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A History of the Church: 1517 A.D. to the Present Protestantism and its Forms
http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Church_Dogma/Church_Dogma_013.htm ^ | unknown | Fr. John A. Hardon

Posted on 11/15/2006 10:40:30 AM PST by stfassisi

A History of the Church: 1517 A.D. to the Present Theology for the Laity Series Protestantism and its Forms by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

We’re now beginning our second semester in Church History and as you remember what we did was we went up to the beginning of the sixteenth century and we are now starting what is really called Modern History. Modern Church History begins with a rise of Protestantism. As I mentioned earlier I am giving you the pages from the Church History of Fr. John Laux that I understand is the pronunciation, and it covers in a very condensed form, all the main historical aspects of the rise of Protestantism, and of course, it’s effect on the Catholic Church. I will not go through this now; I am however expecting you people to read what’s here. And what I would like to have you do is sort of give you some kind of a quiz at the end, say of the month before we meet again, remember, on October the ninth. I’ll ask you to choose any single aspect of what you read here, don’t just copy, but give me your own impressions, either about the rise of Protestantism, or about the major forms of Protestantism, namely Lutheranism, Calvinism, what is called Zwingalism and Anglicanism. I would ask you to share with me and make it as lengthy or detailed as you wish. I rather not ask specific questions, I would rather have you give me in your own words your understanding, of for example, Lutheranism or Anglicanism, but always its significance for the history of the Catholic Church. So that any title you choose, could be put in these words, the significance of whatever you choose, some aspects of Protestantism the significance of I repeat of Martin Luther, the significance of John Calvin, the significance of Thomas Cranmer, the significance of St. Thomas Moore. The significance of, and then you choose, either a person, or a movement, or a particular heresy, in other words, we are dealing with a countless number of subjects on which, not just thousands of books, but a whole library, has been written in the last four hundred years.

What I thought I would do during class today is to choose first to talk about Protestantism, and then within Protestantism the four principle forms of Protestantism how they differ from each other, and especially how they differ from Catholic Christianity.

Protestantism First then, Protestantism. The combination, Protestant Reformation, is found in all English written books, it is however not a Catholic idea, in fact it is contrary to authentic history. There was no Protestant Reformation. There was a Protestant revolution. And there was, thank God, a Catholic Reformation. And among the lights of the Catholic Reformation, surely one of the outstanding, except for whom I wouldn’t be here, was St. Ignatius. In other words, the Protestant revolution began and the date every self respecting Catholic should know when Martin Luther nailed those ninety-five thesis to the church door of the Castle of Wittenberg, October the thirty-first 1517. And that really is the birthday of Protestantism. So the origins of Protestantism go back to the day that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the church door of the chapel at the castle of Wittenberg in Germany. His ninety-five thesis had become to be called a ninety-five statements some merely challenging Catholic teaching, others openly denying even revealed Catholic Truth. It then began, I repeat, on the evening before the Feast of All Saints, and Halloween has become a clown’s day, an object of, well, of something to be laughed at because Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church on that first Halloween of Protestantism. I repeat thirty-first of October 1517. From the very beginning, those who followed Martin Luther, and other leaders, as we’ll see, they called themselves Protestants, and the reason they called themselves Protestants because they protested. They protested against the attempt to reunify the then Roman Empire which had been, for generations, united by having one faith. Those then who protested against acceptance of a single faith in the Roman Empire became, well, those who protest. That’s what the word Protestant means – Protestors. And they’ve never been embarrassed by the name ever since. They have remained protestors. Given that definition of Protestantism, we’ve got many more Protestants than we find in the books of the Protestant denominations.

First Principle Form of Protestantism - Sola Scriptura What are the essentials of Protestantism? It is not to know what some of those essentials are, because in over four hundred years, going on five hundred years, they have remained I would say, quite constant, in other words, those basic premises of Protestantism have not basically changed. And in Latin that’s why they got started first sola scriptura: Scripture alone. How do we know God’s mind and will from Scripture alone? Sola scriptura, by Scripture alone. Only the written revealed word of God is necessary, not just for salvation, but to know everything that God wants us to both believe, and to do. It is all contained in the Bible. Historically, that position could not have, could not have been assumed, no way, until the discovery of print. Usually we assign about 14, 1465 as the beginning of the print age. And the first printed book, as I am sure we all know, was the – Bible. Well, Luther and his followers identified all of God’s revelation with that written book. As over the years, I’ve been telling people, the more bizarre, the more incredible, the stranger an idea is – talk about human nature – the more believers you are liable to get. Imagine claiming the law of God, revealed Truth, is in a written book. When until less than a century before the rise of Protestantism, there were no books in existence. There were manuscripts, but no books.

Second Principle Form of Protestantism - Solo Spiritu Second major premise of Protestantism, solo Spiritu, solo Spiritu. In Latin we see that’s the opposite case by the Spirit alone. This answers the question, how, how do we come to understand or interpret the revealed word of God? Revealed where? Revealed in the Scriptures. How by the Spirit, and meaning by the Holy Spirit alone? By the first premise saying that all of God’s Revelation is contained in the Scriptures. What did Protestantism exclude? Sacred Tradition!

By the second premise claiming that all you need is the Holy Spirit to explain or interpret God’s revealed Word. What did they do? They excluded the authority of the Church. As John Calvin made so plain in his writings, it is the same Holy Spirit Who inspired Jeremiah to write, well, his prophesies Who is at my disposal to enable me to understand Jeremiah. And you don’t need, you just don’t need, a Church to tell you what either Jeremiah, or Matthew, or John, or any other sacred writer, is saying.

Third Principle Form of Protestantism - Solo Gratia Thirdly, in Protestantism, another term taken from Latin, sola gratia, sola gratia. By grace alone are we saved. What do they mean by that phrase, sola gratia? That, as every Christian has everybody been Christian holds, we Catholics certainly hold, that we need God’s grace to be saved. But, does God’s grace alone save us, or do we have to both receive God’s grace and cooperate with that grace? Of course! Whereas according to, what I call classic Protestantism, the Protestantism that was first conceived, and in hundreds of volumes explained in depth by the founders of Protestantism. It is by grace alone and not, watch it, by good works. So that, even as Scripture alone is necessary for salvation and not Sacred Tradition, even as the Holy Spirit alone is needed to interpret the meaning of Sacred Scripture, and you don’t need the Authority of the Church, so you need only God’s grace, and not good works to be saved.

Fourth Principle of Protestantism - Sola Fide Fourth and last basic premise. Another Latin phrase sola fide, sola fide, by faith alone. What do they mean by faith alone? And the word for faith in Latin, is certainly fides, or the additive fide. By faith! But what did Luther and his followers do with the word fides or faith? Unlike the Catholic definition of faith, which is the assent of the intellect to everything which God has revealed. In other words, we hold that faith is the mind, the intellect, accepting assenting to everything which God has revealed. That’s the Catholic understanding, whereas, in Protestantism faith is not a virtue of the mind or intellect at all. It is a virtue of the will. Faith in Protestantism is identified with hope or trust. All I know is, I’ve told you I’m sure more than once having taught in six Protestant seminaries, my longest tenure was seven years on the faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology. You’d think they would have dropped me by the third day, but no, they didn’t. And one reason is because, first of all, I am so deeply sympathetic with the Protestants. I did tell you, I’m sure at least many of you, my mother lost her husband, my father. She just had me. Well we needed some means of support. Mother worked but that was not enough, so she took in boarders. And they were women. But I tell you, from the age of one to the age of sixteen, I was reared in an all women household. My dear men, you husbands, you want to know more about your wife, call me up sometime. Oh how much the Lord has taught me. That’s from infancy. Well, two that remained with us for fifteen years, were Judith and Susan. Two staunch Lutherans. I thought they were my sisters. They were good Christians, but they were sure not Catholic. So I learned all about Luther by the age of three. So I came to teach the Lutherans in Chicago, at Lutheran School of Theology. I knew much more, much more Lutheranism, than they did, far more. For I’d have flunked most of them for their ignorance of Protestantism. But in Protestantism, on this crucial fourth element, when they say sola fide, the word fide, is of course, is the Latin term for faith. And fides can mean, as you know, certainly in English, that words mean what people who use them want them to mean, that’s simple. In English by the way, in case nobody told you, you don’t need a dictionary. I have said the unabridged English dictionary, the editors we can no longer publish a dictionary that defines the meaning of words. No way! The best we can do is publish a dictionary which describes how words are used. Ok so, sola fide means by trust alone, and not how, and not by assenting with the mind to what God has revealed. For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not. Six of Luther’s works have never been published and they will never be published, as long as there is a Lutheran left on earth. They’ll never be published. Kept in safety deposit boxes in Germany. One page after another, and the manuscript is of Martin Luther, Christ is described as and I am being very kind, as a lecherous sinner. No way, no way, that the Christ of Martin Luther could be the living God.

Premises of Protestantism Those are the four principles called the premises of Protestantism. My first book, is there a copy here? Oh yes. My first book, The Protestant Churches of America, dated October the 29th, 1956. And, in three years went to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 printings, and two revisions. By the time I finished the manuscript the Protestants changed their religion. In any case, here’s what the Anglican Theological Review says about the book, I must have read it thirty years ago. “The attempted wholeness of the presentations which included historical, doctrinal, organizational and additional information is admirable.” unquote - The Anglican Theological Review says thanks. The book sold about a half a million copies. And it should be revised, what I need is more time. But, I love the Protestants and well they admire being liked, but they know that I know that Protestants are not Catholics. But let me tell you, in teaching in Protestant seminaries, lecturing to Protestant groups over the country, the one thing they want to make sure is, “Are you an authentic Catholic?” The last thing they want is a namby-pamby Catholic who is compromising his Catholicism with Protestantism. No, we want a bona fide Roman Catholic and they love you. And they told me how many times, maybe you know what we are protesting. Because, so many would become Catholics if only we knew more about who they are, and willing to take the time and reaching out to them who are so desperately in need of the full truth. Well having said that about Protestantism in general.

First Division of Protestantism - Lutheran Now the principle forms or divisions of Protestantism. Chronologically, the first branch or form of Protestantism, of course, was Lutheran. That’s where it all got started. What was distinct about Lutheranism from the beginning, and I would say has remained fairly constant over the centuries. Lutheranism has held on fairly constantly to what I would call the basics of Christian Revelation. In recent years in a country like ours, Lutheranism has become more and more, let’s say liberalized, but in general among the Lutherans there has been a conservatism which has not held up as well in other forms of Protestantism. Again in Lutheran Protestantism there has remained over the centuries, surprisingly in many forms of Lutheranism especially in the Scandinavian Lutheranism, Norwegian, and Swedish, an episcopate, and they trace their bishops back, back, to the 16th century. So there are Lutheran bishops. In fact, among some of these Lutheran bishops, they sincerely believe, that they are successors of the Apostles.

What is one truth of the Catholic faith that Luther dropped immediately on breaking with the Catholic Church, and that in my judgment, is the heart of the crisis in the Catholic Church today. Martin Luther had lost his faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Having been a priest for 15 years as he was, he had no illusions about what the Catholic Church believes. That a priest validly ordained, has the power to change bread and wine into the Living Jesus Christ. Luther then, having lost his own faith, could not pass that on because he no longer believed it, and yet, he had been a Catholic for too many years not to hold on to, strange, to the term transubstantiation. Luther professed to believe in transubstantiation. Well how can you have transubstantiation if you don’t have a Real Presence which is made possible by the words of Consecration by validly ordained priests? Although Martin Luther, even though he might use the word transubstantiation, he coined the word consubstantiation. In other words, even where he would retain the word transubstantiation, he really meant and spent thousands of words explaining what he meant by consubstantiation. Transubstantiation as we know, means, that what had been bread and wine in substance, are changed into the Whole Jesus Christ. So what becomes present on the altar is no longer, no longer the substance of bread and wine, that’s gone. By replacing the substance of bread and wine is both the substance of Christ’s Living Body and Blood and all the physical properties of Christ’s living humanity. For Luther has the word consubstantiation. “Con” being the equivalent of quo in Latin, the substance of bread and wine remain but they then remain along with, if you please, Christ’s Body and Blood. Then he invented, what we’ve touched on I think more than once in class, without directly dealing with it as we are doing here. He invented what he called, there was no theory for him, it was an article of the Lutheran faith. What he called the ubiquity of Christ’s humanity. The ubiquity of Christ’s humanity. Ubiquity comes from the Latin, ubique, u-b-i-q-u-e in Latin. Ubiquity is simply u-b-i-q-u-i-t-y, ubiquity, which means the everywhereness, the everywhereness of Christ’s humanity.

I cannot begin to begin to tell you how deeply these Protestant ideas have infected the thinking of many well-intentioned, but poorly educated Catholics. What do we believe takes place at what we call transubstantiation? At the moment of transubstantiation what having been the substance of bread and wine cease to be there. Accidents, or properties, of the bread and the wine stay. What replaces the substance of bread and wine, is the Whole Christ. Remember, the Totus Christus, the whole Christ, which means the whole of His Divinity and the whole of His humanity, but for one person, and consequently, there is no such thing as the ubiquity of Christ’s humanity, that in plain Anglo-Saxon, is a lie. That’s spelled l-i-e, that’s a lie. When God became man, He began it truly young. Where was His humanity? When He was conceived in Mary’s womb, His humanity was in Mary’s womb. On Christmas morning, where was His humanity? Well where else, in Her arms. Christ’s humanity was, wherever, well, His human nature His living body, with His limbs, His face, His hands, feet, wherever therefore, Christ the whole Christ was present, was present also His humanity. But don’t you dare say that Christ’s humanity ever was or now is everywhere. Absolutely NO! What then took place on the first Holy Thursday night? What happened bread and wine became Christ truly present with His humanity, keep after that, keep after that. The hundreds of priests that I’ve taught, and there are many confused priests in the Church today, how well I know. The key to grasping our faith of the Real Presence is to know that Christ’s humanity is not everywhere. Christ’s humanity is present only where? Where He is present as the Incarnate Son of God in human form. On earth where is Christ’s humanity? Could somebody answer that? You will make my day more than worthwhile. Where is Christ’s humanity present? (Person answers: In The Blessed Sacrament) In The Blessed Sacrament. Viva! That’s where Christ’s humanity is present, no where else, no where else on earth and in heaven and elsewhere. (Person asks: Or in heaven or and in heaven?). Please. (Person asks: He is present only in The Blessed Sacrament on earth and in Heaven?). Yes. (Person speaking: His humanity and in Heaven His glorified body in Heaven). Yes, same glorified humanity that’s in Heaven is on earth. And He’s present on earth in His humanity only because He rose from the dead and ascended to His Heavenly Father, and then because Christ instituted the Blessed Sacrament, which is the sacrament of Christ’s continued Presence of His humanity. Keep that humanity, keep that humanity. I believe there is so much confusion, wide spread confusion.

Consequently, back to where we were regarding Lutheranism. That for Luther, having been a priest, and never of course losing his priesthood, you would expect one of the key features, call it a feature of Lutheran Protestantism, would be precisely why Luther was distinct. He was a well educated priest who gave up his faith. But we go on, still on Luther, because the stage that Luther set has been pretty much colored by his thinking over the centuries. In English there are 54 volumes to the complete works of Martin Luther, 54 volumes. And I’ve told people, I’m sure many of you, you can spare yourself the trouble of reading those 54 volumes, that’s a lot of reading, a lot of pages, it’s more simple to just know what besides what I’ve just said, mainly, his denial of the Real Presence of Christ, His humanity in the Holy Eucharist, and he invented the idea of Christ universal humanity. Christ already is everywhere as man, and so nothing really happens at what we call the consecration. But, there is another distinctive feature in Lutheran Protestantism. And that is, for Luther having struggled as, your author will point out, having struggled with his passions, especially his passion of lust. Martin Luther had a very strong sex passion. And, he claims, though once you get to know Luther’s life you realize just a claim.

Among other things Luther stopped doing was praying. One of the letters that he wrote was one to his sister, which he told her I’ve got so much work to do I don’t have time even to say my office. In any case, after years of what he called struggle with his passions, he decided it’s no use, and he decided what was wrong was not Martin Luther, but the Catholic Church. That the Catholic Church is mistaken in thinking that we, somehow we, can contribute to our either sanctification or to our control of our lower drives. No, said Luther, it is all up to God. If God wants….

Always a sin. Omnia qua ego facio son semper pecatum. All the things that I do are always a sin. That’s Martin Luther. And that then is the second cardinal feature of Lutheran Protestantism what we’ve come to call the total depravity of human nature. Human nature is so depraved you couldn’t be more depraved in theological language than to claim as Luther did that everything we do is always a sin. That’s pretty depraved. And of course the consequences of these positions, after almost five hundred years have been disastrous.

Second Division of Protestantism - Calvinism Now the second by the way, and read what you’ve got in your pages. I also recommend that you get a copy of my book, Religions of the World. The book needs to be reprinted; all I need again is time. After God’s grace what I most need is time. But Religions of the World is about sixteen long chapters. One of the chapters, on Protestantism, has a very carefully worked out synthesis of Protestantism, both historically and doctrinally. It is the fruit of a lifetime of research into Protestantism and condenses all the important things that anyone should know including by the way, Protestants, by their own Protestantism.

The second major branch of Protestantism is Calvinism. In the United States it generally is in two forms, either as Presbyterianism, or as one of the Reformed Churches, so-called Reformed Churches. But at root it is Calvinism. We are not sure that Calvin and Luther ever physically met during their lifetimes, Calvin in France, Luther in Germany. What we do know is that Calvin, having been a seminarian, never ordained, was a genius. To really, really know, the best, and the sense of the deepest and the most devastating of Protestantism, there are the two volumes of John Calvin called the Institutes of the Christian Religion, Institutes of the Christian Religion. It is really a summa theologica of Protestantism. Because where Luther may be called the prophet of Protestantism, Calvin was the theologian. Calvin really thought through Protestantism. His ideas are clear and they are devastating. You couldn’t be, you cannot be, more contrary to Catholic Christianity than John Calvin. What John Calvin bought was two ancient heresies. He bought the heresy of Pelagianism and he bought the heresy of Manichaeism, which is a strange combination. Original Pelagianism, as you may know, claimed you don’t need grace. All you need is your own, your own will to be saved. I don’t mean now in Manichaeism you don’t need your own will, all you need is God’s grace. Calvin in his genius managed to combine those two that seem to be contrary, not to say contradictory heresies. For John Calvin, many you might say are Luther’s ideas, for John Calvin in the last analysis who will be saved – those whom God has predestined for salvation. Would anybody else be saved? No. And therefore, basic to John Calvin, is the absolute denial of man’s free will. Now ironically, Calvin writes for pages and pages in his summa, the entries of the Christian religion about the human will. John Calvin is the genius who created the modern world with it’s denial of human freedom. If there is one basic error in the modern world this is it. And by now you find it, in every psychology book in the English speaking world, every sociology book in the English speaking world, you find it burnt in the minds of children from infancy, what shapes our lives our heredity our environment and our education. And in this sense, Calvin improved on Pelagius. Pelagius believed really in a true free will. Calvin claims that everything in this world is determined by forces outside of man. Take a man like William James, one of the three, I will say, three most influential philosophers of the American mind. Volume after volume all allegedly on the free will. There is no real freedom left. It’s not I who determine what I want to do. I am already shaped. I repeat by my heredity, by my environment and by my education. Does heredity shape one’s character? Sure. Does environment shape one’s character? Sure. Does education shape one’s character? Sure does. But is that is that the ultimate reason, watch this, is that the ultimate reason why we should ever choose anything and know that the only problem is, and I say this through almost 50 years of priestly experience, I’m afraid most Americans seldom use their own free will. Their lives are shaped and they want to have it shaped. And beyond that shaping are those, who have, well, shaped the modern mind, going back and John Calvin is a genius. And John Calvin with all his opposition to any true human freedom was a sworn enemy of the Catholic Church, who had been studying for the priesthood. And among his hatreds, there was none worse, than the Sacrifice of the Mass. And I think in your pages that I gave you there is a picture, yes, page 443. The Martyrs of Gorcan. In 1572 the Calvinists seized 17 priests and 2 lay brothers in Gorcan, threw them into prison, truly mutilated them, and finally hanged them for refusing to deny their belief in the Real Presence and the Papal Primacy, and in that order. They are known as the Martyrs of Gorcan. They were canonized in 1865. The Society of Jesus has martyrs, priests murdered while offering Mass, for claiming that a Mass obtains grace. How idolatrous can you be? Obtains grace, and that your life is not, as they claim, absolutely predestined.


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First Principle Form of Protestantism - Sola Scriptura What are the essentials of Protestantism? It is not to know what some of those essentials are, because in over four hundred years, going on five hundred years, they have remained I would say, quite constant, in other words, those basic premises of Protestantism have not basically changed. And in Latin that’s why they got started first sola scriptura: Scripture alone. How do we know God’s mind and will from Scripture alone? Sola scriptura, by Scripture alone. Only the written revealed word of God is necessary, not just for salvation, but to know everything that God wants us to both believe, and to do. It is all contained in the Bible. Historically, that position could not have, could not have been assumed, no way, until the discovery of print. Usually we assign about 14, 1465 as the beginning of the print age. And the first printed book, as I am sure we all know, was the – Bible. Well, Luther and his followers identified all of God’s revelation with that written book. As over the years, I’ve been telling people, the more bizarre, the more incredible, the stranger an idea is – talk about human nature – the more believers you are liable to get. Imagine claiming the law of God, revealed Truth, is in a written book. When until less than a century before the rise of Protestantism, there were no books in existence. There were manuscripts, but no books.
1 posted on 11/15/2006 10:40:35 AM PST by stfassisi
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To: jo kus; Pyro7480; annalex; Salvation; Campion
Father Hardon wrote much of his material in the presence of the Blessed sacrament.

This will probably stir some.
I,m posting this and I will be gone for a few days til Sunday
2 posted on 11/15/2006 10:45:44 AM PST by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; NYer; Salvation; sandyeggo; american colleen; Desdemona; ...

Catholic ping!


3 posted on 11/15/2006 10:48:20 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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To: stfassisi

bookmark for later reading.


4 posted on 11/15/2006 10:50:18 AM PST by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: stfassisi

bookmark


5 posted on 11/15/2006 10:56:37 AM PST by east1234 (It's the borders stupid. It's also WWIV.)
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interesting. No scripture given for support. No biblical or extra biblical (God spoke or showed to me) ...hummmm.

Solo Scripture means that God can not change. If He does speak to you, He WILL NOT say anything different than what He has written in the Bible (spelling?) If a book or person claims to have favor with God and speak the voice of God and contradict the Bible, then one of the sources IS NOT from God. You pick.


6 posted on 11/15/2006 11:05:17 AM PST by tmp02
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To: tmp02
interesting. No scripture given for support.

He's discussing history; it's not an apologetics lecture, and not a devotional or Bible study.

Solo Scripture means that God can not change. If He does speak to you, He WILL NOT say anything different than what He has written in the Bible (spelling?)

It's sola scriptura. But you don't need sola scriptura to get where you're going; all you need is a belief in the inspiration of Scripture, an orthodox belief about the nature of God, and logic.

7 posted on 11/15/2006 11:11:34 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Campion

Hasn't the "Word" changed over history?


8 posted on 11/15/2006 11:19:57 AM PST by tmp02
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To: stfassisi

"For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not."

What a bufoon this guy is!


9 posted on 11/15/2006 11:27:58 AM PST by Augustinian monk
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To: Campion

I understand, but he is speaking with no footnotes for his claims, that's all.


10 posted on 11/15/2006 11:28:16 AM PST by tmp02
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To: Augustinian monk; stfassisi

"For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not."

What a bufoon this guy is!

9 posted on 11/15/2006 12:27:58 PM MST by Augustinian monk

You give John Hardon far too much credit!

He is either completely ignorant or a purposeful lier

b'shem Y'shua
11 posted on 11/15/2006 12:01:36 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 144:1 Praise be to YHvH, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.)
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To: Augustinian monk

""For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not.""

Bishop John Shelby Spong comes to mind.

"Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.
Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.
The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.
The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.
The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.
The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.
There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.
Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way." SNIP~

http://www.anglicantas.org.au/tasmaniananglican/200310-spong.html


12 posted on 11/15/2006 12:01:53 PM PST by OpusatFR ( ALEA IACTA EST. We have just crossed the Rubicon.)
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To: stfassisi
Interesting that you posted the excerpt you did. It is a horribly inaccurate representation of the doctrine of sola scriptura. The statement about it not really making a difference to Protestants whether Jesus was truly God or not only confirm the fact that this is hardly anything approaching a scholarly study.
13 posted on 11/15/2006 12:36:18 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: OpusatFR

What exactly are you claiming?


14 posted on 11/15/2006 12:56:22 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: OpusatFR; Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; RnMomof7
Oh good grief. J. Gresham Machen directly addressed every single one of these 83 years ago in Christianity and Liberalism.
15 posted on 11/15/2006 1:06:07 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: Augustinian monk
What a bufoon this guy is!

For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not. Six of Luther’s works have never been published and they will never be published, as long as there is a Lutheran left on earth. They’ll never be published. Kept in safety deposit boxes in Germany. One page after another, and the manuscript is of Martin Luther, Christ is described as and I am being very kind, as a lecherous sinner. No way, no way, that the Christ of Martin Luther could be the living God.

*Fr. Hardon was a brilliant priest. Please rethink your post, re-read what Fr. Hardon wrote, and then, feel at liberty to apologise. Fr. Hardon is CLEARLY referring to what Luther wrote

16 posted on 11/15/2006 1:11:20 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

This post filed under Roswell/Fake Moon Landing


17 posted on 11/15/2006 1:17:03 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: Frumanchu

You were prdestined to make that post so I am unable to extend any credit to you :)


18 posted on 11/15/2006 1:18:29 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

Silly goose, Calvinists never take credit anyway.


19 posted on 11/15/2006 1:19:24 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: A.J.Armitage

I'm not claiming anything. One poster disclaimed the remark and I posted what I remember from Spong's talks.

Y'all can discuss it among yourselves. I just put info forth.


20 posted on 11/15/2006 1:22:16 PM PST by OpusatFR ( ALEA IACTA EST. We have just crossed the Rubicon.)
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To: bornacatholic
In Memoriam: Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

--Long-time Friend, Thomas Aquinas Medallion Recipient (from the Winter 2000-2001 Quarterly Newsletter)

One of the nation's greatest catechists, spiritual directors, and retreat masters, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., died on December 30 at the Colombiere Retreat House in suburban Detroit at the age of 86. Fr. Hardon was a long-time friend of Thomas Aquinas College and a recipient of the Thomas Aquinas Medallion at Commencement Ceremonies in 1981.

His Catholic Catechism: A Contemporary Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in 1975 by Doubleday, is in its 26th printing with more than one million copies sold. It anticipated the Holy See's Catechism of the Catholic Church for which he served as a consultant.

Altogether, he published more than 30 books on Catholic theology and spirituality, and recorded dozens of audiotapes on various topics, including The Apostles' Creed, The Eucharist, Catholic Sexual Morality and Angels and Devils.

In addition to his rich publishing and speaking career, Fr. Hardon was beloved as a spiritual director and retreat master. He was Mother Teresa's spiritual director and one of her principal confessors. He spent hundreds of hours giving conferences to the members of the Missionaries of Charity and worked with Mother Teresa to promote the establishment of chapels of perpetual Eucharistic adoration. He was also for many years the chaplain of the World Apostolate of Fatima, the Blue Army, aiming to promote devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.

Fr. Hardon also founded numerous Pontifical Catechetical Institutes throughout the United States at the request of Pope Paul VI. In the last few years, he launched the magazine Catholic Faith, and just last fall published The Marian Catechist Manual, to assist Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in their work as catechists. He worked to help homeschooling families everywhere, and consulted with Dr. Mary Kay Clark, founder of the popular Seton Home Study School.

What many found so remarkable about Fr. Hardon was his holiness. He would spend three hours a day before the Blessed Sacrament, writing letters and books on his knees. He kept a strict account of every moment of his life, and had limited his sleep to such a point that his superior had to order him to sleep at least six hours a day. His converts were many, including Lee Atwater, the feisty chairman of the Republican National Committee, to whom Fr. Hardon gave last sacraments when he was on his death bed with brain cancer in 1990.

Fr. Hardon's last visit to the College was in March, 1998, when he spoke on "Writing and the Spiritual Life." He implored his audience to take up writing, saying "writing is a wonderful way of growing in intellectual humility." That he was a giant in intellectual humility is no surprise, given the rich legacy of writing he left us. May he rest in peace.

21 posted on 11/15/2006 1:25:10 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Frumanchu
Having never punched-in at the clock of good works, they nevertheless accept the salary of Salvation :)

I realise we are both jesting. I know you know I am not making fun of your beliefs. I am just in a great mood, brother

22 posted on 11/15/2006 1:27:50 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic
Having never punched-in at the clock of good works, they nevertheless accept the salary of Salvation :)

I realise we are both jesting. I know you know I am not making fun of your beliefs. I am just in a great mood, brother

Of course. Likewise here, my indulgent friend ;)

23 posted on 11/15/2006 1:38:35 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: bornacatholic; Frumanchu

Hardon's lack of understanding Protestant theology is only exceeded by his ignorance of Protestant history. He should have stayed with his strong suit, Catholic theology and spirituality. Hubris is a terrible thing to watch in a spiritual director. Maybe he just needed more sleep.


24 posted on 11/15/2006 1:46:53 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: Frumanchu

LOL Touche


25 posted on 11/15/2006 1:56:22 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: blue-duncan
During this same period Fr. Hardon began a study of the Protestant denominations that have built America's religious tradition. In 1956 he published a book, "Protestant Churches in America", that gained such a high reputation for thoroughness and scholarship that it is used as a text in Protestant seminaries to this day.

Over the next several years Protestant seminaries and colleges began seeking Fr. Hardon as a visiting professor. Curiously enough, they wanted him to teach Catholic theology; they knew that he was familiar with American Protestantism and also that he was committed to an uncompromising Catholic perspective. While continuing his full-time post at West Baden, Fr. Hardon also accepted visiting professorships at a variety of Protestant schools, including Bethany School of Theology, Lutheran School of Theology, and Seabury-Western Divinity School. In this work he saw an opportunity to share the fullness of the faith with those baptized in Christ who, because of the circumstances of history, time and place, or culture, had yet to receive a complete understanding and appreciation of the Christian faith and of the Church that extends the power and presence of Jesus Christ. "Who do you say I am" (Lk. 9:20)?

Fr. Hardon's experiences in the Protestant seminary were very fruitful. Though his teaching alone did not often bring individuals into a full communion with the Catholic Church, he did find that his Protestant students gained a greater understanding of the Catholic faith, and even began to grasp the sense of the Catholic priesthood. He hoped that they would bring this understanding to bear upon their own Protestant ministries, thus leading their people to a deeper appreciation of the Gospel and a longing for a complete union with the Church; the union that Christ wills for all who are baptized in His name.

Moreover, Fr. Hardon's work in Protestant seminaries was in some respects monumental and ground-breaking. When he first accepted the position at Seabury-Western Divinity school, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury sent a personal representative to Chicago to commemorate the event: for the first time in history an Anglican/Episcopalian seminary had appointed a teacher who was a member of the once hated and feared Society of Jesus.

*He spent three hours every day praying/thinking/writing before the Blessed Sacrament. Yss, hubris is just the right word for such a briliant and humble man. In fact, that is why Mother Theresa chose him as her Confessor. It was all because of his "hubris"

26 posted on 11/15/2006 2:04:26 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: blue-duncan
Hubris is a terrible thing to watch in a spiritual director

*So, you met Fr. Hardon?

27 posted on 11/15/2006 2:05:16 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: OpusatFR
Bishop Spong is no more a Protestant than Hans Kung is a Catholic, if the terms, Protestant and Catholic, have any meaning. So-called liberal Christianity is in fact another religion: secular humanism with a "Christian" veneer.
28 posted on 11/15/2006 2:10:35 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: bornacatholic
For Protestants it does not really, really, make a difference whether Jesus Christ is really God or not. Six of Luther’s works have never been published and they will never be published, as long as there is a Lutheran left on earth. They’ll never be published. Kept in safety deposit boxes in Germany. One page after another, and the manuscript is of Martin Luther, Christ is described as and I am being very kind, as a lecherous sinner. No way, no way, that the Christ of Martin Luther could be the living God.

They're not doing a very good job of hiding them if you know about them.

29 posted on 11/15/2006 2:11:26 PM PST by ksen ("For an omniscient and omnipotent God, there are no Plan B's" - Frumanchu)
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To: bornacatholic
While continuing his full-time post at West Baden, Fr. Hardon also accepted visiting professorships at a variety of Protestant schools, including Bethany School of Theology, Lutheran School of Theology, and Seabury-Western Divinity School.

These schools are liberal institutions and are thus no more Protestant than "liberation theology" advocates are Catholic. As far as it goes, mainstream Catholics have enough problems with their own left wing, as well as the radical traditionalists like the followers of Archbishop Lefevre, to worry about the problems of other branches of Christianity. Clean your own house first.

30 posted on 11/15/2006 2:16:14 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: bornacatholic

"So, you met Fr. Hardon?"

Many just like him who go just beyond their calling.


31 posted on 11/15/2006 2:23:34 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: Wallace T.

Our house is huge. It is world-wide. If I lived to be 400 years old, I STILL wouldn't have finished sweeping the doorstep


32 posted on 11/15/2006 2:26:54 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: blue-duncan

If you haven't met him how do you know those you have met are just like him?


33 posted on 11/15/2006 2:27:32 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Wallace T.

So what is Unitarianism? I'm just asking and not spoiling for a fight. We have so many sects here that it is impossible to know who believes what.

My dear neighbor believes in communion once a month and foot-washing. She's Baptist of some type. She also has developed a siege mentality because Armegeddon is apparently tomorrow.

My idea of Protestantism is all sects that are not in communion with the See of Peter. Hans Kung and Spong are from the same bolt of cloth. ~But, there are those who embrace their errors. I had a supervisor tell me Christ wasn't the Son of God, while she shoved her teenager forward to take communion because he hadn't had his First as a child. No idea of Confession and Penance on this babe's mind. I asked her why she even thought she was Catholic.

A lot of people deny Christ because, frankly, He's a terrible inconvenience! Denying Him is like an anorexic seated for dinner and all that is offered is raw carrots, or a magnificent banana split. The poor dear embraces starvation for Allure or Cosmopolitan illusions and passes up the reward.

So, once again, what is Unitarianism and is it Protestant?


34 posted on 11/15/2006 2:28:00 PM PST by OpusatFR ( ALEA IACTA EST. We have just crossed the Rubicon.)
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To: bornacatholic

"If you haven't met him how do you know those you have met are just like him?"

I read the article he wrote that is the subject matter of this thread.


35 posted on 11/15/2006 2:29:14 PM PST by blue-duncan
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To: Wallace T.
To be Catholic, one must maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority.

As I understand it, anyone can be a protestant for any reason and no protestant has authority over any other protestant so who made you the prot-pope who can read out of protestantism those who disagree with your personal opinons?

36 posted on 11/15/2006 2:32:38 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

Fr. Hardon was a brilliant priest. Please rethink your post, re-read what Fr. Hardon wrote, and then, feel at liberty to apologise. Fr. Hardon is CLEARLY referring to what Luther wrote

Wrote what? He makes a ridicules charge against Luther and the Lutheran church and I am supposed to believe it at face value? What evidence does he have of this "cover up"? Luther's "Against the Jews" could have been repressed but its out there.


37 posted on 11/15/2006 2:34:13 PM PST by Augustinian monk
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To: blue-duncan
I sense you are not in agreement with Fr.Hardon's ideas about protestantism.

However, I am equally sure you grant him the right to read the documents of protestantism and come to his own conclusions about them even as you grant to all protestamts the right to read Holy Writ and come to their own conclusaions about it.

38 posted on 11/15/2006 2:35:07 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: Augustinian monk

If you want to be known as one who thinks Fr. Hardon a buffon, have at it, brother


39 posted on 11/15/2006 2:36:19 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: All; sitetest
This has been fun.

BUT, me Bride is on the way home and we are going to celebrate the end of a VERY difficult project she had been tasked with (I LOVE using lingo I hate).

In fact, even though we are not officers (current or former) of the Knights of Columbus and therefore not automatically eligible for a dispensation from the No-Drinking-On-A-School-Night Rule, we will soon be opening champage and cabernet.

God Bless Noe!!!!

40 posted on 11/15/2006 2:42:05 PM PST by bornacatholic
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To: bornacatholic

bookmark this pleasant exchange between genuine wits


41 posted on 11/15/2006 2:44:02 PM PST by nkycincinnatikid
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To: bornacatholic
If language has any meaning, then Protestantism represents those theological positions taken by the Reformers of the 16th and 17th Centuries. To use a political analogy, conservatism in the American sense represent a set of political beliefs rooted in the political views of the Founding Fathers and defined in the post-World War II era by men such as Russell Kirk, William Buckley, Frank Meyer, Henry Hazlett, etc. Someone may call himself a conservative, but if he is an advocate of socialized medicine, gun control, etc., he falsely labels himself.

You have given a definition of Catholic based on adherence to the Papacy and its entire teachings over time. Why are the Eastern Orthodox and High Church Anglicans not Catholic, even though they call themselves by that name? Or for that matter, dissidents on the left (liberation theologians) or the right (Feeneyites, Lefevrists) who call themselves Catholic? (In fact, the right dissidents are closer theologically to the canons of Trent than are modern Catholics.) By your definition, however, none of these groups are not Catholic because of their nonadherence to the Papacy and the entire body of teachings.

You have given what you consider a valid identification of Catholicism based on your reasonable definition of the term, not any authority you have. I have given a definition of Protestantism based on my observation, which is supported by historical context.

42 posted on 11/15/2006 2:58:14 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: bornacatholic

Dear bornacatholic,

As a Once, Current, and Future Officer of the Knights of Columbus, I hereby dispose upon you dispensation from the Rule of No-Drinking-On-A-School-Night. However, all bottles opened in light of this dispensation must be emptied before the evening's end, or dispensation is retroactively revoked.


DGK S/K sitetest, PGK


43 posted on 11/15/2006 3:10:00 PM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: OpusatFR
Unitarianism was a theological movement that arose in Britain and America in the 18th Century. It had its precursors in the days of the Church Fathers as well as in the Reformation era, Michael Servetus, for example. The movement began as a rejection of Trinitarianism, and later expanded to deny the divine inspiration of the Bible and other core Christian doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Substitutionary Atonement. All of the major threads of the Reformation were Trinitarian, and the Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican churches recognized the authority of the first six ecumenical councils, which defined the character of the Trinity and the fully divine, fully human nature of Jesus Christ. The Reformers universally believed in the divine inspiration of Scripture.

By abandoning the theological positions of the Reformers in these areas, which in these respects are in entire agreement with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, the Unitarians cannot be defined as Protestant.

44 posted on 11/15/2006 3:10:48 PM PST by Wallace T.
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To: Frumanchu; Augustinian monk; ksen; Lord_Calvinus; Gamecock; HarleyD; Forest Keeper; wmfights; ...
This post filed under Roswell/Fake Moon Landing

LOL. So now we're supposed to just take what they say on faith.

But we're not supposed to take what Scripture says on faith.

Interesting distinction.

45 posted on 11/15/2006 3:47:37 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg (("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose))
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To: stfassisi
I do not understand why Fr. Hardon ties Calvin to Pelagianism. Does he mean that Calvin goes to the opposite extreme? Calvin strongly opposed Pelagianism.

And how exactly, does Fr. Hardon think Calvin is guilty of Manicheanism? Thanks.

-A8

46 posted on 11/15/2006 4:28:15 PM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: adiaireton8
Calvin was a spin master Read this again... Calvin in his genius managed to combine those two that seem to be contrary, not to say contradictory heresies. For John Calvin, many you might say are Luther’s ideas, for John Calvin in the last analysis who will be saved – those whom God has predestined for salvation. Would anybody else be saved? No. And therefore, basic to John Calvin, is the absolute denial of man’s free will. Now ironically, Calvin writes for pages and pages in his summa, the entries of the Christian religion about the human will. John Calvin is the genius who created the modern world with it’s denial of human freedom

I,m sorry I have not participated more in this thread,I,m on my way to my daughters swim championships and will be back on Sunday.

47 posted on 11/15/2006 6:04:04 PM PST by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: stfassisi
I read it, but I don't see how the denial of free will is Pelagian or Manichean.

-A8

48 posted on 11/15/2006 6:38:20 PM PST by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: stfassisi

Seriously, this whole article is pure garbage. I've not seen such an intellectually dishonest, academically bereft polemic in a long time. If one is going to speak so strongly against something they ought to at least be able to accurately describe it.


49 posted on 11/15/2006 7:08:33 PM PST by Frumanchu (Historical Revisionism: When you're tired of being on the losing side of history.)
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To: tmp02

No, the Word hasn't changed, our interpretations of it have -- whether right or wrong...


50 posted on 11/15/2006 7:50:45 PM PST by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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