Sola Versus Solo Scriptura Revisited

This post will not be an attempt to hash out all the arguments adduced in Bryan Cross’s original review of Mathison, or Mathison’s response, or Liccione’s response to Mathison. I do want to point out a few things, however.

First of all, I think Liccione gave away the barn when he said,

Catholic theologians generally understand Scripture as the divinely inspired norma normans for other secondary authorities, including the Church. That means that, once the biblical canon was formed, whatever was admitted from other authorities had to conform to and cohere with Scripture. No authority may introduce anything as de fide that is logically incompatible with Scripture or otherwise fails to cohere with it. Other authorities are thus norma normata: they are “normed” by Scripture rather than vice-versa.

To put it mildly, this is NOT what I have read in Roman Catholic sources. Generally the partim-partim understanding has prevailed, which is that divine revelation is contained partly in Scripture, partly in tradition. In practice, tradition trumps Scripture. For instance, even supposing a Roman Catholic canon, the argument from Maccabees about purgatory is that prayer for the dead means that the church can help the dead. The problem is that the passage they usually cite has people praying for idolaters. Idolatry is mortal sin, and cannot be something purged away in purgatory, which is only for the cleansing of the temporal punishments of venial sin (I have yet to see this argument answered by Roman Catholics). Therefore, since Maccabees cannot support their understanding of purgatory, Tradition makes purgatory necessary in spite of its having no support in Scripture. By this method of procedure, the church can invent anything it wants, “find” a justification for it in Scripture, and then stoutly say that the Tradition has supported it all along. A very vocal minority at Vatican I, by way of contrast, led by Bishop Strossmayer, strongly rejected papal infallibility, stating that Scripture and history were strongly against it. But that would not deter the pro-papal authority crowd.

The other problem with this quotation is the statement “No authority may introduce anything as de fide that is logically incompatible with Scripture or otherwise fails to cohere with it.” On Roman Catholic principles, however, since the Magisterium can interpret the Bible to say what they want, then by definition no de fide statement could ever possibly be introduced that was logically incompatible with Scripture. Liccione is here actually borrowing a Protestant principle that is incompatible with the Roman Catholic position. There is the assumption implicit in the statement that the Bible has a logical system all its own apart from interpretation, to which de fide statements must conform. This is the very position they accuse Protestants of holding! If the Magisterium holds the exclusive key to authoritative interpretation of the Scripture, then Liccione’s statement is devoid of teeth.

Liccione/Cross also failed to deal with what is generally regarded as the most severe problem associated with Tradition: where is it? As we noted before, Tradition usually boils down to what the current church says. But this confuses the Tradition with the Magisterium. There are supposed to be 3 sources of infallible authority in the RCC: Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. The more modern Newmanesque version of Tradition, however, collapses Tradition and the Magisterium, thus making what the early church fathers said practically useless. I was somewhat flabbergasted recently when Bryan Cross admitted to me that it wouldn’t really matter if even more than half of the ECF did not believe that Matthew 16’s “petra” was a reference to Peter. This certainly reflects a non-Vincentian understanding of Tradition. But isn’t Trent Vincentian in its understanding of Tradition? I would argue that it clearly is Vincentian. What authority does the later church have to re-interpret what Trent said? And if the ECF’s did not, on the whole, believe that “petra” equals Peter, then by what authority does the Magisterium trump Tradition? Oh, I get it, the Magisterium also gets to interpret the Tradition (read, define it!). Quite frankly, this turns church history, the ECF’s, and the Bible into a complete wax nose: it means whatever the church today says it means, regardless of what it might actually say. All contrary evidence can be therefore safely ignored. The evidence, however, will not be so quickly domesticated. Protestants, it should be noted, do not have to do this. I can freely acknowledge that what is believed today in the RCC can be found among the ECF’s (in a very inchoate form), though I would be quick to point out that what Protestants believe would also be found there. But if you listen to many Roman Catholics, it is as if there no evidence whatsoever, and no arguments whatsoever against their position!

Speaking of Trent, one assumes that the RCC believes that everything Trent said was infallible (and if it isn’t, who gets to define it? And how do we know which parts are infallible and which aren’t?). However, most Roman Catholic biblical scholars today ignore the first article of the fourth session, which states that Hebrews was written by Paul. By what authority do modern Roman Catholic biblical scholars go against the infallible decrees of Trent? Has anyone ever been disciplined for this? This was in the section on the canon, by the way, so an anathema sits on those who do not believe everything in that article (see Denzinger, 1503-1504).

It would be good, perhaps, to go through all of Bryan’s post section by section. Maybe sometime I will do that. For now, a teaser. Bryan argues that the individual is still the ultimate interpretive authority, even in Sola Scriptura, because he chooses his church based on what agrees with his theology. And, if he should at some time choose to believe something else, then too bad for the church. One other thing I did notice about Bryan’s article is that he quoted Mathison’s words to the effect that all Bible reading is interpreted reading. He quoted these words about ten times. But, as Mathison pointed out, he was really using the word in the sense of simply understanding what was there: not implying that what is said is unclear, and therefore has to be interpreted by some infallible magisterium. As to the substantive point about Sola Scriptura that Bryan brings up, I would answer it in brief with these observations. 1. Just because a person disagrees with his particular church about something does not mean that he reserves the right to leave it. The membership vows of the PCA, for instance, require the member to study the purity and peace of the church. This means that if the person disagrees with the church, he will start talking about the matter to the leadership. Most of the time, the issue can be settled in this way. 2. Also, the vows include submission, which is to say that a proper keeping of the vow will include giving the church the benefit of the doubt in the case of a difference. The fact of the matter is that if the leadership of the church cannot convince the person of the incorrectness of his views (assuming the issue is large enough to warrant separation, such as the difference between paedo-baptism and credo-baptism), then the leadership should recommend that the member go to another church. The member does not have this responsibility all on his own. In other words, Bryan’s picture of supposed individualism does not take into account how shepherding is actually supposed to work. It is not the individual who should be shuttling around to various churches. It is the church which should shepherd the people. If the difference is not a matter on the level of importance indicated (take post-millenialism versus amillenialism), then the member should just continue to learn and discuss, and not leave the church (after all, everyone differs on some things), and be respectful to promote the purity and peace of the church. What I am describing, of course, is the ideal situation. We live in a fallen world, where people do not even recognize this shepherding function of the church. And thus, individuals leave on the flimsiest of excuses nowadays, even the color of the carpet! I would decry this form of individualism just as much as the Roman Catholics would. Surely, even Roman Catholics and Protestants can agree that 1 Corinthians 12 would preclude this kind of thinking!

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222 Comments

  1. Bryan Cross said,

    February 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Lane,

    Regarding Michael’s statement, he isn’t referring to Scripture as interpreted in a vacuum, but Scripture as interpreted through the Tradition already known to be authoritative. He is speaking about a principle guiding what may be introduced as a proposed development or definition. This introduction takes place at a time, and at that time Tradition (in that stage of development) is already present, and Scripture is already rightly understood through it.

    In practice, tradition trumps Scripture. For instance, even supposing a Roman Catholic canon, the argument from Maccabees about purgatory is that prayer for the dead means that the church can help the dead. The problem is that the passage they usually cite has people praying for idolaters. Idolatry is mortal sin, and cannot be something purged away in purgatory, which is only for the cleansing of the temporal punishments of venial sin.

    This is not an example of Tradition trumping Scripture. We always pray for the dead even if to our eyes their last living act was a grave sin, because (a) we do not know whether their sin was mortal or not (a grave sin is not necessarily a mortal sin), and (b) we do not know whether or not they repented from mortal sin before they died.

    By this method of procedure, the church can invent anything it wants, “find” a justification for it in Scripture, and then stoutly say that the Tradition has supported it all along.

    Such a claim presupposes that Tradition has no already-existing content, and thus begs the question. The Church cannot add to Tradition or subtract from Tradition; she can only develop and unfold what she has received.

    A very vocal minority at Vatican I, by way of contrast, led by Bishop Strossmayer, strongly rejected papal infallibility, stating that Scripture and history were strongly against it. But that would not deter the pro-papal authority crowd.

    There was a vocal minority at Nicea too. We don’t accept councils only when they are unanimous. That’s never been the Church’s practice. I don’t understand why you even care what percentage of bishops agreed with the decisions of any council. If a council were completely unanimous, but it reached a conclusion contrary to your interpretation of Scripture, wouldn’t you still reject it?

    Liccione/Cross also failed to deal with what is generally regarded as the most severe problem associated with Tradition: where is it?

    Our articles were not intended to specify how Tradition is to be identified. So they did not “fail” to deal with this; they simply do not deal with this. There’s no need to use loaded language.

    As we noted before, Tradition usually boils down to what the current church says. But this confuses the Tradition with the Magisterium.

    Which Catholic defined Tradition in this way? If none, then where is the argument showing that this is how the Catholic definition of Tradition “boils down”?

    I was somewhat flabbergasted recently when Bryan Cross admitted to me that it wouldn’t really matter if even more than half of the ECF did not believe that Matthew 16′s “petra” was a reference to Peter. This certainly reflects a non-Vincentian understanding of Tradition.

    No, it doesn’t. If you disagree, then please show why.

    Oh, I get it, the Magisterium also gets to interpret the Tradition (read, define it!). Quite frankly, this turns church history, the ECF’s, and the Bible into a complete wax nose: it means whatever the church today says it means, regardless of what it might actually say.

    That’s simply not true. But you can’t give a fair hearing to what you are treating with phrases like “Oh, I get it.” The Church can never contradict what she has already defined, or what has been taught by the ordinary universal Magisterium. The Church has no authority or power to do so. But, beyond that, your objection presupposes a kind of skepticism about the Magisterium, and the divine guidance and protection given to it. As you know, that skepticism and distrust of the Magisterium and its divine protection is not part of the Catholic paradigm, according to which we follow the bishops as we would the Apostles. So the objection you are making (i.e. this would allow the Magisterium to go into all sorts of error) is being made from the point of view of an outsider, a critic standing aloof who presupposes that the Magisterium is not divinely protected and guided. And of course that’s the view from the outside, because what is not present is faith-in-Christ-expressed-as-faith-in-His-Church. The objection is question-begging for this very reason.

    Speaking of Trent, one assumes that the RCC believes that everything Trent said was infallible (and if it isn’t, who gets to define it? And how do we know which parts are infallible and which aren’t?).

    No, not everything taught in Trent is infallible. There are very specific criteria for determining what is infalllibly defined, and what is not. The claim that Hebrews was authored by St. Paul is not infallibly defined, but the claim that Hebrews belongs to the canon is infallibly defined.

    Just because a person disagrees with his particular church about something does not mean that he reserves the right to leave it.

    True, but it also doesn’t mean that he does not have the authority to leave it, and join some other denomination, or form his own congregation, if he comes to hold a different interpretation of Scripture.

    Also, the vows include submission, which is to say that a proper keeping of the vow will include giving the church the benefit of the doubt in the case of a difference.

    Right, except when it doesn’t, as in Luther’s case. The problem is not located in the relative frequency of submissions to departures. The problem is that they remain their own ultimate interpretive authority, because the basis for the pastor’s ‘authority’ is his agreement with the layperson’s general interpretation of Scripture.

    In other words, Bryan’s picture of supposed individualism does not take into account how shepherding is actually supposed to work. It is not the individual who should be shuttling around to various churches. It is the church which should shepherd the people.

    Even if the pastor and elders always beat the disagreeing member to the punch, by removing him from the congregation before he could remove himself from the congregation, that would leave Neal’s and my argument entirely intact. The member still always retains the ultimate interpretive authority such that he ‘submits’ only when he sufficiently agrees, because the basis for that ‘authority’ is its general agreement with his interpretation of Scripture. He has fired his interpretive arrow into the wall, and then drawn the target around it, and called it “church,” and called the pastor and elders there his ‘authority,’ and ‘submitted’ to them. And that situation remains so long as he holds that interpretation, and the congregation/elders holds an interpretation sufficiently close to his. But if the pastor teaches something that sufficiently deviates from this member’s interpretation, he can always pull out the interpretive arrow and fire it elsewhere, drawing a new target around its new location. He does this by finding a new congregation that is sufficiently in agreement with his interpretation, and then ‘submitting’ to that pastor. The whole thing, however, is a sham, because the ‘submission’ is always in the first place based on the individual’s agreement with that pastor/congregation/denomination general interpretation, and is thus always a ‘submission-so-long-as-I-sufficiently-agree’ sort of ‘submission,’ which is just a way of hiding one’s solo scriptura behind the appearance of submission and authority.

    I am grateful for your study of the subject, and I hope that it will allow us to discuss the disagreement more fruitfully.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  2. greenbaggins said,

    February 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Bryan, if what you say is true of Liccione’s statement, then there is a vicious circle there. He says unequivocally that Scripture is the norma normans. But then you say he means Scripture as already interpreted by the authoritative tradition. How can Scripture norm the Tradition when the Tradition is interpreting the norm? Sounds like a merry-go-round to me.

    On purgatory, you are saying that, in addition to the distinction between mortal and venial sin, there is yet a third category called “grave sin” which can be mortal sometimes, and other times not? Please explain the origin of this distinction. There was no time for repentance in the case of the dead soldiers in 2 Macc 12:40. The sacred tokens of Jamnia were found under the tunics of the dead soldiers. Where exactly was the time for them to repent? The text also states that the idolatry was the reason for the soldiers’ fall. Why would people pray that a clearly mortal sin become something else?

    As to Tradition and pre-existent content, I don’t ignore that question at all in my argument. Something can be there in the Tradition, but only later made an article of faith. Something just a few people believed earlier then becomes normative later by fiat. This is the reason why I am concerned with percentages at councils. It is not as though truth was determined by percentages. However, the question of where Tradition resides is certainly relevant to percentages. Unless, of course, one wants to define the Tradition as simply the side that always “wins.”

    I realize that your articles do not deal with the location of Tradition. I want to know where Tradition is. So do many Protestants. Where is it? Is it now to be identified precisely with the Magisterium?

    As to confusing Tradition with the Magisterium, this is the logical outcome of Newman’s position on doctrinal development. The New Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition of Tradition, quoted in the previous post, also is completely limited to the current Magisterium.

    As to the issue of Vincentian view of Tradition, it is what is always and everywhere believed by all the church. The church certainly did NOT always and everywhere and by all believe that “petra” means “Peter” in Matthew 16. If you believe that the Tradition is not located there in the majority of what the ECF’s say on “petra” in Matthew 16, then you do not believe in the Vincentian view of Tradition.

    As to what I said about the Magisterium, whether they are right or wrong is not actually the point. Therefore I was not implying or assuming skepticism per se (though I certainly have skepticism towards the Magisterium!). What I am pointing out is the blurring of the line between Tradition and the Magisterium. Tradition collapses into the Magisterium when the Magisterium is the only body that has the privilege of defining what Tradition is. That was what I was getting at by my admittedly rhetorical language. So, I deny the question-begging.

    What are the criteria for determining what is infallible in Trent and what is not? Where are they to be found? Trent was defining the canon in that section. They defined Hebrews as one of the 14 letters of Paul as part of the canon. They cursed anyone who did not read these letters *as they have defined them.* It seems to me that the kind of distinction you are working with has some serious difficulties here and it does not seem to be in the minds of the authors of Trent. For the record, I actually believe Paul wrote Hebrews! But I don’t think Roman Catholics are being anywhere near consistent on this matter.

    Glad you brought up Luther. I am finding, in my researches on the history of the Reformation, that two very different pictures of what happened with Luther emerge. Bokenkotter, for instance, entitles his chapter on the Reformation “Luther splits the church.” Luther did not leave the church, contrary to the picture that many Roman Catholics give. The church excommunicated him. Luther tried to reform the church from within until the church decided that it couldn’t keep him. Yes, Luther burned the papal bull “Exsurge Domine.” But that was because he already knew what the conclusion to the matter was going to be. No one tried to convince Luther of the error of his exegesis except by reference to the early church fathers (this was John Eck’s tack). So, pray, how was Luther to act when no one met him where he was, and when they wouldn’t even debate him at Worms? How can someone simply go against conscience? Do remember that Rome had NOT SETTLED the issues of justification that Luther held to. That did not happen until Trent, by which time Luther was already excommunicated. So, the Roman Catholic church excommunicated Luther for holding views that the church had NEVER declared to be heretical up to that point in history! That is ecclesiastical tyranny. But if one reads Roman Catholic history, Luther voluntarily and rebelliously left the Roman Catholic church. This is a very false view of the history. Recent popes have acknowledged the sins of the RCC in the era of the Reformation, and if I remember rightly, they have even expressed sorrow and regret over the excommunication of Luther.

    The points I have brought up regarding shepherding rather seriously qualify the unbridled individuality you have charged Protestants with holding. You have not even acknowledged this fact yet. Basically, your answer is “it changes nothing.” It changes everything. The church is body with the ministerial authority to shepherd the people, including where they ought to be. That changes the situation. We will not progress much until you realize this fact. What I sense the shape of your argument taking is that because Protestantism is not RC on the issue of authority, that therefore Protestantism is false. It is actually you who are begging the question here.

  3. Paul Weinhold said,

    February 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    CCC 80 may be a helpful resource in this discussion:

    “‘Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal’ (Dei Verbum 9). Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own ‘always, to the close of the age’ (Matthew 28:20).”

    ad maiorem Dei gloriam,
    Paul Weinhold

  4. Paul Weinhold said,

    February 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    One additional resource may also be of interest: Thomas More’s Dialogue Concerning Heresies. The dialogue received high praise from C.S. Lewis, and it was written during the reformation era. Perhaps, then, it would be a good book to read. For example, Part One, Chapter 25 is preceded by this tantalizing summary:

    The messenger says that it seems to him he should not believe the Church if he observes the Church saying one thing and holy Scripture another thing, because Scripture is the word of God; and the author shows that the faith of the Church is as much the word of God as is Scripture, and therefore as much to be believed. And that the faith and Scripture, rightly understood, never contradict one another. And he further shows that with regard to any question arising from holy Scripture concerning any essential point of the faith, anyone who, from all that they can hear on both sides of the question, cannot tell which view is better and more correct, has a sure and unquestionable refuge provided them by the goodness of God, to bring them out of all perplexity, in that God has commanded them in all such unclear things to believe his church.”

    ad maiorem Dei gloriam,
    Paul Weinhold

  5. Andrew McCallum said,

    February 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Lane and All,

    So why all the focus on leaving a church? Would it be better if Reformed folks who take issue with their church stay in the church as active rebels? This is certainly the Catholic solution. Their rebels stay in the church while ours leave. In Catholicism members still retain the “ultimate interpretive authority” to use Bryan’s term, but when they exercise that authority they stay in the RCC. The result today is that the conservatives in the RCC are in the vast minority and the RCC is a mush of competing belief systems.

    As you say Lane, the only solution is biblical shepherding and discipline. The typical Evangelical church lacks this characteristic of a true church as do the Catholics churches.

  6. michael said,

    February 7, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Bryan: “The Church cannot add to Tradition or subtract from Tradition; she can only develop and unfold what she has received.”

    How is a tradition ever a tradition with those terms, “develop & unfold”?

    Isn’t a tradition something you hold to and enjoy year after year after year once you receive it without developing and unfolding?

    What’s the use for a developing tradition that is always unfolding?

  7. John Bugay said,

    February 7, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Bryan (Comment #1):

    The Church can never contradict what she has already defined, or what has been taught by the ordinary universal Magisterium.

    You are very much out of line with this. To provide just one [fairly big] example: In the fifth century, the Alexandrians (Monophysites) as followers of Cyril, and the Antiochians (Nestorians) as followers of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius, both, with their “successions of bishops”, both split with the Greeks and Romans [“the Orthdox”] over the issue of whether Mary was Theotokos or Christotokos. This was the heart and soul of the Nestorian heresy, at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.

    But consider the Common Christological Declaration that JPII signed with the “Assyrian Church of the East” in 1994 – which you may have otherwise known as the “Nestorian” church. This declaration says The controversies of the past led to anathemas, bearing on persons and on formulas. The Lord’s Spirit permits us to understand better today that the divisions brought about in this way were due in large part to misunderstandings.

    This is a “misunderstanding” that directly relates to a “doctrinal” issue:

    the Assyrian Church of the East is praying the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of Christ our God and Saviour”. In the light of this same faith the Catholic tradition addresses the Virgin Mary as “the Mother of God” and also as “the Mother of Christ”. We both recognize the legitimacy and rightness of these expressions of the same faith and we both respect the preference of each Church in her liturgical life and piety.

    This is the Theotokos vs Christotokos issue that was the very reason for “the Council of Ephesus” (431 AD). It was Cyril’s condemnation of Nestorius for this very issue.

    Note the following OLTV video in which the Orthodox bishop Timothy “Kallistos” Ware just comes right out and says “Nestorius was not guilty of the Nestorian heresy”. You can see the video here:

    http://www.oltv.tv/id553.html (Look at “Plenary 1″, Clip 1, beginning approximately 2:20)…

    …and read more about the dispute here:

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f18/nestorius-council-ephesus-53817/

    The “Nestorian” church never was not part of the universal church. It had “bishops” in “succession”. The universal church had a mixed voice on this issue.

    And it was mixed because of misunderstanding. Yes, doctrinal misunderstanding. And John Paul II, with his declaration, reversed that “doctrinal misunderstanding”. Unless you want to say “John Paul was wrong — there was no doctrinal misunderstanding” — or you want to say “he clearly didn’t intend this to be an infallible declaration” — or you want to say “Theotokos” really wasn’t a doctrinal definition” — these are meaningless dismissals in the quest for your preservation of those “certain conditions”.

    Liccione’s “IP” which he finds “preferable” – because it offers a “a principled as opposed to an ad hoc way to distinguish the formal, proximate object of faith from fallible human opinions”, has no correspondence whatsoever with the actual course of church history. The universal church, not anywhere, ever, has identified [except by Roman fiat] this “formal, proximate object of faith” for which you are seeking. Even by his own standard of “papal ratifications of dogmatic canons issued by general councils meant to bind the whole Church”, you have, in the words of JPII, “a misunderstanding”, a doctrinal misunderstanding which led to “anathemas” and schism.

  8. greenbaggins said,

    February 7, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Paul, I read CCC 80, and thought that it meant the partim-partim view I have described: that divine revelation is given to us partly in Scripture, partly in Tradition. CCC 80 indicates a belief that those two things are closely intertwined (naturally!). Would you agree with this reading of the CCC? However, the relationship I am more concerned about at the moment is between Tradition and the Magisterium.

  9. Bryan Cross said,

    February 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Lane, (re: #2)

    Bryan, if what you say is true of Liccione’s statement, then there is a vicious circle there. He says unequivocally that Scripture is the norma normans. But then you say he means Scripture as already interpreted by the authoritative tradition. How can Scripture norm the Tradition when the Tradition is interpreting the norm?

    Because what is being normed is, as I already explained, proposed introductions to Tradition, not the existing Tradition by which Scripture is already understood.

    On purgatory, you are saying that, in addition to the distinction between mortal and venial sin, there is yet a third category called “grave sin” which can be mortal sometimes, and other times not? Please explain the origin of this distinction.

    See CCC 1857. In order for a sin to be mortal, not only must the matter be grave, but the action must be done with “full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

    There was no time for repentance in the case of the dead soldiers in 2 Macc 12:40. The sacred tokens of Jamnia were found under the tunics of the dead soldiers. Where exactly was the time for them to repent?

    Persons may repent even in their dying breath. So the dead soldiers may (possibly) have repented as they lay dying, even if they had committed mortal sin.

    The text also states that the idolatry was the reason for the soldiers’ fall. Why would people pray that a clearly mortal sin become something else?

    Because, as I already explained, no one but God can know that a particular sin is mortal. What we can know is that that the type of action is grave matter, which, if done “with full knowledge and deliberate consent,” would be a mortal sin.

    I realize that your articles do not deal with the location of Tradition. I want to know where Tradition is. So do many Protestants. Where is it? Is it now to be identified precisely with the Magisterium?

    No, the Tradition is not to be identified the Magisterium. Tradition is found *in* the Church because it was entrusted to the Church. But that does not mean that Tradition is to be identified with the Church or with the Magisterium.

    As to confusing Tradition with the Magisterium, this is the logical outcome of Newman’s position on doctrinal development.

    If that were true, you should be able to lay out the *argument* showing how that conclusion logically follows from Newman’s position.

    The New Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition of Tradition, quoted in the previous post, also is completely limited to the current Magisterium.

    Here’s the definition you quoted from the NCE:

    “Tradition is the communication by the living Church of the Christian reality and the expression, either oral or written, of that reality.”

    That is not identifying Tradition with the Magisterium, let alone with the current Magisterium. Tradition in its fullest *present* development is located through the guidance of the Magisterium. But that does not “confuse Tradititon with the Magisterium.”

    As to the issue of Vincentian view of Tradition, it is what is always and everywhere believed by all the church. The church certainly did NOT always and everywhere and by all believe that “petra” means “Peter” in Matthew 16. If you believe that the Tradition is not located there in the majority of what the ECF’s say on “petra” in Matthew 16, then you do not believe in the Vincentian view of Tradition.

    That conclusion follows only if presupposes that development of doctrine is incompatible with St. Vincent’s teaching on Tradition. But St. Vincent himself affirms development of doctrine, as I explained in section “VI. The Development of Doctrine.”

    What I am pointing out is the blurring of the line between Tradition and the Magisterium. Tradition collapses into the Magisterium when the Magisterium is the only body that has the privilege of defining what Tradition is.

    And what I’m saying is that you’ll need an argument to show that. Merely asserting it doesn’t establish its truth.

    What are the criteria for determining what is infallible in Trent and what is not? Where are they to be found?

    It is not unique to Trent. The infallible part of a papal or conciliar document is only the definition meeting the criteria [see Lumen Gentium] for an infallible definition. See the very last paragraph in the Catholic Encyclopedia article on “Infallibility.” This is something one learns in the study of Sacred Theology.

    But I don’t think Roman Catholics are being anywhere near consistent on this matter.

    I understand that you think that, but it remains to be shown.

    On Luther, I’ll try to respond at another time, since I have no more time today.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  10. Tim Prussic said,

    February 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Has the confessional Protestant tradition every asserted that Scripture is interpreted in a vacuum? It has nether asserted it nor practiced it. Amusingly enough, confessions themselves prove that vacuum hermeneutics has never been the Protestant view. Protestantism has held that God’s infallible, inscripturated word guides his fallible church and her traditions. Protestantism has the dog wagging the tail.

  11. Ryan said,

    February 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    … your objection presupposes a kind of skepticism about the Magisterium, and the divine guidance and protection given to it. As you know, that skepticism and distrust of the Magisterium and its divine protection is not part of the Catholic paradigm, according to which we follow the bishops as we would the Apostles. So the objection you are making (i.e. this would allow the Magisterium to go into all sorts of error) is being made from the point of view of an outsider, a critic standing aloof who presupposes that the Magisterium is not divinely protected and guided.

    So in other words, in order to make this conclusion you already have to have made this conclusion?

  12. Bob S said,

    February 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    One of the problems with Bryan in #1 is that the aloof outsider who criticizes the Roman paradigm without accepting it on its own terms morphs into . . . Bryan in person when it comes to criticizing the Sola Scriptura paradigm.

    IOW a double standard does not ahem, strictly apply when it comes to criticizing protestantism in Some Paradigmatic Instances. (Better, much better.)

    Neither is the doctrine of the universal consent of the early church on the papacy still under ad hoc construction by the Magisterium. Rather it has been traditionally understood as a Doctrinal Development of Tradition. Big performative difference there, right?

    Kind of like that between a chameleon and a cuttlefish? One changes color while the other just emits a big cloud of black ink in order to evade its captors.

    Hmmm. Maybe it’s just a category error about the 9th commandment wherein it is assumed to be lawful to equivocate in defense of the truth.

    Roman truth, that is. By definition Protestants don’t have it, which is why they’re protestants in the first place. So no worries.

    Or something like that.

  13. Bob S said,

    February 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    One of the comparatively unknown advantages of being in the bronze computer age – compared to the elite tweet, “Sent from my Ipad” – is that sometimes you have to print out hard copies. Then, with the ad hoc help of a cigarette lighter and some patience, the invisible ink inevitably shows up.

    Where we read above in 1:

    As you know, that skepticism and distrust of the Magisterium and its divine protection is not part of the Catholic paradigm, according to which we follow the bishops as we would the Apostles.

    Becomes, after the Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo Zippo treatment:

    As you know, that skepticism and distrust of the Magisterium and its divine protection is not part of the Catholic paradigm, according to which we follow the bishops who are performative ad hoc apostles just as we would the Apostles.
    And if the Apostles are extraordinary officers with extraordinary powers, so too the bishops performatively.
    And if the bishops, how much more The Universal Bishop.

    IOW via the II, if not in between the lines, if we have been told that the oral teachings of the apostles are as infallible as their written teaching, performatively those Traditions have to be the same as/equal to Scripture. But if partim-partim is good enough for the apostles, so too performative apostles.

    No mention of course that the apostolic NT is exactly that: the infallible inscripturation of the apostolic oral traditions and teaching.
    Contra the CCC the revelation of God is not partim = partim (WCF 1:1). Rather the oral is the same as the written. Therefore partim (either one) = totum. Protestants may not have the one, but they certainly have the other.

    But there will be no Kindle version of those ever elusive Traditions forthcoming. Not only is the Vatican a late adopter of the infallible truth technology, the Canonical Index alone for those Infallible Traditions is under continual ad hoc ongoing construction/remodeling Doctrinal Development.

    And the apostolic protonotaries, as they have for centuries, keep it under strict lock and papal key in order not to enable Anonymous/WikiLeaks making a killing on EBay Buy It Now. (Being a traditore and selling out the Tradition, even its table of contents, does not look good on the resume. It might even be as bad as “pedophile” which is performative Roman speak for ecclesiastically approved shielded/ordained homosexual molesters.)

    As for Bryan’s remarks on protestants just doing what they want under the excuse of Sola Scriptura, what he’s really telling us – performatively that is – is that if in the bottom of his heart he didn’t really believe Rome was the true church, he’d still have to believe it was the true church, because it says so go there anyway and still have to believe say it was the true church.

    Thus CtC’s performative belief on the 9th commandment, whatever those protestant Pinocchios say about the lawfulness of breaking faith with heretics according to Roman tradition. Everybody knows protestants just do what they performatively want to anyway, right?

    Besides, Jiminy Cricket was really a Jesuit. (They don’t tell you that in the movie, but if you read the book you would know. No, we don’t have a copy of the book on hand, but, but . . . . .)

    Romanism is a vicious, stupefying and ridiculous ecclesiastical idolatry that is a performative atheist/liar when it comes to Scripture, reason and history.

    And Romanism.

    Thank you.

  14. Bob S said,

    February 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    [korrect html errurs and hit send]

    As for Bryan’s remarks on protestants just doing what they want under the excuse of Sola Scriptura, what he’s really telling us – performatively that is – is that if in the bottom of his heart he didn’t really believe Rome was the true church, he’d still go there anyway and still say – whether he believed it or not – that it was the true church.

  15. Robert said,

    February 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Remember, all, that for the CTC folk, any criticism that does not assume the truth of the Roman position is question-begging. It’s a great way to get around the fact that for CTC, Rome is subject to no outside critique. Rome is irreformable under its current definitions of authority.

    And the idea that Rome has never changed or can change what has been taught by the universal Magisterium is laughable. Remember when before Vatican II, all of us Protestants were anathematized but then Vatican II made us separated brethren and even granted Muslims the possibility of salvation as well. But don’t bring that up, because it is question-begging to assume that we can read official Vatican documents and actually understand accurately what they say apart from the Magisterium telling us what they really mean.

    For all of the Roman Catholic assaults on the perspicuity of Scripture, they don’t even believe their own tradition and Magisterium are perspicuous. If the current Magisterium believes it, that settles it. What do we get from going to Rome, then?

  16. Rooney said,

    February 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Why are there hardly any RCs commenting on this blog entry? Since its about Sola Scriptura, you’d would expect them to swarm at it like Piranhas.

  17. michael said,

    February 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Rooney,

    Don’t know what to make of your comment? Hopefully after the last two blog articles by Lane and the comments maybe they are reassessing their positions and changing into swim trunks? I mean just consider the reality of the Truth they were met with in those articles and the subsequent comments and then these initial responses already in here?

    It you venture to turrentinFan’s blog he makes a remarkable after thought comment there about Jason Stellman after the short videos by Dr. Robert Godfrey?

  18. Brian said,

    February 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Hey, Michael.

    What is it that is supposed to make us Catholics reassess our positions?

  19. Bob S said,

    February 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    16. Dunno Rooney.
    Maybe they are all still recovering from the StuporBowl party in Woodinville. Whuddahyahthink? (Privately w.o. judging of course.)

    At least that is what we might reasonably gather from our friend’s comments over at the discussion following Your Own Private Interpretation.

    After all he told us that he had to “watch the Lakers beat the Thunder first”, in 29 (with the full blessing of his lay father superior in 30, no?) along with telling us that Rome is the one true church which “can most meaningfully appeal to the simple and untrained seeker”in 199. IOW the distinction between good times and the gospel doesn’t seem to register.

    True, in 128 Bryan asserted that Rome doesn’t do deductions, Jeff C to the pointed contrary in 198.

    But that is also to say that Rome doesn’t do reductio ad absurdum, which is pretty much the same as saying any appeal to/demonstration of the Roman absurdities is to descend to the level of being “unloving/uncharitable/unChristian”. In a religious environment where feelings trump all, particularly sound doctrine, this is the ultimate argument defeater just as the “racistbigothomophobeantisemiteradical” smear is the kiss of death in the echo chamber of what passes for the secular political discussion of our day.

    Consequently, Rome’s self appointed apologists, evangelists and traveling salesmen might not want to knock and talk, because they – OK some of us – aren’t very “ nice” over here.

    Regardless, a very creditable start has been made in demonstrating that Rome systematically panders to and exacerbates the sinful tendencies of human nature in its appeal to an external religion, pride and self righteousness on the basis of an erroneous deification of its infallible hierarchy/hierarch contra Scripture, reason and history.

    IOW maybe some of the crickets didn’t think CtC meant “called to be cannon fodder”.

    But what’s one more fallible opinion about a fallacious paradigm?
    And repetition is not of the essence of Roman propaganda.

    cheers

  20. Sean Patrick said,

    February 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    “Why are there hardly any RCs commenting on this blog entry?”

    “Hopefully after the last two blog articles by Lane and the comments maybe they are reassessing their positions and changing into swim trunks?”

    I would wager that is has more to do with the tone that conversations on this blog tend to take. To be fair, this Catholic (me) stopped reading the comments of the particularly vitriolic years ago. But, it does make genuine discussion difficult doesn’t it?

  21. Bob S said,

    February 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    20 Sean,
    And I might wager that it had something to do with your arguments being less than capable, cogent or to the point. Consequently they didn’t get the traction you think they deserved coming as they did from someone with the whole weight of a supposedly infallible church behind them.

    Yet if ‘the heart is deceitful and wicked beyond measure, who can know it’ Jer. 17:9 applies to romanists as well as prots.

    Likewise one of the purposes of sound doctrine is to stop the mouth of gainsayers Tit. 1:9-11.

    Of course the gainsayer might not think that.
    Why, they might even think it vitriolic. As if the charge doesn’t possibly stand self condemned.

    But maybe it’s is better that we are at an impasse. At least regarding the white lie that we really should forget our differences and unite in one ecumenical body supposedly in obedience to Christ’s command.

    You make a blanket appeal to the pope, protestantism to Scripture.
    How do we know? Likewise how do you?
    I willing to let it stand at that, but I will not be buffaloed into saying it is all protestantism’s fault or the personal vitriol of protestants.

    After all Deut. 19:19 essentially says if you can’t prove the crime, you do the time. I’ll let you connect the dots/make the necessary inferences.

    thank you,

  22. Sean Patrick said,

    February 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Bob S.

    Good point. It could be that all the ‘romanists’ simply have deceitful and hearts that are wicked beyond measure and that’s why they aren’t commenting much these days.

  23. Bob S said,

    February 11, 2013 at 12:13 am

    22. That’s a non sequitur, Sean, because you are commenting.
    Not substantively, but hey, it’s a start.

    But maybe another alternative explanation that they aren’t commenting at the moment is that their arguments were shown to be erroneous and their paradigm bound up in error and contradiction. I think that a very good possibility in Mr. Stellman’s case and frankly don’t think it a bad thing. He was long overdue. Your mileage of course may vary, but we all already know that.

    cheers

  24. Sean Patrick said,

    February 11, 2013 at 7:41 am

    You know what you have just proven Bob S?

    The lack of responses from Catholics, since it apparently has *nothing to do with a lack of charity displayed by some here, must prove the age-old belief that one wins an internet debate when the other person stops responding.

    Now, if only you could figure out a sure fire way to get people to stop responding. Hmmm…maybe you could try being unpleasant to visitors and mock their position while questioning their motives? Then they’ll drop out and then you win! Success!

    *even though several have cited that very fact when bowing out recently*

  25. michael said,

    February 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Brian @#18, I can tell you what did it for me. The Holy Spirit making the Word of God come alive within my soul when I read Matthew 1:21. I was catholic and now after so many years Reformed Protestant.

  26. michael said,

    February 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Sean @ #20: “To be fair, this Catholic (me) stopped reading the comments of the particularly vitriolic years ago. But, it does make genuine discussion difficult doesn’t it?”

    Apparently the comments in here have not been particularly vitriolic seeing you are reading what we write and quoting things we have written.

    Thanks for seeing that Truth speaking is quite a bit different that being particularly vitriolic!

  27. Bob S said,

    February 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    24.Hi Sean.
    Know what you just proved?
    You can’t be RC, because the RC have stopped responding.

    No, the lack of responses from the RC could not have been that their mouths have been stopped. No. Never. Because Rome is infallible. Ergo likewise the CtC and their promotion of romanism.
    But protestantism denies the first and the second is a non sequitur/remains to be proven even if the first was true.

    But as that great theological polemicist, Harry Trueman said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

    Or: if you don’t like hearing nonsense called by its name, stop defending it.

    Or: If you are tired of seeing stuff get knocked out of the park, stop throwing puffballs.

    Mr. Stellman told us that only the pope is infallible and therefore protestants can only have fallible opinions.
    A fair enough assertion only to be expected from the source, but then since he’s not the pope, he must be giving us his fallible opinion. Which we may disregard and point out as we run through the implications.
    Of course he didn’t like the implications. But then he needs to see above on nonsense.

    True, he probably wanted to piggyback/bootstrap his credibility/infallibility as a papist on the back of the pope’s infallibility but that’s not how his argument worked and he was unable to articulate it to any degree nor are we obligated to sell out our position.

    Besides we’ve already seen how Bryan twists Sola Scriptura to only mean that protestantism consists performatively of a bunch of anarchist anabaptists who are their own personal popes. After a fashion it is the notorious tu quoque rejoinder: Protestantism decries popery only because it hates the competition.

    But if Bryan’s argument is that Sola Scriptura is performatively Sola Conscienta then that means he only has to go to a Roman church and say – if asked – it is the true church, in order to be saved. Even if he doesn’t believe it or horrors, privately judges it as wrong. As if God can’t see though the charade.But this is not lying? Performatively?

    But it gets worse. The dilemma then becomes if the pope said it is OK to break faith with heretics and JBFA is the infallible anathema of Trent, what’s Vat.2 all about with the separated brethren bit? Remember, you don’t have to tell the truth to protestants.

    But protestants are the ones full of vitriol.
    Go figure.

    ciao

  28. Sean Patrick said,

    February 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Bob S.
    Hard to argue with that.

    I mean, Jason Stellman says that he is not going to participate because of all the toxicity in these conversations in comment 241 in this discussion but you have clearly shown that what he really meant was that you were just bringing so much ‘truth’ that he couldn’t handle it. I guess you’ll be expecting him to come by and thank you for correcting his error any minute now?

    As far as you and I are concerned with this discussion I’ll give you what you want: the last word. Take it. It’s yours. I won’t respond to you further and you can chalk it up to my not being able to handle your arguments.

    Everybody else: I just saw several people asking why it is that some Catholics don’t seem to be commenting much on this thread. Well, Jason Stellman has already given a reason and it’s the same reason that I raised # 20 in this conversation. Granted, that is just one example but if you don’t think that some are, frankly, quite rude to Catholics here than I suggest you take a second look. Some people don’t like being treated that way, even on the internet.

    And, I am not saying that every interlocutor here brings the ‘heat’ as well as some. But, really, it is pretty hard to carry on a conversation about such weighty questions when there are certain individuals who seem bent on poisoning the well at every turn. If you are truly concerned about a lack of interaction you might consider this a possibility.

    Further, if you are curious about a Catholic response to this, many have been given including this recent response.

  29. Bob S said,

    February 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    26 SP
    Hard to argue with that.

    Guess that’s why we are still talking. I don’t talk to romanists and you can’t be one, cause you’re still talking.

    But if you want to link directly to a comment like 241, click on the hi-lighted link in the date time line under the name on the post and copy the browser address to your html ref.
    Like this.

    Wherein according to Jason’s yea and nay, he said he doesn’t read or respond to Bub Ess’s comments. So has his email account been hacked and somebody else is posting in his name? Because that’s precisely what he did – what he said he wasn’t going to do. So how do we know he is a man of his word or not?
    Oh, that’s right. To ask the obvious is “poisoning the well”.
    Reduction ad absurdum is not a fallacy for the Roman IP.


    As far as you and I are concerned with this discussion I’ll give you what you want: the last word. Take it. It’s yours. I won’t respond to you further and you can chalk it up to my not being able to handle your arguments.

    Res ipsa loquitur. It speaks for itself and betrays its previous commitment to the roman paradigm, i.e. skepticism that man can transcend private opinion and come into possession of the truth.
    Yet the last word is Scripture and since Rome nominally appeals to it, it’s fair to question her on it.
    And Rome hasn’t been able to handle the question.
    “Because of protestant vitriol”.
    Which is not a red herring, because they only come in green.

    Further, if you are curious about a Catholic response to this, many have been given including this recent response.

    Ander’s response on the authority of Tradition has to leave 2 Tim. 3:17 out of the mix in order to maintain a semblance of respectability for anybody that isn’t a newb in the discussion, in rebutting the obvious scriptural objections to his thesis.
    And we were not disappointed.

    So we are not to judge his article as what? A competent and thorough work or amateurish propaganda?
    Again, to state the obvious is to “poison the well”?
    If I didn’t know any better, you guys want to have your wafer and eat it too.
    Fine, but then you need to return the favor.

    Besides everybody knows, since the pope resigned, things are on hold. Not performatively, but in principle.

    Likewise if you are posting as Hirduin, over at CtC regarding Anders’s confusion on the regulative principle, reformed worship and Calvin, it’s a little late. The barn already left the horse.

    cheers
    signed,

    everybody else

  30. Bob S said,

    February 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Like this.

    Nope <a href=“http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/response-to-jason-stellman-part-1/”< this, #561

    signed
    everybody else

  31. TurretinFan said,

    February 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    My hat is off to you, Bob, for converting SP’s off-topic gripes into an on-topic discussion.

  32. TurretinFan said,

    February 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Greenbaggins:

    “I was somewhat flabbergasted recently when Bryan Cross admitted to me that it wouldn’t really matter if even more than half of the ECF did not believe that Matthew 16′s “petra” was a reference to Peter.”

    What should make that especially mind-blowing is that Pius IX at Vatican I confessed: “Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    And then he went on to receive and interpret Scripture in a way that was not according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v1.htm

    -TurretinFan

  33. Bryan Cross said,

    February 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    TF, (re: #32)

    The “except according” [nisi juxta] does not mean that he may hold only interpretations for which there was unanimous patristic consensus, but rather that wherever there is unanimous patristic consensus concerning the interpretation of Scripture, he will receive and interpret Scripture in accord with that unanimous patristic consensus.

    And no one has demonstrated that he ever did otherwise.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  34. TurretinFan said,

    February 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Bryan #33, my comment is fully consistent with your interpretation of Piux IX’s statement.

    But what is the authority for your interpretation of Pius IX? Because, of course, if your interpretation is correct, the translation of Piux IX’s words could be improved to render his words more accurately in English than at the link I provided above.

    -TurretinFan

  35. TurretinFan said,

    February 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    The original Latin, I’m sure you’re aware, is this:

    Item sacram scripturam juxta eum sensum, quem tenuit et tenet sancta mater ecclesia, cujus est judicare de vero sensu et interpretatione sacrarum scripturarum, admitto; nec eam unquam, nisi juxta unanimem consensum patrum accipiam, et interpretabor.

    The

    Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    Not this:

    Quoniam vero, quae sancta Tridentina Synodus de interpretatione divinae Scripturae ad coercenda petulantia ingenia salubriter decrevit, a quibusdam hominibus prave exponuntur, Nos idem decretum renovantes hanc illius mentem esse declaramus, ut in rebus fidei et morum ad aedificationem doctrinae christianae pertinentium is pro vero sensu sacrae Scripturae habendus sit, quem tenuit ac tenet sancta mater Ecclesia, cujus est judicare de vero sensu et interpretatione Scripturarum sanctarum; atque ideo nemini licere contra hunc sensum aut etiam contra unanimem consensum Patrum ipsam Scripturam sacram interpretari.

    which is translated this way:

    8. Now since the decree on the interpretation of Holy Scripture, profitably made by the Council of Trent, with the intention of constraining rash speculation, has been wrongly interpreted by some, we renew that decree and declare its meaning to be as follows: that in matters of faith and morals, belonging as they do to the establishing of Christian doctrine, that meaning of Holy Scripture must be held to be the true one, which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of Holy Scripture.

    9. In consequence, it is not permissible for anyone to interpret Holy Scripture in a sense contrary to this, or indeed against the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    (The numbers are obviously inserted)
    -TurretinFan

  36. TurretinFan said,

    February 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I don’t know whether this will help inform your answer, Bryan, or not. But remember that you’re dealing with the same Pius IX who taught:

    This is the goal too of the crafty Bible Societies which renew the old skill of the heretics and ceaselessly force on people of all kinds, even the uneducated, gifts of the Bible. They issue these in large numbers and at great cost, in vernacular translations, which infringe the holy rules of the Church. The commentaries which are included often contain perverse explanations; so, having rejected divine tradition, the doctrine of the Fathers and the authority of the Catholic Church, they all interpret the words of the Lord by their own private judgment, thereby perverting their meaning. As a result, they fall into the greatest errors. Gregory XVI of happy memory, Our superior predecessor, followed the lead of his own predecessors in rejecting these societies in his apostolic letters.(16) It is Our will to condemn them likewise.

    Qui Pluribus, Pius IX, 9 November 1846, Section 14

    Not Pius XII who stated:

    Let them bear in mind above all that in the rules and laws promulgated by the Church there is question of doctrine regarding faith and morals; and that in the immense matter contained in the Sacred Books—legislative, historical, sapiential and prophetical—there are but few texts whose sense has been defined by the authority of the Church, nor are those more numerous about which the teaching of the Holy Fathers is unanimous. There remain therefore many things, and of the greatest importance, in the discussion and exposition of which the skill and genius of Catholic commentators may and ought to be freely exercised, so that each may contribute his part to the advantage of all, to the continued progress of the sacred doctrine and to the defense and honor of the Church.

    Divino Afflante Spiritu, Pius XII, 30 September 1943, Section 47

    (And despite it being “few” Rome has yet to identify for us which those are!)

    -TurretinFan

  37. Brad B said,

    February 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Somehow I suspect that Erasmus felt the same way that Sean Patrick is expressing himself. Martin Luther’s approach spent little time or energy entertaining illogical and immature reasoning with Erasmus while Erasmus walked the razors edge trying to keep the peace. I appreciate pointed writing–no matter which side it comes from–Dozie comes to mind [but you run the risk of looking all the more foolish if your reasoning is found lacking]. So far for me, Bob [Ess] is worth the price of admission, oh wait, well, more than that since admission is free.

    I’m not saying everyone should be striving for this approach, but I am saying that if someone doesn’t like it, they can deal with the substance and try to deflate the writer by poking holes in the argument and then the persona will surely deflate in a humble retreat. Let logic be your bulldog, but be careful he doesn’t turn on you!

  38. TurretinFan said,

    February 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

    We could add a third Pius into the mix – Pius XI who stated:

    Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.

    Casti Connubii, Pius XI, 31 December 1930, Section 104

    -TurretinFan

  39. TurretinFan said,

    February 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I suppose I should add that the assertion “And no one has demonstrated that he ever did otherwise” would be denied by William Webster.

    See his discussion here:

    http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/mt16.html

    -TurretinFan

  40. Bob S said,

    February 13, 2013 at 2:52 am

    31. Dunno TF. Guess if no man was indeed a friend in need for Ulysses, can’t hurt to be best buds with everbody else.

    And I’d return the favor, but my Cecil and Beanie copter cap must have fell off when I was busy out poisoning wells. After all the second non romanist after Sean replied to yours in person. All I rate is some teeth gnashing from his understudy in Woodinville.

    Peering at the argument through the old dunce cap, it looks like: Pius will only receive and interpret Scripture according to the unanimous consensus of the patriarchs.
    There is no unanimous consensus of the patriarchs on Matt. 16.
    ∴ Pius will not interpret Matt. 16

    The counter was:
    Wherever there is unanimous patristic consensus concerning the interpretation of Scripture, Pius will receive and interpret Scripture in accord with that unanimous patristic consensus.
    But Pius has received and interpreted Matt. 16
    ∴ This is in accord with the unanimous patristic consensus on the interpretation of Scripture.

    IOW Pius affirms the pious consequent. Hmmm. This is not pseudo piety?

    Or:
    Wherever there is unanimous patristic consensus concerning the interpretation of Scripture, Pius will receive and interpret Scripture in accord with that unanimous patristic consensus.
    There is unanimous popish consensus on the interpretation of Scripture.
    ∴ Pius will receive and interpret Matt. 16 in accord with that consensus

    Huh?
    Anyway.

    37. Brad, if we’re gonna electronically lynch somebody, at least get the name right. Sean can. It’s Bub.

    cheers

  41. John Bugay said,

    February 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Bryan 33:

    And no one has demonstrated that he ever did otherwise.

    In the context, it seems as if you are saying that “no one has demonstrated that Pius IX has receive[d] and interpret[ed] Scripture [in a way not] in accord with that unanimous patristic consensus”, is that correct?

    However, as Turretinfan’s Webster link shows, there were huge numbers of patristics that didn’t agree that Peter was “the rock” of Matthew 16.

    In fact, there was quite a bit of discussion about this at Vatican I, and it was just swept under the table at Vatican I. On his word, a non-unanimous consent was magically made to be “unanimous”.

  42. CD-Host said,

    February 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    @Sean —

    As someone who has been on both blogs and is likely more or less in equal disagreement:

    GreenBaggins use of “romanist”… and the constant accusation of deceit are worse here tone wise, on the surface it is ruder. I don’t know why name calling is as much a part of Conservative Presbyterianism as it is, it ain’t good trait…. So I get your point.

    But GreenBaggins is not that much ruder. CtC can get rather rude and mean as well. People like to gang up and “poison the well”. I agree much less 3rd grade name calling, but CtC could use some major improvement in tone. I’ll score this 3-2 in your favor.

    But worse than rudeness. CtC censors and misrepresents speakers. They make use of ridiculous policies. On GreenBaggins I’ve been allowed to vigorously defend Neo-Positivism and Walter Bauer type views of Christian evolution without censorship. So in terms of which blog allows freer debate I don’t think there is much question.

    Further on CtC there is a constant intermixing of debate with rule enforcement which I consider to be unethical. You can play football or ref, you shouldn’t do both. Once someone engages in a thread they should be absolutely prohibited from rule type issues. That’s just pure bullying.

    I’ll handle the substance of your “On the Usefulness of Tradition: A Response to Recent Objections” post in another post.

  43. CD-Host said,

    February 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    @Sean #28

    OK lets look at On the Usefulness of Tradition: A Response to Recent Objections.

    I’ll give an example which I think makes for an interesting case in point, Nancy Pelosi’s view that the current magisterium’s position in Humane Vitae is the sin of traducianism. Her argument is not from scripture, she sites church fathers and argues that the 3 layers of the soul and their formation is the consistent teaching of the church through time. (I wrote a post 4 years back with background: http://church-discipline.blogspot.com/2008/08/pelosi-was-right.html ).

    Now this is an important point. Because

    a) Pelosi claims to be speaking in the name of Catholic tradition
    b) Lots of people agree with her argument. So her argument is taken seriously and is a convincing interpretation.
    c) Her view is totally rejected by the church. She is arguing the current leadership of the Catholic Church is misrepresenting Catholic tradition.
    d) The direct counter arguments are rather unconvincing.

    I think this is a good example. Either human / intellectual souls form right after conception or months later, so there is a genuine matter of fact about Catholic tradition at stake. Clearly the tradition is unclear.

    So either “tradition” doesn’t mean anything more than “whatever the magisterium happens to be saying today” or in some deep and meaningful sense making claims to tradition doesn’t fix the issue of how one interprets scripture because tradition is even more complex to parse outside a faith in the magisterium.

  44. Bob S said,

    February 14, 2013 at 2:50 am

    41 John
    And no one has demonstrated that he ever did otherwise.

    This is what is known as a barefaced assertion, if not an outright lie, one of CtC’s forte.

    Bryan’s argument was that Pius only had to interpret Scripture in accord with the unanimous patristic consensus on the interpretation of Scripture. As if they had a consensus that was anything other than an affirmation of the authority and supremacy of Scripture, if they had one.

    According to Wm. Cunningham in his Historical Theology that was the only constant in the otherwise theological decline from the apostles in the first three centuries of the church (I:185). Cunningham was a Scotch contemporary of Hodge and this was a standard work in its day. Whether Bryan ever saw one in a modern P&R seminary is another story.

    From there the leap to the predetermined conclusion was written in stone.

    As well that in a wink of the eye the patristic consensus is assumed to be the same thing as the popish.

    Ain’t logic according to Loyola grand? It is irrefutable/impregnable/infallible/incorrigible and infidel.

  45. John Bugay said,

    February 14, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Bob 44: Ain’t logic according to Loyola grand? It is irrefutable/impregnable/infallible/incorrigible and infidel.

    Gotta love it.

  46. Sean Gerety said,

    February 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

    TFan, thanks for the Webster piece. Great stuff. You’d think just this from Augstine would be enough to shut the mouths of proud RCs like Cross and Stellman:

    “Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer (John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993), Sermons, Vol. 6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327).”

  47. February 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    “But worse than rudeness. CtC censors and misrepresents speakers. They make use of ridiculous policies.”

    I wish it weren’t so.

  48. michael said,

    February 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Sean, quoting:( “There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer (John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993), Sermons, Vol. 6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327).”” ).

    Two things I would follow with here. One, God does not change and two, when you consider His Immutability and these following verses you kind of can see or rather understand why when you don’t see these things in the local Church:

    And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7 ESV)

    and

    So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. (Acts 9:31 ESV)

    and

    And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. (Acts 11:21-24 ESV)

    And on and on She grows by that very same confession in question.

  49. February 19, 2013 at 1:16 am

    [...] Sola Versus Solo Scriptura Revisited (greenbaggins.wordpress.com) [...]

  50. Bryan Cross said,

    February 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    TF (re: #39)

    I suppose I should add that the assertion “And no one has demonstrated that he ever did otherwise” would be denied by William Webster.

    For the sake of space, I’ve responded to this here.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  51. Don said,

    February 23, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Bryan Cross says

    we should not make him [Augustine] to contradict himself if we need not
    do so

    but Augustine says, in The Retractions,

    In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built’…But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock.

    So no, we don’t need to make him contradict himself, if he’s correcting his own earlier teaching.

  52. Pete Holter said,

    February 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Greetings in Christ everyone!

    “In a passage in this book (i.e., One Book against a Letter of the Heretic Donatus), I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built.’ This idea is also expressed in song by the voice of many in the verses of the most blessed Ambrose where he says about the crowing of the cock: ‘At its crowing he, this rock of the Church, washed away his guilt.’ But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable” (Retractations, Bk. 1, Ch. 20).

    I’ve mentioned some of this before, but when Augustine offers to “let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable,” he is signaling that he does not have a dogmatic position and that, whichever of the two we choose, this is not important to him. In such cases, we can safely apply what he says elsewhere: “We should be delighted if what is stated obscurely in the holy scriptures to exercise the minds of the faithful is explained in many ways, provided it is not done foolishly” (Answer to Maximinus the Arian, Bk. 2, Ch. 22.3, translated by Roland Teske in Arianism and Other Heresies). And we must be prepared—as Augustine himself was so prepared—to submit ourselves to the authority of the Church:

    “[W]e ought to pray for the declaration of God’s judgment through the medium of some revelation seeking it with united prayer and earnest groanings of suppliant devotion, humbly deferring all the time to the decision of those who were to give their judgment after me, in case they should set forth anything as already known and determined. And, therefore, how much the more must I be considered to have given my opinion now without prejudice to the utterance of more diligent research or authority higher than my own!” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, Bk. 7, Ch. 53.102)

    “ ‘[A]nd if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you’ (Philippians 3:15). But to whom does He reveal it when it is His will (be it in this life or in the life to come), save to those who walk in the way of peace, and stray not aside into any schism?” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists, Bk. 2, Ch. 5.6)

    Now, if we hold to the first opinion, we should certainly understand it in light of the second. The Church is not built on Peter the man as man. But, rather, on Peter as chief of the apostles and as formed by his faith in Christ by the grace of God:

    “Faith, not man, merited to hear these words. For what was man except what the Psalmist says: ‘Every man is a liar.’ […] Why, then, was Peter blessed? Because ‘flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but my Father in heaven.’ Why was he called Satan later on? ‘Thou dost not mind the things of God; when you did mind them, you were happy; but now you mind the things of men’ ” (Sermon 232, 3, 4).

    Today at Mass we prayed the prayer that Archbishop Lori has asked us to pray:

    “O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church, we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI and the selfless care with which he has led us as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth. Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church on the rock of Peter’s faith and have never left Your flock untended, look with love upon us now, and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity. Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us, a new Pope for Your Church who will please You by his holiness and lead us faithfully to You, who are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.”

    Similarly, Pope Benedict has written that it is “on the basis of his renewed faith” that Peter “becomes the rock that is to prevail against the destructive forces of evil” (Homily, 2/19/12). And that Jesus’ promise made to Peter—that “ ‘the gates of the underworld,’ that is, the forces of evil, will not prevail”—only holds true “inasmuch as he is the faithful steward of Christ’s message” (Homily for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, 6/29/12).

    “Peter becomes the ‘rock’ of the Church insofar as he is the bearer of Faith: the ‘we’ of the Church begins with the name of the first man who professed faith in Christ, it begins with his faith; a faith that was at first immature and still ‘too human.’ […] Peter’s ministry consists first of all in his faith, a faith that Jesus immediately recognizes, from the outset, as genuine, as a gift of the heavenly Father; but a faith that must pass through the scandal of the Cross to become authentic, truly ‘Christian,’ to become a ‘rock’ on which Jesus can build His Church. […] My ministry too, dear Brothers, and consequently also yours, consists wholly of faith. Jesus can build His Church on us as long as that true, Paschal faith is found in us, that faith which does not seek to make Jesus come down from the Cross but entrusts itself to Him on the Cross. […] The primacy of Peter and his Successors is totally at the service of this primacy of Jesus Christ, the one Lord; at the service of His Kingdom, that is, of His Kingship of love” (Homily 11/21/10).

    With love in Christ,
    Pete

  53. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Pete,

    The elephant in the room, so to speak, is factionalism.

    Paul says in 1 Cor 3

    Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

    What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe … So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

    The church does, indeed, have a destiny of unity in the faith (Eph 4) — whether on this side of the eschaton or not, I don’t know. But that unity will not and cannot come about by following human leaders as if the church were founded upon them. It can only come about by the working of God’s Spirit in His church, bringing about faith and wisdom.

    Peter is no more than Peter; he is not and was never treated as the vicar of Christ.

    Peace,

  54. michael said,

    February 24, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Mr. Holter,

    Beside agreeing with what Jeff just pointed out I’d like underscore it with what I take away as the obvious by emphasizing just a phrase of yours above: “…whichever of the two we choose, …”.

    The reality you offer us is we are making a choice instead of what we are offering you which the Gospel in its simplicity.

  55. Bob S said,

    February 25, 2013 at 1:15 am

    50. But Monsignor Cross, what you argue for in the link is nothing but the No True Romanist fallacy. Or if you will, the “Charlie Brown Tries to Kick the Football Even as Lucy Moves It Once Again” paradigm.

    Now we are told that (funny that):

    Someone would have to show that the unanimous consent of the Fathers is that Peter is not the rock on which the Church is built.

    This without mentioning all the loose ends, assertions and special pleadings rampant in your replies to Lane re. Liccione’s statements and Tradition vis a vis the Magisterium.

    The Roman church bears testimony for itself; it is its own authority and standard. But this is not self serving or grounds for recusal? Becasue the Roman church is impeccable as well as infallible because . . . she says so.

    Protestantism at least can appeal to an external authority and not some in house unwritten hodge podge fashioned of the same wax that romanists burn in votary candles before their favorite saints.

  56. Bob S said,

    February 25, 2013 at 2:01 am

    50. Further the either/or assumption cuts both ways. What else can one say when the choice is presented as supposedly either that between The Infallible Roman Church or the anabaptist anarchy of Sola Scriptura?

    And contra WCFI:IX, the meaning of Scripture is not many, as in a revival of the medieval four fold hermeneutic.

    The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.( II Pet. 1:20,21, Acts 15:15, 16.)

    Which brings us to Pope Peter. Indeed.
    Just who is the living stone, chief corner stone, the head of the corner, as well the stone of stumbling and rock of offence in 1 Peter 2:4-8 anyway? Can it be Peter himself or his office?

    But then evidently, he who believeth on the pope shall not be confounded. IOW so much then for the one name given under heaven by which men must be saved according to Peter himself in Acts 4:10-12.

     Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

    Or is it that Peter is not an Apostolic Early Church Father and 1 Peter is not an Official Papal Bull nor can it belong to the Official Deposit of Faith and Apocryphal Apostolic Oral Tradition?

    Which is a good thing. We were getting worried for a moment.

  57. TurretinFan said,

    February 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Bryan,

    Thanks for your response. Your comments demand a four-fold response, which I’ve divided into four sections (this being the first).

    1) You have not justified your interpretation of Pius IX’s claim that he would not interpret Scripture except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    Under the plain meaning of Pius IX’s statement, the historical evidence ought to show that the fathers unanimously interpreted Matthew 16 the way that Pius IX interpreted it. That, however, is not what the historical evidence shows.

    On the contrary, not even one of the fathers interpreted Matthew 16 the way that Pius IX interpreted it, except on some relatively minor points or at a very high level of abstraction such as “the rock refers to Peter” or something like that. But such a high level of abstraction is not an accurate characterization of Piux IX’s claims.

    So, the preliminary matter of your interpretation of Pius IX needs to be addressed, because the fact that you are wrong about the interpretation Pius IX’s comments renders the remainder of your comments less important.

  58. TurretinFan said,

    February 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    (continuing my response to Bryan)

    2) You don’t seem to have followed Webster’s argument. For example, you state: “Peter’s being the rock is fully compatible with these other things also being the rock.” However, Webster’s argument does not rely on claiming that the fathers unanimously rejected the idea that Peter was the Rock.

    In other words, your claim of compatibility is itself compatible with Webster’s argument. Webster is arguing that Pius IX’s interpretation was contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers, not simply that “Peter is the Rock” is contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

    Webster has taken the correct understanding that Pius IX was arguing for Matthew 16 teaching far more than just “Peter is the Rock.” And Pius IX’s actual claims about Scripture and history are not true (as Webster and others have demonstrated).

  59. TurretinFan said,

    February 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    (still continuing my response to Bryan)

    3) Your assertion regarding the possible multi-vocality of the text at first seems interesting. For example, you assert “Peter’s being the rock is fully compatible with these other things also being the rock.”

    You don’t give any justification for this assertion. Rather you simply assert that “the Catholic church affirms that” various things are true (which are apparently the things you think the fathers variously state that text means).

    Your apparent argument is something like this:

    P1) If the Catholic church teaches all of these things, then all these things are compatible;
    P2) The Catholic church teaches all of these things; therefore
    C) All of these things are compatible.

    That argument assumes (in the first premise) the internal consistency of Roman Catholicism, which is the matter in question. Thus, your argument begs the question.

    Do you have any non-question-begging argument for the supposed compatibility of the fathers and Pius IX’s interpretation?

  60. TurretinFan said,

    February 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    (yet again continuing my response to Bryan)

    4) Perhaps as an extension of (1) above, as a further point to (2), and as a preliminary matter to (3), it’s important to recognize exactly what interpretation of Matthew 16 you are defending when you defend what Pius IX claimed.

    Pius IX claimed regarding Matthew 16 and John 21 “We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord.”

    Moreover, Pius IX claimed that “To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the lord established in his Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction.”

    Notice his claim is that his interpretation is the “absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures” (an assertion that is false), that his interpretation is “as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church” (which is also false), and that the specific form of government of government that Christ established in his Church was the papacy (which is false, and which the “development of doctrine” claims cannot defend).

    Pius IX’s claims are a lot stronger than just “nothing the fathers said contradicts what I’m saying now.” He’s claiming that Peter was promised a singular primacy of jurisdiction in Matthew 16. Moreover, he further extrapolates that this was not a personal grant uniquely to Peter but to Peter and successors:

    “Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.”

    And he claims: “. And so, supported by the clear witness of Holy Scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general councils, we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence, which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christian people.”

    Again, the claim is that this is the teaching of Scripture.

    And even the claims regarding infallibility are allegedly premised on Matthew 16 “So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the Christian religion.”

    and allegedly received tradition from the beginning “Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.”

    So, there is a lot more to Pius IX’s claims than just “Peter is the Rock,” there is a lot more to Pius IX’s claims than just that he’s not contradicting tradition, and the actual claims of Pius IX (as distinct from water-downed soft-peddled versions) are indefensible exegetically (regarding Scripture) and historically (regarding the teachings of the fathers).

    Of course, that does not mean or imply that every one of his Scriptural or historical claims are false. Don’t misunderstand me. Likewise, it does not mean or imply that each aspect of his interpretation of Matthew 16 is false, or that all of the fathers rejected each aspect of his interpretation of Matthew 16.

    However, Pius IX’s teaching regarding Matthew 16 is not the unanimous consent of the fathers regarding that text, and it is inconsistent with the interpretations of the text offered by the fathers, as Webster has illustrated.

    -TurretinFan

  61. Bob S said,

    February 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    52, But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable”

    IOW Peter, Augustine appealed to one (horror of horrors) the reader’s private judgement. Two, according to A there was no unanimous view of the church on the passage or he would have then insisted upon it, as a faithful performative Romanist before Popery even existed, no?

    So where does that leave us?
    Ooops.

    But never fear, our favorite Roman dialectical theologians from Damage Control Central will soon appear to make everything tickety boo. Any apparent conflicts or dilemmas are “fully compatible” with their logical opposite.

    [Translation: Ignatius of Loyola, grab your fire extinguisher and call your dispatcher immediately.)

  62. Pete Holter said,

    March 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

    “Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.”

    TurretinFan wrote,

    “Under the plain meaning of Pius IX’s statement, the historical evidence ought to show that the fathers unanimously interpreted Matthew 16 the way that Pius IX interpreted it.”

    Greetings TurretinFan!

    You are interpreting Pius IX as saying that he can only give an interpretation of the Scriptures in those places where we have a unanimous consent of the Fathers. This would leave us with the inability to offer an interpretation for the vast majority of the Scriptures.

    Rather, when a servant says to his master, “I will only ever obey you,” this does not mean that he will not do anything without a command from the master. He will in fact do many things without a command from the master. And he does not tell others, “I cannot obey you because I can only ever obey my master,” unless this obedience to others conflicts with that owed to his master. But it means that when the master does command, the servant will obey. I think that we have something of this here in what Pius is saying: “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers” must be taken as meaning, “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers [where such unanimity exists].”

    We know that this is the correct interpretation because this is the Tridentine Creed of Pope Pius IV, and this particular wording was chosen in order to capture the meaning of the Council of Trent where it asserted,

    “Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, [the Council of Trent] decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall—in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine—wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church—whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures—hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers” (Fourth Session).

    Consequently, we should interpret the Tridentine Creed in the same way that we interpret the Tridentine Decree and its reassertion at Vatican I (as you’ve quoted above): “it is not permissible for anyone to interpret holy scripture […] against the unanimous consent of the fathers” (Vatican I). We might even say that the Tridentine Creed is the “positive reformulation” of the Tridentine Decree. :)

    Whether Vatican I correctly interprets Scripture is what is at issue. But the other claim—“as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church”—deserves something to be said. And I think that I can only say on this point that it does appear to have “always been understood along these lines at least by some in the Catholic Church,” or at least it can’t be proven otherwise. Mark records that “[a]ll the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to [John] and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:5): all were being baptized by John. But Luke puts a restriction on this by telling us that “the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (Luke 7:30). Mark needs to be understood in light of Luke. Likewise, the words of Vatican I need to be understood in light of the facts of history.

    With love in Christ,
    Pete

  63. peacebyjesus said,

    March 8, 2013 at 12:34 am

    it means whatever the church today says it means, regardless of what it might actually say. All contrary evidence can be therefore safely ignored.

    Indeed. Rome has infallibly declared that she is infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and content-based) criteria, thus rendering her declaration of infallibility infallible, and potentially whatever may be needed for support (though arguments and reasons behind an infallible teaching are not themselves necessarily infallible)

    And while RCs condescend to appealing to Scripture for our sakes, interpreting it as they must (and they have great liberty to do so), yet that is not their real or supreme authority, and instead their real premise is that it is only what Rome says Scripture means that has authority. Tradition, history and Scripture only mean what Rome autocratically says they mean, which can only support her.

    Rather than her teachings actually relying on the weight of Scriptural warrant, the doctrines of Rome only need to avoid contradicting Scripture. but which is only as she sees it. And as she can only be right when she say she cannot be wrong, thus that is the basis for truth.

    As for the individual being supreme (Ratzinger did say the conscience was, if not necessarily right), both those who hold Scripture as supreme and those who hold the church as supreme engage in interpretation of them. An RC convert has made a decision to submit to a (supposedly) infallible magisterium by using fallible human judgment, and he still must interpret what magisterial level each teaching falls under, and what degree of dissent it may allow if any, and its meaning to varying degrees.

    Moreover, whatever unity RCs can claim is quite limited and is largely on paper, and what unity she really produces is seen by the extensive differences in Catholics, all being treated as members in life and in death, liberal or not. But with very few the average born again evangelical finds spiritual fellowship in Christ with, unlike what is often even spontaneously realized among meeting another evangelical type. Which is based upon a shared Scriptural conversion and relationship with his Lord.

    And despite not having a central magisterium, a basic unity in core truths is evident among “Scripture churches,” as evidenced in a shared contention against cults which deny these basics, as well as those who teach for doctrines mere traditions of men. Meanwhile, although offering an easier but inferior unity, under sola ecclesia you see the most severe aberrations among entire groups (cults), which can place the bodies and not only the souls in danger.

  64. peacebyjesus said,

    March 8, 2013 at 12:55 am

    ..interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church—whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures—hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers”

    Besides unanimous consent itself being a matter of Rome’s interpretation , so is what she has actually taught a matter of autocratic definition. As she cannot contradict herself or the Scriptures therefore she has not.

    “It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine.” (Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost)

    Torture (which includes burning) can have papal sanction in one century, and be declared intrinsically evil in another, likewise all Prots not in submission to the pope and in the bosom of the Church® can be damned, then later be affirmed as having the Holy Spirit. Thus giving the RC Internet magisterium a lot of work defending the perspicuity of Rome.

  65. March 11, 2013 at 5:48 am

    [...] See also Turretinfan’s response to Bryan Cross on the unanimous consent of the fathers. [...]

  66. Bryan Cross said,

    March 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

    TF (re: #57-60)

    You wrote:

    1) You have not justified your interpretation of Pius IX’s claim that he would not interpret Scripture except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers. Under the plain meaning of Pius IX’s statement, the historical evidence ought to show that the fathers unanimously interpreted Matthew 16 the way that Pius IX interpreted it.

    What you call “the plain meaning” is not what Pope Pius IX’s statement means, which is why I wrote comment #33. The Catholic, not the Protestant, gets to say what a Catholic document means (and vice versa in the case of a Protestant-Catholic disagreement concerning the meaning of a Protestant document).

    2) You don’t seem to have followed Webster’s argument. For example, you state: “Peter’s being the rock is fully compatible with these other things also being the rock.” However, Webster’s argument does not rely on claiming that the fathers unanimously rejected the idea that Peter was the Rock.

    That’s exactly my point. In order to refute Pope Pius IX’s statement, Webster would have to show that the fathers unanimously rejected the idea that St. Peter was the Rock, or that they unanimously rejected the idea that St. Peter’s being the Rock had implications for his successors in the Chair of St. Peter in Rome. Webster has done neither.

    3) Your assertion regarding the possible multi-vocality of the text at first seems interesting. For example, you assert “Peter’s being the rock is fully compatible with these other things also being the rock.” You don’t give any justification for this assertion. Rather you simply assert that “the Catholic church affirms that” various things are true (which are apparently the things you think the fathers variously state that text means).

    I’m not intending to “give any justification” for the Catholic position on this point [i.e. that a passage can have multiple true interpretations]; I’m merely explaining it here, and have no intention of entering into a debate concerning its truth.

    Your apparent argument is something like this:
    P1) If the Catholic church teaches all of these things, then all these things are compatible;
    P2) The Catholic church teaches all of these things; therefore
    C) All of these things are compatible.

    That’s not my argument. That is an argument of your own making. I didn’t offer any argument for the truth of the Catholic belief that a passage of Scripture can have multiple true interpretations.

    Pius IX’s claims are a lot stronger than just “nothing the fathers said contradicts what I’m saying now.”

    Of course. But the point in question was not his other statements, but his statement quoted in comment #32, namely, “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.” As I have pointed out above, saying something that the Church Fathers did not say is not the same thing as saying something contrary to that which they taught with unanimous consent. The former, but not the latter, is compatible with authentic development. And for the reasons I’ve already given, the statement in question by Pope Pius IX is fully compatible with the writings of the Church Fathers. If you wish to claim that other statements Pope Piux IX made are incompatible with authentic development, that’s a separate question from whether the statement “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers” is compatible with the Church Fathers.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  67. TurretinFan said,

    March 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Bryan (re: #65)

    I pointed out that you have not justified your interpretation of Pius IX’s claim.

    You now respond that “The Catholic, not the Protestant, gets to say what a Catholic document means (and vice versa in the case of a Protestant-Catholic disagreement concerning the meaning of a Protestant document).”

    a) That is a logically fallacious “ad hominem” style argument. Your argument for why your interpretation should be accepted is based on who you are (vs who I am) and not on the merits of your interpretation. Being a member of the Roman Catholic communion doesn’t give you an special privilege of interpretation of documents written long before your birth.

    b) What the document means is not a matter of who “gets to say” what it means. Rather the document’s meaning is one of objective fact. Your hermeneutic of imposed meaning is not acceptable here, just as it is not acceptable when it comes to Scripture.

    c) We don’t accept your ad hominem hermeneutic as applied to our documents either. If you and Doug Wilson were debating the Westminster Confession, Doug doesn’t “get to say” what the Westminster Confession means, just because he’s “Protestant.” We consistently insist that the meaning of the Westminster Confession is a matter of objective fact.

    d) The absurdity of your hermeneutic can also be seen from the fact that nothing happens to one’s cognitive faculties upon being excommunicated. Moreover, if something happens to someone’s cognitive faculties at baptism, then my valid baptism should be just as effective as your valid baptism. So that idea that somehow your state of communion with Rome gives you a hermeneutical privilege with respect to documents written over a hundred years ago is absurd.

    I pointed out that you didn’t seem to have followed Webster’s argument. As I said, “Webster’s argument does not rely on claiming that the fathers unanimously rejected the idea that Peter was the Rock.”

    You responded:

    That’s exactly my point. In order to refute Pope Pius IX’s statement, Webster would have to show that the fathers unanimously rejected the idea that St. Peter was the Rock, or that they unanimously rejected the idea that St. Peter’s being the Rock had implications for his successors in the Chair of St. Peter in Rome. Webster has done neither.

    You’re wrong. His argument can refute Pius IX’s statements without attempting either of those feats. His argument itself shows this – which is why it would be better for you to engage his argument than not.

    I had pointed out that you don’t give any justification for your assertion that “Peter’s being the rock is fully compatible with these other things also being the rock.”

    You responded:

    I’m not intending to “give any justification” for the Catholic position on this point [i.e. that a passage can have multiple true interpretations]; I’m merely explaining it here, and have no intention of entering into a debate concerning its truth.

    a) Your assertion is actually not just that a passage can have multiple true interpretations, but that this specific passage can have as its multiple true interpretations both the interpretations given it by the fathers and the interpretation given it by Pius IX.

    b) And, as mentioned above, you don’t actually justify this assertion, you just assert it.

    You complained:

    That’s not my argument. That is an argument of your own making. I didn’t offer any argument for the truth of the Catholic belief that a passage of Scripture can have multiple true interpretations.

    And again, you’re not accurately stating the situation. Your assertion was not just that passages in general can be multi-vocal but that this specific passage can simultaneously have both the meanings the fathers gave it and the meaning Pius IX gave it.

    Yet you now admit you make no argument at all for this assertion.

    I pointed out:

    Pius IX’s claims are a lot stronger than just “nothing the fathers said contradicts what I’m saying now.”

    You responded:

    Of course. But the point in question was not his other statements, but his statement quoted in comment #32, namely, “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.” As I have pointed out above, saying something that the Church Fathers did not say is not the same thing as saying something contrary to that which they taught with unanimous consent. The former, but not the latter, is compatible with authentic development. And for the reasons I’ve already given, the statement in question by Pope Pius IX is fully compatible with the writings of the Church Fathers. If you wish to claim that other statements Pope Piux IX made are incompatible with authentic development, that’s a separate question from whether the statement “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers” is compatible with the Church Fathers.

    a) Instead of saying “the reasons I’ve already given,” you should say “as I previously asserted,” since you admitted (just above) that you did not make any argument in support of your assertions.

    b) Your assertion that “saying something the fathers did not say” is “compatible with authentic development” misses the point. Pius IX is not claiming to teach something that the fathers did not say. Pius IX is claiming to teach what the church has always taught.

    As evidence, see the following:
    1) Session 4, Chapter 1, section 4: “this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church”
    2) Session 4, Chapter 2, section 2: “For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that ”
    3) Session 4, Chapter 2, section 4: “it has always been necessary for every Church–that is to say the faithful throughout the world–to be in agreement with the Roman Church”
    4) Session 4, Chapter 4, section 1: “This Holy See has always maintained this”
    5) Session 4, Chapter 4, section 6: “their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error”

    In short, Pius IX is claiming that his position is the unanimous consent of the fathers. He’s not claiming that his position is merely “not inconsistent with the fathers.” That latter claim is the watered-down position that his defenders are forced to adopt, because it is clear to them that Pius IX’s understanding is not one that has always been the understanding of “the Catholic church,” because it is clear to them that Pius IX’s understanding is not reflected “in every age,” because it is clear to them that it was not necessary to agree with the Roman church about a variety of things (basically anything that she taught be didn’t infallibly define), because it is clear to them that Pius IX’s understanding was not always maintained by the bishops of Rome, and because it is clear to them that fathers did not always defer to Rome’s teachings on things.

    In short, they have to interpret “nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers” as meaning merely the weaker “it is not permissible for anyone to interpret Holy Scripture … against the unanimous consent of the fathers” (which Pius IX also stated).

    Even though you have admittedly given no justification for your multi-vocality assertion, I think it is interesting to note that Session 3, Chapter 2, Section 8, states:

    8. Now since the decree on the interpretation of Holy Scripture, profitably made by the Council of Trent, with the intention of constraining rash speculation, has been wrongly interpreted by some, we renew that decree and declare its meaning to be as follows: that in matters of faith and morals, belonging as they do to the establishing of Christian doctrine, that meaning of Holy Scripture must be held to be the true one, which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of Holy Scripture.

    Of course, the noun “one” is not in the Latin, but it does convey the singular declension used in the text of “sense.” Likewise, at Session 3, Chapter 4, Section 3:

    If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that (alius ab eo) which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

    Rome’s claims are a lot more audacious than you are giving them credit for, Bryan. Pius IX is not claiming that the advance of knowledge has led to “authentic development” and to a different sense than the sense previously understood. He’s claiming that this is the way the Bible was always understood by all the fathers and all the Roman bishops.

    It’s far too audacious, of course. History simply doesn’t back up Pius IX’s claims.

    -TurretinFan

  68. Bryan Cross said,

    March 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    TF (re: #66)

    a) That is a logically fallacious “ad hominem” style argument.

    It cannot be any style argument, because it is not an argument; it is merely a proposition.

    What the document means is not a matter of who “gets to say” what it means.

    It is fine with me if you wish to claim that you know better than do Catholics what Catholic documents mean. It works in our favor when inquirers notice that Catholics are willing to defer to Reformed apologists regarding the meaning of Reformed documents while Reformed apologists are unwilling to defer to Catholic apologists regarding the meaning of Catholic documents but insist on imposing upon these documents their own interpretation, and thus attacking straw men (as we subsequently point out).

    It just adds to the number of Reformed people seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  69. TurretinFan said,

    March 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Bryan (re: #67)

    That’s more of that arguing about the person of your opponent rather than against the point your opponent is making. And yes, contrary to your protestations, that’s ad hominem.

    The real issue is not whether I know the matter better “than do [Roman] Catholics” (as if all Roman Catholics had the same views about Roman Catholic documents) but what the meaning of the document is. Your approach of recasting the issue as one of judging the people instead of the issues betrays the weakness of your argument.

    Your accusation of “straw man” can only be justified if the documents mean what you say they mean. But you haven’t even attempted to demonstrate that they mean what you say they mean, except for your ad hominem attempt to suggest that you “get to say” what they mean because of your state of more complete communion with the Roman bishop.

    Indeed, the suggestion that people should “defer to Catholic apologists regarding the meaning of Catholic documents” is inconsistent with what your church teaches. Catholic apologists are not the Roman Catholic magisterium. Their statements don’t have the charism of infallibility. Indeed, their statements sometimes contradict one another — sometimes very much so.

    And, of course, Roman Catholic theologians themselves don’t simply defer to Roman Catholic apologists – so why should we?

    But let’s apply your logically fallacious method to this particular issue. Why should we take the word of Roman Catholic apologists (even if they are ordained as deacons or priests) over the word of Roman Catholic scholars? Now your answer can’t be about us (I hope).

    -TurretinFan

    P.S. As for whether your approach of trying to argue about people instead of trying to make arguments to support your assertions will be successful in bringing about greater apostasy to Rome, God only knows.

  70. Robert said,

    March 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Somebody needs to remind Bryan that one in ten Americans is former Roman Catholic, if he wants to talk about increasing numbers of Reformed people flocking to Rome.

  71. Ron said,

    March 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    It is fine with me if you wish to claim that you know better than do Catholics what Catholic documents mean.

    Bryan,

    It’s not available to you to interpret Rome’s documents with any certainty because Rome’s documents, like Scripture, await infallible adjudication ad infinitum. But I guess we’ve beaten that one to death already. Of course you deny all this in your denial of the implications of the supposed necessity of an alleged infallible magisterium.

    It just adds to the number of Reformed people seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

    Do you really want to go there? Evangelical pulpits, sessions and pews are chocked full of ex-Romanists. The same cannot be truthfully said of Rome’s membership, and we know what qualifies for full time pulpit ministry within the Roman Catholic communion. It’s remarkable that you’d want to count noses as you do.

  72. TurretinFan said,

    March 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Per my comment above, we find statements like “Vatican Council I defined what Catholics had always believed” (Peter Kreeft, Catholic Christianity, p. 101) and “Newman, after his conversion, was looked upon as a liberal by the neo-ultramontanes, who saw his unwillingness to embrace papal infallibility as decidedly anti-traditionalist. Yet many of those who sought to define papal infallibility were seen as liberal, as they were introducing new doctrine, the claim of the neo-ultramontanes, however, was that they were being conservative, identifying something that the Catholic Church had always believed.” (Benjamin O’Connor, Kenneth Parker ed., Authority, Dogma, and History, p. 16, n. 22, relying on Michael Chandler’s earlier work).

    I will add that it would be surprising if every Roman Catholic apologist, no matter how freshly minted, was more knowledgeable about all Roman Catholic documents than even the most erudite Reformed apologist. If that could be proved to be the case, it would be a remarkable testimony for papalism.

    -TurretinFan

  73. peacebyjesus said,

    March 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Correct, the first figure is 82% not 83. Specific doctrinal reasons for leaving do not rank very high, but the highest specific reason for leaving Roman Catholicism for evangelical faith is that the former did not view the Bible literal enough (just read the NAB notes).

    And which likely pertains to emphasis upon its authority as the literal word of God, in contrast to the emphasis placed on the RCC and the Eucharist.

  74. JeffB said,

    March 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Thanks, Bryan #68.

    “It just adds to the number of Reformed people seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.”

    Certainly worked for me.
    Peace,
    Jeff

  75. TurretinFan said,

    March 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Sorry to hear that, Jeff. I’d be happy to explain to you some time why my characterization of Pius IX is right and Bryan’s characterization is wrong. But, of course, if you buy into the idea that Bryan “gets to say” what the historical record is, then what’s the point? History is not the friend of Rome, but bad reasoning seems to be.

    -TurretinFan

  76. Ron said,

    March 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Jeff,

    What “certainly worked for [you]“? A small percentage of people leaving evangelical communions, some excommunicated in the process, for Rome? Is that a comforting thought for you?

  77. cathapol said,

    March 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Paul, I read CCC 80, and thought that it meant the partim-partim view I have described: that divine revelation is given to us partly in Scripture, partly in Tradition. CCC 80 indicates a belief that those two things are closely intertwined (naturally!). Would you agree with this reading of the CCC? However, the relationship I am more concerned about at the moment is between Tradition and the Magisterium.

    What is the real difference you’re seeking between the “norma norma” v. the “partim-partim” views? As for the relationship between Tradition and the Magisterium – the Magisterium is PART OF Tradition and is not to be distinguished FROM it. Now, the Ordinary Magisterium does not equate to an infallible statement with every word which proceeds from it. Likewise, not every word from even an ecumenical council is infallible, nor is every word of a papal bull or encyclical, even one defining a dogma, is infallible – only the section pertaining to such a definition of dogma can be considered infallible.

    I hope this helps.

    Scott<<<

  78. John Bugay said,

    March 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Scott Windsor, perhaps, then, you can point us to a source wherein all of the “infallible definitions” — which are beyond a doubt “infallible” — are in one place so we may see and consider them. It has always been difficult for us to understand this particular canon.

  79. peacebyjesus said,

    March 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    The Ordinary Magisterium does not equate to an infallible statement with every word which proceeds from it. Likewise, not every word from even an ecumenical council is infallible, nor is every word of a papal bull or encyclical, even one defining a dogma, is infallible – only the section pertaining to such a definition of dogma can be considered infallible.

    How much use of fallible human reasoning (which Prots are denigrated for using) must a RC engage in to decide which of the 3 (or 4?) levels of the magisterium a teaching falls under, and thus what degree of assent is required, and what degree of dissent, if any, is allowed?

    Do RCs have an infallible interpreter of their infallible authority, or is it only Prots that lack that?

    Is it true the parameters of Catholic teaching are such that Catholics have a great deal of liberty to interpret the Bible as they see fit?

    Thanks for taking my call.

  80. Robert said,

    March 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    PeacebyJesus,

    The Roman definition of infallibility is so flexible that it essentially means:

    “The Roman Catholic Church is infallible except when it’s not.”

    Many will say, when Rome contradicts itself, that the past decision that is done away with by a new decision means that the first decision wasn’t infallible. Of course, it does not matter if everyone up until the present change thought it WAS infallible.

    Others will twist themselves into all sorts of contortions to show that such changes are actually legitimate developments. One only has to witness the contortions of the C2C crowd and others who actually argue that Vatican 2’s statements on the salvation of Protestants and non-Christians is fully compatible with it’s past anathematizations of Protestants and the teaching that one must be a part of the visible church to be saved.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  81. peacebyjesus said,

    March 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    many will say, when Rome contradicts itself, that the past decision that is done away with by a new decision means that the first decision wasn’t infallible.

    And they may be right or wrong. Torture had papal sanction it becomes intrinsically evil. Souls were damned if they were not in the bosom of the Catholic church and in submission to the pope, then some are brethren and even saints.

    Or faced with such they may say that since Rome is the supreme authority on what is right and what a contradiction is, then they cannot be wrong.

    Again, the classic Manning quote in post 64.

  82. cathapol said,

    March 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Scott Windsor, perhaps, then, you can point us to a source wherein all of the “infallible definitions” — which are beyond a doubt “infallible” — are in one place so we may see and consider them. It has always been difficult for us to understand this particular canon.

    John Bugay,
    Have you stopped beating your wife? Same sort of question there. You know in advance there is no answer that you will accept for the question you ask. If you’re really curious, join us. You’ll be amazed how much more you get from the stained glass from the inside as opposed to standing on the outside.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

  83. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    “Have you stopped beating your wife?” is a loaded or ambiguous question. It invites, on the strength of bad logic, the responder to implicate himself no matter what. If Yes, he is admitting past guilt. If No, he is suggesting present guilt.

    Here, the question is, “Is there a list of infallible decrees?” What would be the difficulty with answering Yes to this question?

  84. cathapol said,

    March 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    How much use of fallible human reasoning (which Prots are denigrated for using) must a RC engage in to decide which of the 3 (or 4?) levels of the magisterium a teaching falls under, and thus what degree of assent is required, and what degree of dissent, if any, is allowed?

    PBJ,
    First off, if the abbreviation bothers you, let me know, I will refrain from using it.

    Secondly, no one may knowingly reject any defined dogma. If such a rejection is brought to ones attention then they have the opportunity to repent or face the consequences (likely excommunication). To be excommunicated that does not mean one is no longer a Catholic, only that they are in a state of being in need of repentance (Confession). They would still be required to attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation, but would not be able to receive any Sacrament(s) prior to going to Confession.

    Do RCs have an infallible interpreter of their infallible authority, or is it only Prots that lack that?

    Do you have a specific example which confuses you? I would be happy to give you an answer, but answering such an open-ended question does not make for fair debate.

    Is it true the parameters of Catholic teaching are such that Catholics have a great deal of liberty to interpret the Bible as they see fit?

    There is a lot of latitude given so long as the interpretation is not contrary to already defined teaching – again, do you have a specific example in mind?

    Thanks for taking my call.

    You are most welcome.

    In the spirit of the Holy Family,
    Scott<<<

  85. cathapol said,

    March 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Jeff Cagle wrote:

    “Is there a list of infallible decrees?” What would be the difficulty with answering Yes to this question?

    Since Mr. Bugay (and I suspect, you too) already knows the answer to the question – it is just as “loaded.” That being said, I did answer! I said that there is no answer which Mr. Bugay would accept.

    As I answered PBJ’s question, no one may knowingly reject any defined Catholic dogma, period. If I were unaware of the fact that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary were infallibly defined in 1950, and denied it – my denial would be rejected. If then I was made aware of the definition and continued to reject it, then I would be excommunicated.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out, but for some reason many anti-Catholic apologists try to make it much more difficult than it is. I hope you’re not one of those.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  86. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I try not to be.

    So without worrying about whether we might accept your answer, do you have a particular list of infallible doctrines that you point to and say, “These are the infallible ones”?

  87. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Jeff,
    If I say “Yes,” you’ll want to see it. If I say “No,” you say, “Aha! And how do you know you’re not rejecting one?” As I said before, the question is a loaded question. Do we have lists? Sure, start with Dr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, those things marked de fide are infallibly defined. Do we have an infallible list of infallible definitions? No. Again, if you have a concern or question about a specific teaching, I will provide or find and answer for you. If you have nothing specific in mind – then I believe you’re just asking a “loaded question,” like “have you stopped beating your wife.”

    Pax,
    Scott<<<

  88. cathapol said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Back to the subject at hand…
    From the original article

    To put it mildly, this is NOT what I have read in Roman Catholic sources.

    From my response
    That which may or may not have been read in Catholic sources is merely an anecdotal analysis of the Catholic position, and is not accurate. The fact is, as stated, no authority may introduce anything as de fide that is logically incompatible with Scripture – and no authority has, period.

  89. Bob S said,

    March 19, 2013 at 3:04 am

    87 then I believe you’re just asking a “loaded question,”

    And I believe in Santa Claus.

    Scotty, (if that bothers you let me know.;))

    If Rome is going to insist that the pope speaking ex cathedra is infallible and bind consciences to that dogma upon the pain of what? mortal or venial sin, it behooves them to to provide a list of the infallible statements.

    Like for crying out loud, do you mean to tell me that the pope can’t give us an infallible list? Then maybe the vaunted authority, inspiration and infallibility of Rome ain’t quite what it boasts itself to be.
    Imagine that, boys and girls. Rome ain’t all that it’s whooped up to be.

    I know, I know, implicit faith and all all that jazz.

    But we’re protestants here and all the pseudo pious I(n)J(esus)M(ary and)J(oseph) aside, we take the command to love God with all our mind literally. (I got no idea what AMDG means). It’s a straight forward question/comes with the turf/assertion.

    So don’t go pulling a pedantic Bryan Cross equivocation routine on us. If Rome can speak infallibly, then we need a canonical table of contents/index, just like one for the those (lost) apostolic oral traditions.

    It ought to be easy. Real easy.

    IOW don’t go making promises or boasts you can’t back up.
    (Bryan and JJS must be still jockeying for spots in the new pope’s administration, so they send the sophomores over here to mix it up a bit.)

    79 Thanks for taking my call.

    Simply hilarious pbj.

    You sir, take the Laugh Out Loud Award of the Day.

    (We’ll see if you can hold on to it. Scot was an also ran, so maybe he will get up to speed and show you a thing or two.)

  90. Rooney said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:58 am

    <>

    So in theory, it is possible that at this moment, there exists some sort of unknown apostolic tradition somewhere inside a cardinal/many cardinals/the Pope’s brain, which will be revealed in the future?

    If we are not accountable for dogma that we do not know of, does that mean that since RCs would be more accountable than non-RCs, there are potentially more non-RCs in Heaven than RCs?

  91. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 19, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Cathapol (#87): Sure, start with Dr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, those things marked de fide are infallibly defined. Do we have an infallible list of infallible definitions? No.

    That’s all I wanted to know.

    The Protestant finds himself in a similar position with respect to the canon: We have a fallible list of infallible books.

    It might be that this factor shows where the real authority lies in each system.

    Anyways, I encourage you to forthrightly stick by your answer. You might get pushback around here, but that’s par for the course. :)

  92. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

    The beating of your wife argument is not valid, as it was basically the RC position that the the infallible Magisterium determines whether one has stopped beating his wife,rather than relying on fallible human increasing the prots are denigrated for doing. Thus it is reasonable to ask if one knows whenever the Magisterium has spoken infallibly.

    The fact that the answer is obviously that they do not know in every case does not make the question invalid. If you really do not know that someone has stopped beating his poor wife, then a lack of certainty exists, despite having an infallible judge.

    In Vatican 1, Bishop Vincent Gasser, spokesman for the deputation “de fide” (the committee of Conciliar Fathers charged with drafting the solemn definition), delivered a four-hour speech explaining and defending the draft which was submitted to the assembled Fathers for their vote. Gasser is quoted no less than four times in the official footnotes to “Lumen Gentium” 25, which treats of infallibility…

    In replying to some Fathers who urged that the procedures or form to be used by the pope in arriving at an infallible decision (i.e., his grave moral duty to pray for guidance, diligently consult the existing teaching of the Church, etc.) be included in the definition, Gasser replied:

    But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. “Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the apostolic See;” where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

    In other words, Gasser was able to assert “in passing”–that is, as something which did not need arguing and would be taken for granted by his audience– that there had already been “thousands and thousands” of infallible definitions issued by the Roman see. http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/media/documents/papalinfallibility.pdf?noredir=1

  93. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

    PBJ,
    First off, if the abbreviation bothers you, let me know, I will refrain from using it.

    Not an issue, but your response is not a real answer. I asked, Do RCs have an infallible interpreter of their infallible authority, or is it only Prots that lack that?, but you only offer to discern an example of a possible infallible statement. This does not solve the problem, unless you are infallible, and see my prior post. .

    If you require full assent of faith to all teachings of a certain class, while allowing some dissent for others, then it requires that you know what class they are in. But RCs are far from unified on this in many cases (and can disagree on multitudes of things).

    I could bring up Exsurge Domine, which condemned that “heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

    Or Pope Boniface VIII in his Papal Bull Unam Sanctam (A.D. 1302): “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

    Likewise,

    Pope Eugene IV and the Council of Florence (A.D. 1438 – 1445): “[The most Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart `into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

    However, as Rome decrees that she is the supreme judge of truth, she can simply autocratically define herself as needed to disallow charges of contradiction.

    What is the basis for your full assurance that Rome is the one true church?

  94. Rooney said,

    March 19, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I seriously do not believe any religious system can give “full assurance”. You can submit blindly and not test things, or you can test things but then you will use your fallible judgement.

  95. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    After over 9 chapters on how we have a better covenant, and promises and high priest, Heb. 10:22 refers to full assurance of faith.

    But how can you require full assent of faith to RC teaching if you do not have full assurance, which RCs attack us as not being able to have.

  96. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    If I say “Yes,” you’ll want to see it. If I say “No,” you say, “Aha! And how do you know you’re not rejecting one?” As I said before, the question is a loaded question.

    Because the premise behind the claims for the perpetually infallible magisterium. SS type Prots are denigrated as having no infallible interpreter for their infallible authority (Scripture), and thus can only rely on fallible human reasoning (FHR) to discern truth, in contrast to RCs.

    However, it turns out that RCs must also often rely on FHR to discern what magisterial level a teaching (or parts thereof) falls under, and thus what kind of assent is required, as well as the meaning of magisterial teachings, to varying degrees.

  97. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Simply hilarious pbj

    I just felt like this was like calling a talk show. Without commercials unless advertising a new and improved Rome, with no more messy clean ups (inquisitions), and shorter wait times (purgatory), with a new family plan (Lumen Gentium 16) plus the same (one way) calling plan (unlimited minutes to heavenly saints) you always had (additional charges and contrivances may apply).

  98. peacebyjesus said,

    March 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    The fact is, as stated, no authority may introduce anything as de fide that is logically incompatible with Scripture – and no authority has, period.

    Meaning since Rome is the supreme and autocratic authority she defines that she is always compatible with Scripture, or at least when speaking infallibly (back to “when” again), and no authority can be allowed as establishing a contradiction regardless of any evidence. Rome cannot be wrong when she says so.

    Of course, it is said that infallible teachings only make up the smaller portion of what RCs have or do believe and practice.

    And note that RC compatibility can be that of a negative one, that a doctrine can be true even if no positive testimony exists for it, and if the Bible does not clearly say otherwise, rather than having actually Scriptural substantiation.

    The Holy Spirit, who characteristically makes extraordinary aspects of its subjects known provides zero testimony that Mary was sinless and bodily assumed heaven never mind that she is crowned and the Queen of Heaven, and the greatest of all saints with almost unlimited power, unceasingly hearing infinite numbers of prayers, and whose prayers are like commands to God, and who with her Son ransomed mankind, and gives Catholics her flesh to eat, etc, with a degree of parallelization to Christ that almost makes her a 4th person of the Godhead.

    Yet Mary’s sinlessness and assumption is made a required belief, with the only support basically being .the erroneous premise that purity cannot come out of the impure (in the first case), and that other persons were assumed into Heaven. But which we know because the Holy Spirit has recorded them in Scripture

    The Holy Spirit provides zero testimony that any believer ever prayed to anyone in Heaven but the Lord, and (TMK) no personal communication took place btwn a created being in Heaven and one on earth without them both being in either place, but praying to the departed is a primary practice among Catholics, problematically extrapolated out physical communications on earth.

  99. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Rooney said:

    So in theory, it is possible that at this moment, there exists some sort of unknown apostolic tradition somewhere inside a cardinal/many cardinals/the Pope’s brain, which will be revealed in the future?

    If there was such a teaching it would not be limited to a pope or cardinal or many cardinals (and actually, it’s bishops – as in an ecumenical council is the gathering of bishops – not just the cardinals). For example, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ABVM) was not unheard of until 1950, but it was defined then. The ABVM is an ancient tradition in both the Eastern and Latin traditions, and is, in fact, one of the oldest celebrated feast days in the Church.

    If we are not accountable for dogma that we do not know of, does that mean that since RCs would be more accountable than non-RCs, there are potentially more non-RCs in Heaven than RCs?

    Potentially? Sure – but only God knows for sure. It is possible that those who hold the more extremist position of EENS (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla salus – Outside the Church there is No Salvation) are correct and not only will many professing Catholics not “make it” – but NO non-Catholics will. Again, only God can pronounce this ultimate judgment.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  100. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I wrote:

    ….then I believe you’re just asking a “loaded question,”

    Bob S. replied:

    And I believe in Santa Claus.

    So do I! St. Nicholas of Myra was a real man and it is his “spirit of giving” which lives on in the giving of presents as we celebrate the Christ Mass.

    Scotty, (if that bothers you let me know.;))

    Not a problem, but really – only my Grandma, may she rest in peace, called me that. So if you don’t mind me thinking of Grandma when you address me like that… ;-)

    If Rome is going to insist that the pope speaking ex cathedra is infallible and bind consciences to that dogma upon the pain of what? mortal or venial sin, it behooves them to to provide a list of the infallible statements.

    You should send your request for this list to Pope Francis.

    Like for crying out loud, do you mean to tell me that the pope can’t give us an infallible list? Then maybe the vaunted authority, inspiration and infallibility of Rome ain’t quite what it boasts itself to be.
    Imagine that, boys and girls. Rome ain’t all that it’s whooped up to be.

    I know, I know, implicit faith and all all that jazz.

    It’s not a matter of whether or not the Church CAN produce such a list, I’m sure it “can” – it just hasn’t.

    But we’re protestants here and all the pseudo pious I(n)J(esus)M(ary and)J(oseph) aside, we take the command to love God with all our mind literally. (I got no idea what AMDG means). It’s a straight forward question/comes with the turf/assertion.

    The “In JMJ” is simply a statement of “In the Spirit of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” no false piety there – it is a wish of good will. AMDG is a Latin acronym for “Ad Majorium Deo Gratia” which in English means “To God (goes) the Greater Glory.” Again, no false piety – in fact, just the opposite.

    So don’t go pulling a pedantic Bryan Cross equivocation routine on us. If Rome can speak infallibly, then we need a canonical table of contents/index, just like one for the those (lost) apostolic oral traditions.

    It ought to be easy. Real easy.

    IOW don’t go making promises or boasts you can’t back up.
    (Bryan and JJS must be still jockeying for spots in the new pope’s administration, so they send the sophomores over here to mix it up a bit.)

    Why am I reminded of when Jesus was tempted by Satan?

    Thanks for taking my call.

    Simply hilarious pbj.

    You sir, take the Laugh Out Loud Award of the Day.

    I tip my hat to PBJ too. (And I can’t help but think of “Peanut Butter and Jelly” as I type that!) Hmmm, getting hungry…. time for a late night snack! PB&J just might hit the spot!

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  101. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 1:01 am

    (Sorry for the all bold in the last comment, I must of omitted a closing tag!)

  102. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 1:12 am

    PBJ said:

    Because the premise behind the claims for the perpetually infallible magisterium. SS type Prots are denigrated as having no infallible interpreter for their infallible authority (Scripture), and thus can only rely on fallible human reasoning (FHR) to discern truth, in contrast to RCs.

    Actually, my rejection of SS is not based upon the lack of an infallible interpreter, rather, that the teaching is not found in Scripture at all, and this is a self-refuting proposition. Protestants will point to verses like 2 Tim. 3:16, but that would be a teaching of satis scriptura not sola scriptura.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  103. Bob S said,

    March 20, 2013 at 1:15 am

    100 You should send your request for this list to Pope Francis.

    Nope. Like all the other self appointed clones from CTC you have chosen to champion popery. But when push comes to shove then you tell us that you will only proceed on an ad hoc case by case basis. This all the while Rome binds men’s consciences to the pope’s infallible utterances. But then again, you don’t see a problem with that.

    IOW you just lost your audience and don’t have a clue what your paradigm demands on one hand and denies on the other.

    BTW ask Bryan what his beef was with ad hoc awhile back and if he approves of your practice of it now.
    Better yet, my bet is he will approve of it, but then again a double standard is not a problem with some paradigms.

    cheers,

  104. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I wrote:

    100 You should send your request for this list to Pope Francis.

    Bob S. replied:

    Nope.

    Well, HE is someone who could possibly answer your request. I was being serious. Write him, be respectful and you should get an answer (it will likely take weeks).

    Like all the other self appointed clones from CTC you have chosen to champion popery.

    I am not from CTC. I’m from ACTS, though I am vaguely familiar with CTC, and I believe we share a common goal.

    But when push comes to shove then you tell us that you will only proceed on an ad hoc case by case basis. This all the while Rome binds men’s consciences to the pope’s infallible utterances. But then again, you don’t see a problem with that.

    In the extremely rare cases in which the pope has an “infallible utterance” – yes, I have no problem with adhering to Scripture there, sadly, you appear to.

    IOW you just lost your audience

    I understand, it IS a hard teaching, and you complain, “who can hear it?” So you too, turn and walk with Him no more. (John 6:60-67)

    …and don’t have a clue what your paradigm demands on one hand and denies on the other.

    You judge me without even knowing me, or whence I have come. I assure you, I know exactly what my paradigm demands and that which it denies. Rather than picking up your marbles and walking off in a huff, we could continue to discuss this, but somehow I don’t think your spirit is willing… at least not to do so in a scholarly and/or charitable manner. I would be happy to be proven wrong in that regard.

    BTW ask Bryan what his beef was with ad hoc awhile back and if he approves of your practice of it now.
    Better yet, my bet is he will approve of it, but then again a double standard is not a problem with some paradigms.

    I am unfamiliar with Bryan beyond the reference to him in my original response to this original post. If you recall, the REAL topic of this posting is sola scriptura. but we’ve been going down this rabbit trail (diversion). Actually THE original topic, if we pay attention to the TITLE of this article is sola v. solo scriptura, but then again, the original author of this article did not even really get into that topic. Perhaps you, or someone else, would care to come back to the original topic and champion that cause? I wonder if you (and others) realize that you’re essentially conceding the original topic through all these diversions?

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  105. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Correction… I said:

    AMDG is a Latin acronym for “Ad Majorium Deo Gratia” which in English means “To God (goes) the Greater Glory.”

    The meaning is correct, but it’s not “gratia” for the “G” rather, “gloriam.”

    Mea culpa.
    Scott<<<

  106. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Cathapol (#102): Actually, my rejection of SS is not based upon the lack of an infallible interpreter, rather, that the teaching is not found in Scripture at all, and this is a self-refuting proposition.

    I don’t agree. Recall that, as pointed out above, the doctrine of sola scriptura does not refer to individuals, but to the church: The church ought not teach anything not taught in Scripture, either directly or by good-and-necessary inference.

    This is taught in at least two places. Matt 15.1 – 14 clearly teaches that we ought not to set aside the word of God, nor teach as doctrine the teachings of man. Likewise, Col 2 tells us NOT to submit to human precepts and teachings, esp with regard to commands concerning food, drink, harsh treatment of the body, and more.

    It follows therefore that the church ought not teach those things, that it ought to restrict itself from teaching the commands of mere men.

    The only question then is, “Are there any commands or doctrines not found in Scripture that escape Jesus’ censure in Matt 15 or that fall outside the category condemned in Col 2?”

    Obviously, Catholics believe so. But the burden of proof falls fully on them to show this. Until and unless that burden is met, sola scriptura is deemed to be taught in Scripture.

  107. peacebyjesus said,

    March 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Actually, my rejection of SS is not based upon the lack of an infallible interpreter, rather, that the teaching is not found in Scripture at all, and this is a self-refuting proposition. Protestants will point to verses like 2 Tim. 3:16, but that would be a teaching of satis scriptura not sola scriptura.

    That is incorrect, unless SS means only the Scriptures can be used, and sufficiency is fulfilled formally, rather than Scripture alone (sola) being the supreme transcendent, material authority for obedience and testing/establishing truth claims, which it is abundantly evidenced to be.. And which materially provides for writings being recognized as Scripture and thus a canon.

    As regards the latter, it is evident (Lk. 24:44) that writings were recognized as Scripture without an infallible magisterium, and which, like that of a true man of God, was essentially due to their unique and enduring Divine qualities. It is these that the Divinely inspired writings owe their enduring, uncontrained popularity to among the elect, not to conciliar decree, as helpful as they can be in ratifying a “best sellers” list of the saints. .

    Left to Rome, Christians had no indisputable complete canon until the year Luther died, over 1400 years after the last book was written, and it is not exactly the same as the EOs canon.

    I would say that the Wisdom of Solomon is the best candidate as Scripture based on content, bit it apparently is falsely ascribed to Solomon, and possibly can be dated to after the resurrection.

  108. peacebyjesus said,

    March 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Note that my statement as to Wisdom of Solomon being the best candidate as Scripture is in regards to the apocrypha.

  109. peacebyjesus said,

    March 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Re. 100: I tip my hat to PBJ too. (And I can’t help but think of “Peanut Butter and Jelly” as I type that!)

    It actually came from Acts 10:36:

    “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).”

    The message which that is a part of is a concise presentation of the gospel to seeking pious souls. One which souls could read today and be converted, testifying to formal sufficiency, while materially Scripture provides for reason, the church, etc.

    And afterwards we can walk in peace by a faith which obeys (must still work on improving that).

  110. cathapol said,

    March 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Jeff Cagle (#105) The only question then is, “Are there any commands or doctrines not found in Scripture that escape Jesus’ censure in Matt 15 or that fall outside the category condemned in Col 2?”

    Obviously, Catholics believe so. But the burden of proof falls fully on them to show this. Until and unless that burden is met, sola scriptura is deemed to be taught in Scripture.

    Well Jeff, did you read on in Matthew 15? At verse 15 Peter said, “Explain this parable to us.” Jesus’ response was a bit cutting toward Peter, and I believe it is toward your interpretation too…

    NIV: 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

    Now, verse 6 mentions nullifying the Word of God by their tradition, specifically in this case of giving to God that which should have gone to the parents – the “qurban rule.” Does this teach to uphold the rule of Scripture? YES! Does it teach that Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Christian Church? NO! So, can Matthew 15 be used to support sola scriptura? NO!

    As for Colossians 2,- Again, the topic is whether or not Christians are bound to the Old Testament laws regarding what to eat/drink/etc. Fasting is, most certainly, a supported tradition in the New Testament, so I am not sure of how you wish to apply Col. 2 to sola scriptura. No where in Colossians does it say that Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Christian Church.

    So again, I can see where Scripture says it is “useful” or “sufficient,” but no where does it say it is “sola.” The burden of proof does lie with you, for my position is the negative – yours is the positive, if it’s there, show me.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  111. Robert said,

    March 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Scott,

    Sola Scriptura and Scripture’s sufficiency go hand in hand. You have both, or neither, which is why Rome also denies the sufficiency of Scripture.

  112. Jeff Cagle said,

    March 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Cathapol:

    Does Jesus say only that the Pharisees were guilty of failing to obey Scripture? Does he not also criticize them for teaching the doctrines of man as if they were the doctrines of God?

    But in any case, the Catholic church falls under both categories. For the Scripture says, Do not make a graven image or bow down (proskunew) to it. But the Catholic church says that one may proskunew, but not lutrew, to an image of a saint or to a crucifix or statue carved with the likeness of Jesus.

    So the parallel to Matthew 15 is actually quite apt, and it shows what is needed here: That it is wrong to teach the doctrines of mere men as if they were the Word of God.

    And does Paul indicate in Colossians anywhere that his discussion is limited to Jewish commands? No, rather he says

    “See to it that no-one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

    This is not limited to Jewish teachings.

  113. peacebyjesus said,

    March 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    110: I can see where Scripture says it is “useful” or “sufficient,” but no where does it say it is “sola” [sole infallible rule of faith]. ” The burden of proof does lie with you, for my position is the negative – yours is the positive, if it’s there, show me.

    SS is a derived doctrine, which means Rome cannot be opposed to in the light of her ecclesiastical extrapolations (IM, ABVM, the assured infallibility of Rome, etc.) If a source is wholly inspired of God i would think that it is infallible, as God does not have “bad breath,” and there is not other source on earth that can claim to be so. If you think there is, which Rome does, then the burden of proof rests upon you to establish why Rome is the supreme infallible authority for faith and morals.

    As said, it is Scripture that is abundantly evidenced to be the supreme transcendent, material authority for obedience and testing/establishing truth claims. And materially provided for additional writings being given and recognized as Scripture.

    Also, as regards Scripture merely being, “useful,” versus essential the same word used in 2 Tim. 3:16 as ‘profitable” (KJV; DRB) is used in 1 Tim. 4:8, that “Godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

    Thus used the word is not defining an optional versus essential class, but its instrumentality. .

  114. peacebyjesus said,

    March 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Does Jesus say only that the Pharisees were guilty of failing to obey Scripture?

    And like as Rome would do, faced with an itinerant Preacher from Galilee who reproved them from Scripture for their unScriptural “tradition of the elders, (Mk. 7:2-16) the “chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders” challenged Him, demanding,
    ,
    “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” (Mk. 11:27,28)

    Which was a fundamental question. How can a church begin in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses as leaders of those who were the stewards of Divine revelation, and inheritors of the promises and having historical descent?

    And the Lord’s response to them was to reference the baptism of an evangelical holy man in the desert who (did no miracles) lived in insects and wild honey, who also reproved the Jewish magisterium – and gave them competition they did not want.

    But the Lord established His claims upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power. And the way God preserved truth was to sometimes raise up men from without the magisterium (which also is needed) to reprove them, those they typically rejected such. And thus in part the church began and thus saving faith has been preserved.

    …the decision of their Scribes, or “Soferim” (Josephus, σοπισταί; N. T., γραμματεἴς), consisting originally of Aaronites, Levites, and common Israelites, they claimed the same authority as for the Biblical law, even in case of error (Sifre, Deut. 153-154); they endowed them with the power to abrogate the Law at times (see Abrogation of Laws), and they went so far as to say that he who transgressed their words deserved death (Ber. 4a). By dint of this authority, claimed to be divine (R. H. 25a), they put the entire calendric system upon a new basis, independent of the priesthood. They took many burdens from the people by claiming for the sage, or scribe, the power of dissolving vows (Ḥag. i. 8; Tosef., i.). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12087-pharisees

  115. Bob S said,

    March 21, 2013 at 3:15 am

    102 Protestants will point to verses like 2 Tim. 3:16, but that would be a teaching of satis scriptura not sola scriptura.

    Nope. Fail again, Scot.
    Read the rest of the passage.

     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

    If the Word of God equips the man of God for all good works, just exactly what good work is left out?
    Answer: none.
    (That is if words mean what they are supposed to mean and not what Humpty Dumpty or the pope arbitrarily decides they mean.)
    Even that excellent work of determining where the true church of Jesus Christ is to be found.

    Yes, i2 Tim. 3:17 is a hard saying for a romanist to swallow, but it is what it is, the infallible, perspicuous and sufficient Word of God.

    If you respond to v.17 – substantively, mind you, not nominally – you will be the very first and this discussion began approximately in ’09 here. So far everybody else has played the Divert Attention to 2 Tim. 3:16 card as you did in yours.

    Which is to say again, CtC/ACTS, it doesn’t appear to make any difference. Which is why we made the call that you are just giving us the same old roman spiel. No hard feelings, but again, Rome is what it is and it breeds the typical roman apologists.

    After all, you already have admitted – if not that you are proud of it – that Rome doesn’t have a list of the infallible utterances of the pope, meanwhile the consciences of believers are bound to the same. That kind of arrogance speaks for itself. Christ told us to beware those who bind heavy burdens for which they have no authority to do so.

    In 110 your response on Matt 15/Mark 7 in rebutting its application to the traditions of Rome is incoherent, if not confused.
    It needs a do over, if you expect to be understood, never mind get taken seriously.

    But then again, returning to the original topic of the post might be in order. Still I don’t see that going any better for your position based on your track record so far.

    cheers,

  116. peacebyjesus said,

    March 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    meanwhile the consciences of believers are bound to the same. That kind of arrogance speaks for itself. Christ told us to beware those who bind heavy burdens for which they have no authority to do so.

    That is true, yet having lost her unScriptural use of “coercive punishment” (which the old CE still affirmed Rome has a right to) by which she often dealt with theological dissent, or suspects of such and even witnesses, now (in contrast to the typical RC apologist caricature) the majority of RCs, even weekly ones, hold their conscience as supreme.

    Of U.S. Catholics who attend Mass weekly, only 22% say they are are more likely to follow the teachings of the Pope on difficult moral questions, versus 66% (and 78% of all U.S. Catholics) who say their conscience; 74% believe it is possible to disagree with the pope on issues like birth control, abortion or divorce and still be a good Catholic: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/05/us/catholics-poll-graphic.html?ref=us#http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/05/us/catholics-poll-graphic.html?ref=us#

  117. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Robert said:

    Sola Scriptura and Scripture’s sufficiency go hand in hand. You have both, or neither, which is why Rome also denies the sufficiency of Scripture.

    Words mean things, Robert. Sola does not mean sufficient, it means “alone.” Now something which is sufficient can be alone (sola) but by definition sufficient does not rule out other sources – it, therefore, cannot be equivocated as you have done.

  118. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Jeff Cagle said:

    Does Jesus say only that the Pharisees were guilty of failing to obey Scripture? Does he not also criticize them for teaching the doctrines of man as if they were the doctrines of God?

    The point is that neither of those questions speak to sola scriptura!

    But in any case, the Catholic church falls under both categories. For the Scripture says, Do not make a graven image or bow down (proskunew) to it. But the Catholic church says that one may proskunew, but not lutrew, to an image of a saint or to a crucifix or statue carved with the likeness of Jesus.

    This thread is discussing, or is supposed to be discussing, the matter of sola vs. solo scriptura, discussion of the Catholic Church is a distraction to this subject.

    So the parallel to Matthew 15 is actually quite apt, and it shows what is needed here: That it is wrong to teach the doctrines of mere men as if they were the Word of God.

    No, it speaks to specific doctrines of the Jews, specifically the “qurban rule” and honoring it over honoring ones parents. You’re imputing far more into this passage than is actually there.

    And does Paul indicate in Colossians anywhere that his discussion is limited to Jewish commands? No, rather he says

    “See to it that no-one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

    This is not limited to Jewish teachings.

    The context is specifically referring to rules regarding meals and Sabbath days. It is also dangerous to read this out of context from the rest of Scripture, where we also find recommendations for fasting and praying that one’s flight not be on a Sabbath day.

    Back to the point – what this passage does NOT say is anything to do with sola or solo scriptura.

    I’m just trying to keep this discussion focused on the topic of the original article and avoiding all the rabbit trails.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  119. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Bob S. wrote:

    you will be the very first and this discussion began approximately in ’09 here. So far everybody else has played the Divert Attention to 2 Tim. 3:16 card as you did in yours.

    I am perfectly willing to let 2 Tim. 3:16 go, it was my point that it does not teach sola scriptura at all. So, by your stating it is a diversion, I’ll accept that as agreeing with me, apologize for the diversion and move on.

    My apologies for assuming 2 Timothy would be part of the Protestant support of sola scriptura.

    But then again, returning to the original topic of the post might be in order.

    I have posted a complete response to the original article on the CathApol Blog.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  120. cathapol said,

    March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    PBJ,
    In attempting to keep this discussion focused upon the subject/title of the original article, I will refrain from further diversionary topics. You appear to be trying to make this about the Catholic Church, which does not teach sola (or solo [sic]) scriptura.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  121. Bob S said,

    March 22, 2013 at 1:41 am

    119. Never mind 2 Tim. 3:17 and sola scriptura, have you ever heard about the 9th commandment? As in thou shalt not lie?
    Do you really think that anybody is fooled by your evasion? Other than the usual fanboys?
    Now do you understand why romanists and their shoddy arguments get short shift over here? And you thought we were quick on the trigger.

    Not to mention that Bryan in 68 was chiding prots for refusing to read roman documents properly. Meanwhile his fellow papists are in the full evasion/perjury mode when it comes to Sola Scriptura.

    As was Bryan and his understudy JJS, the last time 2 Tim. 3:17 came up. Oh well. Nothing new here.

    We have had no end of Burton, C Lake and all the rest of the supposed ex prots over here, touting the pope as the final arbiter of sound doctrine contra the confusion in protestantism. Meanwhile at the inaugural papal mass rabid pro abortionist romanists like Biden and Pelosi were admitted to communion. Got to love those kind of double standards. Humanly speaking that’s the kind of church I would choose also. You’re welcome to it.

    ciao

  122. Don said,

    March 22, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Bob S,
    For however (willingly?) confused this cathapol guy is about basic Protestant theology, you could at least explain that your 9th Commandment is his 8th.

  123. peacebyjesus said,

    March 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    PBJ,
    In attempting to keep this discussion focused upon the subject/title of the original article, I will refrain from further diversionary topics. You appear to be trying to make this about the Catholic Church, which does not teach sola (or solo [sic]) scriptura.

    This is about what SS is and translates into, and the Roman Catholic Church teaching the alternative to SS, that of sola ecclesia. Both are an issue, and extends into comparisons.

    As the OP states, in Catholicism,

    “the Magisterium can interpret the Bible to say what they want, then by definition no de fide statement could ever possibly be introduced that was logically incompatible with Scripture.”

    This is true as the basis for her assured veracity is not Scriptural substantiation but her premise of assured infallibility, which she infallibly decreed she has, and thus the only interpretation of Tradition, Scripture and history that has any authority is hers.

    And the SE model for unity is one Rome shares not only with the EOs but effectively also to certain cults, all of which disagree to varying degrees with each other.

    And, in contrast to the seemingly typical RC idea of SS, Scripture alone as the supreme and sufficient authority does not exclude the church, etc. so that the individual is the supreme doctrinal authority unanswerable to any church, nor with assuredly more credence than it.

    The OP wrote that Bryan argues,

    “that the individual is still the ultimate interpretive authority, even in Sola Scriptura, because he chooses his church based on what agrees with his theology.”

    Yet on one hand this is true in Catholicism, as souls make choices to submit to her based upon their fallible human interpretive reasoning, and rely upon the same in deciding (if they care what level of assent is required, or what dissent is allowed) what magisterial level multitudes of teaching belong to, and to varying degrees, their meaning. EENS often is an example of this.

    Under SS, Scripture is supreme, but under both models an infallible supreme authority is claimed, yet both must engage in interpretation.

    Moreover, your past pope (reflecting Aquinas i believe), stated that,

    “Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. Conscience confronts [the individual] with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even of the official church” (Pope Benedict XVI [then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger], Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, ed. Vorgrimler, 1968, on Gaudium et spes, part 1,chapter 1.)

    And this is one thing Catholics heavily concur with.

    That does not mean they are right, and thus the individual is to have a properly formed conscience, and the basis for that is the issue.

    For while the individual under SS in one sense is the ultimate authority both in choosing to believe Scripture as his supreme authority, and in interpreting it as to what church to submit to and how much, this does not assure that he, or his RC counterpart (who makes interpretive judgments in doing the same in submitting to and interpreting Rome), is right (or wrong)

    Rome’s solution is to infallibly declare that she has been and ever will be assuredly perpetually infallible, even if restricted to conditions (that render her declaration of her infallibility to be infallible). It is quite the system.

    Under SS, Scripture is supreme, having been established as from God like as a true man of God is, that of uniquely Divine and enduring qualities and attestation, which man may affirm or deny. The issue is which one is worthy of the position of being the supreme transcendent infallible authority for Truth.

    Is the argument that being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of Divine promises of God’s presence and preservation, and having historical descent mean this entity will be perpetually infallible, and the incontrovertible supreme authority?

    Can the church of Rome even claim this? And is this what Scripture teaches, or does it occupy the supreme position?

    And what was the basis for assurance of doctrine in the NT church? A perpetually infallibly magisterium or Scriptural substantiation in word and in power?

    I believe these are all pertinent questions to the case at hand.

  124. Bob S said,

    March 23, 2013 at 12:11 am

    122. Yeah, I could have Don, but dollars to doughnuts however you want to number it, our roman apologist knows that he’s bearing false witness and avoiding the real issue.

    IOW in light of Matt. 15/Mark 7 yet another tradition of men – roman apologists blatantly evading 2 Tim.3:17 – continues here at GB. Any idea how long the streak will go or who will be the next from CtC/ACTS to turn tail and run at the mention of the passage, all the while bloviating profusely to excuse their retreat in defeat? The suspense literally boggles one’s mind.

  125. peacebyjesus said,

    March 23, 2013 at 9:43 am

    And talk about imputing far more into a passage than is actually there (118), that is standard RC exegetical practice when it comes to trying to support Rome’s traditions of men.

    As the Holy Spirit provides zero examples of paying to the departed in Heaven, or in instructions on who to pray to in Heaven (“our Father,” not mother) support is extrapolated out of human communication on earth (which is not reading thoughts).

    1 Cor. 3:8ff is invoked to support fiery purifying of believers commencing at death so that they may be good enough to enter Heaven, even though the fire of 1Cor.3 tries the believers works, and will not occur until the Lord’s return, and the suffering is the loss of rewards (and the Lord’s disapproval),and the believer is saved despite works not being fireproof, not because they were burned up.

    1 Tim. 3:15 (the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”) is used as a proof text for the perpetually infallibly magisterium of Rome, even though the Greek words basically mean support, and an perpetually infallible magisterium was not needed in the past to recognize Scripture and preserve truth.

    Solomon’s deference to his mother -whose request resulted in the death of the supplicant – (1Kg. 2:13-25) is invoked to support Mary being already crowned (the rest must wait for the Lord’s return) as Queen of heaven with almost unlimited power, and able to hear and respond to infinite amounts of requests, and whose prayers are like commands to God. And in many like things do they.

    All of which is a fruit of the alternative to SS.

  126. cathapol said,

    March 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I’ll stick to answering “the pertinent questions to the case at hand.”
    PBJ wrote:

    Is the argument that being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of Divine promises of God’s presence and preservation, and having historical descent mean this entity will be perpetually infallible, and the incontrovertible supreme authority?

    This seems to be a key fear and/or cause of anxiety for non-Catholic and especially anti-Catholic apologists. That is the matter of infallibility. Again, this is not really the subject of the original article, but the point did come up so I will answer it. There’s actually two questions there.
    Being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of God’s presence and preservation is not what gives the Church, in relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18. I’m sure I don’t need to quote the verses. Those coupled with the fact that as the Father sent the Son, so also does the Son send the Apostles out (Jesus picked leaders of the Church, thus so must they to continue the Church). See John 20:21.
    As to the incontrovertible supreme authority – the ONLY time the Church is incontrovertible is when binding or loosing, such as in defining dogma. There are many times when the Church has been controverted, and rightly so in many occasions!

    Can the church of Rome even claim this?

    Certainly she can! Any “church” can claim this, but how many of those are historically viable claims?

    And is this what Scripture teaches, or does it occupy the supreme position?

    See above for Scripture references which teach this.

    And what was the basis for assurance of doctrine in the NT church? A perpetually infallibly magisterium or Scriptural substantiation in word and in power?

    Short answers, “See above and yes.” The second question is not a simple yes/no – as it is both.

  127. cathapol said,

    March 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Bob S. wrote:

    122. Yeah, I could have Don, but dollars to doughnuts however you want to number it, our roman apologist knows that he’s bearing false witness and avoiding the real issue.

    I bear no false witness.

    IOW in light of Matt. 15/Mark 7 yet another tradition of men – roman apologists blatantly evading 2 Tim.3:17 – continues here at GB.

    I have not “evaded” 3 Tim. 3:17 – I have directly engaged it, and then was told it was “off-topic” – which I accepted as concession that this verse then does not support sola scriptura at all.

    Any idea how long the streak will go or who will be the next from CtC/ACTS to turn tail and run at the mention of the passage, all the while bloviating profusely to excuse their retreat in defeat? The suspense literally boggles one’s mind.

    I cannot speak to your previous encounters – I can only speak for myself, and I’m still here. Would you then be bearing false witness regarding this “retreat?”

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  128. peacebyjesus said,

    March 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of God’s presence and preservation is not what gives the Church, in relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18. I’m sure I don’t need to quote the verses.

    I did not say that made them infallible, but refer to them as being the premise behind the polemic. For “this comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture” and what follows your statement is an interpretation, that even the EOs disagree with it as regards PI.

    And as i have seen RC argue along the line i described (stewardship, inheritor, descent) in support of their interpretation that Rome is the OTC. so the question remains.

    As to the incontrovertible supreme authority – the ONLY time the Church is incontrovertible is when binding or loosing,

    And i have made it clear that i know that subject and scope-based condition, but it remains that your position is that the church is ultimately the only incontrovertible supreme authority on faith and morals.

    Certainly she can! Any “church” can claim this, but how many of those are historically viable claims?

    The only interpretation for an RC that has any authority is the one Rome gives, by which you have assurance (and anything more may not be needed), and which is likewise the case for the LDS SE “church,” If you are appealing to history in seeking to convince us of a supreme universal perpetuated Petrine papacy from the 1st century onward, then you will face scholarly evidence otherwise, even from those of your own institution.

    See above for Scripture references which teach this.

    I was referring to the (stewardship, inheritor, descent) premise i listed.

    Short answers, “See above and yes.” The second question is not a simple yes/no – as it is both.

    It was not a perpetually infallibly magisterium, which is never claimed, but is argued for by RCs based on the premise that this is what is required and meant, but basis for assurance of doctrine was Scriptural substantiation in word and in power. That is how the church began, but your assurance of faith cannot be on that basis lest you be a Protestant.

  129. cathapol said,

    March 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    SW: Being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of God’s presence and preservation is not what gives the Church, in relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18. I’m sure I don’t need to quote the verses.

    PBJ: I did not say that made them infallible, but refer to them as being the premise behind the polemic. For “this comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture” and what follows your statement is an interpretation, that even the EOs disagree with it as regards PI.

    Well, simply stated, the EOs are just wrong on this account, just as wrong as Protestantism is. The matter IS IN SCRIPTURE, the fact that you disagree with the interpretation is merely begging the question. I have answered your question and you simply disagree with the answer.

    PBJ: And as i have seen RC argue along the line i described (stewardship, inheritor, descent) in support of their interpretation that Rome is the OTC. so the question remains.

    I’m not following the “OTC” abbreviation, please clarify.

    SW: As to the incontrovertible supreme authority – the ONLY time the Church is incontrovertible is when binding or loosing,

    And i have made it clear that i know that subject and scope-based condition, but it remains that your position is that the church is ultimately the only incontrovertible supreme authority on faith and morals.

    And I have made it clear that I do not agree nor adhere to your definition of MY FAITH. Scripture too is an incontrovertible supreme authority, and not every passage needs an official interpreter. When we read, “Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” what’s to interpret? If you “want” your neighbor’s wife, you have broken this infallible decree of Scripture, have you not?

    SW: Certainly she can! Any “church” can claim this, but how many of those are historically viable claims?

    PBJ: The only interpretation for an RC that has any authority is the one Rome gives, by which you have assurance (and anything more may not be needed), and which is likewise the case for the LDS SE “church,” If you are appealing to history in seeking to convince us of a supreme universal perpetuated Petrine papacy from the 1st century onward, then you will face scholarly evidence otherwise, even from those of your own institution.

    Well, first off, no faithful Catholic denies valid apostolic succession.

    Secondly, the LDS has no, I repeat NO history prior to the 19th century. I realize it is convenient to make such comparisons, but it is not a valid one – no matter how much theological gymnastics you try to twist into this.

    Thirdly, because you disagree with the Catholic interpretation does not make your interpretation correct.

    SW: Short answers, “See above and yes.” The second question is not a simple yes/no – as it is both.

    PBJ: It was not a perpetually infallibly magisterium, which is never claimed, but is argued for by RCs based on the premise that this is what is required and meant, but basis for assurance of doctrine was Scriptural substantiation in word and in power.

    You’re simply begging the question again. I believe we both can agree that we both have different interpretations! The Catholic position is that the “Magisterium” is given foundational and infallible authority in Matthew 18:18. Jesus is ONLY speaking to the Apostles, our first bishops, at this point. And later, as recorded in John 20:21 – as the Son was sent (to establish the New Covenant Church and to select leaders) so too the Apostles are sent out (to continue to select leaders as needed by growth or by sede vacantism). There you have both authority and succession. Again, I understand you disagree, but simply disagreeing merely begs the question.

    The fact remains that the Church of Protestantism is the Catholic Church for the first 1500+ years of Christendom!

    PBJ: That is how the church began, but your assurance of faith cannot be on that basis lest you be a Protestant.

    1) You misrepresent “how the Church began (false premise).
    2) Your conclusion is a non sequitur.

    Back to the original thesis…
    What is the difference between sola and solo scriptura? Perhaps you agree with me, that fundamentally there is no difference? The use of “solo” is ultimately just “bad Latin grammar” since “scriptura” is a feminine noun, that which describes the noun must match the linguistic gender, and thus “sola” is the only grammatically correct term?

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  130. Bob S said,

    March 26, 2013 at 12:38 am

    127
    cathapol said,

    Bob S. wrote:

    122. Yeah, I could have Don, but dollars to doughnuts however you want to number it, our roman apologist knows that he’s bearing false witness and avoiding the real issue.

    I bear no false witness.

    Scot, at this point if you knew what a false witness was, that would be one thing, but you don’t, as is obvious below.

    IOW in light of Matt. 15/Mark 7 yet another tradition of men – roman apologists blatantly evading 2 Tim.3:17 – continues here at GB.

    I have not “evaded” 3 Tim. 3:17 – I have directly engaged it, and then was told it was “off-topic” – which I accepted as concession that this verse then does not support sola scriptura at all.

    1. In that this is the first time you have even mentioned 2 Tim.3:17 – what are you trying to tell us? You did reference 2 Tim. 3:16 and then dismissed it in 102 as I already pointed out in 115. Neither is bare mention engagement in the real world.
    2. Nobody told you that it was off topic. Rather you used your own Fallible Human Reasoning and came to that conclusion. (No kidding?) If they did, give us the post number. I sure didn’t see it. And a private message from one of the mods doesn’t count.
    Neither is it that far off topic. But if you are going to bring up 2 Tim. 3 only in order to dismiss SS, it behooves you to back it up or qualify as a blowhard.

    Any idea how long the streak will go or who will be the next from CtC/ACTS to turn tail and run at the mention of the passage, all the while bloviating profusely to excuse their retreat in defeat? The suspense literally boggles one’s mind.

    I cannot speak to your previous encounters – I can only speak for myself, and I’m still here. Would you then be bearing false witness regarding this “retreat?”

    Yes, you are still here and true to form you still can’t speak to the question. (Do you just show up for work, punch the clock and collect a check without doing anything of substance?)
    But I’ll make it easy for you. And Bryan. And Jase. And David Anders. And Sean P. And any other romanist who cares to.

    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Just exactly what good work is left out of what Scripture furnishes the man of God?
    IOW does “all” really mean “all” as in no good spiritual work is left out, or does it only mean just “some” works are left out?

    Hint, it’s a rhetorical question.
    Yet another hint, that means the answer is obvious.

    Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

    Likewise 2 Tim. 3:17 and popery.

    cheers

  131. Bob S said,

    March 26, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Aargh.

  132. peacebyjesus said,

    March 26, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Re. 129 by CathApol: Well, simply stated, the EOs are just wrong on this account, just as wrong as Protestantism is.

    And they say the same as you, and make a good argument against the contested doctrine of PI. Nor is that their only disagreement btwn two SE based churches. “The Orthodox Church opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional.” Clark Carlton, THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135. And then some .

    . The matter IS IN SCRIPTURE, the fact that you disagree with the interpretation is merely begging the question.

    No, it is your assertion that Matthew 16:18: gives the RCC perpetual infallibility that needs to be established. You may see that as warranted, but you cannot allow any interpretation that would be contrary to Rome being infallible. And which RCs see as being necessary if Peter was the rock, and the church was to preserve truth, and realize Divine promises.

    Thus, as said, what i was referring to as needing support was the often argued premise behind the argument for Roman infallibility, which in essence is that being the instrument and steward of Divine revelation and inheritor of Divine promises of God’s presence and preservation, and having historical descent means (or requires) this entity will be perpetually infallible, and the incontrovertible supreme authority.

    As for trying to use Scripture for support, see Steve Hays post ,

    A direct appeal to Mt 16:18 greatly obscures the number of steps that have to be interpolated in order to get us from Peter to the papacy. Let’s jot down just a few of these intervening steps:

    a) The promise of Mt 16:18 has reference to “Peter.”
    b) The promise of Mt 16:18 has “exclusive” reference to Peter.
    c) The promise of Mt 16:18 has reference to a Petrine “office.”
    d) This office is “perpetual” [with perpetual, conditional, infallibility]
    e) Peter resided in “Rome”
    f) Peter was the “bishop” of Rome
    g) Peter was the “first” bishop of Rome
    h) There was only “one” bishop at a time
    i) Peter was not a bishop “anywhere else.”
    j) Peter “ordained” a successor
    k) This ceremony “transferred” his official prerogatives to a successor.
    l) The succession has remained “unbroken” up to the present day.

    See the rest at link.

    I’m not following the “OTC” abbreviation, please clarify.

    One True Church. Sorry for presuming you knew.

    And I have made it clear that I do not agree nor adhere to your definition of MY FAITH. Scripture too is an incontrovertible supreme authority..

    But Rome uniquely claims to infallibly define both the content and meaning of Scripture, thus while Scripture is incontrovertible, it is not the real supreme authority, but the church is according to Rome.

    Well, first off, no faithful Catholic denies valid apostolic succession.

    But they need not and do not all support your description of it. They can say things like,

    if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the authority of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably “no”

    .. if we ask in addition whether the primitive church was aware, after Peter’s death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Church’s rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer.

    If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no. http://thulcandra.wordpress.com/2007/11/30/klaus-schatz-on-priesthood-canon-and-the-development-of-doctrine/

    More: http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/historical-literature-on-the-earliest-papacy/

    Secondly, the LDS has no, I repeat NO history prior to the 19th century. I realize it is convenient to make such comparisons, but it is not a valid one – no matter how much theological gymnastics you try to twist into this.

    RC apologists themselves are no stranger to theological gymnastics, and my point was that like Rome, they can interpret whatever they want as supporting them, including that history testifies to the churches all having gone apostate (if not all believers), and Scripture promising overcoming the gates of Hell thru a basically infallibly Joseph Smith Jr and his successors as the supreme magisterial authorities. Sola ecclesia – truth by decree regardless of the weight of warrant, or lack thereof and contradictions. Thus the NT church prayed to the departed , saw Mary as the perpetual virgin sinless queen of Heaven with attributes much paralleling Christ, and adoring the same God as Muslims do now, while sanctioning torture to deal with theological dissent, then (after losing her sword of men) rendering it as intrinsically evil. Etc.

    Thirdly, because you disagree with the Catholic interpretation does not make your interpretation correct.

    Nor does Rome infallible defining herself as infallible (according to her criteria) make her so, past present or future. I see the church beginning based upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, and overcoming competition by the same, not based upon the premise of perpetual infallibility under Rome’s formula.

    You’re simply begging the question again.I believe we both can agree that we both have different interpretations!..Matthew 18:18…Jesus is ONLY speaking to the Apostles, our first bishops…Jn. 20:21…There you have both authority and succession .

    My claim is the one that is evidenced, (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.) while your conclusion is based upon a erroneous premise, as it presumes that Matthew 18:18, which is spoken to “the disciples” (v. 1) is restricted to the apostles, which would also restrict the other words spoken to the same disciples, including “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” (Matthew 18:20) which is untenable. Read it.

    Likewise Jn. 20:21, which calls the hearers disciples, (vs. 19,20) and refers to the same resurrection evening meeting of Lk. 24:33ff, and which included two other disciples, (Lk. 24:13-32) one of which is named (Cleopas), while one of the apostles was absent for over a week, and absent is any reference to the Lord breathing on him and repeating the commission when he did meet the risen Lord. .

    Thus despite your shouting assertion that Jesus is ONLY speaking to the Apostles, neither Matthew 18:18 (especially) nor John 20:21 make that restriction.

    In addition, what your argument also presumes is that apostolic succession of all apostles took place, yet only one apostle was replaced in Scripture, which was Judas, and this was in order to maintain the original number of the foundational twelve apostles, and required one to have been personally been an eye witness of their risen Lord. (Acts 1:16-26; cf. Rev. 21:14; 1Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:17).

    However, no successor is mentioned for James the brother of John after his martyrdom, (Acts 12:1,2; cf. Mt. 4:21,22) nor are any special instructions for replacing any others, but only for choosing bishops/elders (and which are never distinctly titled “priests.”)

    Further, the means of election of Matthias was by lots, which worked against the political machinations so often manifest in papal elections, and resulted in the Holy Spirit being credited with choosing men who overall impenitently lived more immorally than Judas before and after their election, and who would not even be fit to be NT church members, let alone pastors (blameless, etc.) or sit as apostles. This is the New Testament in which authenticity is not

    The fact remains that the Church of Protestantism is the Catholic Church for the first 1500+ years of Christendom!

    The body of Christ can continue even when there is error to some degree, but as for Rome being their OTC, your argument would seem to be that being the stewardship of Divine revelation and inheriting promises and having historical descent requires or affirms perpetual assured infallibility.

    PBJ: It was not a perpetually infallibly magisterium..but [the] basis for assurance of doctrine was Scriptural substantiation in word and in power. That is how the church began, but your assurance of faith cannot be on that basis lest you be a Protestant.

    1) You misrepresent “how the Church began (false premise).
    2) Your conclusion is a non sequitur.

    1) Your “false premise” conclusion is what is false, as it is clear that the church began by truth claims being established by Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, Scripture being the supreme authority , not under the premise of a perpetually infallibly magisterium as per Rome.

    2) My conclusion “your assurance of faith cannot be on that basis lest you be a Protestant” flows from the RC position that we cannot have real assurance that our interpretation is true without an infallible magisterium, and it is only her interpretations that have authority. If she does say so herself. That “Rome has spoken, the matter is settled,’ is effectively the real basis for your assurance of faith.

    “…having discovered the authority established by God, you must submit to it at once. There is no need of further search for the doctrines contained in the Christian Gospel, for the Church brings them all with her and will teach you them all.” “All that we do [as must be patent enough now] is to submit our judgment and conform our beliefs to the authority Almighty God has set up on earth to teach us; this, and nothing else.” “He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips.” “..our act of confidence and of blind obedience is highly honoring to Almighty God..” —“Henry G. Graham, “What Faith Really Means”, (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 )]

    What is the difference between sola and solo scriptura? Perhaps you agree with me, that fundamentally there is no difference? The use of “solo” is ultimately just “bad Latin grammar” since “scriptura” is a feminine noun, that which describes the noun must match the linguistic gender, and thus “sola” is the only grammatically correct term?

    I have read that it is bad Latin, and perhaps Solus Scriptura (as in Solus Christus [cf. Acts 4:12] sometimes rendered in the ablative case, solo Christo) would be better(?), but regardless, what it describes and the contrast between “sola” and “solo” is the valid issue. And there certainly is a difference between holding that Scripture alone is the supreme sufficient authority and infallible rule of faith versus that Scripture is all that can be used in determining truth, and sufficiency being restrict to the formal sense. And as this relates to the alternative, that being the church alone being the supreme authority, thus the rest of the exchange.

  133. cathapol said,

    March 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Bob S. said:

    1. In that this is the first time you have even mentioned 2 Tim.3:17 – what are you trying to tell us? You did reference 2 Tim. 3:16 and then dismissed it in 102 as I already pointed out in 115. Neither is bare mention engagement in the real world.

    I apologize for the confusion. I was treating v. 17 with v. 16, as they are not only the same context, but really the continuation of the same sentence. It is still only speaking to the sufficiency of Scripture and not to sola scriptura. Just because in v. 17 it says “all good works” does not mean Scripture is necessarily alone here. Yes, Scripture is capable/sufficient/profitable (none of these adjectives mean “sola” or “alone”) so “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, but that does not rule out that another source may equally equip you. I like using James White’s analogy of the Bike Shop here – he tried (and failed) to use it to support sola scriptura at one point. The bike shop that he goes to is thoroughly furnished to equip him for any/all rides he might undertake on his bicycle. That’s all well and good, his bike shop in his town may very well be able to do this – but there’s at least two bike shops in my town which could do exactly the same thing. His bike shop is sufficient, but then again, so are mine. There’s no “sola” in White’s analogy, nor is there in 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

    Again, my apologies for not being more clear here.

    2. Nobody told you that it was off topic. Rather you used your own Fallible Human Reasoning and came to that conclusion. (No kidding?) If they did, give us the post number. I sure didn’t see it. And a private message from one of the mods doesn’t count.

    Bob, it was you who implied my bringing up 2 Timothy 3:16 was, in your words:

    102. So far everybody else has played the Divert Attention to 2 Tim. 3:16 card as you did in yours (emphasis added).

    So yes Bob, you stated my use of 2 Tim. 3:16 was a diversion. Again, I do not separate verse 16 from 17, it’s all one thought/sentence and where the subject is what Scripture is it is sufficient, not sola in its usefulness for the man of God to be furnished to every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

    Bob contnues:

    Neither is it that far off topic. But if you are going to bring up 2 Tim. 3 only in order to dismiss SS, it behooves you to back it up or qualify as a blowhard.

    I brought it up because many sola scriptura apologists do indeed use and/or point to this passage as supporing sola scriptura – when in fact it does not. If the statement were satis scriptura then I have no argument.

    Bob S. also said:

    IOW in light of Matt. 15/Mark 7 yet another tradition of men – roman apologists blatantly evading 2 Tim.3:17 – continues here at GB. Any idea how long the streak will go or who will be the next from CtC/ACTS to turn tail and run at the mention of the passage, all the while bloviating profusely to excuse their retreat in defeat? The suspense literally boggles one’s mind.

    Again, I have not retreated in the least. You, Bob, stated that it was a diversion for me to bring up the passage 2 Tim 3:16 (and 17). In context that passage is not supportive of sola scriptura.

    Now what we are seeing is bloviating in the way of ad hominem and unsupported argumentation – and perhaps forgetfulness of what you, yourself, have said in this discussion and then turn around and attack me (and others) for some sort of retreat in defeat when clearly there is no retreat as well as no defeat.

    AMDG,,
    Scott<<<

  134. peacebyjesus said,

    March 29, 2013 at 7:34 am

    The bike shop that he goes to is thoroughly furnished to equip him for any/all rides he might undertake on his bicycle. That’s all well and good, his bike shop in his town may very well be able to do this – but there’s at least two bike shops in my town which could do exactly the same thing. His bike shop is sufficient, but then again, so are mine. There’s no “sola” in White’s analogy, nor is there in 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

    Wrong, as (outside God Himself) there is no other “bike shop” or source communicating truth that is declared to be wholly inspired of God, and thus it is profitable (ōphelimos) – like as Godliness is, (1Tim. 4:8) denoting its effectual instrumental use by the church – to make the man of God perfect.

    God used men of the Jews and of the church to write Scripture, but they were not wholly inspired of God or infallible whenever they wrote. The assured word of God are the writings which were wholly of God, and which became established as such like as a a true man of God is, which is essentially due to their Divine qualities and attestation. Such are to be affirmed by the magisterium, but they are such regardless, and thus the church began in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses.

    And while the members of the church work toward the perfecting of the saints, Scripture was and is the transcendent instrument and standard for obedience and testing truth claims, and thus for the perfecting of the saints.

    Sola Scriptura is Scriptural as in meaning that it alone is the supreme standard, or rule of faith, while its sufficiency extends to its material sense, as it provides for the church, and for the completion of the canon, by showing that writings were added and established as being from God (without an infallible magisterium).

  135. Bob S said,

    March 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    132 Scott,

    Briefly, since the management is turning off the lights. (On Firefox after about 60 the background is dark green, not the reader friendly light yellow. Just like classical music scatters the mall rats, the mods are giving the hint to the dwarves and mental midgets cavorting in the combox that time is running out.)

    Twice you acknowledge your confusion and lack of clarity re. 2 Tim.3:16 & 17 in yours, but then go on to chide me for misunderstanding you. Which is it/make up your mind, please.

    White’s illustration regarding his LBS is that if one is sufficient, another is superfluous. So too the Bible. That his LBS is not sufficient enough to be your LBS is immaterial. You might as well object that it’s not enough that White has his own personal copy of the Bible and you don’t.

    But the real point is again, if Scripture is sufficient – which you admit, “satis” means exactly that – nothing else is needed, i.e. Sola Scriptura.

    Of course if you care to have a learned and obscurantist discussion on the meaning of “is”; that “every” in “every good work” is not a universal and can’t include determining if the Rome is a true church, then you are on your ownsome.

    As per the OP, while Scripture is the only infallible authority (Sola Scriptura), it is not the only authority. Scripture recognizes and calls for councils, churches, confessions and officers regardless if Mr. Cross “charitably” insists that SS at bottom can only be more anabaptist burning in the bosoms of reformed mormons.

    But then again, contra Scripture, the Holy Spirit is not powerful enough to turn the hearts of believers unto obedience nor a wind that blows where it will as the Word is preached. Rather the Spirit is restricted to and only dispensed via the monopoly of Rome’s sacramental spigots.

    cheers,

  136. TurretinFan said,

    April 1, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The Scriptures that teach the sufficiency of Scripture are really enough for anyone who properly understands Sola Scriptura. The sufficiency of Scripture is the positive claim of Sola Scriptura. The general negative claim of “and there is no other like it” does not have the same kind of burden. In other words, having established that the Scriptures are an infallible rule of faith, we can be content to let all comers try to prove that their supposedly supplemental rule of faith is also one. It’s not strictly necessary for us to remove that possibility antecedently.

    Indeed, it is illogical for people to suppose that the position of sola scriptura would be defeated, simply because the negative part of the claim were unproven. Until some other infallible rule is established, Scripture alone is the default position.

    I mention all of the above without getting into the question of whether the general negative claim can be established from Scripture, but rather simply observing the lack of consequences in the case that it could not. In short, sola scriptura is not discredited until either the sufficiency of Scripture is disproven or some other rule of faith established.

    -TurretinFan

  137. cathapol said,

    April 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

    TF, re: 136 –
    If sufficiency is enough, then call it what it is – satis scriptura, not sola scriptura. That there could be (in theory) another infallible source, you do not completely deny – which you believe gives you a valid (falsifiable) argument, however when push comes to shove, you’re wholly dogmatic on the matter – which puts you in a place of an invalid argument (non-falsifiable). The fact is, you’ve been shown, from Scripture another infallible source, but due to your dogmatic and illogical stance on sola scriptura – you refuse to accept it. The fact is that Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18 teach that man and/or those men can bind or loose, not just sin, but whatsoever they choose. That binding or loosing takes place not merely on Earth, but also in Heaven – and that makes whatsoever they bind or loose infallibly bound or loosed.

    The logic here is quite simple, for one who has eyes to see or ears to hear. However, I’m sure (and I’d rather be proven wrong on this) you will continue to grumble – and continue on that path which has turned away from what Jesus really taught and follow this tradition of men which was never even heard of, much less followed, by anyone who claimed to be Christian for some 1500 years of Christendom. That’s 75% of Christian history which has never even heard of sola scriptura – and Latin was the lingua franca for most of that period, especially among the educated (who would be doing the reading and writing). It’s again, quite illogical that we never hear of this allegedly foundational teaching until the likes of Martin Luther come upon the scene and invent the term.

    The term becomes self-defeating because sola scriptura is not taught by Scripture! Now (again), if you were to call it what virtually all your scriptural references support, satis scriptura, then I would concur – Scripture does teach this.

    I would also point out, you’re attempting a simple (and invalid) debate tactic in your effort to turn the tables on me. You are truly the one who sits in the seat of the positive. You believe Scripture teaches sola, and I am saying it does not. You cannot produce even one verse which teaches Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church. You do produce several which teach satis, but none which teach sola. Yet even in your attempt to present a negative argument (putting me in the positive position) where you claim “there is no other source,” or “show us the other source,” when you are shown that there is another source, you, upon your own interpretation, and/or that of the last (less than) 500 years, reject the clear words from Scripture which literally scream another infallible source.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  138. TurretinFan said,

    April 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Scott:

    The discussion should be what this other supposedly infallible source is. Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other supposed rule.

    You wrote: “The fact is that Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18 teach that man and/or those men can bind or loose, not just sin, but whatsoever they choose.”

    Piece by piece:

    “that man and/or those men”
    Peter and the other apostles are gone. Francis, like his predecessor Benedict XVI, is not an apostle of Jesus Christ, he did not personally receive revelation from Jesus as they did, It is a leap to say that the apostles could do X, therefore someone who is not an apostle can do X.

    “bind and loose”
    Of course, “bind and loose” doesn’t sound anything like “define dogma.” It sounds more like freeing people from their sins or leaving people in condemnation for their sins.

    “not just sin”
    That sounds like you’re saying, “sin and more.” But Rome’s teaching of infallibility is that Rome is infallible only in her doctrinal and moral definitions, not in her exercise of discipline. So, if it is “sin and more” and implies infallibility, then you’ve proved a point that is stronger than what Rome can adopt. After all, a Roman bishop exonerated Pelagius (and then later condemned), a Roman bishop condemned Athanasius (and then later exonerated), and let’s not even get into the trial of Galileo.

    “whatsoever they choose”
    In Roman Catholic theology, the definition of dogma is (officially) not arbitrary. For example, CCC 86 states:

    “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication, and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”

    Of course, I acknowledge that in practice the power is arbitrarily exercised (contrary to CCC 86), but this is just an internal inconsistency.

    Likewise, to be precise the text does not mention choice, it just states that what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    – TurretinFan

  139. peacebyjesus said,

    April 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

    The fact is that Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18 teach that man and/or those men can bind or loose, not just sin, but whatsoever they choose. That binding or loosing takes place not merely on Earth, but also in Heaven – and that makes whatsoever they bind or loose infallibly bound or loosed.

    The logic here is quite simple, for one who has eyes to see or ears to hear.

    Thank God those who heard this saying did not have RC eyes or ears, as while binding and loosing (which again, as shown, was not restricted to the apostles) under Rome is effectively rendered to be an autocratic exercise of this, yet in Scripture neither obedience to man or the exercise of authority is unconditional.

    Obedience is enjoined to every ordinance of man (1Pt. 2:13) and wives to husbands “in every thing,” (Eph. 5:25, yet had the midwives (whom God rewarded) yielded this unconditionally then there might have been no Moses, and Abigail did likewise, and the apostles.

    And the apostles binding and loosing serves as an example of Scriptural exercise of this authority, not loosing men to bind theological dissenters, and the word of God, and souls to damnation (so she imagines) because they choose to obey Scripture rather than follow unScriptural traditions of men.

    Again, if all that Rome has loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven then God would have to move out.

  140. jamesswan1 said,

    April 2, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I’ve done a quick skim through your comments above. It’s obvious that you consider the Scriptures an infallible authority, and you also believe that the Roman Church (or however you want to put it) is an infallible authority.

    My question to you is probably too simple compared to all the other interactions you’re having here. I’d like to know, other than using the Bible, how do you establish that this other authority is also infallible? Or is it simply the case that you believe the Scriptures, correctly interpreted, establish the other authority? Above you appealed to Matthew 16 and 18 (“..in relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18). In other words, when all is said done, is your primary way of establishing this other authority simply an appeal to Scripture alone?

    But if this is the case,it appears to me to get a bit circular. The testimony of the Scriptures proves the infallible authority of the Roman church, but then the Roman church says the authority of the Scriptures is proved by the Church (Recall the favorite of all Roman arguments about determining the canon).

    Of course you could say infallible sacred tradition establishes the other authority, but well, that’s a bit like appealing to Bigfoot, as it can’t really be pointed to ostensively. It’s this murky thing, that depending on which Roman Catholic one talks to, means different things. Then the question becomes similarly, how do you prove infallible sacred tradition without appealing to the Bible? It goes in the same circular way: sacred tradition proves the infallibility of the church, but the church determines what is sacred tradition.

    On the other hand, if you just want to say you begin with a basic presupposition (faith claim) that both the Bible and the Roman Magisterium (and Sacred Tradition as well I guess) are infallible (like sort of a VanTillian approach), well, there’s really no point for anyone to dialog with you. You say it’s multiple infallible authorities, we say it’s one. all the interaction above become really… a waste of time.

    I assume that perhaps there’s may be an answer you may have that I haven’t quickly considered. I’ve always kind of thought that people who abandon sola scriptura ultimately simply just decide to to take on another infallible authority, sort of like how someone converting to the LDS gets a burning in the bosom.

    When all is said a done, any appeals you make to Scripture to establish your other infallible authorities requires a lot to be read in to those verses (as proved above by Tfan). You can continually say that the Biblical evidence provided to you doesn’t establish sola scriptura, but using Scripture in response to say it somehow clearly establishes other infallible rules of faith doesn’t fly.It actually to me appears tobe what I like to call, “sola windsor.”

    Regards,

    JS

  141. jamesswan1 said,

    April 3, 2013 at 12:03 am

    By the way Scott, thank you so much for defending some of the Reformers:

    “…no one may knowingly reject any defined Catholic dogma, period. If I were unaware of the fact that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary were infallibly defined in 1950, and denied it – my denial would be rejected. If then I was made aware of the definition and continued to reject it, then I would be excommunicated.”

    This certainly covers Luther’s understanding of justification and the canon.

  142. Bob S said,

    April 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’d like to know, other than using the Bible, how do you establish that this other authority is also infallible? Or is it simply the case that you believe the Scriptures, correctly interpreted, establish the other authority? Above you appealed to Matthew 16 and 18 (“..in relatively few circumstances, perpetual infallibility. This comes from Jesus Christ as recorded in Scripture in Matthew 16 and 18). In other words, when all is said done, is your primary way of establishing this other authority simply an appeal to Scripture alone?

    Hello James,
    This, to me, is the joint in the harness, the rock and the hard place that the amateur, if not incompetent/inconclusive roman apologies run aground on.

    Necessarily there is a drive-by appeal to a Scripture passage and then the romanist is home free. The sky’s the limit and the alternative infallible authority – for so Scripture supposedly says that it what they are – for all practical purposes supplants Scripture.

    (Anecdotally, this has been my experience also with Mormons. However much respect they claim to have for Scripture and assert that the Book of Mormon is sanctioned by Scripture, when all is said and done, the real infallible authority is J. Smith, not Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, not the historic 66 books of the Old and New Testament. So too romanism to a T.)

    But Scripture admits of no other infallible authority and Scott would do well to undertake a study of the early church fathers on both Matt. 16:18 and 2 Tim. 3:16,17 and fess up to which passage can fairly be said to have a unanimous consent when it comes to its exposition and not just a negative like Cross avers in his reply to Tfan on Pope Pius.

    As in it is pretty hard to add something to or improve “perfect/mature”, “thoroughly equip” and “every good work”. These are universals or superlatives. Things don’t get any more “perfect” or “thorough” just as they can’t get any more inclusive than “every”.

    The problem then becomes establishing another infallible authority from Scripture, such as the magisterium or oral tradition, since either of the two would obviously/categorically have to be included as one of the “every good works” Scripture equips the man of God unto.

    At this point in 137, Scott resorts to assertion of the roman line and we are left hanging, much more the roman POV or paradigm, on either faith in the same or Scott’s assertion thereof, neither of which have been demonstrated, never mind conclusively/unanimously, from Scripture. Oh well.

    Guess there is nothing else to do but Return to Go, Do Not Collect $200. Mind you, not that the latter is necessarily the price of a mass effectual to purchase a soul from the clutches of purgatory. Of that Scripture does not inform us explicitly or implicitly.

    But wait a minute, do you mean to tell me that Scripture supports other infallible authorities that teach things that – if not contra – are not taught in Scripture ? . . . . But, but . . . . But then Scripture is not an inspired, infallible and sufficient authority.
    Yep.

  143. CD-Host said,

    April 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    @BobS #142

    I’m not sure where the analogy with Mormons come from. First their apologetic is personal. The final authority for scriptural truth is determined by personal prayer and asking God for revelation. This sort of argument is very common in Christianity but totally disallowed (in principle) by the Reform paradigm and also the CtC guys.

    Second. Mormons are all over the place both officially and unofficially on their opinion of scripture. They are nothing like the Reformed.

    For example Orson Pratt’s

    What shall we say then, concerning the Bible’s being a sufficient guide Can we rely upon it in its present known corrupted state, as being a faithful record of God’s word We all know that but a few of the inspired writings have descended to our times, which few quote the names of some twenty other books which are lost,. ..What few have comedown to our day, have been mutilated, changed, and corrupted, in such a shameful manner that not two manuscripts agree. Verses and even whole chapters have been added by unknown persons; and even we do not know the authors of some whole books; and we are not certain that all those which we do know, were wrote by inspiration. Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, in his right mind, could, for one moment, suppose the Bible in its present form to he a perfect guide Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original…There can be no certainty as to the contents of the inspired writings until God shall inspire some one to rewrite all those books over again….No reflecting man can deny the necessity of such a new revelation

    Could you imagine someone with that view of scripture being a founding religious figure for a sect with a high view of scripture? And Pratt’s views were well know. Brigham Young used to comment on Pratt’s sermon’s on the bible, “I thought by the time [Orson got through the sermon] that you would scarcely think a Bible worth picking up and carrying home, should you find one in the streets”

    Joseph Smith’s most famous sermon, the King Follett, has sections where he talks about the superiority of the German to the English translation (KJV) in particular how the English distorts doctrine and misleads.

    I’ve talked to very religious Mormons and made the comment that under their theory of the Great Apostasy many of the biblical authors had to be the people killing the true church and their opponents were the true church. I’ve even been explicit in including Paul in this group when talking about Colossians where you have a legalistic angel worshipping sect using secret magical rites… They generally are cool with that idea of identifying with Paul’s opponents in Colossus.

    Yes they view the bible as scripture. But what that means to them varies widely even between religious Mormons. Their theology of scripture is too different from the reformed theology to make a comparison.

    ____

    As for the Book of Mormon having biblical sanction. I think that’s defendable. The Book of Mormon itself is rather mainstream 1830s North Eastern American Protestantism. Obviously it isn’t authentic, but there is nothing horribly controversial in it from a Protestant perspective. That’s why the Community of Christ (used to be the RLDS) which accept Book of Mormon but not the later doctrines is part of the NCC and in process for WCC.

  144. jamesswan1 said,

    April 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Hello James,This, to me, is the joint in the harness, the rock and the hard place that the amateur, if not incompetent/inconclusive roman apologies run aground on.Necessarily there is a drive-by appeal to a Scripture passage and then the romanist is home free. The sky’s the limit and the alternative infallible authority – for so Scripture supposedly says that it what they are – for all practical purposes supplants Scripture.

    Hi Bob, Thanks for your comments. And here I thought my questions to Scott were so basic, no one cared!

    In regard to Mr. Windsor, that he hasn’t commented further is probably due to the fact he’s busy elsewhere. If I know anything about Scott, it’s that he typically has an answer for everything.

  145. Bob S said,

    April 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    143 “I’m not sure where the analogy with Mormons come from.”

    CD, if there’s anything I’ve learned from reading your comments, is that while you are very learned, you also don’t seem to have learned very much.
    For instance in your reply to a comparison of the similarities between roman and arminian soteriology and their agreement on free will, you missed the whole point and got hung up on the window dressing.
    Consequently my conclusion is that your learned comments are a distraction and diversion. Or to be redundant, you are very learned when it comes to red herrings.

    But just as the chief Caller to Communion was in part driven to union with the Roman confusion because the door knocker brigade had an apostolic officer to appeal to in all controversies, not to put too fine a point on it, both the Vatican and Salt Lake City believe in the Bible and_____ , not the Bible alone as the infallible rule for faith and life.
    BecausethecanonwasNOtclosedwiththedeathoftheapostlesnordidtheapostolicinspirationgiftsandofficecease.Ratherwestillhaveourownapostleand/orpopetodaywhileprotsonlyhaveadeadletterandanincompletebible.

    Capiche?

    144 Greetings James,

    Dunno, I thought Scott didn’t want to talk to me – or more importantly substantively address 2 Tim. 3:17 – but I am sure there are plenty of other volunteers as to why that could be so (uh, see above). As per the replies to the OP though, like teacher, like student. Special pleading IMO remains the choice du jour when a reply is dained.

    And if the lights were turned back on for the combox, at least on my browser, now, they’ll probably be turning them out again.
    Oh well.
    Lemme see who I can blame it on this time.

  146. jamesswan1 said,

    April 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Given my previous interactions with Mr. Windsor, I find it highly unlikely he won’t provide a response to anything you may direct his way. Keep in mind as well: Scott’s a nice guy, he just happens to be a Roman Catholic.

  147. cathapol said,

    April 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Yes, busy elsewhere lately… between work, school, my own blog, etc., not to mention paying some attention to Mrs. Windsor, I haven’t had time to get back here. Right now, I’m on my way out the door to work, so really don’t have time for more than this comment. Doing my best “Arnold” impersonation (which isn’t all that good)… “I’ll be back.”

    Scott<<<

  148. cathapol said,

    April 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    James Swan said:

    Given my previous interactions with Mr. Windsor, I find it highly unlikely he won’t provide a response to anything you may direct his way. Keep in mind as well: Scott’s a nice guy, he just happens to be a Roman Catholic.

    Thank you, James.

  149. cathapol said,

    April 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Re: 141 – You’re welcome, James. I agree, no one is held accountable to a dogmatic teaching prior to true and valid authority defining it as such.

    Re: 140James Swan said:

    I’ve done a quick skim through your comments above. It’s obvious that you consider the Scriptures an infallible authority, and you also believe that the Roman Church (or however you want to put it) is an infallible authority.

    To be clear here, under very limited and carefully defined situations, the Catholic Church has made infallible statements. (Which you concur with in the next paragraph). In most situations, the Church speaks with authority, but not infallible authority.

    I’d like to know, other than using the Bible, how do you establish that this other authority is also infallible? … In other words, when all is said done, is your primary way of establishing this other authority simply an appeal to Scripture alone?

    Well, let me first state, as a former gymnastic coach and judge, good form! You almost have me agreeing with sola scriptura! [grin] That being said, if Scripture had not recorded it – that would not make it untrue. The fact is Jesus passed down this authority to His Apostles, and as He was sent, He also sent them, and if they are doing as He was sent, then they too must pass this authority down to successors. Secondarily, Scripture also records this passing down of authority to them, so we don’t have to rely upon Sacred Tradition for this – we have the scriptural evidence.

    But if this is the case,it appears to me to get a bit circular. The testimony of the Scriptures proves the infallible authority of the Roman church, but then the Roman church says the authority of the Scriptures is proved by the Church (Recall the favorite of all Roman arguments about determining the canon).

    Your logic is a bit flawed here. Because the Church has, through the Holy Ghost, determined the Canon of Sacred Scripture, does not mean the Church has given authority to the Scriptures. Bad form! The Scriptures have infallible authority because they are God’s Word! The Church’s role in this was merely to define which books are to be included in the canon.

    On the other hand, if you just want to say you begin with a basic presupposition (faith claim) that both the Bible and the Roman Magisterium (and Sacred Tradition as well I guess) are infallible (like sort of a VanTillian approach), well, there’s really no point for anyone to dialog with you. You say it’s multiple infallible authorities, we say it’s one. all the interaction above become really… a waste of time.

    On this another point of clarity is needed. With regard to the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition, these are two sides of the same coin. The point of debating sola scriptura is the sole authority NO WHERE says it is the sole authority – AND – that authority POINTS TO ANOTHER! So, if you REALLY believe what Scripture says, you reject sola scriptura as it is unscriptural. If you were arguing for satis scriptura, then you get no argument from me.

    I would also add, the point of THIS article (to bring it back to the original topic) had to do with sola v. solo scriptura. I wrote a full response to this article and no one, to date, has responded to that – no one.

    When all is said a done, any appeals you make to Scripture to establish your other infallible authorities requires a lot to be read in to those verses (as proved above by Tfan). You can continually say that the Biblical evidence provided to you doesn’t establish sola scriptura, but using Scripture in response to say it somehow clearly establishes other infallible rules of faith doesn’t fly. It actually to me appears to be what I like to call, “sola windsor.”

    Again, flawed logic. I do not ask you to believe ME alone on this matter, I ask you to believe Scripture!

    Nothing needs to be “read into” the statement that “whatsoever you shall bind/loose on earth is bound/loosed in heaven” to hear/see infallibility here! Now, unless you’re believing error could be bound/loosed in heaven, you can’t argue against infallibility here!

    Tfan didn’t “prove” anything. He made several assertions, but no proofs, and again, unless he’s saying error could be bound or loosed in heaven, he cannot argue against infallibility being taught by those verses. Apostolic succession (that this authority is passed down) becomes another topic.

    So, you can say “it doesn’t fly” all you want, but simply denying an argument does not falsify it. Like I’ve been saying, I have no argument against the fact that Scripture teaches satis scriptura, my argument is that it no where teaches it is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church, no where.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  150. cathapol said,

    April 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Re: 138TurretinFan wrote:

    Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other supposed rule.

    Well, I believe I have adequately demonstrated “the other rule.”

    You sound as if you’ve conceded to me the rhetorical point of satis scriptura, have you?

    re: that man and/or those men

    This is not the article/topic for Apostolic Succession, though we have touched upon it in passing. MY POINT is that infallible authority was given to that man and/or those men. Would you agree with me that far?

    bind and loose

    Even if it were limited to freeing people from sin or leaving people in condemnation for their sin (which the word “whatsoever” puts no such limitation on) it is still bound or loosed in heaven, and therefore, by default, must be infallible, right?

    not just sin

    You cannot separate this from “but whatsoever.” The whole point of “not just sin,” is that Jesus didn’t say anything about “just sin” here, but rather “whatsoever ye shall bind/loose…” – please explain to us how this statement of “whatsoever” is limited to “just sin.”

    whatsoever they choose

    Your “response” here goes off on to CCC 86, which speaks of the fact that the “Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God…” I fail to see how your response negates Scripture/Jesus saying they could bind or loose whatsoever they chose to bind or loose – AND – that what they bound or loosed was also bound/loosed in heaven, making this binding and loosing an infallible authority.

    So, save the dissecting for the biology lab, my statement (which is essentially a direct quotation from Scripture with “not just sin” put in there for emphasis) is intended to be taken in context, not in pieces.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  151. cathapol said,

    April 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    In 135Bob S. said

    Twice you acknowledge your confusion and lack of clarity re. 2 Tim.3:16 & 17 in yours, but then go on to chide me for misunderstanding you. Which is it/make up your mind, please.

    I have apologized for being unclear. I have attempted to clarify. My statement is that you cannot take v. 16 without v. 17, period. My response(s) apply equally to both verses together, not separately.

    White’s illustration regarding his LBS is that if one is sufficient, another is superfluous. So too the Bible. That his LBS is not sufficient enough to be your LBS is immaterial. You might as well object that it’s not enough that White has his own personal copy of the Bible and you don’t.

    I believe you’re missing the point. I’m not saying White’s bicycle shop would not be sufficient for me! I’m AGREEING with him that it is sufficient. My point is that there’s at least 2 fully equipped bicycle shops in my little town which could ALSO sufficiently equip me and/or him. This is not merely a matter of copies – but separate authorities. In my town there’s NO relationship between High Gear Bike Shop and Bikesmith Cycle and Fitness, in fact they are in competition with each other! Sufficiency does not equate to aloneness, or sola.

    But the real point is again, if Scripture is sufficient – which you admit, “satis” means exactly that – nothing else is needed, i.e. Sola Scriptura.

    It’s a HUGE LEAP to go from satis to sola. Words mean things, and sola does not mean satis, nor vice versa. That’s all I was saying there.

    How about a Fort Knox analogy? In the vault at Fort Knox there are several compartments housing literally billions, perhaps trillions, in solid gold bars. Just ONE of those compartments would be far more than sufficient for me to live on for the rest of my life (probably several of my lifetimes!) Let’s call it “Compartment A.” Just because that ONE compartment is sufficient does not negate the existence of all the OTHER compartments! Sola Compartment A would be illogical in the face of Compartments B, C, D, etc. I don’t “need” Compartment B, but it’s there, and it’s just as sufficient as Compartment A.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  152. Bob S said,

    April 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    151
    Briefly, illustrations are not necessarily valid, true or complete arguments.
    If the Bible is sufficient authority for the universal church.
    And both JW in Denver and SW in Aspen are members of the universal church
    Then the Bible is a sufficient authority for them.

    Again, if the Bible is sufficient unto every good work 2 Tim.3:16,17, even that of determining the existence and identity of other infallible authorities in the church, then:
    1. Where does Scripture do that?
    2. Why do the usual suspects for those other infallible and sufficient authorities add to or contradict Scripture – for instance, image, Mary and saint worship, purgatory etc. for starters?

    Answ.
    1. Contra the gloss on Matt. 18:18 are we really expected to believe that officers in the church can bind things contrary to Scripture? To ask is to answer.
    2. They add to or contradict Scripture because either they are not infallible and sufficient or the Scripture is not infallible and sufficient.

    IOW if we want to redefine sufficiency just like some folks want to redefine marriage, well ’nuff said.

    Thank you.

  153. cathapol said,

    April 12, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Bob said:

    Briefly, illustrations are not necessarily valid, true or complete arguments.

    I agree. My point in bringing up White’s Bike Shop analogy was because it is a perfect example of satis scriptura and does not demonstrate sola scriptura at all.

    If the Bible is sufficient authority for the universal church. And both JW in Denver and SW in Aspen are members of the universal church. Then the Bible is a sufficient authority for them.

    I believe you missed the point that High Gear and Bikesmith are competing bike shops – they don’t belong to the same company. Both shops are sufficient, thus there is no sola, none whatsoever, in White’s analogy – aside from the fact that he only brings up his bike shop, ignoring all the others. Ignoring the other authorities does not make them non-existent.

    Again, if the Bible is sufficient unto every good work 2 Tim.3:16,17, even that of determining the existence and identity of other infallible authorities in the church, then:
    1. Where does Scripture do that?

    We’ve already discussed this, see above.

    2. Why do the usual suspects for those other infallible and sufficient authorities add to or contradict Scripture – for instance, image, Mary and saint worship, purgatory etc. for starters?

    There is no “worship” in the sense you’re putting it of images, Mary and/or the Saints – and Purgatory is clearly seen within Scripture too, but you’re diverting the subject here, let’s not get into all that in this thread.

    Answ.
    1. Contra the gloss on Matt. 18:18 are we really expected to believe that officers in the church can bind things contrary to Scripture? To ask is to answer.

    Your misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of the Catholic Faith and teaching on these matters does not equate to a contradiction of Scripture.

    2. They add to or contradict Scripture because either they are not infallible and sufficient or the Scripture is not infallible and sufficient.

    Wow, nice non sequitur and false dilemma! Scripture and Sacred Tradition (which, in reality, Scripture is part of!) are both infallible and sufficient sources. Neither one is sola.

    IOW if we want to redefine sufficiency just like some folks want to redefine marriage, well ’nuff said.

    I’m not the one redefining terms here! Those who are attempting (and not succeeding) to support sola scriptura are equivocating sola and satis – and therein lies the logical fallacy of this debate, well – the main one, you’ve thrown a few more into the mix.

    Thank you.

    You’re welcome.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  154. peacebyjesus said,

    April 12, 2013 at 7:35 am

    cathapol said, To be clear here, under very limited and carefully defined situations, the Catholic Church has made infallible statements.

    Which you have no infallible canon of, but what you do have disagreement even as to how many papal pronouncements are infallible, and various “authentic” interpretations on what Rome teaches.

    As for SS, i understand that as meaning Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith as it is the only tangible, transcendent source that is declared to be wholly inspired of God, and is perpetually so, and is abundantly evidenced to be standard for truth.

    And that its sufficiency is not wholly in the formal sense, but includes the material sense, thus sanctioning recognition of writings as Divine (thus a canon) due to their heavenly qualities and attestation, and the use of reason, the magisterium, etc. whereas in Romanism the autocratic magisterium, and ultimately even an individual is held as the supreme authority (with assured perpetual infallibility, but which is not taught in Scripture). Which is also a mark of cults.

  155. jamesswan1 said,

    April 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Hi Scott,

    We appear to have very similar schedules. In regard to the comments and questions I asked you, thanks for taking some time out to respond.

    You first point out that even if Scripture had not recorded the existence of the other infallible authority you say exists, that doesn’t mean it’s “untrue.” This presents quite an interesting philosophical/theological hypothetical, beyond the scope of my inquiry.

    You then mentioned the other extra-biblical way you know of your other infallible authority: the passing down of infallible authority from Jesus to the Apostles to their ecclesiastical heirs, and by this you appear to mean “Sacred Tradition.” But, as I pointed out in my argumentation, your church defines the extent of “Sacred Tradition”, so this is a circular proof: you’re appealing to that which is justified by the infallible authority your trying to prove.

    You also appealed to another circular argument, saying that the Roman church simply defined the list of the canon, it did not give authority to the Scriptures. The “flaw in logic” appears to be yours Scott: If your Roman church has the infallible ability to say one book is Scripture and another is not, your Church is in effect “giving authority” to some books at the exclusion of others. Lest the point is missed: The Roman church appeals to Scripture to establish the fact that she herself has infallible authority, this while having the ability beforehand to determine which books are infallible Scripture and which are not. In other words, Rome logically assumes her infallibly before the Scriptures offer proof that Rome is an infallible authority.

    You then went on to point out that “the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition” are “two sides of the same coin” in response to my question as to whether you simply accept what you do without a precondition. The meaninglessness of your “one hand clapping” answer appears to prove my very point: if you just want to say you begin with a basic presupposition (faith claim) that both the Bible and the Roman Magisterium (and Sacred Tradition) are infallible, there’s really no point for anyone to dialog with you. You say it’s multiple infallible authorities, we say it’s one.

    I can certainly understand your desire to return to arguing whether or not Scripture claims it is the only current infallible authority for the church, that’s a much easier arena for you to play in, because there’s common ground between you and your Protestant detractors: both of you believe the Bible is an infallible authority. They debate your having is on interpretation, and frankly, how you or any Roman apologist interprets Scripture is yet another exercise in futility, because I personally don’t think it ultimately matters in a Roman Catholic paradigm how you or any other Roman apologist interprets Scripture… because your opinions are… your own interpretations. Rome is supposed to make God and the Church understandable, not Scott Windsor.

    If you recall though, I wanted to ask you a few simple questions. Perhaps those questions were tangential to the discussions you were previously having here. My line of questioning was simply a desire to see what sort of positive proof you have for your position other than an appeal to Scripture. You’ve satisfactorily answered my inquires, that the the positive proof you have beyond the Bible for the existence of your other infallible authority is simply a basic presupposition you believe without meaningful or rational proof.

    JS

  156. jamesswan1 said,

    April 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Typo alerts:

    “the infallible authority your trying to prove.” should be… “the infallible authority you’re trying to prove.”

    “They debate your having is on interpretation” should be “The debate”

  157. jamesswan1 said,

    April 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Typo alert:

    “They debate your having is on interpretation” should be…

    “The debate you’re having is on interpretation”

  158. cathapol said,

    April 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Re: 154 – PBJ said:

    cathapol said, To be clear here, under very limited and carefully defined situations, the Catholic Church has made infallible statements.

    Which you have no infallible canon of, but what you do have disagreement even as to how many papal pronouncements are infallible, and various “authentic” interpretations on what Rome teaches.

    Whether or not Catholicism has a Canon of Infallible Statements is irrelevant to the point. I was simply clarifying someone else’s statement about infallibility. That other person seemed to be representing that Catholic believe every word which flows from the pope or a council is infallible, and that’s simply not true. So, lets try to stay on topic, shall we? I understand you wish to divert and put me on the defensive, but this thread is about sola scriptura, which is your ground to defend. In debate, when you change subjects like this, it’s not only invalid, but an implicit concession of your position. You’re abandoning the REAL topic and inserting a new one. Again, in debate that means you’re conceding. So, unless you are intending to concede, stick to the topic at hand.

    As for SS, i understand that as meaning Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith as it is the only tangible, transcendent source that is declared to be wholly inspired of God, and is perpetually so, and is abundantly evidenced to be standard for truth.

    And I have never denied that is your understanding. All I have been saying all along here is that satis cannot be equivocated to sola. Such an equivocation is not only invalid in debate, it is not an honest presentation of language or theology. In short, words mean things.

    And that its sufficiency is not wholly in the formal sense, but includes the material sense, thus sanctioning recognition of writings as Divine (thus a canon) due to their heavenly qualities and attestation, and the use of reason, the magisterium, etc. whereas in Romanism the autocratic magisterium, and ultimately even an individual is held as the supreme authority (with assured perpetual infallibility, but which is not taught in Scripture). Which is also a mark of cults.

    You appear to have at least eight topics going on here! Allow me to enumerate:
    1) Sufficiency is not wholly (sola) in the formal sense.
    2) Sufficiency is wholly (sola) in the material sense.
    3) Establishing a canon based upon heavenly qualities and attestation along with the use of reason is a material sense (of sufficiency/sola).
    4) In Catholicism (I don’t know what “Romanism” is) the (M)agisterium is the ultimate authority.
    5) Even individuals in Catholicism are held as the supreme authority.
    6) In Catholicism infallibility is assured perpetually.
    7) Infallibility is not taught in Scripture.
    8) Infallibility is a mark of cults.
    Now, did I get those straight? Am I accurately representing your eight theses? Are ANY of these taught in Scripture (your sola infallibis regula fide)?

    As for points 1 and 2, I have already yielded/conceded that sufficiency IS taught in Scripture. I’ve never disputed that. The point isthat equivocating satis to sola is not an honest approach to language or theology.

    Point 3, You’ve already denied any form of sola when you have heavenly qualities AND attestation AND the use of reason – as THREE THINGS which again cannot honestly be equivocated to sola.

    Point 4. (Off topic)

    Point 5. (Off topic)

    Point 6. (Off topic)

    Point 7. (Off topic)

    Point 8. (Off topic)

    As you can see, I will not be dragged down your rabbit trails. How about staying on topic? Or, if you are conceding my initial point (sola is not satis), then we can go on to other topics, but perhaps the blog author(s) here would prefer starting new threads for these subjects – OR – I would be more than happy to open such threads on my blog for further discussion.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  159. peacebyjesus said,

    April 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I can understand why you want to avoid the implications of the Catholic counter argument, while my points are all relevant despite your rejection and obscuration of them.

    1. Scripture is “sola” as it alone (sola) is only the only tangible, transcendent source that is declared to be wholly inspired of God, thus it is the only assuredly infallible rule of faith, the supreme authority for doctrine.

    This is taught and manifested in Scripture, in which only Scripture is declared to be wholly inspired of God, and it is abundantly evidenced to be the standard for obedience and testing truth claims.

    Thus it was by Scriptural substantiation that the Lord established His claims in His rebellion against those who sat in the very seat of Moses, who rejected Him who reproved them by Scripture. (Mk. 7:2-16; 11:27-33)

    2. The “satis” or sufficiency aspect is part of the qualities of Scripture, and which encompasses both sufficiency in both the formal and material sense.

    This also is evident in Scripture, not only in that it is instrumental for making “the man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” but by how Scripture both teaches truth directly and indirectly as well as sanctioning the means by which man perceives truth.

    3. The use of reason and that writings were essentially established due to heavenly qualities and attestation, are not contrary to sola scriptura, unless you insist that SS means that only Scripture itself can be used, not reason, or eyes, ears, etc., and also restrict the sufficiency of Scripture to its formal sense.

    This does not make reason itself another supreme authority for doctrine, which infallible Scripture alone is, anymore than RC use of reason in understanding their supreme authority makes this another supreme authority.

    As for the rest of the points being off topic, these are relevant as there is a polemic behind your position, and SS is better understood in the light of the alternative, that of sola ecclesia and the elevation of an individual as supreme.

  160. cathapol said,

    April 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Re: 155 –

    James Swan said:

    Hi Scott,

    We appear to have very similar schedules. In regard to the comments and questions I asked you, thanks for taking some

    time out to respond.

    And thank you for your consideration and time as well. I’ve included your spelling corrections.

    You first point out that even if Scripture had not recorded the existence of the other infallible

    authority you say exists, that doesn’t mean it’s “untrue.” This presents quite an interesting

    philosophical/theological hypothetical, beyond the scope of my inquiry.

    Your “block of inquiry” asked me to present my argument from “other than Scripture.” First off, in this audience, I don’t think anything “outside of Scripture” would be accepted. Secondly, whether found in Scripture or out, that would not falsify it. As I’ve already documented, I contend infallibility IS TAUGHT in Scripture.

    You then mentioned the other extra-biblical way you know of your other infallible authority: the passing down of infallible authority from Jesus to the Apostles to their ecclesiastical heirs, and by this you appear to mean “Sacred Tradition.” But, as I pointed out in my argumentation, your church defines the extent of “Sacred Tradition”, so this is a circular proof: you’re appealing to that which is justified by the infallible authority you’re trying to prove.

    As I stated, if I use something outside of Scripture, you’re going to deny it. Why would a supporter of sola scriptura be asking me to go outside of Scripture anyway?

    You also appealed to another circular argument, saying that the Roman church simply defined the list of the canon, it did not give authority to the Scriptures. The “flaw in logic” appears to be yours Scott: If your Roman church has the infallible ability to say one book is Scripture and another is not, your Church is in effect “giving authority” to some books at the exclusion of others. Lest the point is missed: The Roman church appeals to Scripture to establish the fact that she herself has infallible authority, this while having the ability beforehand to determine which books are infallible Scripture and which are not. In other words, Rome logically assumes her infallibly before the Scriptures offer proof that Rome is an infallible authority.

    It seems to be a passion of yours to label those who oppose you as using circular arguments. Of course, I did not use circular argumentation. I said the Church, as guided by the Holy Ghost… which I agree with you is an intangeable, but it is an undeniable fact that the Church (whether or not you accept was guided by the Holy Ghost) decided upon the Canon of Sacred Scripture. Now consider your position. You accept the Canon of the New Testament, just the way the Catholic Church decreed it LONG before there was ever a Protestant out there to deny any part of what the Church declared. You accept the Book of Matthew as being part of the canon, and thus you have no logical reason to declare a “circular argument” when you’re already in agreement with THE authority which attests to the Canon! However, as I also stated, this is not really the discussion here. THE discussion here was on the difference between satis and sola scriptura. I understand you prefaced your input with the possibility of going tangential, and you did. So, with that in mind, can we return to the topic?

    You then went on to point out that “the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition” are “two sides of the same coin” in response to my question as to whether you simply accept what you do without a precondition. The meaninglessness of your “one hand clapping” answer appears to prove my very point: if you just want to say you begin with a basic presupposition (faith claim) that both the Bible and the Roman Magisterium (and Sacred Tradition) are infallible, there’s really no point for anyone to dialog with you. You say it’s multiple infallible authorities, we say it’s one.

    I pointed out that the Magiesterium and Sacred Tradition are two sides of the same coin because you appeared to be making a distinction between them, and that would be misinformation. Your statement was “we say it’s one,” (sola scriptura) and mentioned the “waste of time.” The rest of that paragraph from me, which you did not respond to, was regarding the reason why we debate sola scriptura and the fact that no where does Scripture say it is the sole infallible authority – AND – that authority points to another authority. You see, I was responding directly to what you had written. I cannot read your mind, if what you meant to be asking about was different than what you actually wrote and asked, I can’t help that.

    I can certainly understand your desire to return to arguing whether or not Scripture claims it is the only current infallible authority for the church, that’s a much easier arena for you to play in,

    Well, of course it’s easier! Since no where does Scripture make the claim to be the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church, and since NO ONE has ever proven that statement to be false, yes – it is an easy arena to play in – and I’ll play in it until everyone realizes the fundamental truth here and stop hiding behind inventions of Luther, et al.

    …because there’s common ground between you and your Protestant detractors: both of you believe the Bible is an infallible authority.

    My Protestant detractors? I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t have any of these.

    The debate you’re having is on interpretation, and frankly, how you or any Roman apologist interprets Scripture is yet another exercise in futility, because I personally don’t think it ultimately matters in a Roman Catholic paradigm how you or any other Roman apologist interprets Scripture… because your opinions are… your own interpretations. Rome is supposed to make God and the Church understandable, not Scott Windsor.

    Actually, “Rome” calls us to be part of “the new evangelization,” which includes going out on the Internet, such as I do. You’re simply wrong, again. I have a duty to defend the Church and help explain her teachings to those whom I encounter. I believe you’ll also find that this really isn’t all that “new,” as it has scriptural roots too from our first pope, see 1 Peter 3:15.

    If you recall though, I wanted to ask you a few simple questions. Perhaps those questions were tangential to the discussions you were previously having here. My line of questioning was simply a desire to see what sort of positive proof you have for your position other than an appeal to Scripture. You’ve satisfactorily answered my inquires, that the the positive proof you have beyond the Bible for the existence of your other infallible authority is simply a basic presupposition you believe without meaningful or rational proof.

    JS

    Well, I’m sorry you feel that way. I will continue to try to explain myself better so that you, one day, will also see the meaningful and rational reason(s) for being part of that One Body which Jesus Christ Himself began nearly 2000 years ago and why you should flee the innovations of the 16th century.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  161. Bob S said,

    April 13, 2013 at 12:41 am

    153 Forest. Trees. Miss.
    If the Scriptures are sufficient, then anything besides Scripture is redundant, unneeded and by definition cannot add anything to Scripture.
    Therefore anything besides Scripture may be safely ignored if words have any meaning. (Oops, guess that means only, because anything besides Scirpture is a mirror site. Uhhh…. purgatorymarypopeetc.)

    But then we are told Scripture includes Tradition or is a part of it and both are infallible, by who? Scripture? No, our interlokutor.

    Maybe, just maybe can we understand that this argument which pervades the recent roman responses is a non starter?

    ciao

  162. jamesswan1 said,

    April 13, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Hi Scott,

    Over on the Catholic Answers forums I recently got caught up responding to what felt like 20 different topics from 20 different people, so I know how time-consuming it is to be the sole person defending a particular position, and I know what it’s like to be responding to relevant topics that are not the topic of discussion (unfortunately, the Catholic Answers moderators didn’t care), so, I’m more than willing to let this be my last comment here- feel free to have the last word, and thus dedicate your time to other more important issues.
    There were a fair amount of comments from your recent response that were simply irrelevant (as I see it), but I do appreciate that you attempt to respond to every line I write, even if what you’re writing isn’t relevant.

    My interaction with you was a simple curiosity of what evidence beyond Scripture establishes your belief in multiple infallible authorities. I asked that question simply because, in this discussion you appear to be solely appealing to Scripture as that which justifies your belief system.

    I don’t recall having a specific passion in labeling arguments “circular” (that is, as I take a quick mental inventory of my blog, it certainly doesn’t appear to me that I frequently throw “circular” around- but perhaps you have something in mind I’m not recalling). In your case, you haven’t logically demonstrated how your proofs are not just that: circular proofs that assume already what they are supposed to prove. You mention that one of your proofs was “the Church, as guided by the Holy Ghost” but, as I worked through this (and will do so now again), you’re saying the church is a proof that the church is an infallible authority.

    Perhaps you’ve never thought through your own position this carefully. When all is said and done, I’m asking you if you presuppose that the Magisterium is also an infallible authority. I say if we peel away the onion that is Scott Windsor’s belief system, this is exactly the case: Scott believes the Magisterium is also an infallible authority because the Magisterium is also an infallible authority.

    So, in regard to all your discussions above, of your own interpretation of Scripture that Scripture doesn’t say it’s the sole infallible authority: well, of course you think that because of your unfounded presupposition which accepts an infallible church to begin with. The irony of course is you keep simply appealing solely to Scripture to prove your case, and then attempt to prove the Scriptures also proves your church is infallible in some sense, which it certainly does not in any sort of explicit or meaningful implicit way: you assume certain verses say something, but there is no rational exegetical Biblical proof that Rome is what you say it is. That’s why in my last comment, I pointed out, the debate you’re having is on interpretation. If the Scriptures can’t be exegetically used to determine that there exists an an infallible interpretive authority outside of her pages, then by default, the Bible is the sole infallible authority. That is, unless you presuppose that another infallible authority outside the Bible exists, which, as far as I can tell, is exactly what you do.

    You may consider yourself as having a lofty pedigree of being part of “the new evangelization,” but to me, you’re just Scott Windsor, one more guy on the Internet that is interpreting Rome. You’re using your private judgment and interpretation to tell me what you think Rome means. Quite frankly, I think I’m able to read Rome’s official statements on my own without your help. Given a choice between reading Scott Windsor’s blog or reading the decrees of the Council of Trent, which do you think would be clearer? The church may give you the “duty to defend the Church and help explain her teachings” but why is your version of Rome accurate, and that of say, Gerry Matatics is not? Or Robert Sungensis? Or some liberal on the Catholic Answers forum? I think Roman Catholic apologetics is fundamentally self-refuting as well, and that they grant you such a “duty” only makes it worse.

  163. Don said,

    April 13, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Cathapol #158,
    Others have responded, but maybe I can help here:

    1) It’s “Romanism” because, if you haven’t figured out, the Protestants here reject the claim of the RC Church being catholic (universal). At least they’re not calling it “Papism.” Mostly.

    2) Whether or not the RCC and/or its Magesterium and/or its infallible statements is an (or the) ultimate authority is indeed relevant for sola scriptura arguments. Claiming a distinction between satis and sola is fine and all that, but if nothing else in the universe is satis, then Scripture is sola by default. That is, the the easy way to disprove sola scriptura is to prove that there is another equal authority.

    3) Your “you must be conceding” cleverness is not very impressive. This isn’t debate club.

  164. peacebyjesus said,

    April 13, 2013 at 8:10 am

    cathapol said,


    You accept the Book of Matthew as being part of the canon, and thus you have no logical reason to declare a “circular argument” when you’re already in agreement with THE authority which attests to the Canon!

    This seems to presume that concurring with the conclusion of someone or something means an affirmation of its authority, but which is not necessarily the same thing.

    And in this case it does not refute the charge of circularity on the part of Rome, as the infallibility of her indisputable canon (1546) is based upon the premise of her infallibility, under which she define what is Scripture, thus giving some writings authority over others, while the supports she may enlist for her premise can only mean what she says they mean.

    Or in other words, Rome infallibly declared she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible to be infallible, as well as all else she may accordingly declare in support of it.

    And which is the basis for your assurance, not the weight of Scriptural warrant, even if you appeals to it in condescension to us. And which contrasts SE with SS.

    Actually, “Rome” calls us to be part of “the new evangelization,” which includes going out on the Internet, such as I do. You’re simply wrong, again

    That teaching is in conflict with certain statements from the past, if abrogated, while the fact remains that as James said, “your opinions are… your own interpretations.” As one of your fellow Internet apologists stated, “As far as the Church is concerned, I’m just another peon with an opinion.“ You would likely agree that is a good thing in this case, as that was from Sungenis.

    Another (Akin) states that the RC has a great deal of liberty to interpret the Bible, as only a few interpretations will be excluded with certainty by other passages of Scripture, by the judgment of the magisterium, by the Church Fathers, or by the analogy of faith (as the RC interprets them)

    And it shows, while even without a single magisterium, Catholics overall testify to more diversity (and mostly to the Left) than “evangelicals” in basic moral views and questions on core doctrines. If you are going to critique SS then you must deal with the alternatives.

    .

  165. cathapol said,

    April 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Re: 161 – Bob S. said:

    If the Scriptures are sufficient, then anything besides Scripture is redundant, unneeded and by definition cannot add anything to Scripture.

    The problem you have is that while Scripture is sufficient for what it says it is, it is not sufficient in all things. Where does Scripture speak of cloning? Is it morally right to clone humans? How many wives or concubines are you allowed to have? Scripture alone may be a bit confusing, if not contradictory on this point.

    Therefore anything besides Scripture may be safely ignored if words have any meaning. (Oops, guess that means only, because anything besides Scirpture is a mirror site. Uhhh…. purgatorymarypopeetc.)

    So Bob, does that mean you hold to the so-called “solo” interpretation of sola scriptura?

    But then we are told Scripture includes Tradition or is a part of it and both are infallible, by who? Scripture? No, our interlokutor.

    The fact is, which you seem to be missing/forgetting/ignoring, the Church has ALWAYS pre-existed the Scripture which is written ABOUT THE CHURCH!

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  166. cathapol said,

    April 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Re: 162

    I believe all of James Swan’s argumentation boils down to is this statement:

    That is, unless you presuppose that another infallible authority outside the Bible exists, which, as far as I can tell, is exactly what you do.

    When it is pointed out to him that even the Bible points to another infallible authority the subject changes to circular argumentation. It’s like that’s Swan’s easy out to the discussion/debate. The irony is that when I/we use “Scripture alone” to debate, Swan asks me to give an example outside of Scripture. If I give an example outside of Scripture it is immediately dismissed as either circular or not to be listened to because it is not scriptural.

    FACTS:
    a) Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.

    b) 1 Timothy 3:15 – It is the Church which is declared to be the “pillar and bulwark/foundation of truth” – not a collection of books which nearly 400 years after St. Paul wrote that to St. Timothy would be assembled into the canon of the Vulgate and eventually be dogmatically declared as THE Canon of Sacred Scripture.

    c) No where does Scripture say it is or is to be the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church – no where.

    d) That Scripture has sufficiency is something I have already conceded. That it is sola is something it itself does not attest to.

    These facts alone should be sufficient to the objective reader.

    That being said, I fully realize that I’m not here amongst a bunch of objective readers, certainly not objective responders. My goal is to reach those who might look at this argument/debate objectively. I have no delusions of grandeur that my words will just automatically convert all who read them – in fact, I have no expectations of any of those who have responded thus far to be converted anytime soon. Any who may convert, I would also not be so presumptuous to think it was “me” who did the converting. Conversion is a matter of the Holy Ghost working in someone’s heart – AND – that heart being a place of furtile ground wherein that which is planted may grow to fruition. I only hope that I am planting seeds and praying that some may fall on “the good ground” (Matthew 13:1-23).

    You may consider yourself as having a lofty pedigree of being part of “the new evangelization,” but to me, you’re just Scott Windsor, one more guy on the Internet that is interpreting Rome. You’re using your private judgment and interpretation to tell me what you think Rome means. Quite frankly, I think I’m able to read Rome’s official statements on my own without your help.

    So, to use the common tactic used around here, let me turn that on you. If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need “apologetics” of ANY sort? Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means? Why do we need these groups to tell us others are wrong? Scripture alone should be sufficient or satis.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  167. Robert said,

    April 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Scott,

    You clearly have no idea what the sufficiency of Scripture means based on the complaints of your last two points. Scripture is the sufficient final infallible authority for faith and practice. It is sufficient to tell all that we need to please God. It is sufficient in telling us the way of salvation. It is sufficient as the sole source of divine special revelation. That is different from Rome, which says the Bible is not sufficient divine revelation but we also need oral tradition, which ultimately boils down to the revelation given through the Magisterium.

    No one has ever said it is sufficient as a science book, a gardening guide, a math book, or anything else.

  168. cathapol said,

    April 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Re: 167 – Robert, I understand sufficiency quite well, but I expect the ad hominem jabs. I do not know which are the “complaints of your (my) last two points.” You do not reference which comment you’re referring to, nor do you quote me.

    I am fully aware that the Bible is not a science book, etc., but it is a book on morality and if I’m guessing at which “complaints” you’re referring to, I asked about cloning, which is a moral issue we face – not purely a science one. “Science” can already do it, but morally, should we?

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  169. Don said,

    April 14, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Cathapol 168,
    There are no ad hom attacks in 167.

    Just to be tediously explicit about it: Ad hom is a fallacy of relevance. Whether your arguments do or do not show that you understand the terms being discussed, is very relevant.

  170. Ron said,

    April 14, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.

    Scott,

    Please provide a series of premises strung together in a valid form of argumentation that leads to the grand conclusion of a perpetual, infallible magisterium located in Rome.

    1 Timothy 3:15 – It is the Church which is declared to be the “pillar and bulwark/foundation of truth” – not a collection of books which nearly 400 years after St. Paul wrote that to St. Timothy would be assembled into the canon of the Vulgate and eventually be dogmatically declared as THE Canon of Sacred Scripture.

    Jesus promised to build his church. (Matt. 16:18) Jesus also told his apostles that those who received them received Him. (Matt. 10:40) The implication is that the building project of the Lord was to be founded upon the words of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus being the chief cornerstone. (The reason being, Jesus and the apostles are no longer here, but their words are.) (Eph. 2:20)
    The apostolic tradition was both oral and written (II Thess. 2:15) but only the written apostolic tradition has been providentially preserved. Accordingly, Scripture alone is what the church is built upon, which must have been God’s intention since Scripture alone is all he left us in keeping with Christ Jesus’ promise to build his church.

    So, in keeping with the analogy of Scripture, whatever it means to you that the church is the foundation of the truth it must harmonize with the premise that Scripture alone is what the church is built upon, which is to say her sure foundation. Please just don’t provide a Scripture reference as your rejoinder, provide an argument to defend Roman Catholic tradition.

    No where does Scripture say it is or is to be the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church – no where.

    Does the Old Testament uphold this principle you assert? Didn’t Jesus blister the religious leaders of his day for operating according this Roman Catholic premise, that Scripture alone does not provide the only infallible rule of faith and practice? While we’re at it, didn’t Satan try to tempt Adam and Eve and even Jesus with this Roman Catholic axiom? Is it not an unworkable principle (not to mention unwise) to act contrary to divine precedent, in this case OT precedent, without explicit divine instruction or good and necessary inference? What NT argument have you offered to abandon the consistent testimony of redemptive history on this matter?

    If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need “apologetics” of ANY sort?

    We are to engage in apologetics because God says so. Secondly, unbelievers don’t submit to Scripture so we “do” apologetics in the hope that men might be saved. The same principle applies to why we should engage in polemics, for God’s glory.

    Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means?

    That Scripture must be interpreted according to sound hermeneutical principles is not at odds with the sufficiency of Scripture. Moreover, that God gives the church teachers does not undermine, at least in any logical sense, the doctrine of sufficiency. You might wish to argue that if Scripture is perspicuous then we don’t need teachers, but that too would prove to be a baseless argument.

  171. Robert said,

    April 14, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Scott,

    You wrote:

    “Where does Scripture speak of cloning? Is it morally right to clone humans? How many wives or concubines are you allowed to have? Scripture alone may be a bit confusing, if not contradictory on this point.”

    I’m sorry, but for you to say such things indicates a serious misunderstanding of sola Scriptura. That is not an ad hominem. Scripture alone is not confusing or contradictory on the wives issue. The fact that many OT saints had several wives and that is not true of the NT is an issue that needs to be dealt with, but any careful and honest reading of Scripture can come to a conclusion on such matters without an infallible church pronouncement. The stories of the problems associated with polygamy, Genesis 2, Jesus’ teaching on marriage in Matthew 19, and the qualifications of elders in 1 Timothy 3 all point to one man-one woman marriage as being normative. I did not need an infallible church pronouncement to come to that conclusion.

    Cloning is addressed more broadly by our being created in the image of God, by the fact that Scripture indicates there is some knowledge we should not pursue or have, that we should not put human life in danger (which the cloning process does), and so on. I don’t need an infallible church pronouncement to come to a conclusion on the issue.

    You don’t understand the sufficiency of Scripture. We don’t mean that we don’t need other authorities, and the fact that other authorities are consulted does not mean Scripture is insufficient. In an issue such as cloning, for example, we would need to consult science to understand the process and what we know of its effects. But when all aspects of an issue are understood, Scripture is sufficient as the final infallible authority to tell us what to do morally. On some issues determining what Scripture says may be more difficult than others, but that does not undermine sufficiency. It merely means we need to work harder.

    I’m sorry, but the idea that Scripture is insufficient and that we need infallible church pronouncements to understand and apply it properly is a conclusion that one can only come to if one assumes that lay people are idiots who are perpetually confused by the Bible. I realize that Rome assumes a great deal of biblical ignorance for its parishioners, and rightly so, since Rome traditionally cares very little to have the laity read and understand the Bible. You may be an exception when it comes to lay understanding of Scripture, but that is in spite of Rome’s teaching. Rome would be very happy for you simply to unquestioningly and unthinkingly submit to its decrees.

  172. cathapol said,

    April 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I find it amusing, even a bit entertaining to see how often when the subject of sola scriptura is being discussed, even brought up by a non-Catholic (as in this case, and I joined the discussion a bit late) that as soon as a Catholic challenges the premise of sola scriptura the immediate, virtually universal, response is “show us your authority.” The discussion is not about Catholicism, it’s about sola scriptura. The original author, whom I do not even know exactly whom that is, I assumed it is “Rev. Lane Keister” in my original response article (on my blog, which none of you have addressed), entitled this piece Sola versus Solo Scriptura Revisited – where’s the discussion of THAT?!

    The more you attempt to deflect the discussion toward Catholicism and getting folks like me to defend MY authority is just more and more evidence that you cannot defend your own authority.

    Robert, in #171, has been more directly dealing with what I have challenged, I’ll get back to that comment/reply as time allows. Sadly though, while he does “respond” more directly, he does get into a bit of thinly veiled ad hominem, which is not necessary and even detracts from what he has to say.

    I’d would still like to see an answer to this from 166:

    Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means? Why do we need these groups to tell us others are wrong? Scripture alone should be sufficient or satis.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  173. cathapol said,

    April 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I would add… Green Baggins is “your turf” – and thus here we should deal with challenges to and a defense of “your faith.” If you wish to challenge me further and my faith further, I cordially invite you to one of the forums hosted by ACTS (The American Catholic Truth Society). The CathApol Blog is hosted there as well as the Catholic Debate Forum (email group) and our live chatroom (which, to be honest, I have not been frequenting lately myself, but if asked, I would arrange a time for “live debate” there with anyone proposing a respectful live interchange).

    Does that mean I would never defend my faith in a Protestant forum? No, as you can see – I’ve already done a fair amount of that here. Nor does it mean that I would never challenge things like sola scriptura on the CathApol Blog, but the focus of the discussion(s) should be in defending our own sets of beliefs on our own turf – especially when we’re engaging in a discussion here where the author, by the title at least, explicitly challenges the difference between sola and solo scriptura – then THAT should be the subject of our exchanges under THAT title. Do you not agree that discussions should be more focused and less diversionary?

    Similarly, IF a blog author here (or elsewhere) posits a direct challenge to the Catholic Faith – and I (or another Catholic) chooses to engage that discussion, then under THAT title, it would be a fair discussion. To go beyond the scope of the thesis statement of that article/discussion would not be fair or valid discussion.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  174. John Bugay said,

    April 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Scott 172 — the “not getting it” is all yours.

    Here’s what Sola Scriptura is: Scripture “special Revelation”, given specifically from God to man, for man’s instruction. No other source rises to that level.

    Despite what you’ve said, Scripture does not support the notion of another source of authority on earth. The reason you get asked for sources of your other authorities is because we are certain that your authorities — “Tradition” and “Magisterium” — are human invention, and a proper exegesis of Scripture will not show that your sources “rise to the level of Scripture”.

    These individuals are actually being kind to you in the midst of your quite blatant “not knowing”.

  175. peacebyjesus said,

    April 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    cathapol said: it is not sufficient in all things. Where does Scripture speak of cloning?

    Wrong. It provides for this and all other questions on faith and morals either directly or indirectly by supplying precepts and principals by which to render a verdict. Westminster affirms this, and this is what the church itself did in doctrines derived from Scriptural warrant.

    RCs attempt to engage in deriving warrant from Scripture for such things as praying to the departed, although they fail in this regard.

    The Bible nowhere forbids consensual cannibalism as a practice, but a doctrine that forbids it can be derived based upon such texts as Gn. 9:3-6) while allowing for it in dire circumstances based upon Lk. 6:9 etc.

    Scripture alone may be a bit confusing, if not contradictory on this point.

    Again, alone does not refer to Scripture being the only thing one can use, else you could not even read it! Nor is sufficiency restricted to the formal sense.

    Moreover, just as Scripture is interpreted, so is Rome, and it is obvious she can be a bit confusing, and even seem contradictory. You can get unresolved questions and debates on many things , Divine Grace and human will being one, with ongoing ones besides, of them.

    And the fact that a lack of clarity exists (1Cor. 13:12) does not impugn the source of revelation, or negate the sola supremacy of Scripture, and which in its sufficiency provides for the magisterium, but not as supreme to Scripture.

    the Church has ALWAYS pre-existed the Scripture

    Which is invoked as an argument that it is the supreme authority all must submit to, but which premise makes the church into a rebel against God, as the Jews and those who sat in the seat of Moses always ALWAYS pre-existed the church and were the instruments and stewards of Scripture, but which the church began in dissent from, following an Itinerant Preacher whom they would not sanction, but established His claims upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power.

  176. CD-Host said,

    April 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I would add… Green Baggins is “your turf” – and thus here we should deal with challenges to and a defense of “your faith.” …. , IF a blog author here (or elsewhere) posits a direct challenge to the Catholic Faith – and I (or another Catholic) chooses to engage that discussion, then under THAT title, it would be a fair discussion

    This article is a response to an article series on CtC the whole solo vs. sola is a Catholic apologetic. The Catholic paradigm is on topic because it was Catholics that brought this topic up.

  177. peacebyjesus said,

    April 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    cathapol said: When it is pointed out to him that even the Bible points to another infallible authority the subject changes to circular argumentation.

    Because the Bible does not point to another tangible infallible authority, and the veracity of that claim relies upon circular argumentation.

    FACTS:

    FALLACIES:

    a) Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.

    This is an interpretation, and the only one that has authority for an RC is that which comes from Rome, and which is based upon the premise of her assured veracity. Thus the circularity. Your assurance is NOT based upon the weight of Scriptural evidence (which would fail), otherwise you would be an SS Protestant. (And as regards tradition and history, then you have competition from the EOs.)

    As for the texts themselves, you cannot even claim to interpret Mt. 16:18 consistent with all the “fathers,” while Scripture nowhere calls Peter the rock upon which the church was built, but that Christ is that foundation is one of the most abundantly confirmed doctrines in the Bible (petra: Rm. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; cf. Lk. 6:48; 1Cor. 3:11; lithos: Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Rm. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) including by Peter himself. (1Pt. 2:4-8) Rome’s current catechism attempts to have Peter himself as the rock as well, but also affirms: “On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church,” (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424) which understanding some of the ancients concur with.

    As for the power to bind and loose, this also does not infer assured infallibility as under Rome, but as seen in Acts 15, truth in accordance with Scripture is provided.

    In addition, i refuted your assertion before that Jesus is ONLY speaking to the Apostles in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:21, and thus this includes other disciples.

    As for the premise that preservation of truth requires infallibility, this is manifestly false as seen in Scripture, in which even being the instrument and steward of Scripture and inheritor of the Promises and having historical descent did not make such assuredly infallible. The church will preserve truth, as the truth was always preserved, not only thru the magisterium but by God raising up men from without it to reprove it if necessary, though they are often rejected by them. Thus the church began, and thus it has been preserved as the manifest body of Christ.

    b) 1 Timothy 3:15 – It is the Church which is declared to be the “pillar and bulwark/foundation of truth”…

    It says “the church of the living God,” not the institutionalized version, while despite the ecclesiastical extrapolation here by RCs in their lust for support, the words here do not say more than that the church supports the truth, not that it is the supreme authority on truth.

    More is said of Israel itself in this regard, God having “committed the oracles of God” to it, and having the “adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises,” and even providing the Christ. (Rm. 3:2; 9:4,5) But as with Rome, they presumed of themselves above that which is written, (cf. 1Cor. 4:6) and persecuted those whom Rome raised up to reprove her.

    not a collection of books which nearly 400 years after St. Paul wrote that

    …and which alternative did not provide an indisputable canon for over 1400 years after, if you are going to push infallibility as a criterion for the OTC, yet it was not necessary to have a complete canon in order to have the church in subjection to Scripture (and which provided for more), and not supreme over it. As evidenced , Scripture was the standard for truth even before there was a church in Rome, and even the instruments of Divine revelation are to be subject to it (sometimes they did not even understand all of what they wrote).


    c) No where does Scripture say it is or is to be the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church – no where.

    If only you would apply your explicit requirement to all that Rome teaches, as it certainly does not say the church is the supreme infallible rule of faith. But engaging in valid exegesis, Scripture does teach that it is or the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church, as it explicitly teaches that is the only authority and instrument for the salvation and perfection of the saints that is wholly inspired of God. Period.

    d) That Scripture has sufficiency is something I have already conceded. That it is sola is something it itself does not attest to.

    It does not matter how many times you deny it, if there is only one wholly inspired tangible authority on truth then it is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church.

    That being said, I fully realize that I’m not here amongst a bunch of objective readers, certainly not objective responders.

    That is insolence. It is the RC defender who cannot be objective so as to go wherever the truth leads, as he cannot allow even the possibility of any conclusion refuting the incontestable supreme object of his/her allegiance on earth. Thus at one time lay RCs were forbidden to engage in debates such as this, while you are later taught,

    “…having once found the true Church, private judgment of this kind [an inquiry into the 'motives of credibility,' and a study of the evidences for the Faith] ceases; having discovered the authority established by God, you must submit to it at once. There is no need of further search for the doctrines contained in the Christian Gospel, for the Church brings them all with her and will teach you them all.”

    “He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips.”— “Henry G. Graham, “What Faith Really Means”, (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 )]

    “Once he does so [enters the Roman church], he has no further use for his reason [as per above]. He enters the Church, an edifice illumined by the superior light of revelation and faith. He can leave reason, like a lantern, at the door…”

    “The intolerance of the Church toward error, the natural position of one who is the custodian of truth, her only reasonable attitude makes her forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question. This places the Catholic in a position whereby he must stand aloof from all manner of doctrinal teaching other than that delivered by his Church through her accredited ministers.

    The reason of this stand of his is that, for him, there can be no two sides to a question which for him is settled; for him, there is no seeking after the truth: he possesses it in its fulness, as far as God and religion are concerned. His Church gives him all there is to be had; all else is counterfeit.” (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapters XIX, XXIII. the consistent believer (1904); Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor Librorum. Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York )

    I have no expectations of any of those who have responded thus far to be converted anytime soon.

    While Paul warned that some would follow false teachers, rather than moving one to covert the arguments by RCs such as yours are an argument against Rome.

    So, to use the common tactic used around here, let me turn that on you. If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need “apologetics” of ANY sort?

    I am amazed as how many RCs have bought the lie that SS means only Scripture can be used, rather it alone being the supreme authority on truth, providing what is needed for salvation and growth directly or indirectly formally or materially. And that instead a (self-proclaimed infallible) magisterium is supreme, and even an individual, and which solves the problem of interpretation.

    That is not how souls came to believe on the Lord Jesus and the church began, nor how it continues in reality, as it is of the living God.

  178. Bob S said,

    April 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    165 Greeting Scott,

    You’re confused on any number of things, which if you used to be a prot is un-excusable.
    If not, well, you’re late to the debate over here.
    But whatever/let me clarify.

    One, the Scripture is sufficient for all those who wish to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, not only for this life, but the life to come.

    Two, not everything in Scripture is explicitly stated, but as per the West. Conf. 1:6 it is “either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture”. Which covers cloning, concubines etc.

    This again, is not solo scriptura, in that while the Scripture is the sole/only infallible authority in the church, it is not the only authority per se, in that Scripture itself calls for confessions, creeds, courts and church officers, which derive their authority from Scripture, but are not equal to it. Thus the title of the OP.

    The fact is, which you seem to be missing/forgetting/ignoring, the Church has ALWAYS pre-existed the Scripture which is written ABOUT THE CHURCH!

    This, the triumphal caps aside, betrays a profound misunderstanding of the distinction between the Word of God, written and unwritten.
    1. Nobody denies that before Moses wrote Genesis, God didn’t speak and reveal himself to his people by speaking audibly or in dreams and visions.
    2. More to the point, God’s Word effectually called and created the church to be the church.

    IOW without God’s Word, there would be no church. Yet after Christ and his apostles, who first came preaching and teaching, inscripturated that preaching and teaching in the NT, the NT is then the final infallible word from Christ for his church.

    In short, your position is hardly as ironclad as you think it, much more if you don’t know what the opposing position is, none of us are going to get anywhere.

    But since the lights are going out on this thread, maybe the discussion can move over to James Schwan’s place.

    cheers

  179. peacebyjesus said,

    April 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means? Why do we need these groups to tell us others are wrong? Scripture alone should be sufficient or satis.

    Are you serious or just ignorant? Seriously. Why not ask why we need eyes if you really think sufficiency must be restricted to formal or explicit teaching and only the Scriptures can be used. Why would Westminster affirm regarding truth, that it may by “good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture,” and Scripture is such that “not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means [in which the church is a part], may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.”

    And that “there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and the government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.”

    And also,

    “It belongeth to synods and councils [not as assuredly infallible but as a help in grace], ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word. (WESTMINSTER, cp. 1, VI. VII; Cp. XXXI, III)

  180. Don said,

    April 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Cathapol #172,
    Once again, there’s no ad hominem in 171. No one is claiming, “You’re a Catholic (or Romanist or Papist), so you’re incapable of understanding these Protestant doctrines.” They are claiming, “Based on your assertions and arguments, you do not understand the issues being discussed.” At this point I don’t even know whether you misunderstand what an ad hom attack is, or whether you’re just throwing the accusation up there to try to earn pity points.

  181. Ron said,

    April 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I’d would still like to see an answer to this from 166: Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means? Why do we need these groups to tell us others are wrong? Scripture alone should be sufficient or satis.

    Scott,

    I addressed this above along with some of your other claims, all of which you passed over. Regarding this one, I believe your point is that the principle of the sufficiency of Scripture does not comport with the teaching ministry of the church. So, it shouldn’t be hard for you to defend your claim by showing how these concepts aren’t logically compatible. Then we might better see how you are either misunderstanding the sufficiency of Scripture or what it is to “need” teachers.

  182. peacebyjesus said,

    April 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Frankly, despite having a blog, the man seems much like a novice vainly trying to win something of an argument. And i say that as a novice compared to Swan and the like!

  183. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Re: 169 – Don said:

    Cathapol 168,
    There are no ad hom attacks in 167.

    Yes, there is at least one.

    Just to be tediously explicit about it: Ad hom is a fallacy of relevance. Whether your arguments do or do not show that you understand the terms being discussed, is very relevant.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but an “ad hominem” is an “attack against the man/person” – relevancy has little, if anything to do with it. Once you start attacking a person instead of their arguments, you’re going into invalid territory.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  184. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Re: 180 PBJ said:

    Frankly, despite having a blog, the man seems much like a novice vainly trying to win something of an argument. And i say that as a novice compared to Swan and the like!

    And more ad hominem. I can see where this thread is leading.

  185. Ron said,

    April 15, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I don’t know whether there is more bobbing and weaving in a Roman Catholic worship service or in Scott’s responses in this thread.

  186. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Ron,
    My last two responses merely pointed out the obvious ad hominem going on. I apologize for not seeing/responding to your earlier response where you did reply to that section I pointed out. I will respond to it. Anyway, no “bobbing and weaving” going on here, I hope you can keep your responses more scholarly than some of the others, though the “bobbing and weaving” comment, though not ad hominem, is clearly meant to be insulting. I hope you can refrain from such in the future.

    AMDG, (To God, the Greater Glory)
    Scott<<<

  187. peacebyjesus said,

    April 15, 2013 at 10:54 am

    180 PBJ said:.. And more ad hominem. I can see where this thread is leading.

    As the Bible and the Lord shows, (Acts 23) ad hominems are not wrong in themselves, but can be valid in the light of words and deeds that warrant what it charges, but wrong when fallacious or as a substituted for an argument.

    And here, I was referring to the quality of your argumentation, which i see as fitting my description, while also engaging in a little ad hominem on myself.

    And it is you who engaged in the duplicitous ad hominem, “I’m not here amongst a bunch of objective readers, certainly not objective responders.”

    But it has been my experience that RCs are the most reactionary in resorting to personal attacks and the most think skinned, or intolerant when anything impugns their object of devotion (i think Catholic Answers wins the contest for most banned users, myself being one for many posts critiquing an uncited RC rant against Prots).

    And are the ones who most often resort to portraying themselves as the victim, as if exalting and promoting a church as supreme and which all are to submit to should not expect challenges.

  188. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Correction, in 183 I referred to 180, it was actually 181. 180 was where Ron mentioned he had responded to that section I specifically pointed out (and will get to shortly).

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  189. Ron said,

    April 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Scott,

    The bobbing and weaving remark was intended to refer to your actual responses (to the others). You hadn’t responded to me.

    I actually reserved judgment on why you hadn’t responded to my comments. Had I assumed the worse, which I didn’t, I would have called your non-responses to me a complete hit-the-canvas duck rather than a dodge. Glad to see it was just an oversight on your part.

    I’m glad to let the others deal with your responses to me as I’ll be tied up for quite some time. They’re all more than capable.

    Cheers,

    Ron

  190. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Trying again… first try to post this did not take (I have my suspicions as to why)….

    In 170 Ron said:

    (sw) Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.

    Scott,

    Please provide a series of premises strung together in a valid form of argumentation that leads to the grand conclusion of a perpetual, infallible magisterium located in Rome.
    The citation of Matthew 16 and 18 was not to show “perpetual, infallible magisterium” – only that MEN were given infallible authority. You’re getting ahead of yourself. First acknowledge the premise before moving on to things built upon the premise. If you do not accept the premise, there’s no sense in moving on to “perpetual…”

    (sw)1 Timothy 3:15 – It is the Church which is declared to be the “pillar and bulwark/foundation of truth” – not a collection of books which nearly 400 years after St. Paul wrote that to St. Timothy would be assembled into the canon of the Vulgate and eventually be dogmatically declared as THE Canon of Sacred Scripture.

    Jesus promised to build his church. (Matt. 16:18)

    Agreed! His Church, ONE Church – not thousands of churches, but that is a digression into yet another topic (one I sufficiently cover in several articles on the CathApol Blog, just use the “label” (at the bottom) of “33000 Denominations” for those).

    Jesus also told his apostles that those who received them received Him. (Matt. 10:40) The implication is that the building project of the Lord was to be founded upon the words of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus being the chief cornerstone. (The reason being, Jesus and the apostles are no longer here, but their words are.) (Eph. 2:20)

    As Jesus was set, so also He sent His Apostles – which means that they too were to continue to “send out” others, just as they had been sent by Jesus. (This also answers your anachronistic request from your first comment in this posting).

    The apostolic tradition was both oral and written (II Thess. 2:15) but only the written apostolic tradition has been providentially preserved. Accordingly, Scripture alone is what the church is built upon, which must have been God’s intention since Scripture alone is all he left us in keeping with Christ Jesus’ promise to build his church.

    And where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?

    So, in keeping with the analogy of Scripture, whatever it means to you that the church is the foundation of the truth it must harmonize with the premise that Scripture alone is what the church is built upon, which is to say her sure foundation. Please just don’t provide a Scripture reference as your rejoinder, provide an argument to defend Roman Catholic tradition.

    Yet again, no where does Scripture say that Scripture alone is what the Church is built upon. Scripture, in fact, says the Church is built upon St. Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) and upon The Twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14), but never says the Church is built upon a book which did not even exist as such for some 400 years, certainly not even close to the form/format we call “The Bible” today.

    (sw) No where does Scripture say it is or is to be the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church – no where.

    Does the Old Testament uphold this principle you assert?

    That would be your question to answer. I’ve presented the negative assertion, prove me wrong in presenting the positive. Silence on this matter lends itself to concession.

    Didn’t Jesus blister the religious leaders of his day for operating according this Roman Catholic premise, that Scripture alone does not provide the only infallible rule of faith and practice?

    Actually, Jesus – several times – broke with “what was written” to demonstrate their fallacy of adhering so firmly to “The Law” saying, “you say ‘it is written, but I say…'” Do you need me to list out those examples to you?

    While we’re at it, didn’t Satan try to tempt Adam and Eve and even Jesus with this Roman Catholic axiom?

    It is, yet another, pure anachronism to attempt to apply sola scriptura to Adam and Eve! As for applying it to Satan tempting Jesus, Satan attempted to use Scripture to tempt Jesus, so Jesus used Scripture to answer him. The irony here is that I’m trying to get you (or anyone else) to defend sola scriptura, not satis scriptura, with Scripture – and no one can (because no such support/defense exists).

    Is it not an unworkable principle (not to mention unwise) to act contrary to divine precedent, in this case OT precedent, without explicit divine instruction or good and necessary inference?

    The OT was a time of the Prophets – and clear was NOT based AT ALL in sola scriptura. You gain no points for attempting to say the oT supports your case.

    What NT argument have you offered to abandon the consistent testimony of redemptive history on this matter?

    You’re “bobbing and weaving” here, or in logical rhetoric terminology, a “red herring.” I challenged that there is no “no where” any support in Scripture for sola scriptura, so to try the “table turning/red herring” tactic here is simply, in your terms, bobbing and weaving. That you claim it is ‘the consistent testimony of redemptive history’ is simply “begging the question” (another common fallacy of rhetoric).

    (sw)If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need “apologetics” of ANY sort?

    We are to engage in apologetics because God says so. Secondly, unbelievers don’t submit to Scripture so we “do” apologetics in the hope that men might be saved. The same principle applies to why we should engage in polemics, for God’s glory.

    Thank you for conceding that sola scriptura is NOT the premise of the existence of apologetics organizations! Rather, according to your testimony, it is partim scriptura/partim verbum Dei. Yes, yes, yes – I know you will equivocate “Scripture” with “Word of God” but “verbum” means “spoken” while “scriptus/scriptura” means “written.” Words mean things.

    (sw)Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means?

    That Scripture must be interpreted according to sound hermeneutical principles is not at odds with the sufficiency of Scripture. Moreover, that God gives the church teachers does not undermine, at least in any logical sense, the doctrine of sufficiency. You might wish to argue that if Scripture is perspicuous then we don’t need teachers, but that too would prove to be a baseless argument.

    All I am saying is they are not necessary according to the unscriptural premise of sola scriptura. Let us add to the description: partim scriptura/partim verbum Dei/partim apologeticus.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  191. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    My apologies that in 190 it appears to be entirely a quote. I misspelled one of the closing tags for the blockquote so it didn’t “close” thus making the whole posting appear to be quoted. Just ignore the first “bar” throughout.

    I believe my suspicion was confirmed too. The original posting included the URL (not even linked) to my blog. I changed that, and only that, and voila, the post appears (fortunately I composed that posting in notepad, so I still had the full original). So it appears that if you want a post to not show up, include the URL to my blog. If that is true, then it is quite a cowardly act upon whomever put that filter in – what is he/she afraid of? That someone might see more truth? That people reading here are so weak in their Protestantism that going to a Catholic blog might draw them out? Obviously, I have not been using links to my blog much, so this is not something I have abused here.

  192. Bob S said,

    April 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    The thread that will not die continues.

    I’d would still like to see an answer to this from 166:

    Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means? Why do we need these groups to tell us others are wrong? Scripture alone should be sufficient or satis.

    Formally we don’t, but materially men are both sinners and ignorant, much more their ignorance is their sin (as perhaps even this discussion demonstrates). Consequently Scripture, as an infallible authority does not categorically rule out the preaching and teaching of Scripture and the sound doctrine thereof, but rather establishes it 1 Tim. 4:13.

    Faith without which it is impossible to please God, comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and that by preachers. Heb.11:6, Rome. 10:13-17. IOW God is pleased to use redeemed sinners as means in his redemption of sinners.

    Further if iron sharpens iron, so too redeemed sinners profit from discussion and disputation Prov. 27:17.

    Further,

    And where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?

    In 1 Corinthians 13:10: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away”.

    Actually, Jesus – several times – broke with “what was written” to demonstrate their fallacy of adhering so firmly to “The Law” saying, “you say ‘it is written, but I say…’” Do you need me to list out those examples to you?

    This is a major fail.
    The “Ye have heard it said . . . , but I say unto you . . . ” is found how many times in Matt. 5? Ans. Six.
    In contrast “it is written” is found 16 times in the NT and

    The OT was a time of the Prophets – and clear was NOT based AT ALL in sola scriptura. You gain no points for attempting to say the oT supports your case.

    Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”.

    Any prophets were to be judged according to whether or not their word adhered to the previous revelation given to the OT church and inscripturated.

    Neither is it ad hominem if somebody is shown to be a liar, incompetent or whatever, and someone says so. Or as they say, just saying.

  193. Bob S said,

    April 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    In contrast the phrase “it is written” is found 16 times in the gospels and 37 times in the rest of the NT, for a total of 53 times.

    (And no, Virginia, it doesn’t refer to what was written in a papal bull or the Donation of Constantine.)

  194. Don said,

    April 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Cathapol 183 said,

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but an “ad hominem” is an “attack against the man/person” – relevancy has little, if anything to do with it. Once you start attacking a person instead of their arguments, you’re going into invalid territory.

    Well, you could start with the second sentence of the wikipedia entry which says, “Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy, more precisely an irrelevance.”

    But for sake of argument, go ahead, provide a comment number and exact quote in which you personally are attacked. Not your arguments, not your church, not your understanding. Let me give you a head start: No one is saying your arguments are invalid because you are Catholic; that would be ad hom. No one is saying your arguments are invalid because you are a knucklehead; that would be ad hom. They are saying your arguments are invalid because you apparently do not know what you are talking about; that is not ad hom, that is an evaluation of your arguments.

  195. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Don 194… yawn.
    Wiki, the first part, which you did not include – and the first part of a definition is typically the most common…

    An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.[2] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy,[3][4][5] more precisely an irrelevance.[6]

    When you start “evaluating” the person, you’re not arguing the point, you’re attacking the person. I’ve been around the block a few times with this and it is quite common that folks start ad hominem and then deny it is ad hominem because of certain aspects of the definition – but no matter how much verbal gymnastics you try, once you start “evaluating the person” over “evaluating the argument” it is ad hominem.

  196. Don said,

    April 15, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    195 Cathapol,
    So show where someone is “evaluating the person” or shut up about it and make better arguments.

  197. Bob S said,

    April 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    195 Better yet Scott, Deut. 19:19: if you can’t prove the crime, you do the time.

  198. TurretinFan said,

    April 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Scott:

    More later, but generally putting URLs into posts here triggers a spam filter. It’s not because it was your site that was being linked to. We certainly have nothing to fear from A.C.T.S.

    -TurretinFan

  199. Ron said,

    April 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    As Jesus was set, so also He sent His Apostles – which means that they too were to continue to “send out” others, just as they had been sent by Jesus. … And where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?

    Scott,

    Again, please provide the syllogism. Don’t just give me fragmented premises and don’t argue fallaciously from silence as you have. I want to know how you get from “send out others” to an infallible magisterium? Given that there is no biblical precedent for a perpetual apostolate, the burden of proof for your argument from silence falls squarely upon you to show that Scripture teaches that there would be such an office. I’m sorry but incredible claims require credible proofs. So again, please provide syllogisms for these incredible claims of yours.

    Yet again, no where does Scripture say that Scripture alone is what the Church is built upon. Scripture, in fact, says the Church is built upon St. Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) and upon The Twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14), but never says the Church is built upon a book which did not even exist as such for some 400 years, certainly not even close to the form/format we call “The Bible” today.

    You want to assume something for “Peter” and the “Twelve” that is neither Peter nor the Twelve. Accordingly, your own proof-texts betray you. In other words, you appeal to Peter and the Twelve but you want to make Peter and the Twelve out to be something other than Peter and the Twelve, like a perpetual line of Roman Catholic pontiffs.

    You have a wild card you haven’t thrown and we all know what it is. It’s the unproven assumption your entire system is built upon, which has no redemptive-historical precedence. Now of course, we know that Scripture is authoritative. Yet if the apostles are no longer with us, then all we have is Scripture. Scripture is the de facto position we might say. The “alone” part comes because no syllogism from Scripture can be provided that would necessitate another ultimate authority to stand alongside Scripture.

    Actually, Jesus – several times – broke with “what was written” to demonstrate their fallacy of adhering so firmly to “The Law” saying, “you say ‘it is written, but I say…’” Do you need me to list out those examples to you?

    I think your exegesis is flawed because it leads you to pit the law against Jesus. Jesus’ issue was with any perversion of the law. Or are you saying that Jesus “broke with” the true meaning of his own law? If not, then your point is a non-issue.

    It is, yet another, pure anachronism to attempt to apply sola scriptura to Adam and Eve!

    In other words, it’s off limits for me to appeal to OT precedent in order to establish burden of proof. Yet precedence determines burden of proof. Consequently, I’m not permitted to reason according to the only philosophical basis upon which an argument from silence may be deemed fallacious.

    Scott, I will hand you this. You went for the jugular like a good Roman Catholic. You realize that your argument is based upon sola-silence. So, rather than try to overcome the objection to your argument from silence, namely the lack of biblical precedence for your position, you made the most unusual appeal to “anachronism.” Very innovative but no cigar.

  200. jamesswan1 said,

    April 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I’m not looking for an “easy out to the discussion/debate” with you. I chose previously to allow you the last word (between at least you and I), out of the realization that it’s Windsor Contra Mundum at the moment here on this blog entry. That is, Mr. Cross appears to have moved on, and you are the last left to defend Rome’s errors. I know what it’s like to address multiple people and multiple points in writing. It usually means: a lot of time. If though you’d rather I keep interacting, that’s your choice Scott. As Tfan has eloquently pointed out, “We certainly have nothing to fear from A.C.T.S.”

    You’ve graciously answered my questions and those answers confirmed what I had thought all along in regard to your presuppositions. In summary:

    1. The evidence you have outside of the Scripture (to point Protestants to) that there is another infallible authority (possessing, in essence, the very voice of God), is nothing other than a faith claim you have.

    2. The scriptural evidence for another infallible authority (or, the very voice of God) being the Roman magisterium functioning today for the church, you arrive at by reading it into the Bible. That is, without one presupposing the infallible Roman magisterium, one would not arrive at “the infallible Roman magisterium” from exegeting the Biblical text. You certainly have not demonstrated “Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.” Even if in you could come up with some plausible way to make these verses necessarily mean this, this still would not end in “Rome is that infallible authority.” If you were able to demonstrate the voice of God exists in a functional and revelational way as a rule of faith outside the scriptures based on Matthew 16 and 18, you would achieve nothing more than creating common ground for Rome, the Watchtower, the Church of Later Days Saints, etc., to claim to be that infallible authority / rule of faith.

    There certainly are a number of related and tangential issues, some of which I’ve created, some which you’ve added to. For instance, I earlier asked you in regard to your “duty”: “why is your version of Rome accurate, and that of say, Gerry Matatics is not? Or Robert Sungensis? Or some liberal on the Catholic Answers forum?” In response, you skipped over this and countered, “If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need ‘apologetics’ of ANY sort? Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means?” Now, I’m more than willing to let such tangents go, but I would of course oblige you with an answer if you’d like to oblige me with an answer to my question. Either way is fine with me. You being the lone voice of Rome here, and noting your previous time constraints, you should probably narrow down what you think is of utmost importance, and stand your ground (or perhaps as this is going for you… make your last stand). That’s at least the way I do things with my difficult schedule.

    By the way, FWIW: you’ll notice with WordPress, I rarely use links, and also note that I typically don’t quote other people in responding- I respond with paragraphs. This is to avoid the sort of formatting errors you’ve recently encountered. Perhaps others are able to navigate the format of WordPress, but I use it so rarely, that I’d rather make my time here as easy as possible.

  201. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    As James has stated, I appear to be the lone Catholic here in this discussion/debate – and am being hit by multiple respondents in this thread. If I am delayed in getting to a response, please do not assume I am ignoring you (unless I say I am, and I have not done that as yet – if some cannot control their rhetoric, I may come to that). I just finished this posting which I started a couple days ago…

    Re: 171, Robert

    said:

    “Where does Scripture speak of cloning? Is it morally right to clone humans? How many wives or concubines are you allowed to have? Scripture alone may be a bit confusing, if not contradictory on this point.”

    I’m sorry, but for you to say such things indicates a serious misunderstanding of sola Scriptura. That is not an ad hominem. Scripture alone is not confusing or contradictory on the wives issue. The fact that many OT saints had several wives and that is not true of the NT is an issue that needs to be dealt with, but any careful and honest reading of Scripture can come to a conclusion on such matters without an infallible church pronouncement. The stories of the problems associated with polygamy, Genesis 2, Jesus’ teaching on marriage in Matthew 19, and the qualifications of elders in 1 Timothy 3 all point to one man-one woman marriage as being normative. I did not need an infallible church pronouncement to come to that conclusion.

    All that you have addressed here is the case of one who wishes to be an elder that one man-one woman is normative – what about the rest of us?

    Cloning is addressed more broadly by our being created in the image of God, by the fact that Scripture indicates there is some knowledge we should not pursue or have, that we should not put human life in danger (which the cloning process does), and so on. I don’t need an infallible church pronouncement to come to a conclusion on the issue.

    I grant you that typically in cloing many clones are started, and only the most favorable is allowed to progress, however, if cloning were done one at a time the “danger” would be no different than in “normal” reproductive scenarios. Is is still morally wrong?

    You don’t understand the sufficiency of Scripture.

    Your continued use of ad hominem is not necessary and is not accurate. I do understand the sufficiency of Scripture, I’m saying use THAT term instead of sola, it’s more accurate as to what you’re really defending.

    We don’t mean that we don’t need other authorities, and the fact that other authorities are consulted does not mean Scripture is insufficient.

    I do not deny that sola scriptura allows for “other authorities,” I’ve never argued against that – in fact I support the concept against those who cling to the “Bible ONLY” or to what some misuse the language and say “solo scriptura.”

    In an issue such as cloning, for example, we would need to consult science to understand the process and what we know of its effects. But when all aspects of an issue are understood, Scripture is sufficient as the final infallible authority to tell us what to do morally. On some issues determining what Scripture says may be more difficult than others, but that does not undermine sufficiency. It merely means we need to work harder.

    So again I ask, if “science” just submits to cloning one at a time, with no automatic “abortion” of clones which don’t seem to be exactly what “science” is after, is that moral or immoral? The Church’s position on this, since Scripture is rather silent, is that anything which corrupts “the marriage act” (being an act between husband and wife, male and female) is immoral. No artificial contraception methods and no artificial conception methods, period.

    I’m sorry, but the idea that Scripture is insufficient and that we need infallible church pronouncements to understand and apply it properly is a conclusion that one can only come to if one assumes that lay people are idiots who are perpetually confused by the Bible.

    I, for one, make no such assumption. I’ve presented a scenario upon which Scripture is silent and presented the Church’s position which fills that silent void.

    I realize that Rome assumes a great deal of biblical ignorance for its parishioners, and rightly so, since Rome traditionally cares very little to have the laity read and understand the Bible. You may be an exception when it comes to lay understanding of Scripture, but that is in spite of Rome’s teaching. Rome would be very happy for you simply to unquestioningly and unthinkingly submit to its decrees.

    Would you care to document where “Rome” assumes this “biblical ignorance” for the parishners?

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  202. cathapol said,

    April 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Re: 196 Don said:

    195 Cathapol,
    So show where someone is “evaluating the person” or shut up about it and make better arguments.

    I’m happy to oblige, Don. In reply 194 you said:

    They are saying your arguments are invalid because you apparently do not know what you are talking about; that is not ad hom, that is an evaluation of your arguments.

    I agree – a statement about my arguments is not ad hominem, but when you say “you apparently don’t know what you are talking about” – well, Don, you crossed the line and that’s ad hominem. Whether or not I personally know what I’m talking about is “irrelevant” (that’s where the “irrelevancy” applies from the Wiki definition you cited) and thus your ad hominem argument about what I may or may not know is “irrelevant” and an invalid argument to the real subject at hand (which is not “me”). If the argument is lacking, point that out – but leave the personal commentary about my person out of it, that is if you wish to make a valid argument. Your citation of the Wiki definition has not helped you in the least, in fact, it has supported – precisely – what I’m saying about ad hominem.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  203. Don said,

    April 16, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Cathapol 202,
    Just to clarify, are you actually stating that it is irrelevant whether you understand the definition of sola scriptura, in this discussion of sola scriptura? That’s pretty stunning to me. But that’s why “irrelevance” in the defintion matters: it’s not ad hom if the attack on the person is relevant.

    Let me try again. No one is attacking you. No one is blocking your specific web site. Your arguments are being attacked. But you are not your arguments. Your church’s theology is being attacked. But you are not your church. Your understanding of the discussion topics is being attacked. But you are not your understanding. “You are misunderstanding important things” is not the same as “You are dumb”–the first is extremely relevant in a discussion, the second is an ad hom, or maybe just an insult. No one is saying the second, or anything like it. You are not being attacked.

  204. peacebyjesus said,

    April 16, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Well, has been evaluated a bit based upon his comments, but as said, he himself has relegated those who oppose him as being a bunch of non-objective readers and responders (as if we were the ones who cannot follow the truth wherever it leads), but if either has been evidenced then i see no problem with this relevant evaluation as a side remark.

    And as reliance upon the concept of SS disallowing apologetics (and by extension, other means the Scriptures provide for, but in subjection to it, as expressed), is reliance upon what is basically reliance upon a straw man, thus the remark regarding being unlearned.

    But it is best to move on.

  205. peacebyjesus said,

    April 16, 2013 at 4:30 am

    And i sometimes fail to proof read!

  206. Ron said,

    April 16, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Scott wrote this to Robert but it pertains to Bob S. as well:

    All that you have addressed here is the case of one who wishes to be an elder that one man-one woman is normative – what about the rest of us?

    In part this is analogous to the Baptist’s objection to the practice of paedobaptism that is based upon the Paedobaptist’s rejection of the practice of paedocommunion. One way a Paedobatist can overcome the Baptist’s reductio is simply to agree with the practice of paedocommunion. In the like manner, if one agrees with the practice of polygamy (for the lay person) then he overcomes Scott’s objection. If Scott turns around and appeals to Scripture to prove polygamy wrong then all one has to do is agree with Scott’s second interpretation of Scripture to overcome his first objection. In either case, given Scott’s implicit view of Scripture’s understanding of polygamy, he has an irreconcilable difference between Scripture and the Roman communion. Yet Scott is a bit tentative with his assertion about Scripture’s view of polygamy for he has gone on record saying that Scripture might contradict Scripture on this point: “Scripture alone may be a bit confusing, if not contradictory on this point.” Well, if Scripture can contradict itself on polygamy then why would one believe in the papacy if Scripture taught it?

    Aside from all this confusion, the point is basic. One’s ability to find answers in Scripture is irrelevant to the question of whether Scripture is adequate for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) A Roman Catholic should grasp this, at least conceptually, because a Roman Catholic can appreciate that a lack of understanding of Scripture plus tradition does not undermine the Roman Catholic’s faith in the sufficiency of Scripture plus tradition. In the like manner, not being able to find an answer in Scripture does not prove Scripture insufficient. Indeed, Scripture also informs (in the same letter no less) that we are to study to show ourselves approved. (2 Timothy 2:15)

  207. Ron said,

    April 16, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Scott wrote to Don:

    but when you say “you apparently don’t know what you are talking about” – well, Don, you crossed the line and that’s ad hominem.

    If Don wrote that Scott is wrong about a, b, c and d and gave reasons e, f, g and h to support the claim(s), why would it be so terrible to end the discourse with “therefore, Scott doesn’t understand a, b, c and d?”

    Would it be more palatable for Scott if Don used modus ponens to arrive at the conclusion that Scott doesn’t know what he’s talking about? In other words, if Scott is wrong about a, b, c, and d (shown by e, f, g and h) then Scott doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he talks about a, b, c and d. Scott is wrong about a, b, c and d, therefore, Scott doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he talks about a, b, c and d.

    These men who have labored with Scott haven’t attacked Scott. They’ve attacked his arguments and in the end have drawn the same relevant conclusion about Scott.

  208. Robert said,

    April 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Scott,

    No one is saying you are inherently incapable of understanding sola Scriptura and how it is dependent upon and bound up with the sufficiency of Scripture. That accusation would be an ad hominem. If someone tells me I do not understand the Roman Catholic doctrine of ecclesiastical infallibility, it’s not an ad hominem unless they tell me I’m just too dumb to get it. I either understand it or I don’t. It’s a statement of fact.

    As far as Rome being happy not to have its people read the Bible but follow the Magisterium unquestioningly, see the history of the Roman Catholic church from at least the Reformation through Vatican 2, when contact with Protestants and having to live in the modern world forced Rome to modernize itself somewhat. You don’t burn heretics if you think it is okay to be questioned.

    Protestants, of course, have not been perfect on the whole killing of heretics thing. But at least we’ve never put the Bible on a list of banned books for the laity.

  209. cathapol said,

    April 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I understand fully that no one here believes they are engaging in ad hominem. That fact does not change the nature of an ad hominem attack – but I also fully understand that it would be extremely difficult to get anyone to have the humility to admit to said attacks – so, that being said, I will do my best to just ignore those irrelevant comments and remain focused on the real topic. I don’t have much time right now (maybe later tonight) to make any full responses to on-topic comments. I will check back again if I have time tonight. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either, so it may be Thursday or Friday before I am able to give proper attention to substantial questions/challenges.

    Thank you for understanding.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  210. Ron said,

    April 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Scott,

    It must be a bit daunting to come home to see all these responses just sitting here waiting for you. With James, I sympathize with your plight. In an effort to help get you out of a never ending barrage of posts, I won’t engage you on this matter any longer. Maybe others might follow suit. Please take the last word or if you prefer don’t even respond to me. I won’t for a moment think you took a coward’s way out or anything so silly as that. I’d just rather see you spend your time better, maybe with loved ones. Not that we don’t love you here! :)

    Best wishes,

    Ron

  211. TurretinFan said,

    April 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Regarding #150:

    I had written:

    Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other supposed rule.

    Scott, you replied:

    Well, I believe I have adequately demonstrated “the other rule.”

    I don’t doubt that you believe you did so, but you’re wrong.

    You sound as if you’ve conceded to me the rhetorical point of satis scriptura, have you?

    a) It’s a little strange to me that you are so eager to try to make a purely rhetorical point. I would have hoped you were more interested in the substance.

    b) And no, I don’t grant the rhetorical point, either. While the exclusive aspect of Scripture in the post-apostolic era is less clearly addressed than the sufficiency of Scripture, it is also something taught in Scripture.

    re: that man and/or those men

    This is not the article/topic for Apostolic Succession, though we have touched upon it in passing. MY POINT is that infallible authority was given to that man and/or those men. Would you agree with me that far?

    a) Actually, if you are trying to demonstrate the “other rule,” then you need to get from the apostles to that other rule. If your “point” is not to establish the “other rule,” then your point misses the point.
    b) The idea that “infallible authority was given to” them is rather vague. I have an infallible Bible, and so long as I teach what it says, then whatever I bind on earth will be bound in heaven. So, you could say that infallible authority has been given to me. Moreover, in the context of Matthew 16, the “binding and loosing” seems connected with the keys and the gates of hell. In other words, it seems that it refers to the gospel message – the proclamation that those who trust in Christ are loosed from their sins, and those who do not remain bound by the gates of hell to be under the power of death.

    -TurretinFan

  212. cathapol said,

    April 20, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Ron, I have responded to you on my blog, but I still cannot make a comment with a link to my blog in it. The blog is CathApol on Blogspot.com – the title is “Apostolic Succession and Infallibility.” I know that several have said that links to my blog are not blocked, but every single time I have tried to include one, the comment does not show up, even if it only has the one link.

  213. cathapol said,

    April 20, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Re: #211

    TF: Regarding # 150:

    TF had written:”

    Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other supposed rule.

    Scott, you replied:

    sw: Well, I believe I have adequately demonstrated “the other rule.”

    TF: I don’t doubt that you believe you did so, but you’re wrong.

    sw: Because you declare I am wrong does not make it so. The fact is Scripture itself points to “the other rule” and I have cited where. I understand you disagree with me on those passages, but now we’re down to a matter of interpretation.

    sw: You sound as if you’ve conceded to me the rhetorical point of satis scriptura, have you?

    TF: a) It’s a little strange to me that you are so eager to try to make a purely rhetorical point. I would have hoped you were more interested in the substance.

    sw: Perhaps we understand “rhetorical point” differently. All argument is rhetoric.

    b) And no, I don’t grant the rhetorical point, either. While the exclusive aspect of Scripture in the post-apostolic era is less clearly addressed than the sufficiency of Scripture, it is also something taught in Scripture.

    sw: You’re simply begging the question (a rhetorical fallacy). You make this claim that the exclusive aspect of Scripture is taught in Scripture but you have yet to present where in Scripture this is taught! If fact, if you do this, you would be the first in history to do so – because it simply isn’t there. Again, just claiming something is so doesn’t make it so.

    sw: re: that man and/or those men

    sw: This is not the article/topic for Apostolic Succession, though we have touched upon it in passing. MY POINT is that infallible authority was given to that man and/or those men. Would you agree with me that far?

    TF: a) Actually, if you are trying to demonstrate the “other rule,” then you need to get from the apostles to that other rule. If your “point” is not to establish the “other rule,” then your point misses the point.

    sw: I asked a direct question and you’ve provided a diverting response. Would you agree that infallible authority was given to that man and/or those men? Yes or no.

    TF: b) The idea that “infallible authority was given to” them is rather vague. I have an infallible Bible, and so long as I teach what it says, then whatever I bind on earth will be bound in heaven. So, you could say that infallible authority has been given to me. Moreover, in the context of Matthew 16, the “binding and loosing” seems connected with the keys and the gates of hell. In other words, it seems that it refers to the gospel message – the proclamation that those who trust in Christ are loosed from their sins, and those who do not remain bound by the gates of hell to be under the power of death.

    sw: Again, that was not an answer to the question. Since those men can bind or loose in heaven, do you agree that this binding and loosing is infallible? Yes or no. There’s nothing vague about that question. Can error be bound or loosed in heaven? Yes or no.

    AMDG,

    Scott<<<

  214. cathapol said,

    April 20, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Re: 200 – James Swan wrote:

    JS: 1. The evidence you have outside of the Scripture (to point Protestants to) that there is another infallible authority (possessing, in essence, the very voice of God), is nothing other than a faith claim you have.

    sw: Well again, I believe it is a bit silly to request me to present something outside of Scripture to point Protestants to, knowing that Protestants will reject any authority outside of Scripture! That being said, I point to Scripture which tells the Bible believer that men were given infallible authority. See my recent responses to Ron (my blog) and TF (here).

    JS: 2. The scriptural evidence for another infallible authority (or, the very voice of God) being the Roman magisterium functioning today for the church, you arrive at by reading it into the Bible. That is, without one presupposing the infallible Roman magisterium, one would not arrive at “the infallible Roman magisterium” from exegeting the Biblical text. You certainly have not demonstrated “Matthew 16:18-19 and 18:18 – MEN are given infallible authority.” Even if in you could come up with some plausible way to make these verses necessarily mean this, this still would not end in “Rome is that infallible authority.” If you were able to demonstrate the voice of God exists in a functional and revelational way as a rule of faith outside the scriptures based on Matthew 16 and 18, you would achieve nothing more than creating common ground for Rome, the Watchtower, the Church of Later Days Saints, etc., to claim to be that infallible authority / rule of faith.

    sw: Again, see my response to Ron on my blog.

    JS: There certainly are a number of related and tangential issues, some of which I’ve created, some which you’ve added to. For instance, I earlier asked you in regard to your “duty”: “why is your version of Rome accurate, and that of say, Gerry Matatics is not? Or Robert Sungensis?

    sw: I do not recall you being specific about Gerry or Robert previously. That being said, I’m not exactly sure where Gerry stands on “Rome.” He may have gone over to the sede vacantist camp, and if so – he’s put a huge gulf between us. As for Robert, when it comes to “Rome” – I do not believe he and I are really apart in our views. When it comes to geo-centricism, etc. we diverge – but so far as his apologetics of the Faith, I think we’re still on the same page. I will say, I have not taken a close look at his works lately.

    JS: Or some liberal on the Catholic Answers forum?”

    sw: Without a specific example, I cannot really answer that. I will say that I am in communion with the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop of Phoenix. If someone presents evidence which I have said something which would put me out of communion, then I would humbly retract such a statement. If the “liberal on the Catholic Answers forum” (which I seldom read) is not willing to make the same concession, then this “liberal” isn’t really a “Catholic,” is he/she?

    JS: In response, you skipped over this and countered, “If Scripture is sufficient, then why do we need ‘apologetics’ of ANY sort? Why do we need Green Baggins, Beggars All, Triablogue, AOMin, etc. to tell us what Scripture means?” Now, I’m more than willing to let such tangents go, but I would of course oblige you with an answer if you’d like to oblige me with an answer to my question. Either way is fine with me.

    sw: I believe I have obliged (above).

    JS: You being the lone voice of Rome here, and noting your previous time constraints, you should probably narrow down what you think is of utmost importance, and stand your ground (or perhaps as this is going for you… make your last stand). That’s at least the way I do things with my difficult schedule.

    By the way, FWIW: you’ll notice with WordPress, I rarely use links, and also note that I typically don’t quote other people in responding- I respond with paragraphs. This is to avoid the sort of formatting errors you’ve recently encountered. Perhaps others are able to navigate the format of WordPress, but I use it so rarely, that I’d rather make my time here as easy as possible.

    sw: Thanks for the advice. I am a creature of habit, plus when the feature is available, it’s hard for me not to take advantage of it. As for my time constraints – thus far I’m OK with things, I just may not be real quick to respond all the time. If I miss something and appear to be responding to others while skipping a point, I invite the person who believes I have skipped something to point it out to me. That being said, I’m deliberately skipping the posts which are attempting to defend those who have used ad hominem, and especially those which continue to make judgments about the person and not the arguments of the person. Regardless if someone thinks it is a foregone conclusion, to SAY it makes it no longer foregone, and then crosses the line of ad hominem.

    AMDG,

    Scott<<<

  215. cathapol said,

    April 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Re: 210 – Ron said:

    Scott,

    It must be a bit daunting to come home to see all these responses just sitting here waiting for you. With James, I sympathize with your plight. In an effort to help get you out of a never ending barrage of posts, I won’t engage you on this matter any longer. Maybe others might follow suit. Please take the last word or if you prefer don’t even respond to me. I won’t for a moment think you took a coward’s way out or anything so silly as that. I’d just rather see you spend your time better, maybe with loved ones. Not that we don’t love you here! :)

    Best wishes,

    Ron

    Hi Ron, thank you for posting that. If people can be a bit patient with seeing a response, then the task is not too daunting for me. I’m just saying that I won’t always be able to present a prompt response. I’m not asking you or James to back down, only to be patient – and my earlier response explaining myself I do not think was addressed to either of you, but to someone else making a comment on my absence.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  216. TurretinFan said,

    April 20, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    “… now we’re down to a matter of interpretation.”

    Yet interestingly, your own church, in her official teachings, interprets “binding and loosing” as related to discipline:

    CCC 881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head.” This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

    CCC 1444 In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ’s solemn words to Simon Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” “The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head.”

    CCC 1445 The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.

    CCC 1478 An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.

    CCC 553 Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The “power of the keys” designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: “Feed my sheep.” The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

    You know very well that disciplinary decisions are not accorded the charism of infallibility in Roman Catholic theology. Yet you argue as though the verse teaches that the power to bind and loose implies infallibility. There’s a third way between your church’s view (which is a widely traditional view) and your view. This third way is one that William Webster has promoted, namely that the power of binding and loosing there refers to the proclamation of the true gospel.

    After all the gospels are the keys that unlock the gates of hell, allowing the church (all believers – all those who confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God) to be resurrected unto eternal life. Those who do not follow the true gospel will not enter into heaven – those who do, will.

    – TurretinFan

  217. peacebyjesus said,

    April 21, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I believe it is a bit silly to request me to present something outside of Scripture to point Protestants to, knowing that Protestants will reject any authority outside of Scripture! That being said, I point to Scripture which tells the Bible believer that men were given infallible authority.

    And RCs will effectively reject any authority outside of the church, as only what she says Tradition, Scripture and history teach has authority (sola ecclesia). “Authority” is thus relative.

    And it is indeed silly to suppose that a straw man refutes SS, as historically understood, as if nothing besides Scripture can be of viable use, rather than all such being subject to Scripture. But such use of straw men is necessary when Scripture only affirms one source as being wholly inspired of God and (as written) the standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims, and providing for practical means in understanding it.

    And that rather than an assuredly infallible magisterium of men being God’s transcendent means of providing and preserving Truth, the church actually began in dissent from those who were over that entity which historically was the instrument and steward of Holy Writ and inheritors of the Promises, sitting in the very seat of Moses.

    It is likewise silly for a RC to appeal to Scripture as if that were the real authority for his doctrine, and then to insist that his interpretation of it is true, despite the evidence against it, but this is required when one attempts to support a tradition of men that rests upon the premise of perpetual, assured magisterial infallibility, which has infallibly declared itself thusly. And around it goes.

    It has already been shown you that your claim that binding and loosing was restricted to the apostles is false, while the things Rome has bound include the Scriptures themselves, and the things she has loosed include the unholy sword of men upon them that loved them, while becoming as the gates of Hell for too many who trusted in her.

  218. Don said,

    April 22, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Cathapol 215,

    …knowing that Protestants will reject any authority outside of Scripture!

    Um, sure, because all us Protestants are anarchists? I would like to think by now that you understand that Protestants merely reject any authority that sets itself up to be equal to or above Scripture.

    Anyway, as you are aware, Scripture never mentions anything about a “Bishop of Rome,” and Protestants have heard and reject the exegetical efforts to get from Matthew 16 to the Vatican and Magesterium. So there’s no great need to rehash those arguments. But evidence to support those arguments would be welcome; that seems to be what James Swan is requesting. What sort of evidence? Well you’re correct that declarations from the Magisterium would not be sufficient. But simple, unbiased historical evidence would work fine. For example, if somebody found an authentic Polycarp manuscript that says something like, “…just like ol’ Pope Anacletus used to say…,” then you’d have some extremely strong evidence for Apostolic Succession; from there, an argument that they would possess infallible authority would not be automatically accepted but would probably be quite strong.

  219. cathapol said,

    April 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Re: 217 from TurretinFan:

    CCC 553 Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The “power of the keys” designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: “Feed my sheep.” The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

    TF: You know very well that disciplinary decisions are not accorded the charism of infallibility in Roman Catholic theology. Yet you argue as though the verse teaches that the power to bind and loose implies infallibility. There’s a third way between your church’s view (which is a widely traditional view) and your view.

    sw: I argue that those verses teach infallibility because error cannot be bound or loosed in heaven. Why is it when I have asked this question here (more than once) – “Can error be bound/loosed in heaven?” – that no one answers? The reason is really quite transparent, if you agree with me that error cannot be bound or loosed in heaven, then you have agreed that this is an infallible authority. On the other hand, you will not state that error can be bound in heaven – so ultimately you’re stuck agreeing with me that there IS another infallible authority besides Scripture AND is testified to BY Scripture. Sola scriptura is proven to be false. If you still disagree with me, then answer my question, “Can error be bound/loosed in heaven?”

    TF: This third way is one that William Webster has promoted, namely that the power of binding and loosing there refers to the proclamation of the true gospel. After all the gospels are the keys that unlock the gates of hell, allowing the church (all believers – all those who confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God) to be resurrected unto eternal life. Those who do not follow the true gospel will not enter into heaven – those who do, will.

    sw: The problem here is “the keys” spoken of in Matthew 16 are not to “the gates of hell” – but to “the kingdom of heaven.” The only mention of “the gates of hell” is in reference to the Church and the fact that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (v.18). Now aside from that misapplication of the quote, I don’t have much disagreement with Webster’s interpretation, and that actually fits with part of what is being said in CCC 553! That Webster states the power of binding and loosing (also) refers to the proclamation of the true gospel agrees with the point just before you began bonding the text: “Feed my sheep” His sheep are “fed” with “the true gospel,” and not one which was invented some 1500 years after the fact.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

  220. cathapol said,

    May 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Since the discussion on this thread has appeared to have died, I have responded on my blog…

    http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2013/05/gb-sola-scriptura-discussion-final.html

  221. August 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    […] few months ago I was involved in a discussion at Green Baggins (GB) and one of the persons watching there happened to be James Swan.  He commented a couple times […]


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