Likelihood, Plausibility, and Sola Scriptura

Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Catholicism, Ecclesiology, Featured, I Fought the Church, Protestantism, Reformed Theology, Revelation, Sola Scriptura | 2,044 comments

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, tentatively titled I Fought the Church (and the Church Won). Enjoy. And play nice.

 As I continued wrestling through the issues of church authority and its relation to Scripture, one of the questions I kept returning to was that of likelihood. “All things being equal,” I would ask myself, “which is more likely: that Jesus had intended to establish his church in such a way that it was to be governed by Scripture alone (with leaders whose role was to interpret Scripture to the best of their abilities), or that he intended his church to be governed by leaders who, in some way and under certain conditions, were protected from error when exercising their authority?”

Now, I should issue a word of caution here. It can be a dangerous thing to judge the actions of God on the basis of what seems most plausible to us, and the conclusions I reached resulted from a lot more than this simple thought experiment. Nevertheless, the more I thought about it the more struck I became with the sheer unlikelihood of Sola Scriptura.

To illustrate this, let’s walk through the conditions that would have been necessary in the apostolic church for Sola Scriptura  to be true. We’ll start with something obvious. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said the words, “I will build My church.” Hence we can gather that our Lord intended for there to be a church after he passed from the earthly scene. Hardly a controversial point, I trust! Here’s where things get interesting, though: This “church” that Christ said he would establish and build would need some sort of mechanism in place by which it could be governed, right? I mean, it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to expect that Jesus would not have gone to all the hassle of founding a church and then leaving it in such a state due to a lack of planning or foresight. No, if he was going to found a church, he would have also come up with some way for it to be governed after he was gone.

Now, Protestants insist that the mechanism by which the church would be governed is Sola Scriptura, as we saw in our last chapter. But as we continue our thought experiment, a number of questions arise, which we’ll consider one by one. First and most obviously, “Did Jesus ever indicate that Scripture alone would the sole infallible authority that was to govern his church?” Seems like a pretty reasonable question to me. If Christ founded a church that he intended to continue to build after his departure, and if the way he planned to do this was by means of the authority of Scripture alone, then surely he would have said so somewhere, and surely one of the four gospels would have recorded such instruction. But inexplicably, neither Matthew, Mark, Luke, nor John contains even a hint at such an arrangement.

Of course, it’s possible that Jesus did indeed give such instruction and the evangelists simply decided not to include it (an argument from silence, but whatever, let’s allow it anyway). But if this were the case, then it would not only be extremely likely  for it to have been written down elsewhere in the New Testament, it would be absolutely necessary. Why would it be necessary? Well, if Jesus taught his apostles that the church’s sole source of infallible revelation was to be the written words of Scripture, and if they did not write that instruction down as Scripture, then Sola Scriptura  would fail its own test! I mean, talk about irony! The idea—completely foundational to the church’s identity and very existence—that Scripture alone would be the church’s sole source of infallible revelation was not communicated by Scripture but by fallible oral tradition! I must admit, it’s more than a little humorous to imagine the leaders of the post-apostolic church saying to the members of their congregations, “OK, you’re all going to have to just take our word for it on this, but Jesus told the apostles that you should never ‘just take our word for it’ on anything, but only listen to Scripture. Except when it comes to the command to only listen to Scripture. For that one, just take our word for it. And once you have, never just take our word for it again.”

But all this just gives rise to another question: “If Scripture was to be the church’s sole source of infallible revelation, how was the church to know which books counted as Scripture?” Think about it: Unless the Bible’s Table of Contents is itself a part of the Bible and therefore infallible, then there’s no way of infallibly knowing what counts as “The Bible” in the first place. Now, this is not to say that there weren’t certain criteria that the early church used to determine whether a certain book was truly inspired and canonical or not. Those tests existed then as they do today. But if all of the church’s extra-canonical determinations are by definition fallible and prone to error, then this would apply to the recognition of the canon of Scripture as well. The ramifications of this are legion. For example, not only must we admit that the Gospel of Matthew might not actually belong in the New Testament since the inclusion of it was done by fallible decision-makers, but we can’t even be sure who wrote it.

“Wait a minute,” the Protestant might say, “the title of the book is ‘The Gospel According to Matthew !’ Of course Matthew wrote it!” Yes, it’s true that that is indeed the title of the New Testament’s first book, but that title is not itself a part of the book, but was given to it much later. And moreover, the first Gospel doesn’t end with the words, “Love, Matthew.” How, then, did we come to believe that the first-century Levite and former tax collector is its author? Simply put, it was an unquestioned part of the church’s tradition from the very beginning. “Well, why can’t that be enough for us today?”, the Protestant might ask (and in fact, this was a question that I had asked as a Protestant). The problems that arise, however, are pretty clear: First, even a complete consensus reached by a fallible body of men can still possibly be wrong, and if those who initially recognized the 27 books that we call the New Testament made even a single mistake (whether by excluding a book that ought to have been included, or vice versa), then Sola Scriptura  cannot be trusted.

And further, it would be completely arbitrary to conclude that Matthew wrote Matthew on the basis of a broad consensus in the early church, when other universally agreed-upon issues (like baptismal regeneration) are rejected for being “unbiblical.” I mean, even if baptismal regeneration is false, at least a biblical case can be made for it, which is more than one can say about the Mathean authorship of the New Testament’s first book! For that one, we need to rely completely on sources outside the Bible.

2,044 Comments

  1. “Obviously, the Holy Spirit himself doesn’t spread confusion.”

    This is ABSOLUTE truth, so someone is spreading confusion. Guess who?

    We are in the middle of a warfare we don’t know anything about, so we are all probably equally clueless.

    But the promise was made by our Lord Himself, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    Unless someone is 110% convinced that there is absolutely no salvation within the Catholic Church, I would be very wary of following anyone who says they know better. Especially someone who loves to spread confusion.

    Confusion is not the same as not having perfect understanding of everything. Faith, hope, and Love override confusion.

  2. Jason Loh, you write:

    SS is not an abstract theological formula …

    This is the third time that you have said this. All you are saying to me is that you don’t know what sola scriptura actually is, which is why you cannot define your terms.

    I actually reject reason in relation to divine righteousness.

    In relation to the righteousness of God you reject reason? Why would you choose to make that choice? Is it because you believe that God has a double standard of justice that is unreasonable?

    Yes, we do not locate infallibility in the magisterium *alone.*

    I stated that for Catholics, infallibility is a particular charism of the Holy Spirit that bishops exercise under certain circumstances. You have not defined what you mean by infallibility, any more than you have defined what you mean by sola scriptura, which is why communication with you is extremely difficult.

    What do YOU mean when you use the words “infallibility” or “proclamation” ? That should not be too hard for you to answer.

    This would place teaching authority as higher than preaching authority.

    That is nonsense. A heretic that quoting the scriptures in his preaching and then explaining the verses that he quoted in a heretical manner does NOT have more authority because he is a preacher than a bishop at a valid Ecumenical Council that is formally defining an article of faith that is anathematizing the heresy that is being preached by the heretic.

    Proclamation shares Proclamation shares the same logical status as divine revelation …

    You have introduced yet one more undefined term into our conversation. What in the world do you mean by “proclamation”? Heterodox preachers proclaim heresy, and orthodox preachers proclaim orthodoxy. Surely you don’t mean that a heretical proclamation of the Gospel is “ the same logical status as divine revelation.”

    As such, we locate infallibility in proclamation …

    What are you saying? That any man that preaches a sermon that contains an orthodox interpretation of Sacred Scriptures is speaking infallibly? Is that your personal definition of “infallible”?

    … to be sure in the living voice of the Church as both the custodian of scripture and tradition (in agreement with the RCC). All publicly called and rightfully ordained bishops and priests standing in apostolic succession (as representing their ministerial and sacramental credentials) have the authority and power to speak infallibly in the exercise of the keys of the kingdom of heaven as embodied in the proclamation of the Gospel in Word and Sacraments.

    How do yo know with certainty when a preacher’s sermon is orthodox? Is that discerned by a Mormon-like “burning in the bosom” or what?

    The creeds contain the stuff of proclamation but it isn’t proclamation per se.

    Until you define what you mean by “proclamation”, I have no idea of what you are saying here.

    I agree with you about the irreformable character of the creeds. Not formally as such but materially in as much as the contents are derived from scripture and tradition.

    Actually, I don’t think that agree with me. The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is a formal definition by the living magisterium of the true church about what Christians must believe to be orthodox. At the Second Ecumenical Council, Christ’s Church solemnly defined what she believes, and heretics that reject any part of this creed are anathematized. In the Second Ecumenical Council, Christ’s Church implemented the teaching of Christ found in Matthew 18:15-20 about how to handle doctrinal disputes within His church – “if he (the heretic) refuses to listen even to the church ….”

    The material that was drawn upon to make this formal definition of the faith is wholly contained in the Deposit of the Faith, which includes both Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. I am glad to see that you believe that Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is irreformable. What you haven’t done is given me any basis for believing that this is anything more than your personal opinion.

    For us Lutherans, infallibility only pertains to the actual doing of the proclamation rather than the underlying and presupposed theological materials summarised in the creeds. The creeds do not become infallible until and unless it is proclaimed (man-ward – God doing something to us).

    It seems obvious to me that you are using the words “proclaim” and “infallible” in some novel way that is unique to you, which is why I have no idea of what you are trying to say here. You might have well have written: “For us Lutherans, ziblac only pertains to the actual doing of the pimtang rather than the underlying and presupposed theological materials summarised in the creeds. The creeds do not become ziblac until and unless it is pimtanged.”

    The creeds are confession of faith – they are a response to the proclamation of the word of scripture. So that proclamation is always prior to teaching. The apostolic pattern is proclamation (including Baptism) and then teaching.

    Again, since you have not defined what you mean by “proclamation”, what you are saying makes as much sense to me as if you wrote: “The creeds are confession of faith – they are a response to the pimtang of the word of scripture. So that pimtang is always prior to teaching. The apostolic pattern is pimtang (including Baptism) and then teaching.”

    Also, the early practice of dismissing the catechumens after the sermon in the Liturgy of the Mass does not contradict the priority of proclamation since the sermon was proclamation.
    .
    The creeds are therefore secondary to proclamation and derivative thereof. Formally, the creeds are only authoritative, infallible and irreformable in the *relative* (i.e. historical) sense and to the degree that they are the authentic confession and expression of the faithful in response to proclamation.
    .
    The authority, infallibility and irreformability of proclamation, on the other hand, is characteristically absolute, immutable and inerrant because its origins are a-historical and a-temporal although taking place in time and space. When the preacher preaches the word of the Lord (from scripture no less), scripture interprets the hearer. The priority here is that of proclamation.
    .
    SS for Luther simply means the proclamation of the gospel alone is infallible.

    Which translates to me as:

    “Also, the early practice of dismissing the catechumens after the sermon in the Liturgy of the Mass does not contradict the priority of pimtang since the sermon was pimtang.
    .
    The creeds are therefore secondary to pimtang and derivative thereof. Formally, the creeds are only authoritative, ziblac and irreformable in the *relative* (i.e. historical) sense and to the degree that they are the authentic confession and expression of the faithful in response to pimtang.
    .
    The authority, ziblac and irreformability of pimtang, on the other hand, is characteristically absolute, immutable and inerrant because its origins are a-historical and a-temporal although taking place in time and space.
    .
    When the preacher preaches the word of the Lord (from scripture no less), scripture interprets the hearer. The priority here is that of pimtang.”
    .
    Fernwash for Luther simply means the pimtang of the gospel alone is ziblac.

    I hope you understand my point in the spirit it was intended. Because you refuse to define your terms (i.e. “sola scriptura”, “infallibility”, and “proclamation”) in plain English, what you are saying to me is incomprehensible gibberish.

    Our model is that of an *open* book.

    What is that supposed to mean? Do you not have a problem with a heretic’s interpretation of the *open* book?

    How can the binding of conscience here defined as the intellectual faculties of the soul be more “superior” and even prior to the re-creation of the entire person as the New Adam – involving therefore by implication the past, present and future, i.e. the whole dimension of the Christian life in this world and beyond?

    As a Lutheran, I presume that you believe that an infant that has been baptismally regenerated is a “born again” Christian that has not yet reached the age of reason. Why don’t you explain to me what it means for a Christian that has reached the age of reason to “put on the mind of Christ”, and how a young Christian goes about doing that? If you would give me that explanation, perhaps I could understand your question.

  3. Debbie–

    I do pray as if my life and the life of my family depends on it. I actually have prayed to saints: they do not answer. I have asked God that if my Calvinism is wrongheaded, he would convince me of the truth of another way: he has not done so. I can do novenas and such, but my guess is that the outcome will continue to be the same.

    What have you done to make sure you are not confused? What are you willing to do?

    You linked me to an article on Francis de Sales. In it, it said:

    “It was while at Clermont that Francis was exposed to debates over predestination and became convinced that he was damned. In the midst of despair, he prayed before a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Etienne-des-Grès in Paris, and came to know the boundless love of God. Freed from his doubts, about his own fate, Francis resolved to dedicate himself to Christ and to help others who had been led astray by Calvinist misunderstandings of predestination.”

    The problem with this is that he clearly had a serious misunderstanding of Calvinism. Becoming convinced that one is reprobate and having a proper comprehension of Calvinism are totally incompatible (unless, of course, one is a God-hating SOB, which does not appear to describe St. Francis). Why on earth would the BVM mislead Francis concerning Calvinism? Does the Queen of Heaven manipulate genuine seekers after God? Is THAT what I am supposed to take away from this? (Of course, this article may have misrepresented his conversion. Mary may have explained to him a proper understanding of Calvinism and then shown him why it was, nevertheless, a faulty system. But that is not the impression I get from his subsequent behavior.)

  4. Eric,
    Lets see who knows their Christology. You wrote,
    “If you believe that Mary is the Mother of God like my wife is the mother of my sons–that they did not exist until she conceived them–then you are a quaternarian heretic (which in my book is worse than a Nestorian any day of the week!)”

    The theatrics are not necessary. No Catholic believes the 2 Person of the Trinity began at the Incarnation. Please don’t talk about it causing confusion to anyone but an idiot.

    “When you have the slightest clue what you’re talking about, get back to me.”

    I think I got that clue! Can I share it with you?

    It is you who don’t know up from down, son.
    Quoting my previous statement you said,
    “Christ was not 2 persons, 1 human and 1 divine. He was 1 Person with 2 natures. The Person was Divine.”

    Then you tried covering up with some bluster by saying,

    “No duh. That’s what I was trying to tell YOU, for goodness’ sake!”

    Then you should have said as much rather than denying it. You as much as asserted that the human nature of Christ was Mary’s child. Absurdity.
    As a matter of fact, let me tweek the thing I said that you quoted and then said you agree with. ( It needs a bit of clarification before you want to co-sign on to it ). Do you agree with this;
    Do to language constraints, I said Christ was One Divine Person with 2 natures.
    Thanks for agreeing but actually, my expression, “with 2 natures” must not be understood as Christ “having” a divine nature. He “had” a human nature as you and I could be said to have human natures.——————
    But God does not have a divine nature. He IS a divine nature. ( Ego Eimi -Exodus 3:14)
    Are you still with me,boy? The 2nd Person is 100% of the divine nature. The Father is 100% of the divine nature. The Holy Spirit is 100% too.
    There is only ONE divine nature. ( Don’t try to figure it out. If it is beyond me, you will never come close, squirt.
    Now, the 2nd Person of the Trinity was in the womb of Mary. ( Right?).
    That means the Father was too as the Son proceeds from the Father. Therefore the Holy Ghost spirates eternally from the Father and the Son from Mary’s womb. (Only the Son assume a human nature, I am not saying the Father and Spirit did too ).
    So far, its a but, well, unfathomable huh?
    Shall we proceed?
    So, because Mary has ties of consanguinity with the Son, she therefore has ties of affinity with the Father and the Spirit due to the One Divine Nature.
    Ponder this, Mary’s maternity and the Father’s Paternity in the same Son.
    ( Just say, WOW!).I guess we can say Eric my boy, that words fail at this point to describe the awesome dignity of the Woman you are so dead set against being given HYPERDULIA!

    O brilliant Anglican Divine, speaketh unto us little ones and tell us what would be the appropriate amount of honor to be given to the MOTHER OF GOD?

    ( I wouldn’t worry about over doing it, son. I would be more worried if your puny homage is up to snuff ).

  5. Debbie, I was in Geneva a couple of years aback specifically to see the Francis de sales/Calvin stuff. Got a lot to tell the Calvinists boys I mentioned also, but not to Jason L, I have actually stood on the stone where Luther stood to say “Unless…I can do no more” in Worms.
    (Yes, Eric, I know a bit about your system of erroneous beliefs.)
    Good night all.

  6. Eric,

    You – You wrote (to Kevin):
    “Just like I don’t assume that you know the Catholic Church is the church Christ founded but choose to ignore it anyway to rebel against God and personally offend me. I just think you are blind to it and not yet moved by the Holy Spirit.”

    You – Just curious. Not trying to argue anything. Just conversing. What do you think is happening here? We think that we have the Holy Spirit, who is telling us that you guys–though probably unwittingly so–are idolatrous in your veneration of Mary, and you think that you have the Holy Spirit, who is telling you that we are blinded to the truth that the Church of Rome was and is the church founded and maintained by Christ.

    Me – I think we may have different definitions of idolatry. Catholic view is a man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods, or demons, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc.. So, could one unwittingly commit idolatry, sure but honoring, veneration in itself is not idolatry as long as you keep God first. If you have problems keeping God first then one should become a hermit and remove all temptations.

    I think we all think we are guided by the Holy Spirit.

    You – Obviously, the Holy Spirit himself doesn’t spread confusion. Some of us on this side of the divide have looked thoroughly and conscientiously into the Catholic beliefs on Mary and come away convinced you all are mistaken. We would actually say that the Spirit bears testimony with our spirit that you all are mistaken. We would also say that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that the present-day church in Rome is NOT the continuation of the Early Church founded by our Lord and his Holy Apostles.

    Me – You are correct the Holy Spirit doesn’t spread confusion. SS makes everyone their own authority and that’s how you have your confusion, which is why it’s not taught in Scripture. So now we have disagreements and remember you have disagreements with other Protestants who have looked thoroughly and conscientiously into your beliefs. How do we resolve this?

    I’m still trying to figure out how it can be resolved without some kind of authority (one not thousands). I can see historically how the church kept things together early on using the same formula the Catholic Church uses now (Sacred Tradition, Scripture & Magisterium). This formula was the glue. I can also see historically how the church leaders/member went astray in a horrible way throughout history and you can point to this and say that the church lost her way.

    I can also see that SS caused immediate confusion and an explosion of denominations as soon as it was implemented.

    You – I cannot think of any emotional reasons I might have for rejecting these claims of Rome. There are no social or familial impediments standing in my way. I have no overwhelming animus against the Church. The things that stand in my way are the lack of spirituality in Catholic congregations (in general), the inconsistency in terms of not disciplining, the worldiness of the Church, the lack of emphasis on Scripture and preaching, the routine mimicking of Evangelical practices (for lack of its own mind and voice), and the going-through-the-motions worship style. I have gone to tons of Masses. I have read tons of history. The claim falls flat. Very flat.

    Me – I know, it hasn’t met your expectations. I see the same thing around me every weekend to a certain extent, but during weekly mass I see people that are on fire for the Lord. Instead of focusing on the ones that don’t live the faith you should look to the ones that do. The church in Corinth had similar issues and if one had walked away from that church because of the behavior of some they would of walked away from the church Christ founded.

    You – Is that what you have done? Have you read up all you can on confessional Protestantism, especially from Reformed rather than Catholic sources? Have you visited lots of our churches and spoken to lots of our pastors?

    Me – I’ve attended other services, but that was a long time ago. I’m still trying to get a better understanding of Catholicism so no, I have not read up on any confessional Protestantism but reading this blog, CTC and others does broaden my horizon. There are very intelligent and knowledgeable people from all points of view posting on sites like these (for the most part). But this is part of the rub, how much reading outside the bible one have to do? In your view it seem like the modern Christian has to be intelligent, educated, have a minor in philosophy and theology in order to find the right church, because at the end of the day he can’t trust anyone’s interpretation because they all can be wrong. He must find out for himself, which sounds good until he realizes that he could be wrong. So he spends his whole life searching….

    How many hundreds or thousands of churches does one have to visit? I believe Christ left us a visible Church and that church looks very similar to today’s Catholic Church (that includes EO etc…) Mateo makes an excellent point that the ancient Christian churches are by far more in line with what the Catholic Church teaches (Eucharist, saints, Mary, Peter as Pope) than Protestantism.. How in the world did all the ancient churches get it so wrong?

    You – I haven’t given up looking. I haven’t given up looking at the EO either. We are supposed to be one. That’s not going to happen if we all stay locked up in our own little enclaves, listening to our own speakers, reading our own writers. Always assuming WE are right while THEY are wrong (and thinking the Holy Spirit rubber stamps whatever it is we feel comfortable feeling in our isolated camps because it feels comfortable).

    Me – Christianity has been around for 2000 years and Christians are still searching for his church, trying to figure out how He want’s to be worshiped, asking if all the books in the bible inspired. With Protestantism every generation is having to re-discover true Christianity because in the end one can’t really trust the foundation that’s been laid for you by previous generations. Protestantism is re-inventing the wheel every generation.

  7. Eric,

    No, I’m dead against Pietism.

    Take it from me. It’s un-catholic and un-Reformational.

  8. Jim,

    What I meant was that priestly absolution is not *dependent or conditional/ conditioned on* the prior contrition and as you say subsequent penance of the penitent.

    Luther discovered that the priestly absolution forgives sins *unconditionally.* The signum is the res — the forgiveness of the penitent’s sins coincide with the words of the absolution (preferably unconditional).

  9. Mateo,

    Why do choose to make the choice to misunderstand and misrepresent me? I say the cross alone; you say pasta. Calante! Don’t you understand English at all? Luther’s SS is not an abstract theological principle. It is concretely embodied in the deed or act of proclamation of the gospel in Word and Sacraments. IOW, SS is not a principle but the living voice of the Church. Get it now?

  10. Mateo,

    I’ve defined infallibility. It just doesn’t fit into your understanding.

    >> That is nonsense. A heretic that quoting the scriptures in his preaching and then explaining the verses that he quoted in a heretical manner does NOT have more authority because he is a preacher than a bishop at a valid Ecumenical Council that is formally defining an article of faith that is anathematizing the heresy that is being preached by the heretic. <<

    You're talking nonsense here. Look, a heretic cannot claim nor demonstrate no apostolic succession. A priest standing apostolic succession can lay claim or rather GREATER claim to infallibility when he exercises the keys of the kingdom than the pope who purports to define and pronounce on dogma, particularly that which despite having the consent of the faithful cannot be regarded as truly ecumenical – since a decree of such proportion requires the consent and consultation of the branches of Christendom, particularly EO.

  11. Mateo,

    >>That any man that preaches a sermon that contains an orthodox interpretation of Sacred Scriptures is speaking infallibly? Is that your personal definition of “infallible”?<<

    Is your definition of infallibility infallible? Tell me, how different is your personal definition as you put it different than mine or others?

  12. As it is, Mateo, preaching authority – the keys of the kingdom of heaven – is higher, ultimate and final than any teaching authority that purports to define and promulgate dogma. This binding of the consciences of the faithful to elicit assent to the teachings of the church (faith) does not *guarantee* or *promise* *assure* salvation.

    Caritas must play its role in the life of the faithful but the Sacraments and sacramental of the Church that provide for the spiritual journey of the homo viator is ironically not included in the definition of Roman infallibility.

    So, the teachings of the Church are infallible but its ministration of divine grace are not. I’d say it’s a theological dilemma.

  13. Jason,

    Please, quit trying to wow us little old bumpkins with your erudition. The “signum is the res” stuff. Kevin likes to drop”ex opere operato” on us. You’re talking to an old altar boy. A very old altar boy!
    I still don’t know why you say Luther “discovered” …
    Besides, how many Lutherans avail themselves of auricular Confession to get this priestly absolution you mention.
    Just so we are understanding each other, we Catholic say a purpose of amendment is required or the priest’s word are null. So, when you say Luther “discovered” this or that, do you mean “woke up to what the Church had been teaching” or do you mean Luther”decided” on an innovation? If the latter, who cares? The Churches penitential rite isn’t up for tinkering with.
    Please answer in American English now, why would a Lutheran need a priest to hear his confession? And your words of absolution would be what? Certainly not “Absolvo te” as if the priest could forgive sins. All the minister does is proclaim the guys sins are/or have been forgiven, correct? No “magical” powers as our Reformed buddies would say and no power to retain the sins of one who does not evidence a firm purpose of amendment.
    Dumb down now please with your answer.

  14. Eric,

    I am still waiting for you to eat your words. You objected to Mary being the Mother of the Person. You as good as said she was the mother of the flesh. You pretended that since the Son exists from eternity, and Mary started her existence a mere wink of an eye ago, to say Mary was the Mother of the Son implied she generated him from all eternity.
    So, eat some humble pie, feathers and all.
    You know Eric, wearing a Baptist and an Anglican and a Lutheran and whatever hat you care to put on, allows you to change your position willy nilly. Repeatedly you have used the phrase, ” I believe”, Eric, I don’t care what Eric believes. Someone called you a lone ranger like the other Eric W whom I don’t engage as I don’t care to chase a girl around the playground who grabs my hat and runs off screaming that I am trying to kiss her.
    Even if you were to subscribe to one church as to one wife, this refusal to render hyperdulia to a Creature God has raised to ties of consanguinity and affinity with the Persons of the Trinity, based on what ” I believe” and not because of some denominational requirement,reveals an arrogance and ignorance that is indeed, unfathomable.

  15. CK–

    1. Billy Graham is now 90-something years of age. If I were to honor him when he died–said that he was closer to the Holy Spirit than any man in history, that he had a “special affinity” with the Third Person of the godhead (I mean, look at all those conversions!)–and I had huge 1oo-foot statues made of the man, at the feet of which I daily laid dozens of bouquets of flowers…would you suspect any possible idolatry? I’m just honoring him because he was a faithful man of God, I’d say. Yeah, he’s super important to me, but Jesus is more important. (Well, at least a little bit anyway!) Billy is Jesus’ “Chief of Staff” in heaven. If you want anything done and done right now, pray to Billy. He’s Jesus’ right-hand man! I’m also going to have a huge basilica built in Charlotte, NC, dedicated to Billy, with lots of gilded statuary and mosaics of the man. Don’t worry: there’ll be a nice, tasteful little fresco of the Savior of Mankind tucked in a corner of the place somewhere. Don’t worry: I’m still going to “keep God first.” That way, it can’t possibly be looked on as anywhere close to idolatry!

    Wow, Billy’s great. Billy’s cool….

    (Just trying to get you to see just a glimpse of what it looks like from our side.)

    2. If Sola Scriptura causes such confusion, why do we have such unanimity on so many doctrines…even after 500 years? All kidding aside, I really think that argument is a non-starter. Yes, we have plenty of kooks and heretics. There have been plenty of kooks and heretics since the church began.

    3. You and your compatriots see what you want to see when it comes to the ECF’s. At the beginning, worship is free flow and practically non-liturgical. It looks veritably Charismatic. After a while it looks quite liturgical. More liturgical than any Catholic church I’ve ever been in. More like EO or Anglican. Theologically, they sound almost nothing like Catholics to me. They sound much more like conservative Anglicans or Lutherans. Sacramentally, they sound nothing like Catholics in the very beginning…more like Baptists. I can only assume you’re relying on other people’s opinions (or by very superficial similarities)…because your Early Church doesn’t look at all like my Early Church.

    4. If someone is out there searching, and they don’t have a lot of education, what makes you think they would be at all attracted to the Catholic Church? If they want a church that thinks it’s the “one, true church,” all they have to do is attend United Pentecostal services. There is no substitute for study at this point. No church is going to stand out “just because.” Just because they’re old…or just because they’re big…or just because they’re fancy.

    5. On the contrary, millions of us firmly believe we can trust the foundation that’s been laid for us by previous generations of confessional Protestants. I could go looking for all this confusion and instability you say is out there, but I’d have trouble finding it.

  16. Eric, I shouldn’t engage you but you said, “2. If Sola Scriptura causes such confusion, why do we have such unanimity on so many doctrines…”

    I would have to say you don’t. The differences between Arminians and Calvinist should put that canard to rest. I honestly think Arminians are closer to Catholics than you guys. I can’t figure why they don’t all swim the Tiber.

  17. Protestants,
    This little spat Eric and I are having over Hyperdulia causes me to wonder if Protestants actually think about the Bible. Oh, for sure, you read it. But do you take any of it in? What does it mean that Mary is the Mother of God (okay, Mother of Jesus if you insist )?
    To acknowledge she is then turn around and say some bone headed thing like “Mary was a sinner because she said she needed a savior” or “the Bible says she had a whole passle of kids”, or worse, “Jesus put her in her place”, is to reveal a slavery to the letter without understanding a word.
    You don’t render Mary the hyperdulia that God says she deserves. Please don’t feign that you refuse to do so because you love the Bible so much.

  18. Jim,

    I would have to say you don’t. The differences between Arminians and Calvinist should put that canard to rest.

    The differences between evangelical Arminians and evangelical Calvinists regarding soteriology are about as consequential as the differences between Thomists and Molinists. Yet that difference always gets a pass by you guys.

    I honestly think Arminians are closer to Catholics than you guys. I can’t figure why they don’t all swim the Tiber.

    Here I agree, at least for consistent Arminians. The view of free will and grace are virtually identical between RCs and Arminians, which is why the strongest arguments against Rome never come from Arminians.

  19. Jim,

    To acknowledge she is then turn around and say some bone headed thing like “Mary was a sinner because she said she needed a savior” or “the Bible says she had a whole passle of kids”, or worse, “Jesus put her in her place”, is to reveal a slavery to the letter without understanding a word.
    You don’t render Mary the hyperdulia that God says she deserves. Please don’t feign that you refuse to do so because you love the Bible so much.

    This is just silly. Mary was a sinner, and she was clearly not all that important to the Apostolic proclamation besides the fact that she was a virgin. We just don’t hear much about her even in the gospels, and that is where she has the biggest role.

    I could just as well apply everything you all say about Mary to Mary’s grandmother, great-grandmother, and all the way back to Eve. It’s rather inconsistent to stop and give her an Immaculate Conception simply to make her worthy of bearing the Christ child. Why not her mother as well?

    The fact is that there is nothing in the New Testament upon which to build a RC or EO Mariology. Should we honor her. Sure. But pray to her? She’s just a creature like the rest of us.

  20. Jason Stellman,
    I have no doubt invited a spirited response from our separated brethen by my assertion that they are in arrears for not rendering Hyperdulia to the Queen of Heaven ( Oh boy! I stirred up a hornets nest with that’n didn’t I. Too late, I said it and can’t unsay it now ).

    Jason, you are a Catholic so this is a Catholic blog, huh? Nobody is having their arm twisted to log on to this Catholic blog are they. I am within propriety on this Catholic blog to speak as a Catholic right?

    And of course, as you invite our friends onto your Catholic blog, they are free to not violate the consciences and to RESPECTFULLY disagree. They may even charitably express disapproval. Truth and fairness demand we give them that.

    But are they invited to sneer, smirk, snicker and mock with abandon on YOUR CATHOLIC blog? What we tolerate in the market place and what we permit in our living rooms isn’t quite the same is it now?
    I believe there is a parallel blog to this on run by your counter part, Tim Kauffman, where every form of ridicule, caricature and blasphemy to the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Father and Our Blessed Lady not only tolerated but encouraged. ( One of our Protestant guests is a daily and quite enthusiastic contributor there ). Perhaps if our guest don’t care to respect YOUR beliefs ( that are JUST LIKE mine ), perhaps they could avail themselves of Mr. Kauffman’s blog where they would feel more at home?

    Now, back to why our Bible reading friends don’t mediate on what they read and render hyperdulia to the Mother of God.

  21. Robert, I appreciate your concerns, However, the Immaculate Conception has zero bearing on St. Ann’s state of soul. We Catholics are creationists, not traducinists.

    As for her being a sinner, prove it, don’t assert it.

    You say Mary is a creature. But she is not a creature like the rest of us. The rest of us do not have the ties of the flesh with Jesus that she has. None of us has been elevated to that honor.

    And why not pray to her? The prayers of the just avail much.

    You opine we don’t hear much about her. WOW! We hear volumes about her in the Gospels. That’s my point. Do you realize the entire Summa of Aquinas was a commentary on “And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us”?

    As for the Apostolic Proclamation, well how about Christ’s proclamation from His throne, when He said “Behold your son”?

  22. Robert,

    I am curious. How exactly do you, Robert, honor her? Do you hold her in anymore esteem than Sarah or Ruth or Esther? A lot more ink was used on them so they are more important to a Bible Only person, right? I mean, 2 of them had entire books written about them, right?

  23. Robert,
    “Silly”? What is silly Robert is how someone, anyone, could actually read John 19, where the Son of God and Son of Mary, in the ultimate act of saving the world says, ” Woman behold your son, son behold your mother” and after reading those words could close their book and move on as it they had read their shoe size.
    Do you have any idea of what those 8 little words just said? Nothing about the Apostolic Proclamation?
    Robert, you just read the proclamation of the Gospel!
    A little hyperdulia would be on order, if you don’t mind.

  24. People, How about a little hyperdulia around here! For days on thisblogI have been subjected to the private opinions of , well, nobodies, giving their little magisterial declarations about hyperdulia being idolatry. Reparation to the Immacualte heart of Mary is called for to undo the nonsense
    C’mon Catholics, don’t be shy. 4 more days til Fatima day. The Protestants have opined. Kevin slapped Debbie down as an idolatress for crossing the line and actually saying something nice about Mary. It’s your turn to spout off. They do. They have been talking loud. Your turn.
    We need less private opinion from nobodies and more hyperdulia on this damn blog!

  25. People! No more mousey wousey namby pamby, ” Oh my Carl, you mustn’t over do it now. Remember what the doctor said. Too much hyperdulia can cause your idolatry to flare up like it did last Winter. Be careful with that Mother of God stuff now. You know how it might make you think Mary conceived the Trinity from all eternity now. Doctor Potts said you were not to over do it. Maybe you better have a warm mil and lie down.”

    BLAH! Keep your warm milk, Mable! Somebody pour me a shot of good honest hyperdulia. Somebody step and say, ” God exhausted His creative powers ( so the schoolmen say ) in three areas; 1. In the unity of the two natures in the Person of Christ. 2. In the unity of the human soul with God in the Beatific Vison. and 3. In the honor God paid to a creature in elevating Mary to the Hypostatic Order when He made her Mother of God”.

    Now, that’s some hyperdulia for ya’. If God honors Mary, who am I, Mr. Nobody with food stains on his shirt to say through my nose, “But Mr. God, sir, the Bible says Mary is a nasty sinner just like me and everybody else and squeak, squeak, squeak…”
    .

  26. Jim–

    You’ll be waiting an awfully long time to eat my words:

    1. I DID NOT object to Mary’s being called the Mother of the [Divine] Person of Christ.

    2. I DID NOT say she was the mother of [only] Christ’s flesh.

    As even the Catholic church maintains, she was Christ’s mother “according to the flesh.” She bore the Second Person of the Trinity in her womb but his divinity did not originate with her. She was not a mother like anyone else has been a mother ever before or ever since.

    Of course, the whole mystical “divine maternity” business, granting Mary honorary status in the Trinity as a result of her bonds of consanguinity with Christ and her affinity with the Holy Spirit, makes me gag (and is neither found in the Early Church nor the present Catholic Catechism).

    At any rate, don’t let me detain you. Go back to worshiping Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange in that private little chapel you keep tucked away in your garage….

  27. Jason Loh,
    Since I am am offending the other Protestants, I guess I can’t play favorites with you just because you haven’t been a jerk yet.
    The other folks on this blog are impressed with your “erudition”. ( Can’t remember who it was who used that big word. )
    Oh, yeah, well if you are so erudite why ain’t you no Catholic just like me? I figure I am as erudite as the next fella’
    Don’t try to trick me with any of that ” Well Jim, I think I am a member of the catholic church as…” double talk.
    Why don’t you get into the Catholic Church, the one that obeys God and renders hyperdulia to Mary if you are so all fired erudite?
    And no fast talk about how Luther held Mary in high regard and wrote about the Magnificat, etc. etc. He did not hold her in high regard as so many of my Catholics pals think.
    He said Mary had no more role to play in salvation than the wood of the cross. That takes away from anything nice he said about her sinlessness. He just called her dumb stump of wood.
    Dump Luther and start rendering some hyperdulia with me. We can be erudite together.

  28. Eric, Were you speaking as a Baptist when you wretched up, “granting Mary honorary status in the Trinity as a result of her bonds of consanguinity with Christ and her affinity with the Holy Spirit, makes me gag (and is neither found in the Early Church nor the present Catholic Catechism).”
    Mary is not IN the Trinity if you are trying to imply goddess status for her.
    As for gagging, change your shirt before going to the table.

    I have not granted Mary honorary status. God granted her real status as the Mother of the same Son as He is a Father too.
    Please, some hyperdulia. I know a Baptist can’t bring himself to do, but an Anglican can. Just switich hats long enough for a quick Ave maria.

  29. Eric, Wow! You know the name Garrigou Lagrange too. You must be erudite too.

  30. Eric, Just so you know, the chapel tucked away in my garage is where I worship Alphonsus Ligouri. Lagrange is too dry for me. An egg head. I like good old time devotional hyperdulia like the Bible says we are to render our mother.

  31. Eric, as I gotta run my wife to the airport, I will be out and not able to enjoy repartee with you. Will you be a mensch and collect all the nice comments and save them for me when I get back? You are a good lad.

  32. Jim–

    You know, I thought about putting “honorary status in the Trinity” in quotes or italics, assuming you’d have trouble recognizing tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, but then I said, “Naw, Jim is a right erudite fellow. He’ll see it immediately, if not sooner….”

    Whoops! I guess I’ll have to eat them words!

  33. Jason Loh–

    Well, I’m dead set against Lutheran Pietism, as well. But there are many different forms. What exactly do you have against Reformed Pietism…and how in the world can it be called non-Reformational?

  34. Eric, a quick shot before I head out.

    You know, its not very Anglican of you old chap, to come on Jason’s Catholic blog and tell him he makes you want to gag. Not very erudite at all. Especially since we share Walsingham you Anglicans and us Romans. And we share the martyrs of Uganda. And we share a good cup of tea and a bisquit, eh old chum. Rather!
    That is what I would expect from a hillbilly Baptist who picks his feet at the table.
    You are such a schizoid. ( Baptists don’t smoke, sniff or chew, nor go with girls that do ).
    As for what the fathers said on hyperdulia, read Cardinal Newman. Cheerio old man. Carry on.

  35. Eric,

    I’m not a Pietist. I’m dead set against ALL types of Pietism. I’m sure you’d know Pietism originated from within Lutheranism. So, I against Pietism. Period.

  36. Jason Loh you ask me:

    Don’t you understand English at all?

    I understand English. What I am asking of you is to define your terms in plain English. Define what you mean by “proclamation”. Charles Taze Russell was an avid reader of the Protestant bible and he proclaimed a “gospel” that was nothing but his own corrupt interpretation of the Protestant bible. The Jehovah Witnesses are still proclaiming the same gospel that Pastor Russell proclaimed.

    Luther’s SS is not an abstract theological principle.

    You keep saying this, and it all proves to me that you don’t actually know what Luther’s SS is. Every theological principle is an abstract principle, so the word “abstract” when used in conjunction with the words “theological principle” is a useless redundancy. What you are saying is that SS is not a theological principle. If SS is NOT a theological principle, then what is it?

    It [sola scriptura] is concretely embodied in the deed or act of proclamation of the gospel in Word and Sacraments. IOW, SS is not a principle but the living voice of the Church. Get it now?

    No, I do not get it. Charles Taze Russell proclaimed what he thought was the Gospel, and the gospel according to Russell has spread all over the world by the JWs. Any heretic can make a “proclamation of the gospel in Word and Sacraments” as long as the heretic gets to personally interpret the Sacred Scriptures and fatuously declare that his own personal interpretation is the foundation of the gospel in Word and Sacraments! Which is exactly what has happened thousands upon thousands of times in history; Aimee Semple McPherson did it, and so did Charles Taze Russell, the Campbell brothers, Arius, Martin Luther, Marcion, David Koresh, the Wesley brothers, Sabellius, John Calvin, Sun Myung Moon, Chuck Smith, John Nelson Darby, Ellen Gould White, Menno Simons, Jim Jones, John Knox, and the Protestant man in mainland China that is about to found his own personal bible church this very day…

    I’ve defined infallibility.

    No, you have not defined infallibility in any of your posts, which anyone that is reading your posts can plainly see.

    It just doesn’t fit into your understanding.

    It is quite true that I don’t understand what you mean when you use the word “infallibly”, since you have never defined what you mean when you use that word. So why don’t you just define what you mean when you use the word “infallibly”. Why is that so extremely difficult for you? Do you think that I am a mind reader?

    Look, a heretic cannot claim nor demonstrate no apostolic succession.

    You are wrong about that! The bishops of the east that became Arian heretics had valid apostolic succession.

    A priest standing apostolic succession can lay claim or rather GREATER claim to infallibility when he exercises the keys of the kingdom than the pope who purports to define and pronounce on dogma, particularly that which despite having the consent of the faithful cannot be regarded as truly ecumenical – since a decree of such proportion requires the consent and consultation of the branches of Christendom, particularly EO.

    Mr. Loh, an assertion is not an argument. Mormons tell me that the whole church became apostate immediately upon the death of Peter. I have no more reason to believe the mere assertions of Mormons than I do your mere assertions.

    Tell me, how different is your personal definition as you put it different than mine or others?

    My personal definition of the word “infallible”? I haven’t give you one. If you are interested, I can give you the Catholic Church’s definition of infallible by quoting the CCC. I can define just about all my terms by quoting the CCC or some other Catholic source; the meaning of the term “Deposit of the Faith”, the meaning of the term “living magisterium”, etc.

    How is the Catholic Church’s definition of “infallible” different than your definition? I have no idea, since you refuse to define your terms. Surely it cannot be that hard to quote some catechetical material that gives the definition of basic terms to the potential converts to your Lutheran sect. I know that when I teach RCIA classes that I can give the inquirers more than my personal opinions of the meaning of the terms that I am using. I assume that Lutheran converts also ask for the definition of terms that they are hearing bandied about by their catechists.

    Jason, define three terms for me so that we can understand what you are talking about. Define:

    sola scriptura: Use plain English to tell me what you think this term actually means. Quote some basic catechetical material if you wish.

    proclamation: What makes the proclamation of a heretic wrong? Can a person that was raised as a Lutheran ever make a heretical proclamation of the Gospel? You don’t seem to like the LCMS. Why? What is wrong with their proclamation in Word and Sacrament?

    infallible: If teaching infallibly is not done by bishops exercising a charism of the Holy Spirit under certain circumstances, then how do men teach infallibly? Are there any objective criteria that must be met for me to know when a man (or men) have taught infallibly? If there are no objective criteria, what are the subjective criteria that would allow me to identify when a man has taught infallibly? Will I have a burning in the bosom? Will I see sparkly lights above the head of the person infallibly preaching a sermon? What?

  37. Jim,

    Yes, Luther “discovered” in that it dawned upon him “one day” (as you put, but well that was how it happened) that the words of the priest, “Te ego absolvo,” really, truly and undoubtedly forgive sins. There was therefore no need to make *satisfaction* towards God (for temporal liabilities) other than to make amends and serve the neighbor in newness of life.

    The implication being that the absolution covers the entire breadth and depth of the Christian life. “I forgive you of your sin” means “I forgive you of all your sins – past, present and future.”

  38. All Baptist Lurkers, I was only kidding Eric as most Episcopalians I have known look down on you guys as backward yokels and see themselves as Oxford dons.

  39. Then you weren’t paying attention at all, Mateo.

    Proclamation is the unconditional delivery of the forgiveness of sins to all who hear the gospel – whether in the Absolution, Baptism or the Lord’s Supper.

  40. Jason L, Future sins are forgiven? Hmmm?
    As for satisfaction, what about 1500 years of Christian practice for post Baptismal sins?

  41. Don’t misread me that way, Mateo. Where in the world did I ever say that I don’t like the LCMS??

  42. Jim,

    Yes, Luther broke with the venerable practice (though not necessarily 1500 years old at the time) of penance as satisfaction for post-Baptismal sins. You can say that’s a novel view and practice. But the concept of penance though laudable and commendable lacks the sacramental character – for Luther.

  43. Mateo,

    I’ve defined infallibility and shown how it ties up with other concepts, namely efficacy, immutability and so on. IOW, to repeat again, infallibility is not a juristic term but an eminently “causal” or better still theological term that denotes and connotes divine omnipotence.

    I’m not going to repeat myself again so that you can go round and round in merry circle.

  44. I’m not going to stoop to Mateo’s level. I thought I could have a profitable exchange with an erudite and passionate RC but he is hell bent on misunderstanding and misrepresenting me. You stand out from the RC crowd.

  45. Eric, Got the wife airborne so I am home alone with no nagging interruptions to feed the cat or anything else that takes me away from blogging about hyperdulia.
    I can swig out of the milk carton, eat out of the frying pan and guzzle wine like a man. Not an erudite man, mind you, just a man.
    You know Eric, since hyperdulia makes you gag, why not excuse yourself from this Catholic, Mary Lovin’, Rosary saying blog and pay a visit to Kauffman’s pig sty?
    He is “one o’ them thar eradite fellers”, just like you. I guarantee you, you won’t get any vomit on your tie over there. No siree, Bob. It’s right up your ally. ( Yours truly does the gagging over there ).
    How is you come on Jason Stellman’s Catholic blog, and announce Mary makes you gag? You make me wanna gag with rudeness like that.
    What are you clamoring for Kevin to apologize for when you say a gross and snotty thing like that in someone else’s home? Didn’t your mother raise you any better than that? Are you going to raise the triplets to insult their host when they go places? Shame on you for being rude and shame on you for refusing to render the hyperdulia you owe the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and men, Queen of Angles and Saints, the Morning Star, the Tower of David, the Mystical Rose, the Woman Crowned with 12 Stars, Perpetual Virgin who was Assumed into heaven, the Associate of Jesus in crushing the serpent’s head, the sinless mother of the savior, Ark of the Covenant, the Cause of our Joy, etc. etc.
    And you made your offensive remark on Saturday, Mary’s day ( Because as Saint JPII said, Jesus appeared to her first after her vigil on Holy Saturday).
    So, if hyperdulia makes you want to gag, you should scram as you are going to hear alot of it out of me to make up for your horrendous remark.

  46. Hi Jason L.,
    Okay, so you say, ” You can say that’s a novel view and practice…for Luther.”
    What about you? You seem up on this issue. Do you say, along with me, that it was a novel view? If yes, doesn’t that bother you?

  47. Jason L.,
    As the new kid on the block you have been inundated with questions and so mine probably got lost in the shuffle.
    Tell me about the Lutheran minister. You mentioned the Apostolic succession through the laying on of hands. Does your minister, as opposed to any layman, have powers delegated from his Bishop?
    Certainly, he does not has powers to offer sacrifice as that is where we part company. Why is he needed for the forgiveness of sin?

  48. Jason L., On this blog recently a Protestant lad brought up the fact Jesus called himself a door, a vine, lamb, etc. in order to attack Transubstantiation/ The Real Presence.
    I once read a book by Martin Chemnitz on the Lord’s Supper in which he addressed these passages. Could you enlighten us on how a Lutheran would respond?
    Plus, do you know of a young Lutheran minister all over utube named Jonathan Fisk? I like his style. Witty, smart, he reminds me of me.

  49. Jason L.
    Let me try to be a peace maker for a second. You wrote to Mateo, the following,

    “I’ve defined infallibility and shown how it ties up with other concepts, namely efficacy, immutability and so on. IOW, to repeat again, infallibility is not a juristic term but an eminently “causal” or better still theological term that denotes and connotes divine omnipotence.”

    Jason, we Catholics are used to Calvinists types. I for one do not understand a word of what you said. I see you have been having some in house discussions with the other Protestants and using jargon I am not up on. Not enough to weigh in on without looking stupid or stupider than I already have anyway.

    Its’s not the Catholic style to intentionally offend your religious sensitivities or ruffle your feathers. Of course we want to hone our apologetic skills. (And even turn you in to one of us if we think we can.) I think we want to learn some stuff too from a Lutheran for a change.
    You are a bit of an anomaly, you know. As I have already said, where I come from Lutheranism is the mark of a German or Scandinavian background. I have also said the Christians I know from your part of the world always trace their very venerable lineage back to Xavier or Thomas. I for one have never known someone with no Christian background to pass us Catholics over to join up with a bunch of blond, blue eyed, lantern jawed Larsons, Svensens, and Schumachers ( which just so happens to be my Lutheran father’s name ).
    Of course we are mystified! So calm down and dumb down please. And stick around.

  50. Jason L.,

    I am still trying to wrap my head around a denomination that holds to Justification by Faith Alone and yet hasn’t jettisoned the physicality of the sacraments as the Reformed have done.
    Let me say in closing, I am glad you don’t come from a Lutheran family background. I am on record on this blog as saying some rather uncomplimentary things about Luther, the man. I wouldn’t want to repeat them to someone who was raised to venerate the fellow. Let me apologize in advance if I step on any sensitive toes in the days to come.
    Take care.

  51. Eric,

    Speaking of hyperdulia, you know what bugs me? Rendering dulia to Mary instead of hyperdulia. Let me tell you what I mean;
    I hear Catholic apologists try to explain how asking Mary to pray for us or help is just like asking one another to pray for us. I hear quotes the passage from 1 Tm 2:2.
    Okay, I know where they are coming from but it isn’t the whole truth.
    And since the saints in heaven like St. Anthony, patron of lost things or St. Patrick, patron of the Irish can hear our prayers just like we can hears each other’s, we should pray to them and render dulia to them.

    But Mary isn’t a saint like Patrick or Anthony. Those holy men stand as recipients of salvation and merely help with dispensing the graces Christ won for us men.

    Mary, also stands with us and the saints on the receiving side of Christs meriting our salvation. Yes, indeed.
    But unlike the saints and us, Mary also stands with Christ on the meriting side of salvation. She doesn’t just do what the saints and we do and dispense the graces Christ won for us. She stands with Christ as meriting those graces so she dispenses graces she and Christ won for the saints and us on Calvary.

    Ponder this; we don’t ask Patrick to intercede or pray to Anthony for us. No do we ask Anthony to beseech Patrick on our account. But whenever we go to Patrick or Anthony, we ask them to go to Mary for us. Then she goes to her Son for us.

    So, she doesn’t deserve dulia. No way! We owe her hyperdulia. Have you given her any today? A prayer, a song, a thought? May I suggest something? Go buy yourself a little plastic statue, maybe one of those cheap glow in the dark pieces of pious kitsch kids think are miraculous when the lights go out, and put it on your nightstand. Make sure your little ones can see it. Then go pick a posey and put it in a glass of water and place it by the little statue of Mary. Then, in front of your children, get down on your boney knees and render to the Mother of God what justice demands of you! Teach your children to love her too.
    Have a nice day, Eric.

  52. Jim,

    I understand that if a Catholic insults Luther. I don’t believe in hero-worship which is why I embarrassed at his anti-Semitic outbursts. It irks me when Protestants denigrate Luther on the basis of misunderstanding and jaundiced perception and prejudice.

    Hope to catch up with you in the near future. My “pattern” (to use the local English lingo) is to either purposely drop by only for a while until when the new semester starts or to overstay my welcome or being forced to do leave by sheer annoyance after sometime. I’m a lecturer in law and business at a private higher educational institution.

    And I’m currently awaiting the delivery of a book I just ordered two days ago – by Engrafted into Christ: A Critique of the Joint Declaration by Christopher J. Malloy – ordered it directly from the publisher since Amazon and Book Depository were out of stock. I need to go back to reading Prof Harry McSorley’s Luther: Right or Wrong. McSorley (CSP) was a Catholic scholar.

    Before I forget, I affirm Absolution (albeit shorn of penance) as the “third Sacrament” not directly instituted by Our Lord but arose out of apostolic practice and tradition.

    Dominus vobiscum.

    The Lord be with all of you here at Creed Code Cult – Catholic & Protestant.

  53. Jason L,
    So tell me something about satisfaction for sins that you mentioned Luther denied. Do you see a distinction between mortal and venial sins in the Bible? As part of common sense? Do you see temporal punishment remaining after the forgiveness of sin?
    Do you see anyone in the Bible garner blessings for another person from God? Do you see anyone get God to withhold punishment on account of their mediation?

    The Reformed say Christ did it all on Calvary’s cross. We do too. They say there is nothing left for us to do. We say there is. You agree with them, huh? So, you don’t see a reason why God would want to leave temporal punishment for us to work off even though Christ did it all?

    I do know Lutherans deny the Limited Atonement of the Reformed. But you do hold to a similar view of Penal Substitution, right?

    I know that is a lot to lay on you all at once. Answer just as much as you care to.
    And remember Jason, I am a simple man.

  54. Jason L,
    Et cum spiritu tuo!

  55. Jim,

    No, I reject Penal Substitution. Luther did not hold to PS. Not sure if he was really that immersed in the patristics but his view would be the Christus Victor view.

    Luther rejected the Anselmian view of the atonement. And I reject limited atonement as *dogma*. I mean there have been some (not all) Augustinians in history who held to limited atonement although they would be in the extreme minority. My view of the extent of Atonement would be both – simultaneously limited and universal. Limited in the sense of what has been passed down as the Christic words in the Gospels. And universal in the sense what the Church in the main had always understood and believe. This is of course bound up with the doctrinal issue of the extent of the salvific will of God – likewise limited or universal.

    “At the end of the day,” for me, the *extent* of the Atonement is irrelevant or unimportant – unlike the Reformed who like obsess about it – not surprisingly since the 1st discourse language of “I forgive you,” “You are the one, elect, chosen in Jesus Christ by virtue of your Baptism,” etc is alien, unacceptable in Reformed theology. The Reformed cannot say to a Christian in a direct address employing the personal pronoun that “God died for you.”

    What is important is pastoral theology – the “Te ego absolvo” – three words upon which the spiritual well-being of a Christian hangs. What is crucial and critical is that Christ died for *you.* Nothing else (i.e. in reference to the doctrine) matters. After all, for Luther, belief is not necessarily the same confessional subscription. The laity is not expected to believe and articulate the extent of Atonement. The laity are just to believe in the words of the Absolution.

    One of my treasured books is Garrigou-Lagrange’s Predestination (TAN Books).

  56. Eric, Here is an example of latria and Hyperdulia. On Monday night, the vigil before the 13th is a big day here. They are going to have candle light processions with singing, candles, a bier with a statue of O.L. of Fatima wending their way through historic old Lisbon. I would love to attend. Alas, my Holy Hour that I am committed to every Monday night conflicts with the procession schedule. I have to sit in a hot little room and do Latria before God Almighty when doing Hyperdulia would be more fun. Oh, sure I know the Host is infinitely more important than a wooden statue. But still…
    The difference between Adoration and veneration is not in the realm of the emotions. It’s in the intellect.
    Protestants say all the time that because we say 10 Ave Maria for every 1 Our Father in the Rosary, we elevate the creature over the Creator.
    Not So! We Catholics are not confused. You, Eric are the one who keeps accusing us of idolatry only because you don’t know the difference. Idolatry, Latria, dulia,Hyperdulia, are all quite different.

  57. Jim,

    “Silly”? What is silly Robert is how someone, anyone, could actually read John 19, where the Son of God and Son of Mary, in the ultimate act of saving the world says, ” Woman behold your son, son behold your mother” and after reading those words could close their book and move on as it they had read their shoe size.
    Do you have any idea of what those 8 little words just said? Nothing about the Apostolic Proclamation?
    Robert, you just read the proclamation of the Gospel!
    A little hyperdulia would be on order, if you don’t mind.

    Actually, when I read John 19 I think of Jesus as the perfect man and perfect son making sure that his mother has someone to take care of her after he is gone, which ordinarily would have been his responsibility as her firstborn son. Why should we believe anything more than that is going on there?

    As far as honoring Mary, Esther, et al, I don’t go about my day thinking about them. It is hard enough to go through the day and keep my focus on Christ. Thinking of others is just a distraction. When I read about them in Scripture or hear the biblical stories preached about them, I marvel at their faith, and I think how great it must have been to be firsthand witnesses to significant redemptive events. But I don’t think that God prizes any of them more—even Mary—than me. In fact, Jesus said that anyone who loves him is his mother and brother. That severely relativizes Mary in relation to the rest of us. She’s important, but she’s not “all that,” as it were.

    Mary was privileged to carry the incarnate God in her womb, but there’s no hint of that being anything more than an honor.

    Why not pray to her? Because she’s not God, because the Apostles never tell us to pray to her, and because I have no good reason to believe that she can hear my prayer. Even if she could, there are hundreds of thousands of people praying to her every day. She’s not omnipresent or omniscient, so how do I know my prayers is even getting through to her?

    We’re simply never told to pray to anyone except God, and the whole business of going to Mary smacks of us trying our best to twist Jesus’ arm and make him more willing to hear us. Maybe if he won’t listen to us, he’ll listen to his mother. The Jesus I know is the one who sticks closer than a brother. He doesn’t have to be cajoled by his own mother. I realize this is not exactly what many Roman Catholics believe, although without a doubt there has been a tendency to see Mary as more approachable than Christ throughout RC history.

    When we say Christ alone, we mean it. That is why we don’t introduce mediators between him and us.

  58. Robert,

    I am sorry to have to say you are the quintessential Protestant who read the letters but misses everything. You see a dying man making 11th hour domestic provisions for his mother. You ask why one should see anything more going on there.
    For starters Robert, because there are oceans, deep oceans, going on there and you see only a few drops.
    Think for just a moment please, if Jesus, who had orchestrated His death in minute detail, had forgotten until His dying breath to provide for His widowed mother, He would have been a very neglectful son.
    Robert, look carefully at the passage. John is the one being provided for first!
    Mary is given the task of mothering him although the wife of Zebedee ( his own mother ) is standing there.
    Robert, I am not going to inflict a long drawn out argument on you. As you know, I hate to read them. And I hate to write them as I think they don’t get read.
    I feel spoon feed you morsels rather than try to stuff it all down you in one gulp.

  59. Robert,
    Every one of Jesus 7 last utterances spoken from the throne has salvific import. We see allusions to the Daughter of Zion calling her children round in this scene. This passage is as important for you and for me as it is for John.

    “Mary was privileged to carry the incarnate God in her womb, but there’s no hint of that being anything more than an honor.”

    Mary was privileged to what? Carry who? Where?
    Of course it’s an honor. An unfathomable honor. Why do you refuse to get on board with rendering her honor since you admit God bestowed great honor upon her? Why are you so parsimonious in doling out your puny honor to the Woman who you say was privileged to carry Almighty God, Prime Mover, First Cause, Sovereign Lord of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, your Judge within her?
    Was she just a surrogate womb for rent by the Holy Ghost for 9 months?

    Robert, honestly, maybe you should take a hiatus from reading the Bible if this shallow reading of the letters is all you are doing. You are supposed to be taking it in and pondering it in your heart. This is a classic example why the Bible is to be read in the Church, not out of it. Fire is to be kept in the stove. Sex within the covenant of marriage. Outside of their proper spheres, these good things become disastrous.

  60. Robert, one more little bite for now; you changed the subject to mediation. Christ being the One Mediator means one common mediator for all men. It doesn’t say the “single” mediator.

    Mary’s role is created by God. The enmity between her and the serpent is put there by God. He wills it. You think you are honoring God when in fact you are disobeying Him. Think of a private who breaks chain of command to approach the general outside of that general’s order that he be approached only through the sergeant. The general is not so busy that he can’t address the private’s request, it’s just that he wants to include the sergeant in the process. Think of Job’s friends who were told by God not to approach Him but to go ask Job to intercede.
    If God gave Mary the office of being your mother, Robert, how are you pleasing Him by ignoring her?
    Finally, what do you mean the Apostles never said to pray to her? St. John just did. How do you know she can’t hear your prayer? Have you tried?

  61. Jim,

    You are reading all sorts of traditions into Scripture and you don’t even realize it. There is no place in Scripture where we are told not to approach Jesus directly every time. We draw near to the throne of grace with direct access to God himself through Christ. We don’t pass through anyone else.

    Mary is not my mother. She is the mother of Jesus. The church is my mother. The enmity between the serpent and the woman is not a war exclusively between Mary and Satan. It is a war between the whole church and the followers of Satan, summed up primarily and to the greatest extent by Christ vs. the Devil himself.

    Mary had a distinct privilege, but she’s not more special to God than I am. She is a sinner saved by grace just like I am. Any special affection that Jesus has for her is not any different than the affection I have for my mother.

    What I am saying in that Mary cannot hear me is more that if I pray to her at the same time as you do, she’s only going to hear one of us. She’s not infinite or omniscient. She doesn’t become deity and able to deal with millions of prayers at once upon her arrival in heaven. Do you not see why we view the veneration and prayers to Mary as idolatrous? You are imputing to her prerogatives and abilities that belong to God alone.

    There is so much trouble with RC Mariology that one hardly knows where to begin. If Mary knew what is done in her name, I am certain she would be greatly saddened. Fortunately, I am also certain that God shields her from such knowledge. In fact, she’s probably so caught up in the beatific vision that she doesn’t even pay attention to anything else.

    Assuming that John’s mother is at the foot of the cross as well, it’s largely irrelevant that Jesus first says “son behold your mother” or “mother behold your son.” The import of both is the same. John is to be the one to care for Mary, and Mary is to look to him and not to James, Jude, or any of the other brothers of Jesus according to the flesh for her support.

  62. Robert,

    You – What I am saying in that Mary cannot hear me is more that if I pray to her at the same time as you do, she’s only going to hear one of us. She’s not infinite or omniscient. She doesn’t become deity and able to deal with millions of prayers at once upon her arrival in heaven.

    Me – You know for a fact that the saints in heaven can’t hear a finite number of prayers. You think God can do anything but this. We have suggestions that saints in heaven can hears in Revelation & the ancient Christian Churches believe this so this is not a catholic only thing.

    You – Do you not see why we view the veneration and prayers to Mary as idolatrous?

    Me – no I don’t see why. What’s your definition of idolatry?

    You – You are imputing to her prerogatives and abilities that belong to God alone.

    Me – the power to pray for us? We have the power to intercede for one another. The Apostles drove demons out, healed, walked on water. All this seems like abilities that belong to God yet they did these things. Everything the saints can do is due to God not them.

  63. CK,

    You know for a fact that the saints in heaven can’t hear a finite number of prayers. You think God can do anything but this. We have suggestions that saints in heaven can hears in Revelation & the ancient Christian Churches believe this so this is not a catholic only thing.

    I know for a fact that the saints in heaven are still fully human and cannot hear, understand, and pass on thousands of prayers at once. It’s one thing for an Apostle to heal one person at a time; quite another for an Apostle to hear thousands of prayers at once and respond.

    no I don’t see why. What’s your definition of idolatry?

    Attributing prerogatives to created beings that belong only to God, such as the ability to hear and answer prayers and to serve as the mediator of the new covenant.

  64. Jason Loh you write:

    Proclamation is the unconditional delivery of the forgiveness of sins to all who hear the gospel – whether in the Absolution, Baptism or the Lord’s Supper.

    Finally, a definition of what you mean by “proclamation”. Was that so difficult?

    This is a heretical definition of “proclamation” because there is no such thing as the “unconditional delivery of the forgiveness of sins to all who hear the gospel”. The forgiveness of personal sin is always conditional: personal sin is forgiven on the condition of repentance. You seem to be ignoring that part of the gospel is “repent and be saved”.

    Absolution: When a priest says the words of absolution in the Sacrament of Confession, the sins are forgiven only on the condition that the penitent is both contrite, and has made a firm amendment, with the help of God’s grace, to not commit the sins he confessed again, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

    Baptism: Infants and those toddlers that have not yet reached the age of reason have no personal sin that needs to be forgiven. An adult, on the other hand, that has never been baptized must repent of his past personal sins before he can validly receive the Sacrament of Baptism. To be sure, a valid Sacrament of Baptism forgives all sins and the temporal punishment due to sin without the adult catechumen receiving the Sacrament of Confession. But the validity of the Sacrament of Baptism is dependent on four things, proper matter, proper form, the intention of the adult receiving the Sacrament of Baptism and the intention of the minister administering the Sacrament of Baptism.

    How does lacking proper intention make the Sacrament of Baptism invalid? As an example, suppose a married adult man desired to be baptized, but had no intention of giving up his mistress before or after he is baptized. This man cannot not receive a valid Sacrament of Baptism until he repents of his adultery and gives up his mistress. If the man keeps his mistress a secret from everyone but his mistress, and receives the Sacrament of Baptism anyway, none of his sins are forgiven.

    Lord’s Supper: In the Liturgy of the Mass of the Latin Rite, the gathered assembly recites the Confiteor before receiving the Eucharist: “I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; through my fault … etc.” If the Confiteor is said with the proper intention, it brings forgiveness for all venial sin, and the person that is going to receive the Eucharist will receive it , it in a state where he or she is sinless. That is true as long as the person has not committed mortal sin. A baptized person that has committed mortal sin must confess that sin to a priest in the Sacrament of Confession before he or she can receive the Eucharist.

    What is important is pastoral theology – the “Te ego absolvo” – three words upon which the spiritual well-being of a Christian hangs. What is crucial and critical is that Christ died for *you.* Nothing else (i.e. in reference to the doctrine) matters.

    It is simply not true that “Nothing else (i.e. in reference to the doctrine) matters”, and you have already admitted as much. You don’t believe in the heresy of Universalism. You are also correct that the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the Cross makes satisfaction for every sin that has ever been committed or ever will be committed.

    The Reformed cannot say to a Christian in a direct address employing the personal pronoun that “God died for you.”

    That is correct, because Calvinists believe in the heresy of limited atonement. So while you are correct that you can say to any man on the face of the earth a that “God died for you”, that is NOT the only doctrine that must be preached to bring a man to salvation. For one thing, one must also teach that repentance for one’s sins is necessary to be saved. Even God cannot forgive a man that willfully and knowingly commits mortal sin and then dies unrepentant in that state of being. Such men will spend eternity in Hell; not because God did not love them first, but because they did not love God in return.

  65. Jim, you write:

    Jason, we Catholics are used to Calvinists types. I for one do not understand a word of what you said.

    Jim, thank you for saying that.

    Jason Loh you write:

    I thought I could have a profitable exchange with an erudite and passionate RC but he is hell bent on misunderstanding and misrepresenting me.

    I thought that, perhaps, I could have a profitable exchange with you too, and that is the reason that I insist that you define the meaning of the terms that you are using. You have already admitted that you are using the word “infallible” in a way that is alien to a Catholic. And you are doing this on a Catholic website! So how can I ever figure out what you mean by the word “infallible” if you refuse to define what you mean when you use the word infallible? I am not a mind reader.

    “I’ve defined infallibility and shown how it ties up with other concepts, namely efficacy, immutability and so on. IOW, to repeat again, infallibility is not a juristic term but an eminently “causal” or better still theological term that denotes and connotes divine omnipotence.”

    If you think that “infallible” is a synonym for “divine omnipotence”, then why didn’t you just say so? It is no wonder that I could not understand what you have been posting, since this is a highly eccentric definition of the word infallible!

    Jason Loh, there are now over 1800 posts to this thread; a thread started by Jason Stellman to discuss the plausibility of sola scriptura. Not one Protestant posting to this thread has defined what they think that sola scriptura actually is, including you. The only definition of SS in this entire thread was posted by Debbie, and she did that by researching Protestant websites. I will post for you a Protestant definition of SS that Debbie uncovered:

    Sola Scriptura: The illumination of the church by the Holy Spirit to correctly interpret the Bible is false doctrine!
    .
    Defining Sola Scriptura correctly. It means just what it says, the bible alone!
    1. Latin: “Sola” = Alone
    2. Latin: “Scriptura” = Scriptures
    3. Latin: “Sola Scriptura” = Bible Only
    .
    The Holy Spirit gave us the Bible and we can understand it as any other book. Why can we understand newspapers, but not the Bible without the Holy Spirit? This false doctrine makes God incapable of writing to be understood, while men can be understood in the newspaper.
    .
    Reference: http://www.bible.ca/sola-scriptura-illumination-holy-spirit-church.htm

    If this definition of SS is not acceptable to you, then you need to write in plain English and tell us what you think SS actually is. And please, no Latin terms, unless you also translate the Latin! Until you do that, you can’t expect me, or anyone else, to understand what you are talking about.

  66. Robert,

    You – I know for a fact that the saints in heaven are still fully human and cannot hear,

    Me – ok I want to make sure your not playing word games with me. Do you mean they just can’t literally hear us or they don’t know what is going on here on hearth. How do you know this for a fact and why do you think God is not capable of giving saints the ability to hear our prayers? You limit God’s power to support your view.

    Me – What’s your definition of idolatry?

    You – Attributing prerogatives to created beings that belong only to God, such as the ability to hear and answer prayers and to serve as the mediator of the new covenant.

    Me – What? I know you are aware that when we pray to the saints we are asking them to pray for us. You are trying to set up a strawman. As members of the Body of Christ we are called to ask for and pray for one another and this includes the saints in heaven. We are asked to intercede for one another that’s the same as being a mediator. Jesus gives us this power via participation in His Body. And yes, Jesus is still our one mediator.

  67. CK,

    OK I want to make sure your not playing word games with me. Do you mean they just can’t literally hear us or they don’t know what is going on here on hearth. How do you know this for a fact

    I don’t know for a fact whether or not the saints have any clue as to what is going on down here. I suspect very strongly that they do, but I could just as well imagine them not. But that is irrelevant to my point. If they can see what is going on, they certainly don’t see all of it at once, nor can they hear every prayer addressed to them at the same time. Those require an infinite capacity that belongs only to God.

    and why do you think God is not capable of giving saints the ability to hear our prayers? You limit God’s power to support your view.

    My point is not necessarily that God cannot give saints the ability to hear our prayers. In theory, I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t. What he could not do is give Mary the ability to hear thousands of prayers at once, and we all know that there are thousands of prayers addressed to her at the same time. To give her such an ability would be to essentially remove her finitude as a creature. God can’t make another God, and that is what would essentially be required to make the saints able to hear you and me and Joe down the street all praying to Mary at once.

    What? I know you are aware that when we pray to the saints we are asking them to pray for us. You are trying to set up a strawman. As members of the Body of Christ we are called to ask for and pray for one another and this includes the saints in heaven. We are asked to intercede for one another that’s the same as being a mediator. Jesus gives us this power via participation in His Body. And yes, Jesus is still our one mediator.

    I know the theology of what is supposed to be going on when you pray to the saints, but I also know how it works out in practice. It would be less offensive if it were just “Mary, please pray for my sick child.” But in practice it works out to “Mary, please heal my sick child.”

    Asking someone to pray for you is not asking them to mediate between you and God; it’s just asking them to pray for you. Mediation involves the avenue through which we approach God. Mary ends up being a different mediator. Don’t go to Jesus directly; go through Mary to get to Jesus. Again, I know what the theology says, but the practice is far different.

    When I ask Bob to pray for me, I’m not going through Him to get to God. That’s not how it works out with Mary and the saints, hence the citation of John 2 to justify the practice. Mary asks Jesus in behalf of the butlers (they don’t go straight to him), and then Mary speaks to the butlers, not Jesus. That is mediation. Go through Mary to get to Jesus.

    And fundamentally, talking to those who have gone on before us is a pretty big no-no throughout Scripture, but leaving that aside, there are significant problems theologically besides that one, as I have noted.

  68. Robert,
    I don’t think I improve on CK’s response so I will just touch some points he didn’t.

    “You are reading all sorts of traditions into Scripture and you don’t even realize it”

    No, Robert, I do indeed realize I am using all of the sources of Divine Revelation.

    “There is no place in Scripture where we are told not to approach Jesus directly every time.”

    You know, Robert, there are Protestants who don’t pray to Jesus either. They don’t think it’s Biblical. The pray only to the Father in Jesus’ name.

    “We draw near to the throne of grace with direct access to God himself through Christ. We don’t pass through anyone else”

    Not like we do as you don’t have the Mass. But that is another subject.

    “Mary is not my mother.”

    OUCH! Bad ju-ju! Don’t bring a curse down on yourself by saying you do not, ” from that hour he took her as his own”.

    “She is the mother of Jesus.”

    Yes, but please don’t mean it in a Nestorian sense like a certain somebody does. She is indeed the Mother of God.

    ” The church is my mother.”

    Mary is the Church.

    ” The enmity between the serpent and the woman is not a war exclusively between Mary and Satan. It is a war between the whole church and the followers of Satan, summed up primarily and to the greatest extent by Christ vs. the Devil himself.”

    Indeed. The Woman in Rev 12 and Gen has polyvalent meanings. Just so long as you don’t exclude Mary as one of the them.

    “Mary had a distinct privilege, but she’s not more special to God than I am.”

    What a bizarre statement as the Bible most clearly speaks of degrees of glory in heaven.

    “She is a sinner saved by grace just like I am.”

    So, you were preserved from Original Sin too?

    ” Any special affection that Jesus has for her is not any different than the affection I have for my mother.”

    Your affection for your mom ( and I am sure it is great ) is shot through with imperfection.

    “What I am saying in that Mary cannot hear me is more that if I pray to her at the same time as you do, she’s only going to hear one of us. She’s not infinite or omniscient. She doesn’t become deity and able to deal with millions of prayers at once upon her arrival in heaven.”

    I defer to CK here.

    ” Do you not see why we view the veneration and prayers to Mary as idolatrous? You are imputing to her prerogatives and abilities that belong to God alone.”

    I’m sorry you haven’t been following my instruction as to differences between idolatry, latria , hyperdulia and dulia I graced Eric with yesterday.

    .”If Mary knew what is done in her name, I am certain she would be greatly saddened.”

    Even if she were embarrassed by it, God wants us to do it.

    ” Fortunately, I am also certain that God shields her from such knowledge. In fact, she’s probably so caught up in the beatific vision that she doesn’t even pay attention to anything else”

    That’s what you think the Beatific Vision does?

    .
    “Assuming that John’s mother is at the foot of the cross as well”

    Assuming? No assuming about it. Read the Bible.

    “, it’s largely irrelevant that Jesus first says “son behold your mother” or “mother behold your son.” The import of both is the same. John is to be the one to care for Mary, and Mary is to look to him and not to James, Jude, or any of the other brothers of Jesus according to the flesh for her support.”

    As for the brothers, they had a different mother in the Bible.
    Like I said Robert, don’t read the Bible. Read some good commentaries as you don’t know what you are doing. Go to some lectures. Go for a long walk in the park. Take your mother some flowers today and meditate on motherhood.

  69. Robert,

    You are correct that Mary’s mediation and the mediation of a saint are different. That is because, unlike the saint who only dispenses the grace Christ merited on Calvary, Mary was given a role in meriting with Jesus those graces.

  70. Mateo,
    You wrote ‘ Jim” but I bet you meant Jason L.
    I like everything you said to our new friend, especially on the Sacraments. I am glad you are hanging in there with Jason on this stuff as I have trouble following along.

  71. Jason L.,

    “No, I reject Penal Substitution. Luther did not hold to PS. Not sure if he was really that immersed in the patristics but his view would be the Christus Victor view”‘.

    Hmmm? Are you 100% sure that Luther rejected the idea that the Father unleashed his fury upon the Son on Calvary? The first time I ever saw the concept was in a Protestant book explaining Luther’s rejection of the Mass.
    You know Jason, I notice you and our Anglican/Baptist friend Eric use the little word “I” more than we Catholics do ( I believe, I reject, I this/that ) so it is difficult following what Luther or Calvin believed, what your respective denominations believe today, and what you fellows personally believe. We Catholics say,” The Church teaches…”. We don’t really have personal opinions on most things and those that we do, we wouldn’t put forth in argument as fact. Protestant accuse us of checking our minds at the door. Indeed we do upon satisfying our reason that we should trust the Church as a trustworthy authority and make no bones about it. We have zero patience with one another’s personal insights. We want the truth and are impatient with anything but.
    As for Limited Atonement, Luther, Lutheranism today, and you all reject it. And Augustine certainly never taught it. Still, as far as PS coincides with Limited Atonement for Calvinists, I am sure I have read that Lutheranism says that since Christ paid the penalty ( in the sense of PS ) for all men, it is a great mystery that cannot be answered as to why all men are not automatically saved.
    I know Luther also liked the Christus Victor idea as I see in his writings a preoccupation with the devil. The issue of the Devil would not really fit in with Anselm’s satisfaction theory as well as previous ransom types ones.
    Anyway, those are just some musings. Take care.

  72. Eric,

    You – 1. Billy Graham is now 90-something years of age. If I were to honor him when he died–said that he was closer to the Holy Spirit than any man in history, that he had a “special affinity” with the Third Person of the godhead (I mean, look at all those conversions!)–and I had huge 1oo-foot statues made of the man, at the feet of which I daily laid dozens of bouquets of flowers…would you suspect any possible idolatry?

    Me – No. We (Americans) carved the head of presidents on a side of a mountain! To me this would indicate that he did some great things, people respected him, and want to keep his memory/accomplishments alive for the this and the next generations.

    You – I’m just honoring him because he was a faithful man of God, I’d say. Yeah, he’s super important to me, but Jesus is more important. (Well, at least a little bit anyway!)

    Me – We wouldn’t say Mary is a little bit less important than Jesus. Jesus saves, Mary intercedes.

    You – Billy is Jesus’ “Chief of Staff” in heaven. If you want anything done and done right now, pray to Billy. He’s Jesus’ right-hand man! I’m also going to have a huge basilica built in Charlotte, NC, dedicated to Billy, with lots of gilded statuary and mosaics of the man. Don’t worry: there’ll be a nice, tasteful little fresco of the Savior of Mankind tucked in a corner of the place somewhere. Don’t worry:

    Me – Billy is could very well be in heaven and it would hurt to ask for his prayers. So yes, the prayer part would most certainly be idolatry if I had your definition of prayer. Why protestants continue to force their definition of prayer on us I’ll never understand. When did the definition of prayer come to mean only worship?

    The Savior of Mankind is on every altar, Station of the Cross, present in the Eucharist, among other places in the church.

    We have biblical support that Mary was very special. Scriptures tells us that Jesus was not quite ready to perform his first miracle but did so because she requested it. That’s very special. We believe that the woman in Revelations is Mary. That makes her very special as it points to her bodily assumption among other things. I know you don’t interpret it this way. The ECF refer to her as the new Eve. That’s very special. The ancient Christian Churches believe she is very special and then you have the modern Christians (Robert) who don’t think much of her at all (except during Christmas I assume).
    Luke : 1:46-49
    “My soul glorifies the Lord
    47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
    From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name

    You – I’m still going to “keep God first.” That way, it can’t possibly be looked on as anywhere close to idolatry!

    Me – As you know we don’t keep God first because we are concerned about what people might think about us praying to Mary. We do so because God commands it. You seem to concern yourself too much with how things look rather than what they actually are. Remember, she magnifies the Lord. Reverence to Mary brings us closer to her Son.

    If I recall correctly you had the same creepy feeling about the Eucharist. If it is what we say it is, He should be Adored, paraded down the street, etc.. so everyone can see Him and believe. This takes a huge leap of faith which I daresay is extremely hard to do. Like His disciples said before they left Him, it’s a hard saying.

    You – Wow, Billy’s great. Billy’s cool….
    (Just trying to get you to see just a glimpse of what it looks like from our side.)

    Me – I do see it from your side. It’s kind of like a culture thing.?

    You – If Sola Scriptura causes such confusion, why do we have such unanimity on so many doctrines…even after 500 years? All kidding aside, I really think that argument is a non-starter. Yes, we have plenty of kooks and heretics. There have been plenty of kooks and heretics since the church began.

    Me – Plenty of kooks and heretics on both sides for sure. The difference today because of SS there is no authoritative voice to point out the kooks and heretics. The kooks and heretics have just as much authority as everyone else.

    You – You and your compatriots see what you want to see when it comes to the ECF’s. At the beginning, worship is free flow and practically non-liturgical. It looks veritably Charismatic. After a while it looks quite liturgical. More liturgical than any Catholic church I’ve ever been in. More like EO or Anglican. Theologically, they sound almost nothing like Catholics to me. They sound much more like conservative Anglicans or Lutherans. Sacramentally, they sound nothing like Catholics in the very beginning…more like Baptists. I can only assume you’re relying on other people’s opinions (or by very superficial similarities)…because your Early Church doesn’t look at all like my Early Church.

    Me – I’ve done some reading, so I tend to rely on others opinions from both sides. I don’t have a lot of free time. Sacramentally they sound more like Baptists? In what way?

    You – If someone is out there searching, and they don’t have a lot of education, what makes you think they would be at all attracted to the Catholic Church? If they want a church that thinks it’s the “one, true church,” all they have to do is attend United Pentecostal services. There is no substitute for study at this point. No church is going to stand out “just because.” Just because they’re old…or just because they’re big…or just because they’re fancy.

    Me – “There is no substitute for study at this point”. That’s my point. Before Luther and his SS invention, there was only one church to turn to that had authority. The church settled disputes and kept heresies in check. It was this way, like it or not from the beginning. SS has destroyed this and made every individual the final say on what scripture means. The modern Protestant today has to be educated because he has the responsibility to continually make sure his church is not teaching error. But I don’t believe this is the way it was supposed to be.

    You – On the contrary, millions of us firmly believe we can trust the foundation that’s been laid for us by previous generations of confessional Protestants. I could go looking for all this confusion and instability you say is out there, but I’d have trouble finding it.

    Me – Yet you are still searching and what is firmly believed can change. What was once firmly believed changed after 1, 500 years because of SS and it can change again in another 1,000 or tomorrow.

    I was also trying to verify if Catholicism was true. Why? Because there are now thousands of denominations causing confusion across the world which in turn made me question the church Christ founded. Where there is chaos there’s opportunity for the devil.

  73. Jim,

    In Luther’s view, the death of Jesus wasn’t an offering or sacrifice made *to* God. The Father’s fury unleashed on Our Saviour, therefore, was not penal (in any sense). Luther reversed the direction of the Cross – “the sacramental reversal.”

    The question of who was the sacrifice made to didn’t preoccupy Luther. Instead, consistent with his concern, he focused on the question, “for.” Jesus died as a ransom *for* (the) many. The Cross wasn’t about God punishing Jesus instead of the sinner, but God violently removing original sin from the sinner (as the cause of actual sins) on the Cross. God does this by putting the sinner to death *in* the death of Our Saviour. Substitution, for Luther, does not mean replacement but “in the place of,” that is Christ coming to take our place and in so doing, thus so gives us Himself.

    PS places the Law as the sovereign and final word in which the Gospel is subordinated. In this legal scheme, the Gospel becomes the means to repair the breakdown in the legal relationship between the divine and human. For Luther, the Gospel is the final word because it is the very “heart” of God. The Law is merely the “mask” of God in dealing with sinful humanity.

    Luther, therefore, rejected the idea that the Law is an eternal order.

    But of course, Luther’s view of the atonement has been misunderstood by his successors in confessional Lutheranism notwithstanding one can actually find Luther’s Christus Victor view in none other, no where else than the proclamation of the gospel in Word and Sacraments(!) Thus, the abstract doctrine of Atonement and practical doctrine of the Sacraments in confessional Lutheranism diverges.

  74. Jim,

    I learnt something new just now. Went over the CtC, picked one section and became engrossed with the debate over Mariology.

    Yes, the BVM is indeed the Spouse of the Holy Spirit! As you say, Mariology is mind-blowing! But that is precisely because the gospel is mind-blowing! The Incarnation-Crucifixion nexus is mind-blowing —- *scandalous* and *foolishness* to the world …………………

    TQ

  75. Jason L.
    Thanks for the response but, although you say it was not penal, the Father did in fact unleash His fury.
    Also, you use the word “sacrifice” but say it was not “to” God.
    “In Luther’s view, the death of Jesus wasn’t an offering or sacrifice made *to* God. The Father’s fury unleashed on Our Saviour, therefore, was not penal (in any sense). ”
    I am not sure it I can reconcile these ideas. I do see why the Lutheran Communion service ( do you guys ever say “Mass” anymore? ) would be considered a downward gift from God to man only and not a sacrifice up to God also.

  76. C K,
    You said to Eric,

    “The modern Protestant today has to be educated because he has the responsibility to continually make sure his church is not teaching error. But I don’t believe this is the way it was supposed to be.”

    This is why Eric, who is both an Anglican and a baptist and therefore neither but an Erician consistently says “I” this and “I” that. In his first post to me “he” had no problem with many Catholic doctrines but that “he” didn’t agree with others that we Catholics consider to be logical corollaries ( no problem with Marian stuff but hyperdulia makes him gag??? )

  77. Robert, I hope you reconsider your “Mary is not my mother”. I hope you don’t mean to say, ” I don’t want Mary as my mother”. That could be dangerous.

  78. Eric, Here is the type of hyperdulia that is going on this week here in Portugal.
    I bet your kids would love it. Maybe you and the wife could kinda’ duplicate it at your house for the little ones. You do want to bring them up in the Lord, right? They need to see their father humble himself and show reverence to God and God’s. Maybe you could orchestrate a little May Crowning in your yard. Dandelions will do. Plenty of hymns online. Try your best to choke back the gagging. Make it an act of the will. Don’t be embarrassed or self conscious. Put your children’s well being before your bigotry. Remember the Shema, ” Hear O Israel…and teach them to your children”.
    And have a great mom’s day!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMnE9kGKy9M

  79. Eric,
    Rats! I can’t find the complete Fatima movie online. Your kids would love it. It will probably be on TV here later today. They show it every year. Its for kids but I love it.
    Anyway, here’s the Lourdes movie. It’s for bigger kids ( Don’t feel sheepish if you find yourself taking a sneaky peak and enjoying to too. Nobody can see you but the kids and they won’t tell your Baptist preacher ).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGtUt7a8Rz0

  80. Anyone,

    Does anyone happen to know what happened to Eric? He was hotn’heavy on this blog for days with his “bro” mocking catholic devotion to Mary. Suddenly he is conspicuously absent.
    Could it be because he can’t stomach Catholicism being the default position on a Catholic blog?
    Perhaps he is showing solidarity with his Bro who was asked to either obey the ( Catholic ) house rules or to get his hat. ( I hear through the grapevine that Bro had to have his hat thrust in his hand and shown out the door. Again. )
    Maybe Eric feels it is unfair for a Catholic blog owner to demand that his religion not be shat upon on his own blog. What unmitigated gall! What effrontery to be asked to behave with respect and charity in someone else’s house! Stupid Catholic sheep are supposed to turn the other cheek repeatedly while you and the Bro had sport with us, eh Eric?
    Nobody tried to run you off Eric. If you have a sense of loyalty to Bro ( after egging him on ) and feel you should go too, I understand. But that is your decision. Bro did it to himself and now sits on TK’s site playing the victim Perhaps you fear that he is lurking and if he sees you pasting he will call you a “chameleon” again for suggesting that he show a smidgen of civility. ( I read that he resents Robert for not being in solidarity with him for some reason too ). I also understand that he has the emails and/or phone numbers of some of you guys so you had better do as he says or risk being accused of kissing the Pope’s Romish arse.
    So, if you are lurking, as bad as you were, you are nowhere close to being in the Bro’s league. You might wish you could be, but no.

  81. Eric,
    I’ve been completely engaged elsewhere – sorry not to have gotten back to you about possibly praying a novena (it was on your list, but it was the one thing you said you haven’t done).

    A novena prayer is really a replication of the kind of prayer the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were doing in the Upper Room after the ascension for nine days until Pentecost. The heart of any novena is the same as the first one, called by our Lord Himself. “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” This was a paramount time of preparation that I rarely hear anyone preaching about. Why wait for the Holy Spirit in this way – it was in the waiting and yearning and complete reliance upon our Lord with nowhere else to turn that their souls were made ready for the Holy Spirit.

    Discipline seemed to be one of the things I was lacking in and was gently pointed out to me during prayer. Our society today has pretty much nullified the general concept. At no time in the history of the world has there been this ability for immediate personal gratification. I especially have been turning to discipline and obedience to keeping myself “awake and aware” so that I can always be ready to say, “here I am Lord, I’ve come to do your will.”

    I had never actually prayed a novena in earnest until 5 years ago. It does so many things in addition to just being completely reliant on our Lord. It is in the ‘acting out of the spiritual life’ that our soul is formed.
    Even something as small as at 3:00 every day for 9 days saying a 1 minute prayer. Slowly our thoughts and mind begin to focus on 3:00, we make sure 3:00 is open, and just as if you told me that you would call me tomorrow at 3:00 o’clock – I would be waiting and ready to listen.

    Clarity is heightened …..

    St. Francis de Sales was brilliantly clear and has been highly read and regarded by many Christian denominations for hundreds of years. You could ask him to join you in your prayer to the Lord for clarity.

  82. Great tidbits I’m reading guys!

    “Every one of Jesus 7 last utterances spoken from the throne has salvific importance” HUGE!

    There are oceans, deep oceans, going on there and you see only a few drops. HUGE!

    “Think for just a moment please, if Jesus, who had orchestrated His death in minute detail, had forgotten until His dying breath to provide for His widowed mother…” HUGE! (same goes for instituting the Eucharist, what could be more astounding than that!)

    “We have biblical support that Mary was very special. Scriptures tells us that Jesus was not quite ready to perform his first miracle but did so because she requested it.” HUGE!

    I just have to add that when I meditate on this mystery of Jesus’s miracle at Cana, it is so sublime on so many different levels. In his full humanity, I’m sure there were things that he had to experience with an authentic human capacity, in other words, to not know in fullness ALL things until the Father revealed them to Him sense.

    i.e. when is the end? (he definitely wasn’t told), when would He begin his ministry? (He was possibly told, but was revealed to Him by his mother differently, and He had to submit to her), who would be the rock (He possibly wasn’t told, but was revealed to Him by His Father when Peter was the one who spoke up for the 12 with Divine authority).

    Oh, to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. It really is a prayer of ‘time out’ for clarity.

  83. CK, you write:

    When did the definition of prayer come to mean only worship?

    Interesting point Sir CK …. pray tell my brethern, when did this happen?

  84. Jason Loh, you write:

    The question of who was the sacrifice made to didn’t preoccupy Luther.

    If this is true, then it explains a lot about Luther’s defective understanding of the atoning sacrifice.

    “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
    John 1:29
    .
    [Jesus] is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
    1 John 2:2
    .
    I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”
    John 10:14-18

    Jesus is both the sinless High Priest that offers up the atoning sacrifice, and Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. No one took Jesus’ life from him, Jesus offered it up freely for his sheep, and that is why the Father loves him. How can anyone read these scriptures and come to the conclusion that:

    1) The atoning sacrifice did not expiate the sins of the whole world? How can anyone believe in the Calvinist limited atonement heresy, the “L” in TULIP ?

    2) God the Father poured out his wrath on the sinless High Priest that offered up to the Father the spotless Lamb of God? Jesus willingly offered himself up as that atoning sacrifice, and that is why the Father loves him!

    3) That God actually wants thousands upon thousands of bickering Protestant sects, instead of “one flock, one shepherd” ?

    It seems to me, that to be a Protestant, one needs to reject the perspicuous meaning of the Sacred Scriptures!

  85. Debbie, Do you know this;

    Refrain: Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

    1. In Fatima’s cove on the thirteenth of May;
    the Virgin Maria appeared at mid-day.

    2. The Virgin Maria surrounded by light;
    God’s Mother is ours for she gives us this sight.

    3. The world was then suffering from war, plague, and strife,
    and Portugal mourned for her great loss of life.

    4. To three shepherd children the Virgin then spoke
    a message so hopeful, with peace for all folk.

    5. With sweet Mother’s pleading, she asked us to pray,
    do penance, be modest, the Rosary each day.

    6. All Portugal heard what God’s Mother did say,
    converted it sings of that Queen to this day.

    7. We all must remember Our Lady’s request,
    do all that she asks for, obey her bequests.

    8. She warned of behavior from which we must turn,
    of thoughts, words, and actions which Christians must spurn.

    9. To her sad, sweet pleading our promise is made,
    that God’s Law in all things be strongly obeyed.

    10. From nation to nation her fair name is praised,
    as souls from sin’s bondage are contritely raised.

    11. Our thanks to the Godhead, whose ways are so sure,
    for giving us Mary, our Mother Most Pure.

    12. Our hearts, overflowing with kindness and love,
    thank her for God’s graces bestowed from above.

    13. Hail, Refuge of sinners! Hail, Star of the Sea!
    Hail, Queen of Creation! Our hope is in thee.

    14. All hail, Virgin Mary! This Star guides our way,
    our country’s Protectress, America’s Way!

  86. +JMJ+

    Jim wrote:

    Anyone,
    Does anyone happen to know what happened to Eric? He was hotn’heavy on this blog for days with his “bro” mocking catholic devotion to Mary. Suddenly he is conspicuously absent.

    Ever since I’ve been posting here, Eric’s interaction has always been in fits and starts. I wouldn’t think much of it.

  87. Jim,

    Eric has triplets that are only about a year old. I’m sure he’s just busy.

    As for this:

    (I read that he resents Robert for not being in solidarity with him for some reason too ).

    I’m not sure where you read that, and would love to know. About the only thing Eric and I disagree on is the proper recipients of baptism, and I’m pretty sure that neither of us would die for our position.

  88. CK,

    The modern Protestant today has to be educated because he has the responsibility to continually make sure his church is not teaching error. But I don’t believe this is the way it was supposed to be.

    It is statements like this that lead Protestants such as us to believe that a lot of you are essentially handing your brains over to the Magisterium to do all the work for you. Such a view is dangerous even from the perspective of those who believe in the infallibility of the church. When Athanasius was deposed and large swaths of the church was endorsing Arianism, would it have been wrong for the individual not to make sure the church wasn’t teaching error?

    I just don’t see how this mentality that you are not supposed to be making sure that your church is not teaching error will lead to anything but abuse and heresy. If your priest starts teaching that Christ was NOT divine, are you supposed to let it pass?

  89. Jason Loh,

    You commented “I learnt something new just now. Went over the CtC, picked one section and became engrossed with the debate over Mariology.
    Yes, the BVM is indeed the Spouse of the Holy Spirit! As you say, Mariology is mind-blowing! But that is precisely because the gospel is mind-blowing! The Incarnation-Crucifixion nexus is mind-blowing —- *scandalous* and *foolishness* to the world …………………”

    Since I’m not sure, may I ask if you meant this in earnest, or were you being facetious? The first time I read Pope St. John Paul II beautiful reflection on this, it blew my mind. There are oceans and oceans that we can even fathom……. It is all truly scandalous and foolishness, sometimes I can barely stand it – yet how do you really tell someone? You can only allow them to see the joy in your soul and hopefully they will be drawn to its source.

  90. +JMJ+

    CK wrote:

    Mateo wrote:
    .
    When did the definition of prayer come to mean only worship?

    Interesting point Sir CK …. pray tell my brethern, when did this happen?

    Perhaps even more to the point, when did Worship become exclusively identified with Adoration? Worship used to constitute an organic reality which encompassed the whole man. As such, both Veneration and Adoration were subsumed under Worship/Cultus which, itself, designated a reality which simultaneously engaged the Soma/Psyche/Pneuma (Body, Mind and Spirit).

  91. Wosbad,
    Yeah, I also thought the question should be, ” when did all worship become prayer”.
    And when did worship become latria only?

  92. Eric,

    Thanks, its beautiful and I hadn’t seen it before.

    I am somewhat new to being swept off my feet by the love OF the Blessed Virgin Mary. What captured me was her love for her Son, the Word Incarnate, but still her beautiful son she could kiss, cuddle, clean, teach to talk and pray and love – she taught Him how to Love His Father in Heaven. She also laid Him to rest in a tomb, swaddled again in the shroud of death.

    In the unfathomable plan of God, Jesus Christ had to grow up into a man, grow up with parents teaching Him right from wrong, grow up into the fullness of who He was. It is the kind of love I want to have and learn from. Not in anyway to diminish the love of the Father towards the Son, but to be drawn to the love she, a lowly handmaid, had for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has melted my heart.

    I never really knew how much she loves …

  93. Robert! OOPS! I am sorry for not being clear. Eric DID NOT say that. I was referring to a comment KEVIN had made about you dropping him like a redheaded step child.
    Delete my unclear post! I don’t want to bear false witness.

  94. Sorry, I meant thanks Jim.

    But thanks too Eric, hopefully you and the triplets are catering to your Saint of a wife.
    Giving birth to and raising triplets are an automatic free ticket to anything HA HA
    Peace.

  95. Mateo,

    I think there is another failure to communicate. Jason Loh said Luther did not subscribe to Limited Atonement ( which is correct ). That came with Calvin. What may have caused some confusion is my asking about Penal Substitution. Jason said Luther did not subscribe to that and I said I thought he did.
    I may have muddied the waters with my quote from some Lutheran document that said that since Christ paid the penalty ( in a way that seems like PS ), Lutheran cannot explain why all men are not elect.

    You know Mateo, I used to hear on protestant radio every year around Reformation Sunday, all kinds of shows praising Luther for his 95 theses and breaking with Rome. They canonized him for one weekend out the year.
    That’s where it ended though. For the rest of the year they trashed him for keeping sacraments ( kinda).
    On UTUBE you can see Kevin’s mentor, John McArthur ripping Luther’s head off for preaching Faith Alone and Baptism both.
    Lutherans can be our comrades in arms against Calvinist when it comes to the Real Presence. They have some good arguments against Zwinglians.

    Other than that, Luther should be studied to gain an insight as to how this particular fellow was able to find comfort in Justification By Faith Alone after it was supposedly obscured for centuries.
    You know, when Luther was taken before the Emperor, and was heard to speak, they couldn’t fathom how anyone could be impressed with such a person and let him go. He wasn’t feared like the Apostles were by the scribes and sanhedrin.
    It is strange the reformation took off. It was fueled more by corrupt princes than by any reform of morals.

  96. Robert,

    Me – The modern Protestant today has to be educated because he has the responsibility to continually make sure his church is not teaching error. But I don’t believe this is the way it was supposed to be.

    You – It is statements like this that lead Protestants such as us to believe that a lot of you are essentially handing your brains over to the Magisterium to do all the work for you. Such a view is dangerous even from the perspective of those who believe in the infallibility of the church. When Athanasius was deposed and large swaths of the church was endorsing Arianism, would it have been wrong for the individual not to make sure the church wasn’t teaching error?

    Me – I’m not saying we shouldn’t think at all. Of course we should. And we should always continue to educate ourselves. The point I’m making is that because of SS nothing is settled and it’s up to the individual to make these decision based on their research. The heresy of Arianism was settled by the Church. Now because of SS Arianism is back as (more or less) JW and they have just as much authority as any other Protestant denomination in their interpretation of Scripture. Any one at any time can start a new Christian church based on their interpretation of the bible and in theory has the authority to do so. Or a congregation can decide that homosexuality is no longer a sin by popular vote.

    You – just don’t see how this mentality that you are not supposed to be making sure that your church is not teaching error will lead to anything but abuse and heresy.

    Me – The Church can’t teach error in faith and morals. Her doctrines can’t be wrong and you know why we think this so I won’t get into it.

    You – If your priest starts teaching that Christ was NOT divine, are you supposed to let it pass?

    Me – Of course not! The reason I and you know Christ is divine is because the Church told us so. What I would do is approach the priest about it and ultimately would take it to the Church if need be, as instructed in Scriptures. I would not leave the Church or start a new one.

  97. Debbie–

    My wife is my hero, and yes, I am catering to her today. I hope you are having a fantastic Mother’s Day! (You are a mother, aren’t you?)

    I’ll look into a novena (though I don’t see why any special prayer should be more effective than regular prayer). It is God who is special and not our efforts.

    I may be gone from the blog for a while, there’s a ton to be done before the little ones’ first birthday! Feel free to email me….

    Blessings on you and your family. 🙂

  98. CK–

    You wrote:

    “What I would do is approach the priest about it and ultimately would take it to the Church if need be, as instructed in Scriptures. I would not leave the Church or start a new one.”

    You are aware, are you not, that this is almost precisely what Martin Luther did. He did not leave the church; he was kicked out for his efforts, threatened with death.

  99. Jim–

    I don’t know what you would have me do. Your beliefs and actions are indeed offensive to me as a Protestant, and not only offensive, but blasphemous and idolatrous.

    This is NOT an exclusively Catholic blog. It was set up to encourage dialogue between Calvinists and Catholics. I would say that we are ALL equally Jason’s guests , not just the Protestants. You all are not considered his co-hosts, as far as I can tell. He happens to be ex-Reformed, but I doubt he consciously gives preference to former Protestants. This is NOT a “former Protestants” blog, now, is it?

    All of us are outside of our comfort zones here. Sometimes it seems like you can dish it out but you can’t take it. All of must learn to wear our “thickest skin.” How could you possibly construe my statements as denigrating Mary? I absolutely adore Mary. You denigrate Luther and probably have few positive feelings toward him. I am upset with your actions toward Mary; I am hardly upset with the Lord’s handmaiden herself. I find your actions incredibly disrespectful toward her. In my book, if anyone is denigrating her, you are!

    I know this perturbs you, but in this case, there is nothing that can be done about it. On this point, Catholics upset Protestants by being Catholics, and Protestants upset Catholics by being Protestants. Well, I can’t stop being who I am merely because it upsets you. There are limits to my bending over backwards to try and be respectful.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Mother’s Day with the special women in your life. Take care, my friend.

    (By the way, I have been absent recently mainly because my DSL was down, but I’ll probably be pretty scarce during the next several weeks. Enjoy your reprieve!)

  100. Jim–

    I’ll leave it to others to parse out the historical revisionism in your last comment to Mateo.

    Oh, my goodness!!

  101. Jason Loh–

    Lutheran Pietism and Reformed Pietism (including Puritanism) are not that closely tied. The one did not beget the other. They share a few elements, but are poles apart. I don’t get the impression you have really looked into the history of all this. Here in America, “New Side” and then “New School” Presbyterianism were the chief revivalistic strands, but they basically went liberal from lack of being anchored to orthodox doctrine. Old Princeton, on the other hand, is considered both “Old School” AND Pietistic in its general demeanor. This is the strand which impresses me.

  102. Eric,

    You’ve read Hart at Old Life per your previous remarks here (so has Jason L on occasion when he comments there). I’m surprised you are fighting for pietism as naturally going hand-in-hand with Calvinism and being Reformational and everyone shouldn’t have much problem with it. The OL community wouldn’t have any of that.

    “You are aware, are you not, that this is almost precisely what Martin Luther did. He did not leave the church; he was kicked out for his efforts, threatened with death.”

    He was given 3 years to change his views before being kicked out – it wasn’t some overnight thing. He dug in his heels and intensified opposition rather than lessening it or making overtures for compromise. He left the church because he wanted it to change its core doctrines and understanding of itself. I know I know RCism should’ve just gave in and become Protestant. Just like they should’ve gave in and become Arian or Pelagian or whatever. Basically Rome can never be right unless she defeats herself. No one ever just leaves – they are just always unfairly kicked out by power-mongering Rome. Heads you win tails Rome loses.

    Jason L,

    I see you cited Forde earlier. I’m sure you’re aware there are many LCMS pastors who have strong misgivings on Forde and Elert and similar Lutheran theologians and their view on 3rd use/sanctification and see them as opposing the lutheran confessions – they actually find their influence to have been quite destructive to Lutheranism and seminaries (leading to a “soft” antinominianism) over the past few decades. What do you make of such criticisms?

  103. CK,

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t think at all. Of course we should. And we should always continue to educate ourselves. The point I’m making is that because of SS nothing is settled and it’s up to the individual to make these decision based on their research.

    This is just silly. And in any case, I can make the same claim for you. It’s up to you as an individual to decide that the Church of Rome is the church Jesus founded. What have you settled? Nothing. Don’t fault SS when you guys can’t provide a better answer.

    The heresy of Arianism was settled by the Church. Now because of SS Arianism is back as (more or less) JW and they have just as much authority as any other Protestant denomination in their interpretation of Scripture. Any one at any time can start a new Christian church based on their interpretation of the bible and in theory has the authority to do so. Or a congregation can decide that homosexuality is no longer a sin by popular vote.

    And this is where you guys start muddying the waters and speaking quite unclearly.

    1. Arianism wasn’t settled by the church. It was settled when God became incarnate in the person of Christ Jesus. If you want to say the church recognized this in some authoritative way, that’s fine, provided the church’s authority is kept in its proper place. The issue is you guys act as if people were confused about whether Arianism was Apostolic doctrine and thank goodness the bishops were there to figure it out because it was just so unclear.

    2. When one teaches falsehood, any claim to authority is invalidated. The question really should be what kind of authority is appropriate to be claimed.

    3. If you really think that the JWs are practicing Sola Scriptura, then you really need to get out more. In fact, I am said to say, the JW claim to authority is not essentially different than Rome’s and has almost nothing in common with Protestantism. Even James has said as much to point out that JWs are worthy of more consideration than Protestants.

    Let’s look at just a few of the similarities:

    a. Rome has a Magisterium that exercises infallibility (Pope and bishops); JW has a Magisterium that exercises infallibility (the home office in Brooklyn).
    b. The individual JW is not allowed to interpret Scripture in a manner contrary to the JW Magisterium, which is why they all read their Bible with various JW documents in hand to filter truth from error. The individual RC is not allowed to interpret Scripture in a manner contrary to the Magisterium.
    c. To leave the JWs for another religious body is to invite damnation; to leave the RCC for another religious body is to invite damnation.
    d. JW has a top-down authority structure; Rome has a top-down authority structure.

    4. You guys get all upset about people going off and starting their own churches as if that is even remotely a Protestant fault. Teach everyone to read and give them freedom of religion, and what we see is exactly what we would expect to see from sinners. The only reason why there was a vestige of unity in the West for so long was because various kings instituted terror in the name of the Western Church and often at the behest of the pope. Rome was quite content for centuries to play along and start inquisitions, crusades, and so forth to kill dissenters. I get the feeling from some of you that you would be just fine going back to those days. Ironically, Rome now repudiates the violence it once embraced.

    The Church can’t teach error in faith and morals. Her doctrines can’t be wrong and you know why we think this so I won’t get into it.

    The church held a council at Nicea that nobody had any idea of infallibility. The orthodox party one the day. Not long after, the very emperor who called the council was effectively embracing Arianism. You had bishops embracing Arianism all over the place. The church at that point was effectively teaching Arian doctrine, and in fact, vast swaths of Europe remained Arian for some time thereafter. What can you say to that? At best you can say that those Arian bishops were not the true church. Fine. But you come to that conclusion not by some divine fiat but by looking at the evidence from Scripture and history and saying the Arians were wrong. At the time, there was nothing to indicate that the Arians would not continue to be in the majority.

    What would have happened if the Arians had remained strong to this very day and the orthodox party was quite small. How would you know which church was the true one?

    You guys take what resulted in history and read it back into it as if it was always guaranteed to happen that way. That’s just credulity. I don’t see how—according to the ways you guys read history, critique private judgment, and exalt the bishops—the same method could not lead to you saying Arianism was the true theology if history had just turned out differently.

    Of course not! The reason I and you know Christ is divine is because the Church told us so.

    It’s one of the reasons, but it’s not the exclusive reason.

    What I would do is approach the priest about it and ultimately would take it to the Church if need be, as instructed in Scriptures. I would not leave the Church or start a new one.

    And what if the church refuses to do anything about it. You could say that such is impossible, but at that point we’re just reduced to bare fideism. And I would also add that there were vast lengths of time in which the problem was taken to the church and the church failed to deal with it. As in the Arian crisis when it was ATHANASIUS who was exiled. At that point, what should the common person have done. Believe Arianism? The official church, after all, was endorsing it.

    You guys end up essentially having to say that whatever the church says today is what should be believed, and you have no way of knowing whether what they say today will be the same tomorrow. Rome has reversed itself on dogmatic issues such as the freedom of religion, the definition of the church and what it means to be united to it, Americanism, and a host of other issues.

  104. James,

    He was given 3 years to change his views before being kicked out – it wasn’t some overnight thing. He dug in his heels and intensified opposition rather than lessening it or making overtures for compromise. He left the church because he wanted it to change its core doctrines and understanding of itself. I know I know RCism should’ve just gave in and become Protestant. Just like they should’ve gave in and become Arian or Pelagian or whatever. Basically Rome can never be right unless she defeats herself. No one ever just leaves – they are just always unfairly kicked out by power-mongering Rome. Heads you win tails Rome loses.

    Yes, Luther was treated quite fairly. Trials where he was guaranteed a true hearing. Promises of safe conduct that could never be violated. Same with Hus and Wycliffe.

    The fact is that Rome saw the common man being able to read his Bible as a threat to its own power, and it continues to do so to this day. Although with Francis sending atheists to heaven for following there consciences and affirming Protestant bishops as bishops, who knows what will happen?

    Luther didn’t want to change the church’s “core doctrines.” There was not dogmatically defined doctrine of justification at that point. There wasn’t one until Trent came along and defined things poorly in a panic because Rome saw that it was about to lose its hegemony forever.

    The Roman Catholic Church gave up catholicity in the Reformation. Its been up to the Protestants to try and maintain it.

  105. +JMJ+

    Robert wrote:

    Luther didn’t want to change the church’s “core doctrines.” There was not dogmatically defined doctrine of justification at that point. There wasn’t one until Trent came along and defined things poorly in a panic because Rome saw that it was about to lose its hegemony forever.

    This is a gross misrepresentation. There never was a single doctrine of Justification and never will be. Justification, in the sense of which we’re speaking, is properly theological and not dogmatic.

    However, when Justification theory damages/denies actual dogmas of the Church (as does Penal Substitution, JBFA, IOAR), then such is disallowed. So, yes, Luther wanted to change the Church’s core doctrines in order to accommodate his theories.

  106. James–

    Yes, Old Life and other pure “Old School” groups leave me cold. They rely on ritual much like Catholics (and Jason Loh-type Lutherans). I have suggested to Jason Stellman on numerous occasions that the dry, academic “Old School” Presbyterianism in which he was mentored may have played a role in his swimming the Tiber.

    You and Jim need to get together and celebrate your mutual tendency toward historical revisionism. Luther was given 60 days to recant and was formally excommunicated 6 months later. Not only that, but there was no debate or even discussion at the Diet of Worms, merely a demand to recant all his work, including that which was undeniably orthodox (by official Roman Catholic standards, no less). He was under threat of death in leaving Worms and was “kidnapped” by friendly forces and taken to clandestine refuge at Wartburg.

    The pope, the emperor, and all their cronies were not on the up and up in this whole matter, and why you deign to defend them is beyond me. Many of the specific reforms Luther called for were adopted by Rome during the Counter-Reformation. Rome’s rejection of him was nearly entirely political. Theology hardly entered into it at all. (There is far, far more theological difference between Molinism and Thomism soteriologically than between Luther and Aquinas.)

    And for what it’s worth, nothing I’ve read by Forde suggests Antinomianism though I understand how someone could misread him in that way. The LCMS really runs a gamut from being indistinguishable from mainstream Lutheranism to being about as fundamentalistic as any denomination in America. Unfortunately, where I reside it is the former or I would check them out (well, not if it was of the fundamentalist variety). But I have attended some great middle-of-the-road churches which would fit right into the mainstream of Evangelicalism if the denomination weren’t so isolationistic.

  107. James,

    The LCMS ministers are simply being faithful to their calling as confessional Lutherans and subscription to the Book of Concord. Forde had a different approach to the BoC — one that view the BoC through the Bondage of the Will. The shape of Lutheran theology, for Forde, is by the De Servo Arbitrio. As it is, Forde hailed from a different Lutheran denomination where there is ecclesial laxity and hence the theological freedom to repristinate Luther rather than repristinate Lutheran Orthodoxy ala Walther.

    Whether or not the denial of the 3rd use of the Law has been a destructive influence on the Lutheran seminaries or not, I cannot say. It has had produced some “liberal-leaning” attitudes towards scripture by the proponents of what has been derisively dubbed by their opponents as “gospel reductionism.” But other than not being conservative, I cannot say definitively.

  108. Eric,

    You’re more knowledgeable than me on church history.

    But Lutheran Pietism and Reformed Pietism are related as much as Wesleyanism was influenced by Moravianism. Lutheran Pietism is the opposite counterpart of Lutheran Orthodoxy although both shared the same presuppositions based — namely the ordo salutis. What Lutheran Pietism – Spener and the like – did was to emphasise certain aspects of the ordo salutis more, namely regeneration as more critical than justification — the internal as more important than the outer — the invisible as more important than the visible. This is known as the introspective conscience which both Lutheran Pietism and Puritanism MISTAKENLY interpreted as Luther’s conundrum that led to his tower experience. In both forms of Pietism, the ordo salutis became *psychologised* — internalised … as epitomised by the practical syllogism of the Puritans.

    Luther’s problem wasn’t his conscience per se but a word — which he wrestled with in scripture … a word that was therefore near him (extra nos – Luther looked outward to the reading of scripture) that then shook his entire person inside out (in this conscience would then come in) that God is just in justifying the *sinner.*

  109. Debbie,

    I wasn’t being facetious although, yes, you’re right, I can be such at times. But no, I wasn’t engaged in mockery when I was said that Mariology is mind-blowing because the gospel (Christology) is mind-blowing.

  110. Jim,

    May I recommend the Bondage of the Will to you? This is one of the best ways to capture Luther’s theology.

    Luther was an innovator — but not an innovator from outside the Church (outsider) but from within the Church (insider). His innovation was not to start something new which destroyed apostolic succession but to precisely renew the Church again. An innovation that is precisely the destroying and re-creative powers of the proclamation of the gospel of the unconditional forgiveness of sin.

  111. @Robert:
    To come back full circle to your last response to me, if the Catholic Church could lose Her catholicity, that means She never had it. To put it another way, if the historical facts were exactly as you say they were, that would be a defeater not for Catholicism but for the entire idea that Western Christianity was anything other than a protracted heresy. On your reading, there was never catholicity in the Church; the universally taught dogmas contradicted the Gospel.

    The more plausible reading is that your doctrine of justification is a heretical invention, and that like every other heretical sect, you’re unwilling to reconcile with the Church unless we accept your heretical distinctives. This is the pattern of history over and over again, as Jim and I both pointed out for you.

  112. Eric,

    How do the Old School Presbies rely on ritual? I’d thought that these men would be low church compared to you. I was an Anglican (a miniscule Continuing jurisdiction) and like you love the Book of Common Prayer. Never was low church and “oppose” the enervating influence of low-church worship (syncretism) in the Anglican churches. Yes, I left the miniscule Continuing jurisdiction on my own accord because my low church brethren thought I was a ritualist at heart. I’m not familiar with all the rituals but I’d rather these than having band playing contemporary Christian music and jumping up and down. This type of Christianity is prevalent in Malaysia.

  113. As a Protestant, I strongly empathise with what Robert is articulating (intending to convey). Having said this, what Jonathan said is point well take also.

    Claiming catholicity without going through Mother Church, if I may put, serves to undermine and undercut the self-same claim. One cannot, as it were, short-circuit or circumvent the process of apostolic succession that is only found within the Church. (It’s not about restoration but reformation).

  114. Jason Loh–

    Reformed Pietism (both Puritanism and the very similar Dutch Second Reformation) had some cross-fertilization from German Pietism (including Moravianism) but they are really very different movements…and Wesleyanism doesn’t really figure in much at all. Whitefield was, of course, Reformed and supremely evangelistic, but his ecclesiology was very loose indeed. I think of him as a bit extreme and reckless much as a lot of Lutheran Pietism was. (My grandmother, though nominally Lutheran where she grew up in Sweden, was Wesleyan and Pietistic. Probably the most saintly person I have ever personally known, so it’s hard for me to be “dead set” against everything she stood for.)

    Yes, much Evangelical low-church worship has become committed to contemporary culture, but both Reformed and (Reformed) Anglican low-church worship, when not directly influenced by the Evangelical movement, are neither enervating not lacking in ritual. It is just a different kind of ritual: the centrality of preaching and catechism. I myself call it ritualistic because there is a reliance on outward forms rather than any internal change. You have all kinds of kids growing up in these churches who, though unconverted, have jumped through all the right hoops.

    I myself prefer high-church worship. I think there are great advantages to sacramentalism. But for a balance between internal and external to be achieved, conversion must be emphasized. Now, it should be a real, ongoing, active transformation and NOT some single prayer and a jaunt down the aisle to the strains of emotionally manipulative music!

    I happen to think that churches which are honestly Pietistic (and not doctrinally and/or culturally tainted) are very, very few indeed and very far between. (And I believe Luther himself may well have fit the mold.)

  115. Eric,

    Luther wasn’t a Pietist. And yes, different movements within Pietism but as you say, cross-fertilisation. The whole point is that the emphasis on “being born again” — instead of being located in Baptism is instead located as an inner experience. *This* is one of the features that unite all forms of Pietism.

  116. Jason L.,

    The first thing I ever read of Luther’s was a two in one book that included Luther’s Bondage of the Will and Erasmus’ work combined in one volume. I recall Erasmus explaining how God could harden Pharaoh’s heart by using the analogy of how the same sun rays that melt wax also harden clay.
    “Repristinate”? I told you Jason, I’m a simple man.

  117. Eric, This blog was indeed set up by Jason ( a Catholic now ) for Catholic/Reformed dialogue. Yes, siree. “Gag” doesn’t quite mix well with “dialogue” in my book. It is a fighting word. And since we Catholics are as welcome ( at least ) as you are, we should be able to speak openly of a major part of our faith without you “gagging”. Gagging is not especially conducive to dialogue.
    Ave Maria!

  118. Jim,

    “Repristinate Luther” (sic) — to reproduce the teachings of Luther as it is (without anything to stand in between, to filter, to modify, to ignore, to overlook, etc. — in reference to Lutheran Orthodoxy).

    Thanks for bringing up the example given by Erasmus. I myself need to re-read the Bondage of the Will. It’s been such a while.

  119. Eric, How about if I rephrase it. This is a Catholic(‘s) blog. It that better?
    What does it change? Nothing.
    Jason is a Catholic who may or may not have offered carte blanche privileges to Calvinists to use offensive terminology on his own personal blog.
    I also am a Confirmed Catholic. The bonds of Faith and Charity between one Catholic and another give me the RIGHT to ask, nay, to demand that he not permit our common faith to be trod upon by those who don’t feel the need regulate their tongues.
    You see Eric, Mary is our Mother. Yours and Roberts too but you guys opt not to acknowledge it. Fine. You are free to do as you please. And I am free, no, required by the Character of Jason and my Confirmation to insist a brother in Christ, a fellow Catholic, not to tolerate our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, her devotions, doctrines, prayers, ( hyperdulia ) or any other dogma or doctrine of our Faith not be slighted on his blog, for any reason, as long as he has the power to prevent it. Should he ever lose that power, it would be better to shut down rather than permit you to ride rough shod over the Faith we profess. Okay?

  120. Robert,
    As we are all jumping over to the new topic Jason has introduced, before leaving this one, I just want to say how strange it is too see you write that God loves you as much as He loves Mary.
    No, Robert, His love for Mary is greater than His love for all men combined. Where did you get such an idea that God loves you as much as His Mother?
    We can take this up on the other line as it has to do with God’s freedom.

  121. Jason L.,
    My understanding is that Pietism didn’t come about until well after Luther and then only as an antidote to his Justification by Faith Alone doctrine that seemed so lacking in love and holy living. So, no, Luther could not have been a pietist. As a matter of fact, I have heard Rod Rosenblatt on White Horse Inn talk about how Luther despised the schwermerei types and their enthusiasm.

  122. Jim–

    Dialogue cannot be productive without honesty. The truth of the matter is that for ALL Protestants…we react to your overreach on Mary with dry heaves. That is how it makes us feel. Are you going to dictate to us how (perceived) blasphemy and idolatry make us feel?

    You could instead remind us that you yourself would react to true blasphemy and idolatry in the selfsame way, but such-and-such are the reasons why your actions do not rise anywhere close to such monstrous guilt. THAT would be dialogue!

  123. Jim–

    No, Pietism in Germany came about because of the cold, academic nature of the Lutheran Scholastics, whose rigid adherence to Lutheran Orthodoxy developed in part to counteract the effectiveness of the Jesuits. JBFA was not involved in the slightest.

    Luther despised (Scripturally and doctrinally) unteathered enthusiasm and not emotional spirituality. He was a rather emotional man himself.

    Here is his own account of his conversion:

    At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ ” There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory. I also found in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is, what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us strong, the wisdom of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God. (Luther’s Works, Volume 34, P336-337).

  124. Jim–

    Just to be clear, Luther despised “enthusiasm” which was unteathered to doctrine and/or Scripture.

  125. Jason Loh–

    Spiritual rebirth is a Scriptural concept one cannot just opt out of.

    On the other hand, I would agree with you that it is neither entirely nor even primarily an internal, emotional experience. But to claim one can genuinely encounter the living God WITHOUT emotion (completely unlike Isaiah or Paul, for example) is a dubious claim to say the least.

  126. Robert,

    “Luther didn’t want to change the church’s “core doctrines.” There was not dogmatically defined doctrine of justification at that point.”

    I don’t know why you equate all of core doctrines with justification. The pre-Trent debates with Luther and others did not only consider justification. Secondly as Wosbald mentioned there are many interrelated doctrines to justification that were attacked, even though the precise nuanced Tridentine view of justification was not yet enshrined.

    “There wasn’t one until Trent came along and defined things poorly in a panic because Rome saw that it was about to lose its hegemony forever.”

    So poorly the Protestants had no problem writings reams about how they disagreed with it.

    “The Roman Catholic Church gave up catholicity in the Reformation. Its been up to the Protestants to try and maintain it.”

    “Maintain” things with semper reformanda and subjugating all authority to changing personal opinion and thus just hiving off whenever? Okay.

    Eric,

    “You and Jim need to get together and celebrate your mutual tendency toward historical revisionism. Luther was given 60 days to recant and was formally excommunicated 6 months later.”

    I was obviously referring to the time between the theses and exsurge. Multiple debates and requests for recantation happened during those 3 years as I’m sure you know in which he dug in his heels. After exsurge before the excommunication, he dug his heels even more with the burning of it and more combative writings. But thanks for the charitable accusation.

    “Not only that, but there was no debate or even discussion at the Diet of Worms”

    Worms was not the only debate/interaction with RC officials.

    “The pope, the emperor, and all their cronies were not on the up and up in this whole matter, and why you deign to defend them is beyond me.”

    I don’t defend them blindly. I just reject the tired assertion that Luther was some helpless bound-and-gagged martyr that just wanted to reform the church and not revolutionize it. There are RC saints who have helped reform the church. Reform is possible without complete overhaul/negation which is what Luther’s “reforms” would have required. Secondly, the existence of political intrigue and corrupt machinations is not new in councils – just read what happened during Ephesus with Cyril and Nestorius. The thought that the existence of corruption surrounding councils/movements necessitates that the effects are therefore corrupt presupposes the HS is not able to protect such decisions despite those conditions.

    “Many of the specific reforms Luther called for were adopted by Rome during the Counter-Reformation.”

    You seem to think that Luther could not be right in some areas, and wrong in other areas that are incompatible with the Church and its sense of itself.

    “Rome’s rejection of him was nearly entirely political. Theology hardly entered into it at all. (There is far, far more theological difference between Molinism and Thomism soteriologically than between Luther and Aquinas.)”

    Why do you and Robert keep thinking Luther only talked about justification? If theology hardly entered into it at all, seems Chemnitz wasted his time writing his examen against Trent.

    “And for what it’s worth, nothing I’ve read by Forde suggests Antinomianism though I understand how someone could misread him in that way. ”

    Why is it always someone who doesn’t share your view must obviously be “misreading” or “misunderstanding” things with you and never possible it may be the other way around? This is the condescension I’m talking about. Go tell Lutheran pastor-bloggers like Paul McCain or Jordan Cooper or Heath Curtis or Mark Surburg or non-pastors like Jack Kilcrease who has published journal articles critical views on Forde’s view of the law that they’re out to lunch in their estimation of Forde’s denial of 3rd use/nonconfessional view of sanctification because you read some nice quotes you like.

  127. James-

    I really wasn’t trying to be uncharitable or arrogant . Simply put, if I am right about Forde, then they are wrong. But I’ll go ahead and read what they have to say on the matter.

  128. James–

    And just one quick observation: those who have attempted to reform from within, I think, have typically been hierarchical insiders. Like Catherine of Siena, for example, who had the ear of the pope and could thus influence him. I don’t think folks like Hus and Luther and any such possibility.

    In general, I also take it that the Spanish and the Italians (and when not feuding with Rome, the French) have received somewhat preferential treatment. What’s your take?

    (Luther did not do nearly as much as he could have done to stay in the good graces of Rome. And once out, he did not attempt to reach reconciliation with nearly the effort of a number of other Reformers, such as Melancthon and Calvin and Bullinger. Clearly, the Germans and the Bohemians and the English and the Swiss and even the French had had quite enough of Italian hegemony. Yes, Luther was a political animal and took advantage of this animus to effect his theological renovations. But Rome acted OUT OF KEEPING with policies it had had in times before and did have in times after the Reformation. The politics of the era deeply influenced BOTH sides in bringing about the tragic decision of schism. Therefore, you cannot blindly denounce one side without denouncing the other. Unnecessary Roman inflexibility shoulders much of the blame. Even if you stick to your guns on Roman infallibility concerning core doctrine, all kinds of huge theological mistakes are possible, perhaps temporarily, but with tragic results nonetheless.

    The crusades were a terrible Roman error.

    The Inquisition was a terrible Roman error.

    The virtual embrace of slavery was a terrible Roman error.

    The Reformation was, at least in part, a terrible Roman error.

    These are demonstrable errors, which do not preclude Roman infallibility, and which you should have little problem owning up to.

  129. James–

    One more thing:

    The significance of Trent (in terms of Protestant/Catholic relations) is principally as a condemnation of JBFA. A good number of Reformers were willing to drop the rest of their concerns for agreement on this one topic. Robert and I focus on it for good reason it would seem to me.

  130. Robert and Eric,
    Ho Ho Ho, Ha Ha! Yeah, and Luther said he would kiss the Pope’s foot if he would do just one little old thing:preach the Gospel. Ho Ho Ha Ha!

    Luther’s Gospel undoes the entire body of Revelation. One little stipulation indeed! Ha! That is rich!

  131. Eric, Just to be clear, Luther despised anyone, including Jews for not embracing his gospel and other Protestants for applying his own principle against him and breaking with him as he broke with Rome.
    ( You really do have to stop trying to teach ME history, sonny.)

  132. Jim, you write:

    … Luther should be studied to gain an insight as to how this particular fellow was able to find comfort in Justification By Faith Alone after it was supposedly obscured for centuries.

    Martin Luther (1483-1546) was man that agonized with the spiritual sickness of extreme scrupulosity. Luther cooked up his “justification by faith alone” theology in a desperate attempt to bring relief to the spiritual sickness that tormented him day and night. His own writings give witness to his spiritual sickness, and the fact that he got temporary relief from his torment by becoming a heretic indicates to me that Luther was diabolically oppressed. After Luther unleashed his heresy and got the Deformation rolling, his spiritual sickness came back to torment him.

    What would be interesting to me would be to compare Martin Luther to another man that suffered from extreme scrupulosity: St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787). Fr. Gino Henriques, who is a priest of the order founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori, gave a talk where he made mention of St. Alphonsus’ scrupulosity. Fr. Gino said that St. Alphonsus was able to overcome his fear and scrupulosity by meditating of the love of God.

    “But one thing is necessary” – Luke 10:42. What is this one thing necessary? It is not necessary to acquire riches, nor to obtain dignitaries, nor to gain a great name. The only thing necessary, is to love God. Whatever is not done for the love of God, is lost. This is the greatest and the first commandment-of the law. To the pharisee, who asked what was the greatest commandment of the law, Jesus Christ answered: “Thou shalt love the lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment” – Matthew 22:37-38. But this, which is the greatest-of the commandments, is the most despised by men; there are few who fulfill it. The greater part of men, love their relatives, their friends, and even brute animals, but do not love God. Of these Saint John says, that they have not life; that they are dead. “he that loveth not, abideth in death” – 1John 3: 14 …
    .
    On the Love of God
    St. Alphonsus Ligouri
    .
    Reference: http://copiosa.org/liguori_sermons/liguori_sermon_45.htm

    But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”
    Matt 17:7

    The contrast between St. Alphonsus Ligouri understanding of God and man and Luther’s understanding of God and man could not be more stark. For Luther, man was but a rough beast without free will. In Luther’s “De Servo Arbitrio – On the Bondage of the Will”, man is likened to a horse without free will. Sometimes Lucifer flogs the horse in one direction, and at other times God flogs the horse in another direction.

    “Now then, Satan and man being fallen and left of God, cannot will good; that is, those things which please God, or which God wills; but are ever turned the way of their own desires, so that they cannot but seek their own. This, therefore, their will and nature, so turned from God, cannot be a nothing: nor are Satan and the wicked man a nothing: nor are the nature and the will which they have a nothing, although it be a nature corrupt and averse. That remnant of nature, therefore, in Satan and the wicked man, of which we speak, as being the creature and work of God, is not less subject to the divine omnipotence and action, than all the rest of the creatures and works of God.

    Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man. But He so does all in them, as they themselves are, and as He finds them: that is, as they are themselves averse and evil, being carried along by that motion of the Divine Omnipotence, they cannot but do what is averse and evil. Just as it is with a man driving a horse lame on one foot, or lame on two feet; he drives him just so as the horse himself is; that is, the horse moves badly. But what can the man do? He is driving along this kind of horse together with sound horses; he, indeed, goes badly, and the rest well; but it cannot be otherwise, unless the horse be made sound.”

    Martin Luther, “On the Bondage of the Will”.

  133. ERIC, Oh Eric, oh eric!

    How you do go on!

    “The crusades were a terrible Roman error”.

    They were the most noble examples of the Just War Theory ever.
    The Moslems started there rampage around the middle of the 7th century. In about 711 they cross into Spain and went up almost to Paris before being pushed back over the Pyrenees. They took North Africa and the Holy land and were threatening the Byzentine Christians so the Patriarch asked the Pope for help. The first crusade was called in about 1090. That’s after about 400 years of taking Islamic guff.

    “The Inquisition was a terrible Roman error.”

    If not for the Inquisition, were wouldn’t be having this discussion as the Albigensian heresy would have wiped out Europe much as the contraception/gay/abortion heresy is doing today. Only Simon de Montfort’s army and Dominic’s Rosary saved us.

    “The virtual embrace of slavery was a terrible Roman error.”

    Condemnation of slavery for racial reasons (the enslavement of the Canary islands ) was condemned in 13??. Slavery from war and economic reasons was permitted then as it is now.

    “The Reformation was, at least in part, a terrible Roman error.”

    It was the work of the Devil.

    “These are demonstrable errors, which do not preclude Roman infallibility, and which you should have little problem owning up to.”

    People sin. Catholics are people. But the Church, well, what are you talking about now? Galileo? C’mon.

  134. Mateo,
    Most excellent comparison of the two scrupulants! I think about it often. As a big fan of the Glories of Mary, compare that jewel to Luther’s foul Table Talks.
    I wear a medal of O.L. of Perpetual Help ( I saw the original in St. Alphonsus church in Rome ) and was enrolled in the 5 Scapulars of the Redemptorists.
    Yes, indeed, one man became a great saint and saved many souls. The other man, well, let’s not unnecessarily offend our weaker brothers.

  135. Sorry to duck out but time for my weekly Holy Hour in front of the Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. ( Latria ).

    When I get home, it will be dark and the candle light procession in Fatima will be starting. They televise it every year ( Hyperdulia ).

    Debbie, Mateo, CK, James, Kenneth, please handle my calls fromm the Protestants. Ha!

  136. Eric,

    “I don’t think folks like Hus and Luther and any such possibility.”

    Catherine and others didn’t call the Pope and papacy the Antichrist as Luther did less than a year after posting the theses (which by themselves could’ve opened legitimate discussion). That might’ve contributed to the pope not being as receptive to his counsel as saint reformers (well aside from the adamant uncompromising rejection of core doctrines as well). He was given multiple audiences with papal officials/representatives before exsurge; he wasn’t cut off from the pope’s ear.

    “Yes, Luther was a political animal and took advantage of this animus to effect his theological renovations.”

    Yes, and neither you nor other Protestants believe that such political/secular intrigue that helped spark and sustain the Reformation means that it somehow corrupted or tainted the movement. But then when such aspects affect Rome, well it’s Dan Brown corruption time.

    “The politics of the era deeply influenced BOTH sides in bringing about the tragic decision of schism. Therefore, you cannot blindly denounce one side without denouncing the other. Unnecessary Roman inflexibility shoulders much of the blame.”

    I don’t blindly denounce one side without the other. Do I think Rome did everything properly or correctly during the Reformation? Of course not – nor have what I said implies such. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept the assertion that Luther was unfairly kicked out or that he was a noble-minded gentle soul who just wanted some reform and rainbows – which is what I’ve been saying. And again you seem to reduce Roman “inflexibility” to Rome actually believing and holding to its claims and not becoming Protestant.

    “Even if you stick to your guns on Roman infallibility concerning core doctrine, all kinds of huge theological mistakes are possible, perhaps temporarily, but with tragic results nonetheless.”

    Yes and the “theological mistakes” that were made according to your logic seems to reduce to “not becoming Protestant” or “not denying Rome’s sense of herself”. It couldn’t possibly be that Protestantism is making huge theological mistakes which resulted in tragic results of schism.

  137. James,

    Yes, and neither you nor other Protestants believe that such political/secular intrigue that helped spark and sustain the Reformation means that it somehow corrupted or tainted the movement. But then when such aspects affect Rome, well it’s Dan Brown corruption time.

    This is flat out wrong. It is the political/secular intrigue that motivates us to deny ecclesiastical infallibility for Protestantism. It’s not an issue of being tainted or corrupted. Tainted or corrupted people can speak the truth, and so can tainted or corrupted institutions. The problem is looking at tainted or corrupted institutions and pretending that you can ignore the corruption and retain infallibility.

    Catherine and others didn’t call the Pope and papacy the Antichrist as Luther did less than a year after posting the theses (which by themselves could’ve opened legitimate discussion). That might’ve contributed to the pope not being as receptive to his counsel as saint reformers (well aside from the adamant uncompromising rejection of core doctrines as well). He was given multiple audiences with papal officials/representatives before exsurge; he wasn’t cut off from the pope’s ear.

    Perhaps the fact that Rome lied to Hus had something to do with Luther’s attitude. Perhaps the fact that Wycliffe was posthumously burned at the stake had something to do with Luther’s attitude. Perhaps the fact that others of more moderate temper had tried to reform the church and failed—think Council of Constance and the subsequent refusal to call regular councils as it was supposed to—had something to do with Luther’s attitude. Perhaps the fact that Rome didn’t really offer any kind of meaningful reform of itself until Luther dug in his heels shows that Rome had no real interest in changing the status quo.

    I wonder…

  138. James,

    I don’t know why you equate all of core doctrines with justification. The pre-Trent debates with Luther and others did not only consider justification. Secondly as Wosbald mentioned there are many interrelated doctrines to justification that were attacked, even though the precise nuanced Tridentine view of justification was not yet enshrined.

    Yes, the Tridentine view of justification was not yet enshrined. There were many different nuanced views before them, and Luther’s view by no means violates interrelated doctrines such as the incarnation, Trinity, etc.

    So poorly the Protestants had no problem writings reams about how they disagreed with it.

    They wrote reams about how the medieval church had come to adopt certain ideas and practices that were contrary not only to Scripture but also to the church fathers. They wrote reams about the ideas of justification being promoted in their contexts. Was there a prevailing view of justification in medieval Western Catholicism. I don’t think you can honestly say that there wasn’t. But just because it was the dominant view doesn’t mean it was right or that Rome had no obligation to listen to the critics. The dominant view soon after Nicea was Arianism, I guess that makes it right.

    “Maintain” things with semper reformanda and subjugating all authority to changing personal opinion and thus just hiving off whenever? Okay.

    LCWR
    Nancy Pelosi
    Liberation Theologians
    Society of Saint Pius X
    RCs for Choice

    etc. have all hived themselves off and Rome has done what—basically nothing.

    We don’t pretend unity exists where it doesn’t. And Rome’s doctrine is bound to its ever shifting-interpretation of itself. Your dogma of what it means to be in submission to the pope has changed greatly over the past few hundred years so that now basically everybody is in submission to him even if they don’t realize it. Yeah, that’s what Unam Sanctum teaches.

  139. +JMJ+

    Robert wrote:

    Yes, the Tridentine view of justification was not yet enshrined. There were many different nuanced views before them, and Luther’s view by no means violates interrelated doctrines such as the incarnation, Trinity, etc.

    But every ecclesially-tolerated “nuanced view” before Trent agreed 1) that Justification included entitative Sanctification and 2) that Natural Man freely elects to receive the Gift of Justification in Sacramental Baptism. The manner, or framework, in which these organically transmitted dogmatic realities were theologically narrated differed, of course. This is good and is the natural course of the Church’s “theological work”.

    And your denials that Protestant distinctives violate orthodox Christology and Trinitarianism mean very little considering that the rejection of Inherent Justice and Sacramentalism are the indelible proofs of the contrary.

  140. Robert,
    Sorry, but I don’t know which denomination you call home? Presbyterian?
    Would you tell me your church’s position on the life issues? You seem to be adamantly opposed to Pelosi, Liberal nuns, Catholics for Choice, etc?
    Therefore I assume you are in a 100% pro-church that does not allow for the hard case abortions, is opposed to contraception without which there would be no abortions, and has always been 100% pro-life (even in the 70s and 80s ). Also, you church must be against surrogacy, in vitro, etc, if is 100% prolife.

    If your church is 75% no good. 90%, no good. 99% nope.
    Why don’t you clean up the act of your own denomination before looking for specks in other peoples eyes?
    You know how I can prove only the Catholic Church is 100% uncompromisingly prolife?
    Obama is after us, not you.

  141. Robert, Rome didn’t burn Hus. Sigmund did. And didn’t Hus violate the terms of safe passage by preaching a sermon?

  142. ” And Rome’s doctrine is bound to its ever shifting-interpretation of itself. Your dogma of what it means to be in submission to the pope has changed greatly over the past few hundred years so that now basically everybody is in submission to him even if they don’t realize it. Yeah, that’s what Unam Sanctum teaches.”

    This is such crap.

  143. LCWR
    Nancy Pelosi
    Liberation Theologians
    Society of Saint Pius X
    RCs for Choice

    Have all been disciplined to some degree or another. How about the miscreants in your denomination?

  144. Robert & co.

    Enough with your hypocritical postering about being against certain ersatz Catholic groups that dissent on the life issues.

    Every, not most, not some, not a few, every mainline denomination fails the 100% prolife test. And that include James Dobson despite his calling out Obama. Only the Catholic Church ( not the Orthodox even ) is 100% prolife. How so?
    Because the Church condemns contraception.
    Margaret Sanger, Harry Blackmun, Alan Guttmacher, etc. all knew that if you have contraception you have to have legalized abortion. Abortion follows contraception like night follows day.
    Planned Parenthood knows that contraception makes abortion rates rise, not go down. That’s why they pushed for the pill without mentioning abortion. They knew they didn’t have to.
    Only fools say we need contraception to reduce abortion.

    Only fools think condoms bring down AIDS rates. ( Uganda’s AIDS rate dropped after dumping the condom and now they have the lowest rate in Africa).

    Only fools think clean needle programs bring down infection with dirty needles.
    Only Protestants think you can be prolife and pro contraception.
    It is putting out a fire with gasoline.
    So, Robert, take care of your own Pelosis. Especially the ministers who counsel contraception to newly weds like James Dobson does.

  145. “Trespassing on Trinitarian Territory”

    What a great title!

    Not many want to wade in these waters, who would knowingly want to trespass against God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit?

  146. James–

    You are not nearly as blinded as Jim, but your assessment of the Reformation still seems not only one sided but lacking in objectivity. We don’t insist that any individual Reformer’s personal foibles don’t possibly corrupt his theological viewpoint, but we have many Reformers, all saying nearly the same thing, but having utterly varied degrees of corruption (for example, find me something bad on Bullinger). I think there was some honest theological debate going on between Catholic and incipient Protestant at the beginning of the Reformation, but there was political inflexibility at the top.

    I myself feel that the principal impetus in rejecting JBFA was political…and remains political to this day…except for the theological maintenance of (the illusion of) infallibility. There is so little difference (especially between Lutheranism and Thomism) that it’s pathetic. And even official Rome has said as much in JDDJ (without making it officially official, that is).

    Sorry, James, but I really don’t believe there was anything in the magisterial Reformation which maimed or injured or drastically changed Catholic dogma. It merely completed what Aquinas had begun. It set Catholic soteriology free. A Golden Age of Catholic theology was snuffed out if you ask me.

  147. Jim,

    Sorry, but I don’t know which denomination you call home? Presbyterian?

    I’m a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America.

    Would you tell me your church’s position on the life issues? You seem to be adamantly opposed to Pelosi, Liberal nuns, Catholics for Choice, etc?

    Against abortion except in the extremely rare cases where it would be necessary to save the life of the mother.

    Therefore I assume you are in a 100% pro-church that does not allow for the hard case abortions, is opposed to contraception without which there would be no abortions, and has always been 100% pro-life (even in the 70s and 80s ). Also, you church must be against surrogacy, in vitro, etc, if is 100% pro life.

    Why don’t you clean up the act of your own denomination before looking for specks in other peoples eyes?

    I’m not the one claiming infallibility and unity among the faithful where none exists. My main complaint is that you guys keep going with these arguments that “Rome is more united than thou” or “we have a principled means” that are patently false. If you guys wouldn’t make these arguments, then there could be no tu quoque.

    You know how I can prove only the Catholic Church is 100% uncompromisingly prolife?
    Obama is after us, not you.

    Which is why, of course, Obama worked hard to get the nuns backing for the whole thing and, of course why the bill was supported by Bart Stupak, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, etc. All of whom are good and faithful RCs.

    Have all been disciplined to some degree or another. How about the miscreants in your denomination?

    No denomination disciplines people perfectly. But my denomination doesn’t claim to be the infallible voice of God on earth like your denomination does.

    And yeah, some of these groups have received a mild rebuke. Who has been excommunicated? Why is the pope and the Magisterium allowing Pelosi and Co. to think themselves good RCs while they peddle the culture of death. And basically, they have no good reason to think they are doing anything anti-RC as long as they are tolerated and embraced by the church.

    Every, not most, not some, not a few, every mainline denomination fails the 100% prolife test.

    Which is why I’m not a mainline Protestant. Incidentally, the majority of American RCs fail the “100% pro life test.” Not true in conservative Protestantism.

    And that include James Dobson despite his calling out Obama. Only the Catholic Church ( not the Orthodox even ) is 100% prolife. How so?

    One can be in favor of non-abortifacient contraception and pro-life. Even Rome is to some degree because it allows for natural family planning. To say that’s NOT contraception is semantics and wiggling around the issue. Typical behavior from Rome. We Protestants like our churches a little more honest.

    And while I respect Dobson, he’s not in my denomination, so there’s little I could do in any case. And again, my denomination does not claim to be the infallible voice of God on earth like your denomination does. Higher claims require a higher standard.

  148. Eric,

    I myself feel that the principal impetus in rejecting JBFA was political…and remains political to this day…except for the theological maintenance of (the illusion of) infallibility.

    So very true. I might say theo-political. Rome saw what the doctrine would do to its ability to wield the sacraments as instruments of terror to keep the people in line, and she freaked out when seeing the threat to her power.

  149. Hello Jim,

    I’ve been watching your interaction with the Protestants who comment here, and for someone who calls himself a simple man, you sure do know a lot.
    I don’t understand the pure hatred that people have for the Church. Robert keeps bringing up the bad characters( Pelosi, Reid etc…) that happen to have been either born into the culture of the Church, or adopted it as their religion of choice yet refuse to faithfully follow the teachings of Christ, saying that they are in good standing. But they are only in good standing IF they are submitting to the faith and morals of the Church. For instance, I know that I cannot received the Holy Eucharist if I’m in moral sin, and if I did so I also know that am further condemning myself for all eternity,AND any Catholic knows this too….including Pelosi and any proverbial version of her.
    Anyways, I don’t want to be rude and speak of Robert in the third person, but because I don’t have time to enter the fray( I’ve done it before), I just would like to say that I think it might be helpful to point out again that infallibility and impecability are not the same thing. The only Church that is 100% dogmatically non-capricious, is the Church that everyone rightly expects to be 100 % perfect; doctrinally she is and that should mean something. To everyone.

    Susan

  150. Susan,
    For months, Robert has been told this, over and over. Why he persists, I know not. Sometimes, he is okay and seems to be open and other times it’s like talking to a wall. Maybe you can get through to him.
    Go ahead and be rude to him. He is rude. Not as rude as Eric, but he can be rude. He can be nice on occasion. The new Lutheran guy is nice. Wordy, but nice. Robert and Eric might not be rude to you. They might be gallant. Not sure, though as they speak poorly of Mary.

  151. Robert!
    A candidate for ministry? Stick around. We want to talk to you. ( I am scrolling from the bottom up )
    Please, please, please, be open to something. NFP is NOT contraception!!!
    Robert, your objection to NFP is a common one from Protestants.

    Yes, in the case of contraception and NFP the same end is intended. But the means are as different as night and day.
    Remember Robert, the female of the species is the most infertile in the animal kingdom. She can conceive only a few days out of the month. God made her thus. God did.
    There is no positive obligation to ever have spousal relations at a particular time. One is free to abstain. All NFP does is to find out which days the woman is fertile or infertile and act according to God’s creation.

    It is called Natural family planning not because it is natural like brown rice or environmental fuel. It is natural because it is natural only to a rational being with mind and will. Only humans can choose. Animals can’t. Only humans can abstain. Animals can’t. Only humans can cooperate and procreate. Animals merely reproduce.
    You know Robert, in our Bible, in the Douey version, in Tobit the young Tobias and Sarah abstain on there wedding night and pray so as not to be like “mules and horses”. It’s not in your Bible, I know, but do you know the Amish read it at weddings?

    Contraception does not require the human ability to abstain. It does not ask the couple to cooperate in God’s plan of the fertile/infertile days.

    Contraception renders asunder what God has joined together. It tells God to go away. Contraception turns the marital act into an act that need not be kept in marriage as the couple is saying that they can render fertile days infertile.
    Think about what Margaret Sangar knew; Should a pregnancy result while contracepting, the child is already rejected, unwanted and an accident. An unjust accident as the couple had been using “protection”.
    Protection from what? The intruder.
    Because the child is an unwelcome intruder, he has no right to be in the womb and measures can be taken to destroy him. Harry Blackmun knew this. Why don’t you.
    Because contraception makes it possible to separate sex from baby, sex from marriage, unmarried couples unready for babies can fornicate without fear. This makes for a promiscuous use of the act that raises the possibility of failure.
    When the seat belt was first mandated, speeding and road fatalities rose.
    I told you last night about condoms and aids. The more money Bill Gates pumps into condoms, the more AIDS rises.

    Once before you argued with me on the use of pharmacopia in the Bible. Yous said it only applied to the making of potions. Not so. Google it.

    If you are going to be a minster, it behooves you to get this right or you will be as blind as James Dobson.Tons of minsters have entered the Catholic Church because of this issue. How is it only the Church opposes contraception? Because of the Holy Spirit.
    I told you already, Anthony Comstock was a Presbyterian minister. He is responsible for the laws that drove margaret Sanagr out of America and to England where the Anglicans caved on this. Presbyterians were anti contraception once. They changed. The Anglicans changed.. The Orthodox changed. We haven’t and won’t.

    And please stop saying the Church has more than one position on contraception. It makes you look completely nuts as it is so patently false.

  152. Calling All Catholics,

    Please help me get through to Robert. He is going into ministry and will be affecting people’s lives.

    What can you tell him about NFP, Humanae Vitae, Theology of the Body, etc. etc.? Any good website? Put the cudgels down for a bit and really try to get through to him on this issue. We can enjoy pounding him and Calvinism later.

  153. Robert ( and anybody else ).

    Here are some videos from a prolife conference given in Fatima last Fall. The one by Christopher West on JPII/Fatima/Theology of the Body is my favorite.

    http://tobinternationalsymposia.com/?cat=6

    All Catholics, watch this video! The assassination attempt, Mary, God’s plan for marriage, Communism, it’s all connected.

    Coincidentally, today, May 13, is the feast of Fatima.

  154. James (and Jason Loh if he’s still reading)–

    I read me some McCain and Cooper and Surburg. They are uniformly simplistic, uninsightful, and unimaginative.

    I include this last adjective because Forde has a penchant for wording concepts in a topsy-turvy fashion in order to get one to cock one’s head and say, “Wait a minute! Did he just say what I think he said? That can’t be right!” And it’s NOT right, and it IS right all at the same time. In one sense, he is saying the opposite of what he intends in order to grab our attention and make us think. In another sense, he is saying exactly what he intends but in a way we would never think to use.

    It doesn’t surprise me that some short-sighted traditional fellows, alarmed by Forde’s rejection of inerrancy and his confusing takes on the Atonement, would read him wrong. There are plenty of minefields in Forde’s teaching. Evangelicals should read his works with discernment. But cavalier fundamentalist dismissals of the man will not fly. One can abandon the third use of the law and still not be Antinomian. There happen to be other, perhaps even better, justifications for good works out there.

    Is Forde used by Antinomians to bolster their own errors? I’m sure he is. They are as mistaken concerning his works as are his detractors. At least that’s my reading.

  155. Susan–

    Based on our past conversations, I can confidently affirm that you are an eminently likable person. You are the kind of sensitive, compassionate woman with whom one could foster a quick and lasting friendship.

    That said, there is no one, and I mean NO ONE, who makes me nearly as angry as you do…on almost as frequent a basis as you post.

    You tear down sound Reformed thinkers as if they were nobodies, and then you praise to the skies absolute non-thinkers like De Maria and our friend Jim here from Portugal. If Jim were not a moderately entertaining fellow, I would never bother to interact with him. He has virtually nothing of merit to add to the conversation.

    (I will be making my self scarce for the next month or so…so he can spill all the bile he wishes…and I will remain blissfully unaware.)

    At any rate, Susan, your taste in theology and theologians is perfectly atrocious. But I still like YOU, nonetheless!

    Have a great month!! 🙂

  156. Rubberband,

    If you want to see the Church’s or, at least one Catholic’s view of slavery, read Orestes Brownson online.

    People can sell themselves into slavery, prisoners taken in a just war, ….

  157. Eric, “At any rate, Susan, your taste in theology and theologians is perfectly atrocious. But I still like YOU, nonetheless!”

    You charmer, you!

  158. Eric,

    I can imagine an FV’er saying the exact same thing about conservative criticisms of Leithart – they’re just simplistic and unimaginative.
    Is Forde’s view of the 3rd use reflected in the Lutheran confessions (as well as Luther’s works/catechisms or big names like Chemnitz and Walther) or not? But perhaps the Lutheran confessions aren’t as “irreformable” as the Calvinist ones. Do you think it’s a coincidence he was ELCA? Those pastors’ concerns is that his influence has led to soft antinomianism and non-biblical preaching because of the fear and mentality that any exhortation to works that is not meant to be law-crushing distorts the gospel. You can see the dispute between them and the Fordeians (who should be able to correct such “misreadings” you charge the anti-Fordeians with) at threads like

    http://gottesdienstonline.blogspot.com/2013/11/are-you-antinomian.html
    http://surburg.blogspot.com/2013/12/marks-thoughts-i-am-antinomian.html

    Perhaps you think the Fordeians come out better in those threads, but didn’t look that way in my eyes.

    “I myself feel that the principal impetus in rejecting JBFA was political…and remains political to this day…except for the theological maintenance of (the illusion of) infallibility. There is so little difference (especially between Lutheranism and Thomism) that it’s pathetic. And even official Rome has said as much in JDDJ (without making it officially official, that is).”

    So here again we see why your claims that the confessions are irreformable falls flat when you criticize RCism as maintaining the illusion of infallibility. But regarding JBFA – so you and Robert and RS Clark and others shouldn’t have any problems with Benedict’s statement on sola fide. If there’s so little difference, then why reject it? But you do. Maybe Protestantism’s rejection of RC faith formed by love was political and remains political to this day then.

    “Sorry, James, but I really don’t believe there was anything in the magisterial Reformation which maimed or injured or drastically changed Catholic dogma. It merely completed what Aquinas had begun. It set Catholic soteriology free.”

    So you think Reformational theology is not drastically different than pre-Tridentine RC dogma at the very least. So that would mean you either think Trent is not drastically different than Reformational theology, or you think Trent drastically changed RC dogma to then make it drastically different from Reformational theology. If you’re pushing that Trent and Reformational theology are not drastically different, then I’m not sure how your comrades will view you, not to mention you would have wasted a lot of ink here. Regardless, I think all 3 are off-the-mark and we can take your use of Aquinas to illustrate.
    Aquinas held to concupiscence/mortal/venial sin distinctions, infused righteousness as justification/ability to grow in justification, sanctifying grace, loss of salvation for justified, RC understanding of the sacraments, purgatory/indulgences, ecclesiastical infallibility, intercession/veneration of saints/Mary (you know the idolatry thing you harp on Jim about), RC understanding of role of Scripture, etc. I do not know how on earth you can say the Reformation completed what Aquinas had begun or that it wasn’t drastically different or injurious to RC dogma – completion does not include unraveling and obliteration.

  159. Robert,

    “This is flat out wrong. It is the political/secular intrigue that motivates us to deny ecclesiastical infallibility for Protestantism.”

    What about confessional infallibility that Eric keeps trying to sell?

    “It’s not an issue of being tainted or corrupted. Tainted or corrupted people can speak the truth, and so can tainted or corrupted institutions.”

    Bingo.

    “The problem is looking at tainted or corrupted institutions and pretending that you can ignore the corruption and retain infallibility.”

    Why are you contradicting what you just said? Infallibility protects the truth, which you just said can be compatible with tainted institutions. This is about on the same level when you say “something can be true without discipline being enforced” then keep doing about-faces.
    Anyways, it’s simple – all the political and secular factors that helped keep the glorious Protestant reformation going are divine providence. Any political or secular factors that helped keep evil Rome going are indicators of its man-made origins and corruption. It’s a silly double-standard.

    “Yes, the Tridentine view of justification was not yet enshrined. There were many different nuanced views before them, and Luther’s view by no means violates interrelated doctrines such as the incarnation, Trinity, etc.”

    First, his view obviously does violate interrelated doctrines like infused righteousness as justification/growth in justification, synergism in justification, venial sin (or reduction of mortal sin to only apostasy), concupiscence not sin proper, role of the sacraments in justification/sin, purgatory/indulgences, etc. Secondly the “by no means” is disputable – monergism and penal substitution has implications for the incarnation and Trinitarian doctrines.

    “So poorly the Protestants had no problem writings reams about how they disagreed with it.
    – They wrote reams about how the medieval church had come to adopt certain ideas and practices that were contrary not only to Scripture but also to the church fathers. They wrote reams about the ideas of justification being promoted in their contexts.”

    Yes so your original assertion that Rome wrote so poorly in panic mode with Trent remains unsubstantiated. The Reformers and followers responded to Trent with volumes.

    “But just because it was the dominant view doesn’t mean it was right or that Rome had no obligation to listen to the critics.”

    I don’t know why you think because Rome rejected its critics’ views that means it didn’t listen to them or some of its theologians didn’t interact with such views leading up to and during Trent’s sessions.

  160. Jim–

    What can I say? They say that when I enter a room, I light up the place.

    Here, I really turn it on…full wattage!

    Lucky you!! 🙂

  161. Eric,

    Re your (brief) evaluation of Forde, thanks! Really appreciate your remarks. You understand Forde’s thinking more than some confessional Lutherans (which doesn’t surprise me).

    (Forde was neither a conservative – to be sure – but he was not a liberal either. His denial of inerrancy and accommodation instead of concession of higher criticism stemmed from his approach to doing theology. Higher criticism is helpful in – so far as for – aiding the law-gospel hermeneutics — distinguishing the divine address from the historical background.

    There is a dynamic inter-relationship between theology and proclamation. Theology drives to proclamation. And proclamation results in theology).

  162. James–

    I for one have seen anti-FV rhetoric become simplistic and unimaginatively dogmatic. They deserve criticism (especially for those who like Leithart want to claim WCF adherence), but sometimes the criticism has been way out of line with the extent of their error. Often it is blatantly inaccurate. Our opponents should ALWAYS be represented as accurately as humanly possible!

    On a similar note, sometimes so-called “Fordeians” aren’t representative of Forde himself. Many scholars don’t believe Nestorius was guilty of the heresies he was accused of…though Nestorianism definitely was. If one reads Greg Bahnsen’s take on Cornelius Van Til and then read John Frame’s view, you’d swear you’re reading about two different men who just happen to have the same name! Gerhard Forde, by the way, should probably considered ALC not ELCA. He taught at Luther Seminary and NOT Northwestern until after the two were merged. He was not an LCA guy. Nor was he particularly liberal. A good number of ALC churches were quite conservative (those Norwegians were simply more traditional than the Swedes!) He was, as far as I understand it, at least in agreement with many of the concerns voiced by WordAlone (and by the LCMC, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) including the ELCA’s embrace of the historic episcopate (Apostolic Succession), their support of the JDDJ, and their sea change on same-sex issues.

    I read the blogs you sent as mostly calling for restraint and balance from both sides. Anyone who emphasizes the amazing depth of God’s grace will sound Antinomian at times. Just as anyone who stresses our need for holy living under the eternal law of Christ may come off as legalistic. Those charging Forde with “softness” on Antinomianism quote Chemnitz and Luther himself in rebuttal. Luther, who as you well know, spoke of sinning boldly, the “champion” Antinomian phrase of all time (even though is isn’t Antinomian in the given context!)

    I don’t doubt that there are liberalish Antinomian Lutherans who look to Forde to buttress their moral laxness. But that is definitely NOT who he was. There are others who focus in too narrowly on keep grace gratuitous who believe they have a champion in Forde. I believe both to be in error, but I could be wrong. If you believe I am, show me, using Forde’s own words.

    Yes, I think Thomistic soteriology is just a hair off. But it is a critical nth of a degree. It is like pointing your telescope into the night sky looking for Saturn and her rings or Jupiter and her moons. Someone with experience nudges the instrument ever so slightly and voila, a majestic luminescence enters your view! THAT is the effect of rediscovering JBFA….

  163. Jason Loh–

    I think it is a fool’s errand to simply write off all mainstream exegetics. I am definitely more conservative than Forde when it comes to the authority of Scripture. But I would, nevertheless, call myself a critical Evangelical (even though it sounds a bit like an oxymoron). I do not ignore higher critical insights when they are well taken. Not all liberal exegetes have an agenda to prove Scripture wrong and bad and evil. A few of them are fine scholars, and we shouldn’t simply look the other way.

  164. James,

    Why are you contradicting what you just said? Infallibility protects the truth, which you just said can be compatible with tainted institutions. This is about on the same level when you say “something can be true without discipline being enforced” then keep doing about-faces.
    Anyways, it’s simple – all the political and secular factors that helped keep the glorious Protestant reformation going are divine providence. Any political or secular factors that helped keep evil Rome going are indicators of its man-made origins and corruption. It’s a silly double-standard.

    I’m not contradicting anything. I don’t object to the church’s ability to produce statements that are true and divinely binding. What I object to is the notion that the way you determine that something is infallible is by the church’s say-so. That is essentially Rome’s position.

    It’s not a double standard because my reasons for denying Rome’s infallibility aren’t the reasons that I reject the claim. Granted I look at Rome and find it impossible to believe she is infallible when she says she is in part because of her history, but I would say the exact same things about Protestantism. My reasons for rejecting Rome’s notion of infallibility are, in order more or less

    1. That it cannot be established exegetically;
    2. That Christ himself said that wolves would invade the flock and that the entire church was to be on guard against those wolves;
    3. That you don’t have infallibility without inspiration of the kind the Apostles had (if you guys would claim this, your claim would be more consistent, but still false)
    4. That so many of the doctrines Rome has explicitly called infallible are absent from Scripture, not to mention the earliest post-Apostolic sources
    5. That Rome’s view of ecclesiastical infallibility is just altogether absent from the church fathers. There’s no one at Nicea saying, “we have gathered here together today to infallibly determine the truth.”
    6. That the infallible source has given no infallible guide by which the faithful can know when the Magisterium is speaking infallibly. At best you can point to a few doctrines such as the Assumption that have been specifically mentioned as such, but you can’t know if your interpretation of it today is correct. Rome has changed its interpretation of dogma before, why not again?

    Basically it reduces to implicit faith that Rome is infallible whenever she says she is infallible, and don’t ask too many questions. As history has proven, that’s a situation ripe for abuse. The people in charge, if they are sinners, are always focused first on protecting the people in charge and only secondarily on the people under them.

  165. Robert–

    I think one could say that Rome’s “infallibility” is primarily one of identity. To be Catholic is to be opposed to Sola Fide. To be Catholic is to believe in the immaculacy and perpetual virginity of Mary. To be Catholic is to pray to saints and to “look forward” to spending time in Purgatory. To be Catholic is to center worship around the adoration of the Eucharist and to downplay preaching almost to an afterthought.

    Baptists are never going to become paedo-baptist. (They’d have to change their name!) Wesleyans are never going to become Calvinistic. Presbyterians are never going to adopt episcopal church government. Lutherans are never going to deemphasize their clear-cut distinction between Law and Gospel.

    Catholics can soften certain doctrines (as Peter Kreeft does with Purgatory when he calls it a warm bath for field hands, having come in dirty from working the crops, to get ready for the party they’ve been invited to), but they can’t get rid of them. And I don’t think it has that much to do with the Magisterium. Catholic folks on websites like this one listen to them, but nobody else does.

  166. Eric,

    I think you are on to something with the infallibility of identity, though I’m not sure how much the average lay RC thinks that to be RC is to be anti-sola fide. I would agree that a lot of them would think being RC means a lot of the other things you mention, although I would think that for a lot of them it has a lot to do with the fact “I was baptized a RC, I’ll die an RC, who cares what I believe.” To be fair, a lot of professing Protestants think this way.

    I like to be a little more optimistic about church and theological changes. Confessional presbyterian and Baptists should be able to get together. I’d be happy to be in a church that allowed for both views, though that could lead to other potential problems. However, there was one scholar who argued that the Apostolic church allowed for both views (I can’t remember who it was).

    Episcopal church governance makes union with Anglicans and Lutherans harder, though the Lutheran church in this country has kind of a quasi-congregational polity (at least in the ELCA, where I grew up). I’d actually be open to an episcopal polity if there was effective oversight on the lay level for the bishops.

    Sometimes I wonder whether God ever meant for the church to have one visible denominational representation. Seems to me the Jewish church and the Gentile church in the first century were very different. I guess the question is can Reformed Baptists and confessional Presbyterians be one in the sense Jesus called for. Theologically we are, at least in the essentials, and we’ve already seen that the same-home-office view of ecclesiology of Rome is meaningless as far as spiritual unity. Just thinking out loud here.

  167. Robert–

    There does seem to be a trend for confessional Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists to get together (e.g., Together 4 the Gospel). I’ve mentioned a few times that I am a full member of a Baptist church in spite of only having been baptized as an infant (in the LCA). John Piper actually tried to get his church board to accept paedo-baptists as full members at Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis. They wouldn’t go for it, but he tried.

    I have come to consider myself a credo-baptist (so I have not baptized my toddlers), but I am not as yet an anabaptist (meaning that I hold paedo-baptism to be valid and those baptized as infants have no need to be rebaptized). The data are maddeningly meager, but I tend to think the very Early Church was credo-baptist. If that is accurate, there would have had to have been a transitionary period for it to switch over to infants. (Plus, you have all the waiting till later to get baptized…at least until after one has “sown his wild oats,” so to speak, and settled down.

  168. Eric,

    This transitory period you speak of, when the Church morphed from being credo to paedo-baptist, is this when the Church apostatized?

    You wrote to Robert, ” the immaculacy and perpetual virginity of Mary.” in whick you failed to capitalize “Immaculate” and “Perpetual Virginity”.

    I was browsing over my bookshelf and my eyes fell upon the name Garrigou LaGrange and I thought of your previous silly reference to him. I pulled the book “The Mother of the Savior” off the shelf and opened it and the words “SHE LOVED HIM WITH THE LOVE OF A VIRGIN” jumped out.
    I immediately thought of how this says it all. The love of a virgin is sui generis. There are lots of single parents due to divorce, death or abandonment. But that is not what we are talking about is it?
    What does it mean, “a virgin’s love”? And conversely, what about the love of a single child for a virgin mother. And not just “any” virginally conceived child, but a divine one. You can’t really fathom it, can you.

    Why can’t Protestants get it? Why is it that a Catholic can read Jn 19 and see one thing and a Protestant read it and see something else?

    I am sending Robert a link for a series of lectures on Efficaceous/Sufficient grace given by a Jewish Catholic names Lawrence Feingold. Before becoming a Catholic, Feingold was living in Italy and working as a sculptor. As he traveled around and noticed all the great art of Europe, he noticed it was all about Mary. This got him thinking and he eventually entered the Church.
    I can attest that most of the Cathedrals are named after the Mother of God. I read once that in Italy, that upon graduation from law school, all graduates had to dedicate their first written document to be a defense of the Immaculate Conception. I’ve also read that in Spain, in order to be considered a master painter, an artist had to paint the Immaculate Conception, hence the great Murillo
    pieces http://www.wga.hu/html_m/m/murillo/3/311muril.html.

    When we were arguing over 3rd world stuff a few days back, I brought up art and music. Where are all the great Protestant artists? Oh sure, you can point to a highly skilled painter like Rembrant and a few others, but if you notice, he didn’t paint elevating art. Not unless you think a girl sitting on the edge of her bed with a chamber pot by her foot elevating. Visit any big museum and one can see the Protestant shift from the sublime to the mundane in the arts. And it has gone steadily downhill since.

    Having the skill to create art is not enough. Inspiration is too. Has it been bred out of you guys. Is that why you don’t see anything out of the ordinary when you read the Bible.
    May I offer a solution to your drab world view? You need a good dose of HYPERDULIA.

  169. Robert, Here’s that link on grace. http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/12/lawrence-feingold-on-sufficient-and-efficacious-grace/

    If you google Hebrew Catholics Mary, he also does a great series on Mary.

  170. Eric.

    ( Both the fox hunting Anglican and the squirrel hunting Baptist)

    With all due respect to your wife’s and your parental decisions, Christian charity demands that I exhort you to Baptize your babies. As the fate of unbaptized babies has not been revealed but is still within the realm of speculation only ( no, I am not implying Augustine’s horrible opinion here! ) in order to have absolute assurance, you should hasten administer the laver of regeneration to them as soon as possible.

    You obviously scrolled past the post I sent your way yesterday ( or, without doubt, you would have had much to say ) in which I methodically spelled out how the fruits of Christ’s Passion and being born to God is applied in the Sacrament of regeneration.
    I also explained how Mary’s Maternity, spoken of in Jn 19, becomes individualized when the person is born to Mary and the Church in the amniotic waters of Baptism.

    As for sowing wild oats, it sounds like your a making provisions for the flesh to sin.
    Yes, I am aware that both Augustine and Constantine had all their temporal punishment washed away when Baptized as men but your children can receive forgiveness through Confession and their have temporal punishment addressed through penance and indulgenced good works when they also receive Confirmation and the Eucharist upon their entry into full communion with the Catholic Church later.

    Or, better still, why not just cut to the chase* and get them Baptized in the Church now. * Tally Ho!

  171. Jim,

    Why can’t Protestants get it? Why is it that a Catholic can read Jn 19 and see one thing and a Protestant read it and see something else?

    Because if you grow up RC, you’re indoctrinated in the idea that virginity is better than marriage, that Mary gave her permission for God to do His work, that Christ will probably be more willing to hear you if you go to him through Mary, and more. All of these things are conveyed in non-Protestanat Mariology in various ways, sometimes more explicit and sometimes less so.

    When we were arguing over 3rd world stuff a few days back, I brought up art and music. Where are all the great Protestant artists? Oh sure, you can point to a highly skilled painter like Rembrant and a few others, but if you notice, he didn’t paint elevating art. Not unless you think a girl sitting on the edge of her bed with a chamber pot by her foot elevating. Visit any big museum and one can see the Protestant shift from the sublime to the mundane in the arts. And it has gone steadily downhill since.

    There is no doubt that the Church of Rome has produced some very fine artists, but to make that a reason to be Roman Catholic is silly. Muslims have produced some very fine art as well.

    As far as painting, you already mentioned Rembrandt, but we can also add names such as Cranach. As far as Protestant art reflecting the “mundane,” one of the reasons for this is that Protestantism recovered the idea that the mundane is no less glorifying to God than that which is dedicated to him in the church. In other words, the common man can be as close to God as any monk, priest, nun, saint, etc. We call it the priesthood of all believers, and we don’t separate the ordinary Christian from the super-Christians like you all do.

    Much of Protestant contributions to art has been in the area of music, particular hymnody and the recovery of congregational singing in the Reformation. Additionally, you can add composers such as Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, and many others to the list of Protestants who have shown artistic greatness.

    Some branches of Protestantism, in my opinion, do not pay enough attention to aesthetics, but the calling card of Protestantism isn’t aesthetics but faithfulness to God in Word and sacrament. And it’s a little ridiculous to mock Protestant artists when so much RC art on the lay level is incredibly tacky. I’m talking about things such as dashboard statues of Mary, many of the images in an average RC parish church, and so forth.

  172. Robert,

    CRANACH?!?!
    His pictures of donkeys flatulating on the Pope and devils defecating out priest and monks? Maybe you would rather pick another guy to wow me with?

  173. Jim,

    That isn’t all that Cranach painted, and let’s be clear that there were plenty of RC artists doing the same toward Protestants. If you’re looking for a perfectly godly Protestant artist, you aren’t going to find one, just as I’m not going to find a perfectly godly RC artist.

    You’re the one whining about how Protestants don’t have any art. The fact that Cranach did some propaganda art takes away from the greatness of the man, not the greatness of the art.

    And let’s also remember that when the pope has been pillaging Europe to pay its debts and seeking to kill your pastor, you might be a little inclined not to look on the papacy so kindly.

  174. +JMJ+

    Robert wrote:

    As far as painting, you already mentioned Rembrandt, but we can also add names such as Cranach. As far as Protestant art reflecting the “mundane,” one of the reasons for this is that Protestantism recovered the idea that the mundane is no less glorifying to God than that which is dedicated to him in the church. In other words, the common man can be as close to God as any monk, priest, nun, saint, etc.

    The Reformation brought art down to the level of the profane, simply because it had already done the same to the entire Cosmos. And this, after the Cosmos had been expressly elevated in Christ’s Person. If the pagans erred in preemptively anticipating this elevation, the Reformation erred in retrospectively rejecting it.

    And the last state is worse than the first.

  175. Jim–

    Thanks for the more I’m-taking-this-seriously tone. I grew up in a Lutheran church where babies born sick were rushed off to get baptized. Had to get them covered before it was too late! That has always struck me as much more superstitious than faithful. It shows absolutely no trust in God. (You all speak of the monstrous Calvinistic God. What kind of a sick, twisted god would damn infants because their parents neglected to get them wet?)

    I don’t have a clue what you intend by claiming that I am making provision for my children to sin by not baptizing them. Baptismal “Regeneration” hasn’t done a thing for 9 out of every 10 Catholics I meet. (How again is it “regeneration” when it accomplishes not one blessed thing in the majority of its recipients? You need to rewatch “Princess Bride.” I don’t think the word means what you think it means.)

    I don’t capitalize pronouns referring to God and Christ; I just write ‘he’ and ‘him.’ Is that disrespectful to you? Certain terms, like immaculacy and perpetual virginity are mere concepts–pious opinion, if you will–and not dogma. Why should they be capitalized? Even Aquinas didn’t technically believe in the Immaculate Conception. Heck, a lot of the time I don’t capitalize sola fide (but out of respect, I guess I will require you to do so from now on 🙂 ).

    Now, I don’t like it at all when certain media ventures (such as Sports Illustrated) have an editing policy of not capitalizing God. Most of the closed captioning for American TV does the same thing. Are they TRYING to be offensive?

    Knowing as I do of a mother’s all-consuming love for her naturally conceived children, I can only imagine that if there were such a thing as a generalized category for virgin mother, such a mother’s love would be diminished and not enhanced. In fact, as a result, I have a slight inclination to go with you all on this one: Perhaps Mary was–in some sublime, ineffable sense–the “spouse” of the Holy Spirit. There was certainly an intimacy there that none of the rest of us will ever experience. The Incarnation was unique. I myself wonder if Joseph wasn’t a bigger part of the overlapping of heaven and earth than even he knew. But all these things can be so, and I will still not venerate Mary beyond my admiration for her submission to the Holy Spirit and her raising of my Lord.

    I was listening to Catholic radio the other night for a couple of hours. It was indeed all about Mary (it was even in the Radio Maria network of stations). It kept saying it was Christian radio, but I never once heard the name of Jesus…. (The Holy Spirit did get a mention.)

    The argument from the arts actually resonates with me. I do believe that the Regulative Principle and iconoclasm in general were mistakes. But I blame the excesses of the Catholic church, not the dignified piety of incipient Protestants who did not want to get caught up into the idolatry of Rome. Plus, the argument won’t take you very far: the religion that is represented way, way out of proportion to its numbers–in TV, film, theatre, art, music, and dance–is Judaism. It’s got you beat by a long shot, so unless you think embracing Jesus as the Christ was in error, I’d drop the whole arts argument.

    By the way, I would be more apt to call myself a credo-baptistic, high-church Calvinist. The term “Baptist” implies (as you so notably suggest) a whole low-brow, anti-intellectual culture of which I am not a part. The term “Anglican” implies (again, as you point out) a high-brow, stuffed-shirt haughtiness of which I am also not a part. I grew up poor and educated. Not a common mix, I am sure, but the best of all possible worlds as far as I am concerned.

  176. Wosbald–

    Rembrandt painted a lot of religious scenes, including a couple of the best depictions of Christ I have ever seen. He used a young Jewish man as a model for our Lord instead of making him so blue-eyed European.

  177. Wosbald,

    The Reformation brought art down to the level of the profane, simply because it had already done the same to the entire Cosmos. And this, after the Cosmos had been expressly elevated in Christ’s Person. If the pagans erred in preemptively anticipating this elevation, the Reformation erred in retrospectively rejecting it.
    And the last state is worse than the first.

    No, the Protestants elevated the profane and helped the peasant lay Christian and the faithful government servant and the milkmaid realize that their work and existence is as elevated by Christ as that of the priest, saint, nun, monk, or pope.

    In other words, to put it in terms you would better understand, Protestant took the Western tradition and made it more incarnational. Christ takes all that is common and makes it uncommon, not just part of it. Rome’s been trying to play catch up ever since.

  178. Eric,

    He used a young Jewish man as a model for our Lord instead of making him so blue-eyed European.

    For all of the grousing around here about Protestants being “non-incarnational,” it has struck me how much the medieval church and it’s truest son—the Roman Catholic Church—has ignored the fact that the humanity Christ assumed in the incarnation was ethnically Jewish. That ethnicity may have been an accidental property to human nature as such, but it was certainly an inherent part of Jesus own identity as a man.

  179. +JMJ+

    Robert wrote:

    In other words, to put it in terms you would better understand, Protestant took the Western tradition and made it more incarnational. Christ takes all that is common and makes it uncommon, not just part of it. Rome’s been trying to play catch up ever since.

    Trying to work in the “Incarnational” buzzword anywhere you can, eh? (Talk about playing “catch up”!)

    That’s incarnationally incarno-licious, yo boy!

  180. Eric,
    We Catholics are obliged to capitalize. Not the pronoun necessarily.
    Provisions for the flesh is a Protestant term I used to hear in Portland meaning exactly what is sounds like. As for St. Monica and St. Helena not Baptizing ( we capitalize sacraments too ) their famous sons as babies as was the practice with pious women, it is mystery. All we can figure is that a custom had arisen of postponing Baptism until a late as possible because in Baptism all sin, mortal and venial and all temporal punishment is wiped out. If one Baptized a baby and it grew up to lead a wild life and later repented, the canonical penances were so rigid that often the sinner would despair and stay away from the Church. Also, if someone was so presumptuous as to wait until on their deathbed as Constantine did, they just might have died before the priest got there.

    As for Aquinas ( and Catherine of Siena actually had a vision where Mary told her she was not Immaculately Conceived ) and St. Vincent of Ferrar following the anti-Pope, and Augustine thinking babies went to a tepid hell, etc. etc., we say all the great saints erred in one area. This shows that they needed the Church and the Church didn’t need them. In the case of Aquinas, he may have erred, but his Dominican order believed the doctrine as it was in their version of Office of Readings at the time.
    I could say more about Baptism of babies but this open blog is not the place.

  181. Eric, !!!
    No sooner had sent off the previous and scrolled up I saw your remark about Catholics Baptized as babies turning out bad.

    I used to wonder about this too. However, men and women raised in the Faith, even as Protestants, have a MUCH better chance of getting back to Christ than those who have no background with church.
    Also, we Catholics believe the Character given in Baptism and Confirmation remains after the loss of sanctifying grace. The mysterious Character calls out to God for grace.
    Finally, I have read in more than one source, in Africa and other places where one finds unBaptized people, demonic possession is rampant.
    Your Lutheran friends were right to rush their kids off to Baptism. Not to do is not superstition but the sin of presumption against the Holy Ghost.

  182. Robert,

    I concede your point about Cranach. As a matter of fact, I was watching one of Fr. Barron’s famous and beautifully done videos on his Catholicism series a while back, and he was using a crucifixion scene that I identified as one of Cranach’s pieces ( unless I am mistaken. I am not an expert. )

    And as my wife’s orchestra performs the St. John’s and St. Matthew Passion every Holy Week, it’s always a sell out. I love the ” O Sacred Head Surrounded…” .

    Still, I am sticking to my guns. We got more, much more. Walk into any church in Europe. The ones taken over by Protestants have been gutted. Wren’s St. Paul’s in London is the only example I know of a Protestant work in stone.

  183. Jim–

    Well, I’m finding that “tying up loose ends” never ends when it comes to blogs. I’m going to back away now for a while. Thanks for this present interchange. You’re actually more fun when attached to some gravitas.

    Too bad Constantine didn’t have Divine Mercy Sunday….

  184. Fitting words from Mark Mallet:

    “There were no lone-rangers in the early Church. St. Paul, despite the powerful revelations he received directly from Christ, humbled himself before the Apostles.
    “They were sent on their journey by the Church… they were welcomed by the Church.”

    This should and must become the circuit for everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ: I go forth from the bosom of the Church, in obedience to her voice… and I continue to go to her for wisdom, counsel, and nourishment. This is also what it means to “remain in” Christ—to remain in His word. Anyone who does not remain in this word, and out of deliberate carelessness or self-directed arrogance appropriates to themselves the authority to interpret Scripture apart from Sacred Tradition, “will be thrown out like a branch and wither.”

    For it is noteworthy that Jesus says to the Apostles:
    “You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.”
    That is to say that the “deposit of faith” that Jesus imparted to them is the pure root from which all truth grows.

    Dogmas are not grafted to the Vine, but blossom from the trunk which is already there. The unity of the Church, visibly preserved in the Pope and guarded by Christ’s own charism of infallibility, is closely linked to this “root of truth.”

    This is why, when it comes to the Church’s teachings on marriage, divorce, homosexuality, co-habitation, etc., no bishop—not even the Pope—has the authority to change what the Father Himself has planted through Christ Jesus. This does not mean that there will not be deliberations, disagreements, and discernment as new moral challenges face the Church. But woe to the one who tries to remove a Branch from the Vine, or add one that did not spring from the root.

    Our era needs such wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanized. For the future of the world stands in peril unless wiser people are forthcoming. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, n. 17

    This is the hour to pray for the holy priesthood as never before, brothers and sisters, that those in charge of the Father’s Vineyard be faithful gardeners who tend and protect the Vine… not lay the dull axe of presumption and heresy to her.

  185. “But woe to the one who tries to remove a Branch from the Vine, or add one that did not spring from the root.”

    This sentiment is exactly what our debate on these pages is about, for we confessional Protestants believe that this is precisely what the Roman church has done. In its colossal arrogance, Rome has added and removed, and then shouted down those who would restore the original splendor to the Vine.

  186. Eric,

    Good you be a bit more specific?

  187. This sentiment is exactly what our debate on these pages is about, for we Catholics know that this is precisely what the 60,000 Protestant denominations have done. In their colossal arrogance, they have added and removed, and then shouted down those who would safeguard the original splendor of the Vine.

    I am an avid gardener …. any person who works the soil knows the TRUTH of the Gospel and all the parables of the Vineyard, the sowing of the seed, the harvest etc….

    Grafting is a highly delicate and improbable task. To be successful in any way on any level experience, training, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, forbearance, purity of mind, and fear and reverence of life is needed.

    And you still have to graft ONTO something, not INTO something.

  188. Eric,

    “In its colossal arrogance”

    Presumably this is because it claims divine authority to define/recognize infallible and irreformable dogma/articles of faith. But I thought the Protestant confessions/interpretations were “irreformable” according to you? So why your church is not therefore colossally arrogant escapes me.

    Secondly, any heretical/unorthodox group in history could make the same statement you made (just replace “for we confessional Protestants” with “for we Arians”, “for we Pelagians”, “for we loony Pentecostals”, etc).

  189. James,

    Secondly, any heretical/unorthodox group in history could make the same statement you made.

    As, of course, could and does Rome.

  190. Debbie,

    This sentiment is exactly what our debate on these pages is about, for we Catholics know that this is precisely what the 60,000 Protestant denominations have done. In their colossal arrogance, they have added and removed, and then shouted down those who would safeguard the original splendor of the Vine.

    Except the problem is that the original splendor of the vine did not include:

    The papacy
    Prayers to Mary and the saints
    Indulgences
    Purgatory
    Obligatory Feast Days
    Scapulars
    The monarchical bishopric
    Rosaries
    Penance
    Extreme Unction

    And I could go on…

  191. Sorry, but the entire “original splendor” is not captured in the bible.

    Sentences of great TRUTH i.e. …”and 3,000 were added to their number that day” … hardly capture the ‘splendor’ of the day, or …”the tomb was found empty”… doesn’t quite get the dogma straight for generations to come. That was/is not the purpose of the Bible and you know it.

    You obviously hold strongly to some of the dogma that “blossomed from the trunk” i.e. the Holy Trinity. You just don’t like all of it and you want the freedom to pick and chose.

    And I could go on …

    And we could do this till the cows come home. At the end of the day, I don’t trust you, myself, or any one individual to make that call. It’s not personal, it’s fallible.

  192. Nuggets from over at the Called to Communion Blog:

    “Look out!” we cry, “it’s alive.” And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back–I would have done so myself if I could–and proceed no further with the Catholic Church. An important but not authoritative church–well and good. A subjective church conforming to our own interpretation of Scripture–better still. A formless community of all believers, uniting us, a vast community without distinction, definition, or demands–best of all. But the Body of Christ Itself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the Mother, Teacher, Steward–that is quite another matter.”

    “Is the Catholic Church the unique substance (what Lumen Gentium means when it says that the Church subsistit in the Catholic Church) of the Body of Christ?”

    “It – the Catholic Church, not some conceptual unity of all Christians, but the actual Church in union with its bishops who are in union with the Pope of Rome – that Catholic Church and no other – IS THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST in the world. All other forms of Christianity participate in that Body only imperfectly and only by their participation in the Roman Catholic Church. There is no other.”

  193. I’m posting here what was on the Creed Code Cult Facebook page because I found it thought provoking and lended itself to the stretching of the Protestant mind:

    Question for Sola Scripturists: Is there any difference in the authority-level of Jesus words (not found in any Gospel), “It is more blessed to give than to receive” between when Jesus first uttered them, when Paul repeated them in his sermon to the Ephesians, and when Luke recorded Paul’s repetition of Jesus’ words in Acts 20?
    In other words, did that saying become more authoritative once it found its way into the canon? Or was it fully authoritative from the moment it was uttered?

  194. James–

    You knew exactly what I meant. Rome has the audacity to justify her brazen changes to Apostolic teaching with unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiatable) claims to sacred charism.

    And yes, I’m sure any run-of-the-mill heretic could discern the same thing regarding Rome.

    I’m sure even you, were you to agree to our charges of Rome’s wholesale modifications (and not mere “development”) of Apostolic teaching, would term such changes audacious.

    Rome (and the rest of the Nicene party) agreed to come together with the Arians in Ecumenical Council to decide who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Protestants, on the other hand, were told to “go fish” instead of being invited to Trent. Rome had already arrogantly decided the issue.

  195. Debbie–

    We have no words of Jesus (that we know to be words of Jesus) outside of the canon of Scripture. It is their being in Scripture which authenticates them.

    I assume you wouldn’t wish to give too much authority to the following words ascribed to Jesus from the very last verse of the Gospel of Thomas:

    Simon Peter said to them, “Make Mary leave us, for females don’t
    deserve life.”

    Jesus said, “Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the domain of Heaven.”

    It is our insistence that no words be added to or subtracted from Scripture which protects the sanctity of Jesus’ message.

    Sola Scriptura does this. The RC system does not: instead it offers a loophole for spurious notions to be smuggled in.

  196. Robert,

    “the papacy” ( Matt 16 )

    Prayers to Mary and the saints ( Rev 5:8 )
    Indulgences ( Maccabees)
    Purgatory ( 1 Pt 3:19)
    Obligatory Feast Days ( Acts 20:7)
    Scapulars (2nd Kings 2:13)
    The monarchical bishopric ( 1 Tm 4:14)
    Rosaries ( Lk 1;26-38) (Lk 1:39-57)( Mt 6:9-13)
    Penance ( Jn 20:22) (Lk13:3)
    Extreme Unction ( James 5:14)
    And I could go on… ( Me too! )

  197. Debbie,

    Ask Eric about this,”It is our insistence that no words be added to or subtracted from Scripture which protects the sanctity of Jesus’ message.
    Sola Scriptura does this. The RC system does not: instead it offers a loophole for spurious notions to be smuggled in.”

    Ask him how he know Revelation ended with the death of St John? Does he know that there were 27 Gospels ( I didn’t say books of the NT ) all claiming to have been written by Apostles when the Bible was finally codified. Why did Mark and Luke ( who weren’t apostles ) get in while Gospels claiming to have been authored James, Thomas, Barnabas, etc, didn’t?

  198. Jim–

    Neither Augustine nor Chrysostom agree with your interpretation of Matthew 16. (I guess they didn’t get the memo.)

    On the rest, I give you points for creativity, but that’s about it.

    Every Sunday I recite the Nicene Creed, which includes my belief in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Catholic Church (my church) established the canon of Scripture. The schismatic Tridentine Church (your church) did no such thing.

  199. Eric,

    They didn’t? Are you sure? What did I say? ( careful. I might be laying atrap for you ).

    Your church? The Banglicans? Despite what Trail of Blood says, there were no Baptists yet. And the early church wasn’t ordaining women like your Anglican half.
    And they sure as hell didn’t have your Black Rubric.

  200. Jim–

    The Baptist “Trail of Blood” and the Tridentine Church as a valid continuation of the one true church are about on an equal level historically.

  201. Eric,
    After posting, I returned to my morning coffee. Alas, you ruined it.

    Eric, I have not had a conversation with my sister in law for 14 years. Oh, I have chatted with her when visiting my brother and am on cordial enough terms (externally) with her. However, 14 years ago, she looked me in the face and told me a lie to get something she wanted. Since then, she doesn’t exist for me other than someone who comes with my brother that I pretend to like.

    Your pomposity and snottiness are part of the adversarial environment of a blog of this nature. It’s to be expected. Yeah, it is even part of the fun.

    But Eric, it has to be assumed on all sides that everyone playing the game is telling the truth. To win this game by lying isn’t winning at all. It takes all the fun out of it. To best one’s adversary with facts is what this game is all about.

    Eric, your credibility with me plummeted with your little obfuscation about Augustine and Chrysostom. ( James White used the same ploy in a debate I heard on a cassette back when cassette tapes were all we had ).

    For readers who may not know what I am talking about, all Church Fathers believed in Peter and the Papacy. Whether they did so based on a particular verse of the Bible is totally irrelevant to the discussion. Eric tried pulling a fast one and implied two of the Churches biggest supporters of the Papacy did not actually do so because of some minutiae. It’s another example of his superior attitude ( “absinthe is a french liqueur, for those of you little people who have never toured the Continent”. Actually Eric, it’s cheap rot gut swill that can be bought in gas station convenience stores up in Luxenbourg where my sister in law lived. Nothing sophisticated about it. )

    Please stop trying to out clever me. And please don’t lie again. Why you would want to win an argument on religion by anything less than the truth boggles my mind. I’m sure you have your reasons. But I bet you are the only one on this blog who isn’t laying their factual cards on the table.

    ERIC! IF YOU HAVE TO FIB ( it wasn’t a big lie. Just a petty one ) TO WIN, YOU DON’T REALLY WIN ANYTHING.

  202. Eric,

    “You knew exactly what I meant. Rome has the audacity to justify her brazen changes to Apostolic teaching with unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiatable) claims to sacred charism.”

    If Rome’s claims are true, it’s not audacious for her to act according to those claims – if she didn’t, she’d invalidate herself. So I’m apparently right in my presumption – Rome’s colossal arrogance is in her claim to have divine authority to infallibly/irreformably define and recognize dogma/articles of faith. And you have claimed your confessions are “irreformable” so why that is not audacious still escapes me. And how do you determine she is making unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable claims? Because you evaluate such claims presupposing sola scriptura? You can’t load the dice.

    “I’m sure even you, were you to agree to our charges of Rome’s wholesale modifications (and not mere “development”) of Apostolic teaching, would term such changes audacious.”

    It’s not audacious to make a claim that is consistent with differentiating articles of faith from opinion. Such claims may lack credibility depending on who is making them, but by themselves are not audacious – they are necessary for divine revelation (that’s why Protestantism falls over itself).

    “Rome (and the rest of the Nicene party) agreed to come together with the Arians in Ecumenical Council to decide who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Protestants, on the other hand, were told to “go fish” instead of being invited to Trent. Rome had already arrogantly decided the issue.”

    Rome “arrogantly” decided the issue because you disagree with her claims. If her claims are true, she obviously wasn’t “arrogantly” deciding the issue. The Protestant position(s) was interacted with and found wanting in certain essential aspects. An ecumenical council does not include every unorthodox and/or heretical position under the sun to get an equal hearing at the table. The Apostles didn’t hold summits with every possible Jewish leader to reach some consensus on teaching.

    Did the Calvinists at Dordt or the Westminster Assembly invite all the heretics or opposition under the sun to come talk with them? Was that arrogant of them? Why don’t you guys invite the loony Pentecostals to your next general assembly? Stop being so arrogant.

    “We have no words of Jesus (that we know to be words of Jesus) outside of the canon of Scripture. It is their being in Scripture which authenticates them…It is our insistence that no words be added to or subtracted from Scripture which protects the sanctity of Jesus’ message.”

    Until certain positions in textual criticism unauthenticates them. Like “forgive them for they know not what they do” which I’ve heard some Calvinists use the disputed nature of in supporting their views on conditional forgiveness. This puts the cart before the horse anyways – you have to know the extent/scope of Scripture first to be able to determine Jesus’ inscripturated words according to your principles. You disallow Thomas, but cannot offer any grounds greater than your own provisional opinion.

  203. James
    “Did the Calvinists at Dordt or the Westminster Assembly invite all the heretics or opposition under the sun to come talk with them? Was that arrogant of them? Why don’t you guys invite the loony Pentecostals to your next general assembly? Stop being so arrogant.”

    It is as absurd as Robert’s repeated demand that the Catholic Church lift Luther’s excommunication as an ecumenical gesture.
    Or Jason Loh’s statement about how he would enter the Catholic Church if they would just preach JBFA
    Luther himself said he would kiss the pope’s foot if he would just preach the Gospel.
    It’s ludicrous. If the true Church would just enthrone error on a pedestal alongside truth, they would deign to grace the Church with their august presence.
    That’s all. It isn’t asking so much is it? Fair is fair after all. Toleration and relativism are true Christian virtues lacking in the Romish harlot.
    HA! What a joke!

  204. Eric,
    Perhaps I should have said you lied. You didn’t actually spin a yarn. All you did want withhold information. It was more of a deceitful little subterfuge you tried flying under the radar, right?
    Trickery, slight of hand, smoke and mirrors, would have been more appropriate and less offensive terms than “lie” I could have used.
    Trouble is Eric, it still comes out the same. It reveals a willingness to do whatever it takes to win.
    Eric, I should probably just write this off as the behavior of a guy who holds such a weird opinion of objective truth that he can be a card carrying member of two denominations at one and the same time.

  205. OOPS! I meant to say< "Perhaps I should NOT have said you lied".

  206. Jim–

    You may hold the oddest definition of lying in the history of the world.

    You said that Matthew 16 upheld the primacy of Rome exegetically.

    Augustine and Chrysostom (and a good number of other ECF’s ) didn’t read it that way.

    It is utterly irrelevant whether they were good, faithful Catholics, holding to the beneficial existence of the papacy. Chrysostom almost undoubtedly embraced the holy father’s being the first among equals. I believe Augustine did, too.

    In other words, papacy, not primacy.

    But that also doesn’t matter. You supported the early belief in the papacy using Matthew 16. Though it is ubiquitous now, it wasn’t then. They used it, sure. But it was no slam dunk. Just as your using it now only proves how subjective your beliefs are exegetically.

    I neither lied nor withheld any information I considered relevant. I expected people to be somewhat informed if they are going to engage themselves here, even as lurkers. You don’t know me a lick if you think I care anything at all about “winning.”

    I could not care less. I care about the truth, the truth which I believe you willfully obfuscate.

    You’re a hypocrite and a bully and a lousy representative of Roman Catholicism.

  207. Jim–

    Just so you know, my own personal convictions don’t flop around all over the place. It is by no means hypocritical of me to hold membership in various denominations. I hold to the inherent unity of the confessional Protestant churches. Your own views probably don’t fluctuate between Molinism and Thomism soteriologically on a daily basis (though you belong to a church which incorporates both views).

    Denominations are called denominations because they are simply different “names” for the same church. It is probably more consistent of me, earnestly praying for the unity of the church as I am, to be involved in a number of denominations.

  208. Eric,
    My Church has not come down on either side of the Molinist/Dominican dispute so it doesn’t “incorporate” both views. It just hasn’t gotten around to condemning one or both views ( although the Pope was going to condemn Molinism when he died so they say ). I don’t fluctuate between them as there are other views
    Just what is the tie that binds your half Baptist, half Anglican, half baked ” my own personal convictions ” together? Your own personal convictions right? IOW, you are neither Anglican nor Baptist. You speak for no one, you represent no one.

    You’re busted Eric. Why, did you bring up Augustine and Chrysostom? Your motive was to…? Was it to shed light?
    I didn’t think so.

  209. James–

    I am well aware that from the Catholic point of view, given the belief in a special charism for the Magisterium, the church is not arrogant in its claims. To us Protestants, the claims are self-evidently false from our study of history. Robert brought up all the additions made to Apostolic and very Early Church tenets, including Purgatory, Penance, Indulgences, Marian dogmas, etc. You will, of course, depict these as “developments.” But we see that as a simple sleight-of-hand word game, if not an out-and-out delusion.

    When you put all the issues where the church has flip-flopped into the mix–views on warfare, capital punishment, slavery, wealth, politics, EENS, and on and on and on–you might begin to see where we cannot in good conscience buy into infallibility. Thus, the appearance of hubris in daring to make substantial changes to the faith once delivered.

  210. Jim–

    Clearly you are a lost cause. Send up a flare when you acquire the ability to think critically.

  211. Eric,

    Why only two Eric? Why are you not a Quaker, a Presbyterian, a West Virginian Snake Handler, a Mennonite, a Methodist, a member of the Four Square Gospel Fellowship,a follower of Benny Hinn, Joel Olsteen, or John Hagee?
    While you are praying for the unity of all these disparate denominations of the same church, their number is expanding faster than can be charted. To limit your membership to a paltry two is not fair to the myriad of other haggling, bickering, and ever proliferating sects who would be honored to have you grace their church, storefront, house church, cathedral, tent or rented school room.
    I have asked you before but you never answered, why not start your own church?
    The more the merrier,eh? Besides. you just might be that guy who finally gets it right!

  212. Eric,
    While out and about I realized why you aren’t a member of all the denominations. You explicitly claim membership in the “confessional” denominations only and not the wacky ones.

    Eric, how do you define heresy? Why only the confessional denominations?
    You know, I was remembering how you said that you have no problem with certain aspects of Mariology ( unlike those other Protestants ). Which aspects aren’t important. What’s important is that you have set yourself up as the one to decide which are non-essential or forbidden. Of course, you were quick to later insist that those Marian prerogatives had to be rightly understood. You are willing to magnanimously allow us the title “Mother of God” ( with a tinge of Nestorianism I recall ) just so long as there is no Romish excess, no hyperdulia. Once again, you, Eric, and not the Anglicans or the Baptists, will be the arbiter of just where the line is drawn between legitimate devotion and full blown idolatry ( By the way, we had another candle light procession from our parish to the next one last night on the eve of the E.U. elections today. Because a statue of Mary was held at shoulder level, it was probably idolatry. Would waist level have been within the pale of orthodoxy for you?)

    ” Purgatory, Penance, Indulgences, Marian dogmas, etc. You will, of course, depict these as “developments.” But we see that as a simple sleight-of-hand word game, if not an out-and-out delusion.”

    Sleight-of-hand word games? ( Now look who is accusing the other side of trickery). Who delegated you as the one to decide what is development and what isn’t?
    Purgatory, Penance, Indulgences, and Mary are all in scripture and Tradition, Eric. And not just in seed form. They are clear as a bell.

    “When you put all the issues where the church has flip-flopped into the mix–views on warfare, capital punishment, slavery, wealth, politics, EENS, and on and on and on–you might begin to see where we cannot in good conscience buy into infallibility. Thus, the appearance of hubris in daring to make substantial changes to the faith once delivered.”

    The church flip-flopped? Your pan-church has flip-flopped ( contraception is a prime example ). We still have the just war theory, condemn slavery based on slavery, allow capital punishment in certain situations, etc. etc. No flip-flopping with us.

    You keep trying to make us look like you. Is that to justify your own relativism? So you can remain your own pope?
    St. Paul begins and ends his epistle to the Romans with the phrase, ” The obedience of faith”. “Of” means “that is”. The Obedience that is Faith. Seems like your faith is weak Eric.

  213. Eric,
    “You’re a hypocrite and a bully and a lousy representative of Roman Catholicism.”

    Guilty as charged. Still, as you hate Catholicism, is that a complement? As for being a bully, well, I think that means you were accustomed to bullying others, those who may certainly be better reps of Catholicism,until someone as obnoxious as yourself came along. One difference though, and it’s an important one, I only bully bullies. I’m a good bully. I bully those who ridicule and belittle other people’s deepest held religious beliefs. I bully bullies who make fun of giving to God’ mother her due on a Catholic(s) blog.

    Mary said to Lucia, one of the Fatima seers;

    ” There are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

    1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
    2. Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity.
    3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
    4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother.
    5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.

    Which ones are you guilty of on this blog?

    Eric, you made some very nasty statements on this blog, clearly designed to give offense to Catholics ( both to me and those whom you feel represent it better than me ).
    Bingo! You did. You and your confreres were used to cowing Catholics into silence by claiming that, since the host’s intentions are to have open discussion between Catholics and non-Catholics, you could have afield day mocking and sneering and we had to turn the other cheek and be “opened minded”.
    You Eric, are the bully, the classic, garden variety bully. Not me.

  214. Jim–

    Some of our most cherished beliefs as Protestants are offensive to Catholics (e.g., sola fide, sola scriptura, penal substitutionary atonement). So we don’t weep and moan when you disparage them. We expect it. You’re Catholic, for goodness’ sake!

    Either get used to having hyperdulia attacked or quit talking with Protestants! Those are your only two choices. Develop a thick skin or make yourself scarce. This is the real world where not everyone agrees on everything.

    I do not refer to Catholics as “Romanists” or “Papalists” or “Bread Worshipers” or “Child Molestors.” I don’t call the pope the “Antichrist” or the “Son of Perdition.” (On the other hand, Wosbald continues to call us “Reformists” despite repeated requests to cease and desist. Not a single solitary Catholic has called him on the carpet for his blatant disrespect. I have taken Kevin to task over and over again when he stepped over the line.)

    People have asked Peter Leithart why he doesn’t just join the Catholic church. (He and Jason could finally be best buds!) He replied that for him to do so would to become LESS catholic. On this I can agree with the man. I do not consider the Church of Rome to actually BE catholic, but I call you guys Catholic because that is what you call yourselves.

    By the way, there is a decided difference between weighing all the evidence and coming to a conclusion on one’s own AND picking and choosing what one desires his or her personal religion to include. All of my beliefs are in the mainstream of confessional Protestantism. I have every right to plant a new church or even start my own denomination if I so choose within those parameters…just as you can found your own order within the Roman church if you go about it in the prescribed way.

    And how dare YOU call ME a bully after the way you mercilessly hounded and harried and humiliated and harassed Kevin from these pages!! Kevin is definitely opinionated, not to mention a bit rough around the edges, but he is a truly nice guy who never meant you any harm. In comparison to him, you are a disgusting brute. If Jason actually read his own blog and had any sense of fair play, he’d either bring Kevin back on board or kick you both off. As it is, he appears to be a Catholic “homer.”

  215. Eric,
    You absolutely slay me! Are you serious when you try to pull this stunt?

    “Some of our most cherished beliefs as Protestants are offensive to Catholics (e.g., sola fide, sola scriptura, penal substitutionary atonement). So we don’t weep and moan when you disparage them.”

    Eric, we don’t weep when you disparage the doctrine of merit, we don’t utter a whimper when you deny purgatory, and we aren’t offended when you question Tradition. You can say what you will on any abstract doctrine and no Catholic gets his hackles up.

    Eric, I think you are a bamboozler who will try to get away with any trick you can. But please, don’t try to tell me something like Sola Scriptura is personal to you. Don’t tell me the Catholic teaching on Scripture and Tradition is a spit in your face and an act of blasphemy. It’s a CONCEPT, Eric. Do you kneel before JBFA, do you? You don’t pray to Penal Substitution do you?

    Please, Please, I double dog dare you to take a walk on the dark side. Visit your “nice guy” and see what he and his pals say about the PERSON of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and His Mother. Then report back to me on what a swell guy he is.

    You tell me how you don’t say certain outrageous things like, “Papalist”, “Bread Worshiper” or “Romanist” and this makes you a civilized guy. Your “nice guy” buddy says all those things and much more. So how can your not saying them make you nice if his saying them doesn’t make him not a nice guy????

    Don’t lie Eric. Cop to it Mr. Nice guy. Did you or did you not say Catholic devotion to Mary makes you”GAG”? Are you not on record of saying some other crummy things as well?

    Eric, you have given offense. Now, rather than admitting it, you are trying the old ” A good offense is the best defense” ruse. You feign crocodile tears and moan, “Well, when you mean Catholics say good works are necessary, you offend me, my mother, my family. It hurts, it really does.”
    Don’t tell me how personal your doctrines are because, by your own admission, you are not even a member of the church your parents raised you in. And the two churches you attend now, you give only partial submission to.

    Eric, when you, as a Protestant say that you rely solely on the finished work of Christ on Calvary, I don’t take that as blasphemy. And I don’t take it as a spit in my face. I think it is a mistake and will say so. But it’s not mean spirited for you to believe it. I don’t take it as you are snickering when you say you hold to the Bible Alone.
    Your reliance on the Bible doesn’t make me GAG. Your non belief in merit doesn’t make me GAG. Your being a member of two denominations doesn’t make me Gag.
    I’ve told you before, trashing certain beliefs like Mary and the Eucharist would be on a par with someone ranking on your triplets. Think about it. Are your children abstract concepts, Eric?

  216. Comment

  217. Eric, I see your comment. Profound.
    Earlier you said “but he is a truly nice guy who never meant you any harm”

    You are hilarious! Thank you for deciding for me and my coreligionists if we felt insulted ( apparently I wasn’t alone ). You are so magnaninous.

    “In comparison to him, you are a disgusting brute.”

    And you sir, are a Yankee carpetbagger and a scalawag!

    “If Jason actually read his own blog and had any sense of fair play”

    Eric, you really think its all about me, don’t you? Eric, try, really try to grasp this, Mary is Jason’s Queen Mother. Not just mine. Yours too but you deny her.
    She has told us that certain slurs and slanders offend her Immaculate Heart. Jason has an obligation, just as I do, to make reparation for the outrages against her. When you and the “nice guy” swing from the chandeliers, run amok and ride roughshod over what every Catholic ( blog owners included ) are required to give assent to, please, when called on it, don’t cry for “fairness” or”ecumenism” or tell us we should be” open minded”.

    “, he’d either bring Kevin back on board or kick you both off.”

    And you should be allowed to stay? Ha! Why don’t you be your biddy’s Penal Sub. Why don’t you offer to take his banishment so he can return if you really think he has been so ill treated,

    even more pathetic, you whined,

    “As it is, he appears to be a Catholic “homer.”

    You really have got to go over on your buddy’s new blog home and see all the fun going down. Definitely no hyperdulia on that blog. No Siree Bob! See what the Protestant “homer’ who owns that blog said to me when I asked that he reign in your buddy’s tongue. He said no “politics of victimization” allowed and since it was a Protestant blog, Protestants could feel free to let it all hang out. So, Eric, I really do think that is where you should be as you feel ganged up on here by homers. I am surprised you haven’t popped in yet to make a cameo appearance. I know he would be touched by your visit and show of solidarity.
    Now there is a blog to make a guy gag!

  218. Jim–

    Jim–

    Good grief! This is the kind of comment that makes me question your ability to think critically. Can you seriously name one even tangentially derisive thing that I have hurled at the mother of our Lord? Along with my fellow Protestants, I have nothing but adoration for the woman. What I deplore is a concept: your ostensible worship of her. It makes me gag. (And that is said not with the intent of mocking your belief. It is the simple unadorned description of what I literally do when I contemplate your idolatry. It is the exact same reaction I have when I come face to face with Hindu idolatry. It is spitting into the face of the one God, and it honestly sickens me.)

  219. Jim–

    I sure am glad we’re not back in the days of religious wars and persecutions. I’d find myself suspended from a tree locked in a cage in order to get my eyes pecked out by crows and my skin ravaged by all kinds of vermin so that you could rest easy at night.

    I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but anyone billed as the “Shield Maiden of Heaven” can kick butt all on her own without your pathetic attempts to “protect” her.

    As far as I am concerned, you have personally offended my Sovereign Lord Jesus with your “concepts” demeaning his work on the cross and his purchased grace for his beloved elect. The difference is he doesn’t employ me as his personal body guard. He’s a big boy!

    You, on the other hand, are a small, whimpering, completely annoying child.

    Grow up or leave!

  220. Eric,
    Sickens? That’s rather visceral huh? And coming from someone whose religious convictions don’t seem to rise above the level of mere dalliance. “I was a Lutheran with a Pietist background but now straddle the Baptists and the Anglicans. But I am not like other low brow Protestants. I like art so I accept, if rightfully understood of course, certain Catholic Marian distinctives, Again, if and only if, rightfully understood”.
    Eric, do you honestly now, have one religious conviction that isn’t in flux? Are you not still a “seeker”?

    “It is the exact same reaction I have when I come face to face with Hindu idolatry”
    Ha! And how much Hindu idolatry have you actually come in contact with? And when you did, did you tell them so, vis a vis? Or are you the “through the internet” outspoken hero like your buddy? You were “sickened” weren’t you? Surely you rent your garments and cried out against there heathenism as much as you do here. didn’t you?

    Get real, you wouldn’t know a Hindu if he ran you down in the street. You are typical American white bread and never been off the farm despite all your pretentious absinthe sipping.

    ( Please visit him and leave one comment just so I can see you did. C’mon. Do it. I dare you. I double dog dare you! )

  221. Eric,

    “Along with my fellow Protestants, I have nothing but adoration for the woman.”

    Adoration? Eric, that’s latria, I only give hyperdulia. ( You don’t even know the terms and yet you sally forth blustering against Catholic ( and now Hindu ) beliefs.

    You are so, pompous, pretentious and prissy.

  222. Eric,
    ( Apologies to lurkers for cluttering up the site but every word Eric utters is so delicious !)

    “I sure am glad we’re not back in the days of religious wars and persecutions. I’d find myself suspended from a tree locked in a cage in order to get my eyes pecked out by crows and my skin ravaged by all kinds of vermin so that you could rest easy at night.”

    This shows your ignorance of how your Anglican half dealt with ( what was to be ) your Baptist half.

    Despite your pretended learning, you must not be aware of how the Anglicans did the Jesuits. Or Irish nuns.
    Here’s one for you: Despite the myth that colonists came to America to escape the Pope’s intolerance, in fact, none did. They were all escaping the Protestants of England and Holland. The only Catholics involved in the whole episode were those that settled Maryland. There, the Catholics were kind enough to let in Protestants who quickly gained numerical superiority and persecuted their Catholic hosts. Read a book sometime. Know what you are talking about.

  223. Jim–

    Feel free to peruse any ordinary dictionary and discover that “adore” has more than just theological definitions. I adore my wife. I adore my little girl. Surprisingly, I guess, for you, I don’t happen to worship them.

    Are you really this high strung? Get some therapy, brother!

    You are obsessive, obnoxious, and oversensitive. Quite honestly, you’re not worth the trouble. Have a nice life….

  224. Eric,

    Have you ever read any C. K. Chesterton or Orestes Brownson? Both were converts from you stuff and they address why you Puritans see Catholics as pagans.
    ( By the way, I think you Puritans could learn something from your fellow pagans, the Hindus, about primitive revelation. But that is for another day ).

    I am sure I’ve mentioned before the clever story Chesterton wrote about how Puritan/Protestant types see pagans with their beads, the incense, chanting and statues of goddesses. Then they look at Catholics with our beads, chanting, incense and statues of Mary and conclude there is a common basis.
    Chesterton compares it to two men, both wearing a 4 foot piece of rope. Upon closer examination, it it obvious one man is wearing the rope around his waist to hold up his trousers.
    The other man is wearing the rope around his neck to hold himself up. That’s where the similarity ends.

    Catholics are theists, Eric. Not just in our Creeds but in our cult. We have not syncretized in 2,000 years. Not in Roman times. Not in Latin America. Not in Asia or Africa.

    Pagans are pantheists, Eric. Pantheism and theism are poles apart.
    Theism says God is necessary. Nothing else is including the Mary, the Church, or the Incarnation itself. It’s all by God’s good pleasure. God’s. It’s the economy He set up. Okay?

    At Fatima, endorsed by every Pope since the apparition, Mary said that God, ( not herself, not the Pope, not the little people of the Catholic Church, not blogger Jim ) but God, Prime Mover, First Cause, Transcendent and Necessary Being, a.k.a. God,” wants to establish devotion my Immaculate Heart in the world”.

    Even without the message of Fatima, common sense, Tradition and the Bible all say Mary is to be given a certain reverence. Gagging and wretching up your soup on yourself is not not reverence.

    God, Eric. Catholics all know, from the simplest peasant to the scholar, the difference between Mary and God. We don’t need some white Puritan to ride shotgun to keep us on the up and up in our praxis. You are a Patty white American Protestant dude. A tight assed square John. You all but deny the Incarnation as it is. Please, keep your vomit on your own shirt. And give the Hindus a second look. They know something you don’t.

  225. Eric,
    In the interim between my last post and this one, I went around the corner to the Portuguese church for Mass. While there, I thought to myself that, by American standards, the decor might be considered excessive. I’ve read that in America the rule is one statue of Mary per church. In this church however, there is a life size statue of Mary as Queen of Portugal immediately to the right of the altar. To the priest’s left is a sort of pedestal for the saint of the month which just so happens to be O.L. of Fatima. To top it off, up front and center is another 4 foot statue of O.L of Fatima on a bier of flowers left over from a procession a few night ago. The walls are the typical blue and white tile work from floor to ceiling, in this case depicting the book of the Apocalypse which again has, yup, Mary. No other art work really to be seen in this modern church. So, 3 large statues of Mary are to be seen. I have seen older churches with a half dozen or so from different periods of history as churches here can be several centuries old.

    I was wondering to myself if this is what makes you sick. It’s all so normal here.
    I started thinking that you probably feel that I am trying to ram my personal devotional life down your throat and you are naturally resisting what feels like a violation of your conscience.

    Eric, I hate it when a fellow Catholic tells me I must have a devotion to their favorite saint, say their favorite prayer or chaplet or follow a particular private devotion that they feel is important. We are all different and have our own interior life and are own favorite private devotions. I am afraid you think I am trying to foist me personal preferences on you.

    I think all Protestants and sadly, many Catholics, see the Marian doctrines as peripheral. Do you know of what’s called the Alpha Course? Sort of a C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity course to revive the faith of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. The course is the same for various denominations, all about Jesus with, for Catholics, there is a sort of Marian addition tacked on after the Jesus part.

    This is so wrong. Mary is not a private devotion. She is not peripheral. She is the other major player in the Incarnation narrative.
    We have a saying, “No Mary, No Jesus. Know Mary, Know Jesus”. All through the centuries, the litmus test for Christological orthodoxy or heterodoxy has been Marian.

    Speaking of pagan idolatry, I’ve read that not just the doctrine of the Trinity, but the Incarnation, is a must to guard theism from falling into pantheism. ( Physicist/priest Stanly Jaki wrote a lot on this and it can be seen on the net.) Without the Incarnation, the other two theistic religions of Judaism and Islam both fell into emanationism, pantheism and outright atheism. Completed Jew Roy Shoeman writes on how Zionism and Marxism are logical developments of rejecting Christ come in the flesh. Marxism and other forms of evolution are as pantheistic as Hinduism.
    What I am saying is, Eric, Mary is a bulwark against pantheism/paganism and not a symptom of it.
    In fact, it is Calvinism that morphed, via a stop off in Deism, into Unitarian/Universalism which today is full blown pantheism.

    So, no, the Marian stuff cannot be compromised. To do so would be to start on the path to atheism.

  226. Ignorance, thy name is “Jim.”

    I have never heard the myth that American colonists fled Catholic tyranny in the Old World. Perhaps that only makes the rounds in RC propaganda circles!

    They were also NOT escaping religious persecution in Holland. They merely wished to raise their kids in an English linguistic and cultural environment.

    Lord Baltimore received the charter for Maryland from the Catholic-leaning Charles I (and it was named for his queen, a devout Catholic herself). Calvert was quite tolerant, but he was also practical: the colony couldn’t have survived with the meager Catholic immigrants it attracted.

    Anglicanism means many things. I thoroughly reject the Broad Church (Latitudinarian) and Anglo-Catholic branches, which are neither Protestant nor confessional. I likewise have little affinity for the Charismatic and Evangelical wings which tend toward the emergent. But there are still a few who are faithful to the vision of Cranmer and Jewell and Hooker and the like of a Reformed Catholicism, a blend of Calvinistic and Lutheran influences. Unfortunately, those guys were not confessional enough and lost out to humanist counter-influences like the infernal William Laud.

    I’m also not particularly Baptist. I am merely baptistic. There is a decided difference.

    At any rate, I do indeed tire of your complete disrespect for the common pursuit of truth. Read something–anything–outside of your narrow little comfort zone of Catholic sectarianism.

  227. Jim–

    Thanks for the very civil comment. I wrote a similarly civil reply (which the internet–rather uncivally–ate up).

    All the best….

  228. Eric,

    In Merry Old England, in 1648, the state church, under Parliment, enacted the “GAG Law” against the Baptist. 400 Baptists were rounded up and locked up.

    I gotta ask, had you been there, would you have been both Gagger and Gaggee?

  229. Eric,

    Why don’t you run your own little test? Engage some other yokels in conversation about Catholicism or Early America or something. Put it out there, that the folks who came to Amerca were escaping the Pope or maybe even the Inquisition. See if anyone corrects you.

    I have heard such poppycock my whole life. Ask Kevin on the other blog.

    As for our Pilgrims, they left England because they wanted to be the persecutors but were not allowed to. They went to Holland but weren’t happy there so they decided to set up a theocracy in the New World.
    Later, in the colony of Massachusetts, if a Baptist was caught preaching, third offense was hanging.
    Only the Pennsylvania Quakers and the Maryland Catholics allowed religious liberty.

    Here’s a fun bit of trivia for you that David Barton passes over; The Revolutionary War was set off because King George had allowed the French Canadians to remain Catholic. The American bigots decided this was too much and had to revolt. A guy named Bob Jingle wrote many little jingles against the “soft on Popery” German king. This is the source of the word “jingle”.

    You like that one? Here’s another gem; Benedict Arnold hated Catholics just as you do. When Washington sent and ambassador to attend the Catholic funeral of the Spanish ambassador, Arnold decided to betray Washington.
    Oh, by the way, Washington may have been a crypto Catholics. Officially, an Anglican, he kept a picture of Mary ( without gagging ) among his personal effects at a time when Anglicans did not keep pictures of Mary. On the testimony of his slaves, ( no motive to fib there ), one night Washington and Fr. White S.J. rowed out into a river where no one could see and Washington was conditionally Baptized. This is one reason Washington outlawed the burning of the Pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Day among his troops. ( Ever wonder why America doesn’t celebrate the day so popular all over the English speaking world?)

    Patrick Henry and maybe even nathan Hale were anti Catholics.
    Samuel F.B. Morse hated the Church and used the proceeds from the telegraph’s invention to publish hate material. What sickened him was something you might agree with. In Austria, he had seen a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and it made him gag.

    The war with Mexico? A whole regiment went over to the Mexican side (.Check out the San Patricio Brigade’s descendants down in Mexico today on utube)
    The bombing of Dresden to dust although it had no military significance ( it made figurines )? Why were Nagasaki and Hiroshima targeted and the miraculous events there ( there are Marian ). And the dates of WWII too ( Marian ).

    Cranmer? Wow! Now there was a spooky dude! You know they sandpapered his thumb and index finger before burning him, don’t you? That was how they used to execute priests. All of the leaders of Mexico’s revolution were priests and upon capture, had their thumbs and index fingers sandpapered before being shot too.

    I do enjoy talking trivia with you Eric! Pleas don’t think you will ever out do me in stuff like this. When I was a little kid I was a history buff, especially on Catholic issues. If you enjoy David Barton, you would be spellbound to hear me wax eloquent on Laud, Charles I, Cromwell ( I am a regular Hilaire Belloc),

  230. Eric,Dude!

    We really do have to hash out Shakespeare. Since you are almost as “erudite” as me, you should know that I predate Joseph’s Pearce’s books. As a matter of fact, I have right here some of the impossible to find material he used to do his research.
    You, a “wanna be” erudite, a mere dilettante when it comes to matters of historical trivia, no doubt believe the Bard to have been indifferent to religion, an Anglican or even gay. Not so!!
    Not only was Shakespeare a Catholic, he ran in Jesuit circles. His plays are full of codes meant only for the initiated. What is fascinating is how he and William Byrd ( music lover Eric? ) pulled off being out front, in your face almost, Catholics at a time when your people were hanging. drawing and quartering us. ( Catholic martyrs used to have HDQ after their names. Non state church Protestants were merely burnt or drowned by the official government religion.
    You, growing up Protestant in America, have had very little history presented to you correctly. The public school system is not interested in anything but producing clones for the state, fitted with pills and condoms.
    Maybe the three guys who are going to oversee the blog will introduce some stuff from history. It would be fun to chat about who actually were the tyrants, villains and bigots in history.

    I know how you love to slip in little snippets you have gleaned from your reading to make me feel silly. It won’t work. I was a bookish nerd as a nipper and even if you spend the rest of your life gagging over books at the library, you will never catch up with this old dog.

  231. Jim–

    I’ll re-reply in fits and starts, for I have plenty of other things to get done. There is no rule in American RC churches that I have observed. Some have many, many statues and depictions of Mary. Some have almost none. Most include the 14 Stations of the Cross (wherein Mary appears a number of times). Our local O.L. of Fatima church has forty-some depictions of Mary as opposed to only one of Jesus. The National Basilica in Washington, DC, dedicated to the BVM, must have a ratio of closer to 400 to 1 (if one doesn’t include the infant Jesus in many of the Madonnas’ arms).

    My reaction to your idolatry is just that: a reaction to idolatry. I am fully aware that it is not intended as idolatry. Jeroboam I did not intend the setting up of golden bulls in his alternative temples for the a northern kingdom as idols, but as mounts for the invisible Yahweh. His intentions were not taken into consideration. He and his people were condemned as idolaters.

  232. Jim–

    Ever heard of delusions of grandeur? You spend an awful plot of time talking about your splendiferous self.

    You don’t, however, sound erudite. You sound like a conspiracy theorist in tone. You sound like an ex-Catholic acquaintance of mine who writes self-published books to give to all her unenlightened relatives, chock full of anti-Jesuit hysteria gleaned from the teachings of the “super-erudite” scholar Jimmy Swaggart.

  233. Eric,
    This evening I will attend a performance of Beethoven’s 9th, I seriously doubt if the conductor will walk out on stage and give a talk on the composer’s life. No. It’s all about his creation. It’s understood Beethoven wrote it. Nobody sitting in the audience or in the orchestra thinks the piece wrote itself. The best tribute to the man is to admire his work. It is what the man himself would want. He would be furious if people didn’t want to hear his piece.
    You seem to think the conductor should walk out and say,” Ladies and gentlemen, we will sit her and ponder the great man for the next hour and a half. We will not be distracted by noise. We will have absolute silence out of respect for him. Then we will all go home.”
    ( Most of your ilk like to point out how many Hail Marys compared to how many Our Fathers we say in the Rosary as proof we elevate the creature over the Creator. Don’t forget Eric, we are Theists. You Calvinists are the pantheists pretending to believe in a Transcendent God ).
    By the way Eric, Mary appears for sure in the 4th station. Maybe in the crucifixion and taking down from the cross depending on the artist. The other woman you see is Veronica. Mary doesn’t appear several times. Still, if she did, so what? She is God’s greatest creation ( after the sacred humanity of course) . I think a strong case could be made for the assertion that God created the universe for Mary. Go ahead and rend your vomit covered garment. ( Of course Eric, I know God does everything for His own glory ).
    You are like the guy sitting through the concert with earplugs on meditating on the composer’s life.
    “Splendiferous”? I like it. Spell check doesn’t underline it so I guess I can use it too, Thanks!

  234. Eric,
    I sent your home-boy a link on how many Presbyterian minister teach their people NOT to pray. Some don’t say the words of institution at their Eucharistic celebrations as it would imply God jumps when man speaks.
    The Deists taught, ” All that is, should be”. Good and evil are both Gods will. Pantheism is atheism with a lot of reverent sounding words. You guys are pagans without the idols.

  235. Jim–

    I’ve been listening to a lot of Catholic radio recently. They pray things like: “Be close to us, Lord Jesus. Our Father in heaven, be close to us. Be close to us, Holy Spirit. Holy Mary, Mother of God, be close to us.” One after another like that. No differentiation.

  236. Jim–

    They also prayed: Holy Mary, send us the Holy Spirit. (Evidently, when Francis and Bartholomew meet in council in Nicea in 2025, they’ll have to work out not only the “filioque” [and the Son] but also the “materque” [and the Mother]! Won’t that be a hoot.)

    I have never, ever heard a PCA pastor skip the Words of Institution…nor am I ever likely to. It would be a violation of church order and would get him brought up on charges at presbytery. Likewise, I could never even imagine an OPC or a PCA clergyman discouraging his congregants from the regular practice of prayer. Try another fiction. This one ain’t flying!

    You guys play Beethoven and bill it as Mozart. And you can be darn sure Beethoven is rolling over in his grave, as a result. He was a newcomer to Vienna, a Dutch immigrant (thus the “van” instead of “van”). He would have taken the misappropriation of his work very personally!

    Y’all are pagans still clinging to your flagrant reliance on idolatry. I fervently pray for your repentance!

  237. Eric,

    “I’ve been listening to a lot of Catholic radio recently. They pray things like: “Be close to us, Lord Jesus. Our Father in heaven, be close to us. Be close to us, Holy Spirit. Holy Mary, Mother of God, be close to us.” One after another like that. No differentiation.”

    What catholic radio? Where I’m at we have Relevant Radio which has good programming. Anyways your concern is due to listening to such as an outsider. So let’s assume the prayer was as you said. The differentiation is in exactly what you cited – “mother of God”. RCs don’t understand that to mean she’s eternal and a fourth member of trinity. And the “be close to us” has no differentiation because the wills of Mary/saints are always united to God’s in heaven – it’s not mortal kombat with battling wills. Both of those understandings are held and presupposed by the community offering that prayer. You’re interpreting it like someone randomly hearing part of a Lutheran service and thinking they are cannibals – statements should be interpreted within that church’s faith and official teaching (it’s on RC radio after all – that’s the audience), not what it sounds like to an outsider.

    And just to emphasize the united wills aspect – and that mentioning Mary is not therefore negating Christ as Jim was pointing out with the Beethoven example, this is part of a prayer from that apostate idolater Anselm I came across a few years ago when discussing a similar issue with another Protestant – full version at http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/anselm.html
    “When I have sinned against the son,
    I have alienated the mother,
    nor can I offend the mother without hurting the son.
    What will you do, then, sinner?
    Where will you flee?
    Who can reconcile me to the Son if the mother is my enemy,
    or who will make my peace with the mother
    if I have angered the Son?
    Surely if I have offended you both equally
    you will both also be merciful?
    So the accused flees from the just God
    to the good mother of the merciful God.
    The accused finds refuge from the mother he has offended
    in the good Son of the kind mother.
    The accused is carried from one to the other
    and throws himself between
    the good Son and the good mother.

    Dear Lord, spare the servant of your mother;
    dear Lady, spare the servant of your Son.
    Good Son, make your servant’s peace with your mother;
    good mother, reconcile your Son to your servant.
    When I throw myself between two
    of such unbounded goodness
    I shall not fall under the severity of their power.
    Good son, good mother,
    do not let me confess this truth about you in vain,
    lest I blush for hoping in your goodness.
    I love the truth I confess about you,
    and I beg for that goodness which I hope for from you.

    Tell me, judge of the world, whom you will spare,
    tell me, reconciler of the world, whom you will reconcile,
    if you, Lord, condemn, and you, Lady, turn away
    your goodness and love from this little man
    who confesses his sin with sorrow?
    Saviour of each one, tell me whom you will save,
    mother of salvation, tell me for whom you will pray.

    God, who was made the Son of a woman out of mercy;
    woman, who was made mother of God out of mercy;
    have mercy upon this wretch,
    you forgiving, you interceding,
    or show the unhappy man to whom he may flee for safety
    and point out in whose power he may more certainly confide.”

    Christ is always presumed in the relationship with Mary – they are united and intimately linked – there is no separation/division, let alone conflict. But Mary has a unique role (“among the holy ones the most holy after God” as Anselm says in same prayer) compared to the rest of humanity and the saints. But that does not make her a goddess. When the radio prayer says “mary, be close to us” that means, as the prayer also says, Christ be close to us. Christ cannot be close to us without Mary being close to us, and vice versa – they are united operating in harmony, not divided.

  238. Eric,

    Maybe this link will help it fly with you.

    http://robinphillips.blogspot.pt/2012/06/james-jordan-on-lords-supper.html

    Back to the Marian stuff. Since God could just have easily brought about the Incarnation via normal relations between Joseph and Mary, why didn’t He? The Second Person of the Trinity could have assumed a human nature brought about by two parents with danger of Original Sin as it is God who creates each individual soul and is free to infuse it with sanctifying grace or not.

    Being somewhat orthodox ( except for a tint of Nestorianism *) in your Christology, you will chime in that it was more “fitting” for the God-man to have only one father. Well and good, Grasshopper. But let’s explore it further.

    Mary, as the great Anselm shows, was the consort of Jesus in the Redemption. In order to be so, she needed to be able to share 100% in all He did and suffered. Now, a wife can not do this as a mother can. And not just a mother but the sui generis only parent of an only child. The union of the two wills is beyond anything we can imagine.

    Please take the time to read and ponder Simeon’s words about the great sword piercing Mary’s heart. When and where in scripture do we see a heart pierced? Indeed. And did Our Lord feel any pain in that piercing or was He already dead?

    * I am enjoying punishing your home-boy on his bad Christology. He denies synergism. The obvious trouble with that is to ask home-boy if Christ had a human nature with a free human will or was it subsumed into His divine nature?
    Monergism leads to monophysitism or monotheletism.
    Mary was not a human nature cooperating in the Redemption but a human person.
    The more you guys trash the Marian doctrines, you move just that much closer to atheism.

  239. Eric,

    As for Mary conveying the Holy Spirit, please take a moment to peruse the Visitation scene. Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit at the sound of Mary’s words and the child skipped in her womb also graced and cleansed of Original Sin.

    Who is the Immaculate Conception? The Holy Spirit of course. What did Mary say her name was to Bernadette? Oh, I forgot. You don’t know.
    At Lourdes Mary said, ” I am the Immaculate Conception”. She was appropriating the name of her Spouse.
    You see my boy, the Holy Ghost over-shadowed Mary as Boaz over-shadowed (or spread his wings over )Ruth.
    You really should be a Berean and study the scriptures. If you did so, you too could be as splendiferous as me.

  240. Eric,
    I can’t remember where I read online yesterday an article about an interview with Cardinal George in which he discusses a topic I am interested in, namely, how Calvinism devolved into Universalism,Deism,atheism.
    I was impressed because I know Cardinal George from his time as Archbishop of Portland. I was pleasantly surprised at his knowledge of this subject.

    The cardinal explained how and why it was mainly in America that this happened due to the rise of congregationalism. Calvinism actually gave way to the out and out denial of hell which was to lead to a denial of the Trinity. It was very interesting as I had never thought about that aspect of the Calvinism=Atheism business. After the Calvinist Mathers family, within a couple of generations, the New England colleges were in the hands of liberal Unitarians. How did it happen?

    It is easy to see how the “doctrines of grace” ( Ha! doctrines of grace indeed! ) and the eternal decrees end up blurring all distinction between good and evil which leads to deist Alexander Pope’s, “whatever is, should be” pantheism. But I had never considered how the type of church government has a lot to do with preserving orthodoxy.
    Anyway, you can google around and find it yourself should you doubt my assertion that you are plummeting towards atheism starting with your faulty Mariology. ( By the way, Cardinal George’s priestly order is the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate so he probably is very sound on his Mariology too. )

  241. Eric, If you are serious and really want to know more about Mary and the Holy Ghost, go to the Knights of the Immaculta site.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2013/11/can-a-calvinist-pray-for-his-child-to-be-elect/

    Check out this link. You don’t actually pray for your children do you? A good staunch Calvinist (a.k.a. atheist ) shouldn’t you know. I sent this to the other Mary hater on the other site ( I know, I know. You don’t “hate” Mary. You hate what Catholics have don’t to the real “Biblical” Mary that you hold in such high regard. Tim and Kelvin say the same thing. The silly and sinful girl who went on to live an ordinary and bland life with her ordinary and bland husband Joseph is so inspirational to you Protestants. You place her somewhere in the midst of Sarah, Ruth, Rachel, etc. ( but she certainly does not stand out among them does she? )
    Thank you Eric for keeping us Catholics from falling into full blown idolatry by over praising the woman God, from all eternity, chose to be His mother and consort in the Redemption!) HA!

  242. Eric,

    Here is a nice sermon given by a Baptist minister on Mary. It’s nice but sooooooo puny, so shallow.
    Of course, I tracked him down and found his email address. I was happy to set him straight in a nice way. ( I say a nice way because he does not deserve to be mauled for saying “gag”.) Why can’t you be civil like this gentleman?
    http://vimeo.com/89439024

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