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Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will
Protestant Reformed Theological Journal ^ | April 1999 | Garrett J. Eriks

Posted on 01/01/2006 4:48:03 PM PST by HarleyD

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To: qua; kosta50

I believe that kosta was referring to this statement of yours:

"The devil has devised an ingenious system that prevents repentance, at least in the natural sense."

Like kosta, I found it hard to find another explanation for this statement other than to say that the Orthodox Church is a "devil's system."

If you mean to retract or restate what you really meant, that's fine.

But the point remains that it is really quite remarkable that the fruit of the work of the divinely inspired Apostles of Christ was for the faith to disappear after the end of the writing of the NT, only to be rediscovered 1500 years later in Northern Europe in the wake of the Renaissance.

But we digress. My main concern is still to learn exactly how it is that Orthodox Christianity (not Origen's speculations) is not a Scriptural faith, but rather a thinly veiled pagan Greek philosophy. Which is why I ignored the "devil" comment, since it is an unprofitable rabbit trail to follow.



4,301 posted on 04/02/2006 10:22:56 PM PDT by Agrarian
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To: jo kus
FK: "But Jesus was condemned and cursed by the Jews. That was Jewish tradition for the crime of blasphemy."

Wrong! That is the Word of God! It is NOT a "tradition" as you say ... According to the "Book", Jesus was a "failed Messiah". ...

I think you are completely missing my point. The "Book" doesn't say that Jesus was a failed Messiah, the "Book" says that the JEWS said He was a failed Messiah. The "Book" also says THEY WERE WRONG! Deut. could not possibly have meant that an innocent man hung from a tree was truly accursed of God. That would not even be man's justice.

Thus, Jesus solves their cognitive dissonance by bringing about a new paradigm.

Jesus corrects the error of the interpretation of the Jews, He does not correct the scriptures themselves. You sort of say this, but then you say "Christ is hidden in the Old Testament". I don't agree with that at all. Obviously He was more fully revealed when He appeared, but all those who had faith in the OT knew of His coming.

You follow yourself, correct? Thus, you slavishly follow a man - not knowing whether God is guiding you or not.

No, that is just your accusation, just as I accuse you of following men not necessarily led by God. In a way it is very similar.

Do we or do we not agree that the Jews had incomplete revelation?

Yes, as compared to the revelation that Jesus completed. And, the Jews still had enough revelation to be saved.

4,302 posted on 04/02/2006 11:20:53 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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Comment #4,303 Removed by Moderator

To: qua; Agrarian; kosta50
The point I'm making is that by forcing Christian theology into the mold of Greek categories many substantial errors occured.

How do you know that you are not misreading what the early church Fathers did? How do you know that they weren't molding Greek philosophical language to conform to Christian teaching? If a Christian teacher wanted to communicate to and convert an intelligent Hellenistic philosopher to Christianity, what better way than to frame the argument in the language that he spoke and wrote?

For example, the word hypostasis means substance in Greek philosophy. But when the Christians writers borrowed this word, they redefined it to mean Person. That is a profound change. To understand this requires a shift in perspective.

4,304 posted on 04/03/2006 12:29:55 AM PDT by stripes1776
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To: jo kus; annalex; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; Agrarian; Kolokotronis; kosta50
FK: "Do Catholics believe that John the Baptist was sinless?"

Another of those many flexible Catholic positions...

I take that to mean that it is acceptable to hold either view in Catholicism. After thinking about it, I am now wondering why it is not required that all Catholics believe that John the Baptist was sinless. What is your interpretation of this:

Matt. 11:11 : I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Presumably, this elevates John over Mary, or at least puts them on equal footing, and yet how could this be so if she was sinless and he was not?

4,305 posted on 04/03/2006 2:03:25 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: jo kus; annalex
FK: "It is interesting that Jesus, starting with the very next verse in Mark, "Immediately" issues a correction to the Pharisees.

And what, FK, is Jesus correcting??? That HE is God and the Pharisees should already know that - thus had the power to forgive sins??? We are talking about Mark's Gospel - where NO ONE knows WHO Jesus is (except for the demons He casts out) until the centurion on the cross recognizes Him. Jesus sets out to PROVE that God forgives sin through MAN BY healing the man first.

I'm just reading the scripture as it is, not reinterpreting it to fit the paradigm of my leaders. Here it is:

Mark 2:8-10 : 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, ... (emphasis added)

Jesus doesn't say "But that you may know that the Son of Man has transferred His authority to man to forgive sins..." Another distortion, another twisting of scripture.

Perhaps you should consider the Matthew version of this story. Here is the pertinent verse for you:

"when the multitudes saw [it], they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men." Mat 9:8

You just got through telling me several times that the crowds did not know that Jesus was God, so what other conclusion could they have drawn? Of course the crowds were wrong. This passage in no way helps your case that God transferred His authority to forgive sins to humans who did not also happen to be God.

Thus, when they witnessed Christ forgiving sins, and THEN curing the man of his physical maladies, the people understood that God was blessing Jesus' words and confirming them. Thus, their response in Mat 9. Thus, it was quite easy for them to understand that this power was passed onto the Apostles with John 20:23.

That is a monumental leap in logic, unless you equate the Apostles with Jesus Himself, and I don't think you do.

Christ came to heal men. Psychologically, what better way are we healed then to actually hear the words "I forgive you" from the person we have offended - Jesus Christ - through the voice of the priest?

I wonder how healed tens of thousands of Catholics, or more, felt when they learned that the priests they had been confessing to were unworthy of ever being priests.

4,306 posted on 04/03/2006 3:08:21 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: Forest Keeper

Interesting point.


4,307 posted on 04/03/2006 3:33:35 AM PDT by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: kosta50; qua; Agrarian
So, according to you, the Church has been in apostasy for 1,500 years? The Church is a "devil's system?"

Actually many such posters seem to think that the Church has been in apostasy since the 300s
4,308 posted on 04/03/2006 3:44:00 AM PDT by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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To: Agrarian
The significance of Jonah as seen by the Orthodox Church is far more than a simple morality tale as you describe above, although it is certainly also that.>

I apologize if I was implying that. We first are to believe the literal sense of any Scripture given, discounting it only after some verifiable and subsequent knowledge comes forth to correct past interpretations of what the literary genre was meant by the author. Honestly, we don't really know. As an orthodox Catholic, a person CAN hold to the idea that Jonah was a parable, or a real event. There is enough evidence to discount it as an historical event, but not enough for the Church to rule definitively on. The fact that Christ used many parables in explaining the Kingdom does not dimish His teachings or lessen their value to us as Christians. I reserve the right to privately hold my opinion on the matter in one direction or the other - it doesn't effect my faith on whether Jonah actually existed or not. I realize this story has nothing to do with the veracity of the Resurrection.

Brother in Christ

4,309 posted on 04/03/2006 5:06:18 AM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: Forest Keeper
So, Christ was born without sanctifying presence in order to be like us? Did He receive this sanctifying presence at His Baptism, as an adult believer? If so, how was Jesus able to do any good before that? It really seems like you are completely redefining what the human "nature" is. You are forced to reject that there is any blemish in human nature. Of course this goes directly against scripture.

I never said any of the above. And from my reading of the Orthodox replies to your questions, neither did they. The nature that humans possess now, before Baptism, is not "human nature" as created by God. Jesus took on that nature - and He certainly IS sanctifying grace.

All is done but the doing, so to speak. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on ourselves for the doing, or else it would be as you say, and not really done.

Perhaps you should start thinking from man's point of view, since you don't possess God's knowledge. We work out our salvation in fear and trembling, PRECISELY because it is NOT done yet.

You rely on the teachings of extra-Biblical men for your salvation. You say the Spirit leads them only, I say the Spirit leads them and all believers.

As do you. How do you know that the "Bible" is really the Word of God? Do you have any originals? How do you know that you don't have forged copies and that the Gnostic Gospels (a la Da Vinci Code) are the "real" Gospels of Christ?

Secondly, you are beginning to construct quite a strawman of Catholicism, aren't you? When did I say that the Spirit ONLY leads those in the heirarchy? I said in matters of doctrine, they lead the Bishops. You claim the Spirit leads you, I claim that, and all of your Baptist friends claim the same thing. Obviously, He doesn't lead us all in the same direction... And your idea that "as I become sanctified, I will be led more properly" is patently false on matters of doctrine.

I read 1 Cor 10:1-12 and it doesn't say that any of them ever had true faith, it says they acted like others of faith and practiced similar rituals. So what? Anyone can do that.

"True faith"? Where exactly does the Scripture use those two words together? Another Protestant concoction, I suppose. Either someone has faith, or they don't. The Jews who crossed the Red Sea had faith at that moment. They lost it in the desert. Paul uses this as an example for the Christians in Corith. What exactly is the point of this story (AN EXAMPLE, Paul calls it) for the Corinthians IF the Jews didn't have "true faith". This is another great example of Protestant eigesis.

Regards

4,310 posted on 04/03/2006 5:21:53 AM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: Forest Keeper
I'm not saying that God couldn't do anything He wanted to, I'm saying He wouldn't do this because of the resulting carnage to His word that is necessarily thereby required.

You haven't proven that in any case. You seem to believe that the Scriptures can only be read in one way, your way. Any other way is "carnage" to God's Word. I have provided Scripture verses that show that God has delegated power to men to forgive sins. The ancient Church recognized these Scriptures as authority from God to continue His ministry. People practiced it and continue to practice it. Christ's healing is administered through these sacraments, these visible means of grace. There is no carnage here. I believe that you are coming to Scriptures with the preconceived notion that God WILL NOT do such a thing. Thus, when it clearly says "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them", it cannot possibly mean what it says! What can I say? Who is doing the carnage here?

Perhaps not specifically, but you are the champion of things being true that are not in the Bible. I'm just saying that it is not consistent with scripture, as I have shown. Therefore, I don't believe it.

Every verse you have given me so far, I believe I have argued against successfully. Catholicism is consistent with Scripture. It just doesn't fit into YOUR paradigm, so that is why you refuse it. It has nothing to do with "not being consistent" with Scripture. Jesus didn't fit into the Pharisees' paradigm, either. They interpreted Scripture one way and refused to see it any other way. Perhaps if you approached the Bible with an open mind and let the Spirit move you, not Jean Calvin, you might see it more clearly.

My knowledge is like the former.

That is inconsistent with the Scriptures and the idea of perseverance. Would you like another long list of Scripture verses?

I don't think so. Ever since I learned about what God has to say about it, I've never had any worries.

I don't see the point in continuing anymore on this subject. I have amply discussed the false sense of absolute certainty that you hold in contradistinction to the Scriptures' discussion on perseverance and the possibility of falling. There are dozens of Scripture verses that talk about a "saved" person losing their eternal salvation. Saying it doesn't make it so...

Regards

4,311 posted on 04/03/2006 5:42:32 AM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: Forest Keeper
There is no way I will ever be convinced that Christ would approve of the farce called annulment. In my opinion, your leaders invented out of whole cloth the cheapest "out" I have ever heard of. I really think it wholly diminishes the sanctity of marriage. I'm sick enough about how many Protestant divorces there are, but at least we are honest about it.

Well, now that we have reached post #4300 and this is where we are at, I believe I will bid you good bye for now.

God bless

4,312 posted on 04/03/2006 5:44:16 AM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: jo kus
FK: "I have said many times that my view is that faith includes love."

When you were "regenerated" and were eternally saved and made of the elect, what love was involved?

Do you want a number? I'm not sure what kind of an answer you are looking for. God had given me faith, which included love for Him. I knew that I needed Him and I knew that He loved me. It was a child-like faith, meaning without any sophisticated knowledge of theology. Now I have some measure of sanctification, and that only confirms to me that the faith I originally had was from God and was real.

Again, Perman is reaching. He tries to make such things as 2 Cor 4 and Mat 5 show DIFFERENT versions of the vision of heaven.

Not different from each other. At the beginning of where I start quoting him, he compares them to make the same point. But you must mean different from the Catholic vision of heaven, so that could be. It's a difference of opinion. I do think that salvation and rewards in heaven are two distinct subjects and are both discussed in the Bible. Do you think that everyone from John the Baptist all the way down someone like me, who MIGHT barely get in, will all get the same sized double-wide in heaven? :)

And the Luke 19 parable is taken out of context. God gave the first man a particular gift - and he received a reward parallel to the gift God gave him. The second man also received a smaller gift - and God rewarded him accordingly. IT was NOT based on HOW WELL the man did it! Read it more closely.

I read it very closely and what are you talking about? :) Every man received the same amount, one mina. Ten servants, ten minas. This is proved when they start giving their accounts. Each says "your mina [earned]..." (singular). How do you conclude differently? In my Bible this parable is directly contrasted AGAINST the parable of the talents, in which different amounts were given to different people.

Where does Scripture talk about different rewards in heaven?

That was the whole point of the Perman article, with many scriptural references. I can't top it. :)

Human self-consciousness refutes the idea that man has no free will.

Ask your cookie daughter what she did with her free will. :)

4,313 posted on 04/03/2006 11:12:01 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: jo kus; kosta50; Agrarian; HarleyD
FK, did Jesus use parables? A parable is a fictional story, is it not? But it gives an underlying teaching, one that has spiritual connotations - and is inerrant. Does the fact that there are fictional stories in the GOSPELS bother you?

It doesn't bother me at all. The difference is that Jesus was OPEN about it. He even announced at least one parable as a parable and then explained its meaning. He was "open and notorious" about it. The same cannot be said about the other stories that are being questioned by some here. There is no hint that the flood was just an illustration, or that Jonah never spent time in the belly of the whale. Only human disbelief accounts for dismissing the truth of these stories.

So why can't the WORD inspire another story, the creation story, to teach what God wants us to know?

For the same reason the WORD CANNOT inspire the "story" of the resurrection as an allegory. Or do you believe that Jesus did not literally rise from the dead? I mean, the story tells us everything we need to know, right? It didn't really have to happen for us to get the message, right? How would your science judge a story of literally raising from the dead to a story of spending 3 days in a FISH? (Note to Kosta, just like with the bats, it was only later that man decided to reclassify the animals, it doesn't make this wrong.) How do you judge which stories are literally true and which are literally false? Today's level of science? Do you think that's going to hold up forever?

IF science comes out with hard evidence of earth's old age, we, as God's creation who seeks God out, (who is Truth) we should NOT be embarrassed to admit that Gen 1-3 MIGHT be a "parable".

You just elevated man's current science above God's word. Therefore, to you, man's science determines the truth of the Bible. Man's science is ever-changing, so it makes sense that your views as to which stories in the Bible are true will also be ever-changing. Choose as you will, I'm sticking with God's word. It doesn't change.

4,314 posted on 04/03/2006 12:21:06 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50; Agrarian; HarleyD; jo kus
[Kosta to Agrarian:] You mentioned robots a while back, what makes you think it is up to God to preserve His gift [the word], and not ours to do so? He inspired, He gave us the revelation; it is our gift; we need to take care of it. It is on us to preserve it, to safeguard it against corruption.

So when your leaders declare Biblical spiritual truths, they are not from God? Very interesting. What makes you think it is up to God to preserve the gift of His Church with men able to act in place of God, and to speak for God? Why isn't that on all of us to preserve it, and to safeguard it against corruption?

4,315 posted on 04/03/2006 1:08:57 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: Cronos; qua; Agrarian
Actually many such posters seem to think that the Church has been in apostasy since the 300s

Yes, some do. In fact qua went a step further: he called the Church what amounts to being a Greek pagan cult, decorated with Christian symbols.

4,316 posted on 04/03/2006 2:43:13 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: annalex; HarleyD
If, for example, one wants to read "all have sinned" in a way that makes Our Lady a sinner, he needs to not merely read the phrase itself, but also explain why no one for 1500 years read the passage in that way.

I would only "need" to do that if my only goal was to "convert" a Catholic. :) I do not believe that popularity equals truth. For example, how long were the Jews wrong about salvation? I think that men, and even large groups of men, are always subject to creating error and making it last a long time. That's why I don't agree with everything that "famous" writers on my side have said, and of course, they disagree with each other on some things.

This tends to be the universal problem for Protestants, -- that apart from some very tendentious reading of St. Augustine, Protestant ideas have no patristic support.

Harley has been the expert on answering this issue, so when he gets a chance, I'll let the master work his craft. :)

4,317 posted on 04/03/2006 2:56:23 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: Forest Keeper; Agrarian; HarleyD; jo kus; Cronos; Kolokotronis; qua
So when your leaders declare Biblical spiritual truths, they are not from God? Very interesting

My leaders? Please, take me to my leaders, FK. Biblical spiritual truths come from the Faith alone, and the Faith comes from God. The veracity of the Bible is a matter of faith, not fact, that much should be clear to anyone.

You don't believe because you read the Bible; you read the Bible because you believe. Once you have faith, the Bible becomes the Holy Word of God and everything in it is true and real -- on faith alone.

To those who do not believe, the Bible is nothing, as the Koran is nothing to me. The Jews read the same Old Testament but believe in it differently.

The Protestants claim the same Christian faith as the Apostolic Church, but we are night and day apart when it comes to Trinity, Christology, Divine Economy, etc. not to mention, as qua said after calling Church theology "superstition," that Protestants approached the faith with "Hebrew glasses." Indeed, one often wonders if they do not feel more "Hebrew" than Christian.

You Protestants have substituted the Church (from which you were thrown out by your own heresy) with a Bible -- which exists in the form you use because of the very Church you deny.

But there is one thing no one can argue with when it comes to the New Testament: it's spiritual message, apart from all the events, facts and parables. Whether you believe or do not believe, the spiritual message is loud and clear -- it proclaims God's Justice as mercy, love, compassion, and salvation for all mankind. OT doesn't.

One can believe or disbelieve, but the spiritual message of the NT cannot be disputed. It proclaims the ideal of which humanity is capable, with God's help, but unwilling. There is nothing to dispute; there is nothing to disprove in its spiritual message: it remains loving, true, hopeful, eternal and inerrant.

4,318 posted on 04/03/2006 3:08:08 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: stripes1776
it is good for physicists to get out of the lab once in a while. Walk down to the local pub and have a beer.

Mortification of flesh is necessary if one wants to unlock the mysteries of the creation; but why restrict it to beer? A hairshirt, fasting, or flagellation can focus the mind as well, and unlike beer, these things do not make one sleepy.

4,319 posted on 04/03/2006 3:17:49 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Having called Calvin a best known second-rate theologian based on his sermons, I took on myself to read about 2/3 of BOOK 3, CHAPTER 2 of the Institutes.

The subject there is difficult for Calvin, since faith, hope and charity fit into the double predestination theory like square pegs in round holes. The pattern of his discourse is familiar: he starts with the theory and explains it in his own monotone, oversized paragraphs. Toward the end a scripture or two is thrown in, usually unrelated or loosely related to the theory. On occasion, stuff is bent by sheer exegetical fiat, for example, in 9 we learn that when St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that faith is nothing without charity, it is, somehow, not faith he is talking about.

In 12 Calvin begins

Although faith is a knowledge of the divine favor towards us, and a full persuasion of its truth, it is not strange that the sense of the divine love, which though akin to faith differs much from it, vanishes in those who are temporarily impressed. The will of God is, I confess, immutable, and his truth is always consistent with itself; but I deny that the reprobate ever advance so far as to penetrate to that secret revelation which Scripture reserves for the elect only. I therefore deny ...
On and on he goes, denying this, admitting that, in a flight of theological fancy, chatting a bit about Saul, building up his mythology of the "reprobates". Then there is a hard bump in Romans 5:5 "And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us". This is how Calvin dismisses it: "there can be no doubt that the [just quoted] words of Paul apply to the elect only". Really? Would it have killed him to read the next verse, "6 For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly?". This cavalier waving off the scripture he does not like pervades the discourse.

Now and then angry jabs at the "Schoolmen" and "Papists" appear. Here is an amusing one:

24. Here, however, we give no countenance to that most pestilential philosophy which some semi-papists are at present beginning to broach in corners. Unable to defend the gross doubt inculcated by the Schoolmen, they have recourse to another fiction, that they may compound a mixture of faith and unbelief. They admit, that whenever we look to Christ we are furnished with full ground for hope; but as we are ever unworthy of all the blessings which are offered us in Christ, they will have us to fluctuate and hesitate in the view of our unworthiness. In short, they give conscience a position between hope and fear, making it alternate, by successive turns, to the one and the other. Hope and fear, again, they place in complete contrast, - the one falling as the other rises, and rising as the other falls. Thus Satan, finding the devices by which he was wont to destroy the certainty of faith too manifest to be now of any avail, is endeavoring, by indirect methods, to undermine it.29[5] But what kind of confidence is that which is ever and anon supplanted by despair?

Stupid, stupid papists. If only they read a few paragraphs down that

The fear of the Lord, therefore, may be defined reverence mingled with honor and fear. It is not strange that the same mind can entertain both feelings; for he who considers with himself what kind of a father God is to us, will see sufficient reason, even were there no hell, why the thought of offending him should seem more dreadful than any death. But so prone is our carnal nature to indulgence in sin, that, in order to curb it in every way, we must also give place to the thought that all iniquity is abomination to the Master under whom we live; that those who, by wicked lives, provoke his anger, will not escape his vengeance.
-- thay would have known that fear is not offset by hope, but rather mingles with reverence. Got that? There is another scripture bump, 1 John 4:18, that says that indeed fear (whether mingled with reverence or not) is offset by charity. But Calvin blazes on:
27. There is nothing repugnant to this in the observation of John: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear has torment," (1 John 4:18). For he is speaking of the fear of unbelief, between which and the fear of believers there is a wide difference.
Hm. How about that first person plural used by St. John throughout the passage and in the next verse, "Let us therefore love God"? Is St. John among the unbelievers?

The overall conclusion is that there are two faiths, the faith of the reprobate and the faith of the elect; two hopes, the foolish hope of the reprobate and the certainty-hope, a strange hybrid, of the elect. Charity seems to be entirely dismissed as the useful notion, because, Calvin teaches, charity is another term for the faith of the elect.

I think I need a drink.

4,320 posted on 04/03/2006 4:09:30 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Kolokotronis; Forest Keeper; jo kus

I distinctly remember that my confessor says "I absolve your sin".

There is nothing wrong with that. He has the scriptural authority to do so, see John 20:23.


4,321 posted on 04/03/2006 4:14:09 PM PDT by annalex
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To: kosta50
To those who do not believe, the Bible is nothing, as the Koran is nothing to me. The Jews read the same Old Testament but believe in it differently.

The Protestants claim the same Christian faith as the Apostolic Church, but we are night and day apart when it comes to Trinity, Christology, Divine Economy, etc.

Well said. God bless your patience. I think I am going back to more constructive pursuits for the time being. I have found that my prayer life is not what I want it to be because this effort has taken so much time. Apparently, it has been a fruitless effort. Some false presumptions die hard. I wish you well in your efforts of repeating the orthodox/catholic point of view over and over again.

Brother in Christ

4,322 posted on 04/03/2006 4:17:46 PM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: annalex; jo kus
You need to look at it in light of Matthew 16:19 (and 18:18): "And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." In this you have Christ's promise to lend His Divine support to the acts of the Church.

I realize those are huge verses in Catholicism, along with John 20:22-23. I'm just not sure on what exactly is being transfered. I would say that only God has the power to forgive sins, and all binding and loosening comes from heaven, not from men. If one's position was that certain people were simply vessels for conveying all of this from God, without adding or subtracting anything based on their own opinions or humanity, then I would agree. However, if one's position was that God simply delegated His authority away from Himself, and let the individuals make human decisions based on their own opinions and knowledge, as a boss would delegate a task to a subordinate, then I would disagree.

4,323 posted on 04/03/2006 4:18:40 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: annalex
Annalex, I give you an "A" for effort, but we Catholics have so much good stuff to read already! Rather than read Calvin, perhaps you should consider St. Bellarmine or St Francis de Sales, who amply defend the faith against such ridiculous un-Christian theories as God is the creator of evil and that men are created specifically for hell. Reading such things will move you away from the God of Love - be careful.

Brother in Christ

4,324 posted on 04/03/2006 4:22:53 PM PDT by jo kus (I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE life - Deut 30:19)
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To: Agrarian; kosta50; jo kus
He refers to these events as having actually been there to witness them. [...] if we are to take as as a parable Christ's words: "For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation," then the direct equivalency of this statement leads inexorably to Christ saying that his own death and Resurrection would be a parable.

This is the problem with most of these metaphorical readings of miracles, whether the Church allows for such reading or not. Christian faith is based on the miracles of the Incarnation and the Resurrection. They are most definitely not metaphorical. It is an inconsistent view to take these two on faith but dismiss the other miracles, such as the creation, the rescuing of the living creatures by Noah, the exodus, Jonah, the miraculous healing and raising the dead, and the miracles of saints as fables. Possibly some of them are, -- I have my doubts about St. George leashing the dragon with the princess's garter, -- yet others, such as Jonah in the fish, are connected to our faith in a direct way, even though they look like the stuff of fables. I prefer seeing the less believable to the modern mind stories as challenges to my faith, rather than some kind of burden of faith that I am happy to put down because the Church allows me to put them down.

Note also that it is the kind of attitude characteristic of Protestantism. What part of the Deposit of Faith can we amputate and remain Christians? Let us lop off the Maccabees. Are we still Christian? Great, let us lop off the Real Presence. Still Christians? Lop off veneration of saints, virginity of Our Lady, the priesthood, the sacraments... This is not a happy road to follow.

4,325 posted on 04/03/2006 4:47:39 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Forest Keeper; jo kus
I find the belief in the sinlessness of St. John the Baptist entirely natural. I don't know why it is not dogmatic. Perhaps, because the parallel to the Ark of the Covenant, that is not to be touched by human hand, is absent in his case.

this elevates John over Mary

Not really, Jesus has prophets in view in that passage, and not His Mother.

4,326 posted on 04/03/2006 4:52:33 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Forest Keeper; jo kus

I don't understand why John 20:23 is not sufficient for you. Can it get any plainer that that?


4,327 posted on 04/03/2006 4:53:53 PM PDT by annalex
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To: jo kus; Forest Keeper
we have reached post #4300 and this is where we are at

Really, Forest. Every Catholic knows people who are excommunicated because of a second marriage, not being able to annul the first, people who go through years of supplying evidence and giving testimony and leading a chaste life so that they can marry after divorce. Divorce is a tragedy, and the Church sees it as tragedy, precisely because marriage is sacred. Disagree with the annulment system all you want, but cheap out it is not.

4,328 posted on 04/03/2006 4:59:56 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Forest Keeper
I do not believe that popularity equals truth

The patristic evidence is simply the sacred deposit of faith. It is not the issue of popularity; in fact, much of the patristic literature was written when the Arianism was the majority faith.

4,329 posted on 04/03/2006 5:02:31 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Forest Keeper
if one's position was that God simply delegated His authority away from Himself, and let the individuals make human decisions based on their own opinions and knowledge, as a boss would delegate a task to a subordinate, then I would disagree.

I would disagree too; this is why a Protestant pastor cannot absolve sin. Priesthood is an undelible mark that subordinates the actions of a priest to the will of God.

4,330 posted on 04/03/2006 5:06:16 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; Forest Keeper; jo kus

"I distinctly remember that my confessor says "I absolve your sin"."

Yes, "Absolvo te". I trust you didn't take my comments as a slap at the Latin form of absolution. I suspect you will find that it is said with the same meaning as in the Orthodox absolution. I could be wrong, though, and this might then be an example of the created vs. uncreated grace differences between the Latin and Eastern Churches.


4,331 posted on 04/03/2006 5:08:00 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: jo kus
Rather than read Calvin, perhaps you should consider St. Bellarmine or St Francis de Sales

Absolutely; I am ignorant of St. Bellarmine but I can attest to the devastation that St. Francis de Sales wrought on Calvin.

But we owe our opponents a degree of familiarity with their philosophy. The Institutes are praised as some masterpiece of theology unsurpassed in insight and clarity, so I figured I'd take a look at that wonder myself.

4,332 posted on 04/03/2006 5:11:10 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
FK: "I think you mean that dogma is not possible because we just don't have the records to prove anything. Is that close?"

Not at all, -- where are your getting this?

I think it was from your statement "... Holy Tradition was committed to writing in a non-Canonical way as the patristic legacy, the hymnody and the iconography." I took "non-canonical" to mean "less official" and I surmised it was because there were not enough reliable records for them to be Canonical. I guess I just misunderstood, and I shouldn't have used the word "possible" the way I did.

4,333 posted on 04/03/2006 5:30:16 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: annalex

A well-stated post in every way.

" I have my doubts about St. George leashing the dragon with the princess's garter..."

Was that really part of the "official" life of St. George for Catholics? Nothing remotely close to this is recorded in any Orthodox life of St. George that I have ever seen, and I had always assumed that the Catholic Church's life of him was the same. He is one of the greatest martyrs in the Orthodox Church, and other than St. Nicholas of Myra, he probably has the widest veneration across every Orthodox culture of any non-Biblical saint.


4,334 posted on 04/03/2006 5:40:16 PM PDT by Agrarian
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To: annalex; Agrarian; jo kus
Christian faith is based on the miracles of the Incarnation and the Resurrection. They are most definitely not metaphorical. It is an inconsistent view to take these two on faith but dismiss the other miracles, such as the creation, the rescuing of the living creatures by Noah, the exodus, Jonah, the miraculous healing and raising the dead, and the miracles of saints as fables

Yes it is. Faith begins where reason stops.

4,335 posted on 04/03/2006 6:12:07 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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Comment #4,336 Removed by Moderator

To: Forest Keeper
I took "non-canonical" to mean "less official" and I surmised it was because there were not enough reliable records for them to be Canonical.

There are several reasons for a book to be not canonical: not close enough to the circle of apostles, contradictions in some parts with the canonical scripture, subject matter not directly related to the deposit of faith left by Christ. Nevertheless, a non-canonical work supplies, at a minimum, evidence of the understanding of the early Church. It can do so even if the book or a book fragment in question is not as a whole dogmatically solid. For example, it is not necessary for a writing to be inspired to mention baptism of infants as a fact of life; we can conclude from it that the early Church performed it, and consequently that it did not consider scriptural passages, which describe only baptism of adults following a profession of faith by them, as excluding infants. Thus the Church was able to develop the proper theology of the sacraments in harmony with the practices of the early Church, even though the early Church saw no need to commit its liturgical praxis to parchment.

4,337 posted on 04/03/2006 7:25:29 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Agrarian
I simply picked the most fable-like aspect of an early saint I could think of. No, it is not official:
This episode of the dragon is in fact a very late development, which cannot be traced further back than the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is found in the Golden Legend (Historia Lombardic of James de Voragine and to this circumstance it probably owes its wide diffusion. It may have been derived from an allegorization of the tyrant Diocletian or Dadianus, who is sometimes called a dragon (ho bythios drakon) in the older text, but despite the researches of Vetter (Reinbot von Durne, pp.lxxv-cix) the origin of the dragon story remains very obscure.

St. George


4,338 posted on 04/03/2006 7:31:28 PM PDT by annalex
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To: qua
Because the early apologists such as Clement and Justin Martyr and Irenaeus all claimed in their apologies that the Greek god was the same as the Christian God and all they needed was to add Christ. To the contrary, even Tertullian understood the utter heresy of this position when he exclaimed most famously, "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens"?

Tertullian doesn't define Christianity. Neither does the tribal god of the Jews. You have misrepresented the case. The early church acknowledged that all people had some knowledge of God, but incompletely. The choice between Athens and Jerusalem is a false one. In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew.

4,339 posted on 04/03/2006 7:34:38 PM PDT by stripes1776
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Comment #4,340 Removed by Moderator

Comment #4,341 Removed by Moderator

To: kosta50
Faith begins where reason stops.

I am not sure I know what that means. I am inclined to think that reason acts in the playpen where faith puts it, not the other way around. This is why: It is by faith that I assume that because I observe objects fall to the ground every time I drop them, objects always fall to the ground now and forever, no matter who drops them. In other words, before I even begin reasoning, say, about gravity, I need faith in the scientific method. Reason begins where faith tells it to.

For a more learned view, see Fides et Ratio:

what for Patristic and Medieval thought was in both theory and practice a profound unity, producing knowledge capable of reaching the highest forms of speculation, was destroyed by systems which espoused the cause of rational knowledge sundered from faith and meant to take the place of faith.

46. The more influential of these radical positions are well known and high in profile, especially in the history of the West. It is not too much to claim that the development of a good part of modern philosophy has seen it move further and further away from Christian Revelation, to the point of setting itself quite explicitly in opposition. This process reached its apogee in the last century.

[...]

In the field of scientific research, a positivistic mentality took hold which not only abandoned the Christian vision of the world, but more especially rejected every appeal to a metaphysical or moral vision. It follows that certain scientists, lacking any ethical point of reference, are in danger of putting at the centre of their concerns something other than the human person and the entirety of the person's life. Further still, some of these, sensing the opportunities of technological progress, seem to succumb not only to a market-based logic, but also to the temptation of a quasi-divine power over nature and even over the human being.

[...]

This is why I make this strong and insistent appeal—not, I trust, untimely—that faith and philosophy recover the profound unity which allows them to stand in harmony with their nature without compromising their mutual autonomy. The parrhesia of faith must be matched by the boldness of reason.

[...]

In expressing my admiration and in offering encouragement to these brave pioneers of scientific research, to whom humanity owes so much of its current development, I would urge them to continue their efforts without ever abandoning the sapiential horizon within which scientific and technological achievements are wedded to the philosophical and ethical values which are the distinctive and indelible mark of the human person. Scientists are well aware that “the search for truth, even when it concerns a finite reality of the world or of man, is never-ending, but always points beyond to something higher than the immediate object of study, to the questions which give access to Mystery”.


4,342 posted on 04/03/2006 7:48:00 PM PDT by annalex
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To: qua; Forest Keeper; Agrarian; HarleyD; jo kus; Cronos; Kolokotronis
Your are true and consistent with your father, Origen, with your antisemitism and spiritualization of Scripture

Let's see, so far you have called the Apostolic Church a "prisoner" of Greek paganism; Greek-based theology a sect based on "superstition," and now you are accusing me of antisemitism because I observed that some Protestants tend to be more "Hebrew" than Christian.

I know your, I know who you are and who your father is, and I have nothing more to say to you.

4,343 posted on 04/03/2006 8:09:02 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50

I know your =I know your name


4,344 posted on 04/03/2006 8:10:19 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: annalex
You are equating faith with proof. Gravity is a no brainer. Believing in something that makes no sense (i.e. Incarnation, Resurrection, Burning Bush, raising of the dead, Jonas living in a belly of a large fish/whale/sea monster for three days and so on) is much, much more difficult because it has to start with the Faith.

Your example of gravity is just the reverse. You have no faith, then something happens, and, as you can reproduce the result on demand, you believe in it. That's faith but not blind faith.

The proof of the faith is in the experience, not experiments. We cannot express it in the words we know, not transfered it in the media we use. "Blessed are those who believe but have not seen" says the Lord

4,345 posted on 04/03/2006 8:20:24 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: annalex
The spirit of my reply is expressed in the Orthodox Catechism:

In our understanding of God we often rely upon cataphatic notions since these are easier and more accessible to the mind. But cataphatic knowledge has its limits. The way of negation corresponds to the spiritual ascent into the Divine abyss where words fall silent, where reason fades, where all human knowledge and comprehension cease, where God is. It is not by speculative knowledge but in the depths of prayerful silence that the soul can encounter God, Who is ‘beyond everything’ and Who reveals Himself to her as in-comprehensible, in-accessible, in-visible, yet at the same time as living and close to her - as God the Person.

4,346 posted on 04/03/2006 8:26:18 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: jo kus; Kolokotronis
FK: "I just figure that I can't go wrong in sticking with the Bible."

Which would you prefer? Part of God's revelation or all of it? That's how you are "going wrong".

I have found that everything that I have ever needed to know in my Christian walk can be found in the Bible. So I do have all of God's revelation that I need to know. I do not trust men to add that which I do not need.

In other words, if the Bible itself mentions another means of learning God's revelation, wouldn't I have also defeated the concept of Sola Scriptura? I have already done this with Eph 4:11-13.

The passage from Ephesians does not defeat Sola Scriptura at all, unless your point is that it is fine to teach anti-Biblical ideas. I don't think it is. As long as the "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers" all convey the word in accordance with, or in consistence with, the Bible then the passage and Sola Scriptura are fine with each other.

Clearly, the Bible ALONE is not the only means of building up the Body of Christ, to attain to perfection in man. This defeats Sola Scriptura, does it not?

It doesn't come close to defeating Sola Scriptura. Maybe that's why not many Catholic apologists use this approach. :) Every week, my church has an altar call to build up the Body of Christ. As far as I know, such practice cannot be found in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is perfectly consistent with the Great Commission, and does not offend Sola Scriptura. From what I know about it, I would say the same for the idea of Confirmation classes (forgetting theology :). They are nowhere in the Bible, but perfectly consistent with its teachings, students learn real truth about Christ and so they are good. Sola Scriptura is not offended.

Nowhere in Vines or my Greek Concordance do I find opheleia or ophelimos used to mean "necessary" or "essential" or "alone". Thus, your author's argument rapidly deflates into nothingness.

Wow! This means that every single Protestant scholar I have ever quoted on this thread doesn't know the first thing about Greek (at least three or four on point). The author I cited anticipated dozens and dozens of Catholic responses to his arguments, but he never thought a Catholic would question his Greek translation. That translation is important, but not critical to the article. I can't figure out why Protestant authors and scholars can be so smart about some things, but NONE of them even knows the Greek alphabet, apparently. OK, then Greek may only ever be interpreted to favor Catholic positions. I did not know this rule. I will be mindful of it from now on. :)

Nowhere does the Scripture mention Scripture as being "necessary" or the "sole rule of faith". Bluntly, this concept is a tradition of men that keeps men from the entire Truth that God revealed to the Apostles. Simple as that.

I guess that is a huge difference between us. You say that scriptures are not necessary because God says so, they are only useful because men say so. Likewise, that scriptures are not holy because God declares it, they are only holy because the Church decided it. The center of this faith continues to emerge.

Luke 1:1-4 : 1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

At least Luke thought it wasn't such a terrible idea to write things down. :)

4,347 posted on 04/03/2006 8:35:07 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50; qua
In fact qua went a step further: he called the Church what amounts to being a Greek pagan cult, decorated with Christian symbols.

That seems to lead from Gnostic teachings of which that work of fiction: the Da Vinci code is filled with -- seeming to suggest that the very idea of Christ's divinity is some kind of Pauline conspiracy grabbed from Greek philosophy.
4,348 posted on 04/03/2006 9:19:34 PM PDT by Cronos (Remember 9/11. Restore Hagia Sophia! Ultra-Catholic: Sola Scriptura leads to solo scriptura.)
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