasn’t infallibly defined the use of the word “disciple” for us? You mean all we have is your private judgment on the matter? So on what basis do you limit the “keys” to a small clerical caste? And on what basis do you infer infallibility from the authority to bind/loose? The context is one of discipline. So how exactly does that translate into the power to define doctrine infallibly? Connect the dots for me.

    Its simple Michael. The Catholic Church has taught us to interpret the Scripture according the Tradition of the Church. Ask yourself, does the Church teach that anyone can bind and loose? Or just the members of the Magisterium?

    There you go. That circumscribes our understanding of that verse.

    Oh, but you object! Who cares? Are you the Pope? Are you a Bishop of the Catholic Church? Are you even a Priest of the Catholic Church?

    Now, let me ask you something. Did Jesus write the New Testament? Or rather, did Jesus establish His Church and command His Church to make disciples of the world and to teach them all which He commanded?

    And then, who wrote the New Testament? Were they all members of that Church? And what did they write about? Did they write what Jesus taught them or did they make up new stuff?

    Go and learn the meaning of these words:
    2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    and these:

    Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

  169. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm
    @De Maria:
    Now, do you believe that Jesus is the Head of your church? Yes or no.
    Do you believe that your church is fallible? Yes or no.
    The church isn’t mine, so I have no idea what mean when you say, “your church.”

    Really?

    Unpack that for me and perhaps I can begin to give you an answer.

    Are you a Lutheran or a Calvinist?

    I suspect we both agree that Jesus is head of the church but that we have different ideas on what “the church” is. Yes, I believe Jesus is infallible. No, I do not think his infallibility as head resides in his body, the church.

    So, you don’t believe that Jesus is guiding your church in contradiction to Scripture.

    Matthew 28:20 …. and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Ok. Got it.

    Nor do I think there is a smaller head/heads that govern the church.

    So, again, you contradict the Word of God. Where Scripture says:

    1 Corinthians 12:28
    And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Hebrews 13:7King James Version (KJV)

    7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    Ok. Got it.

    That would be a hydra-church–a church with many heads. But scripture speaks of a single, head–Christ himself.

    And Christ appointed another, subordinate head. Whom He named Cephas:

    Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    I believe the head of my church is infallible because the head of my church is also the Word of God himself. The Word alone is infallible.

    But you don’t believe that He leads infallibly. Or what does it mean to be the head of your church? Is He just a figure head? Like the mast of a ship lost at sea?

    See, there’s the difference between Catholic and Protestants. We actually believe that Jesus Christ is infallible and that He can lead the Church infallibly.

    Either Christ is infallible and His Church is infallible because He is leading it. Or that church is not infallibe because it is not led by Jesus Christ. Which is it? Or are you accusing Jesus Christ of doing a poor job of headship?

    The only access we have to that word are the scriptures.

    Thanks for contradicting the Scriptures so frequently and so pointedly. We, Catholics, actually believe the Scriptures and the Scriptures tell us we have access to the Word of God through the Teaching of the Church:

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

    That means the scriptures alone are our only infallible rule of faith.

    That’s what you folks keep saying. But the Scriptures don’t.

    Acts 4:31
    And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

    So while the church isn’t infallible,

    Your church isn’t because Christ is not the Head of your church. If Christ were the Head of your church, it would have to be infallible. But since it isn’t infallible, then you are following something or someone else. Not Christ.

    it does have an infallible guide–namely the scriptures.

    But you don’t understand them because you don’t keep the Traditions which are the basis of and which circumscribe the Scriptures.

    So why do you believe that the Roman Catholic Church is infallible?

    Because Christ is the Head of the Catholic Church. Therefore it must be infallible.
    Because the Catholic Church is described in the Scriptures.
    Because I have gone through Scripture and found therein all the Doctrines of the Catholic Church.

    It seems to me that you believe Rome is infallible because Rome claims to be infallible. So your view is this: Rome is infallible because Rome says so. Fascinating. How can anyone really believe this?

    As I said. The Catholic Church must be infallible because She has an infallible Head. Now, you claim the same infallible Head but deny the infallibility of your church. Therefore, either you don’t believe that Jesus is infallible. Or Jesus is not the Head of your church.

  170. @Robert:

    Its not any crazier than saying John Calvin wrote spiritual pornography or that John Frame and Vern Poythress are fundamentalist hicks, or that Sproul and MacArthur are troglodytes.

    Then you understand exactly my point in making the first two assertions (the last I don’t consider to be the same). The point is that Reformed anti-Catholics simply argue by derision, without any substance behind it. That is their entire argument: insulting people. And my point was exactly that if insulting people’s beliefs was an argument, then I could say the same thing about anyone’s sources. It’s not an argument, but if someone is going to treat slurs as an argument, then the point is to show that it’s very easy to make slurs. So, no, I certainly was NOT making anything like a serious argument.

    As far as Sproul and MacArthur being anti-Catholic troglodytes, that’s also not an argument, but unlike the previous arguments, it’s not just being made for effect. They are making enormous amounts of money off of anti-Catholic bigotry, and they do nothing to rectify their ignorance of history (much like you). They profit from stirring up sentiment against Catholics, in analogous fashion to many race-baiters.

    I’m not insulted by “fundamentalist Roman Catholic,” so knock yourself out. I think most of us Catholics wear that label proudly. It’s fundamentalism about Scriptural exegesis that’s the problem, not the original sense of fundamentalism about dogma.

  171. @Michael T.:

    This is rich fare, is it not? First, what kind of Catholic apologist would you be if you were not advocating for the correctness of Roman Catholicism?

    The Thomist kind. Faith can’t be proved by argument. All I can do is to remove objections.

    Second, is it not just a bit one-sided to speak of the “extremism of the Reformation” without mentioning the extremism on your own side? (Look no further than this forum to see that extremism from time to time.)

    I’m dealing with a specific question, which is whether the doctrine of justification at Trent qualifies as a sufficient break from the prior tradition to be “works-righteousness” where the doctrine of preceding Christian history wasn’t. Reformers made the extreme historical claim that the Fathers supported their view as against Trent, which was extreme if nothing else for the fact that historical continuity would seem to be against it prima facie.

    Based on what we’ve learned since then, particularly given extensive historical work by the Eastern Orthodox, who certainly have no cause to take the part of the papacy, that extreme argument has been debunked. There are Protestants who accept those historical facts, and Protestants who reject them. It is analogous to how there are still Protestants who are young earth creationists. At some point, adherence to religious beliefs can move into denial of reality.

    I have a similar assessment of the extreme historical assessments of the origin of the papacy that can be found recorded in various Catholic writings. Based on the same kind of scholarship, I think those claims are overwrought. So I’m agnostic about who is making extreme historical claims; both sides should retract extreme historical claims.

    Third, it is vague and misleading to speak of “what history has taught” in any meaningful fashion, when exactly what history teaches on particular matters of doctrine is far from a settled. The more we read, the more we find diversity of opinions over a broad range of doctrinal issues.

    But sometimes it is settled. The historical claims are settled against the extremist Protestant claims, and knowledgeable Protestants have had the sense to moderate them.

    The myth of radical continuity between Tridentine Romanism and the teachings of the ECFs seems to be your given. You assert it boldly. But you’ll forgive us if we don’t simply take your word for it.

    As Robert said, I don’t claim that the Early Church Fathers taught full-blown Tridentine doctrine, so I don’t claim “radical continuity.” What is clear is that the radical DIScontinuity claimed by the Reformers is a myth.

    Bottom line: If Rome’s gospel is false (or at least false enough), then we cannot concede that the war is over.

    And I don’t say that you should. What I mean is that if you are still living in the world where one can criticize Trent as teaching “works-righteousness” without criticizing entire centuries of Christianity in the same way, then you need to stop having that fight. It is over; the Reformers lost.

    That means, if we are to be consistent with our own principles, that we cannot call you “Christian.” That’s not intended to be a put-down. It’s simple honesty. If we cannot be honest, then there can be no reasoned dialogue and reasonable disagreement.

    As long as you have the courage of your convictions, I can hardly object. But honesty goes beyond subjective assessment; to be honest, it must conform to reasonable standards of conformity to the truth. What I can say is that if you, in good conscience, cannot call me Christian, then you cannot call Ignatius and Irenaeus and John Chrysostom and Augustine and Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria Christian either, if you are being honest. If you lack the courage and the honesty to make exactly the same charge against them that you do against Catholicism, then it isn’t honesty compelling you to make the charge; it’s bigotry.

    Call me a strange Catholic apologist if you like, but I think if we can just reach the level of honesty exemplified in Newman’s dictum “to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant,” we’ll do just fine in that discussion.

  172. And Michael,

    So I find it highly unlikely that Matthew would fail to tie up this loose end relating to the keys of the kingdom.

    And Matthew’s Gospel has the account of Pentecost, right? I couldn’t find it, but maybe I just ran out of chapters in my Church-issued Catholic Bible. Or maybe Matthew didn’t record exactly *everything* that was prophesied. I’m just a dumb Catholic jarhead, though, so the Magisterium might not have poured the right idea in.

  173. Jonathan said,

    And Matthew’s Gospel has the account of Pentecost, right?

    No, no. That’s in the Old Testament. Maccabees. You’re looking in the wrong covenant. That’s when the lamp stayed on for forty days. ‘member!

  174. @De Maria

    You said:

    I agree. And the knife cuts both ways.

    Agreed. The problem, however, is that your church’s emphasis on ecumenism has greatly contributed to a general unwillingness to draw sharp dividing lines where they need to be drawn.

    I actually feel sorry for you. You have to consider me to be among your “separated brethren.” I, on the other hand, get to call a spade a spade. You’re not a Christian so long as you embrace everything Rome teaches. In other words, I can call you a “separated unbeliever,” because that is what you are. You are not part of the body of Christ. You are cut off from him so long as you continue to justify yourself by works. In other words, there does exist a modern context in which these word from Paul are still applicable:

    For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. (Galatians 5:1-4, ESV)

    Circumcision, of course, was simply the issue du jour, an instantiation of law keeping. Replace that with sacraments, precepts of the church and a synergistic soteriology, and the same substantive problem remains: grace cannot be mixed with anything else and still be grace. For Paul, it really is either/or. Man’s works and rituals cannot be combined with saving grace. It is a step back into slavery to even attempt such a synthesis.

    Why was Paul so adamant about this? Why did he brook no compromise with the Judiazers of his day? It was because the very Gospel of grace was hanging in the balance. Are we saved by grace alone? Or are we saved by assisting grace that works in concert with our freewill cooperation?

    You mentioned, “Protestant gospels.” I quite agree. There are false gospels within Protestantism. No two ways about that. In fact, for the life of me, I see no substantive difference between Arminian soteriology and that which Trent defined. (I’m sure there are differences in nuance and detail–but both systems seem synergistic to me.)

    That raises the question of whether or not the Arminian is my brother in Christ. My answer: If the Arminian gospel is as false as Rome’s then to be consistent, I would have to say that he is not. So dividing lines have to be drawn and maintained consistently–not just between Roman Catholics and Protestants, but between Protestants and Protestants.

  175. Jonathan,

    So I’m agnostic about who is making extreme historical claims; both sides should retract extreme historical claims.

    Great, now be honest and retract your extreme historical claim that the Protestant doctrine of justification was completely unheard of before the Reformation. Hmm, something tells me you won’t.

    Call me a strange Catholic apologist if you like, but I think if we can just reach the level of honesty exemplified in Newman’s dictum “to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant,” we’ll do just fine in that discussion.

    And this quote is completely inconsistent with what you have just said. Talk about an extreme claim—one can’t know church history and view Protestantism as a viable expression of Christianity (though strangely, most RCs would say otherwise today.). This made by Newman, who had such problems with Rome’s reading of history that he couldn’t become Roman Catholic until he came up with the whole development idea. Talk about someone whose insecure need for some kind of unquestioning authority drove him to rewrite history.

    And while we’re on history, you seem to like Fairbairn well enough. Let’s pull out some more quotes from the paper I cited above, since you clearly missed them in your continual insistence that Protestantism is somehow out of continuity with Cyril and others:

    But he clarifies his meaning by spelling out that Christ is not justified in the same way we are. He is justified because he is sinless, but we are justified because righteousness comes to us as a free gift through the righteous act of Christ. Through this clarification, Cyril renders even more apparent his constant insistence that righteousness comes to us from the outside. Furthermore, Cyril also indicates that Christ’s obedience/sinlessness is the direct source of both his righteousness and ours. He is just because – considered as a man, as the second Adam – he perfectly obeyed God and committed no sin. In contrast, we are justified because the second Adam who obeyed perfectly grants us his own righteousness.

    Hmm, looks like the Calvinistic conception of Christ’s perfect active obedience to me.

    As I have indicated above, the prevalence of this link between ?????????? and ???????? in Cyril’s writings would seem to imply that his understanding of ?????????? is not similar to that of classical Protestantism, in which justification and sanctification are sharply distinguished. It is important to recognize, however, that Cyril’s understanding of sanctification is not, at heart, a concept of an active process of becoming holy, in which the Christian collaborates with the Holy Spirit. Instead, Cyril regards sanctification most fundamentally as a participatory holiness that is granted to the believer when he/she is united to the Holy Spirit.

    Hmm, looks like Cyril ain’t compatible with Trent here.

    These passages are illustrations of a consistent pattern that Cyril employs in discussing justification and sanctification. He connects the two, not because he believes that justification is something we achieve, but because he believes that even sanctification is something given to us from the outside, by Christ through grace.
    For Cyril, even the human side of salvation is not primarily our human action; it is Christ’s human action. In order for that human action to accomplish our salvation, it had to be human action performed by God the Son.
    And it leads Cyril to a corresponding asymmetry in soteriology – at the most fundamental level, we do not produce righteousness within ourselves, nor do we even cooperate with grace in producing such inward righteousness. Rather, most fundamentally, we receive another’s righteousness – the righteousness of God’s Son who became human in order to unite us to himself and thus to give us his righteousness.

    I could bold that whole thing. If Fairbairn is right, then Cyril was a proto-Protestant. Why do the Reformed insist on a distinction between sanctification and justification. Well, there is a distinction in Scripture, thought not a separation, but the main reason is because of the abuses of Rome. The reason why we can condemn Trent and not the pre-Tridentine writers such as Cyril is because of what Fairbairn just said. I saw that Mark Hausam is making the same point about Augustine over on CTC.

    Trent has us achieving final justification and final sanctification. Trent has us cooperating with grace to produce inward righteousness that is what finally gets us over the finish line into heaven. Just ask De Maria. Certainly it helps us get past purgatory or reduce our time there.

    As far as your specific response to me about Sproul and MacArthur, I’m still waiting for you to describe how either man misrepresents Roman Catholicism, particularly Sproul, who has gone out of his way on more than one occasion to note that those who say Rome denies that salvation is by grace are guilty of slander. But again, I’m not holding my breath. It’s a lot easier to refer to some vague notion of Eastern Orthodox scholars “proving” Protestants wrong then to actually do your own research. (Except you blithely overlook EO McGuckin who endorses Fairbairn’s reading of patristic theology and its full continuity with the Reformed tradition.)

  176. Blog did not pick up the Greek fonts in my previous comment. The question marks should be Greek words for holiness and righteousness. hagiasmos and dikaiosune

  177. Michael,

    “grace cannot be mixed with anything else and still be grace. For Paul, it really is either/or. Man’s works and rituals cannot be combined with saving grace.”

    So much for progressive sanctification.

    “Are we saved by grace alone? Or are we saved by assisting grace that works in concert with our freewill cooperation?”

    Are we sanctified by grace alone? Or are we sanctified by assisting grace that works in concert with our freewill cooperation?

    “I see no substantive difference between Arminian soteriology and that which Trent defined. (I’m sure there are differences in nuance and detail–but both systems seem synergistic to me.) That raises the question of whether or not the Arminian is my brother in Christ. My answer: If the Arminian gospel is as false as Rome’s then to be consistent, I would have to say that he is not.”

    Well kudos for biting the bullet and being forthright on this unlike some of your brethren here who demur and hem and haw. Unfortunately, as Jonathan has been trying to point out, you’ve now even more clearly consigned the western and eastern patristic tradition to the dustbin by affirming not only that Trent is gospel-denying, but that any form of synergism is.

  178. De Maria–

    I have indeed “walked with Christ.” You may not know this, being Catholic and all, but Jesus is STILL ALIVE and unites himself with his elect.

    Why will you never read what I actually write? I said one can BE God…and messenger. The Catholic Catechism acknowledges as much:

    CCC #436.

    The word “Christ” comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means “anointed”. It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that “Christ” signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for prophets.29 This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively.30 It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as prophet.31 Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, PROPHET and king.

    A prophet is a messenger last I checked.

    Joan of Ark was given as fair a trial under CATHOLIC auspices as Martin Luther was at Worms or Jan Hus was at Constance. Don’t ever freely submit yourself to Catholic jurisprudence. It’s never exactly “innocent until proven guilty.”

  179. James–

    4. The Byzantines, as well as Orthodoxy under the Ottomans, had a richly deserved reputation of rewriting history and tyrannical intolerance of theological opposition. Cyril conducted a lengthy correspondence with several European Protestants. So this is not so easily just swept under the rug.

    5. So then, Catholicism has much to fear that “spiritual revelation” in the form of Sacred Scripture might tend to undermine established Roman dogma. Is that what you’re trying to say?

    6. I already addressed Jewish oral tradition in #1 above. I find it peculiar that the NT would almost totally disown Jewish oral tradition (while fully retaining its written tradition) and at the same time champion a freshly sprung Christian oral tradition…without ever clearly saying so.

    7. Yes, Sacred Tradition is available for all to see…as long as one doesn’t desire too close a look. The borders to it are annoyingly indistinct, and little or no provenance is provided. Funny how you neglected to even attempt an answer to these concerns of mine.

  180. Eric,

    For what it’s worth, my questions to James about tradition typically end in “You just want another CANON of tradition.” As if that would be a bad thing?

  181. Jonathan–

    I look forward to your promised reply.

    I hope, however, that we might achieve a little more “honesty” than exemplified by Mr. Newman. Most scholars concur that his Tract 90, composed while he was still an Anglo-Catholic tractarian, is an exercise in sheer sophistry.

  182. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Agreed.

    Great!

    The problem, however, is that your church’s emphasis on ecumenism has greatly contributed to a general unwillingness to draw sharp dividing lines where they need to be drawn. I actually feel sorry for you. You have to consider me to be among your “separated brethren.”…. blah, blah, blah, blah.

    Really, you thought you needed to say all that to avoid a Biblical debate?

    You’re still a heretic. Separated brother or not. The Church doesn’t instruct me not to call a spade a spade.

    You mentioned, “Protestant gospels.” I quite agree. There are false gospels within Protestantism.

    Any gospel which disagrees with the Catholic Church is a false gospel. Yeah, that means yours.

    That raises the question of whether or not the Arminian is my brother in Christ. My answer:….

    Really? What makes you think I care about your opinion about me or Arminians? All it shows me is that you disregard Scripture:

    Romans 14:4
    Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

    Here’s the bottomline. Christ is not the head of your church. If He were, your church would be infallible. But it isn’t. Therefore, you are not following Christ. You are following traditions of men.

  183. @Robert:

    Great, now be honest and retract your extreme historical claim that the Protestant doctrine of justification was completely unheard of before the Reformation. Hmm, something tells me you won’t.

    When you find imputed as opposed to participatory (infused, imparted) justification, just let me know.

    Talk about an extreme claim—one can’t know church history and view Protestantism as a viable expression of Christianity (though strangely, most RCs would say otherwise today.).

    The distinctive doctrine of Protestantism is imputed justification. It has nothing to do with whether Protestantism is a “viable expression of Christianity,” whatever that even means. It has to do with whether or not imputed justification is a theological novum.

    Hmm, looks like the Calvinistic conception of Christ’s perfect active obedience to me.

    Hmm, looks like Cyril ain’t compatible with Trent here.

    Then you haven’t understood Trent, and at this point, I wonder how much you’ve read of Calvin. Aquinas and Augustine both say the same thing; Christ acts as Mediator in His human nature, not His divine nature. The merit of our actions comes, not from anything in our action, but from Christ’s: “the meritorious cause is His most beloved only-begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies, for the exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, merited Justification for us by His most holy Passion on the wood of the cross, and made satisfaction for us unto God the Father.” This righteousness is infused, so that we have it by participation: “he alone formal cause is the justice of God, not that whereby He Himself is just, but that whereby He maketh us just, that, to wit, with which we being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and we are not only reputed, but are truly called, and are, just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost distributes to every one as He wills, and according to each one’s proper disposition and co-operation.”

    By contrast, Calvin held that the righteousness of Jesus was personal and federal (in His personal office as Mediator and Surety of the new Covenant) and that the righteousness was imputed. So Fairbairn is saying, correctly, that Cyril isn’t anti-Protestant in the sense of lumping in what Protestants call sanctification (i.e., the moral betterment and improvement of the person’s actions qua human being). But Catholics don’t lump that in with justification either. Trent says exactly what Cyril does. There’s no imputation here at all; it’s all participation.

    If Fairbairn is right, then Cyril was a proto-Protestant.

    If by “proto-Protestant,” you mean “Roman Catholic,” then sure. Protestantism originated in Catholicism.

    Why do the Reformed insist on a distinction between sanctification and justification. Well, there is a distinction in Scripture, thought not a separation, but the main reason is because of the abuses of Rome.

    I agree. The problem was that once the doctrine of Trent was formalized, that distinction from Rome was obviated. Trent essentially cut out any misunderstandings of justification that produced the Protestant response.

    The reason why we can condemn Trent and not the pre-Tridentine writers such as Cyril is because of what Fairbairn just said. I saw that Mark Hausam is making the same point about Augustine over on CTC.

    But that’s not a reason that you can condemn Trent. Trent teaches exactly the same thing that Cyril does, and Cyril doesn’t teach imputation. This is the entire point. You don’t actually know what the Catholic teaching is, so when Cyril teaches exactly the same thing that Trent does, you think it’s different.

    Trent has us achieving final justification and final sanctification. Trent has us cooperating with grace to produce inward righteousness that is what finally gets us over the finish line into heaven.

    Yes, and it’s in exactly the same sense Cyril says that we participate, down to the role of the Holy Spirit (cf. Trent, “which the Holy Spirit distributes to everyone as He wishes”). The cooperation produces no merit; it is not the meritorious cause of anything, only the means of participation.

    I have to say that if you *really* don’t understand this (and remarkably, it seems like you really don’t), then it’s incredible that you have been attacking Catholicism all this time. You haven’t a clue what the teaching is.

    Certainly it helps us get past purgatory or reduce our time there.

    If we want to quibble about Purgatory, we can quibble about Purgatory. That has nothing to do with justification, and it doesn’t have anything to do with any difference between Cyril and Trent on justification. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with imputation.

    As far as your specific response to me about Sproul and MacArthur, I’m still waiting for you to describe how either man misrepresents Roman Catholicism, particularly Sproul, who has gone out of his way on more than one occasion to note that those who say Rome denies that salvation is by grace are guilty of slander.

    Sproul says that Trent’s theology of merit is contrary to Augustine’s belief in *sola* gratia and that the Tridentine teaching on justification is Pelagian. That’s a misrepresentation of both Trent *and* Augustine, and it’s the same one that you’ve made on this thread.

    But again, I’m not holding my breath. It’s a lot easier to refer to some vague notion of Eastern Orthodox scholars “proving” Protestants wrong then to actually do your own research. (Except you blithely overlook EO McGuckin who endorses Fairbairn’s reading of patristic theology and its full continuity with the Reformed tradition.)

    Fairbairn just says that Cyril doesn’t blur the justification/sanctification distinction of Protestantism. But that’s true of Trent as well! Nor does Fairbairn make any claim that Cyril teaches imputation or federal representation; on the contrary, he agrees with the Catholic Daniel Keating about Cyril’s theology of participation. Nor does Fairbairn address whether Christ’s obedience is meritorious as an offering (the Alexandrian belief) or as a federal representative in response to demands of God on Adam (the Nestorian belief). So Fairbairn doesn’t get into any of the differences between Cyril and Protestantism, and where he does in other books, he is pretty clear that he considers Cyril’s theology deficient (a conclusion with which I obviously don’t agree). Still, Fairbairn thinks Cyril is far less subject to critique as being alien to Protestant theology than others claim, and the same is true of Trent.

    We’re reading the same thing. Your understanding of the theology of merit taught by Trent is simply poor (and obviously based on stereotypes).

  184. ERIC January 28, 2015 at 7:08 pm
    De Maria–
    I have indeed “walked with Christ.”

    If you say so. I’m not the one you need to convince:

    Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    You may not know this, being Catholic and all, but Jesus is STILL ALIVE and unites himself with his elect.

    In fact, I do. Are you exalting yourself to the elect? You’ve elected yourself?

    Matthew 23:12
    And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

    Why will you never read what I actually write? I said one can BE God…and messenger.

    Who denied it?

    The Catholic Catechism acknowledges as much:
    CCC #436.
    The word “Christ” comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means “anointed”…..

    A prophet is a messenger last I checked.

    Who said otherwise?

    Joan of Ark was given as fair a trial under CATHOLIC auspices

    Renegade Catholics who disobeyed the Pope.

    as Martin Luther

    Another renegade Catholic.

    was at Worms or Jan Hus was at Constance. Don’t ever freely submit yourself to Catholic jurisprudence. It’s never exactly “innocent until proven guilty.”

    I’d rather submit myself to Catholic jurisprudence than to Protestant.

    So, what happened to the Holy Spirit is the vicar of God thing? Or the Christ is the Vicar of God thing? Did you abandon those altogether?

    Oh, don’t try to deny it. I understand English, Linguist and you said, “though in some sense it cannot be gainsaid.”

    Did you abandon that?

    Good.

  185. De Maria–

    The Nicene Creed states that the Holy Spirit “spake by the prophets.”

    That’s a messenger, plain and simple. Thus, in that sense, it cannot be gainsaid. Not even by you.

  186. @James

    Well kudos for biting the bullet and being forthright on this unlike some of your brethren here who demur and hem and haw. Unfortunately, as Jonathan has been trying to point out, you’ve now even more clearly consigned the western and eastern patristic tradition to the dustbin by affirming not only that Trent is gospel-denying, but that any form of synergism is.

    First, at the risk of hemming and hawing, I did qualify my statement as a big, fat “if.” I’ll leave it up to the Arminians to defend their soteriology as being consistent with the the same Gospel that Paul received. “If” they can do that, then I would cheerfully consider them brothers in the Lord. The same goes for Roman Catholics. If they can show that Tridentine synergism is compatible with the Gospel, then I guess you folks are my “separated brethren” after all.

    As for these sweeping generalizations about the Western and Eastern tradition, I’m not on board. Jonathan takes it as a given that Trent only taught what was taught before and that Reformation soteriology is a theological novum. That’s laughable on historical grounds. But hey, maybe I’m misreading every single one of the ECFs who speak to this issue in a way congenial to the Reformation theology.

    But I’m not really interested in pursuing this issue because the church fathers aren’t my rule of faith. I see justification by faith and imputation clearly stated in scripture. It doesn’t get any earlier than that. If it so happened that every church father lost sight of this truth and that it took the Reformation to recover it, that’s fine with me. One can see vast periods of Biblical history in which Israel had lost its orthodoxy. Why couldn’t this be the case in the church as well?

    In any event, Jonathan’s argument really does cut both ways. He wants us [Protestants] to be consistent and condemn all those prior to Trent who held wacky views. (I think we do a fair job of doing precisely that. No church Father, not even Augustine, gets the carte blanche from the Protestant side of things).

    But what do you do when we start finding “Protestantism” within the Church Fathers as we do? Would Jonathan be willing to “bite the bullet” and come right out and say that these guys were therefore *not* Roman Catholics? How many counts of doctrinal dissent make one a “separated brethren?”

    My point is far less reaching. I say there is something that is “of primary importance” (1 Cor. 15:3), namely the Gospel. That necessarily implies that there are issues of secondary and tertiary importance (such as whether or not any church father taught imputation in the same way Calvin did). So perhaps you can give Thomas and Bernard a pass on their view of the Immaculate Conception. Or perhaps you can forgive Cyril of Jerusalem for his sola scriptura leanings. Or perhaps you can overlook Tertullian (prior to his Montantist phase, mind you) for condemning infant baptism, as perhaps none of these things is “of primary importance.” But when it comes to the issue of how we are made right with God, I don’t get the sense that Paul left room for any ecumenical dialogue on that point.

    I wonder how many Judiazers out there could appeal to ample rabbinical sources justifying their understanding of the ongoing validity of the law vis-a-vis justifying grace? I’m sure they could line up all kinds of “fathers” on their side. Did Paul care? No. He didn’t judge the truth by counting rabbinical hands. Why should we count patristic hands? Paul simply was charged with handing on what he received directly from the Lord. What he received is recorded for us in Scripture, so we can do the same. So yes, call me an equal-opportunity critic: If an entire tradition, north, south, east or west is out of step with what Paul handed down, then an entire tradition needs to be corrected. That’s how Paul viewed things. Why would we not follow suit?

  187. Jonathan, you wrote:
    There IS an analogy to vicarship in the Trinity, and that is the Incarnation. Jesus’s obedience in His human will is the pattern of, and analogy for, human obedience. Therefore, the Incarnation, not the unity of the divine will, is the model for the human will following and representing the divine will on Earth.

    Response:
    I call foul on a technicality. That IS is very emphatic. Why not the IN in the Trinity ? The Incarnation is not IN the Trinity, but only IN the distinct person of the Son. This is how you guys get Mary close to the Trinity. Mary the Mother…Incarnation…ordered under the Hypostatic Union…HU to the Trinity. You know the drill.
    ————————

    Handle that IS and IN before we discuss the other portions. Will Jonathan return ? I don’t know because he wrote this:

    This is why you and Robert miss blasphemy where it is and see blasphemy where it isn’t. You are in error because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matt. 22:29).

    Jonathan, you know judgments like that end disputes. You ended the dispute right out of the gate when you charged blasphemy. Jonathan, CCC Guard #1 handled the Anti-Chatholic Venom. Isn’t that so ?

  188. Debbie, you wrote:
    HA HA, thanks, I think / . / . /. >?

    There’s nothing wrong with compliments in this forum. Thx for the reply.

  189. De Maria, you wrote:
    Go back. Read carefully. You’ll find that I asked you that question. And true, there is no response from you.

    Your memory and reading witness against you. You are incapable of “comparing” Scripture with Doctrine. Our exchange is proof. I know how you guys (and sometimes gals) argue, so “upper hand” prevention units are deployed. Go back and focus on the question you didn’t answer. I press you because I answered your question. Run off and “compare” in a corner because your not good at mixing “compare” and “exchange.”

  190. ERIC January 28, 2015 at 9:59 pm
    De Maria–
    The Nicene Creed states that the Holy Spirit “spake by the prophets.”
    That’s a messenger, plain and simple. Thus, in that sense, it cannot be gainsaid. Not even by you.

    Ahhhh, linguist, linguist, linguist.

    First, you’re still confusing messenger and vicar. No one has denied that the Holy Spirit gives us messages. Nor even that God the Father gives us messages.

    We deny that Jesus Christ is the vicar of God and that the Holy Spirit is the vicar of God. This is what you said could not be gainsaid and you need to provide a Scripture that says they are vicars. Not messengers.

    Or, does messenger mean vicar?

    Second, the example you cite, shows the Prophets as the messengers of the Holy Spirit. Or are you insinuating that the Prophets sent the Holy Spirit to mankind with their message?

    An example: If I were to say that “God speaks through me.” Who is the messenger? Me? or God?

  191. The Holy Mass is “the summit and perfection of all Christian worship” because it contains all the key memories and expectations of the People of God. “All the treasures of Christianity are contained in the Eucharist” (Vat.II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, n.5).

    “At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood.
    He did this in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to HIS BELOVED SPOUSE, the Church, a memorial of His Death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.” Pope Paul VI

    I’m going to lay it on the line, with full integrity of heart and say in all honesty that if I didn’t believe in the full presence of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist,
    I would be Protestant.
    Actually, I would start my own church.

    I can see it now, my husband and I would be the ‘polished’ Jim and Tammy. Our charity and generosity would be for all to experience. We would only hire the most accomplished pastors and teachers to preach exactly what we personally needed to hear and grow.
    Our love of our Lord would inspire many to become Christian and give their lives as they saw us doing. Hearing the Bible read over and over and encouraging others to be good stewards is what we would do.

    What’s wrong with this you might ask?
    Nothing, unless you believed what is truly present in all the tabernacles in the world.

    That unfathomable LOVE changes history for eternity.

    “I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIGHT, no man comes to the Father except THROUGH me.” (not the messenger, the MESSAGE)

    “The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (not the symbol, the BREAD)

    He is LOVE Incarnate (noun, verb, adjective) and His Kingdom is forever.

    So I get it,
    actually, I more than get why Protestants can’t understand Catholics. It’s so much more than apples to oranges.

  192. ERIC W January 29, 2015 at 3:30 am
    De Maria, you wrote:
    Go back. Read carefully. You’ll find that I asked you that question. And true, there is no response from you.

    Your memory and reading witness against you…..

    Hm?

    I guess you’re accustomed to speaking to confused Protestants. And I understand why they get confused reading the confusion which pours out of your messages.

    But, it was I who asked you the question and you who has yet to answer.

    Here it is again. Answer it or not, as you please:

    DE MARIA January 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm
    Eric W.
    Do you like Douay-Rheims ?
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy:

    Do you see there any rule saying that Christ is forbidden from appointing a Vicar to represent Him?

  193. Debbie,

    A messenger is a vicar, especially in the NT era. The Apostles take Christ’s words and they deliver them to us. In that sense they are both messengers and vicars. That is one of many things that Christ does with respect to the Fathers. Christ is even specifically called a “bishop” (1 Peter 2:25) and if a bishop is a vicar, who is Christ a vicar of then?

    You all are finding heresy where there is none. There’s plenty of things that RCs can accuse Protestants of being heretics of based on Roman dogma. The notion that Christ is the messenger/representative/vicar of God just isn’t one of them.

  194. Michael,

    “Jonathan takes it as a given that Trent only taught what was taught before and that Reformation soteriology is a theological novum. That’s laughable on historical grounds. But hey, maybe I’m misreading every single one of the ECFs who speak to this issue in a way congenial to the Reformation theology.”

    No, he has explicitly denied that “Trent only was taught before”. What he has said is that Protestant’s bedrock of extra nos imputed righteousness and denial of participatory/infused model of justification is not what was taught before, let alone as a redline of orthodoxy. Eastern Orthodox don’t subscribe to Trent but you don’t see Jonathan making the same criticisms of them as he does your position. Protestants who hold RCs/EOs as Christians don’t subscribe to Trent, but you don’t see Jonathan making the same criticisms of them as he does your position. And actually your position makes even a stronger claim as I said – not only do you make Protestant sola fide the gospel, you make monergism the gospel.

    “But I’m not really interested in pursuing this issue because the church fathers aren’t my rule of faith. I see justification by faith and imputation clearly stated in scripture. It doesn’t get any earlier than that. ”

    And why do you think you see it clearly while centuries of others did not? All just spiritually blinded and deceived (well except when it was lifted here and there as they hammered out core doctrines you happily take for granted) until the Reformers rolled along?

    “If it so happened that every church father lost sight of this truth and that it took the Reformation to recover it, that’s fine with me. One can see vast periods of Biblical history in which Israel had lost its orthodoxy. Why couldn’t this be the case in the church as well?”

    Did Christ make better promises in the NC or not? Is the NT Church just a repackaged deploy of Israel version 1.0?

    “But what do you do when we start finding “Protestantism” within the Church Fathers as we do? Would Jonathan be willing to “bite the bullet” and come right out and say that these guys were therefore *not* Roman Catholics? How many counts of doctrinal dissent make one a “separated brethren?”

    Note that RCs don’t treat separated brethren as gospel deniers. You treat RCs and EO and Arminians and basically any non-Calvinist as a gospel denier.

    “My point is far less reaching.”

    Clearly it isn’t, as seen above.

    “But when it comes to the issue of how we are made right with God, I don’t get the sense that Paul left room for any ecumenical dialogue on that point.”

    So either no one understood Paul properly on the essential gospel for 1000+ years (so much for perspicuity), or you should adjust your position. I’m also waiting to see how you reconcile your red-line position on grace with your view on sanctification given the questions I asked above.

    “Why would we not follow suit?”

    Because your attitude eviscerates the notion of Christianity actually being public revelation that was to grow and spread in the world. No one actually got the memo for over 1000 years. It also evidences a complete lack of humility – you’ve reduced sola to solo scriptura on steroids.

  195. @Robert,

    A messenger is a vicar, especially in the NT era. The Apostles take Christ’s words and they deliver them to us. In that sense they are both messengers and vicars. That is one of many things that Christ does with respect to the Fathers. Christ is even specifically called a “bishop” (1 Peter 2:25) and if a bishop is a vicar, who is Christ a vicar of then?

    You could also prove your point with an appeal to Colossians 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

    Explanation: In the ANE an image-bearer was the messenger for the king who sent him. His standard or image granted to him the same authority as the king he represented. The king was believed to speak vicariously through his image-bearer. Last I checked, the words vicarious and vicar are derivatives. What is a vicar if not one who represents another vicariously?

    It was also quite common for the firstborn son of the king act as image-bearer. This idea is implicit in the the parable of the tenants in these words: “Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son,’” (Matthew 21:37). Those who who heard Jesus would have understood the the assumption grounding those words. The Master in the parable thought it unthinkable that anyone would ignore these basic protocols. If the firstborn son is traveling under the standard of his father, then it is as if the father himself–the master of the vineyard and employer of the tenants–had paid them a personal visit.

  196. ROBERT January 29, 2015 at 7:34 am
    Debbie,
    A messenger is a vicar,

    So, what you’re saying is a messenger must be a vicar.

    So, for instance, when you send western union to deliver a message to your family, the messenger can remain in your house and function as the head of your household until you return?

    Is that it, Robert?

    especially in the NT era. The Apostles take Christ’s words and they deliver them to us.

    Correct. No one is denying that anyone can function as a messenger of God.

    In that sense they are both messengers and vicars.

    Correct.

    That is one of many things that Christ does with respect to the Fathers.

    What? Are you confusing the messengers with the originator of the message?

    Christ is even specifically called a “bishop” (1 Peter 2:25) and if a bishop is a vicar, who is Christ a vicar of then?

    Hm?

    So, you’re saying, that in God’s absence, Christ is His vicar?

    You all are finding heresy where there is none. There’s plenty of things that RCs can accuse Protestants of being heretics of based on Roman dogma. The notion that Christ is the messenger/representative/vicar of God just isn’t one of them.

    You’ve thrown in a new twist here, Robert.

    Are you saying that Jesus Christ only “represents” God?

    Bottomline is this. You folks are acting like popes. Guess what, go be the pope of your own church. We follow the Catholic Church.

    If you want to pronounce a doctrine that Jesus Christ is no longer God but only God’s representative and vicar. Go right ahead.

    We follow the infallible Doctrines of the Catholic Church and we know the difference between representative of God and God. We know that Jesus Christ is God the Son. Not the vicar of God nor the representative of God.

    Is that what you’re doing o mighty pope of the unknown calvinist group? Are you pronouncing a new dogma for your followers?

  197. James,

    Note that RCs don’t treat separated brethren as gospel deniers.

    If by this, you mean post V2 ecumenism, you are exactly right. In the main, however, this doesn’t seem to be correct.

    Jonathan thinks Protestants are heretics. He believes we are gospel-deniers. We might be unwitting gospel-deniers, but that’s what we are in his view.

    Rome on paper denies that Protestants have true churches. It believes the East, on paper, has true churches but is in schism. How can one not be a true church if one is not a teacher of heresy?

    Trent condemns me to hell for believing in extra nos imputation. But I’m not a heretic?

    Trent certainly didn’t view Luther et al as mere separated brethren.

    Let’s just be honest and admit that for Rome “separated brethren” is a way for Rome to call us heretics and yet take some of the edge off.

  198. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    You said to Robert:
    You could also prove your point with an appeal to Colossians 1:15: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”….

    Robert is trying to prove that a messenger is a vicar and therefore, Jesus is merely God’s messenger.

    Angel means messenger of God. Here’s what Scripture says about that:

    Hebrews 1 King James Version (KJV)

    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

    8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

    You guys go on proving your points to each other and congratulating yourselves on every wind of doctrine, twisting of the word of God to your destruction.

    But we follow Christ through His infallible Church.

    Oh, by the way, Robert. I guess you do have a follower. 1 so far. Pronounce more edicts for him to follow. What other doctrines will you now dream up?

  199. James,

    What he has said is that Protestant’s bedrock of extra nos imputed righteousness and denial of participatory/infused model of justification is not what was taught before, let alone as a redline of orthodoxy.

    Actually, what he has said is that what was taught before Trent is completely antithetical to extra nos imputed righteousness and federalism, and He has said that Cyril’s view of participation was antithetical to Calvin’s view of union. Both of which aren’t true, as Fairbairn and others have demonstrated. But we press on.

  200. De Maria,

    Robert is trying to prove that a messenger is a vicar and therefore, Jesus is merely God’s messenger.

    I’ve NOT ONCE said that Jesus is MERELY God’s messenger. Not once. I never would say that.

    What I’ve said is that the claim that Jesus is God’s messenger/vicar is not in itself heresy. The claim that he was merely God’s messenger is. That’s what Islam teaches. And I reject Islam. I don’t embrace it as even a possible way to God like your infallible church does. I actually believe that if you hate the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, you cannot be saved. Rome says Muslims worship the triune God, which aside from being at best theologically naive is also incredibly insulting to Muslims.

  201. ROBERT January 29, 2015 at 9:26 am
    De Maria,
    Robert is trying to prove that a messenger is a vicar and therefore, Jesus is merely God’s messenger.

    I’ve NOT ONCE said that Jesus is MERELY God’s messenger. Not once. I never would say that.
    What I’ve said is that the claim that Jesus is God’s messenger/vicar is not in itself heresy….

    And for the reasons I’ve outlined, I reject your claim. I categorically deny that Jesus is God’s vicar. Jesus is God.

    Now what, pope? Are you going to enforce your newly appropriated authority as pope of your church?

    Save your innovations and inventions for your protestant followers. I follow Jesus Christ through His Church.

  202. @ James,

    And actually your position makes even a stronger claim as I said – not only do you make Protestant sola fide the gospel, you make monergism the gospel.

    I do. If the regeneration is monergistic, then it’s not synergistic. Right? So how can both be the Gospel?

    And why do you think you see it clearly while centuries of others did not? All just spiritually blinded and deceived (well except when it was lifted here and there as they hammered out core doctrines you happily take for granted) until the Reformers rolled along?

    I don’t agree that others did not. Others did, which is why I don’t see imputation as a theological novum. But the writings of the church fathers are far from perspicuous, right? (Or is everything *but* the Bible perspicuous in your book?) I also think that there were other fish to fry. Doctrine can be believed implicitly until there is a need to clarify it. I’m quite sure Arius dismissed Trinitarian theology on the grounds that it was a theological novum. He couldn’t find it the church fathers that preceded him. Is that because they were all Arians? Or (more likely) is it because they had no pressing need to investigate matters as deeply in centuries prior?

    More importantly, on what grounds was Arius finally defeated? Surely it wasn’t on the grounds of the consensus of the fathers. Nor was it on the grounds of the magisterium, as most of the bishops took his side. Athanasius took his stand, contra mundum, because, finally, the Trinity is what scripture teaches.

    Now we can snark right back at you. Why do you believe in the Assumption of Mary, the Immaculate Conception and the Infallibility of the pope? “Why,” to quote you, “do you think you see [these doctrines] clearly while centuries of others did not? All just spiritually blinded and deceived… until the [infallible papacy] rolled along?” The point being, you hold as dogmas certain beliefs that have very little in the tradition to recommend them. But typically you explain this by appealing to the development of doctrine and the theory that mariology is intended to bolster Christology and that it is only natural for mariological beliefs to develop only in relation to previously defined Christological beliefs–hence the lateness.

    So if you don’t buy monergism and imputation on the grounds of lateness, why do you buy any doctrinal development since 1870–ideas which are *even later* than imputation/monergism? At least we can find imputation in scripture. But where do you get your wacky ideas from? Certainly not the Bible.

    Did Christ make better promises in the NC or not? Is the NT Church just a repackaged deploy of Israel version 1.0?

    Yes to the first question, no to the second. But what does either question have to do with the issue at hand? If you’re claiming that “better promises” (Hebrews 8:6) entails an infallible church, then go ahead and show us the exegesis. Walk us from A to B, as I’m not seeing it. As for the idea that under the terms of the New Covenant the “people of God” (Hebrews 4:9) cannot collectively fall into theological error that endures over a long period of time–again, where do you get that idea from?

    Note that RCs don’t treat separated brethren as gospel deniers. You treat RCs and EO and Arminians and basically any non-Calvinist as a gospel denier.

    I do. I’m an equal opportunity critic. You can call that hubris if you wish. But I’m not answerable to you or any conventions of civility. I’m answerable to God. If the Gospel is monergistic, then it’s not synergistic. So if I am to be consistent, then I can’t affirm that synergistic soteriologies are “the Gospel.” The only question that matters is not what others have believed, but what has God revealed? You’re asking all the wrong questions. You have a Bible. Read it. Focus especially on Romans 1, 3-8, Galatians 1-5 and ask yourself if Paul leaves any room for a “generous orthodoxy” when it comes to Gospel. If you can make that case, I’ll gladly repent of my exclusivism. It’s far easier to be inclusive. You make more friends that way.

    I’m also waiting to see how you reconcile your red-line position on grace with your view on sanctification given the questions I asked above.

    Yeah, that was a bit out of left field for me. I’m guessing your point is that sanctification is progressive or a process (which I affirm). But sanctification is but one aspect of salvation–namely salvation from sin’s power. I rather thought the context made clear that we were speaking of salvation under a different aspect–namely salvation from sin’s penalty (justification).

    I realize you don’t have ready-made categories for making this distinction, as Trent issued no separate doctrine on sanctification but rather treated what Protestants would call justification and sanctification under the single rubric of justification. I also realize that most RCs distinguish between initial and ongoing justification, which roughly corresponds to what we mean by justification (an initial declaration of righteousness) and sanctification (the ongoing application of righteousness).

    So what was your point exactly? Was it to deny my denial that grace is merely a help or aid toward our sanctification that requires freewill consent to be efficacious?

    Because your attitude eviscerates the notion of Christianity actually being public revelation that was to grow and spread in the world.

    That’s rich, especially if that public revelation you countenance includes falsehoods like Mary’s immaculate conception, purgatory, the sacrifice of the mass, the Assumption of Mary and all kinds of other things that were never revealed to the church at all. On the contrary, I’m trying to preserve and fight for the public revelation that was delivered to us without compromise–hence my very unpopular and controversial willingness to throw all sorts of folks under the bus–including Arminians.

  203. Well, I’ve been misunderstood before, but not ever to this level.

    “God was pleased to have ALL HIS FULLNESS dwell in Him, and THROUGH Him to reconcile to Himself all things . . . . by making peace by His blood shed on the cross.”

    In a couple of posts back, I said as plain as day that Jesus Christ, in the fullness of his humanity and Divinity, is present in the Eucharist. If I didn’t believe this was the case, I’d be Protestant (not only by choice, but by default).

    Why would Jesus want us to eat His body and drink His blood?

    Why would anyone NOT want to eat His body and drink His blood?

    He is the WORD Incarnate, made flesh. What’s the big deal?

    The great prophets TOLD us about God.

    Jesus is GOD (not just a messenger), telling us about Himself, pleading with us to believe He is God and that He will save us through His blood shed on the cross.

    It’s all about His Most Precious Blood saving us.

  204. De Maria,

    If in the name of Roman Catholicism you want to deny what the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church teaches—namely that Jesus is a prophet and hence a messenger—go right ahead.

  205. Debbie,

    Well, I’ve been misunderstood before, but not ever to this level.
    “God was pleased to have ALL HIS FULLNESS dwell in Him, and THROUGH Him to reconcile to Himself all things . . . . by making peace by His blood shed on the cross.”
    In a couple of posts back, I said as plain as day that Jesus Christ, in the fullness of his humanity and Divinity, is present in the Eucharist. If I didn’t believe this was the case, I’d be Protestant (not only by choice, but by default).

    You assume that Protestants deny that Christ is not present in His humanity in the Eucharist. Which is not what Calvin believed.

    Why would Jesus want us to eat His body and drink His blood?

    He does want us to do this by faith. Not corporally.

    Why would anyone NOT want to eat His body and drink His blood?

    I do want to do this. I just don’t want to be guilty of cannibalism. Depending on the RC you ask, transubstantiation can smack of the latter.

    He is the WORD Incarnate, made flesh. What’s the big deal?

    The big deal is the hypostatic union. If Christ is truly human, His human body remains localized in heaven and is not omnipresent. Traditionally, Protestants view transubstantiation as compromising the true humanity of Christ because it tends toward making Jesus physically omnipresent. We have access to His humanity by the Spirit in the Eucharist. But His body remains in heaven.

    The great prophets TOLD us about God.

    Yes.

    Jesus is GOD

    Yes

    (not just a messenger),

    Yes

    telling us about Himself, pleading with us to believe He is God and that He will save us through His blood shed on the cross.

    Yes

    It’s all about His Most Precious Blood saving us.

    Yes, but the question is how one accesses the blood. Is it by faith? Ex opere operato sacramentalism makes faith essentially pointless a the end of the day. This is the primary problem with Rome’s view of the sacraments.

  206. Eric,

    “1. Yes, if the Bereans had found Paul’s message not to jibe with Hebrew Scriptures, they would have been justified in rejecting it. Instead of reading the Tanakh in a straightforward fashion, many Jews went according to the interpretation of oral tradition (Mishnah), which the NT describes as “the traditions of men.”

    So if the Jews had just applied ghm-exegesis they would’ve read the OT in a straightforward fashion and submitted to Paul? Where does the NT condemn all Jewish oral tradition as the “traditions of men”? Did the Apostles/Christ not follow any Jewish oral tradition?

    “The Arians purposefully (or at least, unspiritually) misinterpreted the clear message of Scripture.”

    So every heretic purposefully misinterprets the clear message? There are no material or ignorant heretics who are sincere in their beliefs? My point is simple – heretics appeal to Scripture. They also can appeal to Tradition. That both entail authoritative/definitive interpretation or judgment does not entail either is a wax nose.

    “2. No, private judgment is NEVER given up, nor should it ever BE given up. Your supposed virtue in giving over your mind into the keeping of the Vatican is not even slightly noble.”

    So submitting to Christ/Apostles authority would not have been slightly noble. You’d just be tagging along constantly debating and questioning them, and by doing so make their claims to authority entirely irrelevant and superfluous in the first place – you never actually submitted.

    “Cyril conducted a lengthy correspondence with several European Protestants.”

    And apparently also called it a blasphemous doctrine.

    “So this is not so easily just swept under the rug.”

    Which is why I provided references/citations. As I said, regardless of Cyril’s actual orthodoxy, the simple fact is he had no one to take up his mantle if he did end up embracing Protestant ideas – he was an aberration. And of course centuries later and in the present, we still don’t see the East jumping in bed with Protestantism (just like Jeremiah and other patriarchs rebuffed Lutheran and Calvinist attempts to sway during the Reformation) so the argument of Byzantine intrigue and conspiracies are even less persuasive – that supposed veil was lifted to no effect.

    “5. So then, Catholicism has much to fear that “spiritual revelation” in the form of Sacred Scripture might tend to undermine established Roman dogma. Is that what you’re trying to say?”

    No. You’re likening Scriptural exegesis to a math or logic textbook – or as Ratzinger has said, “Revelation is not a meteor fallen to earth that now lies around somewhere as a rock mass from which rock samples can be taken and submitted to laboratory analysis.”

    “6. I already addressed Jewish oral tradition in #1 above. I find it peculiar that the NT would almost totally disown Jewish oral tradition (while fully retaining its written tradition) and at the same time champion a freshly sprung Christian oral tradition…without ever clearly saying so.”

    Ever clearly saying so? Tradition is mentioned quite frequently approvingly in the NT as your own apologists agree. They just then make the jump that any of that oral/unwritten tradition and practice to be followed was eventually inscripturated. Of course there’s no actual evidence from Scripture for that assumption – talk about “without ever clearly saying so”. If Tradition and inscripturation were operating in parallel until the last sentence of the last book was written, why assume that pattern and the rule of faith suddenly changed and shifted in essence in terms of transmission and operation when the last inspired word was penned – would it not be more reasonable to assume the pattern continued by default (especially when the church was already operating for decades before Scripture was complete) unless there was strong evidence to the contrary? But given that the NT itself and its identification came through Tradition, I don’t think such strong evidence will be forthcoming.

    “Funny how you neglected to even attempt an answer to these concerns of mine.”

    What is your concern? Tradition is the common life, worship, and teaching/faith of the church handed down through the centuries – such a thing can hardly be encapsulated in some collection of documents by definition. If you think that unfair, I’d ask you to take any tradition whatsoever and exhaustively encapsulate it in a collection of documents – how about the tradition of America, or Calvinism, or your family. If you can’t do it – can I charge such tradition as being annoyingly indistinct and meaningless?

    Tradition is defined by DV as: “Now what was handed on by the Apostles includes everything which contributes toward the holiness of life and increase in faith of the peoples of God; and so the Church, in her teaching, life and worship, perpetuates and hands on to all generations all that she herself is, all that she believes. This tradition which comes from the Apostles develop in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by believers, who treasure these things in their hearts through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through Episcopal succession the sure gift of truth.”

    Councils, creeds, encyclicals, liturgies, devotional practice/prayer, patristic writings, etc all witness to such Tradition: “The words of the holy fathers witness to the presence of this living tradition, whose wealth is poured into the practice and life of the believing and praying Church.” Tradition is not some discrete set of propositions, nor is it hidden – the church’s life, worship, teaching throughout the generations is witnessed to in many avenues.

  207. James,

    Councils, creeds, encyclicals, liturgies, devotional practice/prayer, patristic writings, etc all witness to such Tradition: “The words of the holy fathers witness to the presence of this living tradition, whose wealth is poured into the practice and life of the believing and praying Church.” Tradition is not some discrete set of propositions, nor is it hidden – the church’s life, worship, teaching throughout the generations is witnessed to in many avenues.

    Except that the Apostles when they speak of Apostolic tradition clearly refer to it as a fixed body of content. So it is a discrete set of propositions and practices.

    And in any case, this shows the problem with the Roman view of tradition. Nothing we have IS tradition. All we have are witnesses to tradition (aside, apparently Rome was Parthian before Barth was here). Very convenient. When later councils contradict earlier councils, it’s no problem. We misread the “witness” of the earlier councils to the tradition. They didn’t mean what we thought they meant because, they aren’t the tradition. They’re merely witnesses to it. It takes the living church of today to tell us what the witness is and means.

    And thus you collapse the Magisterium into the Tradition, both oral and written. There’s not three legs here. There’s one. At least Pius IX was honest. He was the tradition.

  208. ROBERT January 29, 2015 at 10:01 am
    De Maria,
    If in the name of Roman Catholicism you want to deny what the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church teaches—namely that Jesus is a prophet and hence a messenger—go right ahead.

    Protestants are real good at twisting words. You’re no exception. Show me where I denied that Jesus is a prophet and messenger?

    And while you’re at it, show me the Catechism teaching which says that Jesus is God’s vicar.

    Oh and its, Catechism of the Catholic Church, o pope of the church in your own mind.

  209. Robert,
    “You assume that Protestants deny that Christ is not present in His humanity in the Eucharist. Which is not what Calvin believed.”

    No I don’t, which is why I’m Catholic . . .my whole point.

    “Protestants view transubstantiation as compromising the true humanity of Christ because it tends toward making Jesus physically omnipresent.”

    I know, which is why I’m Catholic.

    As I said, so much more than apples to oranges.

    Not that it matters to skeptics, but I’ve actually seen this happen. I’ve never told anyone except my husband, but today is a day of boldness for me.

    I saw it happen. I saw the miracle of transubstantiation take place.
    Now, how do I tell people this? What words could I use?

    Many years ago in the airport in Washington DC, I was so overwhelmed by what had happened and pretty much in shock, I sat down and furiously tried to write something, anything so that I could even believe that it had happened. Either that or I was going to throw up.

    The following is what I penned;

    I am lost in You. There is no me in your gaze of warmth. Only deep light.
    The veil was, oh, so gently lifted . . . how can this be so?
    In an instant I saw you everywhere and knew with unbridled delight that my daily bread would be given to me by seeing YOU, touching YOU, greeting YOU and comforting YOU in every creature I meet.
    Your Body, the Body, is my bread . .
    This secret is so simple, so courageously daring, and so vulnerably holy,
    I can never go back now.
    Nor would I even dare to . .
    the Kingdom has come to my soul.
    Does anyone even guess at this priceless treasure of omnipotent charity on the altar?
    Do I tell – or would this expose You too much – leading souls nearer into the dreadful occasion for sin.
    The blessed Sacrament has been blessed and broken into unlimited pieces to be consumed and adored. To not adore You is my suffering.
    This intimacy is almost moo much – Love is literally everywhere.
    Yet not too much . . always kindness and mercy all the days of my life.

    Peace my brothers.

  210. ROBERT January 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

    You assume that Protestants deny that Christ is not present in His humanity in the Eucharist.

    Correct. It is a valid assumption.

    Wikipedia says:
    Symbolic interpretation[edit]
    Some Protestant groups see Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s Table) as a strictly symbolic meal, a memorial of the Last Supper and the Passion with symbolic and subjectively meaningful elements, which is done by the ordinance of Jesus, but in which nothing miraculous or objectively significant occurs. This view is known as the Zwinglian view, after Huldrych Zwingli, a Swiss leader during the Reformation.
    This perspective is commonly associated with Baptists and many other Evangelicals. It is a perspective not uncommon “in the pews” (that is, among lay members) of some Reformed churches, even among those whose official doctrines are more in accord with the Calvinist spiritual real presence discussed above.[citation needed]

    I have personally found that to be true in twenty years of discussions with Protestants. Even Lutherans and Anglicans deny the Real Presence even though their confessional church claims it as one of its teachings.

    Which is not what Calvin believed.

    So? When we say to you:

    Calvin believed in the virginity of Mary and that she had no other children.

    You’ll say:

    So what?

    Why do you even mention him? And besides, how many Protestants are Calvinists?

    He does want us to do this by faith. Not corporally.

    Says the pope of a fake church. But the Catholic Church whose Head is Jesus Christ says that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ and that He wants us to become one with Him by consuming it.

    I do want to do this. I just don’t want to be guilty of cannibalism.

    Spoken like a true, self contradicting Protestant. Of which we have many on this board.

    Where does the Bible say that it is cannibalism to eat the Flesh of our Lord in the appearance of bread? Chapter and verse.

    Depending on the RC you ask, transubstantiation can smack of the latter.

    And you follow RC’s. What is that, by the way? I’m a Catholic in communion with the Catholic Church.

    The big deal is the hypostatic union. If Christ is truly human, His human body remains localized in heaven and is not omnipresent.

    Christ is truly human and truly God. Apparently, you are either rejecting His divinity or you are doing that which I accused you of when we were talking about the Mother of God and which you adamantly denied. You are separating His divinity from His humanity as you did when you claimed that Mary is not the Mother of God.

    Then you flip flopped and flip flopped again.

    Traditionally, Protestants view transubstantiation as compromising the true humanity of Christ because it tends toward making Jesus physically omnipresent.

    Not omnipresent. But gloriously divine and thus can be many places at once. That’s the Catholic Teaching. We actually believe that Jesus is God.

    We have access to His humanity by the Spirit in the Eucharist. But His body remains in heaven.

    That’s not what Christ said.

    John 6:51
    I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    The great prophets TOLD us about God.
    Yes.
    Jesus is GOD
    Yes
    (not just a messenger),
    Yes
    telling us about Himself, pleading with us to believe He is God and that He will save us through His blood shed on the cross.
    Yes
    It’s all about His Most Precious Blood saving us.
    Yes,

    The precious Blood which He gives us in the Holy Eucharist:
    1 Corinthians 10:16
    The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

    but the question is how one accesses the blood.

    By grace through faith in the Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

    Is it by faith?

    By grace through faith. Faith alone is dead. God is the one who provides the grace of the Eucharist.

    Ex opere operato sacramentalism makes faith essentially pointless a the end of the day.

    To the pope of the unknown church. But, ex opere operato assures the faithful that when Christ, speaking through His priest, ordains the communion of the Holy Spirit, that which He promised will be received.

    This is the primary problem with Rome’s view of the sacraments.

    There is no problem with the Catholic Teaching of the Sacraments. There is a problem with the view expounded by the pope of the faithless twisters of the word of God. I’m sure they are breathlessly awaiting your next encyclical. Or is that bull?

  211. THE Old Testament is more than a book telling the story of salvation history, but a shadow of things to come. The temple of Solomon was but a type of the temple of Christ’s body, the means by which we could enter into the “Holy of holies”—the very presence of God.

    …through the Blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh…

    As Jesus expired on the Cross, Luke records that “the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.” The veil is what separated the People of God from the inner sanctuary of God’s presence in the Holy of holies. Thus, Jesus’ body and blood becomes the means by which we enter into the presence of God, into full communion with the Father—a communion which was ruptured in the Garden of Eden.

    What is explosive in this revelation is that Christ meant it literally.

    I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh… (John 6:51)

    And lest His listeners think that Jesus did not mean this literally, He goes on to say:

    For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (John 6:55-56)

    The verb “eats” used here is the Greek verb trogon which means to “munch” or “gnaw”. The meaning was so clear to Christ’s listeners that St. John records in 6:66 of his gospel that “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” Yes, 666 still symbolizes apostasy today, a rejection of Christ crucified, which is re-presented at each and every Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Now, so that His Apostles would know precisely the means by which souls could enter into “the sanctuary” after His death, Jesus inaugurated the Last Supper—the first “Mass” where two things happened. First, He declared that the bread and wine He was holding in His hands was both His flesh and blood:

    …the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me… (1 Cor 11:23-25)

    Second, He commanded the Apostles to eat it:

    “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26-28)

    What is remarkable here is that Jesus had not died yet, and yet he declared that what the Apostle’s were consuming “is” being poured out for many. Here, we see that Christ in His divine nature was already making present the Sacrifice of His life, which in eternity extends to the beginning of time until the end of human history. If Jesus was able to make His Sacrifice present at the Last Supper, then most certainly, after His death and resurrection, He is able to make that Sacrifice present again through those to whom He commmanded to “do this in remembrance of me.” That is, through the sacramental priesthood. Indeed, we do not re-crucify Christ at the Mass, but make present what was accomplished once and for all at Calvary. It is as though we are literally present again at the Last Supper and Calvary, or rather that the latter is made present to us. The Mass, then, is the supernatural event on earth in which the inner sanctuary of the Father’s heart is opened and we are able to enter through reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus.

    Oh, how incredible is this truth, unchanged for 2000 years. Indeed, you will find nowhere in the first thousand years of Christianity anyone disputing the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine. Disbelief in the Eucharist, then, is a clear sign of the spirit of antichrist present in the world.

    By Mark Mallet, The Summit

  212. Debbie–

    Neither Jim nor Tammy were confessional Protestants. They were Charismatics, not to mention certifiably “nuts.” Unless your intention is to insult, try a little sensitivity and restraint. We wouldn’t compare you to Father Andrew Greeley, whom the National Catholic Register proclaimed “the dirtiest mind ever ordained,” and he was never defrocked or censured in any way…a fully CATHOLIC priest.

    Also, you have absolutely no understanding of the confessionally Protestant Eucharist. We eat and drink (in our hearts, by faith, and with thanksgiving) the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in the elements. They are IN NO WAY merely symbolic. The Nicene Creed states that Christ sits on the right hand of the FatDebbie–

    Neither Jim nor Tammy were confessional Protestants. They were Charismatics, not to mention certifiably “nuts.” Unless your intention is to insult, try a little sensitivity and restraint. We wouldn’t compare you to Father Andrew Greeley, whom the National Catholic Register proclaimed “the dirtiest mind ever ordained,” and he was never defrocked or censured in any way…a fully CATHOLIC priest.

    Also, you have absolutely no understanding of the confessionally Protestant Eucharist. We eat and drink (in our hearts, by faith and with thanksgiving) the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in the elements. They are IN NO WAY merely symbolic. The Nicene Creed states that Christ sits on the right hand of the Father and WILL COME AGAIN to judge the quick and the dead. In other words, he resides in heaven, not on Catholic altars. We do not posit the ubiquitous nature of Christ’s incarnation, thereby obliterating Christ’s humanity, as do the Lutherans. We do not posit Christ being in two places at one time as the Catholics do. We are spiritually transported to heaven itself, in e her and WILL COME AGAIN to judge the quick and the dead. In other words, he resides in heaven, not on Catholic altars. We do not posit the ubiquitous nature of Christ’s incarnation, thereby obliterating Christ’s humanity, as do the Lutherans. We do not posit Christ’s being in two places at one time as the Catholics do. We are spiritually transported to heaven itself, which is where Scripture and the ecumenical creeds say Christ is. The Reformers believed in the Real Presence, and by “real” they meant corporeal (at least that’s what I have always understood, Robert).

    You don’t have anything we don’t have, Debbie. You simply don’t. We worship Christ in the Eucharist. But we do not worship bread and wine. Christ’s physical, glorified BODY is in heaven, not in bread. His physical, glorified BLOOD is in heaven, not in wine. If someone had saved some of Jesus’ blood from the Cross, would you drink it? Isn’t the Sacrament mystical and spiritual and BY FAITH? Do the elements have the same size and shape and viscosity as Christ’s physical body and blood? Why not? Because the whole thing is SPIRITUAL (which is not to say “ethereal” or non-physical). Catholic orthodoxy states that one does NOT gnash Christ’s flesh between one’s teeth. This is NOT cannibalism. In a couple of the Eucharistic miracles, this dogma is breached. Catholics in the pews are often superstitious and unaware of the subtleties of Catholic doctrine. It sounds as if you yourself may not fully comprehend the Sacrament.

  213. Eric,

    We are spiritually transported to heaven itself, which is where Scripture and the ecumenical creeds say Christ is. The Reformers believed in the Real Presence, and by “real” they meant corporeal (at least that’s what I have always understood, Robert).

    I think that is right. In denying corporeality, I’m saying we aren’t gnashing Jesus between our teeth, to borrow your language. The image of us being lifted into heaven to communion with the whole Christ, body, soul, and deity seems to me what Reformed thinkers such as Calvin emphasize, and that notion seems entirely correct to me. It doesn’t violate the hypostatic union by making Christ’s body ubiquitous. And there is ample biblical warrant for saying that heaven and earth come together in the worship service. The notion of bringing Christ down from heaven and placing him on the altar seems like a rather impoverished way to look at what Christ does in feeding us with Himself in the Lord’s Supper. We don’t go into heaven.

    It’s really hard to get the RC position on this. If, as some RCs have said, transubstantiation means that Jesus is personally present, I’m not sure how that is significantly different than what Calvin said about the nature of Christ’s presence. The way in which the bread and wine are treated before and after the Eucharist in Roman Catholicism seems to call this idea of it being a personal, spiritual presence and not an actual physical one into question, though I’m willing to give RCs the benefit of the doubt on it. Problem is, as you say, on the popular level it doesn’t often translate into personal presence but into a crass kind of physical presence. Adoration of the host encourages this, I think.

  214. Eric,
    I actually do know much more than you think.

    My question is, how does it become Christ’s body and blood for you?

  215. ERIC January 29, 2015 at 11:51 am
    Debbie–

    Also, you have absolutely no understanding of the confessionally Protestant Eucharist. We eat and drink (in our hearts, by faith, and with thanksgiving) the true body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in the elements. They are IN NO WAY merely symbolic. ….

    But, but…

    Robert said:
    “We have access to His humanity by the Spirit in the Eucharist. But His body remains in heaven.”

    And if you poll several Protestants, you’ll get as many answers as the number you poll.

  216. Michael,

    “If the regeneration is monergistic, then it’s not synergistic. Right? So how can both be the Gospel?”

    You agree I assume that baptism is part of the gospel. Either infant baptism is correct or credobaptism is correct in Calvinism. I do not know or care which one you hold to, but I doubt you hold the contrary position as gospel-denying.

    “But the writings of the church fathers are far from perspicuous, right? (Or is everything *but* the Bible perspicuous in your book?)”

    Scripture ranges along a spectrum of clarity, as even Protestants admit. An atheist knows Scripture talks about Christ and Moses and not Mickey Mouse.

    “Doctrine can be believed implicitly until there is a need to clarify it.”

    The fathers talked about salvation and justification quite a bit. The early Christological controversies directly impacted soteriological thought. And the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian controversies along with the monothelite/mono-energism controversies directly spoke to issues of grace and monergism you equate with the gospel. Prime opportunities for your mantle of orthodoxy to shine and yet the opposite occurred. So this common deflection that since the fathers weren’t dealing with 16th-century controversies means we just have no idea or must make assumptions on what they believed concerning topics related to it fails to persuade.

    “More importantly, on what grounds was Arius finally defeated?”

    Tradition and Scripture, as Athanasius attests.

    “the Trinity is what scripture teaches.”

    Of course no RC disagrees.

    “But typically you explain this by appealing to the development of doctrine”

    Everyone believes in development of doctrine. Part of valid development is to not negate or contradict precursors to it – there must be a continuity – which is part of the point in discussing soteriology in Trent vs Protestantism in relation to patristic belief.

    “But where do you get your wacky ideas from? Certainly not the Bible.”

    Presupposes what’s in question – that is, whether scripture alone is the final authority, and whether whatever flavor of Protestant exegesis you embrace is the only valid method to interpret Scripture, amongst other presuppositions.

    “But what does either question have to do with the issue at hand?”

    Christ made promises related to the church and understanding/teaching and dissemination of that teaching. Your stance implies those promises might as well have never been made and we just get Israel all over again.

    “You have a Bible. Read it.”

    Sure. But centuries before me also had it and read it so given my limitations and circumstances, I should probably recognize they might be useful. You seem to think you’re coming at Scripture from a tabula rasa perspective but obviously that’s not true – you already have a host of filters and baggage you’re bringing to it – https://souldevice.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/sola-scriptura-death-by-a-thousand-or-ten-qualifications/

    “It’s far easier to be inclusive. You make more friends that way.”

    I hope if you’re a Presbyterian that you have no Reformed Baptist friends, or vice versa. Not to mention those Lutherans. That would be far too inclusive.

    “I also realize that most RCs distinguish between initial and ongoing justification, which roughly corresponds to what we mean by justification (an initial declaration of righteousness) and sanctification (the ongoing application of righteousness).”

    Except that the initial declaration reflects reality in RCism – hence infusion and participation and not ongoing extra nos imputation.

    “So what was your point exactly? Was it to deny my denial that grace is merely a help or aid toward our sanctification that requires freewill consent to be efficacious?”

    My point was that if you want to hold that “grace cannot be mixed with anything else and still be grace. For Paul, it really is either/or. Man’s works and rituals cannot be combined with saving grace.” and the dichotomy of “Are we saved by grace alone? Or are we saved by assisting grace that works in concert with our freewill cooperation?”, I fail to see how you can also hold to synergism in progressive sanctification. Sanctification is part of salvation. You cooperate and work in sanctification. I assume you nevertheless hold that sanctification is by grace alone.

    “I’m trying to preserve and fight for the public revelation that was delivered to us without compromise”

    You presumably consider WCF and other confessions to have developed doctrines and to be faithful to the apostolic teaching – in that case if the Apostles of 1st century were presented with WCF/Reformed doctrine/essentials – would they immediately accept it or would they possibly have to reflect and think on it before accepting it?

  217. @ Robert,

    Adoration of the host encourages this, I think.

    I see Eucharistic adoration as a logical inference from transubstantiation. If Christ is corporally present in the monstrance, then why wouldn’t you bow down to him?

    And yet something clearly doesn’t seem right about this “development.” I don’t know that I can quite put my finger on it, but let me give it a stab.

    Transubstantiation, and all the liturgical developments that grow out of it, essentially reorient one’s focus on the fact *that* Christ is present thereby taking the focus off of Christ himself. Anecdotally, I’ve seen this in first communion catechesis. So much energy goes into convincing seven-year olds that a miracle takes place, that hardly any energy is left over for encouraging belief in the person whom the bread has allegedly become.

    “Once the words have been said, it stops being bread.”

    “Put on your white gloves to hold Him who us loves.”

    Everything from catechesis to architecture conspires to proclaim the glories of transubstantiation. But in so doing, I wonder how much the person and work of Christ is diminished in the process.

    You can psyche yourself out all you want to believe that a miracle takes place at the words of consecration. But if there is no belief in Christ himself, what good does that do?

  218. Michael,

    This is pretty humorous, and pretty sly, and a ‘nothing up my sleeve tactic’:

    “You can psyche yourself out all you want to believe that a miracle takes place at the words of consecration. But if there is no belief in Christ himself, what good does that do?”

    I believe that is called an oxymoron.

  219. And I might add, it is completely understandable.
    I too once wasn’t sure.

  220. James,

    And the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian controversies along with the monothelite/mono-energism controversies directly spoke to issues of grace and monergism you equate with the gospel. Prime opportunities for your mantle of orthodoxy to shine and yet the opposite occurred.

    Wrong. Once you have unconditional election, you have monergism, at least for the elect. Otherwise, it’s not unconditional but made with a view toward what the agent will do in cooperation. Which both Augustine and Aquinas denied.

    And the whole monothelite/monergism schtick is tiresome. If Christ before the foundation of the world determined in the divine will to become incarnate and go to the cross, it was impossible for Him to will anything different in His human will. The divine will to go to the cross guaranteed that the human will would follow suit, otherwise you have a Jesus who was truly capable of sin. Jesus in His human will was incapable of willing to disobey what the divine will intended.

  221. Michael,

    Good point. It would explain why Rome thinks defining faith as receiving and resting only in Christ is essentially heresy. There’s little in the DNA of the post-Tridentine church to encourage it. What we pray is what we believe after all.

  222. Eric,
    I realize that some Protestants, such as Lutherans and Anglicans can experience a real encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist. They often do receive Jesus spiritually in communion. So these communions are can be described as “holy” in that they can be genuine spiritual encounters with Christ which communicate grace to the recipient, even though they are not the full encounters.

    Yet, there is a difference, a huge difference when a person enters into the Sacramental life of fullness in the Catholic Church.

    It is the opportunity to approach Christ even more closely and finally come to the fullness of His indescribable Eucharistic embrace; the mighty Reality of his corporal, sanguine, pneumatic, and divine Presence, cleansing and transforming one from within as one humbly submits to and receives one’s Creator in the Blessed, the Glorious, the Most Holy Communion. Amen.

  223. DEBBIE January 29, 2015 at 12:53 pm
    Michael,
    This is pretty humorous, and pretty sly, and a ‘nothing up my sleeve tactic’:
    “You can psyche yourself out all you want to believe that a miracle takes place at the words of consecration. But if there is no belief in Christ himself, what good does that do?”
    I believe that is called an oxymoron.

    ROFL! Oh ho ho, man. Good one.

  224. @Debbie,

    …through the Blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh…

    In the piece you cite it seems that the word “blood” could be replaced with “eucharistic blood.” But that’s not the blood that Hebrews has in mind. He was talking about the blood shed at the cross, and therefore it was literal, actual, corporeal blood with its own blood type. (I like to think type O for universal donor).

    What is explosive in this revelation is that Christ meant it literally.

    You RCs are all over the map with your definition of the word “literally.” What exactly do you mean by it? It seems to me that you want it to mean the opposite of metaphorical or spiritual or symbolic. Yet at the same time, you’re unwilling to go so far as to allow the word its ordinary sense, because if you did, then you’d be liable to the charge of cannibalism/vampirism.

    Let me call your bluff. You don’t actually mean what you say here. You don’t really believe Jesus was speaking *literally.* You think he was speaking *sacramentally.* It’s a sort of via media between Protestant symbolism and pagan cannibalism–literal, but not too literal–if you catch my drift.

    And lest His listeners think that Jesus did not mean this literally, He goes on to say: For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (John 6:55-56)

    But the problem is that some did take him literally (John 6:52), but clearly this was another case of Johannine misunderstanding.

    The verb “eats” used here is the Greek verb trogon which means to “munch” or “gnaw”.

    It is unclear that this was the meaning of this word *at the time.* By the time John wrote his gospel, trogon and esthio were being used interchangeably for “eat,” and so it is difficult to prove that any change in meaning or nuance was intentional. In fact, if you look closely, it appears that John only uses trogo in the present tense and only uses esthio in the aorist suggesting that the reason for alternating forms may be grammatical, not theological. (See this article for why your augment is bogus: http://fallibility.blogspot.ca/2013/08/to-eat-to-chew-and-to-eschew-romes.html)

    But all of this is besides the point. So what if John is using the word “chew?” How exactly does that prove that Jesus was speaking “literally” or “sacramentally”–whatever exactly you mean by “literally.”

    The meaning was so clear to Christ’s listeners that St. John records in 6:66 of his gospel that “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

    You’re assuming that the antecedent to “this” in the phrase, “as a result of this” refers all the way back to 6:53-58ish or thereabouts. But why would you overlook the far more immediate context as being the more likely antecedent? Consider what Jesus just said one verse previous to John 6:66:

    “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).

    Those are difficult words for synergists and conditional election-ists to stomach. So why couldn’t we argue that the reason why many of his disciples bailed out was because they rejected Jesus’ nascent Calvinism? Just throwing that out there. (No, I’m not saying the nearest antecedent is absolute. But as a general rule, it’s a pretty reliable guide.)

    Yes, 666 still symbolizes apostasy today, a rejection of Christ crucified, which is re-presented at each and every Sacrifice of the Mass.

    I can see why the author of this piece couldn’t resist that juicy bit of correlation. Let me ask you this. How many masses do you need to attend in order to attain perfection? Put another way: How many times does Christ’s sacrifice need to be offered (or re-presented) before it achieves the results it sets out to achieve? I ask because your theology of the mass so utterly contradicts Hebrews, that I think it would be fair to say that your doctrine actually blasphemes what Scripture clearly teaches: “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:4).

    Further study of Hebrews reveals that the problem with a multiple-sacrifice system is precisely the repetition that it entails. Romanism has essentially reinterpreted the one sacrifice as many sacrifices, yet has the audacity to claim it’s the same sacrifice, when clearly the mass doesn’t accomplish what Calvary did. (Check this article out: http://fallibility.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-sacrifice-of-mass-hebrews-and.html)

    What is remarkable here is that Jesus had not died yet, and yet he declared that what the Apostle’s were consuming “is” being poured out for many.

    Even Zerwick, a Roman Catholic Greek scholar, points out that this is an “is” with future force and that it therefore does not refer to a sacrifice that was occurring at the moment.

    Oh, how incredible is this truth, unchanged for 2000 years.

    No responsible Roman Catholic historical theologian would ever make this claim. The mass has been a doctrinal work-in-progress and has undergone much change.

    Indeed, you will find nowhere in the first thousand years of Christianity anyone disputing the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.

    But you don’t teach “Real Presence.” You teach “transubstantiation.” “Real Presence” is a catch-all term for various eucharistic theories. But Rome is far more specific than this. The real question you should be asking is whether or not people have always believed in transubstantiation.

  225. Eric W January 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    “Donald Todd, you wrote:
    Paul tells us about the fate of liars. Your presumption in re-inventing my history to suit your position means that you are required to lie. Is that what you want to offer Him?

    Response:
    Don’t wear your heart on the sleeve. I didn’t re-invent your history or misrepresent some Donald Todd chronology. No one is offering lies.”

    Actually you did re-invent my history. You were the one who decided that Catholicism informed me before I made some decisions about what to believe. It did not. I was, like you, anti-Catholic.

    I am not wearing my heart on my sleeve. You are offering lies and you are consistent about it. Is that what you want to offer the Lord? It must be. You continue to do so and when I quote you with your own words, you have to be blind to not see what you wrote.

  226. +JMJ+

    Michael Taylor wrote:

    But you don’t teach “Real Presence.” You teach “transubstantiation.” “Real Presence” is a catch-all term for various eucharistic theories. But Rome is far more specific than this. The real question you should be asking is whether or not people have always believed in transubstantiation.

    No, that’s not the real question. The real question is whether people have always believed that everyone, the Just and the Unjust, the Regenerate and the Unregenerate, all alike, whether they received Him to Life or to Condemnation, received one-and-the-same Person of Jesus.

    Or did they always believe in the “Jesus for me, but not for you” doctrine? Because it is precisely this discontinuity that is required by the Reformed Gospel (WCF, XXIX: 7-8).

  227. De Maria,

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1Cor. 13:7

    A question slightly different from other questions WE faced:

    Do you see there [Col.1:18] any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

  228. Donald Todd, you wrote:
    You continue to do so and when I quote you with your own words, you have to be blind to not see what you wrote.

    Typical Catholic evasion. You don’t take the time to understand what I meant. Also, you managed to ignore the more important parts of what I wrote. You determined the kind of Church you eventually picked. THAT Church you determined, then picked, instructs you to release any judgment about identifying revealed truths. In that sense, you didn’t believe or realize anything until after believing the Church.

    You will not come under my testing or scrutiny. Playing it safe… I don’t blame you.

  229. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    In the piece you cite it seems that the word “blood” could be replaced with “eucharistic blood.” But that’s not the blood that Hebrews has in mind.

    Yes, it is. It is the Blood which Jesus shed on the Cross which is the Eucharistic blood we partake of in communion.

    He was talking about the blood shed at the cross, and therefore it was literal, actual, corporeal blood with its own blood type.

    That is correct. See the many Eucharistic miracles that are still occurring all over the world.

    (I like to think type O for universal donor).

    How do you get it? We get it from the Eucharist.

    You RCs are all over the map with your definition of the word “literally.” What exactly do you mean by it? It seems to me that you want it to mean the opposite of metaphorical or spiritual or symbolic. Yet at the same time, you’re unwilling to go so far as to allow the word its ordinary sense, because if you did, then you’d be liable to the charge of cannibalism/vampirism.

    Hm. By literal, we mean that Jesus Christ truly left us the bread which is His flesh. Just as He said:

    John 6:51
    I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    That’s what we mean by literal.

    Let me call your bluff. You don’t actually mean what you say here. You don’t really believe Jesus was speaking *literally.* You think he was speaking *sacramentally.* It’s a sort of via media between Protestant symbolism and pagan cannibalism–literal, but not too literal–if you catch my drift.

    Wrong. It’s straight up, literal.

    You’re problem is that you don’t want to believe what Christ actually said. You are afraid, just like those who left Him when He pronounced that Teaching.

    John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

    But the problem is that some did take him literally (John 6:52), but clearly this was another case of Johannine misunderstanding.

    Why is that a problem? Well, I see why its a problem for you. You see, they left Jesus because they rejected the literal Teaching.

    Just like you. You reject the literal Teaching. The only way you will remain is to change the Word of God.

    It is unclear that this was the meaning of this word *at the time.*

    Lol! Suddenly, Scripture is no longer perspicuous. Well, its crystal clear for us. That is precisely what Jesus meant.

    By the time John wrote his gospel, trogon and esthio were being used interchangeably for “eat,” and so it is difficult to prove that any change in meaning or nuance was intentional. In fact, if you look closely, it appears that John only uses trogo in the present tense and only uses esthio in the aorist suggesting that the reason for alternating forms may be grammatical, not theological.

    To you. Because 1500 years later, or longer, Protestants decided they didn’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ.

    (See this article for why your augment is bogus:….

    No thanks. Scripture tells me to learn the Word of God from my rulers in the faith (Heb 13:7). Not from heretics on the internet. If you believed the Bible, you’d obey the lessons within it.

    But all of this is besides the point. So what if John is using the word “chew?” How exactly does that prove that Jesus was speaking “literally” or “sacramentally”–whatever exactly you mean by “literally.”

    Because it means that He is emphasizing that His flesh and blood are true food and drink.

    The meaning was so clear to Christ’s listeners that St. John records in 6:66 of his gospel that “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

    You’re assuming that the antecedent to “this” in the phrase, “as a result of this” refers all the way back to 6:53-58ish or thereabouts. But why would you overlook the far more immediate context as being the more likely antecedent? Consider what Jesus just said one verse previous to John 6:66:
    “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).

    Because the objection has been made clear long ago. Let me repeat it.

    41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

    John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

    59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

    60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

    Therefore, we know that they left because Jesus said that He was the living bread from heaven, whose flesh is real food and blood is real drink, which they must eat and live.

    Those are difficult words for synergists and conditional election-ists to stomach.

    Why? Oh, I get it. You don’t really understand English. Is it your second language? Where were you born?

    Here let me break it down to you as I would a child.

    First, synergism means:

    Theology. the doctrine that the human will cooperates with the Holy Ghost in the work of regeneration.

    Jesus said:
    “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me….” (John 6:65).

    See where it says, “come to me”? That signifies the cooperation of the human with the Holy Ghost.

    Second, conditionalism:
    adjective
    1.imposing, containing, subject to, or depending on a condition or conditions; not absolute; made or allowed on certain terms:
    conditional acceptance.

    “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).

    See where it says, “unless”. That signifies the condition that it must be granted by the Father. Now, what is that condition. Scripture tells us elsewhere:

    Hebrews 5:9
    And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    Do you need any help with any of those words?

    So why couldn’t we argue that the reason why many of his disciples bailed out was because they rejected Jesus’ nascent Calvinism?

    Lol! So, Jesus now follows Calvin. What a joke. But I think you’re serious. ROFL! Thats even funnier.

    Go ahead and worship Calvin. That’s yo thang, do what y’wanna do….

    Just throwing that out there. (No, I’m not saying the nearest antecedent is absolute. But as a general rule, it’s a pretty reliable guide.)

    I’d say, repetition and emphasis, is a much more reliable guide. Second to that is understanding what is being said. The most reliable guide though, for reading the Catholic Scriptures, is to understand Catholic Doctrine, beforehand.

    Yes, 666 still symbolizes apostasy today, a rejection of Christ crucified, which is re-presented at each and every Sacrifice of the Mass.

    I agree, Deb. But that is spiritually discerned and these guys are not there yet.

    1 Corinthians 2:14
    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    I can see why the author of this piece couldn’t resist that juicy bit of correlation. Let me ask you this…..Scripture clearly teaches: “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:4).

    I get it. You’re a novice to the Scriptures and to the whole, Judeo/Christian thing. I get it.

    I’d have to write a book to get you up to speed. But here’s the best I can do in a combox.

    1. There are two parts to sacrifice.
    2. The offering and the consumption.
    3. There are many types of offering and many ways to consume the offering. They are stipulated in Scripture, in the Old Testament. Look them up.
    4. The only one we’re concerned with is the Passover. Because Scripture says that Jesus is our Passover.

    1 Corinthians 5:7
    Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

    5. Scripture also tells us that Jesus is the lamb of God:

    John 1:29
    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

    6. In the OT, the Passover lamb must be eaten:

    Exodus 12:4
    And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

    7. Therefore, Jesus offered Himself on the Cross as Priest and Victim in order that we might consume His Flesh and Blood and thus consummate the Sacrifice.

    Further study of Hebrews reveals that the problem with a multiple-sacrifice system is precisely the repetition that it entails. Romanism has essentially reinterpreted the one sacrifice as many sacrifices, yet has the audacity to claim it’s the same sacrifice, when clearly the mass doesn’t accomplish what Calvary did. (Check this article out: http://fallibility.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-sacrifice-of-mass-hebrews-and.html)

    Its just one sacrifice. It happened on Calvary. We’re still consummating that one Sacrifice.

    What is remarkable here is that Jesus had not died yet, and yet he declared that what the Apostle’s were consuming “is” being poured out for many.

    He is God. And God is omnipotent. Do you deny it? Do you believe that God is subject to time?

    Even Zerwick, a Roman Catholic Greek scholar, points out that this is an “is” with future force and that it therefore does not refer to a sacrifice that was occurring at the moment.

    Who cares? Luther was also a Catholic scholar. And he mucked it all up. But here’s what St. Augustine said:

    “For Christ was carried in his own hand when referring to his own body, He said, “This is my Body” for He carried that body in his own hands. ” (Psalms 33:1:10)

    No responsible Roman Catholic historical theologian would ever make this claim.

    No responsible Catholic historical theologian would not make this claim.

    The mass has been a doctrinal work-in-progress and has undergone much change.

    It looks exactly the same today as it did 2000 years ago.

    Indeed, you will find nowhere in the first thousand years of Christianity anyone disputing the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.
    But you don’t teach “Real Presence.” You teach “transubstantiation.”

    We teach both. You teach neither.

    “Real Presence” is a catch-all term for various eucharistic theories. But Rome is far more specific than this. The real question you should be asking is whether or not people have always believed in transubstantiation.

    The question you should be asking yourself is why your church is fallible if Jesus is guiding it? That doesn’t make sense. Either Jesus is guiding it and it is infallible. Or Jesus is not guiding your church.

    Whereas, the question of the Doctrine of Transubstantiation is much like the Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. Before the Blessed Trinity was defined in the fourth century. Before then, Arians were Christians in good standing.

    The wiki is good for something sometimes and explains it so:

    The Confession of the Council of Nicaea said little about the Holy Spirit.[41] The doctrine of the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit was developed by Athanasius in the last decades of his life.[42] He defended and refined the Nicene formula.[41] By the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the (Trinitarian) doctrine had reached substantially its current form.[41]

    At that point, Arians became heretics.

    Same with transubstantiation. Before transubstantiation was defined by the Catholic Church, some Christians believed in consubstantiation. And there were other beliefs. But once the Church defined transubstantiation and declared all the others false, then all the others became heresies.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  230. Author: Eric W
    Comment:
    De Maria,

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1Cor. 13:7

    True. As long as:
    Titus 1:9
    Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    A question slightly different from other questions WE faced:

    WE?

    Do you see there [Col.1:18] any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

    Is this a different form of English or something? Spit it out man. What are you trying to say?

  231. DONALD TODD January 29, 2015 at 2:53 pm
    @Eric W ….I am not wearing my heart on my sleeve. You are offering lies and you are consistent about it. Is that what you want to offer the Lord? It must be. You continue to do so and when I quote you with your own words, you have to be blind to not see what you wrote.

    Well, good. I was feeling a tinge of conscience thinking I was the only one with that opinion.

  232. De Maria,

    Love is patient, so I guess it’s the waiting game for me.

  233. De Maria,

    WE answered this:
    Do you see there any rule saying that Christ is forbidden from appointing a Vicar to represent Him?

    Neither of us answered this:
    Do you see there [Col.1:18] any rule that forbids a pope of Rome, who’s in some sense head of the Church ?

    Please, go first.

  234. @James,

    How are these words of yours:

    You agree I assume that baptism is part of the gospel. Either infant baptism is correct or credobaptism is correct in Calvinism. I do not know or care which one you hold to, but I doubt you hold the contrary position as gospel-denying.

    …an answer to this question of mine: “If the regeneration is monergistic, then it’s not synergistic. Right? So how can both be the Gospel?”

    But to answer your question, no, I don’t think baptism is an essential part of the gospel. That doesn’t mean its optional or unimportant. But baptism is not the Gospel itself. You might say it is a symbolic depiction of the gospel–that Christ died and rose again and that we are united to him in baptism. But, as Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17). The word “but” clearly separates the ritual of baptism from the gospel itself. So I wouldn’t say that baptism is constitutive of the gospel, though certainly it accompanies it.

    The early Christological controversies directly impacted soteriological thought.

    But it does not therefore follow that the precise issues under discussion were the same as those discussed and debated in the 16th century. You’re argument commits the division fallacy. If they talked about something as a whole (salvation), then they must have talked about every part that goes into the whole (justification, sanctification, infused righteousness, imputed righteousness, mongrelism, synergism, etc.) Clearly that was not the case in soteriology or any other -ology.

    And the Pelagian/Semi-Pelagian controversies along with the monothelite/mono-energism controversies directly spoke to issues of grace and monergism you equate with the gospel.

    However you chose to characterize the historical record is entirely up to you. But my question still stands: if the Gospel is monergistic, then how can it also be synergistic? The Holy Spirit either regenerates us with or without our cooperation. How can it be both?

    So this common deflection that since the fathers weren’t dealing with 16th-century controversies means we just have no idea or must make assumptions on what they believed concerning topics related to it fails to persuade.

    You’re jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Let me ask you this. Paul barely speaks of Mary. He mentions her in passing when he speaks of Christ as being “born of woman.” So do you think that Paul had any inkling that she was sinless? (Here I’m granting for the sake of argument that his knowledge of mariology may have been in a primitive state–though this seems quite incompatible with one who claims to have received the content of the faith from Christ himself.) Answers to this question run the gamut. More traditional Catholics tend to give Paul the benefit of the doubt and assume that he knew the whole of Rome’s mariology but simply never had the occasion to write about it. In other words, Paul had other fish to fry. He wasn’t anticipating 16th century controversies and so we can’t hold it against him that he seemingly has no interest in Mary.

    I hear stuff along those lines all the time from RCs. So unless your one of those who think Paul was absolutely ignorant of the Marian dogmas, why do you balk at the suggestion that the ECFs may have held beliefs that they may not have articulated in their writings?

    But I’m not even going this far because I think at least some of them did speak of these issues (monergism/imputation) albeit in ways that lacked the same precision that only became necessary when controversies arose.

    Sure. But centuries before me also had it and read it so given my limitations and circumstances, I should probably recognize they might be useful.

    Of course. But you say they’re more than just useful; they’re necessary for determining what “Tradition” really is. And you give them much more authority than you do modern Roman Catholic exegetes who often disagree with the exegesis of the ECFs. Call it a preferential option for antiquity. The Fathers know best–not the Browns and Fitzmyers.

    You seem to think you’re coming at Scripture from a tabula rasa perspective

    That old canard….moving right along.

    I fail to see how you can also hold to synergism in progressive sanctification. Sanctification is part of salvation. You cooperate and work in sanctification. I assume you nevertheless hold that sanctification is by grace alone.

    Sanctification is progressive. But it is not synergistic (at least not in the way you seem to be assuming). In other words, our works and cooperation are not what make us holy. It is the ongoing application of Christ’s righteousness that progressively sanctifies us. “For by a single offering he has forever perfected those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). I’m not sanctifying myself with the help of the sacraments and other graces. I’m being sanctified by the singular offering of Calvary. My good works and cooperation are not essential to that process. In other words, my holiness doesn’t depend upon me. Keep in mind that this is the same author who teaches us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Too much focus on our own good works and cooperation would put the focus on us, not Him.

  235. Jonathan wrote to Michael:
    The Thomist kind. Faith can’t be proved by argument. All I can do is to remove objections.

    Response:
    If the faith is Catholic Faith, then Jonathan is right.

    All true Catholics believe by an infused virtue of faith.
    Jonathan is a Catholic.
    Therefore, Jonathan believes by an infused virtue.

    Michael has good cause to discontinue dialogue. His dialogue partner may not be a representative within the paradigm represented. Or, Jonathan needs to rethink that Faith / Argument issue.

  236. Roman Catholics,

    I watched you harden with every Biblical presentation of Jesus being the only Head of the Church. The following teaching is not supported by the Bible:

    But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope’s power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.
    —————————-

    Just think about how blasphemous these words are if Jesus is the sole Head. Is it so strange to believe in Jesus as the only Head ? Not one verse in the Bible attributes Headship to anyone but Jesus. This is a plea to consider yourself worthy of salvation. The conversion and repentance I call you to is very different from anything under the Pope. Convert to Jesus alone, the Head of the Church. He promises to save and keep you. Ask yourself if this immediate power of the Pope can save and keep you. The Pope is no author and finisher of faith. His power can’t reach far enough.

  237. Robert–

    I think we can argue HOW we enter heaven to feast on Christ, but if we follow the early leaders of the Reformed movement, I don’t think we can question that we do indeed enter it.

    Calvin’s Sursum Corda from his communion liturgy:

    Let us lift our spirits and hearts on high where Jesus Christ is in the glory of his Father, whence we expect him at our redemption. Let us not he fascinated by these earthly and corruptible elements which we see with our eyes and touch with our hands, seeking him there as though he were enclosed in the bread and wine. Then only shall our souls be disposed to be nourished and vivified by his substance when they are lifted up above all earthly things, attaining even to heaven, and entering the Kingdom of God where he dwells. Therefore let us be content to have the bread and wine as signs and witnesses, seeking the truth spiritually where the Word of God promises that we shall find it.

    John Knox’s Sursum Corda from his “Forme of Prayers”:

    “Lift up our minds by faith above all things worldly and sensible, and thereby to enter into heaven, that we may find, and receive Christ.”

  238. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm
    @James,

    But to answer your question, no, I don’t think baptism is an essential part of the gospel.

    That’s because you don’t understand grace. Grace is that which is imparted in the Sacraments. And grace is the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    That doesn’t mean its optional

    Typical Protestant double talk. Its not an essential part of the Gospel, but its not optional, either. So, its required. But its not essential.

    or unimportant.

    But baptism is not the Gospel itself.

    Aah, the slippery Protestant modus operandi makes its presence. Did anyone say it was the Gospel itself?

    You might say it is a symbolic depiction of the gospel–that Christ died and rose again and that we are united to him in baptism.

    That, all of that, is Catholic Teaching:

    628 Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies the descent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

    But, as Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17). The word “but” clearly separates the ritual of baptism from the gospel itself. So I wouldn’t say that baptism is constitutive of the gospel, though certainly it accompanies it.

    I would say that baptism is not constitutive of preaching. But Baptism is part and parcel of the Gospel. Without Baptism, there would be no imparting of grace and no renewal of the Holy Spirit.

    Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    But it does not therefore follow that the precise issues under discussion were the same as those discussed and debated in the 16th century. ….

    Then stick to the topic being discussed.

    You’re jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

    I don’t think so.

    Let me ask you this. Paul barely speaks of Mary. He mentions her in passing when he speaks of Christ as being “born of woman.” So do you think that Paul had any inkling that she was sinless?

    Yes.

    (Here I’m granting for the sake of argument that his knowledge of mariology may have been in a primitive state–

    Thank you.

    though this seems quite incompatible with one who claims to have received the content of the faith from Christ himself.)….I hear stuff along those lines all the time from RCs. So unless your one of those who think Paul was absolutely ignorant of the Marian dogmas,

    I’m not.

    Did you know that Mary produced her first miracle while she was still alive? No, you probably didn’t. See, St. James, in Spain, prayed because a child had died and the Mother of our Lord appeared to him and the child was brought back to life. A Church was built at that site. The Our Lady of the Pillar.

    You think that because the Apostles were separated by time and space that they were not in touch with each other. Have you ever read this from Scripture?

    Colossians 2:5
    For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

    Granted, not all Saints have that gift. But many, even today, do.

    why do you balk at the suggestion that the ECFs may have held beliefs that they may not have articulated in their writings?

    I don’t. In fact, I believe that there are many things they didn’t write about which they believed and I believe there are many things they wrote about which we simply don’t have.

    But I’m not even going this far because I think at least some of them did speak of these issues (monergism/imputation) albeit in ways that lacked the same precision that only became necessary when controversies arose.

    Agreed. They didn’t have Protestants back then and didn’t need to address their heresies.

    Of course. But you say they’re more than just useful; they’re necessary for determining what “Tradition” really is. And you give them much more authority than you do modern Roman Catholic exegetes who often disagree with the exegesis of the ECFs. Call it a preferential option for antiquity. The Fathers know best–not the Browns and Fitzmyers.

    Bottomline to any Catholic. We don’t care what the Browns and Fitzmyers and the ECF’s say, if they contradict the Teaching of the Church. Ask yourself, “how many ECF’s were heretics?” Look it up. You’ll be surprised.

    Yet, many of the heretics taught things which the Catholic Church agreed was God’s Word.

    Sanctification is progressive. But it is not synergistic (at least not in the way you seem to be assuming). In other words, our works and cooperation are not what make us holy. It is the ongoing application of Christ’s righteousness that progressively sanctifies us.

    Does the application happen without our works and cooperation? If not, then it sounds like the Catholic Doctrine of justification.

    “For by a single offering he has forever perfected those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). I’m not sanctifying myself with the help of the sacraments and other graces. I’m being sanctified by the singular offering of Calvary.

    Although, you didn’t mean it that way, we don’t sanctify or justify ourselves either. The Sacraments are the works of God:

    CCC#740 These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)

    My good works and cooperation are not essential to that process. In other words, my holiness doesn’t depend upon me. Keep in mind that this is the same author who teaches us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Too much focus on our own good works and cooperation would put the focus on us, not Him.

    On the contrary, it is He who said:

    Luke 17:10
    So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

    If you don’t have your focus on Him, you won’t do what you need to do:

    Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

  239. And I thought transubstantiation was hard to understand. Do you mind if I just rearrange these sentences a little and highlight and add some thoughts?

    Let US (ourselves) lift our spirits and hearts on high where Jesus Christ IS IN THE glory of his Father (is this possible??), whence (from where) we expect him at our redemption (so only the elect can do this because they KNOW for sure they WILL HAVE a redemption?).
    Then only (and only then?) shall our souls be disposed to be nourished and vivified (fed and animated, brought alive, not before though) by his substance (his matter) when (future) they are lifted up (by whom?) above all earthly things, attaining even to heaven (is there something before heaven?), and entering the Kingdom of God where he dwells.

    Not sure I understand this completely, would you give me a personal witness of your experience of this so I can understand it better. I didn’t know 1) our spirits can be nourished by his natural substance 2)in the glory of God in heaven by our souls. Do you do this at every communion or is it for the future when you die?

    to continue …
    Let us not he fascinated by these earthly and corruptible elements which we see with our eyes and touch with our hands (why would someone be fascinated by earthly and corruptible elements unless maybe it was gold), seeking him there as though he were enclosed in the bread and wine (Catholics don’t seek Him, they receive Him). Therefore let us be content (so don’t be fascinated, just be in a state of peaceful happiness) to have the bread and wine as signs and witnesses (proof, proof and more rock solid proof?) seeking the truth spiritually (how do you do that exactly and is this during communion as you are receiving it?) where the Word of God promises that we shall find it.

    Again, not sure I understand this. It seems like a whole lot of work, even for the elect. And there seems to be a lot of “us going to heaven to get to Jesus” ( actually impossible) rather than Him coming to us in full humility and mercy over and over and over again.

    I am truly interested in your witness Eric, and anyone else that can share what communion is for them.

  240. De Maria,
    Thanks so much for answering Michael, that would have taken me a week!

  241. Eric,
    I am a little confused as to why you would quote Calvin’s Sursum Corda. I thought you were Lutheran. Also for a sola scriptura guy, none of this is in sola scripture.

    And you said, “if you follow the early leaders of the Reformed movement, “I don’t think we can question that we do indeed enter it.”

    But you can question Jesus in the gospel of St. John sola scriptura?

  242. DEBBIE January 29, 2015 at 7:37 pm
    De Maria,
    Thanks so much for answering Michael, that would have taken me a week!

    You’re welcome. I had a little time to kill.

    Thanks for your wonderful rebuttals. I love reading them.

  243. Michael Taylor,

    You have a fan at http://www.whitehorseblog.com/

    Your invited to browse and comment. I think the author, Timothy F. Kauffman, brings light to many dark places.

  244. Eric,

    I think we can argue HOW we enter heaven to feast on Christ, but if we follow the early leaders of the Reformed movement, I don’t think we can question that we do indeed enter it.

    I completely agree. And for that matter, I pretty much agree with everything you say, aside from perhaps your position on the recipients of baptism, which I am not dogmatic on.

  245. Eric W January 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    “Donald Todd, you wrote:
    You continue to do so and when I quote you with your own words, you have to be blind to not see what you wrote.

    Typical Catholic evasion. You don’t take the time to understand what I meant. Also, you managed to ignore the more important parts of what I wrote. You determined the kind of Church you eventually picked. THAT Church you determined, then picked, instructs you to release any judgment about identifying revealed truths. In that sense, you didn’t believe or realize anything until after believing the Church.

    You will not come under my testing or scrutiny. Playing it safe… I don’t blame you.”

    I note a habit here, so lets examine a habit. One might pick smoking cigarettes since it is easily identifiable. One begins by smoking a single cigarette. Later one pulls another cigarette out and lights it. At some point in time, having lit enough cigarettes there is a connection in the mind. Two points are joined by a synapse. At that point one no longer actively thinks about what one is doing, one merely does it. That is a habit.

    With you, Eric, I can count on the following:
    1. Canned responses. You’ve pretty much memorized what you are going to say almost without regard for the question or statement put to you. You’ve actually stopped thinking and let those synapses do the work.
    2. When your own statements are used against your position, you accuse the respondent of “wearing your heart on your sleeve” or of “not taking the time to understand what I wrote” or of “ignoring the important parts of what I wrote” which you call “typical Catholic evasion.” In order words you blame people for your failure.

    This leads to a real moral problem on your part. You are dishonest. The difficulty you have is that you cannot defend your position honestly, and unfortunately for you my having tried to remain Protestant in the face of scripture finds no justification for Protestantism in the New Testament, so rather than an honest attempt to justify your position, you obfuscate, you divert attention from the weakness of your position, you avoid answering questions as put to you. Mostly you do this with your canned (habitual) answers, but you also belittle the people responding to you.

    There is no justification for Protestantism in the New Testament based on Jesus’ words as recorded therein.

    Nice straight forward statement. At that point one is caught. Either per His words a man named Simon is now the Rock upon which He built His Church, or Simon the Rock is not what Catholic claim. Either Jesus Himself guarantees that the gates of hell won’t prevail against the Church He founded and heads, or the gates of hell prevailed against that Church somewhere between the death of the apostle John and the fifth century AD (depending on which version of history one adheres to).

    Eric W: “You will not come under my testing or scrutiny. Playing it safe… I don’t blame you.”

    It is not your testing or scrutiny which counts. I wasn’t baptized into you. You did not bear the weight of my sins. Your ego is outsized for your ability. You are untrustworthy. You continue to think that your argument is with me, but it is not. It is not my words that you have taken issue with. Who am I? There is Someone Else with Whom you are contesting and if I am constrained to take His words or yours, which is what you continue to offer, then you lose.

    Setting yourself up against Him is a moral problem, which is unfortunately abetted by a habit. You’d do well to pray to be free of that habit as it does not serve Him or you.

  246. Debbie–

    You are a little confused. I am incredibly confused.

    I cannot question that Calvin and Knox believed that, after some fashion, we enter heaven during the course of taking communion. There is no dispute that I am aware of amongst scholars on the issue, and their own words are pretty much black and white.

    I don’t question Jesus’ words in the Gospels. I interpret them…as straightforwardly as I can…aware of all my presuppositions that might stand in the way.

  247. Michael,

    “an answer to this question of mine: “If the regeneration is monergistic, then it’s not synergistic. Right? So how can both be the Gospel?””

    Because you are red-lining monergism as an essential to be affirmed, rather than just Protestant sola fide. That’s why I brought up baptism – you apparently don’t consider it an essential, but obviously it was a component of the gospel message Christ/Apostles taught.

    “Clearly that was not the case in soteriology or any other -ology.”

    Only they did talk about infusion, merit, synergism, baptismal regeneration, and the like. All which are gospel-denying according to you.

    “However you chose to characterize the historical record is entirely up to you.”

    The historical record shows Pelagianism/Semi-Pelagianism came up – Calvinism didn’t win out. Monothelitism and mono-energism came up – Calvinism didn’t win out.

    “But my question still stands: if the Gospel is monergistic, then how can it also be synergistic? The Holy Spirit either regenerates us with or without our cooperation. How can it be both?”

    I am not saying it is both. Just as I am not saying one can be both a credobaptist and a paedobaptist. I am pointing out your rather extreme stance equating monergism as the gospel instead of just sola fide.

    “Here I’m granting for the sake of argument that his knowledge of mariology may have been in a primitive state–though this seems quite incompatible with one who claims to have received the content of the faith from Christ himself.”

    Newman: “What then is meant by the Depositum? is it a list of articles that can be numbered? no, it is a large philosophy; all parts of which are connected together, and in a certain sense correlative together, so that he who really knows one part, may be said to know all…. Thus the Apostles had the fullness of revealed knowledge, a fullness which they could as little realize to themselves, as the human mind, as such, can have all its thoughts present before it at once. They are elicited according to the occasion. A man of genius cannot go about with his genius in his hand: in an Apostle’s mind great part of his knowledge is from the nature of the case latent or implicit…I wish to hold that there is nothing which the Church has de?ned or shall de?ne but what an Apostle, if asked, would have been fully able to answer and would have answered, as the Church has answered, the one answering by inspiration, the other from its gift of infallibility; and that the Church never will be able to answer, or has been able to answer, what the Apostles could not answer….”

    “why do you balk at the suggestion that the ECFs may have held beliefs that they may not have articulated in their writings?”

    Um, because they did articulate certain beliefs in their writings. Beliefs you hold as gospel-denying.

    “Of course. But you say they’re more than just useful;”

    And you say they’re irrelevant and can be discarded at your whim if needed.

    “The Fathers know best–not the Browns and Fitzmyers.”

    The fathers are not infallible nor are they the sum of Tradition. No one has said that. And neither are Brown and Fitzmyer infallible.

    “But it is not synergistic (at least not in the way you seem to be assuming). In other words, our works and cooperation are not what make us holy.”

    What way do you think I’m assuming? Synergism is cooperation with grace.

    “I’m being sanctified by the singular offering of Calvary. My good works and cooperation are not essential to that process.”

    So you can be sanctified without cooperation and good works?

    “In other words, my holiness doesn’t depend upon me. Keep in mind that this is the same author who teaches us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Too much focus on our own good works and cooperation would put the focus on us, not Him.”

    Trent: “For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified,-as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches,-and this virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows their good works, which without it could not in any wise be pleasing and meritorious before God…. Thus, neither is our own justice established as our own as from ourselves; nor is the justice of God ignored or repudiated: for that justice which is called ours, because that we are justified from its being inherent in us, that same is (the justice) of God, because that it is infused into us of God, through the merit of Christ…. God forbid that a Christian should either trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, whose bounty towards all men is so great, that He will have the things which are His own gifts be their merits. And forasmuch as in many things we all offend, each one ought to have before his eyes, as well the severity and judgment, as the mercy and goodness (of God)…”

    Either you cooperate with grace in sanctification or you don’t. If you don’t, you differ from many Reformed theologians who taught such and I fail to see what sanctification even means in that case – let alone what it means to sin or not sin in sanctification. If you do, you violate your own definition and criteria of grace given previously.

  248. Debbie–

    My experience of the Eucharist is actually rather simple. Even after studying transubstantiation, I find it highly convoluted. I think those medieval monks had too much time on their hands!

    We are spiritually nourished in Christ, the sap of the vine that is infused into us as branches. We don’t snap off a knuckle from the hand of Jesus and munch. The feast is spiritual. Spiritual is more than natural but it is not less. Our souls are fed, not our bodies.

    For me, experientially, it is a banquet with the Lord. It is a bone-crunching embrace from my Redeemer. Christ dwells within me through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I am united with him, connected to him at all times, but not in the same way as in communion. Heaven is not somewhere “way up there” in the Constellation Orion. It is juxtaposed with our time and space. Angels worship with us. The Jewish Temple was located at the “navel of the earth” because the Temple made of stone was a copy of the one in heaven. Heaven and earth came together there, and God was pleased to have his dwelling. In some sense, the veil is lifted in the Eucharist so that I can have more (along the lines of) face-to-face time with my blessed Jesus! During that time, he nourishes me. He feeds me…with spiritual food…with himself. I don’t begin to understand how this can be. It is mystical and mysterious, but oh, so very real. It is really him. It is not a symbol that I am loved by God. It is God palpably loving me.

    He only meets with those who genuinely believe. What’s at all controversial about that? Those who genuinely believe ARE the elect. The elect cannot apostatize. (That’s what makes them elect. God doesn’t choose and unchoose.)

  249. Donald Todd, you wrote:
    I note a habit here, so lets examine a habit. One might pick smoking cigarettes since it is easily identifiable. One begins by smoking a single cigarette. Later one pulls another cigarette out and lights it. At some point in time, having lit enough cigarettes there is a connection in the mind. Two points are joined by a synapse. At that point one no longer actively thinks about what one is doing, one merely does it. That is a habit.

    Response:
    Yes, I’m addicted to apologetics. A 23yr. addiction. My first cigarette was Walter Martin on the radio. My next cigs were JW and Mormons at the door.
    —————————–

    You wrote: With you, Eric, I can count on the following

    That works well with a habit.
    —————————–

    I made a list of powerful counterpoints:

    1. I’m honest.
    2. I defend my position honestly.
    3. I remain Prot. in the face of Scriptural justification for Protestantism.
    4. Honest “I” attempts to justify my position.
    5. I embrace weakness in my position.
    6. I try to answer questions I think are important. I reserve the right to ignore.
    7. I buy canned answers because of the discount.
    8. I belittle people when they dwarf themselves.
    —————————

    You wrote:
    There is no justification for Protestantism in the New Testament based on Jesus’ words as recorded therein.
    Nice straight forward statement. At that point one is caught. Either per His words a man named Simon is now the Rock upon which He built His Church, or Simon the Rock is not what Catholic claim. Either Jesus Himself guarantees that the gates of hell won’t prevail against the Church He founded and heads, or the gates of hell prevailed against that Church somewhere between the death of the apostle John and the fifth century AD (depending on which version of history one adheres to).

    Response:
    Were you doing practice drills in some apologetics school during your reply. You are talking to yourself.
    ————————–

    How long does it take for you to answer any substantial points I raised against you ? You force me to deploy my “upper hand” prevention unit.
    ————————-

    You wrote:
    There is Someone Else with Whom you are contesting and if I am constrained to take His words or yours, which is what you continue to offer, then you lose.

    Response:
    Then why is it so important for you to continue writing against me ? At least my “Someone Else” isn’t crowded out by other mediators and bishop-gods. Take that, you Idolater !

    How long does it take for you to answer any substantial points I raised against you ? You guys call the shots. Isn’t that so ?

  250. I guess what I was hoping for was an honest witness of what happens to you during communion.

    Since no host is consecrated except the during a Mass, I’ve found that there are as many different theologies about’communion’ as there are Protestant denominations (i.e. Southern Baptists still can’t agree within themselves). No Protestant Minister declares that they consecrate the host through Transubstantiation. Only priests through the Apostolic Succession can do that.

    A whole other topic is why Satanist ONLY want to desecrate a Catholic consecrated host in their Black mass, no other will do, and there is a huge black market acquiring these)

    Now, I acknowledged earlier that this receiving of communion in all these different forms could in fact have spiritual benefit.

    I’m looking for someone to not just tell me their particular denomination’s theology, but to give me an eye witness account of what actually happens. I really want to know.

    In other words, what happened to you the last time you received communion?

  251. @ James,

    So you can be sanctified without cooperation and good works?

    So says the Bible: Hebrews 10:14. More specifically, it is his work that sanctifies us.

    Either you cooperate with grace in sanctification or you don’t. If you don’t, you differ from many Reformed theologians who taught such

    Don’t assume an equivalency between what Trent means by cooperation and what Reformed theology does. Paul spoke of us being “co-laborers” with Christ. That’s the language of cooperation. But it isn’t our labor with him that contributes to our sanctification. It is his grace.

    Reformed theology sees sanctification making progress on two parallel plains (God’s decree in eternity [plane 1] working itself out progressively in time [plain 2], whereas Romanism sees everything happening on one plane, grace building on nature. So while some of the same language is used, we’re not really saying the same thing.

    Nor do we mean the same thing by “sanctification.” For us, it’s not a rehab for fallen nature as it is for you. Nor is holiness reified. That’s why we don’t sport halos like your saints do. It isn’t an ontology. It’s a status, very much like justification. The primary meaning of holiness or sanctification is to be set apart for a sacred purpose. Of course this implies other qualities too, such as moral purity. But the end process doesn’t cause us to glow.

    It’s also God’s work in us, not our cooperation with the helps he gives us. In other words, as we going about our lives, serving, believing, praying, studying scripture, doing good works, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, etc., God is simultaneously sanctifying us. But none of those things are *essential* to the process as they are for you. They are *incidental* or perhaps better, *coincident* with progressive sanctification.

    Nor are there degrees of holiness for us. No one levitates in our churches. Sanctification is radically eschatological for us. We’re already as holy as we’ll ever be (the already) because, being in Christ, you can’t get any holier. But we’re still a work-in-progress (the not-yet). “What we shall be has not yet appeared” (1 John 3:2).

    For us it is God who completes the good work he began in us. (Philippians 1:6) That doesn’t exclude our own efforts, for the Apostle also says that it is God who work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (cf, Phil. 2:13).

    Reformed theology often thinks of our works in sanctification as the means God uses to achieve His ends without inferring the contrary: namely that unless we cooperate, God can’t sanctify us.

    But I think Rome does make this inference and I think sanctification in Romanism is another place where we see the reification of grace (and therefore the misdefining of grace) rear its ugly head. The end result: saved by grace (initially), kept by grace-inspired works (unless one stops doing them and falls back into sin.) Restored salvation by sacramental confession. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

  252. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm
    @ James,
    So you can be sanctified without cooperation and good works?

    So says the Bible: Hebrews 10:14. More specifically, it is his work that sanctifies us.

    You’re taking a lot of liberties with that verse. Why don’t you twist it a little bit more and you’ll have universal salvation for all mankind.

    Here’s what it actually says.
    Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Where does that say, “without cooperation and good works”?

    Don’t assume an equivalency between what Trent means by cooperation and what Reformed theology does.

    I don’t.

    Paul spoke of us being “co-laborers” with Christ. That’s the language of cooperation.

    That’s the language of the Catholic Church.

    But it isn’t our labor with him that contributes to our sanctification. It is his grace.

    Still the language of the Catholic Church.

    2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

    Reformed theology sees sanctification making progress on two parallel plains (God’s decree in eternity [plane 1] working itself out progressively in time [plain 2], whereas Romanism sees everything happening on one plane, grace building on nature. So while some of the same language is used, we’re not really saying the same thing.

    You’re twisting real good. But that’s about all.

    The planes of which you speak are not parallel. They co-exist. We, Catholics, live upon Mt. Sion at the same time as we live upon earth.

    Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

    You look at that and say, “nice metaphor.” But we understand that this is why we can pray to the Saints and Angels and you can’t. You aren’t there.

    You live on a parallel plane, not with God. We live in the heavenly plane, with God.

    Nor do we mean the same thing by “sanctification.” For us, it’s not a rehab for fallen nature as it is for you. Nor is holiness reified. That’s why we don’t sport halos like your saints do. It isn’t an ontology. It’s a status, very much like justification. The primary meaning of holiness or sanctification is to be set apart for a sacred purpose. Of course this implies other qualities too, such as moral purity. But the end process doesn’t cause us to glow.

    Wow! Great admission. Its remarkable that you are actually bragging about this.

    Well, we do glow. We glow with the grace of God. We actually believe and aspire to the Word of God which says:

    Matthew 5:48
    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    and also:
    Hebrews 12:14
    Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    Our great Doctor said:
    “we will be like iron in the fire.”

    An iron rod in a fire glows so hot that it is virtually indistinct from the Fire. But it is not the Fire.

    It’s also God’s work in us, not our cooperation with the helps he gives us.

    So, if we don’t cooperate, He will still work in us? Let’s see what Scripture says:

    John 9:31
    Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

    And Scripture also says:
    James 5:16
    Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    But you say that God will work through those who do not cooperate and obey His Will?

    Romans 8 King James Version (KJV)

    8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    In other words, as we going about our lives, serving, believing, praying, studying scripture, doing good works, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, etc., God is simultaneously sanctifying us.

    That sounds just like synergysm.

    But none of those things are *essential* to the process as they are for you. They are *incidental* or perhaps better, *coincident* with progressive sanctification.

    You don’t have to believe? You just said, “…as we going about our lives, serving, believing, ….”

    That’s incredible!

    But, ok, good point of departure. Here’s what we believe. See the Lord’s Supper in which you don’t have to partake. This is what Scripture says regarding that:

    Hebrews 10:25-31King James Version (KJV)

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    Yep. It’s required. It’s essential. Just like Baptism.

    Nor are there degrees of holiness for us. No one levitates in our churches. Sanctification is radically eschatological for us. We’re already as holy as we’ll ever be (the already)

    And you’re already equally holy? You’re just as holy as, say, St. Paul?

    because, being in Christ, you can’t get any holier. But we’re still a work-in-progress (the not-yet). “What we shall be has not yet appeared” (1 John 3:2).

    So, you’re working, ahem, God is working in vain? You won’t get any holier, so, why work?

    For us it is God who completes the good work he began in us. (Philippians 1:6)

    According to you, it ended the moment it started. What’s the point?

    That doesn’t exclude our own efforts, for the Apostle also says that it is God who work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (cf, Phil. 2:13).
    Reformed theology often thinks of our works in sanctification as the means God uses to achieve His ends without inferring the contrary: namely that unless we cooperate, God can’t sanctify us.

    You put your own wrinkle in that one. The trueh is, unless we cooperate, God won’t sanctify us:

    Hebrews 5:9
    And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    But I think

    You’re thinking too much. Way too much. You need to obey Scripture and:
    Proverbs 3:5
    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    Because your thinking is upside down and backwards.

    Rome does make this inference and I think sanctification in Romanism is another place where we see the reification of grace (and therefore the misdefining of grace) rear its ugly head. The end result: saved by grace (initially), kept by grace-inspired works (unless one stops doing them and falls back into sin.) Restored salvation by sacramental confession. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

    You need to read the Scriptures. Go and think about this:

    Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

    2 Corinthians 4:16
    For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

  253. Michael,

    “Paul spoke of us being “co-laborers” with Christ. That’s the language of cooperation. But it isn’t our labor with him that contributes to our sanctification. It is his grace.”

    False dichotomy. Our labor is derived from his grace – the vine sources our merit as my citation of Trent affirmed.

    “It isn’t an ontology. It’s a status, very much like justification. ”

    So much for infused righteousness in sanctification your theologians talk about. But at least your clear about this unlike Eric who tries to have it both ways.

    “In other words, as we going about our lives, serving, believing, praying, studying scripture, doing good works, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, etc., God is simultaneously sanctifying us. But none of those things are *essential* to the process as they are for you. They are *incidental* or perhaps better, *coincident* with progressive sanctification.”

    So they just auto-magically happen. You’re just a rube goldberg machine waking around. So when you sin in sanctification, was that automagically happening or did you resist sufficient grace that God gave you that you could (and should) have cooperated with?

    “Nor are there degrees of holiness for us. ”

    If that’s true, heavenly reward is completely arbitrary and not reflective of each one’s labor whatsoever. Further, Jonathan Edwards and John Piper and others of your tradition disagree with you. Edwards:

    “There are different degrees of happiness and glory in heaven. As there are degrees among the angels, viz. thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; so there are degrees among the saints. In heaven are many mansions, and of different degrees of dignity. The glory of the saints above will be in some proportion to their eminency in holiness and good works here. Christ will reward all according to their works. He that gained ten pounds was made ruler over ten cities, and he that gained five pounds over five cities. Luke 19:17; 2 Cor. 9:6, “He that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” And the apostle Paul tells us that, as one star differs from another star in glory, so also it shall be in the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15:41. Christ tells us that he who gives a cup of cold water unto a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose his reward. But this could not be true, if a person should have no greater reward for doing many good works than if he did but few. It will be no damp to the happiness of those who have lower degrees of happiness and glory, that there are others advanced in glory above them. For all shall be perfectly happy, every one shall be perfectly satisfied. Every vessel that is cast into this ocean of happiness is full, though there are some vessels far larger than others. And there shall be no such thing as envy in heaven, but perfect love shall reign through the whole society. Those who are not so high in glory as other, will not envy those that are higher, but they will have so great, and strong, and pure love to them, that they will rejoice in their superior happiness…. There will be a perfect harmony in that society; those that are most happy will also be most holy, and all will be both perfectly holy and perfectly happy. But yet there will be different degrees of both holiness and happiness according to the measure of each one’s capacity, and therefore those that are lowest in glory will have the greatest love to those that are highest in happiness, because they will see most of the image of God in them.”

    “For us it is God who completes the good work he began in us. (Philippians 1:6) That doesn’t exclude our own efforts, for the Apostle also says that it is God who work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (cf, Phil. 2:13).”

    Bingo – Phil 2:12-13 is precisely the RC/EO model of cooperation.

    “The end result: saved by grace (initially), kept by grace-inspired works (unless one stops doing them and falls back into sin.) Restored salvation by sacramental confession. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.”

    So if a professed believer who disobeys the commandments, does not go to church, doesn’t affirm the gospel, isn’t charitable, doesn’t repent, doesn’t pray, doesn’t read Scripture, etc. – should he be considered showing signs he might not be elect? Does that mean an elect person doing those things is maintaining their salvation by grace-inspired works?

    Let’s see what WCF says:
    “Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.”

    “it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance.”

    So when a Calvinist is diligent in performing good works and making his calling sure, it’s still grace. When RCs do it, it’s not grace. Got it.

    WCF again: “God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and although they can never fall from the sate of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.”

    So Calvinist end result: saved by grace (initially), kept by grace-inspired works you have a duty to perform (unless one stops and falls back into sin), restore light of God’s countenance by humbling yourself and confession and renewing your faith and repentance (unless you die before you do that, in which case you were self-deceived and never justified in the first place). Lather, rinse repeat.

  254. James wrote to Michael:
    (unless you die before you do that, in which case you were self-deceived and never justified in the first place).

    Response:
    Don’t forget that pesky Calvinist Decree over who-what-when-where-why we die.

  255. De Maria wrote to Michael:

    You’re thinking too much. Way too much. You need to obey Scripture and:

    Then he wrote:

    You need to read the Scriptures. Go and think about this:

  256. Debbie, you wrote:
    A whole other topic is why Satanist ONLY want to desecrate a Catholic consecrated host in their Black mass, no other will do, and there is a huge black market acquiring these)

    Response:
    A whole other topic is why RC priests ONLY want to desecrate a Lord’s Supper. Satanists don’t deceive. They are open enemies and mistaken about RCC being Christ’s Church. RC priests deceive as friends who undermine the Lord’s sacred ordinance. They are equally mistaken about Christ’s Church.

  257. False dichotomy. Our labor is derived from his grace –

    But it is not our labor that causes us to be sanctified. Apples and oranges.

    So much for infused righteousness in sanctification your theologians talk about.

    Yes, several Reformed theologians (I have Owen in mind) speak freely of infused righteousness. But you assume that what they mean and what Trent means are the same thing. They’re not even *roughly* the same thing.

    The idea that the righteousness that comes from without (extra nos) eventually soaks has deep roots in Reformed theology. It’s our way of talking about inner renewal and moral transformation. But it’s not a “substance” that can increase or decrease. Nor is there any formula for meriting more of it (or demeriting less of it).

    So they just auto-magically happen.

    How about “organically.” Like so:

    And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)

    If that’s true, heavenly reward is completely arbitrary…

    Non sequitur. God can reward us for the quality of our deeds themselves and not the “holiness” that they produce in us. Isn’t that why scripture says we are rewarded for our deeds and not for the results the produce in us?

    Edwards Apples and oranges. Edwards is talking about the differences in rewards among the elect in heaven and the differences in degree to which we reflect heavenly glory. But never does he attribute the cause for those differences to our good works, as if we were the cause of our own degree of glory. Paul–a far more important witness–says that God fashions vessels for noble and ignoble purposes (cf, Romans 9:21). It is entirely contrary to Paul’s argument to say that God can only fashion the clay insofar as the clay is malleable (cooperative) with the Potter’s designs. But it is completely consistent with Paul’s thought to say that the more glorious vessels in heaven will correspond to those who were more faithful to their charge to do the good works that God willed them to do (cf, Eph. 2:10).

    Bingo – Phil 2:12-13 is precisely the RC/EO model of cooperation.

    I can’t speak for Eastern Heterodoxy, but this verse has *nothing* to do with Romanism’s doctrine of gratia co-operans. In Romanism, co-operative grace accompanies an act of free will. For Paul, it is the other way around. God gives grace so that we will act for his good pleasure. Reread the passage and weep. The command to work out your salvation is grounded on, and therefore logically subsequent to, the fact that it is God who works in us. Put another way, if God wasn’t already at work, there could be no working it out.

    But none of this should be construed as synergism. Paul is a died-in-the-wool monergist. If by grace, then not by works, otherwise grace would not be grace (cf, Rom. 11:6). “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Rom 9:16). And John says: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). Grace isn’t dependent upon human cooperation. It may coincide with it, but grace isn’t made efficacious by our will or exertion. If anything, it is the other way around. His grace energizes our work. But grace is one thing, and our work is quite another.

    You would have us believe that synergism is just “God and man working together.” And if that were all Rome meant by cooperation, we could hold hands, sing kumbaya and move on. Rome’s cooperation actually puts the Potter in the hands of the clay. He can only make us into what we permit him to do. So long as free will cooperation is assisted by grace rather than the result of a prior work of grace, it seems every “school” is doomed to tip the balance decisively in the direction of self-sanctification with grace getting a nomination for best supporting actress.

    So if a professed believer who disobeys the commandments, does not go to church, doesn’t affirm the gospel, isn’t charitable, doesn’t repent, doesn’t pray, doesn’t read Scripture, etc. – should he be considered showing signs he might not be elect?

    Should we examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith? (2 Cor. 13:5) Or was Paul just whistling Dixie?

    So when a Calvinist is diligent in performing good works and making his calling sure, it’s still grace. When RCs do it, it’s not grace. Got it.

    More apples and oranges. The issue is not whether or not we need divine assistance to do good. All parties affirm this. It’s whether or not the good we do is essential to our sanctification. What does the clay contribute to its salvation except for its sin? But in the hands of the Potter, it becomes precisely what He intends it to be, nothing more and nothing less.

    Feel free to take the last word. I’m heading over to the new thread….

  258. Eric W. you said,
    “Satanist don’t deceive. They are open enemies AND mistaken about RCC being Christ’s Church”

    Are you saying what I think you are saying?

    If Satanist don’t deceive and they are open enemies, how can they possibly be mistaken about the Catholic Church being Christ’s Church???

    And you’re saying that Catholic Priests WANT to desecrate our Lord Jesus, not just now, but have been doing it and wanting to do it, in other words, have wickedly enjoyed doing it for over 2,000 years beginning with the Apostles?

    And you’re saying that Satanist have been mistaken about this for 2,000 years?

    That means that Luther was a Catholic priest who also wickedly enjoyed doing this, but when he wasn’t allowed to do it, was glad that he wasn’t being deceived into thinking he had been given sacred ordinances, so he just kept on celebrating communion not deceived that he didn’t have the power to consecrate.

    Interesting that Lutherans still have such a high regard for Communion and truly believe that it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity (if only for a short time), and yet, Satanist won’t buy or even steal their hosts?

    Somebody’s mistaken, and if you’re wondering what the biggest clue would be look to the Satanists, who are never mistaken in evil and how to fight Truth.

  259. Yes, Eric W. If you and Michael actually believed Scripture, you would become Catholic.

    But you don’t.

  260. ERIC W January 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Satanists don’t deceive.

    Attracted to their sect, are you?

  261. MICHAEL TAYLOR January 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm
    False dichotomy. Our labor is derived from his grace –
    But it is not our labor that causes us to be sanctified. Apples and oranges.

    It is certainly part of it Michael. Scripture says:

    1 Corinthians 7:14
    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

    2 Timothy 2:21
    If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    So, the Holy Eucharist and the Sacraments are not the only means by which a man is sanctified. Man is also sanctified by his deeds and by his acquaintances. So says Scripture.

  262. Debbie, you asked:
    If Satanist don’t deceive and they are open enemies, how can they possibly be mistaken about the Catholic Church being Christ’s Church???

    Strange, no ? Satanists are deceived about Christ’s Church through the RCC. The deception of Rome is founded on certain truths of Jesus. Without this foundation, their fraudulent devotion to Christ would be easily detected.
    ————————–
    You wrote:
    And you’re saying that Catholic Priests WANT to desecrate our Lord Jesus, not just now, but have been doing it and wanting to do it, in other words, have wickedly enjoyed doing it for over 2,000 years beginning with the Apostles?

    Response:
    Yes, they want to desecrate. They WANT to imitate their false head of the church. That false head desecrates. Know that they deceive because they are deceived.
    ——————————-

    You asked:
    And you’re saying that Satanist have been mistaken about this for 2,000 years?

    I don’t know when Satanists originated. Satan is older than 2000 years.
    —————————–

    Lutherans should repent and purify their worship. Reform more.
    —————————–

    You wrote:
    Somebody’s mistaken, and if you’re wondering what the biggest clue would be look to the Satanists, who are never mistaken in evil and how to fight Truth.

    Satanists will never compare to the thing described in your own authorities:

    675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

    The RCC, ironically, fits the bill.

  263. Eric,
    I hate to tell you this, but the religious deception has already happened to those who were led astray beginning way back in John 6:66 from Christ and all those who since have been led astray. Anti-Incarnation, Anti-Christ, Anti-Eucharist.

    The Catechism is talking about what will continue to happen to those who are ‘faithful’ Catholics who will be deceived by a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The times and situations will come and go, but the final, supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God AND OF HIS MESSIAH COME IN THE FLESH.

  264. De Maria,

    So that you don’t delude many…I wrote:
    Satanists don’t deceive. They are open enemies and mistaken about RCC being Christ’s Church.

    You imitate the deceptions and games of your bishop-gods. Satanists don’t deceive like the RCC. Satanists are deceived and they deceive in a LESS diabolical way than the RCC.

  265. Debbie–

    The Arians were VERY incarnational; the Ebionites even more so. Being incarnational doesn’t make you orthodox and doesn’t mean you understand the incarnationality of John 6.

    Our Eucharist is as fleshly as yours. It just doesn’t split Christ in two.

  266. Debbie, you wrote:
    Anti-Incarnation, Anti-Christ, Anti-Eucharist.

    We, the elect of God, acknowledge the Word incarnate. No other incarnation. We confess the Christ, the only Head of the Body and Church. We are full of Eucharist because we give thanks through Christ the only Mediator.

    You are not an infallible authority in the RCC. I have no reason to accept from you any interpretation of CCC 675.

  267. No, Eric W.

    You’re the only one here praising Satanists.

  268. Eric,
    I still want to know how your Eucharist becomes fleshy?

    And yes, a person can be incarnational (sp?) but become heretical about some other Dogma and be excommunicated. Exactly the reason for the Papacy. Because if they truly were an incarnationalist, nothing would persuade them to leave. We have the many witnesses of Catholic saints that bore this truth and reformed the Church (i.e. St. Francis, St. John of the Cross, St. Joan of Arc). The Church has always been reformed from within (you can’t heal a body when you’re not working on THE body). To follow Christ means to take our cross daily and follow Him, almost always to some type of martyrdom. Wonderful reading and completely awe-inspiring. The unfathomable Divine Mercy of Christ can never leave His Church, His beloved.

    The ONE thing that has never, ever, changed is transubstantiation of the Eucharist. It was instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper and the gates of Hell have never prevailed.

    So when you meet a former Catholic (even a priest), ask them what they believe about the Eucharist and I can guarantee you that they didn’t really believe. And in Luther’s case, he believed, but wasn’t humble and pride is always the spirit of the anti-christ. Pride is what makes a depart from leave God.

    Thy kingdom come, they will be done, always.

  269. Sorry, I meant to say, pride is what makes a person depart from God.

  270. Debbie–

    Honestly, apart from some Medieval mumbo-jumbo concerning the accidents of substances (which makes absolutely no freaking sense), how is YOUR Eucharist “fleshly”? (Substances do have accidents, but accidents cannot be separated from their substances.)

    You assume that it is fleshly mainly because you have been told it so often. But it cannot be demonstrated by any means short of complete mystery. The same is true of our conception. Yours is not more unique or special or spiritual or mystical…or incarnational. The only thing that makes you say that it is,..is pride. Pride in your church which for you is THE church, but this cannot begin to be shown biblically.

    I AM working within THE church. THE church just happens to be a bit broader than you recognize or acknowledge.

    Take the time to study Luther some more. Yes, his convictions were passionate, but this stems from an overactive idealism, not personal pride. He was stubborn and pugnacious and narrow-minded, yes. But he was spiritually quite humble. It’s just hard to see it in this crass, short-tempered, and unrefined bumpkin.

  271. Debbie–

    In Anglican and Lutheran churches, the elements are consecrated as they are in RC churches. In Presbyterian churches, they are “set aside for holy use,” which amounts to the same thing. Some high-church Lutheran (Evangelical Catholic) and Anglican (Anglo-Catholic) congregations even have all the “smells and bells” that you are undoubtedly used to.

  272. ahh Eric, this makes me smile, its late where I live, so I’ll get back to you tomorrow, I’m just too tired tonight.

    You do know what I’m trying to get at though don’t you?

    I want to know HOW your Pastor makes your Eucharist “as fleshy” as mine.

    And you are so wrong saying that I “assume that it is fleshly mainly because I have been told it so often.”

    But it cannot be demonstrated by any means short of complete mystery.

  273. Debbie–

    Surely you know that Transubstantiation (as an explanation of the Eucharistic transformation) didn’t come into play until the 11th and 12th centuries. The patristic concept was of the Real Presence without specific explanation as to how the change took place.

  274. Eric,

    Surely you know that Transubstantiation (as an explanation of the Eucharistic transformation) didn’t come into play until the 11th and 12th centuries. The patristic concept was of the Real Presence without specific explanation as to how the change took place.

    But traditional Roman dogma says the church has always taught this, so it must be true, right? Forget all those modern Vatican-approved historians who say otherwise. C’mon man, you know the rules by now! 🙂

  275. Debbie–

    The true catholic church gathers wherever “two or three” come together in his name. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Christ is there in the midst of them.

    As an ordained minister in the Church of Jesus Christ, my pastor consecrates the elements for sacramental use. God makes the communion bread “fleshly” in the manner I spoke of previously.

  276. Debbie–

    Well, then, if you really have thought it through, tell me how the Catholic Eucharist is any more “fleshly” than that of Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, or even the Eastern Orthodox (who generally eschew Transubstantiation–or any other explanatory contrivance–in favor of mystery, much like the Anglicans).

  277. Sorry you answered before I could press submit.

    When you said, “In Anglican and Lutheran churches, the elements are consecrated as they are in RC churches”. This is impossible. Ordained Apostolic Succession is required.

    Catholic Priests of the Sacrament of the New Law, instituted by Christ at the Last Supper, which confers on a man the power of consecrating and offering the body and blood of Christ and of remitting and retaining sins, are the only ones that can do this. Only a bishop can ordain priests, who must first have been ordained deacons. In the ordination of priests, the “matter” of the sacrament is the imposition of the bishop’s hands upon the individual candidates. The Apostles were the first ordained priests. All priests and bishops trace their ordination to the Apostles.

    Christ, who is God and man, is the first, last and greatest priest of the New Law. He is the eternal high priest who offered himself once and for all on the Cross, and he continually renews that sacrifice on the altar through the ministry of His Church.

    So when humble, yet stubborn, pugnacious, narrow-minded, crass, short-tempered, and unrefined bumpkin Luther was no longer a Catholic priest . . . .
    well the rest is what you have today. No Protestant of ANY denomination believes in the fullness of the Eucharist, just parts and parcels of it – the parts that don’t require a priest.

    Back to why a consecrated host of the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is so sought after by those who do evil.

  278. ERIC January 30, 2015 at 7:58 pm
    Debbie–
    Honestly, apart from some Medieval mumbo-jumbo concerning the accidents of substances (which makes absolutely no freaking sense), how is YOUR Eucharist “fleshly”?

    In the same manner that Jesus said. The bread that He gives is His flesh.

    (Substances do have accidents, but accidents cannot be separated from their substances.)

    I know that men can’t do it. Are you saying that God can’t do it?

    You assume that it is fleshly mainly because you have been told it so often.

    By God. Jesus is God and He said.

    John 6:51
    I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    Matthew 26:26
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

    But it cannot be demonstrated by any means short of complete mystery. The same is true of our conception. Yours is not more unique or special or spiritual or mystical…or incarnational. The only thing that makes you say that it is,..is pride. Pride in your church which for you is THE church, but this cannot begin to be shown biblically.

    Sure it can and has been shown. You simply won’t believe it.

    First, Jesus Christ appointed a Pastor as head of the entire Church:
    John 21:17
    He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    I see only a few Churches with such a Pastor. Further, Jesus Christ said that the Pastor over His Church would be infallible:

    Matthew 16:17-19 (King James Version)
    17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    The list of Churches accept this teaching gets smaller. Certainly, all Protestant denominations can now be eliminated.

    Jesus Christ not only said that the Pastor was infallible but Scripture describes the Church as infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10
    To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    The list remains the same, but now I can certainly eliminate all Protestant denominations.

    Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.

    So, even using just a few verses we can eliminate the Protestants. None of their denominations even come close to being in Scripture. But we can continue to find Catholic indicators throughout the Bible:

    The Church which is infallible (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 3:10).
    The Church which is united (Eph 4:5).
    The doctrines of the Catholic Church which are distinctive from other churches:
    Purgatory (1 Cor 3:15).
    Eucharist (1 Cor 11:23-27).
    Communion of Saints (Rom 12:12-20).
    The Mass and the necessity to attend (Heb 10:25-31).
    The Sacrament of Confession (Heb 13:17).
    The Sacrament of Holy Orders (1 Tim 4:14).
    The Sacrament of Baptism (Titus 3:5).
    Justification and salvation by faith and works (Rom 2:1-13).

    And we find that the Protestant doctrinal pillars all contradict Scripture. For instance:

    Sola Scriptura contradicts 2 Thess 2:152 Thessalonians 2:15
    King James Version (KJV)
    15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Sola Fide contradicts James 2:24
    James 2:24
    King James Version (KJV)
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    OSAS contradicts Heb 6:4-6
    Hebrews 6:4-6
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Salvation by grace alone contradicts:
    Philippians 2:12
    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    and also:
    Romans 6:16
    Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    Every Protestant doctrine which contradicts the Catholic Church also contradicts the Word of God in the Bible.

    The Catholic Church is described in the Bible. Protestant groups are not.

    I AM working within THE church. THE church just happens to be a bit broader than you recognize or acknowledge.

    No. You’re a wannabe. But you lack the faith to do so. You can’t get yourself to believe what Jesus truly said.

    Take the time to study Luther some more. Yes, his convictions were passionate, but this stems from an overactive idealism, not personal pride. He was stubborn and pugnacious and narrow-minded, yes. But he was spiritually quite humble. It’s just hard to see it in this crass, short-tempered, and unrefined bumpkin.

    Let’s see:

    In his preface to the Epistle of St. James, he said:

    Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book,…
    And then he says:
    … In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works 2:24)…..

    Now, let me ask you, would you esteem and regard a book as good which flatly contradicts the Word of God?

    And:

    ‘If the wife is not willing, bring on the maid’

    Never mind that Christ said:

    Matthew 19:9
    King James Version (KJV)

    9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Neh, you can keep Luther. We’ll stick with Christ.

  279. ERIC January 30, 2015 at 8:36 pm
    Debbie–
    Well, then, if you really have thought it through, tell me how the Catholic Eucharist is any more “fleshly” than that of Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, or even the Eastern Orthodox (who generally eschew Transubstantiation–or any other explanatory contrivance–in favor of mystery, much like the Anglicans).

    The same way that the Catholic Church is infallible and yours is not.

    The Catholic Church is led by Christ. And it is by the work of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that He transubstantiates the bread into His flesh.

    Your faux church can’t accomplish this. It isn’t led by Christ.

  280. Eric,
    I missed this earlier, it is beautiful, thanks for the witness:

    “For me, experientially, it is a banquet with the Lord. It is a bone-crunching embrace from my Redeemer. Christ dwells within me through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I am united with him, connected to him at all times, but not in the same way as in communion. Heaven is not somewhere “way up there” in the Constellation Orion. It is juxtaposed with our time and space. Angels worship with us. The Jewish Temple was located at the “navel of the earth” because the Temple made of stone was a copy of the one in heaven. Heaven and earth came together there, and God was pleased to have his dwelling. In some sense, the veil is lifted in the Eucharist so that I can have more (along the lines of) face-to-face time with my blessed Jesus! During that time, he nourishes me. He feeds me…with spiritual food…with himself. I don’t begin to understand how this can be. It is mystical and mysterious, but oh, so very real. It is really him. It is not a symbol that I am loved by God. It is God palpably loving me.

  281. Stop in a Catholic Church some day and visit the adoration chapel, the smell alone will melt your fleshy heart, which is the last frontier for all men.

  282. De Maria,
    Satanists are pushovers, even silly in many ways. They are open to the supremacy of Christ in ways that RCs are not.

  283. Debbie wrote:
    No Protestant of ANY denomination believes in the fullness of the Eucharist, just parts and parcels of it – the parts that don’t require a priest.

    This only shows that the words of consecration (only the words) are powerless to change something. If the words depend on the speaker with a different power, then the words don’t have the power you claim they have. This is a deep-seated deception of Priestcraft. Now if a word from Christ supposedly has power to change the substance, then go speak those words to change the substance ! You may say the words were spoken by Jesus, therefore, the words require power from a certain speaker. Very well. You show the weakness of the words. If the weakness of consecration words, then the weakness of ordination words too. You think that’s bad…what about the word that directs you to the church ? In the end, you will have no good reason to listen to words. The task before us will include identifying the credible speaker, and nothing more ? Isn’t that so ?

    Elect of God,
    See the inner logic of Priestcraft ? All roads lead to Rome.

  284. De Maria wrote:
    Back to Matt 16:18, Scripture says that Jesus Christ established one Church. History shows that all the Churches sprang from the Church which is frequently described as the Mother Church. The Catholic Church.

    Response:
    Your polemic is worthless against those who deny a catholic visible church on earth. Even if those churches “sprang” from the catholic visible church, you are still hard pressed to show the continuity between the first and subsequent claimants to the catholic visible church. In the end, you put forward a catholic visible church who “imposes” uniformity (unity to most people) on the diversity of churches. If it didn’t, then this diversity and plurality would actually work against the catholic visible church claimants.

  285. Eric W
    “Response:
    Yes, I’m addicted to apologetics. A 23yr. addiction. My first cigarette was Walter Martin on the radio. My next cigs were JW and Mormons at the door.”

    “I made a list of powerful counterpoints:

    1. I’m honest. [no, you are not honest]
    2. I defend my position honestly. [no, you do not defend your position honestly]
    3. I remain Prot. in the face of Scriptural justification for Protestantism. [you remain Protestant w/o scriptural justification]
    4. Honest “I” attempts to justify my position. [see 1 and 2 above]
    5. I embrace weakness in my position. [?]
    6. I try to answer questions I think are important. I reserve the right to ignore.
    7. I buy canned answers because of the discount. [so it seems]
    8. I belittle people when they dwarf themselves. [an in doing so, you belittle yourself]

    “Were you doing practice drills in some apologetics school during your reply. You are talking to yourself.

    Actually no. I encountered these ideas about 30 to 40 years ago on the road to Catholicism. I had to deal them then. Occasionally I am amazed to find that they are being revisited because someone offers them to me. But they were wrong then and they are wrong now.
    ————————–

    How long does it take for you to answer any substantial points I raised against you ? You force me to deploy my “upper hand” prevention unit.”

    Your substantial points are not substantial. If Jesus founded a Church He guaranteed against Hell, then it stands or He is not Who He claims to be. Any assumption of a middle ground where we tell Him what is true is false. That was what I found in Protestantism. We told Him what was true, and then we disagreed with each other in the process.

    I’ve read enough of you to know that you have no “upper hand” prevention unit other than the one you use on you.

    “You wrote:
    There is Someone Else with Whom you are contesting and if I am constrained to take His words or yours, which is what you continue to offer, then you lose.

    Response:
    Then why is it so important for you to continue writing against me ? [Our Lord loves you and when I read the gospels He keeps calling people, and as necessary calls them back.] At least my “Someone Else” isn’t crowded out by other mediators and bishop-gods. [Bishop-gods? I don’t remember hearing that one before.] Take that, you Idolater ! [Another slur because your response is failing and you don’t like being called out.]

    How long does it take for you to answer any substantial points I raised against you ? You guys call the shots. Isn’t that so ?”

    Substantial points? Been there. Done that. Found it to be untrue. There are no substantial points to justify ripping the Church apart. There are no substantial points for making Jesus subject to myriad of various conflicting positions exhibited in the phone book under Yellow Pages. Unaided human reason is not a reason to override Jesus’ own statements in scripture. Perhaps if the gospel were seen as “substantial points” we would not have this conflict.

    And again, it is not me that you are in arguing against, it is Him.

  286. Eric W,
    It’s the laying on of hands. A direct line of 2,000 years of the laying on of hands from Jesus Christ the Messiah to the Apostles. Apostolic Succession – the ‘fleshy’ laying on of hands is an unbroken line (blood line if you will), that is required (along with the words) that is required in the ordination of Catholic priests.

    “”I have come to do My Father’s will. I obeyed My parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the priests” (Diary of St. Faustina, 535).

  287. ERIC W January 31, 2015 at 2:52 am
    De Maria,
    Satanists are pushovers, even silly in many ways. They are open to the supremacy of Christ in ways that RCs are not.

    Sounds as though you consider Satanists as one of the Protestant demons? I mean, denoms.

  288. ERIC W January 31, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Response:
    Your polemic is worthless against those who deny a catholic visible church on earth.

    The truth is true whether you believe it or not, Satanist.

  289. Donald Todd wrote:
    [Bishop-gods? I don’t remember hearing that one before.]

    Response:
    Ignorance of RC teaching ? or You don’t remember hearing it ? It’s RC teaching.
    —————————-

    [Another slur because your response is failing and you don’t like being called out.]

    Response:
    You worship Bishop-gods. That’s why I called you an Idolater. Slur or not, the worship of Idols deserves the name Idolater.
    —————————-

    I’m a liar. Donald Todd is an Idolater. This whole thing is spent. How do I know it’s spent ? You wrote this:

    There are no substantial points to justify ripping the Church apart.

    Hermetically sealed, no ? Never mind, don’t answer that question. The question doesn’t contain any substantial points to justify. In fact, all questions ordained for rips and tears are dismissed. How do I know they will be DISMISSED ? Don’t miss the answer everyone. It’s very cool.

    Answer:

    Eric W wrote: You guys call the shots. Isn’t that so ?”

    Reply by Donald Todd:_________________.

    DISMISSED….DIS…..DIS….DIS…I think (correct me if I’m wrong) it was only thing he didn’t comment on. I will play fair. Maybe it’s not the only thing.

    Donald Todd is the seam. No wonder he can’t afford rips and tears.

  290. Debbie and De Maria,

    A Eric W classic.

    Roman Catholics,
    I watched you harden with every Biblical presentation of Jesus being the only Head of the Church.

    Available on CD.

  291. Debbie,

    After talking to a good friend today, I realized something profound. Every RC priest is a liar. During the consecration, they say, “MY.” You know, MY body..etc. Who said MY ? Good answer, Jesus. Yes Jesus ! Did He lie when He said, “MY…” ? Good answer, No he didn’t lie. Do you call the Priests Jesus ?

    If every “MY” (remember, according to RC teaching, so don’t evade with other teachings) doesn’t have Jesus’ mouth then its a lie. Wrong mouth, therefore wrong “MY”. Let it sink in. I’m hear to help in re-conversion.

  292. Eric W,
    I’m sorry you’ve seen me as hardened, earlier you said I was courageous.

    Here we go again, but I’m going to bring out Colossians because this is what it means to be in the Catholic Church. period. I know that it is unthinkable to you, but I am here to tell you as a Catholic that this IS CATHOLIC.

    “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
    all things have been created through him and for him.
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
    so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
    and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
    whether things on earth or things in heaven,
    by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Col 1:15-20

    BUT, LETS CONTINUE (never a good idea to just quote single verses)

    Col 1:21 -29
    And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, PROVIDED that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, NOT SHIFTING from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, the is the Church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations, but now made manifest to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man mature in Christ. For this I toil striving with all the energy which he mightily inspire within me.”

  293. Debbie, you wrote:
    I’m sorry you’ve seen me as hardened, earlier you said I was courageous.

    Not incompatible.
    ————————-

    You wrote: I am here to tell you as a Catholic that this IS CATHOLIC.

    I received the Motives oC in the mail from the Catholic Church. I didn’t receive MoC for Debbie is a Catholic. Provide your MoC and I will consider if you are credible. Surely, you need to be credible if I’m to believe you. Right ?

  294. Eric W January 31, 2015 at 10:13 am

    “Donald Todd wrote:
    [Bishop-gods? I don’t remember hearing that one before.]

    Response:
    Ignorance of RC teaching ? or You don’t remember hearing it ? It’s RC teaching.”

    And I have your word for it. We both know that doesn’t fly.

    “I’m a liar. Donald Todd is an Idolater. This whole thing is spent. How do I know it’s spent ? You wrote this:

    There are no substantial points to justify ripping the Church apart.”

    The liar part is correct. I left idolatry when I ceased to worship my own mind at the expense of Jesus’ words.

    And, you are correct. There are no substantial points for ripping the Church apart. It was Jesus Who prayed that we would all be one as He is in the Father. You keep coming out on the wrong side of these ideas of His.

    “Answer:

    Eric W wrote: You guys call the shots. Isn’t that so ?”

    Reply by Donald Todd:_________________.

    DISMISSED….DIS…..DIS….DIS…I think (correct me if I’m wrong) it was only thing he didn’t comment on. I will play fair. Maybe it’s not the only thing.

    Donald Todd is the seam. No wonder he can’t afford rips and tears.”

    You guys call the shots? No. Never. The Church guided by Its Head and by the Holy Spirit Who guides It to all truth is what calls the shots.

    Dismissed? You keep giving me the credit or the blame for your position. I did not dismiss our Lord. I did not dismiss His words. I did not avoid the implications of Who He is and what He said. I took them at face value.

    Now you credit me with being the seam, whatever that might be, as though the Church is maintained by me. I am not you. I am not in competition with Jesus for this post.

    You are disagreeably wrong and you seem to revel in it. If there is a lawgiver and judge, I know it is not me and am sure that it is not you. Your judgments fall flat. Your character is in question. Your commitment to Him is in question. Your adherence to scripture is in question. Yet the only thing you can do is to try and palm it off on whomever you disagree with at the moment.

    You failed Eric. Again. It is hard, isn’t it? And the hardness is hardness of heart.

  295. Debbie, you wrote:
    (never a good idea to just quote single verses)

    In theory, there’s a canon of everything you wrote. Would it be wrong if I quoted that single statement by itself ? That statement from the entire Debbie canon ? By writing it (by itself), you undermine single verse quotes from the canon of scripture. I will not be corrected in handling scripture if you don’t allow me to correct you.

  296. On the contrary, Eric W., it is you who have become hardened in your error.

    If you can’t grasp, that Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, can appoint a Vicar to shepherd the flock in His place, then you need prayer and grace. All we can do is plant seeds. But apparently, your seed has fallen on stone.

  297. Donald Todd wrote:
    And I have your word for it. We both know that doesn’t fly.

    I knew you are ignorant of some RC teachings. Bishop-god is a RC teaching based on the Roman Catechism. Sorry, you go do the RC work I did.
    ————————-

    You wrote:
    The liar part is correct. I left idolatry when I ceased to worship my own mind at the expense of Jesus’ words.

    Response:
    Good. You confess to former idolatry. I agree (in a provisional way) that you put that idolatry behind you. You replaced it with Bishop-gods.
    ————————–

    You wrote:
    And, you are correct. There are no substantial points for ripping the Church apart. It was Jesus Who prayed that we would all be one as He is in the Father. You keep coming out on the wrong side of these ideas of His.

    Response:
    Focus on His words: “we would all be one” It’s not a given that Donald Todd is among the “we”. This non-given casts doubt on your judgment about “You keep coming out on the wrong side of these ideas of His”. Your “I”, that’s the Donald Todd “I”, handled the Eric W “YOU” in this previous judgment. Donald Todd “I” is very confident with little evidence to support that Donald Todd is among the “we”.
    —————————–

    You wrote:
    Now you credit me with being the seam, whatever that might be, as though the Church is maintained by me. I am not you. I am not in competition with Jesus for this post.

    Response:
    You qualify as a seam. A seam says things like this:

    Donald Todd wrote:
    There are no substantial points to justify ripping the Church apart.”
    —————————-

    You wrote:
    You are disagreeably wrong….

    Response:
    From wrong to disagreeably wrong. My resistance hardens you. That’s why you care about escalating the charge against me. You want to justify any future self-righteous judgments against Eric W “YOU”. Don’t worry, my “I” is safe and it forgives. Just ask De Maria.
    ——————————-

    You wrote:
    Your character is in question. Your commitment to Him is in question. Your adherence to scripture is in question.

    Response:
    A seam, like Donald Todd “I”, is very good at focusing on doubt. Three questions usually follow. Let me count…yes ! you wrote the word question three times…I win !

  298. Debbie–

    If you believe that your catholic church is the true one and that my catholic church is a false one, you must demonstrate this, not merely assert it.

    But that’s not what I was asking about. How can the Eucharist be fleshly when you consume the whole Christ (body, blood, soul, and divinity) when you eat the bread…or the whole Christ (body, blood, soul, and divinity) when you drink the wine, but not two Christ’s when you take communion in both kinds. And your congregation is not consuming 350 or so Christs. Also, if Christ is still in heaven, which Catholics maintain, how can he also be upon the altar?

    We Reformed, on the other hand, go to where Christ is. There is one Christ in one place, feeding his flock.

    Can’t you see that both explanations are mediated spiritually, mysteriously? Yours is not more fleshly than ours in any way, shape, or form. If anything, I would evaluate it as less so because it is inconsistent. It makes less sense.

wordpress visitor