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Reformation Day and What Led Me To Back to Catholicism
The Catholic Thing ^ | 10/28/11 | Francis J. Beckwith

Posted on 10/28/2011 6:59:29 AM PDT by markomalley

October 31 is only three days away. For Protestants, it is Reformation Day, the date in 1517 on which Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to that famous door in Wittenberg, Germany. Since I returned to the Catholic Church in April 2007, each year the commemoration has become a time of reflection about my own journey and the puzzles that led me back to the Church of my youth.

One of those puzzles was the relationship between the Church, Tradition, and the canon of Scripture. As a Protestant, I claimed to reject the normative role that Tradition plays in the development of Christian doctrine. But at times I seemed to rely on it. For example, on the content of the biblical canon – whether the Old Testament includes the deuterocanonical books (or “Apocrypha”), as the Catholic Church holds and Protestantism rejects. I would appeal to the exclusion of these books as canonical by the Jewish Council of Jamnia (A.D. 90-100) as well as doubts about those books raised by St. Jerome, translator of the Latin Vulgate, and a few other Church Fathers.

My reasoning, however, was extra-biblical. For it appealed to an authoritative leadership that has the power to recognize and certify books as canonical that were subsequently recognized as such by certain Fathers embedded in a tradition that, as a Protestant, I thought more authoritative than the tradition that certified what has come to be known as the Catholic canon. This latter tradition, rejected by Protestants, includes St. Augustine as well as the Council of Hippo (A.D. 393), the Third Council of Carthage (A.D. 397), the Fourth Council of Carthage (A.D. 419), and the Council of Florence (A.D. 1441).

But if, according to my Protestant self, a Jewish council and a few Church Fathers are the grounds on which I am justified in saying what is the proper scope of the Old Testament canon, then what of New Testament canonicity? So, ironically, given my Protestant understanding of ecclesiology, then the sort of authority and tradition that apparently provided me warrant to exclude the deuterocanonical books from Scripture – binding magisterial authority with historical continuity – is missing from the Church during the development of New Testament canonicity.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, maintains that this magisterial authority was in fact present in the early Church and thus gave its leadership the power to recognize and fix the New Testament canon. So, ironically, the Protestant case for a deuterocanonical-absent Old Testament canon depends on Catholic intuitions about a tradition of magisterial authority.

This led to two other tensions. First, in defense of the Protestant Old Testament canon, I argued, as noted above, that although some of the Church’s leading theologians and several regional councils accepted what is known today as the Catholic canon, others disagreed and embraced what is known today as the Protestant canon. It soon became clear to me that this did not help my case, since by employing this argumentative strategy, I conceded the central point of Catholicism: the Church is logically prior to the Scriptures. That is, if the Church, until the Council of Florence’s ecumenical declaration in 1441, can live with a certain degree of ambiguity about the content of the Old Testament canon, that means that sola scriptura was never a fundamental principle of authentic Christianity.

After all, if Scripture alone applies to the Bible as a whole, then we cannot know to which particular collection of books this principle applies until the Bible’s content is settled. Thus, to concede an officially unsettled canon for Christianity’s first fifteen centuries seems to make the Catholic argument that sola scriptura was a sixteenth-century invention and, therefore, not an essential Christian doctrine.

Second, because the list of canonical books is itself not found in Scripture – as one can find the Ten Commandments or the names of Christ’s apostles – any such list, whether Protestant or Catholic, would be an item of extra-biblical theological knowledge. Take, for example, a portion of the revised and expanded Evangelical Theological Society statement of faith suggested (and eventually rejected by the membership) by two ETS members following my return to the Catholic Church. It states that, “this written word of God consists of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments and is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behavior.”

But the belief that the Bible consists only of sixty-six books is not a claim of Scripture, since one cannot find the list in it, but a claim about Scripture as a whole. That is, the whole has a property – i.e., “consisting of sixty-six books,” – that is not found in any of the parts. In other words, if the sixty-six books are the supreme authority on matters of belief, and the number of books is a belief, and one cannot find that belief in any of the books, then the belief that Scripture consists of sixty-six particular books is an extra-biblical belief, an item of theological knowledge that is prima facie non-biblical.

For the Catholic, this is not a problem, since the Bible is the book of the Church, and thus there is an organic unity between the fixing of the canon and the development of doctrine and Christian practice.

Although I am forever indebted to my Evangelical brethren for instilling and nurturing in me a deep love of Scripture, it was that love that eventually led me to the Church that had the authority to distinguish Scripture from other things.


TOPICS: Catholic
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To: HossB86
"If your church could just stick to what Jesus taught, then you all would be okay."

The indictment of Catholicism by non-Catholics is that we love and worship God imperfectly by the standards of the Reformation. Where the non-Catholics see the Church's excesses we Catholics see the deficiencies in their forms of Protestantism. Most notable are the lack of Beatitude, Love, Worship, Miracles, and Celebration. Absent these Christianity is not a gift, but a gray, humorless, loveless existence to be endured while our souls face to black.

Wouldn't we all better serve God by concentrating on what we share?

3,651 posted on 11/24/2011 8:49:20 AM PST by Natural Law (If you love the Catholic Church raise your hands, if not raise your standards.)
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To: MarkBsnr
To be clear: We were discussing literacy to the extent of being able to read and write functionally not an “education” in the sciences and arts and so forth.

The examples given, Elijah, Gideon, the men of Succoth, the prophet Amos(a nipper of figs!) David, Peter, are all from the very strata of society that you say were overwhelmingly illiterate.
If you are correct these were the rarest of examples and with the least means of obtaining literacy.

But reading/writing in ancient Israel was also part of obedience to God, to Torah not just a practical skill for secular advancement. All the elders of Israel in Moses’ day had to know how to read and write as a matter of obedience to God's command. (Deut. 31:11) (Deut. 6:1-9)

This aspect of literacy levels is sometimes overlooked or ignored and assumed levels of infant mortality and urbanization used as surrogates for literacy levels in the general populace of Israel.

“And, as I said,....”

Yes, you have. however those solid indications we have argue otherwise for ancient Israel.

“The leap to literacy was spurred on by Gutenberg's press, sure.”

must surely be an attempt at sarcastic humor so I'll say no more for now.

“Not sure that I understand this statement. All historians that I know of link the surge in literacy in the West to Gutenberg's press.”

Chicken or egg? In any event literacy during the latter middle ages was not in/the question, thank you.

3,652 posted on 11/24/2011 9:37:19 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
To be clear: We were discussing literacy to the extent of being able to read and write functionally not an “education” in the sciences and arts and so forth.

The examples given, Elijah, Gideon, the men of Succoth, the prophet Amos(a nipper of figs!) David, Peter, are all from the very strata of society that you say were overwhelmingly illiterate.

I'm sorry, but the level of education required to actually write some of the things that you list was far beyond the abilities of about 97% of the population at the time. If you study up on the agrarian peoples of the era, you might agree.

But reading/writing in ancient Israel was also part of obedience to God, to Torah not just a practical skill for secular advancement. All the elders of Israel in Moses’ day had to know how to read and write as a matter of obedience to God's command. (Deut. 31:11) (Deut. 6:1-9)

True. What percentage of the people of that era were considered elders? And remember that women were 50% or more (usually more because of warfare) of the population, and almost none of them were literate.

Chicken or egg? In any event literacy during the latter middle ages was not in/the question, thank you.

If it helps any, I was agreeing with your previous point that religious writings inspired or impelled many more individuals to read than would have otherwise been influenced.

3,653 posted on 11/24/2011 1:28:32 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
Scripture is Scripture. However, there are varying degrees of Scripture, with the Gospels remaining first amongst the rest. That is the way of Christianity from the beginning. And that is the way that Kosta and I first started understanding each other when I first arrived on FR lo these many years ago.

Plenty of theologians did not consider the Apocryphal books as equal to all the other mutually agreed upon Scripture. Since we are speaking of books the Catholic Church appended to the Old Testament canon - books which the Jewish religion NEVER accepted as such - the onus is on them to qualify the status of those books. It's one thing to have a section set aside that you call books of interest and encouragement - much like letters from Clement or Ignatius - but quite another to include them as equal to divinely-inspired Scripture. What has been repeatedly stressed throughout this thread is that these books were always seen as inferior to the books of Moses and the Prophets.

The original post starting this tread was about a supposed former Protestant who converted to Roman Catholicism BECAUSE of the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books. Something I have a hard time believing would be an adequate reason to leave ones heritage faith. What I appreciated about this thread, though, is that is allowed the opposing views to be posted so that people can make up their own minds about these books. I have read them and I can honestly say they do not speak to my heart like other Scripture does. The Holy Spirit within me does not illuminate those words at all to me and I do NOT sense God's hand in their creation. And that's not even getting into the issue of their easily provable errors in geography, history and doctrine.

But, hey, you guys believe what you want. Just don't presume to demand all other Christians MUST follow your lead. We have higher standards, apparently.

3,654 posted on 11/24/2011 3:06:00 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: Natural Law; boatbums; CynicalBear; metmom; smvoice; caww
"Actually, this is not what shows superficial or dishonest research, and as i am the one that originally posted this then let me respond to you both."

Actually it is a brazen attempt to draw a conclusion from the parsing of an entire chapter using a context and intent not present in the original material. I expected far better from you.

I will son address this charge, but actually NL, it is you who are leaving things out, as your charge was not simply that of your usual out-of-context assertion, but was that of of specifically and repeatedly denigrating poster as in “you are certainly guilty of sloppy or dishonest scholarship” because “I happen to own the book you cited and it does not contain what you say it does,” and “that passage is NOT contained within the book quoted,” and calling it “the falsified version.. “ and now you mean to tell me that after falsely charging someone with either negligence or deception on that basis, and that was manifestly a basis, you are just going to continue your diatribe without even apologizing? What should you be considered worthy of further exchange? And unless you do, do not bother to respond.

But as your additional charges to me.

:And in context Stapleton teaches that once one decides to trust Rome, there is no more need to seek for revealed truth, as Rome has become his source and supreme authority, which was the issue."

Even that is not a complete portrayal of what Fr. Stapleton wrote or intended. You originally omitted the title of the chapter drawing the reader to a conclusion that the Church demands obedience without reason when the entire Chapter provides a reasoned argument to trust the Church in matters of faith. That is a twist that even the New York Times would applaud.

Actually, it is Stapleton who states “he can leave reason, like a lantern, at the door,” and if you who read the my post you can see the quote was was distinctly qualified by me, that once he once he joins the Catholic church “he has no further use for his reason,” which level of faith was and remains the issue. The fact that one is leaving reason once he joins the church (and is given “the superior light of revelation and faith,” and wherein he must believe things without the immediate help of reason) presupposes a prior use of reason, but the subject was the basic requirement of Catholics to thus obey.

In addition, my post to Boatbum's post was on the basic requirement of Catholics to follow with Christian obedience their pastors, was without commentary. In other posts as other times i have supplied material on when Catholics can dissent. I did not know the whole scope of boatbum's contention, but no one TMK was arguing that the Church demands obedience without reason before they enter, or that the required submission after that is not done by full consent, which is what you misunderstood me before as arguing.

But i do apologize for not taking the time to add more explanatory comments, which would have clarified the conditions of such requirements, as i have done so in the past, though it is my experience that nothing is satisfactory to some Catholic posters if it in any way impugns upon their exaltation of Rome.

I seriously doubt that you read the entire book or even the entire Chapters you cited. These snippets are available, completely out of context and without a sympathetic representation of original intent on any number of anti-Catholic websites. That is sloppy if not dishonest scholarship.

So in the light of the manifestation of your unfamiliarity with the book, being ignorant of the text you charge was absent and falsified but which was 4 chapters ahead of what you quoted, and of your failure to see it in the attribution which i supplied, your response is to malign the poster who did the research and posted both chapters in attribution? And who had read enough of it as to add the qualifying statement that this leaving of reason was after one joins the church?

And again, the post was on the basic issue of the need for Catholics to obey, and was to a Protestant, and the statements were carefully attributed (though i a link to Stapleton as well would have helped), and are fitting, and in my next post ,which was to the same poster, i mentioned the official requirement for implicit obedience was limited to infallible decrees, and then i confirmed to you in my next post that Roman Catholic have freedom for some degree of dissent in the majority of what she teaches and believes, and which explanations went beyond what i have seen you state in response to this issue here.

Similar is your treatment of the THE TRUE SPOUSE OF JESUS CHRIST; OR, THE NUN SANCTIFIED BY THE VIRTUES OF HER STATE.(Note; you truncated the title too) You mislead the reader into believing that this is a teaching to all Catholics when in fact it is a treatise for Nuns and other religious. The quote you cited is not in the work, which is only 177 pages (not the 358+ in your citation) and the call to obedience is to emulate Mary's obedience to the Holy Spirit. The book, along with many of his other writings can be found at http://www.goodcatholicbooks.org/pdf/liguori-true-spouse-of-jesus-christ.pdf.

Thou doth protest too much and too soon. I did not shorten the title, which is another, if minor, false charge (rather than hastily jumping to an accusatory conclusion, you should have said the title you supplied is a truncated one), and which infers i did something deliberately deceptive, as instead i gave it as i received it, not being cognizant of any other, and this shorter, primary title is found in Catholic resources themselves.

And despite your protestations, again, these quotes were simply various verses on the subject of obedience to a Prot, providing examples of to one poster on how it was, and without commentary, (I” have nor been following this thread much, but i think these may be relevant to your post”) :, and I hardly think anyone here understood this one as applying to laity now. It clearly refers to one's confessor, and Liguori is famous as a spiritual writer, and i assume that for present and former Roman Catholics here it would be apparent, as it was to me without reading anything more, that it refers to those in religious vocations. And again, my next comments after this post clarified that implicit obedience is what is required for infallible decrees, while some Catholic writers themselves unclear statements as regards obedience being required of Rome.

As for your absolute statement the statement by Liguori is not in that work, and that it is only 177 pages, what you found is not proof, as there is more than one version (with a Second Edition Revised) and printings, with different numbers of pages (one has with 300 pages, and another old Protestant work has the quote form page 445) and i have found online versions some are missing content that others have. And Google book searching shows the text in its book searches, “Obey blindly; that is, without asking reasons. Be careful, then, never to examine the directions of your confessor....that in obeying your confessor, you obey God; force yourself, then, to obey him in spite of all your fears. And be persuaded that if you are not obedient to him, it will be impossible for you to go on well; but if you obey, you are always secure. But, you say, if I am damned in consequence of obeying my confessor, who will rescue me from hell? What you say is impossible; for, it is not possible that obedience, which is the secure way to heaven, should be for you the road to hell." — St. Alphonsus De Liguori, The complete works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori: the ascetical works: Volumes 10-11, which is also offered as The True Spouse of Jesus Christ in the previous link, so that shows it shows it coming from de Liguori, although Google books does not supply the viewing of it except by searching parts of the quote.

The quote, “But you say, if I am damned, in consequence of obeying my confessor, who will rescue me from hell?” is also found in “God the teacher of mankind: or, Popular Catholic theology, ...: Volume 3 - Page 292, by Michael Müller, who indicates he was familiar with Liguori (p. 290). And i found Liguori makes much the same point in “The vocation to the religious state”, p. 45,46, which expresses the nature of obedience he exhorts for those in religious vocations clearer:

“He, then, who wishes to enter religion must resolve to renounce altogether his own will, and to will only what holy obedience wills. God preserve any religious from ever letting fall from his mouth the words / will or / .will not I But in all things, even when asked by Superiors, what he desires, he should only answer, / wish that which holy obedience wills. And, provided there is no evident sin, he should in every command imposed on him obey blindly and without examination; because the duty of examining and deciding the doubts belongs not to him, but to his Superiors. Otherwise, if in obeying he does not submit his own judgment to that of the Superior, his obedience will be imperfect. St. Ignatius of Loyola said thai prudence in things of obedience is not required in subjects, but in Superiors; and if there is prudence in obeying, it is to obey without prudence. St. Bernard says, "Perfect obedience is indiscreet" (De Vit. sol.); and in another place he said, " For a prudent novice to remain in the congregation is an impossible thing;" and adding the reason for it, he said : "To judge belongs to the Superior, and to obey to the subject" (/bid.).' (http://books.google.com/books?id=0jtGAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA50&lpg=PA46&ots=abaEOZuwV3&dq=%22Obey+blindly,+without+asking%22+Liguori&output=text)

Thus rather than the text being absent as per your manner of research, what is best evidenced is that it is a genuine Liguori quote.

I asked a number of questions earlier on this thread that have not even been acknowledged. Perhaps you would like to respond:

Again until you apologize for your slander, why should these be replied to? But i will answer these in the light of your stone throwing. .

-Do you believe or expect anyone else to believe that God needs to lie to reach Catholics or that He would approve of these deceptions?

No, and i myself try to avoid extreme claims, and work to substantiate things. And these posts at issue are not willful deceptions unless they are used to assert that Roman Catholics must give implicit assent to all that Rome teaches, which i clearly clarified was not the case, or were fabrication, which is not the case. However, as you are the one who lied, first by denigrating a poster as sloppy or deceptive by posting a supposedly non-existent, fabricated quote when it was you who was negligent, and then by arguing it was all about misrepresentation when it was not all that it was about, and inferring concluding i i then you must ask yourself this question and the next as regards defending Rome.

-Who is the “Father of Lies” and who do you think these falsehoods actually serve?

Falsehoods are counterproductive, and while things like exaggerated numbers of those killed in the inquisitions are wrong and unnecessary to condemn them, you need to ask who authored the forgeries and propaganda, even if in part, which were used by Rome, such as the Pseudo-Isidore decretals and the Donation of Constantine.

-Why is it that there needs to be and are so very many false assertions made about Catholicism?

Ask Catholics who made the above, and also make them about men like Luther (who confessed faults of his own) and which need correction, but it does happen on this side, and i think it probably is because they are ignorant of facts, which is much due to Rome's failure as a teacher on the practical level, as vast multitudes or Roman Catholics are confused as to what doctrine of Rome. But Rome herself supplies what is needed to expose her false teachings, while i agree that fallacious arguments are counterproductive, as are reactionary Catholics who are too quick to judge others who oppose Rome, and who go to extremes in their zeal to defend Rome.

-Why is it necessary to go to the extremes of having to hide these lies within falsified documents and attributions?

Ask the ones like yourself who makes false charges of lying or negligence, due to their own negligence to read an attribution, and who fail to apologize for it but instead misrepresent what the specific charge was which was responded to.

-Why is the intensity of this hatred so great that there had to be a list of banned websites and sources within the Religion Forum when there is to corresponding listing of Catholic sponsored anti-Protestant sites and material?

Why is the intensity of this hatred against Protestant so great that your false charges took place, and a Catholic site is denigrate as a dumpster simply because it supplied something that was used against Rome? As for the banned websites, i think that is because, as you have repeatedly shown, Roman Catholics doth protest too much, due to their church being much their salvation, while we show more tolerance.

-Why are there so very many anti-Catholic pejorative terms and monikers when there are almost none by Catholics against other faiths?

Why do over protective Catholic even consider using “Rome” or “Roman church” to be offensive?

-Why is it that you and so many others are so very eager to accept and repeat these falsified factoids about the Church without verification?

No statement i have provided was shown to be false, the only question is what book the Liguori statement comes from. Meanwhile, why is it that you and so many others are so very eager to accuse your opposition of falsifying when they are verifiably not false?

-Have you ever considered why Catholics continue to come to this cesspool of lies and go to the trouble sifting through the garbage to sort fact from fiction over and over again?

Have you ever considered why certain Catholics call things a lie when it is used against their church even when the statement is verifiably true, and is accessible for anyone to examine.

We are waiting for your apology.

3,655 posted on 11/24/2011 3:35:05 PM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: MarkBsnr; CynicalBear; smvoice
Is this a general statement to inform Bible literalists that they may dispense with that idiotic notion?

I agree what you said is an idiotic notion and, if you actually examined the meaning, you would have to admit that you are a literalist, too. Now, no one's saying that everything the Bible says must be taken literally, not even Literalists. So just as when Jesus uses allegories, allusion, figurative language and parables, we can know when something is or isn't to be taken literally. I hope you're not saying you are a "Figurativist" are you? Certainly, you MUST accept that at least some things are meant literally, don't you?

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy says:

WE AFFIRM the necessity of interpreting the Bible according to its literal, or normal, sense. The literal sense is the grammatical-historical sense, that is, the meaning which the writer expressed. Interpretation according to the literal sense will take account of all figures of speech and literary forms found in the text. WE DENY the legitimacy of any approach to Scripture that attributes to it meaning which the literal sense does not support. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Statement_on_Biblical_Inerrancy)

Literal interpretation does place emphasis upon the referential aspect of the words or terms in the text. It does not, however, mean a complete denial of literary aspects, genre, or figures of speech within the text (e.g., parable, allegory, simile, or metaphor).[5] Also literalism does not necessarily lead to total and complete agreement upon one single interpretation for any given passage. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_literalism

What I gather from your past posts, is you do not believe the Bible is inerrant nor that it contains literal truths. This, I think, is your loss.

3,656 posted on 11/24/2011 5:39:41 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums; MarkBsnr; smvoice

I for the life of me cannot see what the problem is. In Genesis 2 there is no specific chronological order given. Genesis 1 specifically states on which day each thing was created. Genesis 2 simply reiterates what was done and gives a more specific description of the Garden of Eden. There are no contradictions.


3,657 posted on 11/24/2011 6:00:11 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: boatbums; MarkBsnr; CynicalBear; smvoice

Of course Catholics are Bible literalists. When it suits them.

Or their doctrine.


3,658 posted on 11/24/2011 7:55:52 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: CynicalBear; MarkBsnr
I for the life of me cannot see what the problem is. In Genesis 2 there is no specific chronological order given. Genesis 1 specifically states on which day each thing was created. Genesis 2 simply reiterates what was done and gives a more specific description of the Garden of Eden. There are no contradictions.

I agree, there is no contradiction at all. I gave several explanation for the reasons of different orders discussed. I think the problem is that some people MUST prove the Bible unreliable so that they can assert a higher authority for their own hierarchy to be over God's word. There is a good rule of thumb to remember when seeming contradictions show up - whenever there is the possibility of legitimate reconciliation between passages that superficially appear to conflict, no contradiction can be charged. That our friend refuses to accept these reasoned explanations say more about him than it does about the Bible.

3,659 posted on 11/24/2011 10:37:38 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: smvoice

Were the first Jewish Christians bound by the agreement reached at the Council of Jerusalem?

Protestants love to remind us that Paul rebuked Peter when he wasn’t living up to what the leaders had determined; that the Gentiles were not bound to being circumcised, and were to be welcomed and afforded the same respect as their Jewish brothers and sisters.

“Obey” is something protestants seem to think is optional.

“He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects the One who sent me.”

“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”


3,660 posted on 11/25/2011 5:21:49 PM PST by Jvette
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To: metmom

#3464


3,661 posted on 11/25/2011 5:29:01 PM PST by Jvette
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To: D-fendr; Natural Law

****Leading to the ultimate rebellion against all authority and retreating to the false security of complete self authority.****

Ah, the sin that caused the fall.

The gift from the Father of Lies that keeps on giving.


3,662 posted on 11/25/2011 5:34:18 PM PST by Jvette
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To: metmom

****I find it very interesting that Catholics consider people Christian or not Christian based on whether they reject the church or not. Christians consider people Christian or not Christian based on whether they reject Christ or not.****

That statement is false.


3,663 posted on 11/25/2011 6:00:15 PM PST by Jvette
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To: MarkBsnr

C’mon Mark, they can’t remember what was posted to them in this thread, much less the historical early church.

Either that or they just ignore both as neither square up with their man made faith.

That anyone could read the NT and not see an organized church with a hierarchy is beyond me.


3,664 posted on 11/25/2011 6:18:35 PM PST by Jvette
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To: boatbums
Now, no one's saying that everything the Bible says must be taken literally, not even Literalists

Pardon?

What I gather from your past posts, is you do not believe the Bible is inerrant nor that it contains literal truths. This, I think, is your loss.

I think that the Bible is infallible Revelation of God written down by fallible men. Until Protestants accept that, they will continue to invent increasing novelties and try to substitute them for Christianity.

3,665 posted on 11/26/2011 8:12:40 AM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: CynicalBear
I for the life of me cannot see what the problem is. In Genesis 2 there is no specific chronological order given. Genesis 1 specifically states on which day each thing was created. Genesis 2 simply reiterates what was done and gives a more specific description of the Garden of Eden. There are no contradictions.

Who came first - man or the animals? Proofs from chapter 1 and 2 both, please.

3,666 posted on 11/26/2011 8:13:40 AM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: boatbums
What I gather from your past posts, is you do not believe the Bible is inerrant nor that it contains literal truths. This, I think, is your loss.
Here is a truth for you to follow then:
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “
You do go to confession regularly, right?
3,667 posted on 11/26/2011 8:14:12 AM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: Jvette
The gift from the Father of Lies that keeps on giving.

You mean like the photo of Paris Hilton's fridge with the giant size container of Valtrex?

3,668 posted on 11/26/2011 8:15:01 AM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Jvette
That anyone could read the NT and not see an organized church with a hierarchy is beyond me.

That's because it doesn't agree with what the image in the mirror said this morning.

3,669 posted on 11/26/2011 8:15:57 AM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr; smvoice; metmom; boatbums
>>Who came first - man or the animals? Proofs from chapter 1 and 2 both, please.

Genesis 1 specifically states on which day things were created.

Fish and fowl on the fifth day Genesis 1:20-23. All animals and man on the sixth day, Genesis 1:24-31 with animals first then man.

Genesis 2 has no chronological order given. There can be no “proof” shown from Genesis 2 other than to “prove” that Adam was on the earth for some time before Eve. Adam had already named all the animals before Eve was formed.

Now I have a question of you. Why, according to the RCC, did a perfect God create a total mess as His first act of creation?

3,670 posted on 11/26/2011 8:54:24 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear
>>Who came first - man or the animals? Proofs from chapter 1 and 2 both, please.

Genesis 1 specifically states on which day things were created.

Fish and fowl on the fifth day Genesis 1:20-23. All animals and man on the sixth day, Genesis 1:24-31 with animals first then man.

Genesis 2 has no chronological order given. There can be no “proof” shown from Genesis 2 other than to “prove” that Adam was on the earth for some time before Eve. Adam had already named all the animals before Eve was formed.

Genesis 2: 15The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.h 16The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the gardeni 17except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.* j

18The LORD God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.* k 19So the LORD God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each living creature was then its name.

Verse 15 shows that the man was already created. The animals were not created until verse 19. Verse 15 happens prior to verse 19. Even in the topsy turvy world of the Reformation, there must be an understanding of order and precedence.

Now I have a question of you. Why, according to the RCC, did a perfect God create a total mess as His first act of creation?

Since the Church doesn't claim that, I must simply put your question aside.

3,671 posted on 11/26/2011 1:46:16 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: MarkBsnr
>>Even in the topsy turvy world of the Reformation, there must be an understanding of order and precedence.<<

Genesis 2:15 does not say “then”. There is no indication in Genesis 2 that would denote in what order things happened. That is contained in Genesis 1.

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

>>Since the Church doesn't claim that, I must simply put your question aside.<<

And the earth was “without form and voide”. A total mess.

3,672 posted on 11/26/2011 2:04:50 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: boatbums; Natural Law
Do you have a source for that ditty,

It is from shortly upthread, from an long excerpt posted to you concerning an excerpt you posted. I'd also posted it before upthread with slightly more of the paragraph, thus.

"A Protestant believes in no infallible authority; he is an authority unto himself, which authority he does not claim to be infallible, if he is sober and sane. He is after truth; and whatever he finds, and wherever he finds it, he subjects it to his own private judgment. He is free to accept or reject, as he pleases. He is not, cannot be, absolutely certain that what he holds is true; he thinks it is. He may discover to-day that yesterday's truths are not truths at all."
I really like this author, Stapleton, very grateful to have found him on this thread, thanks to you. The more we see from him, the greater the context, the more impressive his insights, and more good sense is made of the snippets posted to denigrate him or the Church.
3,673 posted on 11/26/2011 2:36:47 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: CynicalBear
The “infallible authority” would be scripture itself.

As determined by and interpreted according to your authority. That's what you have been doing continuously on this thread: according to your authority.

Again, your reminder: You are a fallible man.

3,674 posted on 11/26/2011 2:40:47 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

Yeah right. Anyone who hasn’t even backed up what they say with scripture since back on the 3rd of this month shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Lot’s and lots of trash talk but not much substance.


3,675 posted on 11/26/2011 3:41:45 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: daniel1212
We are waiting for your apology.

I hope you are not holding your breath

3,676 posted on 11/26/2011 3:59:03 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Natural Law
like you had some actual scholarship and had read any of the cited works beyond their truncated postings in anti-Catholic websites

It may play well to the home crowd, but it's a tacit admission of a weak or no real argument.

3,677 posted on 11/26/2011 4:25:58 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: MarkBsnr
I think that the Bible is infallible Revelation of God written down by fallible men. Until Protestants accept that, they will continue to invent increasing novelties and try to substitute them for Christianity.

Even though the men who wrote God's word were sinful and fallible, when they spoke as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit, their every word is God's word and God's word IS infallible. Until Roman Catholics accept THAT, they will continue to invent increasing novelties and try to substitute their own assumed infallibly defined infallibility for God's OWN infallible word.

"For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures." - Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures, 4:17)

3,678 posted on 11/26/2011 5:30:36 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: CynicalBear

Yet again you post the opinion of a fallible man.

Last reminder today. Enjoy!


3,679 posted on 11/26/2011 5:39:08 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr
I really like this author, Stapleton, very grateful to have found him on this thread, thanks to you. The more we see from him, the greater the context, the more impressive his insights, and more good sense is made of the snippets posted to denigrate him or the Church.

Glad to be of service. The only thing is, Stapleton was not excerpted to denigrate the Catholic Church but to give an example of the idea that Catholics do indeed have to leave "reason at the door like a lantern". In case you have forgotten, the point was made that in numerous documents issued by the Church such "blind obedience" and relinquishment of personal discovery is expected and those who dare to question their "leaders" are admonished.

Now if you are comfortable with that kind of oversight and control, then by all means stay there, just don't presume anyone is fooled by the silly descriptions of "Protestants" and how they come to the knowledge of the truth. That is as God said it would be, by illumination of the Holy Spirit through the word of God. To state, "A Protestant believes in no infallible authority; he is an authority unto himself", is as false as it is risible. Holy Scripture IS the infallible authority - the ONLY one - that God has given to his own so that we can know truth from error. This ancient truth was known and acknowledged by even your own church "Fathers" so it is a shame that centuries later this true and noble doctrine is mocked and ridiculed as a "new" invention. We are to search the Scriptures to see if things are so, just as the noble Bereans were commended for doing.

3,680 posted on 11/26/2011 8:27:35 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums

BB, I’d reply to your points about the author, but if you actually read and comprehend, you’d easily see your conclusions are errors bordering on the facetious.

As for “Holy Scripture IS the infallible authority” that’s been done to death.

Holy Scripture cannot be polled to authorize your interpretation over another. Your statement fails in performance. How is your understanding of scripture “authorized” by scripture? Only according to your opinion.

All that is left is you. Your authority over what is scripture and what scripture means. And you are fallible. This is your belief, this is what the writer is stating as your belief. Correctly.

Sorry.


3,681 posted on 11/26/2011 9:08:21 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: boatbums; CynicalBear
Stapleton is engaging in a polemic in which he misrepresents supremacy of Scripture means, while overstating that his own church. Stapleton states that, “A Protestant believes in no infallible authority,” which is not true, as he holds that the Scriptures are assuredly infallible, being the only transcendent, material authority which is wholly God-breathed, and to which he appeals as the supreme authority.

Stapleton also charges that the Protestant is “an authority unto himself, which authority he does not claim to be infallible, if he is sober and sane,” (cp. XXIII) which is true in that, in keeping with his soberity and sanity, he does not claim assured infallibility (impossible to err) which Rome claims, in which she has infallibly defined herself as being assuredly infallible when speaking in accordance with her infallibly(?) defined subject and scope-based formula, thus rendering her decree that she is infallible to be infallible, as well as whatever else is may choose to thus teach. According to her decree, only her decree can be correct in any conflict, and her guarantee of infallibility does not necessarily extend to the arguments or reasoning behind such.

However, the evangelical believer may allow that he may speak infallible Scriptural truth, as even affirming there is a Creator must be allowed as being, but his claim to veracity depends upon the weight of its testimony, both in doctrinal conformity and the manner of attestation it affirms being given to truth claims, which Scripture is manifestly the standard for and for obedience. And which is what the Lord and His apostles appealed to in establishing their claims. (Mt. 22:29-46; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:33; 15:7-9,12; 17:2,11; 28:23; Rm. 1:2; 16:26; 15:19, etc.)

While the former (Christ) is infallible whatever He speaks on, being Deity and the source of Scripture, the latter did not claim they or the church would perpetually be infallible whenever their successors spoke to the church on faith and morals, and the conclusion that they were requires extrapolated such out of texts based upon a the faulty premise that being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation requires or confers such assured infallibility, and that an assuredly infallible magisterium is necessarily to establish Scripture as being such and to preserve Truth, but which would validate the conclusions of those who were these instruments and stewards (Rm. 3:2; 94) and who sat in the seat of Moses, (Mt. 23:2) rather than Truth being established according to Scriptural means, and thus Christianity ultimately required rejecting of the authority of those who supposed formal decent assured perpetual supreme spiritual authority, as the kingdom of God is not in word, as in self-proclamation, but in power. (1Cor. 4:20)

In addition, the premise of Stapleton is that Rome's magisterium “eliminates the doubts, confusion and misunderstanding which inevitably results from individual interpretations,” and provides the substitute for discerning truth by “discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question” (though Scripture is the standard, and formally or materially being the source of all religious truths), and where he must believe without the immediate help of reason.

However, as Stapleton allows, the decision to submit to Rome is based upon reason, and thus he makes an fallible decision to trust in an asserted assuredly infallible magisterium. And while Stapleton speaks of this as an alternative to reason in determining religious truths, yet the Catholic must engage in reasoning all the time, as even determining that a decree is an infallible one (is all of Trent infallible?) in order to give assent of faith (the highest level of submission) and what it all means requires the use of reason, as there is no infallible list of all such, and how many there are is a matter of varying interpretations, nor does having an infallible magisterium assure the understanding will be. Likewise, reasoning is required in understanding such things as the binding power of encyclicals and what they mean, as well as all non-fallible teachings (rightly understood as such) and the degree of dissent which is allowed for such.

In addition is the vast amount of things in which there is no official teaching, including interpretation of verses in Scripture, few of which are held as infallibly defined.

The living magisterium of the Catholic does help the laity to understand the above, but not comprehensively and often not without ambiguity and sometimes seemingly different interpretations, all of which requires reasoning to determine which is correct or how to reconcile them.

Thus both the Protestant and the Catholic make use of fallible human reasoning in order to place their faith in their respective supreme authorities, neither of which assure that the understanding of the reader will be infallible, although Scripture does provide for “knowing” such things as the certitude that one has eternal life (the present tense not being what Trent opposed) based upon examination of things which accompany salvation. (1Jn. 5:13; cf. Heb. 6:9)

And both classes have living magisteriums which set down core truths which must be believed, while allowing varying degrees of dissent in others, Rome having hers, and individual Protestant denominations typical having theirs. And while the variation of beliefs is greater in the latter class, especially broadly defined, the unity of Rome is not necessarily greater than any individual Protestant denomination, while among those who most strongly affirm the distinctive Protestant position of the supremacy of Scripture, and salvation by grace through faith (that works, versus earned by works), a greater manifest popular unity in fellowship and core truths and moral values may be seen.

Stapleton also states that his faith is based upon the gospel, and that faith in Rome is what is reasonable, based upon the premise that authority and transmission of religious truth requires assured infallibility, and that Rome has the marks of this, and unless we take the gospels from an authority whose infallibility is proven, then that belief is based on an assumption, which is to say the least doubtfully reasonable. (cp. XIX)

However, faith in Rome is based upon an assumption, that she is what she claims she is, and as mentioned before and expanded upon here, the premise that authority and transmission of religious truth requires assured infallibility is faulty, being unScriptural and unreasonably restrictive of the power of God. The teaching magisterium is provided by Scripture, but prior to their being a church of Rome, most of Scripture was already established as such and authoritative (Lk. 24:44) — essentially due to its supernatural qualities, effects and attestation — and Truth was preserved (among a relative remnant as usual). And in so doing God often raised up men from without the formal magisterium to reprove from Scripture those who effectively presumed supreme authority over it and contradicted it. While they could speak Truth on faith and morals, this was not guaranteed everytime they did so to Israel. And the authority of their reprovers was not dependent upon the official sanction of those who sat in the seat of Moses, even though they had a position of authority, but their authority was established by conformity with Scripture and the power of God. Thus the official magisterium killed prophets and the Pharisees had a problem with John the Baptist and the Lord Himself.

The authority of Moses himself was established by almighty God supernaturally affirming his Abrahamic faith in Him, and the Law which expanded upon it, and which became the manifest standard for obedience and testing truth claims and additional revelation. (Sola Scriptura is not opposed to the progressive writing of Scripture in principle, or oral transmission, as Scripture provides for but makes the veracity of all such subject to what is written such, while the formal sufficiency aspect pertains to a manifestly closed canon.)

While Scripture provides for transmission of truth by the magisterium via formal decent, supposing assured infallibility and perpetuity of that office based upon that is presumption, (Jn. 8:39-44) and thus Christ and the New Testament church was founded (or required) rejection of the supreme authority of those who sat in Moses' seat. For God can raise up children from stones, (Mt . 3:9) and make of them stones to build His church, as the real basis for authenticity under the New Covenant is not lineage, but Abrahamic faith in the gospel of grace, (Rm. 2:28,29) by which the church exists and has its members, (1Cor. 12:13) and through whom grace is conveyed and valid pastoral authority passed on. And who realize fellowship of the Spirit with those who likewise are born of Him and walk therein, and so preach Christ and not their church as an object of faith, though it is manifest by the effects of saving faith.

3,682 posted on 11/27/2011 7:26:55 PM PST by daniel1212 (Our sinful deeds condemn us, but Christ's death and resurrection gains salvation. Repent +Believe)
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To: MarkBsnr
I think that the Bible is infallible Revelation of God written down by fallible men. Until Protestants accept that, they will continue to invent increasing novelties and try to substitute them for Christianity.

How rich is it that you - who do not believe God's Word is the Final Authority - are telling Protestants who do, what they should accept and what you 'think' about God's Word.

Time and time again Catholics leave out the Word is Holy Spirit inspired as they chow down on their sugar coated man made teachings. Being clueless how the Holy Spirit works through man is no excuse for IGNORING the HOLY SPIRIT.

You, SUBJECTS of Rome, are too busy obeying your FALLIBLE superiors and not allowed to embrace Truth. And commanded to check your brains reason at the door. What part of bondage do you enjoy so much?
3,683 posted on 11/28/2011 7:02:23 PM PST by presently no screen name (If it's not in God's Word, don't pass it off as truth! That's satan's job)
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To: daniel1212

Thank you, Daniel. Very informative post, as usual.


3,684 posted on 11/28/2011 7:04:08 PM PST by presently no screen name (If it's not in God's Word, don't pass it off as truth! That's satan's job)
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To: daniel1212
Photobucket

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Photobucket

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Photobucket

.

Of course,
The Righteous Biblical Truth
is it's own applause
above one's name.


Congrats! Thx.

3,685 posted on 11/29/2011 8:20:02 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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