On the Magisterium’s (Sort Of) Superiority

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Catholicism, Ecclesiology, Featured, Hermeneutics, Keith Mathison, Orthodoxy, Paradigms, Protestantism, Sola Scriptura | 485 comments

In a recent comment in this thread at Called to Communion, Ray Stamper provided what I think is a helpful distinction with respect to the kinds of problems the Catholic view of authority can solve, versus the kinds it can’t (who, us  triumphalistic?). He writes:

But are you not able to acknowledge that the kind of crisis being pointed out by CTC and CCC is different than the kind of crisis you keep pointing to in the Catholic Church? Although you surely disagree with the arguments, you must acknowledge that the Catholic critique of Protestantism is that it has an authority crisis rooted in its theological working principles. The authority crisis you are pointing to in the Catholic Church (which is very real), is not at the level of Catholicism’s theological working principles; but at the level of dissent arising from obstinacy or ignorance.

Stamper is suggesting that there is a kind of authority crisis with which both Catholicism and Protestantism must wrestle, but there is also a crisis of authority that is unique and endemic to Protestantism. We’ll call the former AC1, and the latter AC2. Ray continues:

But I spent the first 30 years of my life in Protestant circles, and am perfectly aware that there is plenty of doctrinal obstinacy and ignorance circulating among the troops. Both Catholics and Protestants share that kind of authority crisis, and I would be the last to go wagering bets as to which camp has the worst of it in that respect.

AC1, according to Stamper, stems from either obstinacy or ignorance (perhaps both), resulting in the teachings of a body’s leadership being disobeyed or ignored. This is a problem for both Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church.

But, it is, to my mind, a distinct disadvantage to be in a camp which has both an obstinacy/ignorance authority crisis and an authority crisis seated at the root of its theological principles; as opposed to a camp which only suffers from one of those two evils. So yes, Catholics share some serious authority problems with Protestants. But there are also some serious authority problems unique to Protestant approaches to theology which Catholicism. . . resolves. I think it is this later sort of authority problem which CTC and Creed Code Cult are focused upon.

In addition to the general ignorance or disregard of a church’s teachings (AC1), there is a further problem that is unique to Protestantism that, Stamper insists, is “an authority crisis seated at the root of its theological principles.” This additional problem, or AC2, exists on a fundamental level for Protestantism, since those who claim to speak in Christ’s name in any Protestant sect lack, by their own admission, any authority that transcends mere fallible human opinion. This is not a controversial charge, for the material principle of the Reformation, Sola Scriptura, states that our only source for infallible revelation is the Bible. Human interpreters of Scripture may and do err, and therefore all that they teach must be judged by Scripture.

The difficulty enters in when we admit, to quote Keith Mathison, that “all appeals to Scripture are appeals to interpretations of Scripture.” The result of this admission is that one fallible interpretation of Scripture may be rejected in favor of a contrary, and equally fallible, interpretation of Scripture, with no infallible person or court that can adjudicate the dispute and bring an end to the he-said-she-said hermeneutical spiral. “Authority” in Protestantism by its very design and material principle, therefore, reduces to fallible opinions rooted either in charismatic and persuasive rhetorical skills or academic acumen, neither of which are divinely protected from error under any conditions, which is why they cannot compel the assent of divine faith to their teachings (even if those teachings happen to be correct).

“Orthodoxy,” then, inevitably devolves into “that set of doctrines that conforms to my fallible interpretation of Scripture, or that of the denomination of which I am a member.” And to whatever degree the various traditions of the ancient church are invoked on this score, since there is no infallible body to differentiate between “biblical” and “unbiblical” traditions, such appeals are no less arbitrary (since the only traditions that will make the cut are those that conform to one’s own, or one’s denomination’s own, interpretation of Scripture).

Now whether Catholicism is the church Christ founded or the synagogue of Satan, what Stamper and other Catholics are asking Protestants to acknowledge is the fact that it is not susceptible to AC2, despite its having to wrestle ceaselessly with AC1. The “tu quoque,”  in other words, does not apply. When operating according to the rules of its own interpretive paradigm, Catholicism can in principle propound a doctrine as infallible dogma (despite the fact that many may disagree with or disregard it). The best a Protestant denomination can do, by contrast, is appeal to its admittedly fallible interpretations of various biblical texts to show the reasonableness of this or that doctrine, leaving the members of that denomination to weigh their leaders’ fallible opinions about what the Bible says against their own.

Is it possible that the Catholic Church is biting off more than it was ever intended to chew? Absolutely, and I am happy to debate that point and discuss whether we are laying claim to a level of knowledge beyond what Christ intended. But before we can get to that point, Protestants first need to understand the distinction between AC1 and AC2. For as long as the two are collapsed, we’ll keep talking past one another.

 

485 Comments

  1. Darryl, you write:

    So how about
    Unam Sanctam — no salvation outside the church
    Vatican II — salvation outside the church.

    Let us look at what the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium teaches about salvation outside the church:

    DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH
    LUMEN GENTIUM
    SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS
    POPE PAUL VI
    ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964

    14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

    16. …Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. …

    Ref: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

    LG 14 affirms what Johnathan Prejean has written:

    Catholics who leave the Church, assuming they are cognizant of Unam Sanctum and know what they are doing (because you can’t break a normative guideline you don’t know about) are damned.

    LG 16, on the other hand, is teaching that those who are ignorant of the Gospel can obtain salvation IF they follow the dictates of their conscience AND are they are moved by God’s grace. In other words, invincible ignorance is not an absolute impediment to salvation. This is why salvation is a possibility for Protestants. If the Protestant is invincibly ignorant that the church that he must listen to is the church personally founded by Jesus Christ (the church of Matt 18:17), and he follows the dictates of his conscience, and is moved by grace, he can be saved.

    How, you might ask, can I know which Protestant is invincibly ignorant and which Protestant is merely being stiff-necked and stubborn in refusing to listen to the church personally founded by Christ? Short answer, I can’t know which state of being that a Protestant is in unless God himself were to enlighten me with the answer to that question. God has never done that for me – given me a knowledge of another man’s heart. God hasn’t given me a mission to judge the hearts of other men, he has given me the mission to share the Gospel with everyone, and part of the Gospel is found in Matthew 18:15-20. Those who would be disciples of Christ are commanded by Christ to listen to the church that he personally founded or suffer the pain of excommunication. Nowhere do the Gospels authorize men to found their own personal bible churches whenever they disagree with the church founded by Jesus Christ.

  2. Let me clarify, since you seem to be missing my point. Your position about men teaching infallibly in the post-apostolic age is the same as the JWs and the Mormons in this sense: neither the JWs nor the Mormons affirm Luther’s sola scriptura proposition, since both JWs and Mormons affirm that there are men in the post-apostolic age that can teach infallibly, as, apparently, does your sect. That is all I am saying about your sect (whatever that sect is – I have not yet been able to identify it). In all other matters of doctrine, I am NOT saying that your sect teaches the same doctrines as either the JWs or the Mormons, and I never meant to imply that your sect did do that.

    Mateo,

    Nowhere did I claim infallibility for myself so it might be better to ask first if you haven’t been following the threads here at CCC. JWs and Mormons do claim infallibility for their doctrinal proclamations, as does the Catholic Church. And what all 3 groups have in common is this: a dark and scandalous history, undergirded by dark and scandalous leaders/popes/bishops.

    SS, what you have failed to do is to give me the criteria that allows me to identify who these mystery men are that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures in the post-apostolic age. Nor have you told me how a man that does not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility (namely me) can know with certainty when your mystery men have exercised the charismatic gift of infallibility.

    Mateo, what you have failed to do is provide an adequate explanation to the natural man seeking the truth about Christ’s church for the possibility that your claimed infallibility has been invalidated by AC3 (see earlier quote from Irenaeus for ex and what he says about the Apostle’s requirements for succession). The CC’s so called motives of credibility pertaining to ecclesiological claims are nowhere close to being actual reasons for the natural seeker to believe. Hence, his decision to believe the CC as was yours, is essentially quasi-fideism.

    The Catholic Church, on the other hand, can give me the objective criteria that allows me to know who the men are that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility, and not only that, when they do it. The Mormons can tell me who the men are that can teach infallibly within their sect, and so can the JWs. Until you identify your mystery men, then everything that you are saying is pretty much suspect to me, since I do not know if you are one of the mystery men. If you are not one of the mystery men, then you are merely privately interpreting scriptures in a fallible way that may be, or may not be, correct.

    SS, you can clear something up for all of us that are reading this thread. Do you believe that you are one of the men in the post-apostolic age that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures?

    Infallibility without In-Faithfulness is folly and a clear break with the praxis of the early church, claiming infallibility while being disconnected from the natural branches is a serious theological problem relating to the validity of that authority to bind and loose. You have nowhere, and neither has anyone from your quarters been able to justify the status quo in that regard. Even your beloved appeal to Matt 18:17 you put forward as a MOC for the natural man, when in fact, it is quite the opposite, a reason NOT to believe the gentile CC. Hiding behind ‘doctrinal development’ puts you at no relative advantage vis a vis the JW and the Mormon, so it’s back to square one again.

  3. Jonathan,

    The only one who is wasting time here is yourself. If you can interpret a document in a manner that is contrary to the original author’s intent, then you can make it mean whatever you want. That, I suggest, is what you do with Scripture and even with your own tradition. When something like Unam Sanctum is inconvenient for you, just say that it was never intended to apply to anyone but Roman Catholics. When a conciliar pronouncement such as the bishop of Rome not having supreme jurisdictional authority (Nicea and other early councils), just cast that aside as to not being binding.

    Don’t give me the line about multiple intents and then deride the modern Supreme Court for assuming an illegitimate authority for itself, and then likening Protestants to it. If the modern Magisterium can determine the meaning of a pronouncement in a way the author of the pronouncement never intended, all that matters is what the modern Magisterium intended.

    I have no problem with the divine meaning being fuller than what the human author may have initially realized. But when the divine meaning is said to be things that would have been abhorrent to the original writer, then you have a problem. Here’s just two: indulgences and praying to dead people.

    And once again, don’t give me the line about insults. You are the one who throw out the term bigot when people see through your argumentation.

    And BTW, the apocrypha was rejected because the NT does not quote it as Scripture and the fact that the Jews did not receive it as Scripture, not because of its “interpretative methods.”

    And the anachronistic and unsupportable reading of church history that you and your fellow Romanists support is a primary reason why there is a flood of people leaving Roman Catholicism and a mere trickle of Protestants jumping ship for a security that Rome cannot provide. That, plus the Protestant gospel is actually good news.

  4. De Maria,

    You wrote:
    I have compared Scripture to Scripture.
    You are simply writing question marks behind various Scriptures.

    R: Your method yielded a referent and my responsive agreement. My method listed verses, asked questions and wait for a response.
    —————-

    You wrote:
    That is a null point. St. Peter is appointed by Christ, the shepherd of His flock. And He is appointed by Christ the Rock upon which the Church is built. This is enough to show that St. Peter is appointed by Christ the visible Head of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

    Response:
    Every true christian instinctively avoids elimination from Christ’s legit established authority and ecclesial reality. My Peter argument was a plea to avoid the sword of elimination. It is enough that Peter is rock and pastor over all ! Very well, enough for you is enough for me.

    You provided (John 21:17) and (Matt.16:17-19) as sufficient evidence to eliminate all protestants. Do they ? No.

    1. My Pastor confesses sins and denials of his Lord. I imitate this. After confessing, he is strengthened to continue feeding the flock of Christ (anyone he can get his authoritative hands on). I help him.

    2. My Pastor is fallible and so am I. Yet, with the keys of the kingdom entrusted to him, he teaches infallible revealed truth without being infallible. All I need to do is show ONE revealed truth not explicit in scripture. If my Peter argument plea failed, then let this sheath your sword.

    My Pastor once said, “I was born in original sin”.
    Stated objectively, Pastor Paul contracted original sin.

    The statement is,

    1. A divinely revealed truth.
    2. Not explicit in Scripture.
    3. Reasoned from scripture.
    4. Binding
    5. Reasoned by a fallible agent.

    ….Now the Protestant can advance beyond this elimination…..

  5. Jonathan and Mateo–

    Has anyone ever, from the beginning of time, refused to remain in the Catholic church, knowing it to have been necessitated by Christ (without apostatizing at the same time)? Who would join another church fully knowing it would effect one’s eternal destiny? Does that even make sense?

    Sure, some may prioritize a wife and kids, but alongside such a motivation would be de facto apostasy.

    The fact of the matter is that it cannot be done without producing enough cognitive dissonance to make one’s head explode. If one leaves the church and joins another, 100 times out of 100 one no longer believes in the unique authority and infallibility of the so-called Catholic church.

  6. +JMJ+

    DGHart wrote:

    Jason, first you and Bryan say that you admit “all the time” that the church changes. Now you qualify that and say it hasn’t changed anything authoritative.
    So how about
    Unam Sanctam — no salvation outside the church
    Vatican II — salvation outside the church.
    Let’s see you do your impersonation of a Protestant modernist.

    That frames the issue uncatholically (or, at least, simplistically).

    Catholic doctrinal presentation of this issue is a function, or tension, between (basically) two Points…

    1) There is only one Way of Salvation: through the single Person/Personal Body of Jesus Christ/RCC.
    2) No man (Human Nature being basically good) is ever condemned sans his free choice.
    .
    Both Unam Sanctam and Vat2 are divergently-weighted presentations of this functional nexus. However, Unam Sanctam more strongly emphasizes Point 1, whilst, because it is written within the context of the Catholic Faith (the CIP), it implicitly embraces Point 2. OTOH, certain Vat2 documents more strongly emphasize Point 2, whilst, because it is also written within the context of that same CIP, it implicitly embraces Point 1.

    If/When the cultural currents within in the Church begin to emphasize Point 2 to the near-exclusion or near-incognizance eof Point 1 (as has been happening within certain Catholic circles over the last 50 years), then the Church will eventually take corrective measures by reemphasizing Point 1 (in the grand tradition of Unam Sanctam). That’s the Flux of the Church for ya.

  7. Mateo–

    The difference between the Reformed and certain conservative Lutherans over the explanation of apostasy is a superficial distinction. Both would affirm the impossibility of the apostasy of the elect. Some Lutherans would posit the real potential for the apostasy of the regenerate. This is a consequence of accepting the Tridentine notion of baptismal regeneration which is totally different from the Reformed concept (where regeneration accompanies conversion). But Lutherans do not de-emphasize conversion to the degree Catholics tend to (though it is still spoken of as mandatory in the CCC). For those Lutherans who have not lost touch with Luther himself and become de facto Arminians, it is basically a difference without a distinction.

  8. Jonathan, well, you historicized Unam Sanctam about as effectively as liberal Protestants contextualized Jesus’ miracles — you know, those people weren’t scientific, so they’d believe anything.

    Your problem is that most of the popes after the French Revolution still operated as if the context of Unam Sanctam still existed. Another is that you seem to think you know better than Boniface VIII did. You think Unam Sanctam only applied to that context. Is that what your holy father thought in 1302?

    Be careful how you answer that one. You wouldn’t want to say you know more than the pope.

  9. Mateo, I’m not sure it is your calling to interpret the magisterium. Isn’t that a tad Protestant?

  10. Erick Ybarra, you reject Luther’s sola scriptura proposition, and affirm that you believe that there are men in the post-apostolic era that can exercise the charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit when interpreting the Sacred Scriptures. (I don’t want to put words into your mouth, so please correct me if I have misunderstood you).

    You also write:

    … what you need, in addition to this [men exercising the charismatic gift of infallibility], is for it to be a public, visible, tangible, audible, and stationary. It must be something continuous as well. This is an additional element which has to be questioned on top of whether there can be men infallibly speaking the truth in the post-apostolic era.

    Erick, would you please clarify the above for me. What is the “it” that must be “public, visible, tangible, audible, and stationary”?

    You write,

    Given that Jesus Christ refuses to remain with a dead and sinful community (Revelation 1-3), one wonders and questions how the RC history has retained the function and mode of infallibility.

    It seems to me that you are asking two things here, one is question about the sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit, and one is a question about the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    First, let me address why your question has to do with the sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit. Does Christ dwell in unholy men that are in a state of mortal sin? The Catholic answer to that is no. The sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit are the gifts that are necessary for men to achieve holiness, and without the sanctifying gift of infused agape, no man can be saved. Since Christ does not indwell men that are culpable for committing mortal sin, it follows that if an entire local particular church were to be filled with men who are in a state of mortal sin, that you would be correct to say that Jesus does not remain within a community where everyone is in a state of mortal sin. That said, Christ has also promised that the powers of death will not prevail against his church, and that there will always be a remnant flock. To sum up, while local particular churches can fade away, the powers of death will never prevail against the entire church that was personally founded by Christ.

    Second, I need to address how you question relates to the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, since you asked how the function and mode of infallibility can be operative within the Catholic church, given the undeniable fact that there have been many wicked and unholy men who are at least, nominally, Catholic. Or to be more specific, is it possible for a man who is unholy to exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit? It might seem reasonable to say that wicked men cannot exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, but Christ explicitly speaks against this idea:

    “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’
    Matthew 7:21-22

    For a man to prophesy, cast out demons, or work mighty miracles in the name of Jesus, he must exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christ says that there will be men that exercise these charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, and yet, in the end, they will be damned. That is why a bishop, or a pope can be a wicked man, and yet still exercise the particular charismatic gift of infallibility.

    Some Protestant Pentecostals think that exercising the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are signs of personal sanctity (one has to “show the evidence” before one can be baptized). But these Protestant Pentecostals are mistaken, since Christ teaches that even the damned can exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.

  11. Dr. Hart,

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Jonathan is the infallible interpreter of the papacy. Just ask him. It doesn’t matter what the pope who actually promulgated a doctrine thought about it. It only matters what Jonathan says the right way to think about it is.

  12. Darryl, you write:

    Mateo, I’m not sure it is your calling to interpret the magisterium.

    Of course it is my calling to interpret magisterial documents! The documents of Vatican II were written and promulgated so that I can read them. The Vatican has posted these documents on their website so that you can read them too, which is a good idea, I think, since it would help you clear up your mistaken ideas of what the Catholic Church actually teaches about doctrines such as extra Ecclesiam nulla salus .

    I both quoted and interpreted Lumen Gentium for you. And of course no one can read anything without interpreting what he is reading. If you are asking men if I am exercising the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting Lumen Gentium, then no, I am not making that claim. If you think that my interpretation is wrong, then you can always ask the magisterium if your interpretation is correct. In principle, you could keep asking the living magisterium if your interpretation is correct until you get a yes answer. Then you would know that your interpretation is correct not because I say so, but because the magisterium says so.

  13. Divide and Dismiss,” Mateo. If you can’t interpret the Church’s documents infallibly, then you can’t interpret them meaningfully at all.

    Typical tactics, nothing to see here. . . .

  14. SS, you write:

    Infallibility without In-Faithfulness is folly and a clear break with the praxis of the early church, claiming infallibility while being disconnected from the natural branches is a serious theological problem relating to the validity of that authority to bind and loose.

    This is, of course, just your own private interpretation of the scriptures, and you have already told me that you don’t exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures. Personally, I think your interpretation is wrong, even if I think that it is an interpretation that is well intended and sincere. That said, it that doesn’t mean that I am not willing to submit my interpretation to men that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures.

    I asked you to identify who the men are that you think can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures, and you have not yet done that. So yes, we are back to square one, you have given me your sincere interpretation of scripture, and I have listened to what you have said, and I think that your interpretation of scriptures is wrong. We are now at an impasse unless we do what the scriptures instruct us to do in such a case. We need to take our doctrinal dispute to the church personally founded by Jesus Christ for resolution of our dispute (Matthew 18:15-20).

  15. @Dr. Hart:
    It doesn’t matter what Pope Boniface thought. What matters is what he had the power to bind and loose. If you can’t think of anyone who has wrongly overestimated his own authority in office (or had people follow him in it), then I can supply several examples in the last hundred years. I don’t know about being smarter than Pope Boniface, but I do have the benefit of seven hundred years of experience in saying that his belief, if he believed that his office extended beyond the bounds of the communion of the Catholic Church, was wrong.

    As to whether this is similar to what liberals do with Scripture, it seems to me that this is similar to what everyone who isn’t a fundamentalist does with Scripture, whether liberal or conservative. The difference is that the liberals are not concerned to preserve any kind of theological authority, while the conservatives are, which is why we carefully define what the scope of that authority is.

  16. Eric, you ask me:

    Has anyone ever, from the beginning of time, refused to remain in the Catholic church, knowing it to have been necessitated by Christ (without apostatizing at the same time)?

    How would I know? God has never given me the ability to read the hearts of men. Only God can answer your question.

    Who would join another church fully knowing it would effect one’s eternal destiny? Does that even make sense? … The fact of the matter is that it cannot be done without producing enough cognitive dissonance to make one’s head explode.

    On might think that, but Protestants are always telling me that sacred scripture has divinely established authority that all men must submit to. I accept that, and yet, when I point out to the Protestants that Christ has commanded his disciples to listen to the church that he personally founded or be excommunicated, the Protestants blithely ignore that commandment of Christ, and continue to listen to any old church except the church personally founded by Christ.

    To me, the Protestants should be suffering from cognitive dissonance in that they assert that church shopping is not sinful, and yet the practice of church shopping is utterly contradicted by what is written in the scripture. So perhaps you can tell me why you are not bothered by the Protestant practice of church shopping. How do you reconcile listening to any old church except the church personally founded by Christ with what is written in the inerrant, authoritative scriptures?

    Eric, you write:

    The difference between the Reformed and certain conservative Lutherans over the explanation of apostasy is a superficial distinction. Both would affirm the impossibility of the apostasy of the elect.

    I know “conservative” Lutherans that reject your idea that a Christian cannot commit the sin of apostasy. Not every Lutheran reads the warning passages in scriptures about the sin of apostasy and then thinks – well these warnings don’t apply to me, because I could never commit that sin. Why any Christian thinks that he cannot commit apostasy is beyond my ability to comprehend. How, exactly, would a non-Christian commit the sin of apostasy? That is the one sin that a non-Christian cannot commit, since one has to first become a Christian first before one can commit the sin of apostasy.

  17. @Robert:
    I’ll give you another example: eating unclean beasts and blood. That was considered abhorrent to Jewish Christians, and the authors of those laws certainly understood them to be binding on all of God’s people. The past had to be read in light of the subsequent incorporation of the Gentiles. It’s interesting that you mention the Jewish refusal of the deuterocanon, because that is a perfect example of this kind of resistance. So your assertion that reading theological intent being different from the author’s intent opens Pandora’s box is false.

    I called you a bigot precisely because you do things like this. This type of theological re-reading was a completely routine characteristic of patristic and medieval exegesis, but when a Catholic entirely reasonably does the same thing, everything we do that you don’t like becomes an abuse. Ironically, the literal method of exegesis (grammatical-historical discernment of authorial intent) as practiced by the Antiochene school was condemned by an ecumenical council precisely because it excluded certain true theological interpretations. In other words, it was considered a heretical method of excluding the divine authorship of Scriptures, effectively reading Scriptures according to a Nestorian Christology.

    The fact that you are prejudiced against Catholic theological method can hardly be doubted. What we are waiting for is a reason, *any* reason, why interpreting Scripture by authorial intent alone is a legitimate form of theological exegesis.

  18. Jonathan,

    Actually, there are a couple of severe problems with your latest response:

    1. The whole Antioch is grammatico-historical and Alexandria was allegorical is a distinction that has been severely overplayed and is not really taken that seriously anymore.
    2. Actually, you’re also wrong on the whole OT expecting to impose clean/unclean food on the Gentiles:

    a. Kosher laws don’t come until many generations after Abraham (This recorded by Moses, our very source for the kosher laws).
    b. Prophets of the old covenant do not condemn the Gentile nations for eating pigs. They condemn them for breaking moral norms.
    c. At various points in the OT narrative, we see normal food/ceremonial laws abrogated at least temporarily. David ate the showbread.

    So there are many seeds within the OT itself that indicate that the change with the new covenant was not something entirely unexpected even though the Jews themselves had trouble with it at first.

    If you paid attention, I said that there is a fullness to the biblical text that may not have always been recognized by the first author but that all true interpretation will not contradict the true intent of that author. For example, I don’t know if Isaiah had a literal vision of Jesus dying on the cross and a literal vision of resurrection, but he did know that Messiah would die for the sin of His people and that the Messiah would enjoy the fruit of His work. Death on the cross and bodily resurrection are fuller unfoldings of Isa. 53 that do not contradict the author’s intent.

    The limiting of papal infallibility to doctrine and not to geo-political practice is the polar opposite of this. There are no seeds in the medieval popes’ teaching that indicate they thought their geo-political authority was not a part of the essence of the faith. There’s no way of getting around this, and if you want to tell me that the popes are not always infallible even when they might think they are infallible, then you’ve destroyed this whole principled distinction means business. As I’ve said, history is not amenable to Rome’s view of itself, which is a severe problem for an institution that I’m supposed to trust as infallible.

    The simplest argument for interpreting according to authorial intent is that without it, true communication is impossible. It would be like me interpreting you to be telling me that John Calvin was the greatest Christian leader of all time. Clearly that is not your intent, but if I can interpret in ways that run contrary to authorial intent, then I could make you into a Calvinist, a Hindu, or anything else.

    As I’ve said, I have no problem with the divine author having a fuller understanding than the human author when it comes to Scripture. In fact, it is inevitable given that God is an infinite and omniscient being. God’s intent, however, is always to teach at least what the human author intended to teach and not to violate the integrity of the inspired author by intending something that could not have in any way, shape, or form been within the purview of the original author or a legitimate good and necessary development thereof. Again, two examples that are clear are praying to dead people and indulgences.

    I’m prejudiced against Roman Catholic theological method because it leads inevitably to confusion, contradiction, and idolatry and not because I dislike Roman Catholics. I have many Roman Catholic friends who I love dearly. But the Roman Catholic system enslaves people to a false understanding of God’s love and holiness, and therefore makes it impossible for one to knowingly affirm Roman Catholic doctrine and be saved. There are good Christians within the Roman Catholic Church, but these good Christians are bad Roman Catholics who are saved in spite of the church’s teaching and not by it.

  19. This is, of course, just your own private interpretation of the scriptures, and you have already told me that you don’t exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures. Personally, I think your interpretation is wrong, even if I think that it is an interpretation that is well intended and sincere. That said, it that doesn’t mean that I am not willing to submit my interpretation to men that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures.

    Yes, it is my private interpretation and like I said earlier, your interpretation is no less private! Your decision to submit your interpretation to the men whom you believe have infallibilty, is also entirely your individual call. It is quasi fideism. What truly matters is not whether the interpretation is private, but whether it is a reasonable claim to the natural man seeking credible reasons to make an assent of faith.

    I asked you to identify who the men are that you think can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures, and you have not yet done that. So yes, we are back to square one, you have given me your sincere interpretation of scripture, and I have listened to what you have said, and I think that your interpretation of scriptures is wrong. We are now at an impasse unless we do what the scriptures instruct us to do in such a case. We need to take our doctrinal dispute to the church personally founded by Jesus Christ for resolution of our dispute (Matthew 18:15-20).

    As I have stated repeatedly at CCC, there most definitely is a need for authority, an authority which would address the danger of AC2, but it is a non sequitur to conclude that that authority must necessarily be the RCC. It is a much more reasonable position to hold that such an authority must be reached via a conciliar process, because that is the witness of the NT. The natural man needs real motives of credibility, not propaganda. And when he considers the witness of Acts 15, what does he see? He sees Jewish leaders leading the gentiles into all truth. Now this need not of course imply that our leadership today should be entirely Jewish (since gentiles were also appointed by Paul for ex), but it is just as unreasonable to expect Jewish believers/leaders to be excluded from the process as well. If there were such a conciliar process, with leadership elected by vote, and decisions made by the council, that would present a genuine MOC to the natural seeker to then make an assent of faith.

    But simply presupposing that Matt 18:15-20 is a MOC for the authority of the CC is a strangely naïve position to take, in my view. You simply assume that the verse speaks of the RCC, when in fact that is entirely question begging.

  20. Jonathan–

    Can you quote me council and canon where the Antiochene METHODOLOGY was anathematized rather than merely certain results thereof? It seems I looked at this the last time you asserted it and found the evidence lacking. I’ll let you do the legwork this time around.

  21. Jonathan, I don’t think you want to there, that you may actually know better than Boniface, given all that has happened in 700 years. The charism is supposed to protect the church from error. So much better than merely Scripture and the Holy Spirit, you know. But if the charism can’t protect the Pope from himself, who knows what kind of error the papacy might get the church into. Can you say the Western Schism? Sure you can.

  22. Mateo, let’s get this straight. When we interpret the Bible it’s bad. When you interpret the magisterium it’s peachy keen. Pre-Vatican 2 you’d be called in and whacked by the local nuns. Go figure.

    As for Divide and Dismiss, what Jason means (I think it’s a free country to interpret bloggers), “here’s a shovel. Dig more and bury your head deeper.”

  23. DGHART September 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm
    Mateo, let’s get this straight. When we interpret the Bible it’s bad.

    You said it.

    When you interpret the magisterium it’s peachy keen.

    We don’t interpret the Magisterium. We accept the Magisterium’s interpretation.

    Pre-Vatican 2 you’d be called in and whacked by the local nuns. Go figure.
    As for Divide and Dismiss, what Jason means (I think it’s a free country to interpret bloggers), “here’s a shovel. Dig more and bury your head deeper.”

    What you are saying and I think its a free country to interpret your comments, is that we hand in our brains at the door of the Catholic Church. And, I don’t deny it. Scripture says:

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    And also:
    Hebrews 13:17
    King James Version (KJV)
    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    Scripture does not say, “take the Bible and interpret it anyway you want.”

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  24. ERIC W September 3, 2013 at 9:22 am
    De Maria,
    You wrote:
    I have compared Scripture to Scripture.
    You are simply writing question marks behind various Scriptures.
    R: Your method yielded a referent and my responsive agreement.

    Ok.

    My method listed verses, asked questions and wait for a response.
    —————-

    a. I didn’t see any actual questions. Just question marks behind verses.
    b. You ended the series with a leading question.

    So, I thought you were making a point.

    Response:
    Every true christian instinctively avoids elimination from Christ’s legit established authority and ecclesial reality. My Peter argument was a plea to avoid the sword of elimination. It is enough that Peter is rock and pastor over all ! Very well, enough for you is enough for me.
    You provided (John 21:17) and (Matt.16:17-19) as sufficient evidence to eliminate all protestants. Do they ? No.

    That is simply your unsupported opinion. St. Peter was simply the first in an unbroken chain of Popes from the time He was installed in the office by Jesus Christ, to the current Pope.

    1. My Pastor confesses sins and denials of his Lord. I imitate this. After confessing, he is strengthened to continue feeding the flock of Christ (anyone he can get his authoritative hands on). I help him.
    2. My Pastor is fallible and so am I. Yet, with the keys of the kingdom entrusted to him, he teaches infallible revealed truth without being infallible. All I need to do is show ONE revealed truth not explicit in scripture. If my Peter argument plea failed, then let this sheath your sword.
    My Pastor once said, “I was born in original sin”.
    Stated objectively, Pastor Paul contracted original sin.
    The statement is,
    1. A divinely revealed truth.
    2. Not explicit in Scripture.
    3. Reasoned from scripture.
    4. Binding
    5. Reasoned by a fallible agent.
    ….Now the Protestant can advance beyond this elimination…..

    I’m not sure what all that was about. But it wasn’t about Apostolic succession. Anyone can pick up a Bible and claim to follow its precepts. But Jesus did not write a Bible. He didn’t write a word of Scripture.

    Jesus established a Church, taught His Doctrines and commanded that Church to teach His Doctrines to the world. It is this Church which wrote the New Testament based upon Jesus’ Doctrines and continues to teach His Word to the world to this day.

    Your group is a member or follower of the group which rebelled and rejected the Church which Jesus Christ established. Their authority is not based upon Christ but upon their own, man made system.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  25. DGHART September 3, 2013 at 10:38 am
    DeMaria,
    Are you listening to your holy father? http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/francesco-francis-francisco-27520/

    Yeah, he’s awesome! You should begin to listen to him and to submit to His authority as well.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  26. @Robert:

    1. The whole Antioch is grammatico-historical and Alexandria was allegorical is a distinction that has been severely overplayed and is not really taken that seriously anymore.

    To lapse back to the OC dialect, “like, DUH, dude.” Everybody knows Chrysostom was allegorical for an Antiochene theologian, and Sts. Athanasius and Cyril was relatively literal, even though Alexandrian. I am talking specifically Theodoret’s method that followed on Diodore and Theodore of Mopsuestia.

    Here’s a Reformed writer who does a good job on the subject:
    http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/jul_grisham/CH.Grisham.theodore.mopsuestia.pdf

    2. Actually, you’re also wrong on the whole OT expecting to impose clean/unclean food on the Gentiles:

    I didn’t say that. You said that the Bible would never license something that was “abhorrent” to the earlier writers. Eating blood was “abhorrent” to Jewish people; otherwise, the prohibition in Acts 15 on eating blood would not have been imposed (and would not have needed to be). So that’s an example where the Bible did give license to something that an earlier author would have considered abhorrent; that’s why they “had trouble with it.” In just the same way, faithful Catholics had trouble dealing with the concept that people who were not formally Catholic could be saved, and they had to be brought around to it. That’s not a contradiction of dogma; it simply means that there were people who misunderstood it. Likewise, the fact that it was only imposed on Jews doesn’t help your case either; that shows that something normative for the people to whom it is delivered is not universally normative, which is exactly the same thing that we are saying about Magisterial documents.

    The best part of the whole thing is this excerpt:

    At various points in the OT narrative, we see normal food/ceremonial laws abrogated at least temporarily. David ate the showbread.

    That is exactly the kind of legal exegesis that proves my point. The law literally says not to eat the showbread. But that law has to be interpreted in a context, and the context is that when people actually need to eat, that law is of lesser importance. There was no abrogation of the law; it was an exception to the law that needed to be “read in” based on sound principles of legal exegesis. It’s the same way with Magisterial documents; they have to be understood in the context of the Church.

    So much for “severe problems.”

    If you paid attention, I said that there is a fullness to the biblical text that may not have always been recognized by the first author but that all true interpretation will not contradict the true intent of that author. For example, I don’t know if Isaiah had a literal vision of Jesus dying on the cross and a literal vision of resurrection, but he did know that Messiah would die for the sin of His people and that the Messiah would enjoy the fruit of His work. Death on the cross and bodily resurrection are fuller unfoldings of Isa. 53 that do not contradict the author’s intent.

    And if you read what I said, I said that the author’s intent could be different from God’s, not that the two could contradict one another. You’re just agreeing with me that the divinely inspired meaning cannot be reduced to the literal meaning.

    The limiting of papal infallibility to doctrine and not to geo-political practice is the polar opposite of this. There are no seeds in the medieval popes’ teaching that indicate they thought their geo-political authority was not a part of the essence of the faith. There’s no way of getting around this, and if you want to tell me that the popes are not always infallible even when they might think they are infallible, then you’ve destroyed this whole principled distinction means business.

    I am flat out telling you that the popes are not always infallible even when they might think they are infallible. Somehow, I have managed to retain my belief that there is a principle distinction preserved in the Catholic interpretive paradigm. If you are too stubborn to accept that there are reasons for that, then you have shut off your brain entirely with respect to Catholicism.

    The simplest argument for interpreting according to authorial intent is that without it, true communication is impossible. It would be like me interpreting you to be telling me that John Calvin was the greatest Christian leader of all time. Clearly that is not your intent, but if I can interpret in ways that run contrary to authorial intent, then I could make you into a Calvinist, a Hindu, or anything else.

    Who is denying that the popes thought they were infallible when they weren’t? The question is not authorial intent, but whether authorial intent is even relevant, which it isn’t in cases where the pope isn’t infallible. The pope doesn’t get to say what his authority is; God does.

    As I’ve said, I have no problem with the divine author having a fuller understanding than the human author when it comes to Scripture. In fact, it is inevitable given that God is an infinite and omniscient being. God’s intent, however, is always to teach at least what the human author intended to teach and not to violate the integrity of the inspired author by intending something that could not have in any way, shape, or form been within the purview of the original author or a legitimate good and necessary development thereof.

    Oh, now you’re just making stuff up. There’s no argument for what I bolded in the quote. It doesn’t even make sense. If that were literally true, then you couldn’t even use different books of Scripture by different authors to interpret one another, because there’s no reason to believe that all Scriptural authors had knowledge of the content of every other book in Scripture. So you contradict your own principle (which is nonsense anyway) by letting Scripture interpret Scripture.

    I have many Roman Catholic friends who I love dearly.

    Great, here comes the “but I have friends who are black” argument. All I can say is that they must have the patience of saints to tolerate you if your arguments here are any indication. That, or you conceal from them your belief that they are mind-numbed idiots duped by their slavish obedience to the Magisterium engaged in dishonest history and philosophy defending their false god.

    But the Roman Catholic system enslaves people to a false understanding of God’s love and holiness, and therefore makes it impossible for one to knowingly affirm Roman Catholic doctrine and be saved.

    Yes, we’re all “enslaved.” None of us can think. We are all Catholicized zombies oblivious to reality.

    Seriously, do you have any idea how horribly offensive, insulting, and dishonest that characterization is? How can you even say that?

    There are good Christians within the Roman Catholic Church, but these good Christians are bad Roman Catholics who are saved in spite of the church’s teaching and not by it.

    If you believe that, then you are absolutely a waste of intellectual effort. That is so delusional that it’s not even answerable; you would have to be completely disconnected from any real experience of Catholic people to take that view.

  27. @Eric:
    See the Grisham article I linked in the reply to Robert.

    @Dr. Hart:

    Jonathan, I don’t think you want to there, that you may actually know better than Boniface, given all that has happened in 700 years. The charism is supposed to protect the church from error. So much better than merely Scripture and the Holy Spirit, you know. But if the charism can’t protect the Pope from himself, who knows what kind of error the papacy might get the church into. Can you say the Western Schism? Sure you can.

    It doesn’t protect the Church from error. It protects the Church from dogmatic error, which is a far narrower protection, but an essential one. Without that protection, there is no Christianity to protect.

  28. De Maria,

    Thanks for the exchange. I gave two reasons why my Pastor is Peter’s successor. Each reason was relevant to John 21:17 and Matt.16:17-19. In addition, my Pastor qualifies according to the following:

    London Baptist Confession

    8._____ A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons.
    ( Acts 20:17, 28; Philippians 1:1 )

    9._____ The way appointed by Christ for the calling of any person, fitted and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the office of bishop or elder in a church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself; and solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of the church, if there be any before constituted therein; and of a deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by prayer, and the like imposition of hands.
    ( Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 4:14; Acts 6:3, 5, 6 )
    ———————-

    My Pastor is superior to this papal line because he teaches another revealed truth unknown to you. Let’s have a contest between the infallible papal line and fallible Pastor Paul.

    De Maria contracted original sin.

    Is this a revealed truth of the deposit of faith ? If so, how do you know ? What does the papal line say ?

  29. Jonathan–

    If you are agreeing with the Jules Grisham paper, then it is just as I thought: you have no evidence for your allegation!

    Grisham cites the council’s anathematization of Theodore, and it condemns the heterodoxy of his exegesis NOT his exegetical methodology taken as a whole. Yes, Grisham does not directly pick up on this, but later he concludes that Theodore’s heterodoxical conclusions are a result of his having wed a heterodox doctrine of Scripture to his (what Grisham considers orthodox) exegetical methodology. In other words, even Grisham considers Theodore’s overall methodology to lack orthodoxy. So, no matter what else you may wish to say about the correspondence between Reformed methodology and Theodore’s, the grammatico-historical method itself was not pronounced upon by this council (especially since Reformed conclusions concerning Nestorianism would themselves have been found orthodox whereas Theodore’s were not).

  30. Jonathan–

    You said:

    “Yes, we’re all ‘enslaved.’ None of us can think. We are all Catholicized zombies oblivious to reality.”

    So good to see that the light has finally dawned, and you have recognized the truth of the matter. 😉

  31. Darryl, you write:

    Mateo, let’s get this straight. When we interpret the Bible it’s bad.

    Indeed, let us straighten out the nonsense that you are putting into my mouth. I have never said anything this silly.

    You have a bible, and you should read it, that is what I am telling you. As soon as you begin reading your bible, you will begin interpreting what you are reading. So no, when you interpret the bible that is NOT a bad thing, that is a good thing because it means you are actually reading the bible instead of just letting your bible sit on your bookshelf gathering dust.

    Concerning interpretation of the bible, it is you, not me, that has accepted Luther’s proposition that no man living in the post-apostolic age can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting the bible. If I accept the Luther’s proposition, then I have also tied myself to the proposition that neither you nor I can read the bible and have any certainty that our interpretations are without error. So what am I supposed to do when I privately interpret the bible and come to believe that your private interpretation is just plain wrong? By the standards of sola scriptura Protestants, I am supposed to follow my conscience, which means by your own Protestant standards I must reject what I sincerely believe to be your wrong headed interpretation of scriptures. By your own standards, I must reject Calvinism, because I think Calvinism is irreconcilable with my private interpretation of scriptures.

    I think that all men should look hard at Luther’s proposition that no man living in the post-apostolic age can infallibly interpret scriptures. How can anyone know if this proposition is true or false? The scriptures say no such thing, so Luther’s proposition can only be known to be infallibly taught doctrine by listening to a man that could speak infallibly on Luther’s proposition. But that is the very thing that can never happen, since Luther’s proposition is that no man can teach infallibly in the post-apostolic era. I would be utterly ridiculous for a man living in the post-apostolic to say that he is infallibly teaching that no man living in the post-apostolic era can teach infallibly. Even a small child can recognize the logical error in such a statement. This is precisely why I think that sola scriptura is an inane doctrine, because no man living in the post-apostolic era can ever know whether or not sola scriptura is true.

    I believe that it is quite possible for a man to propose an inane doctrine and then declare that the whole Reformation stands or falls on this inane doctrine. I believe that it is quite another thing to believe that God wants men to accept inane doctrines as the foundation of their faith.

  32. SS you write:

    As I have stated repeatedly at CCC, there most definitely is a need for authority, an authority which would address the danger of AC2, but it is a non sequitur to conclude that that authority must necessarily be the RCC.

    No one at CTC has ever argued otherwise.

    It is a much more reasonable position to hold that such an authority must be reached via a conciliar process, because that is the witness of the NT. … If there were such a conciliar process, with leadership elected by vote, and decisions made by the council, that would present a genuine MOC to the natural seeker to then make an assent of faith.

    Such a process would mean the repudiation of the idea that Ecumenical Councils can definitively settle doctrinal disputes.

    Suppose the Christian world followed your suggestion, and the final vote count of the Council was in favor of modified Mormonism. What would that prove? What if the next year, the anti-modified Mormonism faction rallied the troops and another “Council” was convoked, and in that “Council” everything that was taught in the previous “Council” was declared anathema? What would that prove?

    For Catholics and the Orthodox, valid Ecumenical Councils definitively settle doctrinal disputes. For Catholics and Orthodox to accept your proposal, they would have repudiate everything that they believe about Ecumenical Councils. You are not asking for the Catholics and the Orthodox to embrace the concillar process, you are asking Catholics and the Orthodox to abandon the concillar process in favor of a Protestantism where the Jewish and Gentile laity formulate the doctrine of the day.

  33. Mateo, you missed the point. You are interpreting church dogma. You are not a bishop. Plenty of bishops disagree with your interpretation. Roman Catholicism has as many opinions about the meaning of Roman Catholicism as Protestantism does about the Bible.

    If Protestants are wrong to opine, then you should simply keep quiet and post in the comm box the teachings of your bishop.

    In other words, you implicitly opine all the time and you think it’s okay when you do it even though opinions is what Protestants do. What happened to all this church authority and submission business?

  34. Jonathan, so Boniface VIII was wrong?

    And are you really saying that Unam Sanctam was not part of the dogma of the church? A lot of your church’s history before Vatican II was based on Boniface’s assertion.

    Plus, if you think Unam Sanctam was a problem, why are you so hostile to Oakley? The conciliarists thought Unam Sanctam’s high papalism was a problem (and it was since it set into motion the Western Schism). It doesn’t seem that you have figured this out.

    No problem, though. As long as your bishop has it figured out, your safe. Submit, don’t think.

  35. Jonathan,

    The ranting and raving only proves that your claims are foundationless.

    Cute on the “well I have friends who are black comment.” My Roman Catholic friends do not have to be patient with me because they don’t make the asinine claim of a principled distinction that solves all their problems. They actually recognize that they don’t gain anything epistemologically by being Roman Catholic because they recognize that Rome has changed its dogma over time, even contradicting itself DOGMATICALLY. They’re still wrong about theology, and we can debate that, but they don’t live in the land of make believe that you promote with the whole line about making principled distinctions.

    I could think of a half a dozen reasons for being Roman Catholic that are more valid than this absurd claim that Rome provides an answer to theological differences because of the charism of infallibility. It’s a claim that has no grounding in reality, though I admit it can provide a bit of security for the fundamentally insecure, though you are oddly secure that your fallible interpretation of infallible dogma is correct. The infallible Magisterium must still be interpreted fallibly, so all you do is switch a bunch of men in hats for the Word of God.

    I realize it is offense to say that Rome enslaves people to a false understanding of God and Christ. The gospel is offensive to the natural man. The only way out of that for you is to repent and believe it, and then flee the Roman Church like all get out.

    You wrote: I am flat out telling you that the popes are not always infallible even when they might think they are infallible.

    I know that it is what you believe. Which means the theory of infallibility is absolutely and completely worthless. You don’t get to determine when the pope is wrongly thinking he is infallible, but only the pope and the Magisterium do. If, as Dr. Hart points out, the church can for generations act like Unam Sanctum was dogma and then come to the realization it wasn’t, then infallibility is a meaningless concept, developed to keep people like you in line. The fact that you can try and make arguments doesn’t mean that you don’t check your brain at the CURRENT bishop’s door. It doesn’t matter what the current infallible pope thinks about whether or not his declaration is infallible but only whatever the future infallible pope thinks. It’s a convenient thing that allows your church to reverse itself dogmatically but claim continuity and development.

    Rome has nothing Protestantism can’t offer, and it obscures the gospel with a sacramental treadmill besides.

  36. @Dr. Hart:
    We’re talking past each other. I don’t reject Unam Sanctum; every Catholic does have to be subject to the authority of the Pope to be saved. To the extent that the conciliarists opposed that belief, they were wrong and (given papal infallibility) heretical for denying it.

    The question for Vatican II was the dogmatic status of Unam Sanctum relative to those who were never Catholic. Pope Boniface might well have thought that he could literally bind the entire world by his statement, but if he did, he was wrong about that, because it was outside the scope of his office. The Pope is the shepherd of the Catholic Church, not the ruler of the world. Consequently, the statement is only infallible and normative commensurate to the extent it is spoken ex cathedra, and that means as it is directed to the faithful.

    For the Catholics to whom it is addressed, no one can be saved without being subject to the authority of the Pope. If people incorrectly assumed that this means that literally no one in the world, as opposed to no one in the Catholic audience to whom it is addressed can be saved, then that person has overestimated the scope of papal infallibility. That was likely an honest mistake, but those mistakes should not be made after the definition of Vatican I, which limits the extent of papal infallibility.

  37. @Robert:
    Finally the real you comes out. Scary.

    I guess that we faithful Catholics must all be pretty stupid, falling for an “asinine” belief. Never mind that it isn’t our belief, just a straw man. And never mind that the people you are accusing of believing something “asinine” are hardly intellectual lightweights. We know what your real opinion is of people like me now.

    And you even went with the “why can’t you be more like Uncle Tom here?” follow-up to the “I have friends who are black” line. News flash: people who believe Catholic dogma contradicts itself are denying the Catholic faith. You know the one, that “asinine” belief that the Church actually believes what She teaches, the one to which we are “enslaved,” right?

    I knew you’d show your true colors eventually. And the offense you are giving doesn’t have one damn thing to do with the offense of the Gospel. It’s just your hatemongering that’s offensive.

  38. “Submit, don’t think”

    It is better to submit than to revolt, like Luther and Adam did, it had desastrous consequences.

    With his act, Adam preceded Luther, iow Adam was the first Protestant.

  39. Jonathan, I think you’re now talking past yourself. Sounds like I stand a better chance being saved if I am outside the RC Church since the pope’s words don’t apply to me.

    Um, this is not how any pope possibly considered his authority.

    And theologically it makes no sense. It is like saying those outside Christ will be saved because Christ only applies to those in Christ. But if Christ is the only way of salvation — like what RC’s used to think about the church — then joining the church, being baptized, and taking the sacraments is a big deal.

  40. Jonathan,

    You were peddling the notion of Calvin as a spiritual pornographer and Protestants as intellectual lightweights on these interwebs long before I went poking around. Have you not yet learned to stop being the pot that calls the kettle black.

    You can’t tell me that Rome has a principled distinction that matters and that it must be a visible infallible church and then turn around and tell me that the fact that this infallible visible body allows heretics to take the Eucharist should not be in any way a reason to doubt you. You can’t tell me that a Roman Catholic who ignores Roman Catholic teaching is a bad Roman Catholic when the Magisterium keeps him in good standing, which is what it does with Biden, Knitter, Ruether, Pelosi, et al. You gave up that right when you invested Rome with infallibility and the ability to make doctrinal distinctions in any meaningful sense. If Rome determines orthodoxy infallibly and won’t discipline its people, it basically means you can be a good Roman Catholic and believe whatever you want. There goes that whole principled distinction thing.

    The asinine, or better yet, ABSURD, idea is that Rome is supposed to settle doctrinal confusion except when it doesn’t, to be infallible except when it isn’t, or to be perspicuous except when it doesn’t need to be. The fact that a bunch of bad Protestants who think they’ve given up their Protestant ways of thinking and have a bunch of letters after their name can embrace this as intellectually and historically defensible doesn’t make it so. You can be an intellectual heavyweight and miss God and His revelation almost completely. See Plato, Aristotle, and any number of popes for more details.

    If the infallible pope can be wrong about when he is infallible, you essentially have Mormonism. It only matters what the current church says. Rome isn’t so nakedly bold to claim such, but that is what your position amounts to. Thank you for proving sola Ecclesia.

    My Roman Catholic friends are more humble. They don’t make these grandiose claims to infallibility. They actually live in the real world and not the land of make believe.

  41. Robert you said,

    If, as Dr. Hart points out, the church can for generations act like Unam Sanctum was dogma and then come to the realization it wasn’t, then infallibility is a meaningless concept, developed to keep people like you in line. The fact that you can try and make arguments doesn’t mean that you don’t check your brain at the CURRENT bishop’s door.

    Exactly… How pointing this out makes you a bigot, hate-monger, or “scary” is beyond me. Just know that I appreciate your willingness to take Jonathan’s acerbic tone in stride.

  42. @Brandon:
    “Keep people like you in line?” Check your brain at the door? Really? That’s OK with you?

    This is why I quit having these discussions. It depresses me to see people conduct themselves like this, in the name of religion of all things.

  43. @Dr. Hart:
    Your conclusion follows only if the part of natural graces with occasional extraordinary grace is easier than the path of the Church. It isn’t. Being in the Church does incur additional responsibilities, but to whom much is given, from them much is expected. As a tradeoff, it’s not close. I certainly would not trust myself to walk the narrow way with no light, and if I have to give obedience to be led, so be it.

  44. ERIC W September 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm
    De Maria,
    Thanks for the exchange. I gave two reasons why my Pastor is Peter’s successor. ….

    Yes, I know. And I repeat. Anyone can pick up a Bible and claim to follow its precepts. But Jesus did not write a Bible. He didn’t write a word of Scripture.

    Jesus established a Church, taught His Doctrines and commanded that Church to teach His Doctrines to the world. It is this Church which wrote the New Testament based upon Jesus’ Doctrines and continues to teach His Word to the world to this day.

    Your group is a member or follower of the group which rebelled and rejected the Church which Jesus Christ established. Their authority is not based upon Christ but upon their own, man made system.

    My Pastor is superior to this papal line because he teaches another revealed truth unknown to you.

    The truths taught by the Catholic Church are the revealed Truths of Christ. Anything which your Pastor teachers which and which contradicts the Church is an error and a novelty.

    Let’s have a contest between the infallible papal line and fallible Pastor Paul.

    Ok.

    De Maria contracted original sin.
    Is this a revealed truth of the deposit of faith ?

    Yes. Assuming that you mean the same thing by the term “original sin” as that which the Church teaches:
    402 All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.”289 The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.”290

    If so, how do you know ?

    The Church tells me so:
    Ephesians 3:10
    King James Version (KJV)
    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    What does the papal line say ?

    That men are subject to original sin:
    404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man”.293 By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” – a state and not an act.

    Now, what does your Pastor say?

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  45. Jonathan,
    So I have a question related to the thread you and Robert and Dr. Hart are discussing. If popes can think they’re infallible when they really aren’t, do you allow that they can then promulgate doctrine to the faithful *with an intent and interpretation* they consider infallible at the time (and enforce accordingly at the time), but upon reflection much later it is determined by the church not to have actually been so?

    My main concern is with papal/church-endorsed teaching or practices that certainly seem to have some type of impact in the faith/morals realm (where infallibility applies). For example, the Jewish ghettos and anti-semitic actions endorsed by lateran and subsequent popes for centuries. You will (I presume) say these are not infallible in the same way disciplinary canons are not infallible and that they are just bad prudential judgments (putting it mildly). But certainly these impacted in a very real way the moral sense of the faithful – would a catholic who stood up and protested these actions (and again we’re talking centuries of all types of shameful conduct) not be punished and viewed as going against the faith?

    Similarly, the oft-cited example of indulgences for the crusades. If this was viewed as a mistake in retrospect, what of all the faithful who followed authority sincerely? Do not indulgences directly relate to faith and morals? And again if someone protested this teaching at the time, would he not be punished and viewed as disobeying divinely-given authority?

    You can multiply this out to many examples of authoritative teaching that may or may not have been viewed as infallible at the time, but later was viewed as mistaken. Is the thought that since RCs are to submit to church authority even when not infallible (as laid out in lumen gentium and donum veritatis), that although the authority might be in error in certain disciplines/practices/ideas it endorses/promulgates at certain times, those errors would never be so grave or wrong to such a degree as to be harmful to one’s soul who follows it? That might be plausible, but given the above examples and others throughout history that seem to have a direct impact on one’s moral sense and guidance, it seems it cannot satisfy the historical record entirely. Thoughts?

  46. JD–

    Good question. I have asked it before myself and heard no response other than deafening silence.

    How does one explain away generation after generation of the Magisterium that countenances, embraces, administers, and adjudicates the slave trade? Several popes owned their own personal slaves.

    Who is the “bad guy” in the movie, The Mission, if not the Catholic Magisterium itself?

  47. +JMJ+

    DGHart wrote:

    Jonathan, I think you’re now talking past yourself. Sounds like I stand a better chance being saved if I am outside the RC Church since the pope’s words don’t apply to me.
    Um, this is not how any pope possibly considered his authority.
    And theologically it makes no sense. It is like saying those outside Christ will be saved because Christ only applies to those in Christ. But if Christ is the only way of salvation — like what RC’s used to think about the church — then joining the church, being baptized, and taking the sacraments is a big deal.

    Oy vey! This really isn’t all that hard. The reason why Unam Sanctam is directed to Catholics (other than the fact that all Magisterial statements are intra-Ecclesial) is because the prime motivator for the Natural Man to enter the Church is not so that he can be united to the Roman Pontiff/Magisterium. Rather, the prime motivator is for him to enter the Church is so that he may be united to the intrinsically-salvific Christic Culture. Subjection to the Roman Pontiff is but a necessary consequence of Initiation and moral responsibility of the Initiated.

    So, Unam Sanctam is not directed to the Unbaptized because the message to them is not “You must be subject to me/the Petrine Office”, but rather, the Church’s message to them (i.e. the Gospel) is “You must be united to Us.”

  48. Brandon,

    Thanks. I can get acerbic at times as well, which is not always necessarily becoming but sometimes it’s warranted given the grandiose and unsupported claims that are made. The problem is that Jonathan dishes it out, but then when it is given back to him, he gets all pouty. Elsewhere he’s covered all Protestants with the blanket charge of being ignoramuses, and called Calvin’s writings spiritual pornography. He seems to particularly hate Reformed Protestantism. That’s something we haven’t seen before (cue eyes rolling).

  49. Darryl, you write:

    Mateo, you missed the point. You are interpreting church dogma.

    What point am I missing? If I read a document in which a church dogma is explicated, then by the very act of reading it, I am also interpreting it. Lay catechists (like me) are encouraged by their bishops to read and study the documents of Vatican II.

    You are not a bishop.

    Right, I am not a bishop. So what? Neither are you. I am totally missing your point in bringing up this fact.

    Plenty of bishops disagree with your interpretation.

    Says who? I quoted and interpreted LG 14 and LG 16. You are now making an assertion about my reading comprehension skills. According to you, there are plenty of bishops that disagree with me over the interpretation of LG 14 and LG 16 that I gave to you. But I think that what you are saying is bunk. I don’t think that you can name even one Catholic bishop that quotes LG 14 and LG 16 and then interprets LG 14 and LG 16 in any way that is different than the interpretation that I gave to you.

    If Protestants are wrong to opine.

    Who is saying that Protestants are wrong to opine? Not me! Protestants should read the bible, and if Protestants talk about the bible they are inevitably going to offer their opinions about what they think the bible teaches. But the Protestants that accept Luther’s sola scriptura proposition are claiming that no man living in the post-apostolic era can ever interpret the bible infallibly under any conceivable circumstance. When a Protestant tells me that no man living in the post-apostolic era can ever interpret the bible infallibly, then I take him at his word. When that Protestant opines about the meaning of a verse of scripture, I take his opinion in the way that it is offered – a sincere and well intentioned opinion that is in no way offered to me as an infallible interpretation of scriptures.

    In other words, you implicitly opine all the time and you think it’s okay when you do it even though opinions is what Protestants do.

    Let me repeat, there is nothing wrong with either you or me giving an opinion about what a verse of scriptures might mean, or what the meaning of document of the Catholic Church might mean.

    What happened to all this church authority and submission business?

    For me, nothing has changed. On the other hand, John Calvin, Martin Luther and Menno Simmons were once like me, members of the Catholic Church. The difference between me and these three men is that I don’t think my personal opinions are the ultimate temporal authority that determines for the rest of the world what constitutes the orthodox doctrines of Christianity. I am willing to submit my personal opinions about the meaning of scripture to the judgment of the church personally founded by Jesus Christ, and these three men were not.

  50. Mateo, your claims of papal infallibility are not plausible. So where does that leave us? Please also remember there was a time when the magisterium kept you from reading the Bible. Welcome to the modern world — that Piux IX condemned.

  51. Jonathan, huh?

  52. Jonathan — “This is why I quit having these discussions. ”

    Me — if only.

  53. Wosbald, tell that to Jonathan who seems to think the magisterium’s dogma doesn’t apply to those outside the RCC.

  54. Mateo, in case you missed it, our host’s faith is premised on Protestantism being only opinion. So what makes your opinion or interpretation of church dogma any more than what a Protestant does? Go ahead. Quote church teaching. But don’t interpret. It’s not your vocation.

  55. +JMJ+

    DGHart wrote:

    Wosbald, tell that to Jonathan who seems to think the magisterium’s dogma doesn’t apply to those outside the RCC.

    I don’t think that you’re sussing out my meaning, and playing D&D sure ain’t helping you in that endeavor.

    Even more than Magisterial Dogma not applying to the Unbaptized, the very intra-Ecclesial function of the Magisterium doesn’t apply to them. All that applies to the Unbaptized is the Church’s universal invitation to “Come and See!”.

    I suggest that you go back and cross-reference this with my last post.

  56. @JD:

    My main concern is with papal/church-endorsed teaching or practices that certainly seem to have some type of impact in the faith/morals realm (where infallibility applies).

    This is what most non-Catholics (and even some Catholics) get wrong about infallibility. Infallibility does not apply generally to anything that has to do with faith and morals. The actual definition of when infallibility applies is “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” Doctrines are principles, eternal unchanging truths. Practices simply cannot teach doctrine; practice by definition deals with specific cases, and one can’t define an eternal unchanging principle from a single case.

    If you don’t make that distinction, you can’t understand the Catholic belief. Too many people think that everything the Pope says relevant to faith and morals must be infallible, but it only applies when defining doctrines, those eternal and unchanging principles that are part of the apostolic deposit. So let’s get that right first.

    Turning back to the first question…

    If popes can think they’re infallible when they really aren’t, do you allow that they can then promulgate doctrine to the faithful *with an intent and interpretation* they consider infallible at the time (and enforce accordingly at the time), but upon reflection much later it is determined by the church not to have actually been so?

    Sure. Infallibility has been both ignored and overrated at times, and not just by popes. There was a Franciscan theory that the establishment of religious orders was infallible, which theory was rejected by a Pope. As with many concepts, the Church had to work out the parameters by experience.

    But certainly these impacted in a very real way the moral sense of the faithful – would a catholic who stood up and protested these actions (and again we’re talking centuries of all types of shameful conduct) not be punished and viewed as going against the faith?

    Ask St. Joan of Arc. I don’t say that be to glib or dismissive either. The answer is yes, sometimes the reformers were unjustly punished. But many times such protests at least left the corrupt bishops too ashamed to punish the one speaking the truth, although rarely so ashamed that they amended their behavior.

    I’ll give you another direct example that is conceded by the Church in the Catechism:
    2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.91

    2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

    It seems to me that if the hierarchy of the Church can make a mistake on an issue (i.e., where infallibility doesn’t apply), the hierarchy is no less likely to do so than any other human institution. And infallibility, while important, is nonetheless a very narrow protection. The problem is that once the doctrines start getting whittled away, then there is nothing left to save, no reason to reform. That’s why I could never be Protestant. If Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism can both be wrong on the doctrinal core, then I have no reason to believe that the Gospel is a true deliverance of divine revelation.

    So, yes, all of these things were terrible, but never so terrible that they were worth rejecting what was true. The doctrine of Christ is more important than any of those things …. the torture, the slavery, all the uncountable wrongs that have ever been done by Christians in Christ’s name. That’s a hard teaching, but a true one.

  57. @Dr. Hart:

    Jonathan — “This is why I quit having these discussions. ”

    Me — if only.

    There may come a point where I consider myself to have nothing of value to add that outweighs the general unpleasantness of dealing with anti-Catholics. I’m not there yet.

    @Robert:

    I can get acerbic at times as well, which is not always necessarily becoming but sometimes it’s warranted given the grandiose and unsupported claims that are made.

    Yep, all those uppity Catholics talking about their faith in Jesus. Who can blame you for wanting to put them in their place?

    Oh, and by the way, I’m downright gleeful, not pouty, when an anti-Catholic snaps and lets the hate flag fly. Once that “unbecoming” (or, let’s face it, just plain ugly) side emerges, then we don’t have to play this little game anymore where you pretend to be reasonable about Catholicism and I pretend that you are capable of being reasonable. From now on, you’re just Raving Robert Rothwell.

  58. dghart keeps repeating the same old stuff. Catholics on this blog and others have charitably and patiently interacted with him, and have shown him where his arguments err. If they’re wrong, he certainly hasn’t proven them wrong. He just keeps denying and denying and then repeating himself over and over. Unam Sanctum, Trent, separated brethren, Catholics have to interpret ecclesial documents so they’re secretly just like Protestants, blah blah blah.

    I must have read dozens of refutations of those lame arguments by now, and I’m bewildered why he’s just not getting it. I am not a trained logician, philosopher, or theologian, but *I* get those Catholic counterarguments. Why not you, dghart? Again, if you think they’re wrong, can you point me to where you have dealt with them reasonably and not just with bluff and denial???

  59. Jonathan,

    Oh, and by the way, I’m downright gleeful, not pouty, when an anti-Catholic snaps and lets the hate flag fly. Once that “unbecoming” (or, let’s face it, just plain ugly) side emerges, then we don’t have to play this little game anymore where you pretend to be reasonable about Catholicism and I pretend that you are capable of being reasonable. From now on, you’re just Raving Robert Rothwell.

    No, I’m reasonable with those who are reasonable. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve generally been respectful to Susan, Wosbald, and others who don’t throw out charges of bigotry or intellectual incompetence to the Reformed tradition or Protestantism in general. I was even respectful to you at first. My mistake in thinking that you had learned anything from your encounters with James White, Steve Hays or anyone else. Fool me twice…

    Of course, defending my reasonableness to an unreasonable man is perhaps a tad unreasonable.

  60. JD,

    FWIW, this is my problem with the infallibility of the church. Jonathan wrote:

    Infallibility does not apply generally to anything that has to do with faith and morals.

    As with many concepts, the Church had to work out the parameters by experience.

    I suppose the first point is fine enough, although it does open the door for Rome to wiggle its way out of anything. If Rome is called on error, it can always say “Well, that aspect of faith and morals was not being infallibly taught, so there really is no problem with the church and it’s self-understanding. Now, listen to the church.”

    The second point also means that practically speaking, all that matters is what the Magisterium of the Moment says. How do we know the church is not still working out the parameters? We don’t.

    The issue is that on the one hand, Jason, Jonathan, and others want to tell us that Protestant epistemology is deficient because it does not have an infallible guide or any way to determine fixed parameters. But then their own definition of infallibility does not allow them truly to say “the church has always believed this” or to have fixed parameters. Point this out, and they run to define infallibility so narrowly that the church can never be truly wrong.

    If the infallible Magisterium can be wrong about when it is infallible, the Magisterium is fallible even when it says it is infallible. That’s different from Protestantism how?

    To Jonathan’s credit, he at least recognizes points where the church has erred. The problem is that he can only recognize this living in the twenty-first century after the church has come to the conclusion it has erred. He can’t know with certainty today where the church is leading him astray on a matter of faith and morals.

    It’s a shell game designed to render the church hierarchy immune to criticism, and it makes the Magisterium irreformable. One might be able to believe that the Magisterium will never need a reformation of doctrine, but that is a purely fideistic stance that puts the Roman Catholic in a position where it can never experience true reform. And it makes it impossible for Rome to ever offer anything like true repentance. Which is why Roman Catholic-non-Roman Catholic dialogue is a sham on an institutional level. Until Rome admits its fallibility, its goal will always be to make sure that all who profess the name of Christ submit to the ultimate jurisdictional authority of its Magisterium. And it is that claim that provoked the split with the East and the Protestant Reformation, both events that were mostly Rome’s fault.

  61. @Robert:

    I was even respectful to you at first.

    Keep digging, Raving Robert. Your respect for Catholics apparently has a time limit, and your judgment of what is “reasonable” is “being nice to Protestant beliefs.” Then the Catholic becomes unreasonable, dishonest, unregenerate, blindly obedient to the Magisterium, duped, etc., etc.; all of the venomous anti-Catholic stereotypes come flowing out, and you aren’t respectful like you were “at first.” Since I am not any nicer to Protestant beliefs than I am to any other belief that I consider unwise, reckless, or dangerous, whether it’s Marxism, liberalism, or whatever, your type of anti-Catholic Protestant shifts out of respectful mode and goes into raving mode pretty quickly.

    And yes, I did learn from James White and Steve Hays that there still were Protestants like this out there, which is why I recognized it in you. I knew about it intellectually from Karl Keating’s _Catholicism and Fundamentalism_, but it’s one thing to know the possibility, and other to see it up close. I don’t see this kind of emotional behavior in any other context, so it’s an education for me.

  62. Darryl You write:

    Mateo, your claims of papal infallibility are not plausible.

    Not plausible to whom? This isn’t even a rational statement.

    Luther expounded the proposition that no men in the post-apostolic age can interpret the sacred scriptures infallibly. Luther’s sola scriptura proposition is plausible. Luther’s proposition might be true. Whether or not it is true is a different question altogether from whether or not Luther’s proposition is plausible. If it is true, then no man living in the post-apostolic age can ever know that it is true, because claiming that Luther’s sola scriptura proposition is an infallibly taught doctrine of the Christian faith wouldn’t be plausible. It wouldn’t be plausible because of two things, one Luther is a man that lived in the post-apostolic era, and two the sacred scriptures nowhere teach that men living in the post-apostolic era can never interpret the sacred scriptures infallibly. Which why it always makes my head spin when men living in the post-apostolic era attempt to infallibly interpret the scriptures to “prove” that Luther’s proposition is an infallibly taught doctrine of orthodox Christianity.

    Of course Luther’s proposition could also be false. There could be, in fact, men that live in the post-apostolic era that can infallibly interpret the bible. That proposition is also plausible. Darryl, the very fact that you cannot see that the counter- proposition is plausible is telling me something about you – it tells me that you don’t know to distinguish a logical argument from your personal opinions.

    So where does that leave us?

    Apparently it leaves me or someone else with the task of trying to teach you how respond logically to a logical argument.

    Mateo, in case you missed it, our host’s faith is premised on Protestantism being only opinion.

    Again, you demonstrate that you are not able to distinguish a logical argument from your own opinions about things. It is not Jason Stellman’s opinion that any man that accepts Luther’s sola scriptura proposition must also concede that his own post-apostolic interpretations can never be said to be taught infallibly. That assertion is just the logical consequence that follows for men living in the post-apostolic if Luther’s proposition is true.

    So what makes your opinion or interpretation of church dogma any more than what a Protestant does?

    The logical fallacy that you are committing here is called begging the question. You assume that I must accept Luther’s proposition, and then defend my beliefs from that starting point. But the truthfulness of Luther’s proposition and its logical consequences are what we are arguing about.

    If Luther’s proposition is true, then it logically follows that all my interpretations about the meaning of the sacred are have the same status as every other man that lives in the post-apostolic era. That is true whether these post-apostolic men are Catholics, Muslims, Protestants, or Satanists. If Luther’s proposition is true, then my interpretations of the sacred scriptures cannot be said to be infallibly taught interpretations of scriptures any more than a Protestant’s or a Satanist’s interpretation of sacred scripture could be said to be infallibly taught interpretations of sacred Scriptures.

    On the other hand, if Luther’s proposition is false, then the men who can teach infallibly what constitutes a correct interpretations of the sacred scriptures can judge my personal interpretations of the sacred scriptures. In principle, I can take my personal interpretation to these men and I can ask them the question, “Is my interpretation of the sacred scriptures correct?” If they say “no”, I change my opinion, and then ask them, “Is my new interpretation correct?” I can keep doing that until I receive a “yes” answer. Then I will know that my interpretation is correct, because I don’t have to interpret a “yes” to mean anything other than “yes”.

    Which brings up a point that I want to clarify. I said earlier that bibles cannot be said to be infallible, because infallibility is a charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit that allows men to interpret the bible without error. I said that the guarantee of the veracity of an interpretation comes from the Holy Spirit through men exercising the charismatic gift of infallibility. But bibles could be infallible if bibles came with something like the Urim and Thumin. The Urim and Thumin could, in principle, provide the same function of as men exercising the charismatic gift of infallibly. Instead of asking men who can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility if my interpretation of the scriptures is correct, I could use the Urim and Thumin to divine whether or not my interpretation is correct. All the Urim and Thumin would need to do is indicate a “yes” or “no” answer when I used the Urim and Thumin to divine whether or not my interpretation of the sacred scriptures is correct. “Oh, Urim and Thumin, is my interpretation of the sacred scriptures correct?” The Urim and Thumin could glow if the answer is “yes” and not glow if the answer is “no”. I could keep using the Urim and Thumin to divine until I got a “yes” answer. Then I would know with certainty that my interpretation was inerrant. Casting lots, or throwing fleeces could also be used in place of the Urim and Thumin if God wanted use those things for the function of divining whether or not an interpretation of sacred scriptures is correct.

    I bring up this up now, because I want to point out that the last time we see objects being used in the sacred scriptures as a divination tool is in Acts chapter 1, where the apostles cast lots to determine between Justus and Mathais as to whom God wants to fill the office left vacant by Judas’s suicide. This divination by lots happens before the apostles and the hundred and twenty men and women are baptized in the Holy Spirit. After the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the church is guided exclusively by the Holy Spirit, and divination by objects is never again mentioned again in the New Testament.

    Luther’s sola scriptura proposition is really nothing more than the assertion that God gave men the gift of sacred scriptures, and then withheld from men all means of guidance from the Holy Spirit when trying to determine whether or not a private interpretation of the sacred scriptures is infallible.

    Go ahead. Quote church teaching. But don’t interpret. It’s not your vocation.

    Darryl, the logical error here is that this is a straw man argument. You have created a straw man that the magisterium of the Catholic church teaches that the Catholic laity must never read either the scriptures or the documents produced by the Catholic Church. I have already pointed out to you the absurdity of this straw man argument, and yet, here again, you have returned to it without addressing anything that I have said to you.

    Please also remember there was a time when the magisterium kept you from reading the Bible.

    .
    Darryl, now you have made both the logical errors of the straw man argument, and the irrelevant appeal. It seems to me that you are trying your best to sidetrack this thread down into rabbit holes that have nothing to do with the topic under discussion.

    Why don't you just admit that if Luther's proposition is true, then it also must be true that every interpretation of scriptures that I can get from a Protestant sect is merely a matter of an expressed opinion that can never rise to the status of infallibly taught doctrine.

  63. Please stop calling each other names. We’re not third-graders here.

  64. @Jason:
    Well, I’m out. Mockery is pretty much all I’ve got for for this type, and I’d actually rather forget they exist altogether. Thanks for opening the forum, and sorry for not having more tolerance. But like I said, seeing people like this really drags me down.

  65. Jonathan,

    There’s no rule that says you can’t just pick one or two interlocutors and interact only with them. Just sayin.’

  66. Mateo,

    It will do no good to make DG Hart aware of his inability to grasp a logical argument. He will just call you a robot and ask personal questions about your love life.

    – dp

  67. dp, what are your turn-ons?

  68. Darryl,

    Smart-ass Presby pseudo-scholars.

  69. Darryl,

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies make me hot.

    “Yeah, baby, yeah!”

  70. DP,

    Disagree with Hart if you want to. I don’t agree with him on everything, and I’m also Reformed. But before you call him a pseudo-scholar, ask yourself how many books you’ve published and then how many of your books were published by Yale University Press.

  71. dp, antinomian.

  72. Jonathan–

    I feel your pain. I’m pretty much at the end of my rope, as well. I believe my frustration has to do with a disinclination to be constantly butting heads over epistemology. I’d much rather be discussing your informed opinion as opposed to my informed opinion of church history and biblical exegesis and systematics.

    Secular scientists get fighting mad discussing evolution with the ID crowd because their informed opinions get trumped by the “God of the gaps” and…how does one respond to that? I happen to think ID is probably right, but they’re going to have to find better ways to discuss it (and come up with some real science to back it).

    Scientists of faith must present their findings in the marketplace of ideas, and that necessitates employing methodological naturalism despite their maintenance in a belief in the supernatural.

    Couldn’t you all just keep your beliefs in “infallibility” to yourselves? I’m becoming more and more convinced that it’s the only way forward if our goal is a civil dialogue on theology.

  73. Hi Jonathan,
    You wrote:

    Is it doctrine that Christ walked the Earth and was resurrected? How is that an eternal, unchanging truth? It seems that view/distinction does not allow for any infallible dogma centered in history then.

    Also, are canonizations infallible? Ott seems to think so. If so, how is that reconciled with ancient saints who have been removed or “demoted” based on study indicating much of their life sprang from legends or dubious history and they may not have ever even existed? I’m aware that infallibility would not apply to the reasoning/justification for the canonization of a saint (similar to how arguments leading to an infallible declaration are themselves not infallible), but the fact that a saint could be widely approved/invoked for centuries, but then be noted as more of a legend or someone who may not have existed seems problematic. Thanks.

  74. Oops I meant to quote from Jonathan:

    “This is what most non-Catholics (and even some Catholics) get wrong about infallibility. Infallibility does not apply generally to anything that has to do with faith and morals. The actual definition of when infallibility applies is “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” Doctrines are principles, eternal unchanging truths. Practices simply cannot teach doctrine; practice by definition deals with specific cases, and one can’t define an eternal unchanging principle from a single case. ”

    before the rest of my statement.

  75. Robert,

    Ad hominem.

    Hey look, I just refuted you with a snarky one- liner. Maybe I can get published by YUP too!

    But perhaps I could learn “respectable disagreement” from your responses to Mr. Prejean.

  76. DGHART September 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm
    Mateo, in case you missed it, our host’s faith is premised on Protestantism being only opinion.

    You love to twist the truth. I’ve read what Jason has wrote on many topics on theology and he has expressed many and varied reasons to leave Protestantism behind.

    So what makes your opinion or interpretation of church dogma any more than what a Protestant does?

    We didn’t pit our opinion against yours. We have pit the Doctrines of the Catholic Church against the doctrines of the Protestants by comparing them to the Word of God in Scripture. We found that Catholic Doctrine was completely in line with Scripture and that Protestant doctrine contradicted Scripture whenever it contradicted Catholic Doctrine.

    Go ahead. Quote church teaching. But don’t interpret. It’s not your vocation.

    We don’t interpret Catholic Teaching. We obey Catholic Teaching.

    Whereas, you interpret the Scriptures in a manner which contradicts the Word of God. And anytime you want to go down the line doctrine by doctrine, I will show you. Any doctrine which you hold in contradiction to the Catholic Church, is also in contradiction to the Word of God.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  77. DGHART September 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm
    dp, what are your turn-ons?

    As for me, I love to debunk faux theologians like yourself. Lets go down the line and compare Protestant doctrine to Scripture. C’mon. Every doctrine which you hold in contradiction of the Catholic Church, contradicts the Word of God.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  78. Dp,

    jJonathan and I have been going back and forth for months, if you care to read any of the other posts. He’s had at least one epic meltdown, and can dish it out but can’t take it. If one is going to call Calvin spiritual pornography and accuse numbers of men of being bigots and misrepresenting facts groundlessly like he does, one also must be prepared not to run away and whine when one’s argument is called foolish.

    If you don’t like Dr. Hart or think his scholarship is poor, then prove it by argument. Don’t just accuse published authors of being pseudo-scholars.

  79. Who said I didn’t like Dr. Hart? I find him almost as entertaining as he is exasperating; he’s one of the reasons I still read CCC and CTC, given that I don’t have much of a dog in the fight. I assume he took my comments in stride and had a good laugh.

    For someone who’s described Catholic beliefs as “asinine,” “absurd,” and “enslaving,” and described various Catholic interlocutors here as “dishonest,” “white-washers,” and living in “la la land,” I’m a little surprised that you would take such exception to my comments. Hundreds, if not thousands, of published authors held to these “asinine and absurd” beliefs. Does that ever give you pause in your passive-aggressive swipes in this combox?

  80. De Maria,

    Good thing you’re refuting falsehood. Your holy fathers aren’t.

  81. @Jason:
    That’s a fair point, but there’s really no easy way to stop reading it without disrupting the flow of the thread. Heck, Robert’s still taking personal shots at me, and I’m not even talking to him.

    Besides, I do think Calvin is one of the great Bad Guys of human history. Not genocidal ruler bad, but down there with Marx and the Borgias, rotten apples who genuinely and intentionally wrecked the common good. Probably doesn’t make sense for me to hang around people I wouldn’t give the time of day in Real Life (TM).

  82. Jonathan,

    Besides, I think the institution of the papacy is one of the great evils of human history. One that intentionally and genuinely has destroyed the common good and promoted heresy. That makes me a bigot but your view of Calvin doesn’t make you one?

    Just looking for a little consistency, that’s all.

  83. @Jason:
    Also, I disapprove of how the website practices necromancy. According to Robert, I have managed to personally insult Calvin, so his spirit must have been summoned here somehow.

  84. Jonathan,

    Quite frankly, I don’t really care what you think of Calvin. What is galling to me is that you can say something like this

    I do think Calvin is one of the great Bad Guys of human history. Not genocidal ruler bad, but down there with Marx and the Borgias, rotten apples who genuinely and intentionally wrecked the common good.

    and be a level-headed, rational, warm-hearted guide who is just out to humbly show Protestants the error of their ways while I can say this:

    the e Roman Catholic system enslaves people to a false understanding of God’s love and holiness, and therefore makes it impossible for one to knowingly affirm Roman Catholic doctrine and be saved.

    and yet I am a hot-headed, irrational, anti-Catholic bigot ignoramus.

    Do you honestly not see how self-righteous and that makes you look?

    Seems to me if you were to apply the same standard you apply to me that you apply to yourself, then I am not an anti-Catholic bigot. Or, if you were to apply the same standard you apply to yourself that you apply to me, then you are an irrational anti-Protestant bigot. Which is it?

    Up and down the posts on this site, you’ve charged Protestants with ignorance, maliciousness, foolishness and more. You’ve done it elsewhere online. But the minute someone does the same to you, you get all wounded and your religious sensibilities are suddenly offended and you despair of the possibility of rational communication. Apply your standards consistently, or don’t dish it out if you can’t take it in return.

  85. DGHART September 6, 2013 at 2:25 am
    De Maria,
    Good thing you’re refuting falsehood. Your holy fathers aren’t.

    Wow? You’ve really raised the bar for Protestant apologetics since you’ve been on this forum. I hope that Robert, Eric and SS will strive to achieve your heights of logical argumentation….

    Not really.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  86. @Robert:
    I’ll speak to that one, because it goes to the climate of general disrespect for Catholics.

    When you articulate a “Catholic” belief or mental state (such as being “enslaved”) that isn’t my belief or mental state, that’s ignorance.

    When you refuse to accept correction on what *my* belief is based on what Catholics allegedly “have to believe” or what the Magisterium supposedly requires of me, that’s bigotry.

    When you repeatedly assert the same false ascription of belief after the bigotry has been pointed out to you, that’s malice.

    This has nothing to do with the merits of the argument or how wrong you think the other person’s beliefs are. Those steps are wrong, no matter what the disagreement.

    I don’t do that to people. I may think that they are as wrong as wrong could be, but I don’t tell them what they believe, and I don’t ignore what they say their beliefs are. That’s because I respect their dignity as human beings. No matter how ignorant, irrational or incompetent someone is, he at least deserves the ability to say what he believes and not to have his statements reinterpreted against his will.

  87. SS: “As I have stated repeatedly at CCC, there most definitely is a need for authority, an authority which would address the danger of AC2, but it is a non sequitur to conclude that that authority must necessarily be the RCC.”

    Mateo: No one at CTC has ever argued otherwise.

    You may believe that it is reasonable to believe the claimed MOC for the authority of the CC, but as I have shown, it is actually unreasonable to believe them.

    SS: It is a much more reasonable position to hold that such an authority must be reached via a conciliar process, because that is the witness of the NT. … If there were such a conciliar process, with leadership elected by vote, and decisions made by the council, that would present a genuine MOC to the natural seeker to then make an assent of faith.

    Mateo: Such a process would mean the repudiation of the idea that Ecumenical Councils can definitively settle doctrinal disputes.

    No, it would only repudiate the idea that ecumenical councils void of Jewish believers in their own right (not converts to Protestantism or Catholicism) have any validity whatsoever.

    Suppose the Christian world followed your suggestion, and the final vote count of the Council was in favor of modified Mormonism. What would that prove? What if the next year, the anti-modified Mormonism faction rallied the troops and another “Council” was convoked, and in that “Council” everything that was taught in the previous “Council” was declared anathema? What would that prove?

    Any believer in the first century could have made the very same argument: “Suppose that James’ and the council’s final vote was for us gentiles to be circumcised! Can you imagine? What would that prove?” So what does YOUR argument prove here? It only shows unbelief and an unwillingness to follow the pattern established for us by the disciples. By the way, catholic history shows the very thing you are objecting to re declaring past councils anathema: consider the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449 A.D. repudiated by Chaceldon in 451…

    For Catholics and the Orthodox, valid Ecumenical Councils definitively settle doctrinal disputes. For Catholics and Orthodox to accept your proposal, they would have repudiate everything that they believe about Ecumenical Councils. You are not asking for the Catholics and the Orthodox to embrace the concillar process, you are asking Catholics and the Orthodox to abandon the concillar process in favor of a Protestantism where the Jewish and Gentile laity formulate the doctrine of the day.

    I am asking Catholics and Orthodox to embrace the conciliar process as it is outlined in Scripture, a process which saw leadership from the natural branches as an integral part of the proceedings. The fact that both CC and EO cannot admit that reeks of a replacement theology that is rotten at the core and which even at the natural level, confounds the honest inquirer. He goes from seeing Peter, Paul, James, John, et al, Jews, in a position of leadership to them being repudiated and replaced by a sprawling roman empire, and you want to tell him that that’s a motive of credibility for your church? You are out of your mind and the gentile church has drunk the kool aid for too long now. Your councils have been gentile/convert only affairs and outside the will of God as a result, who justifies both Jew and Gentile equally by faith. Further, we gentiles were brought into the commonwealth of Israel, not other way around, as Paul says in Romans 11.

  88. Author: SS
    Comment:
    You may believe that it is reasonable to believe the claimed MOC for the authority of the CC, but as I have shown,

    You haven’t shown anything. You have simply expressed an opinion which has been refuted repeatedly.

    it is actually unreasonable to believe them.

    It is unreasonable to believe that a religion which was established 2000 years after Christ was born, died, resurrected and ascended into heaven suddenly discovered the true meaning of Scripture.

    SS: It is a much more reasonable position to hold that such an authority must be reached via a conciliar process, because that is the witness of the NT. …

    The witness of the NT is that Jesus Christ established the Church and gave the Church the authority to make disciples in the entire world:
    Matthew 28:18-20
    King James Version (KJV)
    18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    This is not something which was up to conciliar discussion or debate. And Jesus Christ established the hierarchy int he Church, placing one man as Chief over the entire Church:
    Matthew 16:18-19
    King James Version (KJV)
    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

    The conciliar process works within the parameters of that authority structure which Jesus Christ established.

    If there were such a conciliar process, with leadership elected by vote, and decisions made by the council, that would present a genuine MOC to the natural seeker to then make an assent of faith.

    Jesus Christ gave authority to the Church to establish any process it saw fit to select any further leaders.

    No, it would only repudiate the idea that ecumenical councils void of Jewish believers in their own right (not converts to Protestantism or Catholicism) have any validity whatsoever.

    The Catholic Church is the authoritative institution established by Jesus Christ. Protestants and Jews and anybody else who is permitted any say in Catholic matters will have only insofar as the Church permits.

    I am asking Catholics and Orthodox to embrace the conciliar process as it is outlined in Scripture, ….

    The Catholic Church follows the Scripture more closely than ANY other religion. Including your Messianic Judaism. You are not asking Catholics and Orthodox to embrace the Scriptures. You are asking them to embrace your INTERPRETATION of the Scriptures. These two are absolutely different.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  89. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    No, it would only repudiate the idea that ecumenical councils void of Jewish believers in their own right (not converts to Protestantism or Catholicism) have any validity whatsoever.

    What about Jewish believers without Gentiles in their own right? Would that be valid? Or do the Jews need Gentiles for validity?

  90. What about Jewish believers without Gentiles in their own right? Would that be valid? Or do the Jews need Gentiles for validity?

    What was the pattern established in the NT? Answer this and you will answer your own questions.

    ‘hint’/here’s your sign:

    – Ya’akov
    – Kephas
    – Shaul

    -Titus
    – Timothy

    et al.

  91. SS,

    The plan of Jesus Christ is to extend His mission to the whole world from where He began His own human ministry of salvation. It was a mission of preaching, discipleship, baptizing, sacramenting, authority, and communion. It was to begin from Jerusalem and reach all nations.

    We know St. Paul himself believed that the Jews who would not submit to the gospel were branches broken off the root tree, and gentiles, being wild branches, are being ingrafted in. Jewish Salvation remains to be an access to that Root in which wild branches are in now. Therefore, the root has always been there, and there have always been jews and gentiles ingrafted.

    Where are you getting this need for a Jewish leadership in your hope for a conciliar restoration?

  92. We know St. Paul himself believed that the Jews who would not submit to the gospel were branches broken off the root tree, and gentiles, being wild branches, are being ingrafted in. Jewish Salvation remains to be an access to that Root in which wild branches are in now. Therefore, the root has always been there, and there have always been jews and gentiles ingrafted.

    Where are you getting this need for a Jewish leadership in your hope for a conciliar restoration?

    Your statement above is richly ironic in that Paul himself never defined himself as a ‘catholic’, nor as ‘christian’ even, but always and everywhere as a Jew . And as Jew he was a prototype of the believers who would one day, some 2000 years later, come to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah and this not as protestants or catholics, but Jews in their own right, as Paul was. These Jewish believers are NOT the ones broken off, they are Jews in their own right, who are neither catholics nor protestants (wild/uncultivated branches), but rather cultivated/natural branches ingrafted into their OWN OLIVE TREE.

    Romans 11:

    “11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. 12 Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

    13 For I speak to you Gentiles ; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

    16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree , 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

    19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree

    Erick, you read Paul through the lenses of supersessionism. You are deeply mistaken.

  93. Therefore, the root has always been there, and there have always been jews and gentiles ingrafted.

    Jeremiah 11:16

    14 “So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.

    15 “What has My beloved to do in My house,
    Having done lewd deeds with many?
    And the holy flesh has passed from you.
    When you do evil, then you rejoice.
    16 The Lord called your name,
    Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.

    With the noise of a great tumult
    He has kindled fire on it,
    And its branches are broken.

    Hosea 14:6

    4 “ I will heal their backsliding,
    I will love them freely,
    For My anger has turned away from him.
    5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
    He shall grow like the lily,
    And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
    6 His branches shall spread;
    His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
    And his fragrance like Lebanon.

    It is not only in the root of Jesse (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach” that we gentiles were grafted in, but also into the fatness of the Olive Tree, Israel. This is the fundamental truth that breaks the lie/deception of supersessionism/replacement theology.

  94. SS,

    I do not believe in a replacement theology.

    All of God’s covenantal and salvific purposes are grounded in the sending of His Son to be incarnated as the new Adam and heir of David’s kingdom, his baptism in the Jordan opening the way of Trinitarian salvation, His Spirit-filled ministry fulfilled in Jerusalem, His betrayal by the hands of the Jews and Gentiles, His crucifixion as a sacrifice for our sins, and His glorious resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God.

    Through the destruction of the human body of Jesus and through the re-creation given to the corpse of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit has marked the only true transition from Adamic lost human life to that of Christic saved human life. Through the destruction of a human body, Christ has paved the way for us, being other human beings, to participate in a way that attributes to us the same entailment of that destruction: namely a complete break from Adamic life. Through the life of the Holy Spirit given to re-create the corpse of Jesus, there was paved a way for all of Adamic life, after having paricipating in the destruction of the cross, to be re-created into the body of Christ, the New Adam.

    What we have here is a new Genesis. There is a newly born resurrected Adam through whom all men from the old Adam can be destroyed and re-created. This transends all cultural and ethnic boundaries.

    The Everlasting Covenant is based in this eschatological transition from the Adamic to the Christic human life. All the covenants with Israel served this end. Therefore, there is no specific group that has primacy as far as ethnicity is concerned.

  95. +JMJ+

    Wosbald wrote:
    .
    What about Jewish believers without Gentiles in their own right? Would that be valid? Or do the Jews need Gentiles for validity?

    SS wrote:
    .
    What was the pattern established in the NT? Answer this and you will answer your own questions.
    ‘hint’/here’s your sign:
    – Ya’akov
    – Kephas
    – Shaul
    -Titus
    – Timothy
    et al.

    I’m asking about the views of your religion and whatever patterns you might see. In your view (or Shulam or whomever), would Jews need Gentiles for validity or not?

    If you/Shulam can’t/won’t answer this simple dogmatic question, then your dogmatic assertion that the RCC needs “Jewish believers in their own right” for validity is similarly toothless, and we can move on.

  96. I do not believe in a replacement theology.

    You do believe in it. If you didn’t believe in it, you would never bar Jewish believers from leadership in the church, alongside Gentiles.

    Therefore, there is no specific group that has primacy as far as ethnicity is concerned.

    Nowhere have I argued for primacy of one ethnicity over another. Instead I have argued for is unity in diversity , as is the picture of the faith community in the earliest church. That’s the whole point of Paul’s parable of the olive tree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg_7AP9Urbo

    But you see, you don’t want that unity because for you, the only saved Jew is the convert to catholicism….

  97. I’m asking about the views of your religion and whatever patterns you might see. In your view (or Shulam or whomever), would Jews need Gentiles for validity or not?

    If you/Shulam can’t/won’t answer this simple dogmatic question, then your dogmatic assertion that the RCC needs “Jewish believers in their own right” for validity is similarly toothless, and we can move on.

    Enough with the grandstanding about my views. Your views/dogma are/is no less private, so quit pretending that they are not.

    The witness of the NT is this: both jews and gentiles in leadership and the responsibilities of that leadership: binding and loosing, doctrinal guidance, ethical guidance and so on. This is irrefutable historical fact, whether you like it or not. Secondly, theologically, as I have shown above in Romans 11, Paul teaches that we gentiles are supposed to draw from the fatness of the olive tree, in addition to being grounded in the Root (Messiah). It follows naturally, that to reach proper maturity, we gentiles need Jewish believers, absolutely. After all, as Paul says in Romans 15:

    “26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings”

  98. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    Your views/dogma are/is no less private, so quit pretending that they are not.

    Are we still on Planet Earth? Anybody? Bueller?

  99. Wosbald,

    Isn’t it time for you to go play some video games, or take a smoke?

    On second thought, you’re probably better off not smoking.

    But then again, gamers do tend to live on another planet….

  100. Are we still on Planet Earth? Anybody? Bueller?

    Coming from the guy who belongs to a church that once condemned Galileo of “Vehement suspicion of heresy”, this is particularly rich.

    I don’t think you and yours are in a position to speak about planet earth , Wosbald….

    This place is a riot sometimes. Lol.

  101. SS you write:

    … you don’t want that unity because for you, the only saved Jew is the convert to catholicism….

    The only way for Jew to be saved is to be baptized into the death and resurrection of his Messiah, Jesus the Christ. “There is no salvation in anyone else”:

    Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4

    Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12

    SS, you write:

    Instead I have argued for is unity in diversity …

    The offspring of Abraham that have received the blessing are the sons of God. The sons of God have their unity in Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek:

    … in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
    Galatians 3:13-14 & 3:26-29

  102. The only way for Jew to be saved is to be baptized into the death and resurrection of his Messiah, Jesus the Christ. “There is no salvation in anyone else”

    Indeed. Today there are tens of thousands of Messianic Jews who believe in Yeshua as their only Savior, and this not as catholics or protestants but as Jews in their own right. You deny them salvation because they are not catholics. Like I said, the only safe Jew for a catholic is the convert to Catholicism, in contradiction of the teaching of the disciples. You should spend some time on the ‘things i don’t like about Catholicism thread’. All of your replacement theology arguments have been debunked over there.

    The offspring of Abraham that have received the blessing are the sons of God. The sons of God have their unity in Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek:

    There being neither Jew nor Greek does not speak to the erasing of distinctions between Jew and Greek, no more than its speaks of the erasing of distinctions between male and female, and bondservant and master. Instead the expression speaks to the common bond of salvation they share, over and above the distinctions. The Jew who believes in Jesus remains Jewish, the Greek remains Greek. The male who believes in Jesus does not become a female, and neither does the bondservant become his master. Is your wife, who believes in Christ, a male now that she has believed? Yes or no?

    2 Gal 15:

    “15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ , even we have believed in Christ Jesus”

  103. Jonathan,

    I don’t do that to people. I may think that they are as wrong as wrong could be, but I don’t tell them what they believe, and I don’t ignore what they say their beliefs are. That’s because I respect their dignity as human beings. No matter how ignorant, irrational or incompetent someone is, he at least deserves the ability to say what he believes and not to have his statements reinterpreted against his will.

    Fair enough, and I agree. But you continually do this with the Reformed people here. We say we’re not Nestorian, and we explain why, and you say, “No, that’s Nestorianism.” Or, “No, imputation can’t work because then it makes God judging according to something that is false or it makes God reverse his judgment and that’s heresy,” and we explain that no, God does not do that and here’s why. And then you respond, No, that’s still heresy.

    All I’m trying to do is basically say “I know you say X, but logically, it entails this, this, and this.” For the most part, I think you have tried to do that as well, but then you start going down the road calling people raving lunatics, attributing to Calvin an intentional desire to destroy that is good and holy, etc. And when people respond in kind, you act as if there is no possible reason why they might so respond because all you’ve done is been kind, gentle, and completely above the board.

    Another perfect example: You say something like “Calvin is the author of spiritual pornography.” Well, that’s really a judgment you make based on what you consider certain deductions that you have made from his writings and actions. I say, “No, we don’t believe that Calvin is a spiritual pornographer.” And your response is basically, “yeah, I know you don’t believe that, but I’ve made the case that it is so, so therefore, Calvin is a spiritual pornographer.”

    I say: “Roman Catholicism enslaves people to a false vision of God.” That a judgment I make based on what I consider certain logical deductions from what the Roman Church has taught and how it has acted throughout history. You say, “No, I don’t believe that the Roman Catholic Church has enslaved me.” And my response is basically, “yeah, I know you don’t believe that, but I’ve made the case that it is so, so therefore, the church really has enslaved you.”

    When I or another Calvinist does it, it is raving bigotry. When you do it, it is level-headed kindness. I’m sorry, but that is a double standard. You can think I’m wrong. You can think Calvinism is the worst heresy since Arianism. Fine. You can try an make your case. Great! But when people refuse to agree with you, calling them imbeciles and bigots is wholly unnecessary. And if you’re going to do it, you have no right to get offended if they respond in kind.

    I honestly bear you no ill will. I think you are seriously deceived and follow a religion that cannot be found in Scripture, but I don’t hate you for that. I know that you think I’m seriously deceived and follow a religion that cannot be found in Scripture. The whole point of discussion is to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong.

  104. +JMJ+

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with the term “Replacement Theology”, inasmuch as Christ paradigmatically replaces Israel, in a sense. However, I think that it is probably more nuanced and precise to say that He completes, encapsulates and recapitulates Israel within Himself/Church.

    The problem with “Replacement” is that, at least to modern ears, it tends to evoke an equal exchange: the replacement of one thing of a certain value with another thing of equal value/dignity/rank. But when one is talking about a planar distinction, an hierarchio-ontological elevation, then “Replacement” doesn’t fully cut the mustard. Although Christ is indeed fully God and fully Man, He is not a Human Person. Therefore, there is no one-to-one natural equivalence in the replacement, since we are not talking about replacing a lineage/ethnicity of Human Persons with yet-another Human Person. Instead, we have the offices of Human Persons (Priest, Prophet, King) being transfigured and perfected by a Divine Person. In that light, “Supersessional” or “Superelevational” theology would probably better express Catholic mindset to a culture saturated with Naturalistic and Rationalistic thinking.

    When Apostolic-Era Jews wanted to gain Christian Identity, they had to petition the Church for entrance. IOW, they had to approach the Apostles and their deputies to receive Initiation. Though the Jews had a certain pride-of-place in being firstly (in a temporal sense) offered the Gospel, their Jewish ethnicity gave them no intrinsic “foot-in-the-door” with Christ/Church. It is the same today.

    IOW, Christian Identity is not some emergent quality of Jews which spontaneously flowers whenever a Jew decides that he “believes in Jesus” (whatever that may mean).

  105. SS, if you wouldn’t put words into my mouth, you might find that I am not totally unsympathetic to some of the things that you are saying.

    First you agree with me when I write this:

    The only way for Jew to be saved is to be baptized into the death and resurrection of his Messiah, Jesus the Christ. “There is no salvation in anyone else”

    Then you accuse me of saying that the only “safe Jew for a catholic is the convert to Catholicism”. But I did not say this, so you are pummeling a straw man of your own making. You point out to me that “there are tens of thousands of Messianic Jews who believe in Yeshua as their only savior,” a fact that I am well aware of. If one of these Messianic Jews is validly baptized, then as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, that Messianic Jew has undergone the first and fundamental conversion whether or not he or she receives the other two Sacraments of Initiation that would bring the Messianic Jew into full communion with the Catholic Church.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    1427 Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.

    SS you write:

    There being neither Jew nor Greek does not speak to the erasing of distinctions between Jew and Greek, no more than its speaks of the erasing of distinctions between male and female, and bondservant and master. Instead the expression speaks to the common bond of salvation they share, over and above the distinctions. The Jew who believes in Jesus remains Jewish, the Greek remains Greek.

    What is the “common bond of salvation” that both the Jew and the Greek share? Both the Jew and the Greek has been regenerated through the Sacrament of Baptism, and not by being born again through natural child birth. So yes, the Jew that has been regenerated through baptism still has his Jewish ancestry and the Greek still has his Greek ancestry, and neither one had to crawl back into a woman’s womb so that they could be born again to someone of different ancestry.

    You quote Galatians, and point out that there are Jews by nature. A Jew by nature means a man or woman that was born by natural childbirth by a Jewish woman. I get that. Paul was a Jew by nature because a Jewish woman gave birth to Saul (later named Paul). So what happens to a man that is a Jew by nature that receives all three Sacraments of Initiation of the Catholic Church? Does that Jew become a Gentile? No. You might benefit by reading some of things published by the Association of Hebrew Catholics, since AHC is saying many of the same things that you are saying.

    For example:

    In Acts, the Church was made up primarily of Jews. Through observance of the Torah, the People Israel had been formed by God to be a holy people, separated from the pagan world surrounding them. The Mosaic laws not only formed them, but it preserved them as a people.
    In the New Covenant, where the Gentiles were being grafted onto the People Israel through baptism, the following dilemma faced the Jews: How were they to retain their identity if they now no longer had to observe all of the Mosaic laws?

    For example, the laws regarding ritual purity (such as the dietary laws), had helped keep them a distinct people. But, in the new dispensation, Jews began to eat with Gentiles. It became apparent that their distinctiveness could no longer be preserved through these laws. And in those early days, while the understanding of what Jesus had taught was developing, you can read in the New Testament where some of the early Jewish followers of Jesus continued to observe the Torah. In fact, this situation continued through the next two or three centuries, while the People Israel maintained a corporate presence in the early Church.

    But the reversal of the situation in Acts is not the only reversal we are witnessing. St. Paul, speaking to the Gentiles, taught that they, the Gentiles, had received mercy because of the failure of the majority of the Jews to believe in Jesus. But a time would come when the Gentiles, who had the faith, would lose it. And, from their failure, the Jews would again receive mercy. And with mercy, all Israel would be saved, bringing about the return to faith of the apostate Gentiles. I believe we have entered that phase of salvation history.

    Ref: article, Are Jewish Converts Still Jewish?, copyright Association of Hebrew Catholics

    http://www.hebrewcatholic.net/are-jewish-converts-still-jewish/

    And

    Messianic Jews are Jews who have come to faith in Jesus in the non-Catholic Christian world. Typically, their theology derives from Evangelical Christianity. Instead of entering one of the Christian denominations, many are joining Messianic congregations that have been springing up in many cities throughout the Americas, Europe and Israel. In these congregations, they attempt to live as Jews with modifications arising from their belief in the Messiah.

    The term Messianic Jews is an umbrella term. It does not signify a common set of doctrines or practices. The majority believe that Jesus is both Messiah and Son of God. A small number believe that he is Messiah, but not divine.

    The group ‘Jews for Jesus’ might also be called Messianic Jews. Since they do not maintain their own congregations, they point new Jewish believers to a (non-Catholic) Christian congregation.

    That the Messianic Jewish movement is growing so fast can be attributed to three major factors: (1) a primary focus of their work is evangelization of the Jews; (2) they don’t have to take into account the Magisterium or Sacred Tradition; (3) they make an effort to preserve their Jewish identity.

    And:

    What is the goal of your organization, the Association of Hebrew Catholics?

    Our goal is to preserve the identity and heritage of Israelites within the Catholic Church, through the establishment of a Hebrew Catholic Community juridically approved by the Holy See.

    By identity, I mean their election (calling, vocation). The election is a choice of God that applies to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is, to the People Israel of the flesh. It is collective and it is eternal.

    Today, the Jew who enters the Church is unable to fulfill his vocation as a member of the People. Instead, he enters the Church and assimilates to the prevailing culture.

  106. When Apostolic-Era Jews wanted to gain Christian Identity

    This presupposes supersessionism, and is entirely question begging.

    The question facing the natural man seeking truth is this: does the paradigm of supersessionism have the best explanatory power for the events we read of in the NT (especially in the book of Acts)? I have argued that the natural man will not find that reasonable, in light of the hard historical facts. The catholic pointing to his own motives of credibility for believing the authority claims of the CC is essentially making a private interpretation of what is ‘reasonable’ in contradiction of the hard historical facts. Read Shulam, Tomson, Nanos, Gager and you’ll understand why said MOC have are actually unreasonable.

  107. Mateo,

    You simply presuppose what you are trying to prove.

    Doesn’t work. Try again.

  108. SS September 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm
    Mateo,
    You simply presuppose what you are trying to prove.
    Doesn’t work. Try again.

    There are several ways of responding to that:

    1. We are all comparing our presuppositions to the facts to see which has the most support in truth.

    and

    2. No, it is you who are presupposing what you are trying to prove. And as you said, it doesn’t work. So, it is you who must try again.

    and finally,

    3. Your ideology is simply a reflex against what you perceive to be of the gentiles (Catholics and Protestants). You will twist any facts and any information into an anti-gentile, anti-Catholic Church, anti-Protestant.

    The plain fact is that God brought Judaism to fulfillment and concluded that Testament. Any elements of Judaism which remain today exist in the Catholic Church. Not the Protestant and not Messianic Judaism which is a form of Protestantism.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  109. +JMJ+

    Wosbald wrote:
    .
    When Apostolic-Era Jews wanted to gain Christian Identity…

    SS wrote:
    .
    This presupposes supersessionism, and is entirely question begging.

    So, for you, Apostolic-Era Jews don’t have to gain Christian Identity? They’re just automatically Regenerate due to their Jewishness with the only issue being whether they affirm it or not? Every Jew is a Natural or Latent Apostle, just waiting to emerge?

    This may be getting a little more interesting.

  110. SS, What, exactly, is the “it” that doesn’t work, and for whom doesn’t “it” work?

  111. So, for you, Apostolic-Era Jews don’t have to gain Christian Identity? They’re just automatically Regenerate due to their Jewishness with the only issue being whether they affirm it or not? Every Jew is a Natural or Latent Apostle, just waiting to emerge?

    You are repeating yourself Wosbald. This is the 2nd or 3rd time you’ve asked the question and I’ve already given you the answer.

  112. What is the “common bond of salvation” that both the Jew and the Greek share? Both the Jew and the Greek has been regenerated through the Sacrament of Baptism, and not by being born again through natural child birth. So yes, the Jew that has been regenerated through baptism still has his Jewish ancestry and the Greek still has his Greek ancestry, and neither one had to crawl back into a woman’s womb so that they could be born again to someone of different ancestry.

    Mateo,

    It’s very interesting how you answer the question. Because it vividly demonstrates the presuppositionalism in your argument. The very same question was answered by Paul, and this is what he says in Gal 2:15:

    “15 We who are Jews by nature , and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ , even we have believed in Christ Jesus,”

    You talk about sacramentalism and baptism, whereas Paul talks about justification by faith. You simply assume that regeneration must occur through baptism into the CC , when in fact, it can and does occur through baptism outside the CC. But the greater point that remains is this, while the Jew is justified by faith, he still is Jewish and keeps the law, albeit recognizing that the law does not save him and recognizing that Yeshua is His atonement. This is exactly who James was, a Nazir according to Hegesippus, and devout in his law keeping. These Jewish believers took Jesus seriously when He said “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”. James presents a formidable and unsurmountable difficulty for the CC, so much so that one in your camp argued on this site that God punished him and his ‘diocese’ for not getting the gospel right, or some nonsense like that. I guess Paul did not get his own gospel right when he took a Nazirite vow in Acts 18 or when he paid for the vows of 4 other Jews in Acts 21. Yes? What say you?

    You quote Galatians, and point out that there are Jews by nature. A Jew by nature means a man or woman that was born by natural childbirth by a Jewish woman. I get that. Paul was a Jew by nature because a Jewish woman gave birth to Saul (later named Paul). So what happens to a man that is a Jew by nature that receives all three Sacraments of Initiation of the Catholic Church? Does that Jew become a Gentile? No. You might benefit by reading some of things published by the Association of Hebrew Catholics, since AHC is saying many of the same things that you are saying

    Fr Elias Friedman laments the supersessionism of the CC. I’ll tell you what, start by acknowledging what he says, and then you will have grounds to make your request.

  113. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    This is the 2nd or 3rd time you’ve asked the question and I’ve already given you the answer.

    I suss that few, if any, here would concur with that. But hey, if y’all want to play your cards close to the vest, that’s your prerogative. If and when you and Shulam et al. want to approach the RCC for Initiation, We’ll be here.

  114. Playing my cards close to the vest? LOL. My writing at CCC has been anything but, always open, always striving to answer every question. You have no idea of what you are talking about.

    For the umpteenth time Wosbald, no jew is automatically regenerate. A jew is justified by faith in Christ, just as a gentile is. That is why Paul says there is now no jew nor greek. He is only referring to the economy of salvation via justification by faith and not teaching that all distinctions between jews and greeks are conflated or erased, as the CC teaches.

    Now it’s my turn to ask you some questions:

    So for you, Jews who believe in the Messiah as their Savior, but have/want nothing to do with the CC, are actually not saved? They’re actually unregenerate despite their belief and baptism in the Jordan (or wherever else)? Every real Jew is a Natural or Latent Catholic, just waiting to convert?

  115. If and when you and Shulam et al. want to approach the RCC for Initiation, We’ll be here.

    I answer your boasting and arrogance with Scripture:

    “11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew….

    13 For I speak to you Gentiles ; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

    16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree , 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

    19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

    My advice is to leave Shulam alone, for your church has done enough evil and harm to his people, and God has already vindicated him.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vurLRBPXOrI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAXIC4w5Zs0

  116. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    For the umpteenth time Wosbald, no jew is automatically regenerate. A jew is justified by faith in Christ, just as a gentile is.

    That was exactly my point. It seems as if you’re saying that the Jew (or anyone) is automatically regenerate as soon as he “believes in Jesus” (whatever that may mean).

    SS wrote:

    So for you, Jews who believe in the Messiah as their Savior, but have/want nothing to do with the CC, are actually not saved?

    “Saved” is a multivalent term in Catholic thought. In any case, they certainly can’t be considered as Regenerate.

    SS wrote:

    They’re actually unregenerate despite their belief and baptism in the Jordan (or wherever else)?

    Their Baptism has to be valid according per the RCC’s definition. Any ol’ generic baptism doesn’t cut it.

  117. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    Every real Jew is a Natural or Latent Catholic, just waiting to convert?

    Oh, yes, every human person is a potential Catholic, if they choose to enter the Church and receive Sacramental Initiation.

  118. @Robert:
    Upon reviewing your last post, perhaps this is primarily a cultural issue. There is a difference there that matters very much to me, and I find being outside of my comfort zone in this respect to be highly abrasive. If that is the case, then I believe that I will not be much of an asset in these discussions.

    The issues that I raised have nothing to do with anyone’s motivation. You have used terms like “level-headed” and “hot-headed,” saying that I have opined on Calvin’s “intentional desire to destroy what is good and holy” and that sort of thing. That isn’t true at all, and if you are taking what I am saying that way, then I can see why you would take it amiss. I can’t read your mind or Calvin’s mind; I have no idea why you believe what you believe.

    In no way do I think that most people are intentionally destructive or heretical. It’s like overeating or other self-destructive behavior. Nobody wants to be unhealthy, but people choose to engage in behavior that will in reality make them unhealthy for other reasons. I am not going to gainsay when someone says that he doesn’t want to be unhealthy; on the contrary, I would say that he almost certainly does not want to be unhealthy, because no one does. But the person’s motivation doesn’t matter; all that matters is the reality that if he continues eating in this way, then he will be unhealthy.

    When I am taking about something like Nestorianism, that is what I mean. Nestorianism is a belief that really is at odds with the nature of Christ. There is an objective reality there; Christ really is this way and not this other way, and the heretical belief is denying a real characteristic of Christ. You said:

    But you continually do this with the Reformed people here. We say we’re not Nestorian, and we explain why, and you say, “No, that’s Nestorianism.” Or, “No, imputation can’t work because then it makes God judging according to something that is false or it makes God reverse his judgment and that’s heresy,” and we explain that no, God does not do that and here’s why. And then you respond, No, that’s still heresy.

    And all of that should be fair game. We’re trying to get to reality here, so we’re supposed to be working on finding out what the truth is. When I say something along those lines, it is based on a very definite and precise construal of what Nestorianism is, just the same as the metabolic processes that generate overweight people. The fact that the overweight person does not intend to be unhealthy will not stop him from being unhealthy. The fact that someone does not intend to be Nestorian is irrelevant if he adopts beliefs that corrupt his understanding of Christ. From my perspective, this is no different than someone saying “I’m fine” when his blood pressure and cholesterol are climbing; he may believe he is fine, but it is not a true belief.

    For that reason, I don’t have to speculate about why you believe anything; your motivation is not relevant, which is the entire goal of dealing with reality rather than intent or motivation. All that matters is what the belief from which I am deriving the problem is, so I simply need to accurately know what it is you believe. Likewise, when I judge you as behaving in a bigoted way, I mean that objectively. It doesn’t matter to me whether you do or don’t bear hate against Catholics in your heart, because I have no insight into your heart. What I mean is that you are behaving in a social way that demeans and denigrates Catholics.

    Let’s look at this statement:

    I say: “Roman Catholicism enslaves people to a false vision of God.” That a judgment I make based on what I consider certain logical deductions from what the Roman Church has taught and how it has acted throughout history. You say, “No, I don’t believe that the Roman Catholic Church has enslaved me.” And my response is basically, “yeah, I know you don’t believe that, but I’ve made the case that it is so, so therefore, the church really has enslaved you.”

    You have no basis to make any judgments on people’s mental states or motivations other than what they tell you. You aren’t telepathic; you have no gift to read people’s minds. So it is impossible for you to make a judgment on these matters, much less identify evidence from which you can logically deduce them. It is hard for me, at least given my cultural background, to imagine a more insulting statement. I would rather you make false statements about my conduct, which can be answered with some evidence, than assertions that someone knows what I think, which are simply demeaning and insulting. That is also why, when someone is not present, we make the utmost effort to sympathize with them and to display intellectual charity. It is an essential element for communication to take place at all that one recognize that one’s only basis for drawing conclusions about what someone believes that only that person is in a position to know.

    Now it may be that you disagree with me on this premise that one cannot know the contents of someone else’s mind. Perhaps you think that the Bible speaks to people’s motivations and that you know with certainty why people disagree with you. If that is the case, then from my perspective, there is no point in talking to you, because my disagreement and my motivation are tautologous; there is literally nothing I could say to you that would matter. I consider that position as bigotry and even lunacy; when you purport to be able to know what is in my head, that’s insane. If you think the Bible says that you can have this knowledge, then I see no difference between that and any other sort of nutty fundamentalism where people believe unreal things because the Bible supposedly tells them so.

    So here’s the disagreement in a nutshell:

    I honestly bear you no ill will. I think you are seriously deceived and follow a religion that cannot be found in Scripture, but I don’t hate you for that. I know that you think I’m seriously deceived and follow a religion that cannot be found in Scripture. The whole point of discussion is to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong.

    N0, I do not think you are “seriously deceived.” I think you are wrong, which is an objective matter about which we can have a discussion if we can at least agree that reality is out there and that we can have certain knowledge about it. Being “seriously deceived” or “checking your brain at the door for the current Magisterium” is a subjective mental state into which nobody has any insight apart from personal disclosure, and there is no way to discuss the subject in any kind of objective manner to draw a conclusion on that. To put it another way, suggesting that I am not the ultimate authority on what my beliefs are, is about as intellectually hostile as you can be. And I react very badly to that, because I consider it hateful behavior, regardless of how you intend it.

    To be fair, you seem to be quite oblivious to just how offensive your conduct is to me; you don’t even appear to understand the problem. Maybe there is simply more talking about yourself in Protestantism, so it’s just one of these cultural things where you can sort of assume that people are sharing about themselves to a greater degree or that religion or evangelical discussions are more of a personal witness than I do. Or maybe you do actually believe that you know to a moral certainty what is in the heads of faithful Catholics, in which case you’ll never convince anyone, because they always know better than you. Regardless, this is all very unpleasant to me, like going to the symphony and finding out that there is a UFC bout going on. This is not the kind of evangelizing that I do, and if it’s going to be on this level (and I have seen no indication otherwise), then I have no purpose here.

  119. Their Baptism has to be valid according per the RCC’s definition. Any ol’ generic baptism doesn’t cut it.

    Hence my earlier comment about presuppositionalism and begging the question.

    You guys don’t really want to argue fairly, you want to lord it over others with your own private assumptions and assertions.

    If you had even an ounce of concern for fair engagement, you would show me and others why the motives of credibility regarding the CC’s authority claims are reasonable. But you won’t because you can’t. And so instead you resort to question begging triumphant statements that do nothing for the conversation.

  120. SS September 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm
    You guys don’t really want to argue fairly, you want to lord it over others with your own private assumptions and assertions.

    No. We can support our presuppositions with facts. You on the other hand, do want to lord it over others with your private assumptions and assertions which you can’t back up with any facts.

    If you had even an ounce of concern for fair engagement, you would show me and others why the motives of credibility regarding the CC’s authority claims are reasonable.

    We have shown you from Tradition, from Scripture, from history, and from logic. Your simple denials are not proof of anything but your presuppositions.

    But you won’t because you can’t. And so instead you resort to question begging triumphant statements that do nothing for the conversation.

    On the contrary, it is you who pretend to triumph when you have provided nothing but posturing and assumptions.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  121. SS September 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm
    And most of all,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex863pm0j3A

    Argument by video? Really? Here’s one for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Y1G8PpveQ

  122. SS, you write:

    You talk about sacramentalism and baptism, whereas Paul talks about justification by faith.

    No need to create a false dichotomy. Paul talks about both faith and baptism:

    … in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith>/b>. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:26 & 27

    SS, you write:

    You simply assume that regeneration must occur through baptism into the CC, when in fact, it can and does occur through baptism outside the CC.

    SS, if you would quit putting words into my mouth and telling me what I “simply assume”, you might find out what I actually believe by simply asking me what I believe. The Catholic Church teaches that any Messianic Jew can validly baptize another Messianic Jew:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church 1256 … In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.

    SS, you write:

    But the greater point that remains is this, while the Jew is justified by faith, he still is Jewish and keeps the law, albeit recognizing that the law does not save him and recognizing that Yeshua is His atonement.

    Which laws does the Messianic Jew have to keep? Is the Messianic Jew still obligated to keep the laws added for the transgressions of the Jews (Gal 3:19), or have those transgressions been forgiven by Christ’s atonement?

    IOW, can the Messianic Jew now eat a meal that includes a cup of clam chowder and shrimp scampi without sinning? (see Acts 11:1-9 & all of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians)

    James presents a formidable and unsurmountable difficulty for the CC, so much so that one in your camp argued on this site that God punished him and his ‘diocese’ for not getting the gospel right, or some nonsense like that.

    Lots of Catholics say dumb things, so don’t listen to the nonsense that an uniformed Joe Catholic might be spouting. That said, St. James most certainly does not present a formidable and insurmountable difficulty for the Catholic Church. I have no idea why you would even think that.

    Fr Elias Friedman laments the supersessionism of the CC.

    Say what? I previously quoted you some material from the Association of Hebrew Catholics from an article by David Moss. The homepage of the New Zealand chapter of the Association of Hebrew Catholics credits Fr. Elias Friedman as the founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics:

    http://hebrewcatholic.org.nz/

    I don’t see your point in invoking the name of Fr. Elias Friedman. Have I personally disagreed with anything that Fr. Elias Friedman has ever written?

    If by supersessionism you mean the idea that the Old Covenant was revoked and replaced by the New Covenant, then rest assured that the Catholic Church does NOT teach that.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    121
    The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

    The Old Covenant cannot be revoked, because Christ cannot return in the Second Coming until the Jews of the remnant flock accept their Messiah:

    CCC 674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.” St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?” The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”, will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all”.

    SS, a question for you that might help me understand what you believe. Was Sammy Davis Jr. ever a Jew?

  123. SS, just to be clear, there is no such thing as a natural Catholic. If two baptized Catholics get married and have a child, the child that is born of the flesh (natural childbirth) is not a member of the Catholic Church. Which is why Catholics baptize their babies, because “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

    On the other hand, if a child is born of natural childbirth by a Jewish woman, that child is a natural Jew. If a male infant born of Jewish mother died before he was circumcised, he would have died as a Jew (as far as I know, that is true – correct me if you disagree).

    I am guessing that you believe that Sammy Davis Jr. was not a natural Jew because he was not born as the child of a Jewish woman. The reason that I bring this up is that some Ashkenazi Jews trace their ancestry to converts to Judaism, and you seem to have no problem listening to Ashkenazi Jews.

    In your opinion, is an Ashkenazi Jew that has no Jewish ancestry born as a Gentile or as a Jew?

  124. Lots of Catholics say dumb things, so don’t listen to the nonsense that an uniformed Joe Catholic might be spouting.

    The uninformed Joe Catholic spouting off nonsense was DeMaria. Thanks for recognizing it as nonsense.

    I will address your questions tomorrow.

  125. +JMJ+

    Mateo wrote:
    .
    Lots of Catholics say dumb things, so don’t listen to the nonsense that an uniformed Joe Catholic might be spouting.

    SS wrote:
    .
    The uninformed Joe Catholic spouting off nonsense was DeMaria. Thanks for recognizing it as nonsense.

    For the record, that which was identified as nonsense was your gloss of what De Maria had said. It would be much more revealing to know what De Maria actually wrote and what he actually meant before you tag him with the label of “uninformed Joe Catholic”.

  126. Jonathan,

    While I appreciate your explanation, I submit that once again you are applying a double standard for yourself. You cannot say on the one hand to Jason:

    I do think Calvin is one of the great Bad Guys of human history. Not genocidal ruler bad, but down there with Marx and the Borgias, rotten apples who genuinely and intentionally wrecked the common good.

    And then say to me

    The issues that I raised have nothing to do with anyone’s motivation. You have used terms like “level-headed” and “hot-headed,” saying that I have opined on Calvin’s “intentional desire to destroy what is good and holy” and that sort of thing.

    Maybe you don’t remember doing things like this, but throughout your comments you continually resort to such things. Calling Calvin a spiritual pornographer is not an objective judgment. Saying that Reformed Christians don’t stand in continuity with the councils based on beliefs they don’t hold is not objective. Referring to people as “no-nothing’s” and other such things for not seeing the merits of your arguments is not objective.

    I could go on. I have no trouble discussing things honestly. But when people engage in double standards and call others names, I’m going to call them on it. This isn’t a cultural thing, it’s a fairness thing.
    U

  127. SS said:

    James presents a formidable and unsurmountable difficulty for the CC, so much so that one in your camp argued on this site that God punished him and his ‘diocese’ for not getting the gospel right, or some nonsense like that.

    I’d like to see the quote. I find it hard to believe that I said that St. James was punished by God when I use the TITLE saint before his name consistently.

    Perhaps you could explain that little inconsistency your accusation.

    However, having said that, St. James’ Diocese was located in Jerusalem. And the earthly Jerusalem was obliterated by God in punishment for killing the Messiah:

    Revelation 11:8
    And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

    Revelation 16:19
    And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

    Revelation 18:17-19
    King James Version (KJV)
    17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

    Revelation 18:21
    And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

    In 70ad, the earthly Jerusalem was razed to the ground by Rome. Along with it, St. James’ diocese. You claim that St. James was the ruler of the Catholic Church. Yet, there is no record of any such idea ever taught in the Church. And there is no indication that any of his successors were ever considered rulers of the Church as St. Peter’s successors were.

    So, you have to invent history and doctrines in order to support your arguments for a new religion.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  128. For the record, that which was identified as nonsense was your gloss of what De Maria had said. It would be much more revealing to know what De Maria actually wrote and what he actually meant before you tag him with the label of “uninformed Joe Catholic”.

    What’s the matter Wosbald, losing your cool? Looks like that touched a nerve. How do you know that what DeMaria said wasn’t nonsense without actually knowing what he said? I know what he said, and it is 100% nonsense. I challenge you and any other catholic, including Jason, to defend this garbage below:

    “Nope. It is obvious from reading Scripture that St. James had issues. He had not shed Jewish practices to the extent that he should have. This is perhaps why Providence ensured that his diocese was erased from existence. In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans” (from the “Stuff I don’t like” thread, emphasis mine)

  129. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    How do you know that what DeMaria said wasn’t nonsense without actually knowing what he said?

    I didn’t know what he said nor did I remember the context. I only vaguely recalled the conversation you referenced. Which is why I asked you to find the quote so we can all know what he said.

    Now that you have, De Maria can clarify and nuance his meaning, and you and he and whomever else might want to add to the dialogue can hash out your positions like grownups.

  130. Wosbald and De Maria, thank you for your clarifications. I have read every post that you two have made to this thread, and I did not know that SS was referring to a comment made by De Maria on this thread – I thought he was referring to a comment that I had not read by some other Catholic in a different thread at Creed-Code-Cult.

    De Maria I hope that you don’t believe that I think that you are an “uniformed Joe Catholic”, because I don’t think that at all.

    SS you said this to Susan on the Jason’s thread What the Hell:

    And you never answered the question I posed your earlier. It seems like you just don’t have any interest in having a legitimate back and forth, but would rather just give me talking points…

    Sheesh! It seems to me that you are merely projecting your modus operandi onto Susan. I want to go back to a point I made earlier to you that you did not address because I think my point is germane to the topic of this thread, which is about why that Catholic Church does not suffer from AC2.

    I wrote:

    SS, what you have failed to do is to give me the criteria that allows me to identify who these mystery men are that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures in the post-apostolic age. Nor have you told me how a man that does not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility (namely me) can know with certainty when your mystery men have exercised the charismatic gift of infallibility.

    SS, you have clarified that you are not one of the mystery men that can teach infallibly in the post-apostolic era. Thank you for that bit of information. Now I ask again, who are the mystery men that you think can teach infallibly in the post-apostolic era? What are the criteria that a man like me is supposed to use to identify these mystery men? If your mystery men are not identified by Apostolic Succession, then what is the objective criterion that I am supposed to use to recognize your mystery men? Next, how am I supposed to know when your mystery men have taught infallibly? What criteria am I supposed to use to make that determination?

    SS, like you, I do not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures. That means I need some objective criteria that allows me to first identify the men that can exercise the gift of the Holy Spirit of infallibly. After that, I need to know the objective criteria that allows me to know when these men have infallibility interpreted the scriptures when defining a doctrine of orthodoxy. If I have to infallibly interpret the scriptures to know when a man has infallibly interpreted the scriptures, then I am in the same boat as the Protestants that have accepted Luther’s proposition – I can never know with certainty what constitutes the doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

  131. De Maria can clarify and nuance his meaning…

    He can ‘clarify’ and ‘nuance’ all he wants, but he has lost all credibility. While I could have asked him “What planet are you from?” (as you asked me, in a very ‘grown up’ manner…), I chose a while back not to address any of his posts. That strikes me as the adult thing to do.

  132. De Maria I hope that you don’t believe that I think that you are an “uniformed Joe Catholic”, because I don’t think that at all.

    Mateo,

    Do you agree with DeMaria’s statement?

    ““Nope. It is obvious from reading Scripture that St. James had issues. He had not shed Jewish practices to the extent that he should have. This is perhaps why Providence ensured that his diocese was erased from existence. In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans”

    I don’t have time right now to answer your prior emails (as I said last night, have much more important things to be doing right now than posting here), but will get to them by the end of the day, if you can stop piling on in the meantime. I know that’s the way you guys roll at C2C, but please, learn some posting etiquette along the way.

    In the meantime if you could clarify on the above, thanks.

  133. No need to create a false dichotomy. Paul talks about both faith and baptism:

    … in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith>/b>. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:26 & 27

    Fair enough, it is true that justification cannot be separated from baptism. But again what leads catholics to believe that justification and baptism is only valid in the CC? Wosbald said earlier, in regards to my question here:

    SS: “So for you, Jews who believe in the Messiah as their Savior, but have/want nothing to do with the CC, are actually not saved?”

    Wosbald: ““Saved” is a multivalent term in Catholic thought. In any case, they certainly can’t be considered as Regenerate.

    SS, if you would quit putting words into my mouth and telling me what I “simply assume”, you might find out what I actually believe by simply asking me what I believe. The Catholic Church teaches that any Messianic Jew can validly baptize another Messianic Jew:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church 1256 … In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize, by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.

    This is what the full quote of 1256 says:

    V. WHO CAN BAPTIZE?

    1256 The ordinary ministers of Baptism are the bishop and priest and, in the Latin Church, also the deacon.57 In case of necessity, anyone, even a non-baptized person, with the required intention, can baptize58 , by using the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The intention required is to will to do what the Church does when she baptizes. The Church finds the reason for this possibility in the universal saving will of God and the necessity of Baptism for salvation.59

    So who is right, Wosbald/DeMaria (Vatican I) or you/Vatican II? Wosbald says that someone who has believed in Christ/been baptized outside the CC remains unregenerate.

    SS: “But the greater point that remains is this, while the Jew is justified by faith, he still is Jewish and keeps the law, albeit recognizing that the law does not save him and recognizing that Yeshua is His atonement.”

    Wosbald: “Which laws does the Messianic Jew have to keep? Is the Messianic Jew still obligated to keep the laws added for the transgressions of the Jews (Gal 3:19), or have those transgressions been forgiven by Christ’s atonement?”

    IOW, can the Messianic Jew now eat a meal that includes a cup of clam chowder and shrimp scampi without sinning? (see Acts 11:1-9 & all of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians)

    Your first question above I answered above. The Messianic Jew believes that Yeshua is His atonement, and hence has no longer any need of animal sacrifices for atonement. That said, he is free to keep any other aspect of the law, in keeping with Jesus’ command that He did not come to abolish it but to fulfill it. Fulfill does not mean to do away with, but rather to cause to stand, to interpret correctly, to live it perfectly. Didn’t Jesus tell His people to obey the greater aspects of the Law (justice, mercy) as well as the lesser aspects (tithing on dill and cumin)? Then why do you concern yourself with shrimp and scampi?

    Re your second question: the right question to ask is this: is it a sin for a Messianic Jew to keep the dietary laws of the OT? If not, why do you bother with that?

    Fr Elias Friedman laments the supersessionism of the CC.

    Say what? I previously quoted you some material from the Association of Hebrew Catholics from an article by David Moss. The homepage of the New Zealand chapter of the Association of Hebrew Catholics credits Fr. Elias Friedman as the founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics:

    http://hebrewcatholic.org.nz/

    I don’t see your point in invoking the name of Fr. Elias Friedman. Have I personally disagreed with anything that Fr. Elias Friedman has ever written?

    You are a newcomer to this discussion. Wosbald and DeMaria both have been very vocal in their Vatican I like comments on the Jews and their loss of election, hence the supersessionistic overtones to what is being said. For them, Israel is no longer elect of God. She has been replaced/superceded by the church, in this case, the CC. And this is precisely what Fr Friedman takes issue with:

    From his book “Jewish Identity”:

    “The sentiment is widespread among Christians, theologians and laymen alike, that God punished post-Christic
    Jewry for not believing in Jesus Christ by withdrawing from them the privilege of the Election. The thesis is directed not at Rabbinical Judaism but at the Jewish People. It defines Christian theological anti- Semitism. It is the fundamental premise of a pseudo-theology of Jewry, which has wrought incalculable harm. It is the remote cause of modern racial anti-Semitism. Father Benoit, for example, permits himself to write: “The Church cannot agree that the Jewish people is still the Chosen People, for it is henceforth conscious of possessing that election”.1 And why should we ignore the testimony of Jewish self-consciousness that it has not been dispossessed of its election? Father Benoit answers: “The Christian Church cannot recognize it to be a Church equally valid in the designs of God”. Contradictorywise, Father Benoit concedes that Jewry retains a theological mission of a kind “which it has momentarily lost and for which it is searching in an obscure and painfully fumbling way”. He even appeals to Jewry to realize that by reconciling itself with the Church it stands to gain by “a fulfilment of its veritable and eternal vocation”. We agree with Frizzel who finds these words enigmatic.2 Since Father Benoit admits that Jewry has an eternal vocation, how could it ever have been lost? Again, if it has a vocation, it has to be chosen or elected in one sense or another. Is not its election the source of its vocation? Father Benoit’s manifest error, however, has been to pass the act of invalidation of the Jewish religion over to the Jewish People. It brings him into conflict with the teaching of Vatican Council II which has taught Christians that the Jewish People is retained under the régime of the Election. Father George is no less embarrassed and embarrassing. He begins by boldly affirming that “Israel is a people like the others, without any religious specification”.3 Elsewhere, he observes harshly: “From henceforth, this people is no more for Luke than a people like all others, a profane people, because it has renounced its mission. It has lost the title of People of God”. Father George concedes that St. Luke does not write anywhere about a rejection of Israel. Indeed, he reveals to us that St. Luke even announces their future conversion (cf. Lk. 13:35.) We ask, in surprise, if St. Luke never wrote a line about the rejection of the Jews, how could Father George in the first place have attributed to him the view that Jewry had become a “profane people”? We ask if Jewry is the object of inspired prophecy in the New Testament how is it that it is “a people like the others”, a people “without any religious specification”?”

    So Mateo, if you agree with Fr Friedman, and are ‘puzzled’ as to why I bring him up, will you then correct and rebuke your fellow catholics who are clearly mistaken on the matter?

    If by supersessionism you mean the idea that the Old Covenant was revoked and replaced by the New Covenant, then rest assured that the Catholic Church does NOT teach that.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

    If the OC has not been revoked, is it then a sin for Messianic Jew to refuse to eat unclean foods such as pork, or shrimp?

    The Old Covenant cannot be revoked, because Christ cannot return in the Second Coming until the Jews of the remnant flock accept their Messiah:

    CCC 674 The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by “all Israel”, for “a hardening has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.” St. Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?” The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salvation, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles”, will enable the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, in which “God may be all in all”.

    The hard facts disprove this claim. Christ has not returned yet, and yet, there are thousands of Messianic Jew who believe in Him, and not as catholics or protestants, but as Jews in their own right, as Paul, Peter and James et al were Jews. But the greater point remains that Messianics who proclaim Christ as their Messiah present a strong motive of credibility to a natural seeker to disbelieve the CC’s specific claims to authority. For they themselves reject the history of the CC and its origins and call it to repentance (see Shulam videos above).

  134. Mateo:

    “On the other hand, if a child is born of natural childbirth by a Jewish woman, that child is a natural Jew. If a male infant born of Jewish mother died before he was circumcised, he would have died as a Jew (as far as I know, that is true – correct me if you disagree). I am guessing that you believe that Sammy Davis Jr. was not a natural Jew because he was not born as the child of a Jewish woman. The reason that I bring this up is that some Ashkenazi Jews trace their ancestry to converts to Judaism, and you seem to have no problem listening to Ashkenazi Jews.

    In your opinion, is an Ashkenazi Jew that has no Jewish ancestry born as a Gentile or as a Jew?

    This is getting better and better, LOL.

    Mateo, DNA testing and evidence has long disproved the sensationalistic claims that Ashkenazi Jews are not in fact Jews but rather the descendants of converts to Judaism. What’s next, the protocols of the elders of zion? My advice to you is to tread carefully here, you’re close to losing all credibility by going off such ridiculous tangents.

  135. Sheesh! It seems to me that you are merely projecting your modus operandi onto Susan. I want to go back to a point I made earlier to you that you did not address because I think my point is germane to the topic of this thread, which is about why that Catholic Church does not suffer from AC2.

    If you would learn not to rudely pile on to someone and wait patiently for my responses (especially when I have indicated to you that I could not reply immediately but would eventually), you would not accuse me of projecting anything onto Susan. There are about 3 questions I posed to Susan that she did not answer, and I’m still waiting.

    I wrote: SS, what you have failed to do is to give me the criteria that allows me to identify who these mystery men are that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures in the post-apostolic age.

    I haven’t failed to do anything. What I have done is raised this critical issue: “What are the criteria used to determine whether the so called motives of credibility are actually credible and reasonable?” It is precisely because I believe that this is where the Tu Quoque lies for catholics and because this is at the very heart of the rupture within Christendom that I advocate for Jerusalem Council II to answer the question. This, beyond repentance for the sins of the catholic and protestant church, is ground zero for a restoration of the church to what it once was.

    Nor have you told me how a man that does not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility (namely me) can know with certainty when your mystery men have exercised the charismatic gift of infallibility.

    Enough with the juvenile questions. Mateo, you’re a young guy aren’t you? In your early to mid 20s? There are no ‘mystery men’. No one today, not the Pope, not the catholic layman, not the Messianic Jew, not the Protestant can speak with the full authority of someone like James, and bind the conscience of believers everywhere. This is because the church is fundamentally divided and in a state of massive disunity. Now, that does not mean that truth is not being spoken in places. Rather it means that there is no reasonable source of authority that can be binding upon everyone. It’s a tragic state of affairs and speak to our collective sin in failing to be a witness to the world of the unity that the Son has with the Father.

    SS, you have clarified that you are not one of the mystery men that can teach infallibly in the post-apostolic era. Thank you for that bit of information. Now I ask again, who are the mystery men that you think can teach infallibly in the post-apostolic era? What are the criteria that a man like me is supposed to use to identify these mystery men? If your mystery men are not identified by Apostolic Succession, then what is the objective criterion that I am supposed to use to recognize your mystery men? Next, how am I supposed to know when your mystery men have taught infallibly? What criteria am I supposed to use to make that determination?

    What I have suggested is this: it is eminently reasonable for the criteria to include:

    – The inclusion of Messianic Jewish Leaders/Theologians at the table to discuss said criteria.
    – The praxis of the authorities (not the lay people): do they demonstrate the holiness the apostles’ called them to?
    – A willingness by all participants to seek unity without verbal or physical violence.

    Note that the above has nothing to do yet with infallibility, because anyone can claim infallibility without the proper grounds that accompanies it. That has been my challenge to you catholics from day one. You claim infallibility without any real motives of credibility to believe the claim. See my long discussion with Ray Stamper above.

    SS, like you, I do not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures. That means I need some objective criteria that allows me to first identify the men that can exercise the gift of the Holy Spirit of infallibly. After that, I need to know the objective criteria that allows me to know when these men have infallibility interpreted the scriptures when defining a doctrine of orthodoxy. If I have to infallibly interpret the scriptures to know when a man has infallibly interpreted the scriptures, then I am in the same boat as the Protestants that have accepted Luther’s proposition – I can never know with certainty what constitutes the doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

    2 Chronicles 15 states:

    “15 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law ; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.”

    Mateo, if this could happen to Israel, why do you believe it cannot happen to you/CC? I asked Susan the question at least 5-6 times, and she ignored me every single time. Have you stopped to consider the possibility that claims of infallibility are not the be all and end all of all critical thinking? Have you stopped to consider the possibility that unfaithfulness can result in a loss of teaching authority? You haven’t, because you’ve got your presuppositional blinders on. Now if you wish to tell me why you believe the CC is immune from the possibility, I’m all ears and we can pick it up from there.

  136. SS September 9, 2013 at 9:24 am
    He can ‘clarify’ and ‘nuance’ all he wants, but he has lost all credibility.

    I don’t think so. Unlike yourself and other people who claim that Scripture is easy to understand, Catholics understand that Scripture must be understood on many levels. It also says:

    2 Peter 3:16
    As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    While I could have asked him “What planet are you from?” (as you asked me, in a very ‘grown up’ manner…), I chose a while back not to address any of his posts. That strikes me as the adult thing to do.

    Yeah, I’ve seen that in many playgrounds. The child usually says, “I’m not talking to you.”

    But anyway, thanks for providing the quote. I’ll explain what I said and why.

    ““Nope. It is obvious from reading Scripture that St. James had issues. He had not shed Jewish practices to the extent that he should have. This is perhaps why Providence ensured that his diocese was erased from existence. In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans”

    Now, let’s break it down.

    I said, “It is obvious from reading Scripture that St. James had issues. He had not shed Jewish practices to the extent that he should have.”

    Note, first of all that I refer to him as Saint. Therefore, I did not mean that God condemned St. James. But I do believe that Scripture says that he had issues with some Christian Doctrines.

    Does Scripture say that St. James had issues with certain Christian Doctrines and with St. Paul? I think so. Let me explain. Many people, when writing about the Apostles, commit the sin of hagiography. They act as though the Apostles never committed any errors or any sins. And further, as though the Apostles always got along with each other. But I have read the Scriptures thoroughly and I don’t get that impression.

    St. Paul and St. James do not appear to be agreeing with each other. In fact, non-Christians and Atheists go as far as to say that St. Paul started another religion apart from Christianity.

    In order to see what, in my opinion, is really going on, we need to back up to the beginning, even before St. Paul was de-horsed. When he was still known as Saul of Tarsus.

    Reading the Scriptures, we see that Saul was a hard, even a cruel, man. Completely consumed with zeal for the traditions of his father, he approved of the martyring of St. Stephen:

    Acts 7:57 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul.

    And he asked for permission to persecute the Church:
    Acts 9:1 And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

    And his conversion to a Christian didn’t break his spirit. St. Paul was a tough man, no doubt about it! And an unforgiving man. In the following verse, St. Paul fights with St. Barnabus, because St. Paul won’t forgive John Mark’s so called “desertion” on a previous missionary journey.

    Acts 15:38 But Paul desired that he (as having departed from them out of Pamphylia, and not gone with them to the work) might not be received. 39 And there arose a dissension, so that they departed one from another; and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus. 40 But Paul choosing Silas, departed, being delivered by the brethren to the grace of God.

    No sir, forgiving was not something that came natural to St. Paul. But we’ve gotten a little bit ahead of our story, you see when St. Paul first came into the Church, he was mistrusted:

    Acts 10:13 But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke thy name.
    And St. Paul didn’t do a lot to endear himself. Straightway, he began to teach in such a way that he was accused of contradicting Moses by the Christians of Jewish background:

    Acts Of Apostles 21:21 Now they have heard of thee that thou teachest those Jews, who are among the Gentiles, to depart from Moses: saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, nor walk according to the custom.
    And this brings us to St. James. Irresistable force meet the immovable object. The entire group of Apostles and disciples seemed to be composed of tough men. St. Barnabus hadn’t let St. Paul phase him when they had their ruckus over St. John Mark. He just took St. John Mark with him and departed from St. Paul’s company. And St. James was no push over either. In fact, he literally manhandled St. Paul. Listen to this:

    Acts 21:22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 23 Do therefore this that we say to thee. We have four men, who have a vow on them. 24 Take these, and sanctify thyself with them: and bestow on them, that they may shave their heads: and all will know that the things which they have heard of thee, are false; but that thou thyself also walkest keeping the law.

    You’re in my diocese now Buddy! Tomorrow you shave and take a vow and show everyone that YOU ALSO KEEP THE LAW!

    Yessirree Bob! St. James didn’t play. You want to come over here preaching all kinds of novelties, we’re going to straighten you out!

    And what did St. Paul do? Did he kick and scream and object? No. He took a little weight off his head: 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day being purified with them, entered into the temple, giving notice of the accomplishment of the days of purification, until an oblation should be offered for every one of them.
    But that’s understandable. St. James is formidable.

    St. Paul and St. James, St. James and St. Paul. I don’t think they were BFF. I just don’t get that impression from Scripture. What do you think?

    So, that’s why I believe that St. James had issues with the things which St. Paul was teaching. But those things which St. Paul was teaching are thoroughly Catholic and Orthodox.

    Then I said:
    This is perhaps why Providence ensured that his diocese was erased from existence. In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans

    Note, first of all, that I didn’t use the word “punish” as SS first claimed. He said:

    James presents a formidable and unsurmountable difficulty for the CC, so much so that one in your camp argued on this site that God punished him and his ‘diocese’ for not getting the gospel right, or some nonsense like that.

    Note that I also used the word, “perhaps”. I did not claim this was infallible Catholic Teaching nor even claim that it was a fact. Although this is the way that SS is presenting it.

    However, as far as I know, his diocese disappeared from existence and there is no successor to St. James. Before 70 ad there was St. James and then St. Simeon. Then Jerusalem was destroyed. Who came after?

    Oh and SS, the adult thing to do is to man up and admit your errors rather than to twist the word of God and what people say to you.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  137. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    Wosbald says that someone who has believed in Christ/been baptized outside the CC in a way which doesn’t meet the CC’s definition of validity remains unregenerate can’t be considered as Regenerate.

    Fixed it for ya.

  138. FWIW, at Ecclesiastical History 4.5, Eusebius gives a list of bishops of Jerusalem. The first fifteen were all Jewish: James, Symeon, Justus, Zacchaeus, Tobias, Benjamin, John, Matthias, Philip, Seneca, Justus, Levi, Ephres, Joseph, and Judas. After the Bar Kochba revolt, the bishops were Gentiles for the very good reason that Hadrian expelled all Jews from Jerusalem, which he renamed Aelia Capitolina.

  139. JOHN S September 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    FWIW, at Ecclesiastical History 4.5, Eusebius gives a list of bishops of Jerusalem. The first fifteen were all Jewish: James, Symeon, Justus, Zacchaeus, Tobias, Benjamin, John, Matthias, Philip, Seneca, Justus, Levi, Ephres, Joseph, and Judas. After the Bar Kochba revolt, the bishops were Gentiles for the very good reason that Hadrian expelled all Jews from Jerusalem, which he renamed Aelia Capitolina.

    Thanks. I wasn’t aware of that little tidbit.

    The wiki says:
    ” Defeat of Judean rebels under Bar Kokhba is often cited as genocide,[4] resulting in an almost complete depopulation of Judea and an attempt to erase Judeans from history.”

    So, it seems the Bishoprick of St. James did survive the Roman Siege of 70 ad. I’m assuming that the Gentile Bishops which followed can all be traced back to installation by successors of St. James.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  140. @Robert:

    Maybe you don’t remember doing things like this, but throughout your comments you continually resort to such things. Calling Calvin a spiritual pornographer is not an objective judgment. Saying that Reformed Christians don’t stand in continuity with the councils based on beliefs they don’t hold is not objective. Referring to people as “no-nothing’s” and other such things for not seeing the merits of your arguments is not objective.

    And here’s where you’d need to step outside your “Catholics are enemies!” box and actually read what I said. I said that Calvin was an enemy of the common good, which is true of everyone who opposes the Catholic Church at any time. We think the Church is good; we think opposition to the Church is bad. This should come as no surprise, and I should be able to say that without needing any kind of probing into motives.

    I think that the Institutes are bad for people. Unless someone is very secure in the Catholic faith, they are likely an occasion of sin. They are a bad temptation, because they appear theological and even methodologically sound, but they are not. This is true of many heretics; Eunomius was known for his seductive erudition despite his massive errors and wrong premises. It’s absolutely not something that Christians generally ought to be reading; it is a gateway to sinful belief just like pornography is a gateway into lust. Again, that is my belief about the content of the writings themselves, not the motives, and again, I should be able to say that.

    My argument has not been that Protestants believe something contradictory to the councils on purpose. My argument has always been that, to the extent they believed that Christ was punished on the Cross by God, they believe something that cannot be reconciled with conciliar orthodoxy. That is true even if someone else’s sins are punished, and even if others are being punished by union with Christ, as long as Christ is being punished. Again, I am dealing with the beliefs themselves and not at all as to why anyone believes them. For having the temerity to state that belief, I have been accused of all manner of things, which I will not bother to repeat here.

    Lastly, when I refer to people as Know-Nothings, I am referring to that anti-Catholic, anti-Irish party of the 19th century formed after the Whig collapse.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08677a.htm

    I have no idea what people’s individual level of knowledge is. I mean that the person indulges in the same kind of anti-papal conspiracy theories about the popes being the enemies of republicanism, democracy and liberty and Catholics, by accepting the authority of the pope, being unworthy or unable to exercise the reasonable rights of citizenship. It was that belief, the belief that Catholics somehow become subrational by accepting the infallibility of the Pope, that I consider the essence of anti-Catholic prejudice, and it is a belief that has been shown again and again when Catholics are accused of checking their brains at the door of the Magisterium. And this was not unique to America; English Catholics suffered the same sort of prejudice. I can think of no better way to wrap this up than to provide Bl. John Henry Newman’s summary of the prejudice he was experiencing:

    As to his drift, I think its ultimate point is an attack upon the Catholic Religion. It is I indeed, whom he is immediately insulting,—still, he views me only as a representative, and on the whole a fair one, of a class or caste of men, to whom, conscious as I am of my own integrity, I ascribe an excellence superior to mine. He desires to impress upon the public mind the conviction that I am a crafty, scheming man, simply untrustworthy; that, in becoming a Catholic, I have just found my right place; that I do but justify and am properly interpreted by the common English notion of Roman casuists and confessors; that I was secretly a Catholic when I was openly professing to be a clergyman of the Established Church; that so far from bringing, by means of my conversion, when at length it openly took place, any strength to the Catholic cause, I am really a burden to it,—an additional evidence of the fact, that to be a pure, german, genuine Catholic, a man must be either a knave or a fool.
    http://www.newmanreader.org/works/apologia/part1.html

  141. Jonathan,

    You put Calvin on the same level as Marx as one who intentionally destroyed the common good. I’m sorry but that is to attribute to him motives. Whatever you think of the quality of Calvin’s theology, the man was not intentionally trying to destroy all that was good and holy. He did not wake up in the morning with a sinister laugh and say “Let me see how I can destroy the common good today.”

    The line that you are giving about not attributing to people motives or stooping to personal insults is a load of bunk. You’ve referred to men such as Vern Poythress as fundie hicks. I could go on.

    You made an argument about penal substitution. The gaping holes in it were presented by Protestants. You responded by saying imputation is irrational and went off raving about how Protestantism cannot be reconciled with the early councils. We point out that even your own church is not even so bold to make that claim any more and you go off on people not knowing anything about Roman Catholicism and calling us bigots. Then, when others have the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, that reflects a certain breed of RC fundamentalism and a mind that is enslaved to the Magisterium, you get all hot and bothered.

    That is not a non-motive-imputing, flawlessly logical, why-should-anyone-respond-to-me-in-the-way-they-have argument. That’s a one-standard-for-Jonathan-and-another-standard-for-Protestant argument. And if you honestly can’t see that, I don’t know what else to tell you.

  142. FWIW, at Ecclesiastical History 4.5, Eusebius gives a list of bishops of Jerusalem. The first fifteen were all Jewish: James, Symeon, Justus, Zacchaeus, Tobias, Benjamin, John, Matthias, Philip, Seneca, Justus, Levi, Ephres, Joseph, and Judas. After the Bar Kochba revolt, the bishops were Gentiles for the very good reason that Hadrian expelled all Jews from Jerusalem, which he renamed Aelia Capitolina.

    Thank you John S, for pointing that out.

    What implications do you draw from the above?

  143. SS, I do appreciate your taking the time to respond to my questions. Now I will try to respond to the points that you have raised.

    You ask me:

    Do you agree with DeMaria’s statement?

    De Maria has given us his exegesis of scriptures, and he is not claiming that his exegesis is an infallible interpretation of scriptures. He is offering his exegesis for what it is, his opinion based on his study of the Scriptures. Some of what De Maria has said I agree with, some of it I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with this statement of DeMaria: “In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans”, since that is not historically accurate, as John S has pointed out. And it seems to me that this is a key point in De Maria’s argument, so that fact counts against his overall argument.

    SS, you ask:

    But again what leads catholics to believe that justification and baptism is only valid in the CC?

    The Catholic Church does not teach this, and I can only speculate as to why some Catholics would believe such a thing. For a baptism to be considered valid by the Catholic Church, it must meet three criteria – correct matter, correct form, and correct intent. There are many different sects of Messianic Jews in the world, and I don’t know if all these sects meet the three criteria that the Catholic Church insists is necessary for a valid baptism. If a Messianic Jew was validly baptized, he would be baptismally regenerated at the moment of his reception of the Sacrament of Baptism – that is the Catholic Church’s teaching. There is no such thing a valid baptism that does not bring about baptismal regeneration.

    So who is right, Wosbald/DeMaria (Vatican I) or you/Vatican II?

    You can ask Wosbald and DeMaria what they think about the criteria that I said are necessary for a baptism to be valid. If either Wosbald or DeMaria does not think that a valid baptism brings about baptismal regeneration, then I would also like to know why a Catholic would believe such a thing. But you put me with Vatican II and then pit Vatican II against Vatican I. Why do you do that? Where, exactly, did Vatican II contradict anything that came out of Vatican I? I am especially curious as to why you think that Vatican II brought forth unheard of novelties about what constitutes a valid baptism.

    SS, I asked you “can the Messianic Jew now eat a meal that includes a cup of clam chowder and shrimp scampi without sinning?

    You answered,

    The Messianic Jew believes that Yeshua is His atonement, and hence has no longer any need of animal sacrifices for atonement. That said, he is free to keep any other aspect of the law ….

    And

    If the OC has not been revoked, is it then a sin for Messianic Jew to refuse to eat unclean foods such as pork, or shrimp?

    You have not answered my question! If a Messianic Jew does not want to each shrimp, he is not sinning. If a Messianic Jew wants to be a vegetarian, he is not be sinning. But that is not what I asked you. I asked you if a Messianic Jew did eat shrimp, would he be sinning. Please answer that question!

    SS, you ask me:

    Mateo, if you agree with Fr Friedman, and are ‘puzzled’ as to why I bring him up, will you then correct and rebuke your fellow catholics who are clearly mistaken on the matter?

    I do agree with Fr. Friedman because he is quoting Vatican II to back up his arguments. For the record, I have at times pointed out to other Catholics that the CCC explicitly teaches that the Old Covenant has not been revoked.

    SS, I quoted you the Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC 674, and you responded with this comment:

    The hard facts disprove this claim. Christ has not returned yet, and yet, there are thousands of Messianic Jew who believe in Him, and not as catholics or protestants, but as Jews in their own right, as Paul, Peter and James et al were Jews.

    What, exactly, are the “hard facts that disprove this claim”? The fact that Jews are accepting Jesus as their Messiah, is interesting to me, but I have no idea if this means were are nearing the time where it can be said that the “full inclusion” of the Jews is nigh. The full inclusion of the Jews might be ten-thousand years from now, for all I know. The Catholic Church only teaches that the full inclusion of the Jews must occur before the Second Coming, not that we are anywhere near the time of the Second Coming. So there can’t be any “hard facts” that repudiate this teaching, because the only way it can be proven to be not true is to wait until the Second Coming to see what actually transpires.

    SS, you write:

    But the greater point remains that Messianics who proclaim Christ as their Messiah present a strong motive of credibility to a natural seeker to disbelieve the CC’s specific claims to authority.

    Who is this “natural seeker” that you keep talking about? Why would a person that is a seeker of the truth listen to the life stories of the Jews in the Association of Hebrew Catholics, and then find himself with “a strong motive” to think these particular Jews are less credible than, say, a Jew for Jesus that is not a member of the Catholic Church? What, exactly, makes David Moss a non-credible witnesses to the truth?

    For they themselves reject the history of the CC and its origins and call it to repentance (see Shulam videos above).

    Sure, some Messianic Jews don’t listen to the Catholic Church. The same can be said of nearly all Protestants, all Muslims, all Hindus, and all Satanists. What makes a man credible just because he does not listen to the Catholic Church?

    Mateo, DNA testing and evidence has long disproved the sensationalistic claims that Ashkenazi Jews are not in fact Jews but rather the descendants of converts to Judaism.

    This is a scientific question, and I would accept what science has to say about this matter. A study of mitochondrial DNA might be able to settle this question, but I would be very surprised if every Ashkenazi Jew showed evidence of Jewish DNA in his blood. My point here is about men who are not born of Jewish mothers like Sammy Davis Jr. You have not answered my question. Was Sammy Davis Jr. ever a Jew or not?

    SS, I wrote:

    “SS, what you have failed to do is to give me the criteria that allows me to identify who these mystery men are that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility when interpreting scriptures in the post-apostolic age.”

    and

    Nor have you told me how a man that does not claim to exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility (namely me) can know with certainty when your mystery men have exercised the charismatic gift of infallibility.

    First, you characterize my questions to you as “juvenile”, which only shows everyone reading these posts that you will let loose with an ad hominem attack to try and discredit me before you answer my questions. In “response” to my question you write this:

    There are no ‘mystery men’. No one today, not the Pope, not the catholic layman, not the Messianic Jew, not the Protestant can speak with the full authority of someone like James, and bind the conscience of believers everywhere.

    This does NOT answer my question, as everyone can see. You admit that you know of no one that is living that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibly. You don’t bother listing any criteria that would allow me to identify a man who could infallibly interpret scriptures if he did appear on the scene. Nor did you list any criteria for how I would know when such an infallible man could be said to be teaching infallibly.

    SS, you write:

    What I have suggested is this: it is eminently reasonable for the criteria to include:
    – The inclusion of Messianic Jewish Leaders/Theologians at the table to discuss said criteria.
    – The praxis of the authorities (not the lay people): do they demonstrate the holiness the apostles’ called them to?
    – A willingness by all participants to seek unity without verbal or physical violence.
    Note that the above has nothing to do yet with infallibility, because anyone can claim infallibility without the proper grounds that accompanies it.

    Yes indeed, I do note that nothing you have listed answers the questions that I posed to you.

    First:

    – The inclusion of Messianic Jewish Leaders/Theologians at the table to discuss said criteria.

    You want the Catholic Church to send a delegation to have a meeting with Messianic Jewish Leaders, (leaders that are all over the map about what they believe constitutes the orthodox doctrines of Christianity). I have no problem with that. But you want to call this meeting an “Ecumenical Council”, and I have already pointed out to you that doing this would mean that the Catholic Church would have to repudiate every Ecumenical Council she considers to be valid to do what you are asking. This will never happen, not with the Catholic Church, and not with the Eastern Orthodox Churches nor with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. What you are asking is totally unreasonable.

    Second:

    – The praxis of the authorities (not the lay people): do they demonstrate the holiness the apostles’ called them to?

    I have already shown that the scriptures do NOT support the idea that exercising a charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit is a sign that points to personal sanctity. The Catholics would have to repudiate what Jesus teaches to accept your personal criterion that infallibility is necessarily accompanied by impeccability.

    Third:

    – A willingness by all participants to seek unity without verbal or physical violence.

    That, I can agree with!

    SS, you quote 2 Chronicles 15, and then ask me:

    Mateo, if this could happen to Israel, why do you believe it cannot happen to you/CC?

    SS, are you suggesting that 2 Chronicles 15 should be interpreted to mean that God revoked the Old Covenant? If so, then I would disagree with your interpretation, and if not, then you have your answer.

    The Old Covenant has never been revoked because Israel is the bride, and God is always faithful to his spouse, even when she behaves like an unfaithful whore. The church of the New Covenant is the bride of Christ, and God will never divorce his bride, even if she acts the whore.

    SS, you write:

    Have you stopped to consider the possibility that claims of infallibility are not the be all and end all of all critical thinking? Have you stopped to consider the possibility that unfaithfulness can result in a loss of teaching authority? You haven’t, because you’ve got your presuppositional blinders on.

    And I say to you, sir, quit putting words into my mouth and telling the world that I have never considered the idea that unfaithfulness can result in a loss of teaching authority. This is an utterly false accusation that you are making!

  144. Mateo,

    It’s late and I can’t get to your post today, will do it tomorrow.

  145. SS asked:

    So who is right, Wosbald/DeMaria (Vatican I) or you/Vatican II?

    Wosbald and De Maria agree with and submit to the Teachings of the Catholic Church including those of Vatican I and Vatican II.

    Mateo responded:

    You can ask Wosbald and DeMaria what they think about the criteria that I said are necessary for a baptism to be valid.

    The Catholic Church teaches that even heretical baptism are effective and bring about what Christ intended, as long as they are Trinitarian Baptisms. The only trinitarian Baptism ever rejected by the Vatican has been the Mormon.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  146. SS asked:

    Do you agree with DeMaria’s statement?

    Why do you continue asking others about my statements, when I’m right here. The fact is that my one erroneous statement that your trying to make hay with is inconsequential to your entire premise which I knocked down a long time ago.

    Back in April you started out with the premise that Jewish believers were superior to Gentile believers. Here is your response to Wosbald:

    SS April 1, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Wosbald said:
    But you seem to be saying that a Jew, simply by virtue of his Jewishness, simply because of his Jewishness, is not only regenerated and thus a Christian, but also automatically gains a position of formal ecclesial authority. Maybe this isn’t what you’re saying, but this is the impression that I’ve been getting over the course of your posts.

    You replied:

    The promises of God to His people are irrevocable.

    More recently, when I challenged that stance, you changed:

    I have never argued for a ‘superior ethnic Jewish hierarchy’.

    So, you no longer claim that there exists a superior Jewish hierarchy in the Church. Although, you did say that as a Gentile, you had no voice in your church, but you rescinded that as well.

    Now, then, your claim changed to two hierarchies, a Jewish hierarchy and a Gentile hierarchy growing side by side in the Church. You said:

    What’s so offensive about a church led by Jewish believers or Jewish believers and Gentile believers?

    And you keep claiming that supersessionism is false:

    The Catholic position is one of supersessionism and is nowhere in conformity to this model but the very antithesis of the model.

    Yet, you agree with John S.’s finding from Eusebius history. But John S.’s finding proves that it was not the Catholic Church which did anything to the line of Hebrew Bishops. It was the Roman empire which eradicated and tried to erase Hebrews, believers or not, from the world.

    How does John S.’s finding help your claim that God intended the Hebrew believer to remain sovereign in Christ’s Church when, without God’s consent, the Hebrew people could not have been eradicated from Jerusalem and Judea or anywhere else? And this is the main reason given for the break in Hebrew leadership in the Jerusalem Bishoprick.

    If God had wanted a line of Hebrew believers to remain intact in the Church and to continue hand in hand with a Gentile leadership, I’m sure that line would have remained intact. But God did not want that. Whether it was immediately after St. James or after 15 Jewish Bishops in Jerusalem, the Hebrew line of Bishops was broken. And it could not have been broken if it was God’s will that it remain intact.

    Therefore, although history does not support one of my side comments. History demolishes your entire premise and argument.

    Don’t let me get in the way of your making more straw men and sustaining your presuppositions with lies and fabrications. Go ahead, bring up something else that I said in our discussion.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  147. Jonathan,

    It just occurred to me that calling Calvin’s writing “spiritual pornography” or to refer to him as a “spiritual pornographer” is indeed to attribute motives to him.

    If pornography is media designed by its creator to stimulate arousal and excitement, and if we all agree that it is designed by its creator to stimulate illicit and forbidden excitement (lust is still a mortal sin, right?), then to refer to Calvin and spiritual pornography in the same breath is to impute motives to him. It is to say he intentionally designed his teaching to stimulate forbidden thoughts and illicit beliefs.

    Again, I don’t particularly care that you think Calvin taught falsehood. But to refer to him as a spiritual pornographer is to to impute motives to him that you swear up and down you don’t do. You’re employing a double standard.

  148. @Robert:

    You put Calvin on the same level as Marx as one who intentionally destroyed the common good. I’m sorry but that is to attribute to him motives.

    What do you know about Marx? I certainly don’t think he was out to inflict misery on people. But he was out to destroy capitalism, which he thought was evil, so he was intentionally destructive of the common good, even if he didn’t know what the good was. Calvin was the same; he was intentionally out to destroy the Catholic Church, which he thought was evil. There’s no motive there; both Marx and Calvin thought they were reforming for good by destroying what they considered an evil. But what they were out to destroy was not evil at all. This kind of reflexive tendency to look at motives even when they aren’t relevant is the kind of thing that I am pointing out.

    You’ve referred to men such as Vern Poythress as fundie hicks. I could go on.

    Yes. I mean that they are not engaged in the study of theology as such, but rather, engaged in a fundamentalist pantomime of what philosophy and theology should look like. They are off in their own intellectual ghetto that is outside the reasonable practice of theology, much like Calvin himself was. I don’t attribute motives to them either; I am saying that what they are doing is marginalizing and driving them outside of the bounds of reasonable theological practice. They are encouraging fideism and fundamentalism, just like Sproul and MacArthur are encouraging bigotry, even if their subjective motives are pristine.

    You made an argument about penal substitution. The gaping holes in it were presented by Protestants.

    No, you have to present an argument in order to identify holes in an argument. Instead, you made a large number of emotional and personal assertions and speculated about my motives, which seems to come very naturally to you.

    You responded by saying imputation is irrational and went off raving about how Protestantism cannot be reconciled with the early councils.

    Irrationality is objective. The reconciliation of Protestantism with early councils is objective. If those are false, then you should be able to demonstrate them according to some kind of argument, not characterizing your opponent or your opponent’s motives. Again, you need to separate the argument from the person.

    We point out that even your own church is not even so bold to make that claim any more and you go off on people not knowing anything about Roman Catholicism and calling us bigots. Then, when others have the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, that reflects a certain breed of RC fundamentalism and a mind that is enslaved to the Magisterium, you get all hot and bothered.

    Yes, because it’s a personal insult to me to say that I can’t have my own thoughts on the matter. That goes beyond an implication that Catholics can’t think for themselves,;it out and out asserts it. The idea that Catholics can’t think for themselves or say anything beyond what the Magisterium says is one of the worst, most insulting anti-Catholic stereotypes there is. The fact that you appear to be oblivious to how incredibly insulting this is demonstrates how far out of the mainstream you are. I’m not “hot and bothered” about it; I just think that you are an incredibly bigoted person who throws around grievous insults without even being aware of how ridiculously offensive they are in historical context.

    That is not a non-motive-imputing, flawlessly logical, why-should-anyone-respond-to-me-in-the-way-they-have argument. That’s a one-standard-for-Jonathan-and-another-standard-for-Protestant argument. And if you honestly can’t see that, I don’t know what else to tell you.

    And if you can’t see what the difference is between attacking someone’s position and attacking someone’s motives, then you are too poorly acquainted with the basic rules of civil discourse to participate meaningfully in the practice.

    If pornography is media designed by its creator to stimulate arousal and excitement, and if we all agree that it is designed by its creator to stimulate illicit and forbidden excitement (lust is still a mortal sin, right?), then to refer to Calvin and spiritual pornography in the same breath is to impute motives to him. It is to say he intentionally designed his teaching to stimulate forbidden thoughts and illicit beliefs.

    See above with respect to Marx. I mean that it is objectively intended to persuade people to reject the Church and embrace Calvinism. That is all.

  149. Jonathan,

    All I can say is that in your last response you resorted to distinctions without any hint of difference.

    If to say Poythress, Calvin, et al are wrongly engaging in a practice that does not belong within the scope of Christian theology is kosher, then to say you are wrongly holding to beliefs that the apostles would reject is equally kosher. If to say that they are deceived who thought they were doing good while destroying the common good is kosher, then to say you are deceived and think you are doing good while destroying what is truly good—apostolic teaching—is kosher.

    As far as the argument, I, Eric, JD, Joey Henry and others made an argument based on imputation and union with Christ that was essentially the same. Your response was that it was irrational and that basically only theological simpletons could believe such. Don’t confuse that with a counter-argument, especially when you never could establish your premises except on RC presuppositions about what is possible and what is not.

    The double standard continues. I’m truly sorry to say that I see no evidence that your modus operandi has changed or even can change.

  150. De Maria has given us his exegesis of scriptures, and he is not claiming that his exegesis is an infallible interpretation of scriptures. He is offering his exegesis for what it is, his opinion based on his study of the Scriptures. Some of what De Maria has said I agree with, some of it I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with this statement of DeMaria: “In AD 77, his diocese, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans”, since that is not historically accurate, as John S has pointed out. And it seems to me that this is a key point in De Maria’s argument, so that fact counts against his overall argument.

    I didn’t say that Demaria’s exegesis was infallible, so that’s a strawman. But it’s good to see you acknowledge that (Wosbald?) and him are both mistaken on the matter.

    SS: “But again what leads catholics to believe that justification and baptism is only valid in the CC?”

    Mateo: The Catholic Church does not teach this, and I can only speculate as to why some Catholics would believe such a thing. For a baptism to be considered valid by the Catholic Church, it must meet three criteria – correct matter, correct form, and correct intent. There are many different sects of Messianic Jews in the world, and I don’t know if all these sects meet the three criteria that the Catholic Church insists is necessary for a valid baptism. If a Messianic Jew was validly baptized, he would be baptismally regenerated at the moment of his reception of the Sacrament of Baptism – that is the Catholic Church’s teaching. There is no such thing a valid baptism that does not bring about baptismal regeneration.

    The next question then is this: if you recognize that a Messianic Jew who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is validly baptized, what then of the rest of his/her salvation? Is he in mortal sin by virtue of the fact that he does not commune/ partake of the eucharist in a catholic church?

    You can ask Wosbald and DeMaria what they think about the criteria that I said are necessary for a baptism to be valid. If either Wosbald or DeMaria does not think that a valid baptism brings about baptismal regeneration, then I would also like to know why a Catholic would believe such a thing. But you put me with Vatican II and then pit Vatican II against Vatican I. Why do you do that? Where, exactly, did Vatican II contradict anything that came out of Vatican I? I am especially curious as to why you think that Vatican II brought forth unheard of novelties about what constitutes a valid baptism.

    Well, I think there is reasonable evidence to suggest a break between Vatican I and II. Of course, the CC will deny it. But when one considers the internal struggle between Benedict and Francis (and more generally between the more conservative wing vs the more liberal wing) made public for all to read. All the natural man has to do is read this to conclude that the claimed unity between Vatican I and II is an actual unity:

    “Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), Allocution Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854: “Not without sorrow we have learned that another error, no less destructive, has taken possession of some parts of the Catholic world, and has taken up its abode in the souls of many Catholics who think that one should have good hope of the eternal salvation of all those who have never lived in the true Church of Christ. Therefore, they are wont to ask very often what will be the lot and condition of those who have not submitted in any way to the Catholic faith, and, by bringing forward most vain reasons, they make a response favorable to their false opinion. Far be it from Us, Venerable Brethren, to presume on the limits of the divine mercy which is infinite; far from Us, to wish to scrutinize the hidden counsel and “judgements of God” which are “a great abyss” (Ps. 35.7) and cannot be penetrated by human thought. But, as is Our Apostolic Duty, we wish your episcopal solicitude and vigilance to be aroused, so that you will strive as much as you can to drive form the mind of men that impious and equally fatal opinion, namely, that the way of eternal salvation can be found in any religion whatsoever…

    You have not answered my question! If a Messianic Jew does not want to each shrimp, he is not sinning. If a Messianic Jew wants to be a vegetarian, he is not be sinning. But that is not what I asked you. I asked you if a Messianic Jew did eat shrimp, would he be sinning. Please answer that question!

    No need to get excited. I thought I had answered your question, but clearly you’re not satisfied. Yes, if a Messianic Jew happens to eats non kosher food, it is a sin for him, but a minor one at that, and one that he can be forgiven for by claiming the cleansing of Christ his atonement. That said, there is no reason to expect a MJ to do that, because afterall, his identity as a Jew has not been erased with the coming of Christ. Rather it has been fulfilled. His Messiah would not have any issue with him refusing to eat non kosher food, for the kingdom of God is neither food nor drink, but peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Meaning that both Jew and Gentile believer is part of the Kingdom. The Jew who believes in Christ and does not eat shrimp is in the Kingdom as is the Gentile who does eat shrimp. By the way, as an aside, 70% of pork meat in the US has been shown to be infested/contaminated with bacteria. Shrimp and bottom feeders have been shown to carry a high amount of toxins in their flesh. A bon entendeur, salut!

    I do agree with Fr. Friedman because he is quoting Vatican II to back up his arguments. For the record, I have at times pointed out to other Catholics that the CCC explicitly teaches that the Old Covenant has not been revoked.

    Fr Friedman goes on to say:

    “Bishop Scandar declared at Vatican II that the Jews were no more children of Abraham. Bishop Colombo left
    them in possession of natural rights only, insisting that otherwise they had no further “raison d’être”.
    Madame D. Judant, the Council teaching notwithstanding, continued to hold that God had rejected forever
    the incredulous majority of the Jews. The Archbishop of Paris naturally refused to grant her book the imprimatur.
    The revocationist tradition is rooted in the mentality of the Fathers of the Church. At the same time, Schoeps and Travers Herford were wrong to believe that it represented the authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church.
    Bonsirven granted freely the right of Jewry to nourish a belief in its Election, with the reservations which
    Christian theology imposes. Pius IX accepted the postulatum in favor of Jewry drawn up by the Lémann brothers,
    in which the Jews are described as “most dear to God because of the Fathers”, a phrase from St. Paul, to be used
    again by the Fathers of Vatican Council II. The warmth of feeling for Jews exhibited by the signatories of the
    postulatum, five hundred Catholic bishops, is most touching to read about. The revocationist current prevailed in the Church for so long because there had been no official teaching on the theological status of post-Christic Jewry. Vatican Council II has remedied the deficiency, at least in part.

    As you can see, Friedman does not believe that Vatican II has completely remedied this great wrong, so you pointing to Vatican II does not absolve you of the problems your church faces. You have one of your own telling you that not enough has been done. Would he even write a book if that weren’t so?

    What, exactly, are the “hard facts that disprove this claim”? The fact that Jews are accepting Jesus as their Messiah, is interesting to me, but I have no idea if this means were are nearing the time where it can be said that the “full inclusion” of the Jews is nigh. The full inclusion of the Jews might be ten-thousand years from now, for all I know. The Catholic Church only teaches that the full inclusion of the Jews must occur before the Second Coming, not that we are anywhere near the time of the Second Coming. So there can’t be any “hard facts” that repudiate this teaching, because the only way it can be proven to be not true is to wait until the Second Coming to see what actually transpires.

    If that fact is interesting to you, you ought to consider its ecclesiological implications. The hard fact is that thousands upon thousands of Jews are believing in Christ, and this, not as converts to the CC! On what ground do you dismiss them? Just because they are not converts to the CC, therefore they shouldn’t be included in that ‘full inclusion’? Further, one does not have to wait for the whole of Israel to be saved (as Paul says) to ask ourselves the question: “Was the church ever meant to be led in authority by gentiles only?” What is your answer to that?

    Who is this “natural seeker” that you keep talking about? Why would a person that is a seeker of the truth listen to the life stories of the Jews in the Association of Hebrew Catholics, and then find himself with “a strong motive” to think these particular Jews are less credible than, say, a Jew for Jesus that is not a member of the Catholic Church? What, exactly, makes David Moss a non-credible witnesses to the truth?

    This is from an ongoing discussion with Ray Stamper and Jason regarding the motives of credibility. The catholic claim is that an individual, with an unaided intellect (unaided by the Spirit), can turn to the facts and conclude that they reasonably support an eventual assent of faith into the CC. And yes, you are correct in that a natural seeker may listen to the AHC and conclude that it is a strong motive to believe the CC over say, JFJ. But a natural seeker may also find that the AHC, as witnessed by Fr Friedman’s own writing, has failed to do justice to the cause of Messianic Jews and instead is simply another tool for the CC to ‘convert’ people. A natural seeker may look at the evidence from history and find a clear break between Jewish praxis of the faith (Luke 24:50-53 etc) and the RCC praxis of the faith. How do you adjudicate between the claims? You say you are being reasonable, I say I am being reasonable. We are free to disagree, no doubt. But the implications of this are clear: you are not in any way, epistemically advantaged over me.

    Sure, some Messianic Jews don’t listen to the Catholic Church. The same can be said of nearly all Protestants, all Muslims, all Hindus, and all Satanists. What makes a man credible just because he does not listen to the Catholic Church?

    What makes a man not credible just because he doesn’t listen to the CC? See above.

    This is a scientific question, and I would accept what science has to say about this matter. A study of mitochondrial DNA might be able to settle this question, but I would be very surprised if every Ashkenazi Jew showed evidence of Jewish DNA in his blood. My point here is about men who are not born of Jewish mothers like Sammy Davis Jr. You have not answered my question. Was Sammy Davis Jr. ever a Jew or not?

    Mateo, the science has already settled the matter, so quit clinging to fantasy and making unproven suggestions. Paul grants us a way to make the determination, he circumcised Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and father was Greek. There is no reason to claim, and nothing in the text, that necessitates the understanding that Paul did so because he was trying to hypocritically accommodate the Jews to whom he was witnessing. The other possibility is that Paul did it because he believed that Timothy ought to be circumcised regardless, because he was a Jew afterall. So if Sammy’s mother wasn’t a Jew, he wasn’t a Jew. So what next? Are you going to claim that all Ashkenazi Jews are actually not Jews? Even if you claim that some aren’t, so what, what have you proved? Can you dismiss the majority of them who actually are Jews, born of Jewish mothers?

    First, you characterize my questions to you as “juvenile”, which only shows everyone reading these posts that you will let loose with an ad hominem attack to try and discredit me before you answer my questions. In “response” to my question you write this:

    There are no ‘mystery men’. No one today, not the Pope, not the catholic layman, not the Messianic Jew, not the Protestant can speak with the full authority of someone like James, and bind the conscience of believers everywhere.

    This does NOT answer my question, as everyone can see. You admit that you know of no one that is living that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibly. You don’t bother listing any criteria that would allow me to identify a man who could infallibly interpret scriptures if he did appear on the scene. Nor did you list any criteria for how I would know when such an infallible man could be said to be teaching infallibly.

    It does answer your question, you just don’t like the answer. Why not let the reader decide. What I have done is to question the premises behind your question, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do in a debate. If you don’t like that, don’t debate. That’s why I said you are most likely a young guy, wet behind the ears. That’s not an ad hominem if it’s actually true. Is it true? Yes or no? Here let me use one of your lines “You haven’t answered my question!”

    First:

    – The inclusion of Messianic Jewish Leaders/Theologians at the table to discuss said criteria.

    You want the Catholic Church to send a delegation to have a meeting with Messianic Jewish Leaders, (leaders that are all over the map about what they believe constitutes the orthodox doctrines of Christianity). I have no problem with that. But you want to call this meeting an “Ecumenical Council”, and I have already pointed out to you that doing this would mean that the Catholic Church would have to repudiate every Ecumenical Council she considers to be valid to do what you are asking. This will never happen, not with the Catholic Church, and not with the Eastern Orthodox Churches nor with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. What you are asking is totally unreasonable.

    But why is it unreasonable? Because you want to stomp your feet and say out loud that is unreasonable? That’s a not a reason to believe the suggestion is unreasonable, I’m sorry. Further, you misrepresent my steps. First the CC and other Protestant churches should repent and seek genuine reconciliation with their Jewish brethren. That is #1. Without a genuine repentance, which involves acknowledgement of boasting over the natural branches throughout history and sins against the Jewish people, nothing can be accomplished. God gives grace to the humble, not the proud. Secondly, if that is done, then they can have a discussion on what ought to constitute reasonable motives of credibility to believe that any organization is the true living church of God. Thirdly, if they can agree on what should constitute a reason MOC, they should seek to achieve that unity through the appointing of leaders and ensuing discussion to settle theological matters. If James, Paul and Peter et al were able to do that, why can’t we? If you continue to say we cannot, how is that not an unreasonable radical skepticism?

    – The praxis of the authorities (not the lay people): do they demonstrate the holiness the apostles’ called them to?

    I have already shown that the scriptures do NOT support the idea that exercising a charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit is a sign that points to personal sanctity. The Catholics would have to repudiate what Jesus teaches to accept your personal criterion that infallibility is necessarily accompanied by impeccability.

    No you haven’t showed anything. The distinction is not between impeccability and infallibility. What I have argued for is that Scripture has a very high standard for elders and bishops. It called that BLAMELESSNESS or to be BEYOND REPROACH. Something that the CC’s leadership is far from. To be blameless is not tantamount to being sinless. So your argument is worthless. Jesus Himself gives you an epistemological rule, “You shall know them (your teachers) by their fruit”. There’s no way around that Mateo.

    – A willingness by all participants to seek unity without verbal or physical violence.

    That, I can agree with!

    You should then read the history of the Ecumenical councils, and consider the blood that was shed in the name of truth. Is that what Christ came to show us? Did He come to teach us to murder those who disagree with us? Does He need our help in defending His glory or can He bring it about even if we are faithful to him and persecuted for the truth? He said even these stones will cry out if they need to. I point this out as a motive of incredulity to the natural seeker, as strong evidence to disbelieve the authority claims of the CC.

    SS, are you suggesting that 2 Chronicles 15 should be interpreted to mean that God revoked the Old Covenant? If so, then I would disagree with your interpretation, and if not, then you have your answer.

    The Old Covenant has never been revoked because Israel is the bride, and God is always faithful to his spouse, even when she behaves like an unfaithful whore. The church of the New Covenant is the bride of Christ, and God will never divorce his bride, even if she acts the whore.

    I am suggesting that 2 Chron 15 teaches that God can depart from His people, if they disobey Him. Your statement above that God will never divorce his bride is true in the sense that there will be a remnant of faithful believers who will not have soiled their clothes, and who are dressed in white. But it is also false in the sense that God does divorce himself from people who disobey Him and He punishes them. Make no mistake, God will rebuke and reject the many who disobeyed Him and whored themselves out. Further, you cannot simply assume that the bride of Christ is the CC (while she may include catholics), because that is precisely what we are disputing here.

    Have you stopped to consider the possibility that claims of infallibility are not the be all and end all of all critical thinking? Have you stopped to consider the possibility that unfaithfulness can result in a loss of teaching authority? You haven’t, because you’ve got your presuppositional blinders on.

    And I say to you, sir, quit putting words into my mouth and telling the world that I have never considered the idea that unfaithfulness can result in a loss of teaching authority. This is an utterly false accusation that you are making!

    Ok, so you’ve considered the idea. Why do you disagree with it, because you clearly do. What rationale/reasons can you present to support your belief?

  151. SS,

    I didn’t say that Demaria’s exegesis was infallible, so that’s a strawman. But it’s good to see you acknowledge that (Wosbald?) and him are both mistaken on the matter.

    But you have yet to acknowledge your error that there must be a dominant Jewish branch or leadership divided between two branches Jew and Gentile, continuing to this day. The very same information which taught me that the Diocese of Jerusalem cont’d after 15 circumcised Popes should have taught you that God used the Roman garrison to put an end to that situation.

    If it existed for the past 2000 years, as you claim, where is the evidence?

    But when one considers the internal struggle between Benedict and Francis (and more generally between the more conservative wing vs the more liberal wing) made public for all to read.

    You seem to be functioning under the mistaken impression that all Catholics must be cookie cutter duplicates one of the other.

    No. Pope Francis is different in personality from Pope Benedict and he in turn was different from Pope JPII etc. etc. However, they are united in the necessary Doctrines of the Faith.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  152. @Robert:
    The distinction is between belief and motive, which is hardly a distinction without a difference. Saying that someone is “deceived” or the like deals with a motive, what causes the belief, and not the belief itself. Likewise, talking about “RC presuppositions,” as if I simply believe something because I happen to be Catholic, is about motives, not beliefs (not to mention ridiculous, since I repeatedly said that I first heard the argument from an Eastern Orthodox Christian).

    As to your complete mischaracterization of my argument, yes, I said it is illogical (and thus irrational by definition) to hold to a union in which Christ can be punished by God for another’s sin. That argument does not depend on any peculiarly Catholic premises, nor is logical possibility a particularly Catholic category. It is also based on nothing but the fact that Christ is punished by God, regardless of whether it is for another’s sin or not. I said nothing about “theological simpletons” or the like. I simply said that there is no logical way to reconcile the two beliefs (i.e., the orthodox belief in Christ’s sinlessness and the strong version of penal substitution).

    You are the one introducing this completely inappropriate discussion of my motives, the Magisterium, and everything else under the sun but the one simple question that summarizes the entire issue: was Christ punished by God? I can’t raise a “counter-argument” when you have yet to raise an argument.

    Just because I hurt your pride by rejecting your beliefs and the beliefs of people you respect, you don’t thereby get the right to delve into motives rather than belief. Harsh attacks on beliefs are fair game. Attacks on motives are base and unworthy of civil discussion. That is not a meaningless distinction or a double standard; it is based on the mundane observation (and Biblical teaching) that one cannot see another’s heart.

  153. +JMJ+

    SS wrote:

    The next question then is this: if you recognize that a Messianic Jew who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is validly baptized, what then of the rest of his/her salvation?

    Of course, since Shulam sure seems to openly question the Trinity, this would apparently make Shulamite baptisms, at least, doubtful. And if doubtful, then they would be practically invalid, and thus, an administration of Conditional Baptism would be in order for the Shulamite convert to the RCC.

    http://www.netivyah.org/articles/The_Holy_Trinity_through_the_Looking_Glass_of_Judaism.pdf

    Though Shulam is very clear about that which he rejects and that which he doubts, he is very vague about what he positively affirms. I find this to be unsurprising since Judaic tradition doesn’t have a categorical conception which is equivalent to the Catholic conception of Dogma.

    Here’s how he concludes his short article…

    Conclusion

    In each of these texts, and in many others, the clearest element is the unity of the God of Israel. He is one just as stated in the reading of the “Shema.” In light of the Scriptures and for the sake of the truth and our testimony to the people of Israel, we must examine the Holy Scriptures, and not accept the Christian traditions and the Christian articles of faith as binding upon the body of Messiah in the Land of Israel or in the world at large.

    But all of this is somewhat academic. I suspect that your main issue is not whether or not the RCC accepts the validity of Baptisms outside of Her canonical bounds, and that the fact that She does recognize the possible validity of such Baptisms, at least in principle, doesn’t faze you one way or the other. I suspect that your real bone of contention is the temerity of the RCC’s claim that She has the authority to define what is and what is not a valid Baptism from the get-go.

  154. The distinction is between belief and motive, which is hardly a distinction without a difference. Saying that someone is “deceived” or the like deals with a motive, what causes the belief, and not the belief itself. Likewise, talking about “RC presuppositions,” as if I simply believe something because I happen to be Catholic, is about motives, not beliefs (not to mention ridiculous, since I repeatedly said that I first heard the argument from an Eastern Orthodox Christian).

    So as a Roman Catholic, you don’t bring Roman Catholic presuppositions to an argument? Are you the only neutral arguer in history?

    Being deceived is not a “motive.” If you are, in fact, deceived, you aren’t the guilty agent, at least primarily. If I am, in fact, deceived, I’m not the guilty agent, at least primarily.

    What you hold in common with the EO Christian in regards to the particular argument is that you both deny the possibility of the imputation of sin and guilt. So, let me correct myself. The only reason you deny penal substitution is because you are not a Protestant who believes in double imputation.

    As to your complete mischaracterization of my argument, yes, I said it is illogical (and thus irrational by definition) to hold to a union in which Christ can be punished by God for another’s sin. That argument does not depend on any peculiarly Catholic premises, nor is logical possibility a particularly Catholic category. It is also based on nothing but the fact that Christ is punished by God, regardless of whether it is for another’s sin or not. I said nothing about “theological simpletons” or the like. I simply said that there is no logical way to reconcile the two beliefs (i.e., the orthodox belief in Christ’s sinlessness and the strong version of penal substitution).

    Yes, and when the Protestants including myself countered that imputation and union make it possible for God to regard Christ in one sense as bearing our guilt and in another sense as guiltless in regards to what he himself actually did, you countered with irrational with no real grounds for why except that human jurisprudence doesn’t work this way and that God cannot possibly regard a non-guilty person as a vicarious guilt-bearer. There was no argument offered except charges of nominalism and voluntarism and then what others also said was a completely arbitrary way of reducing some features to the person and some features to the nature.

    You are the one introducing this completely inappropriate discussion of my motives, the Magisterium, and everything else under the sun but the one simple question that summarizes the entire issue: was Christ punished by God? I can’t raise a “counter-argument” when you have yet to raise an argument.
    Just because I hurt your pride by rejecting your beliefs and the beliefs of people you respect, you don’t thereby get the right to delve into motives rather than belief. Harsh attacks on beliefs are fair game. Attacks on motives are base and unworthy of civil discussion. That is not a meaningless distinction or a double standard; it is based on the mundane observation (and Biblical teaching) that one cannot see another’s heart.

    I’m sorry, Jonathan, but you are again employing the double standard. You haven’t hurt my pride. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but it really matters very little to me how much you respect Calvin, Sproul, MacArthur, Piper, Frame, et al. You can believe they’re all wrong, for all I care, though I obviously disagree. What is irritating is that you want to call these men bigots and fundamentalist hicks and pretend that is not a judgment of motives or anything of the like but just a purely objective judgment. The only one for whom you’ve given any evidence for these things is Calvin, and then only haphazardly. When someone else has the temerity to suggest that maybe some of your beliefs are foolish, then you get all upset.

    You can’t continue to pretend that you are somehow above the fray and have not resorted to the same tactics for which you criticize me. The fact is, you haven’t. I realize at this point that it may be futile in trying to get you to see that, but I can’t help you with that. Tell me Calvin taught error. Don’t tell me he wrote spiritual pornography and then pretend that such is not a motive-imputing statement designed to provoke an emotional response in the audience. Tell me modern Protestants have mischaracterized RC and how. Don’t tell me they’re bigots and pretend this is not a motive-imputing statement designed to provoke an emotional response in the audience.

    A pornographer knowingly transgresses boundaries that he knows to be good and holy. A spiritual pornographer, therefore, would do the same. You are imputing motives to Calvin and the other men whom you have spoken of as bigots. It’s inescapable. Like I said, if you truly don’t think you’ve done that, I don’t know how to help you. Reject the beliefs of people I respect all you want. Explain why. Great. But don’t use emotionally-laden language, impute motives through terms such as “pornography,” and then start calling people names when they respond in any way similar to your own approach. Be consistent.

    Finally, I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted Galatians 3:13 and made an argument from that and several other passages regarding Christ bearing our guilt and punishment. The only one whose engaged me on any substantive level regarding the Galatians text is SS. You’ve dealt somewhat with 2 Cor. 5:21, but your only response has been, essentially, that “well, we know God can’t literally have imputed sin and guilt to Christ in the manner strong PS suggests because it is logically impossible for God to regard a guiltless person in such a manner.” That’s not an argument from the text but an imposition of pre-existing categories upon divine revelation, categories and concepts that not even all RCs would hold to.

    (Here’s a hint: As long as you think that the proper starting point is always and only what the text of Scripture actually says, the only ones you are going to make any sense to or be able to convince are those who deny the perspicacity of divine revelation. IE, a non-Protestant. Maybe you don’t care about convincing Protestants. Again, that’s fine, but don’t get all upset when Protestants respond by prioritizing what Scripture actually says over certain conclusions you’ve drawn from conciliar teaching, conclusions that not even the Magisterium has drawn, let alone infallibly or otherwise ex cathedra.)

    The question “Was Christ punished by God?” is not one that has a simple yes or no answer. It’s like if I asked you “Is the pope infallible?” The right answer as a RC is “yes, as long as you understand papal infallibility in this way and under these circumstances…”

    Was Christ punished by God? Yes, if by that you mean that he received the wrath of God for what other people have done and/or that God’s ire was directed at sinners even though Christ and not the sinners themselves felt the emotional, physical, and spiritual manifestation of that ire. No, if by that you mean God regarded Christ as one who actually committed sin and was in himself deserving of what he received on the cross.

  155. comment

  156. Of course, since Shulam sure seems to openly question the Trinity, this would apparently make Shulamite baptisms, at least, doubtful. And if doubtful, then they would be practically invalid, and thus, an administration of Conditional Baptism would be in order for the Shulamite convert to the RCC.

    I understand why you would feel compelled to misrepresent him, but the fact remains that my question still stands no matter how you view him:

    “The next question then is this: if you recognize that a Messianic Jew who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is validly baptized, what then of the rest of his/her salvation?”

  157. Btw, Shulam in fact affirms the Trinity in most unambiguous terms! Here’s what Wosbald so conveniently leaves out of his selective cut and paste job:

    “How is it possible to believe in one God, as the Scriptures teach, and nonetheless believe that Yeshua is God? Here are a number of guidelines that will help us understand Yeshua as God ….


    4. “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43)… There are many other places which clearly teach that Yeshua was sent by the Father and received full authority to be 100% God in the flesh and dwell amongs us , clothed in slave’s garments like us (Philippians 2 6-9).

  158. So what he openly questions is not the Trinity, but rather the self ascribed authority claim of the RCC to bind him to her understanding of the Trinity. And it is entirely his prerogative to do so, given that the RCC is in no way epistemically advantaged over him.

    But all of this is somewhat academic. I suspect that your main issue is not whether or not the RCC accepts the validity of Baptisms outside of Her canonical bounds, and that the fact that She does recognize the possible validity of such Baptisms, at least in principle, doesn’t faze you one way or the other. I suspect that your real bone of contention is the temerity of the RCC’s claim that She has the authority to define what is and what is not a valid Baptism from the get-go

    If the RCC accepts the validity of baptism and salvation outside her bounds, she has tacitly admitted that she is not the Israel of God and not to be conflated with the Israel of God. This is good, because it opens up the way for true repentance and ecumenical effort to take place. And yes, my contention has been from day one that the motives of credibility pertaining to the CC’s authority are at worst unreasonable, and at best very weak.

  159. SS asks:

    “The next question then is this: if you recognize that a Messianic Jew who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is validly baptized, what then of the rest of his/her salvation?”

    That is between him and God. The Sacraments are helps towards salvation. But we must all stand before the Just Judge. In order to enter heaven, one must keep the Commandments:

    Romans 2:6-13
    King James Version (KJV)
    6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

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

    Revelation 22:12-15
    King James Version (KJV)
    12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  160. SS you ask:

    The next question then is this: if you recognize that a Messianic Jew who is baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is validly baptized, what then of the rest of his/her salvation?

    To be baptized “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, is to have the form correct. For the baptism to be valid, the matter also has to be correct, as does the intent.

    Let us agree that a Messianic Jew was validly baptized. If he died the moment after his baptism, he would go straight to Heaven. The Messianic Jew that lives a life after his baptism is in the same boat as any other Christian that has received a valid baptism. He has to take up his cross and walk the narrow path – he has to suffer and undergo the second conversion:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    III. THE CONVERSION OF THE BAPTIZED
    1427
    Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”16 In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.

    1428 Christ’s call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, “clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.” This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.

    SS, you ask this about the Messianic Jew that was validly baptized:

    Is he in mortal sin by virtue of the fact that he does not commune/ partake of the eucharist in a catholic church?

    Maybe, maybe not. For a sin to be mortal, the sin must involve grave matter, the sinner must know it is a sin involving grave matter, and the sinner must commit the sin by freely choosing to commit the sin involving grave matter. Schism is a sin involving grave matter, and the Messianic Jew could put his salvation at risk by committing the sin of schism. Whether the Messianic Jew will be judged by God as damned for the sin of schism depends on whether or not he was acting in ignorance when he kept himself in schism from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    If a man is invincibly ignorant about an action that involves grave matter, then he is not culpable for committing that particular sin. But determining whether or not the man was invincibly ignorant, vincibly ignorant or not ignorant at all, when committing an act involving grave matter is something only God can judge.

    The Church founded by Jesus Christ has the authority to teach the objective standards about what constitutes the orthodox doctrines of faith and morals that are binding upon all Christians. That point made, I need to make the point that God judges each individual subjectively, not objectively, because God takes into account subjective things like ignorance, mental health issues, demonic oppression, etc. that can lessen or eliminate the culpability for actions that His Church teaches involve grave matter.

    Well, I think there is reasonable evidence to suggest a break between Vatican I and II. Of course, the CC will deny it

    And of course, I do deny it. The quote that you gave from Pope Pius IX was affirmed at Vatican II. See my response to Darryl in this thread where I quoted Lumen Gentium 14 and 16.

    Yes, if a Messianic Jew happens to eats non kosher food, it is a sin for him, but a minor one at that, and one that he can be forgiven for by claiming the cleansing of Christ his atonement.

    . Thank you for giving me a straight answer!

    According to you, a Jew that lives in the post-Calvary era is still culpable for breaking the laws that were added for the transgressions of the Jews that lived in the pre-Calvary era. For a MJ, breaking Kosher is a sin, but only a venial sin. God apparently has a double standard for the redeemed, because the Gentile doesn’t have to keep any of the laws added for the transgressions of the pre-Calvary Jews. To accept what you are saying, I would have to accept that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross did not take all the sins of the world, but only some of the sins of the world. The sins of the pre-Calvary Jews that caused them to be subject to the laws added for their transgressions were not forgiven by the sacrifice on Calvary, which is why these laws are still in effect for post-Calvary Jews.

    I am not buying this because it robs the Cross of its power.

    Fr Friedman goes on to say …

    I understand what Fr. Friedman is saying, and he can cite Vatican II to back him up his arguments.

    As you can see, Friedman does not believe that Vatican II has completely remedied this great wrong, so you pointing to Vatican II does not absolve you of the problems your church faces.

    Why do I need absolution? Why am I personally guilty for the sins of the Catholics that did terrible things to Jews? I stand in union with Pope John Paul II when he asked forgiveness in the name of the Church for the wrongs that Jews have experienced at the hands of the Catholic Church.

    Fr. Friedman is offering up an opinion that he is entitled to have. Aren’t you overlooking the fact that Fr. Friedman is a priest of the Catholic Church and has NOT gone into schism with the Catholic Church over the issues that you are raising?

    The hard fact is that thousands upon thousands of Jews are believing in Christ, and this, not as converts to the CC! On what ground do you dismiss them?

    Why do you continue to put words into my mouth? I don’t dismiss MJs as being irrelevant. A MJ that has been validly baptized enters into communion with the Catholic Church, albeit an imperfect communion. This is a great thing.

    Just because they are not converts to the CC, therefore they shouldn’t be included in that ‘full inclusion’?

    I didn’t say that they weren’t included in the “full inclusion”. Only God knows if they are or are not. The Second Coming might happen in the next minute as far as I know.

    Further, one does not have to wait for the whole of Israel to be saved …

    I know that, and we both agree only the remnant flock has to be saved.

    “Was the church ever meant to be led in authority by gentiles only?” What is your answer to that?

    If there are few Jewish leaders in the Catholic Church, it is because the bride rejected the bridegroom. Christ wept tears because he came to gather the Jews and the Jews, by and large, rejected him:

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Matthew 23:7

    This is from an ongoing discussion with Ray Stamper and Jason regarding the motives of credibility. The catholic claim is that an individual, with an unaided intellect (unaided by the Spirit), can turn to the facts and conclude that they reasonably support an eventual assent of faith into the CC.

    You are not understanding Ray Stamper, because what you have just attributed to Ray is the heresy of Semi-Pelagianism. Ray has never written anything that I have read, (and I have ready plenty of his comments at CTC) that would leave him open to the charge of being a Semi-Pelagian.

    And yes, you are correct in that a natural seeker may listen to the AHC and conclude that it is a strong motive to believe the CC over say, JFJ.

    The natural seeker, unaided by the supernatural gifts of the actual graces of operating grace and cooperating grace, is never going to be able to make the assent of faith that would enable him to convert to the Catholic Church.

    But a natural seeker may also find that the AHC, as witnessed by Fr Friedman’s own writing, has failed to do justice to the cause of Messianic Jews and instead is simply another tool for the CC to ‘convert’ people.

    Indeed he may. The natural seeker that is reasoning only out of his own lights is doomed to wander in the darkness.

    A natural seeker may look at the evidence from history and find a clear break between Jewish praxis of the faith (Luke 24:50-53 etc) and the RCC praxis of the faith. How do you adjudicate between the claims?

    The natural seeker can’t adjudicate between the claims. Until God sees fit to give the natural seeker the grace of enlightenment, he will walk in the darkness.

    if Sammy’s [Sammy Davis Jr.’s] mother wasn’t a Jew, he wasn’t a Jew.

    So DNA is what makes a Jew? Jews and Gentiles got their DNA from Adam and Eve.

    It does answer your question, you just don’t like the answer. Why not let the reader decide. What I have done is to question the premises behind your question, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do in a debate.

    The question that I am trying to discuss is the AC2 crisis. Either men in the post-apostolic age can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility or there are no men in the post-apostolic age that can exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility. There is no other position that is possible.

    As far as I can understand you, you are claiming that theoretically there could be men in the post-apostolic age that could exercise the charismatic gift of infallibility sometime in the future. You have not given anyone the criteria that would allow someone to identify these hypothetical men when they appear on the face of the planet.

    If you don’t like that, don’t debate. That’s why I said you are most likely a young guy, wet behind the ears. That’s not an ad hominem if it’s actually true. Is it true? Yes or no?

    My age is irrelevant to the argument that I am making. Let me answer you this way, I was in grade school before Vatican II was convoked, and I was in my teens and twenties when some of the hippies became known as Jesus Freaks in the early 70’s. The Jews for Jesus began as part of the Jesus Freak youth movement.

    But why is it [SS’s “Ecumenical” Council idea] unreasonable?

    You want to call an “Ecumenical Council” where, if you have your way, the Catholic Church will have to agree to repudiate the criteria that she uses to determine the validity of every Ecumenical Council that she now accepts as being valid. You proposal is unreasonable because it would bring the whole world into a permanent state of doctrinal chaos.

    One needs to know what the criteria are that determines the validity of an Ecumenical Council before the Council is even called. But this is not something that you will accept, because you want to call an Ecumenical Council and then decide for the first time in two thousand years what those criteria should be (by letting laymen vote on this issue, no less).

    If mankind starts down that path, there is nothing prevent future generations from calling yet another “Ecumenical” Council to invent their own novel criteria for determining the validity of an Ecumenical Council. In your scheme, no Ecumenical Council can ever settle anything concerning what constitutes the doctrines of orthodoxy, since future generations can always call yet another “Ecumenical” Councils that changes yet again the criteria that determines the validity of an Ecumenical Council.

    Your statement above that God will never divorce his bride is true in the sense that there will be a remnant of faithful believers who will not have soiled their clothes, and who are dressed in white. But it is also false in the sense that God does divorce himself from people who disobey Him and He punishes them.

    Right. God promises that there will be a remnant flock on the earth at the Second Coming. And no Catholic that knows his faith would deny that anyone that dies in a state of unrepentant mortal sin will suffer the punishment of the eternal fires of Hell.

    Ok, so you’ve considered the idea. Why do you disagree with it, because you clearly do. What rationale/reasons can you present to support your belief?

    I have given you my rationale! Christ himself teaches that the damned can exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is precisely this teaching of Christ that gives me the rationale for rejecting your personal opinion that only holy people can exercise the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.

  161. @Robert:

    So as a Roman Catholic, you don’t bring Roman Catholic presuppositions to an argument? Are you the only neutral arguer in history?

    I don’t even know what “Roman Catholic presuppositions” are. The idea of religious presuppositions seems unusual to me, since I wasn’t raised with any particular religion. I don’t really think differently from when I was irreligious; I am just being more consistent in my beliefs. Those presumably involve a number of presuppositions that I picked up in my experience, but that experience wasn’t, for the most part, particularly religious. This is why I have a hard time understanding what you are even talking about.

    Being deceived is not a “motive.” If you are, in fact, deceived, you aren’t the guilty agent, at least primarily. If I am, in fact, deceived, I’m not the guilty agent, at least primarily.

    You’re speaking of “motive” as if it implies wrongdoing; I simply mean the psychological reason for making the decision, right or wrong. One can make bad decisions for good motives and good decisions for bad motives, so motives really have nothing to do with whether the decision is right or wrong. The state of being duped is an underlying reason, a motive, which has nothing to do with whether the decision was correct. So we shouldn’t even talk about people being “deceived” if the goal is to find out whether their beliefs are true, because even if they personally were duped into believing something for bad reasons, their belief still could be true.

    What you hold in common with the EO Christian in regards to the particular argument is that you both deny the possibility of the imputation of sin and guilt. So, let me correct myself. The only reason you deny penal substitution is because you are not a Protestant who believes in double imputation.

    Again, even if this were true, the reasons for my denial are irrelevant, because in general, my personal reasons for affirming or denying anything are irrelevant. Only the soundness of my argument in reality matters. Otherwise, one can always state the tautology that one disagrees because one is a disagreer, as in the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, which proves nothing. This is why you have no business speculating about anyone’s motives, unless you’re just determined to insult him.

    Yes, and when the Protestants including myself countered that imputation and union make it possible for God to regard Christ in one sense as bearing our guilt and in another sense as guiltless in regards to what he himself actually did, you countered with irrational with no real grounds for why except that human jurisprudence doesn’t work this way and that God cannot possibly regard a non-guilty person as a vicarious guilt-bearer.

    This is a straw man; we’ll get to that in a bit, though. You don’t understand my argument, but if you had started understanding my argument rather than speculating about my motives, this probably wouldn’t have happened.

    I’m sorry, Jonathan, but you are again employing the double standard. You haven’t hurt my pride. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but it really matters very little to me how much you respect Calvin, Sproul, MacArthur, Piper, Frame, et al. You can believe they’re all wrong, for all I care, though I obviously disagree. What is irritating is that you want to call these men bigots and fundamentalist hicks and pretend that is not a judgment of motives or anything of the like but just a purely objective judgment. The only one for whom you’ve given any evidence for these things is Calvin, and then only haphazardly. When someone else has the temerity to suggest that maybe some of your beliefs are foolish, then you get all upset.

    You’re confusing “objective” with “emotionally neutral.” One can be passionately objective; that’s why I keep saying that motives don’t matter. Ironically, people attack Bryan Cross for lacking emotion for being scrupulous polite about, and then accuse me of being “overheated” or “hot-headed,” when the truth is that emotion isn’t relevant to either of us. In this case, I am strongly opposed to their conduct, so I describe it in highly negative terms, which has nothing to do with what kind of person they are and everything to do with what they are doing. As to motives, the people in question may well be completely oblivious to what they are doing, or (more likely) they know what they are doing but they perceive it as good rather than bad. Personally, I’m not “upset” when people challenge my beliefs, and I am not even “upset” when people speculate about my motives. I just dislike it; I find it unpleasant.

    You can’t continue to pretend that you are somehow above the fray and have not resorted to the same tactics for which you criticize me. The fact is, you haven’t. I realize at this point that it may be futile in trying to get you to see that, but I can’t help you with that. Tell me Calvin taught error. Don’t tell me he wrote spiritual pornography and then pretend that such is not a motive-imputing statement designed to provoke an emotional response in the audience. Tell me modern Protestants have mischaracterized RC and how. Don’t tell me they’re bigots and pretend this is not a motive-imputing statement designed to provoke an emotional response in the audience.

    Oh, it’s definitely designed to convey an emotion; I don’t want there to be any doubt about how serious I consider these errors to be. That’s why I use the rhetoric. But it isn’t “motive-imputing,” and it certainly isn’t intended to provoke the emotional response that you impute to it.

    A pornographer knowingly transgresses boundaries that he knows to be good and holy. A spiritual pornographer, therefore, would do the same. You are imputing motives to Calvin and the other men whom you have spoken of as bigots. It’s inescapable. Like I said, if you truly don’t think you’ve done that, I don’t know how to help you. Reject the beliefs of people I respect all you want. Explain why. Great. But don’t use emotionally-laden language, impute motives through terms such as “pornography,” and then start calling people names when they respond in any way similar to your own approach. Be consistent.

    I wouldn’t think that most pornographers knowingly transgress boundaries that they know to be good and holy; on the contrary, I think that most of them are oblivious to questions of goodness and holiness. That’s exactly the probelm; you impute motives to people when you jump to conclusions like this (see also jumping to a conclusion on Marx), and you simply assume that I am doing the same. Again, you’re confusing “emotionally-laden language,” which I clearly use, quite deliberately, with imputation of motives. That’s because you apparently aren’t in the habit of separating motive from belief/conduct, which is why you keep crossing the line with a seeming lack of awareness and accusing me of crossing the line when I am not.

    Finally, I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted Galatians 3:13 and made an argument from that and several other passages regarding Christ bearing our guilt and punishment. The only one whose engaged me on any substantive level regarding the Galatians text is SS. You’ve dealt somewhat with 2 Cor. 5:21, but your only response has been, essentially, that “well, we know God can’t literally have imputed sin and guilt to Christ in the manner strong PS suggests because it is logically impossible for God to regard a guiltless person in such a manner.” That’s not an argument from the text but an imposition of pre-existing categories upon divine revelation, categories and concepts that not even all RCs would hold to.

    Now that is actually a case where presuppositions matter. You started arguing that there no neutral arguers, but now you’re arguing that there is such a thing as a neutral interpreter, which is obviously impossible. You have a default assumption that everything should be taken literally unless one has an undisputable contrary presupposition, which is exactly fundamentalism. So yes, I do not accept your fundamentalist interpretation of either of these passages, and I consider the presuppositions that I am bringing to the passage both reasonable and reasonably likely to have been shared by the Scriptural authors, meaning that they are fair game. Ironically, you are the one introducing a completely off-the-wall concept of justice (that sin has to be punished to be forgiven) that cannot be found anywhere in Scripture, which is driving your interpretation of this passage, because you *need* the passage to say this for your idiosyncratic concept of justice to be satisfied. In other words, you are twisting Scripture to fit your own un-Scriptural idea of justice.

    (Here’s a hint: As long as you think that the proper starting point is always and only what the text of Scripture actually says, the only ones you are going to make any sense to or be able to convince are those who deny the perspicacity of divine revelation. IE, a non-Protestant. Maybe you don’t care about convincing Protestants. Again, that’s fine, but don’t get all upset when Protestants respond by prioritizing what Scripture actually says over certain conclusions you’ve drawn from conciliar teaching, conclusions that not even the Magisterium has drawn, let alone infallibly or otherwise ex cathedra.)

    Since you’ve essentially defined “Protestant” as “people I can’t possibly convince,” it is a matter of indifference as to whether I can persuade them, since I cannot persuade them by definition. There are Protestants out there who are not so prejudiced against Catholicism. You simply aren’t one of them, and therefore, I don’t really care whether I can persuade you or not, nor am I worried about anyone being persuaded by you. I would settle for you not insulting me and allowing me to have a reasonable discussion with those Protestants, which is why I keep trying to get you to shut up. You are adding nothing to the discussion, and my arguments are completely irrelevant to people like you, so why can’t you just leave?

    The question “Was Christ punished by God?” is not one that has a simple yes or no answer. It’s like if I asked you “Is the pope infallible?” The right answer as a RC is “yes, as long as you understand papal infallibility in this way and under these circumstances…”

    Was Christ punished by God? Yes, if by that you mean that he received the wrath of God for what other people have done and/or that God’s ire was directed at sinners even though Christ and not the sinners themselves felt the emotional, physical, and spiritual manifestation of that ire. No, if by that you mean God regarded Christ as one who actually committed sin and was in himself deserving of what he received on the cross.

    So let’s return to the substance that I mentioned above. That was not a trick question, and I am not trying to limit your qualifiers or explanations, any more than I would consider it fair to limit the qualifiers or explanation if the shoe were on the other foot. What you said in bold is exactly what I consider to be heresy. This has been my point all alone. If you believe exactly what you said above, and I am not even paraphrasing it, then that is the issue. That is the strong view of penal substitution; that is what I consider impossible.

    You have wasted literally weeks of time avoiding making that statement. If you had made any effort to be charitable and not to waste time on my alleged motives for disagreeing with you, we could have reached this point at the very beginning. This is the whole disagreement.

    It is impossible for Christ to receive “the wrath of God for what other people have done” or to feel “the emotional, physical and spiritual manifestation of that ire.” This is because it is metaphysically impossible for God to transfer His wrath between people. That has nothing to do with whether things are possible in human jurisprudence or whether someone can be viewed as a vicarious guilt-bearer. Neither of those things have anything to do with the issue of whether divine wrath can be transferred, and the fact that divine wrath cannot be transferred does not depend on any distinctively Catholic presuppositions; it follows from basic metaphysical definitions and Trinitarian dogma. What Christ feels simply cannot be “the wrath of God” or “the emotional, physical and spiritual manifestation of that ire.” If you don’t understand why those issues are irrelevant, then you don’t understand my argument, and you have been wasting an inordinate amount of time attacking straw men and insulting me for no reason.

  162. Jonathan,

    I think any honest reader of our interchange will see that you have lit up more straw men than the farmer trying to clear his field of scarecrows.

    The fact that I do not agree that transfer of guilt violates some kind of metaphysical or Trinitarian dogma says absolutely nothing about my ability to grasp your argument. The fact that you continue to believe imputation of sin and guilt means that Christ must be eternally judged to be guilty or that God somehow changed his evaluation of Christ as who he is shows either a complete misunderstanding of what imputation details or an outright dishonesty on your part. Why?

    Forget what I have said. I can list at least 4 other Protestants who have provided an answer that is substantively the same as mine who you haven’t been able to answer:

    Eric
    John D
    Brandon
    Joey Henry

    I’m sure there are others that I just don’t remember. Your response again and again is “that is metaphysically impossible” without any coherent reason as to why.

    Given that your arrogance is on display not only here but on at least two other sites, I’ve been foolish to think that maybe you actually have learned something. All you’ve shown is what many other Roman Catholic apologists of a particular breed have shown, and that is that double standards are fine as long as they are employed in the service of Rome.

    May God have mercy on your soul.

  163. The authority of the church catholic is ministerial and declarative, not magisterial and legislative.

  164. test

  165. @Robert:
    I’ll leave aside the personal stuff. There’s not much point in defending myself on that count. I get that you think I’m a bad guy with double standards, with literally no regard for what I say, so just stop talking about it.

    The substantive topic of discussion is not transfer of guilt. It’s wrath. That’s what I’m saying can’t be transferred. That has been the problem all along, the one that you can’t seem to grasp. Even if (per impossibile) guilt could be transferred, wrath can’t, because wrath is inextricably tied to the person who is its object. It doesn’t follow from *guilt* being transferred that *wrath* can be. You are asserting a contradiction by saying that Christ can suffer God’s wrath without God being wrathful at Christ. That is flat out logically impossible; you are asserting two contradictory perspectives.

    Nobody has answered that argument at all. Not Eric, not Joey, not Brandon, not JohnD,nobody. People have been talking about transfer of guilt and bearing punishment and “becoming a curse” and “becoming sin” and union with Christ and Christ’s suffering in His humanity and whatever other excuse can be invented, none of which matters if divine wrath is not transferrable. The ecumenical councils say that the Trinitarian relations and the divine will are eternal, and that excludes intra-Trinitarian divine wrath, which excludes one of the Trinity *suffering* divine wrath. That is a simple logical conclusion of saying that the divine Persons cannot be wrathful against one another; if they cannot be wrathful against one another, it is logically impossible for any of them to suffer wrath.

    Again, this has nothing to do with guilt transfer, nothing to do with imputation, and nothing to do with prejudice against Protestantism. All of those accusations are completely false. It turns on one very simple and logical statement: no one can suffer wrath if there is no wrath against that person. To say otherwise is to violate the law of non-contradiction.

  166. Some cameras such as the VTech Kidizoom Plus come with three fun preschool games as well as easy to use photo editing software.
    The main body will be made of a strip of wood and
    these parts will be attached together by some glue.
    Although it is still advisable to practice through the online means since it will boosts ones confidence and courage that they may require in flying the helicopter.

  167. Thank? for finally talking ab?ut > On the Magisterium?s (Sort Of) Superiority | Creed Code Cult < Liked it!

  168. ‘with louboutins averaging,parfum abercrombie

    If a victim is parfum abercrombie unable to reach medical care within 30 minutes,converse, a band converse age,kids hollister, wrapped two to four inches above the bite,converses pas cher, may help slow venom. The bandage should not cut off blood flow from a vein or artery. A go kids hollister o

  169. Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  170. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and
    thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.

    Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.

  171. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I
    wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    my web-site; Kits Mint

  172. Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get
    started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  173. Pimples happen due to internal dis-balance in the body as a result
    of more than normal amount of some chemicals. These toxins then
    tamper with the various glands of the body leading to too much production of certain kinds of
    hormones which causes adulteration of blood. You may have heard regarding the
    impurity thing related to blood in many illness. Did you ever brainstormed what exactly
    is this. This is the more than normal quantity of chemicals in the blood than common which
    lead to many type of issues in the body. Pimples are one of these.

    Natural acne cures

  174. Many of the cures that you recieve OTC or suggested
    by your dermatologist have certain harmful chemicals that
    if applied overtime can cause serious harm to your
    skin and body. If you really have to cure your Acne Vulgaris situation, then you
    shall go for natural cures. These cures are made
    of natural treatments which has been proved to be very effective since long time.

    Also, since these are natural, there is no room for
    side effects. The cost cause too is in their side as this is affordable than other forms of cure.
    The most important element is that it would give you outcome more frequently in comparision with
    not and so this is your right option for curing Acne Vulgaris.
    If you wish to find about curing Acne Vulgaris, I am providing
    a link, here you will be able to find more knowledge on treating Acne
    Vulgaris.
    How to treat Acne Vulgaris

  175. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a
    few minutes and actual effort to create a good article… but what can I
    say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get nearly
    anything done.

  176. This page truly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject
    and didn’t know who to ask.

  177. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also
    am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with others,
    please shoot me an email if interested.

  178. I know this site offers quality based articles and additional information, is
    there any other web site which gives such information in quality?

  179. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s lovely price enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably
    did, the web can be a lot more useful than ever before.

  180. Turn off the HVAC system and check out the service panel. You can Tempered Glass Screen Protector Suppliers either work with a screwdriver or maybe your hand for r screen protectors for samsung galaxy s5 emoving these panels.
    Locate your home air conditioner filter near the intake-outtake blower it might be behind a panel or door that swings or lifts open. Remove the filter.
    Wh Tempered Glass Screen Protector Manufacturers e

  181. I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and
    exposure! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys to my
    blogroll.

  182. That i have a problem with shoes or boots apart from Asics. 1st label of in gj gardner houses gympie excited to remain athlete structors We have all ever previou AMAZING ARACHNID: The case sly bought the fact that managed my own finished pronation not to mention your insole challenges. (Making it very have on a strong orthodic this is sport activity unique an expert youth/Am s molly today with elvis walls involving celebrity p

  183. For those who desire to take HGH in just about any type–whether through
    homeopathic suggests, inhalers or whatever –must initially analyze his lifestyle that is own to determine
    what tinkering is required to prepare for another step .
    ” The safety and efficiency of growth hormones within the balanced older: An evaluation that is systematic “.
    M. Clin. Contact and Speak with a Person that is Real

    in Uk. This High Potency Deal is constructed of 100PERCENT naturally occurring amino-acids, so there are SIMPLY NO NEGATIVE EFFECTS.

    hgh for sale
    :3-5 Products DailyWhich of these will be the most significant for
    you? Itis usually fond of the ones that are of gaining weight in terrible need,
    since without it, they’ll die due to fail and pressure on the physique.
    “Appear a similar as after I was younger…”

    I have utilized GenF20 to get a year or two now and
    also have discovered a distinction preserving greater epidermis, weight and explanation. Adults using GHD ” tend to have a relative decrease in muscles and a member of family upsurge in fat mass and, in many instances, lessened vitality and quality of life “.
    I was not unable get and to target additional.

    human growth hormone supplements ulta
    Naturally I have to request before continuing below you to get yesteryear two paragraphs into respect,.

    Merchandise links may also be available at most pages’
    bottom. ^ Greenwood FC, Landon L (April 1966).
    ^ Scarth JP (2006). To join, choose “Sure, I want FREE Two- Transport having Amazon Perfect” above the Enhance Carry key
    and affirm your Amazon Prime trial sign-up that is free
    during checkout.

    * These promises have not been evaluated from the Food
    Administration. It’s already been proven to increase
    muscle endurance, boost burning that was fat,

    magazines with these mature fellas inside them – much
    older than us. Apologies, we were unable to add your merchandise at this time.
    ” Professional Nick Nolte calls it “a programs restoration” for that physique, and actor Sylvester Stallone utilized it to have aficionado regarding his
    purpose while in the ” Rambo IV. Increases Electricity and Stamina, Boosts Athletics Performance and Healing
    HGH Club
    Generates Lean Body Mass and hGH Reduces Fat Deposition notably.

    of consumers said they would recommendthis solution to
    some friend.

    Would be the HGH pens that are new easier to
    employ?May I get HGH Online you can get there are many locations on the web giving HGH, Human Growth
    Hormone and HGH online, we at Optimum Wellness Healthcare
    can help anyone. That of the very fascination to the bodybuilder that is organic, and probably
    the most important portion of this article looking to take
    advantage of his GH. Please revise your browser for the latest model.
    We-don’t lease or market your data to anyone. The GH websites are allowed by this within the body to remainder as well
    as for your body to “air out.”
    human growth hormone supplements reviews
    Do not employ lactating or if pregnant.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How Dialogue Sounds When Grown-Ups Do It | Creed Code Cult - [...] Catholic: “So you agree that the Catholic Church’s claims, whether true or not, theoretically alleviate’s uniquely Protestant problems like…
  2. KD V Shoes TSD388 by Blog - [...] 10322   0 Kudos [...]
  3. ??????? « 5RdVZBB - [...] ?????????????? [...]
  4. [???]???????????????? ???? - [...] - Powered by Discuz!,?????????????????,??????????????????????????????????,????????????????????,On the Magisterium’s (Sort Of) Superiority | Creed Code Cult,???? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???,Cloud Solutions: Fit for Freelancers?…
  5. Ralph Lauren Outlet similar to a pet | Book X Change - [...] article13010 [...]
  6. take in sophisticated sugars to be able to destress | Book X Change - [...] article4829 This entry was posted in Media coverage on July 2, 2014 by ju865540. [...]
  7. Lululemon Discount Clothing after that crunch that particular as well as ge | Agearthmovingnetwork - [...] article4072 [...]
wordpress visitor