Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Svendsen-Pacwa debate: A Review

Before I begin, please note that I am biased and believe that Sola Scriptura is the correct position to hold. That said...

On 18 May 2007, about 150 people gathered in an Oklahoma City University classroom for a debate between Dr. Eric Svendsen and Fr. Mitchell Pacwa on the subject of Sola Scriptura vs Sola Ecclesia.
I sat w/ my wife near the middle and the moderator explained the format - 20 min opening, 10 min rebuttal, 10 min break, 15 min cross-ex, 15 min closing, 30 min of audience questions (for which you must write down your question and turn it in at the intermission), turn off your cell phones, no applause until after each debater's closing statement.

Fr. Pacwa Opening - 20 min
There are 2 forms of revelation - Scripture and Apostolic Tradition (hereafter, Scr and ApTrad, respectively). The only authoritative tradition is apostolic in origin. Scr is inerrant (2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us it is breathed out by God), and tradition also contains God's revelation, but, curiously, he made a distinction between Trad's inspiration (not?) and Scr's.
Rome's authority is a 3-legged stool of Scr, Trad, and the living voice of the RCC. Using a sports analogy, the Magisterium serves as the "referee" for biblical and traditional interpretation.

Dr. Svendsen Opening - 20 min
Galatians 1:8-9 enjoins upon us the severity of this issue. At stake is the Gospel b/c each debater's respective Gospel is founded upon 2 different authority structures.
2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us what the Scr is good for - teaching, training in righteousness, etc.
Sola Scriptura is not several things: not our sole authority, not the only source of truth for religion or the world, the teaching that oral trad is entirely invalid, particularly during times of inscripturation, the teaching that there are no other subordinate authorities like creeds/confessions, a refusal to appeal to historical data, all psgs of Scr are equally clear, or that all interps of Scr are equally valid.
When we press RCs, however, we do find that Sola Ecclesia is indeed their authority b/c the task of interping Scr and Church history is solely the bailiwick of the Magisterium and no other.
Statement from the RC document declaring the Immaculate Conception - "these teachings have never been added to, never changed," etc.
We can see how SE is indeed the RCC's modus operandi in the way they deal w/ historical data and Scr - when they declare sthg like the Marian dogmas, they do so strictly on the basis of their own authority since no Scriptural or historical data from the 1st at least 400 yrs of the church would support their statements.

Pacwa Rebuttal - 10 min
No, indeed we have a 3-pronged source of authority.
He then took up virtually his entire rebuttal discussing the problem of the Canon of Scr for Protestants.
Which Canon should we hold to? Muratorian fragment's, Irenaeus', Tertullian's, Origen's, etc? They are all different for the NT until the mid 4th century.
Mentions the LXX - the apostles mostly quoted from the LXX in writing the NT. We hold to Scr teaching, as 1 Peter 3 teaches that "baptism now saves you" (omitting the 2nd half of that sentence); we don't add "alone" and "only" into the words of Scr like Luther did.
Interestingly, during his rebuttal, the RCs in the mostly-RC audience started to crank up a bit; several ladies behind my seat would ooh and aah approvingly or quietly say "thank you Jesus, thank you Lord" when Fr. Pacwa would mention the Eucharist or the Blessed Virgin Mary. It sounded charismatic and was a bit strange.

Svendsen Rebuttal - 10 min
Rome is not the only infallible interper in the world trying to get you to submit yourself to its infallibility. EO-xy, LDS, and JWs along w/ most other cults also claim the same. Rome's position means that the individual is not a competent interper of the Scr or of church history
But this means that the indiv is also incapable of looking at the Scr or Ch history and correctly judging, "Hmm, that looks like Rome". We need an infallible interper to tell us which infall interper to follow.
Also, Rome can't give us an infallible list of her infallible teachings either, so they have the same problem.
Which is it - did the Ch preserve the Canon for 3 centuries until it was all correctly put together in the mid-4th century, or was it that the Canonisation process was in complete chaos and disarray? You can't have it both ways.
The "White question" - how did a pious Jew living in the 1st century BC/AD know what the Canon of Scripture was?
For the NT canon, we go by the precedent set by the OT canon - God passively moved His people collectively and gradually to form the Canon, and the Canon was set the moment the last book of the Bible was completed by its author, since the Canon exists in the mind of God 1st and foremost.

Pacwa cross-x Svendsen - 15 min
Pacwa asks about the Canon of the Jews; how are we sure it is what you think it is?
Almost the entire P-X-S section dealt w/ Canon issues and the Apocrypha specifically. I was disappointed by that since I believe it to be a side issue. Related, but side.
Svendsen - it doesn't matter what the Jews thought after Pentecost; they were custodians of the oracles of God before only.
The LXX was often mentioned and its varying contents and implications.
Jerome was mentioned as were Cajetan and Erasmus - what was their Canon? Dr S says that the fact that theirs were different is a clear demonstration of the lack of clarity that Rome gave to the question of Canon in actual practice.

Svendsen cross-x Pacwa - 15 min
As regards Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, which is the Apostolic tradition - that none are saved outside the RCC or the position of Vatican 2, that Prots and EOs are separated brethren and Muslims, Jews, and good atheists are sharers in salvation?
Pacwa answers: invincible ignorance, dvlpmnt of doctrine.
Vat 2 is a Magisterial document - how did it clarify this issue?
Magisterium is a "referee".
Discussion of Raymond Brown and other liberals on Magisterial committees, etc.
Discussion of Irenaeus' belief that Christ was at least 50 yrs old when He died and Augustine's and Basil's belief that facing the east during worship was absolutely crucial to the Gospel.
But this was not legislated by the whole Church.

Pacwa Closing - 15 min
We need the infall interper to prevent splits like between Zwingli and Luther.
I don' t know of any martyrs for facing the east but I know quite a few martyrs for the Scr and the Eucharist (and the RCs in the audience sigh "Oh yes, yes.")
Enchridion Symbolorum is the list of infallible teachings of the RCC.
Also suggests Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma or the Catechism.
Magisterium is the wall to keep us from falling off the cliff but also to protect us from fear of falling off the cliff.
Matthew 16:18 says Peter is the rock.
Mentions abortion, that it is not in the Scripture but in tradition.
Prohibition of birth control is not in the Scr but it is in trad and BC leads to abortion.

Svendsen Closing - 15 min
The nature of ch history.
We can prove the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, etc, from Scr.
Most distinctive RC dogma is not found in early ch history.
Vat2 teaching vs. Extra Ecclesiam teaching are different - it has changed.
Skepticism over the issue of the Canon will undermine the authority of Scr. Why do that for the sake of traditions?
Equates to "has God really said?"

Audience Questions - 30 min
Thank God they took written questions over the intermission rather than having open mics.
They switched off, each answering one question. I'd've liked to see 30 sec of rebuttal for each question, but oh well.
Not until the 12 minute mark did a question relevant to the debate topic come up. [Sigh]
One notable question: What is the Vatican's position on selling indulgences?
Fr Pacwa acted all confused, like he'd never heard that question before. Answer - "Um, we don't sell indulgences anymore." --Applause--
Note - Fr Peter Stravinskas disagrees. But that must be b/c I'm not RC and am but a fallible interpreter of these things.

Horrified gasp from audience mbrs when Dr Svendsen insists on labeling the RC position as Sola Ecclesia.

The last question for Fr. Pacwa was mine, and it was this: Given the Magisterial authority of Rome, what is the infallible list of infallible teachings of the Roman Catholic church?
Fr. Pacwa did a dance and answered simply the Enchiridion Symbolorum.

Dr. Svendsen clarifies that holding Sola Scriptura is not necessary for salvation. Are Catholics saved? There are Catholic Christians, yes.

Aftermath
I went to talk to Fr. Pacwa, who had quite a few people wanting to meet and greet him.
I identified myself as the asker of the last question and asked him how to spell "Enchiridion". He told me and then I asked him if that is an infallible document. He answered in a roundabout non-responsive sort of way. I then asked him again "But it is it infallible? I ask b/c we see the Canon of Scr as our list of infall teachings; what is your list?" That was my mistake - he latched onto my comparison to Scr and said "Oh but other RC teachings are not inspired, they're just infallible."
I asked, "But what's the functional difference between those 2?"
He said, "Scr stirs the heart; reading other teachings is like reading law or the Constitution."
Since there were other RCs waiting to talk to him, I didn't press the point any further. What a pitiful reply, but I don't guess it surprised me.
Had I the chance over again, I might have been a bit more pugnacious and asked "But we're not talking about what stirs the heart; I agree 100% that Scr stirs the heart better than canon law, believe me! I'm asking about authority - if a command to act/believe a certain way/thing is infallible, the question of whether it's 'inspired' is beside the point. So is it infallible or is it not, this Ench Sym?"

If he had said no, then thank you very much. Now please stop trying to act like that's a good point in your debates and in your talking about Prot-ism.

If he had said yes, then I ask him where the Ench Sym was declared to be infallible. I ask him by whom. I ask him when it was so declared. I also ask him how he knows that list is infallibly defined. Finally, I ask him if the Ench Sym is one of the infallible teachings listed in the infallible Canon of Rome (ie, the Ench Sym). He can't tell me any of that, so then thank you very much. Now please stop trying to act like that's a good point in your debates and in your talking about Prot-ism.


Finally, here are some of my own thoughts about the debate:


+Dr. S brought up a great point:
Which is it - did the Ch preserve the Canon for 3 centuries until it was all correctly put together in the mid-4th century, or was it that the Canonisation process was in complete chaos and disarray? You can't have it both ways.

+Another good point from Dr. S:
Rome's position means that the individual is not a competent interper of the Scr or of church history. But this means that the indiv is also incapable of looking at the Scr or Ch history and correctly judging, "Hmm, that looks like Rome". We need an infallible interper to tell us which infall interper to follow.

+Cajetan and Erasmus - what was their Canon? Dr S says that the fact that theirs were different is a clear demonstration of the lack of clarity that Rome gave to the question of Canon in actual practice. Pacwa's weak response - I'd like to see their statements in context. I doubt this is the 1st time you've heard this, and if you have, that's an area of study you must be prepared in.

+I later got an email from Phil Porvaznik, Roman Catholic e-pologist (who is to be thanked for cleaning up and editing the audio file of the debate for me), who said basically - "Re: the infallible list of infall teachings of the RCC, good point. The Ench Sym (aka "Denzinger") is not infallible, nor is Ott's book. I'll have to think about how to answer that."
Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Some things that could have gone better:
-Dr. S:
"Rome's position means that the individual is not a competent interper of the Scr or of church history"
This should be added: "...which is also an indictment of the clarity of Scripture itself; it's not clear enough for you to understand it."

-Why didn't Dr S bring up the fact that the 1st official infallible Roman Canon of Scr is the Co of Trent?

-From Dr. S' answer to his final audience question:
"Is it a good idea to adopt traditions outside Scripture? I do not believe so." This language needs to be more precise.


Conclusion:
In several ways this debate confirms the contention that Dr. James White often makes - RC apologists remain years behind the current Evangelical answers. Fr. Pacwa's use of his entire rebuttal to deal w/ the Canon while having such a glaring weakness on his own flank on the very same question demonstrates that. Fr. Pacwa avoided the "White question" - how did the Jewish man of 50 BC know the Canon? Fr. Pacwa leaned heavily on "trust me"-style points; did he expect to convince me w/ these arguments, citing the Councils of Carthage and Hippo for the source of the NT and OT Canons when he should know well that the 1st official Roman Catholic Canon of Scr was not before the Council of Trent (16th cent)? Add on that the way that he digressed into pro-life issues in his closing statement; it is pretty obvious to me that he was playing to his crowd.
Fr. Pacwa's describing the Magisterium as "the wall, inside of which we have freedom" is not reassuring, especially when questions like Extra Eccelesiam and the liberalism of JP2 and Vatican2 are brought up.

Fr. Pacwa and other RC apologists would do well to do some updating of their arguments. Well done, Dr. Svendsen. You weren't as sharp as you could've been but you did more than well enough to win this debate by a comfortable margin.

Edit: Dr. Svendsen has posted this debate's video here.

47 comments:

d-mc said...

Thanks for the great summary of the debate. I tried twice to join the forum at ntrmin and was unsuccessful. so i sent the following email to dr svendsen regarding my thoughts.
-------
I have registered twice to get into your forums and am not receiving the activation email so i cant post.

anyway-i attended the debate saturday night. i posted my thoughts on it here:
http://voyageministries.blogspot.com

On your forum you mentioned the rudeness of the audience (my words). I am glad you did because i thought it may have just been me. But the people around me were very rude and it was distracting.

An example is during cross exam when you kept asking the Father to explain which tradition of the church was correct regarding those who would receive salvation. He danced and you asked three times and never got an answer. When you finally gave up and moved on to another question, the Catholics laughed and applauded as if you had been defeated on the point which was certainly not the case.

My favorite line of the night was when you were both asked about yor views on justification. The Father referred to the Council of Trent. In your response you said, "If you want the Catholic position see the Council of Trent. If you want the protestant position go to Romans 4."

That was a brilliant response and really summed up the point and importance of the topic of the night. Thanks for your ministry and the great evening.

Love & Mercy,
David Mc
OKC

Matthew said...

Holy cow! That's an excellently concise summation. Well done. My journal is a bit behind, but I intend to write about the debate quite soon.


It was also good to meet you and your wife, and put a face to the blog. :)

David Bryan said...

I knew you'd probably go to this...

Someone posted an advertisement for this at a forum I visit. My very brief thought on the premise of the debate is here.

Gordan said...

Thanks for this post. Much work involved, and very helpful.

Love the blog.

Lucian said...

Tomorrow,
Tomorrow,
I hope for
Tomorrow.
Tomorrow,
You're only a day a-waaay!

orthodox said...

I don't understand why "the White question", nor the question of "what is your list of infallible beliefs", much less "where is your infallible list of infallible beliefs" are all supposedly clever questions or supposedly detrimental to Pacwa's case. I can picture protestants nodding furiously as these were asked, but I don't know why.

Salva said...

Orthodox -
I think it is because the Protestants feel that knowing God's will is vitally important. When Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox claim that 'tradition' is infallible, it is a claim that their rules bind one's conscience in the same way as Scripture. Now, they do not make this claim for all traditions that have ever sprouted within the general domain of Christendom - I expect, for example, that they would exclude those of the Aryans, Gnostics, and Protestants. So there is a need to specify among traditions, and identify which is the correct one; and neither heresy has (so far as I am aware) any particular means of doing so. Maybe you're better informed on the subject: when you look back on two thousand years of teaching from various Christians, real and perhaps otherwise, on what standard do you separate the good traditions from the bad ones? If you haven't got such a standard, then on what basis do you suppose your selection to be accurate?

Similar is Rome's doctrine of papal infallibility: if they want to make a rule that a particular fellow speaks the very words of God - but only sometimes - it is absurd not to be able to say when.

Lucian said...

So there is a need to specify among traditions, and identify which is the correct one

In Orth. understanding, the coorect one is the Orthodox one. (I fail to grasp the logic of Your point about Tradition not being trustworthy because there are also wrong traditions. [It would be like saying "There can't be a Good Book because there are also bad books"]).

if they want to make a rule that a particular fellow speaks the very words of God

The difference with Protestantism being ... ? (besides the fact that there's only one "fellow").

Salva said...

I was asking about the standard for judging traditions: by what authority does yours trump all the others? It's all well and good to say that it does, but since I feel the same way about mine I don't see how that contributes very much to the discussion. I suppose we could have a thumb-wrestling contest...

The Protestant idea of Sola Scriptura, on the other hand, strips tradition of its authority, and allows only the inspired Word to speak for God. Of course we may have certain 'traditional' ways of interpreting the text, but those are based solely on the text itself; if the text were found to contradict them we would get new ones.

orthodox said...

But Salva, picture yourself in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd centuries when there is debates over the exact list of the canonical scriptures. Does the existance of apparent fuzzy boundaries to the canon therefore mean that everything is up for grabs?

The point about having an infallible church is that the charism of the church ensures that you at least have the important things right, and you don't have any important things wrong.

What are the "good traditions"? Well, in a sense any tradition that isn't bad can be good. But not all the good ones are even binding. The ones that are binding are essentially the ones that the Church thinks are binding. I know this is too fuzzy for a protestant mindset, but it is actually how Protestants do things anyway, in a round about way. Firstly about the canon, that only a few protestants have investigated book by book. Also about many things that they have a common understanding in their church about what things are within the pale of orthodoxy and which things are not, and which things are debatable.

>Rome's doctrine of papal infallibility: if they want
>to make a rule that a particular fellow speaks the
>very words of God - but only sometimes - it is
>absurd not to be able to say when.

Well, you could apply the same complaint about the apostles in the first century. Presumably not everything they said was infallible. On the other hand they had to build a church on the authority of their teachings.

Presumably, the teachings that the churches accepted as infallible, are the ones that... well the church accepted as infallible, to state the obvious. Even before scripture came along, presumably the church had a fair idea of which was which.

The problem with papal infallibiliity, is because it is late to the party, nobody knows how it retroactively applies to 2000 years of papal statements. But if it had been declared in the 1st century, then the infallible papal statements would be whichever ones the church accepted as such, and there would be a tradition about which is which.

And if there is fuzzyness about which traditions are which, that's a bit like complaining that the bible is no good because it's not clear what it teaches about infant baptism. Does the fuzzyness of the teaching on one topic make the teaching on other clearer topics invalid?

Lucian said...

by what authority does yours trump all the others

It's a matter of belief. :| (That was really an odd question...) I'm NOT denying the fact that there are (logical) reasons to trust it, but it's ultimately a matter of belief.

The Protestant idea of Sola Scriptura, on the other hand ... allows only the inspired Word to speak for God

In my cliched opinion, it doesn't. It only makes 'every man for himself'.

Rhology said...

I just responded to the question on the White Question, just FYI.

Lucian said:
In Orth. understanding, the coorect one is the Orthodox one.

Yes, that's b/c you have neglected to submit your traditions to Scr like you're supposed to à la Matthew 15 and Mark 7:1-13.

Lucian said:
I fail to grasp the logic of Your point about Tradition not being trustworthy because there are also wrong traditions.

The point is that Jesus told us how to know which traditions are bad and which are good by testing them from the Scriptures.
As it is, you claim some amorphous, totally vague notion of "the Church" and "Tradition" to arbitrate between them. And then when Salva or I question them, you respond "Stop questioning - we're infallible and you're not, so you should submit to what we say." Sola Ecclesia.

Lucian said:
The difference with Protestantism being ... ?

Salva answered well.
I would add that you, Lucian, are also your own individual interpreter. No matter what you do, you can't escape the fact that you yourself are fallible. Thus you have to interp any input into your mind, whether it is Scr or Holy Tradition or the Teaching of the Church or hymns or liturgies or icons. So you have the same problem as I do. I just have a lot fewer complicating steps to go thru and hoops to jump thru to test my beliefs.


Orthodox said:
picture yourself in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd centuries when there is debates over the exact list of the canonical scriptures. Does the existance of apparent fuzzy boundaries to the canon therefore mean that everything is up for grabs?

As Dr. Svendsen brought up well in the debate, you have the exact same problem as we in that regard, so it is a waste of time to bring it up here.

Orthodox said:
The point about having an infallible church is that the charism of the church ensures that you at least have the important things right, and you don't have any important things wrong.

How do you know that?
Does the Bible say that? How are you able to interp the Bible individually to find out that the Church has the charism of infallibility?
How does that escape the problem that you still have to interp personally the teaching of the Ch? It doesn't provide a cure, so you have the same problem as I do when I read the infall Scr.
Again, don't act like you have some superior position.

Orthodox said:
The ones that are binding are essentially the ones that the Church thinks are binding.

Is that just your personal interpretation?
And is that not Sola Ecclesia glaringly demonstrated?

Orthodox said:
Also about many things that they have a common understanding in their church about what things are within the pale of orthodoxy and which things are not, and which things are debatable.

You don't know whether Copts or non-Chalcedonians or ROCOR are in your church either, so I don't see any superiority you can claim.
Besides, comparing EOC to the spectrum of Prot denoms is a bad comparison. I'll be happy to compare apples to apples, though - how about EOC to Reformed Baptists? Let's see who has more unity then.

Lucian said:
In my cliched opinion, it doesn't. It only makes 'every man for himself'.

That's b/c your opinion is indeed highly clichéd and is poorly thought out.

Peace,
ALAN

Lucian said...

you respond "Stop questioning - we're infallible and you're not, so you should submit to what we say."

?

Lucian said...

There is no 'sola' in Orthodoxy... not even if this 'sola' might be 'sola omnis'. :)

Rhology said...

I didn't make it clear enough, sorry.

The rule of faith in EOC is Sola Ecclesia - the church alone.

Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Church Says®.

As opposed to the rule of faith to which I hold, where any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Scripture Says (Sola Scriptura).

One of the problems in being a holder of Sola Ecclesia is that EOC is not the only group w/in Sola Ecclesiaists. RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons are also holders of Sola Ecclesia.

By contrast, there aren't very many holders of Sola Scriptura, and the doctrinal variation among the denominations is FAR narrower than those who hold to Sola Ecclesia, the Infallible Interpreter model.
If you don't like being lumped in w/ the cults and schismatics, maybe you should change your rule of faith. My church would welcome you!

Hope that helps.

Lucian said...

The rule of faith in EOC is Sola Ecclesia - the church alone.

?

Rhology said...

The rule of faith in EOC is Sola Ecclesia - the church alone.

Any question of authority, interpretation, hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The Church Says®.

Lucian said...

By contrast, there aren't very many holders of Sola Scriptura, and the doctrinal variation among the denominations is FAR narrower than those who hold to Sola Ecclesia

?

If you don't like being lumped in w/ the cults and schismatics

I do. I allways held Catholics to be OK, and I like the Oriental Schismatics. (Don't You?)

[I'm a Romanian Orthodox Christian. I have three best friends in the world: one who's Romanian, but not Orthodox; another one who's Orthodox, but not Romanian; and the other one who's neither Romanian, nor Orthodox].

Rhology said...

Lucian,

You're killing me, man.

OK, here's a partial list of those who hold to Sola Ecclesia:
RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons

Here's a partial list of those who hold to Sola Scriptura:
Reformed, Southern Baptists, some Lutherans, some Pentecostals, some Evangelicals, some Methodists, etc.

So which one of these lists exhibits more unity in doctrine? Which one of these are closer to each other? Clearly the Sola Scripturists.

And I wasn't asking about whether you have friends in these other groups. I was asking if you are OK being lumped together in the same religious group w/ them. If you are not, you must change your authority.
And I hold that all of you have forsaken the true Gospel and incur the condemnation of Galatians 1:8, just so you know.

Lucian said...

I really-really like'em. (So shoot me!).

Protestantism begins with RC-like faiths like Lutheranism and Presbyterianism, passes through very non-RC-looking Neo-Protestant beliefs such as Baptists, continues with the so-non-Baptist-looking Charismatics, who are as opposed doctrinally to 7th day Adventists as one can be, only to end up in COMPLETELY-unlike-anything-else-looking Mormons and Jehovah's Witness; and taking a final head-long dive into Liberalism. SO WHAT IN THE WORLD DID YOU POSSIBLY MEAN BY:

Which one of these are closer to each other? Clearly the Sola Scripturists. ???

... and what was it exactly that Paul taught the Galatians, that not even an Angel could change? (Jude 1:3) ;D

Rhology said...

Lucian,

You have either never studied Mormonism or JW-ism or you're just so annoyed you're not thinking clearly.
I'm going to try to break it down more easily for you.

Mormons - is their ultimate rule of faith the Scripture alone?

No.

Jehovah's Witnesses - is their ultimate rule of faith the Scripture alone?

No.

They are Sola Ecclesiaists just like you. You have already lost the point.


Liberals do not hold to Sola Scriptura. Don't be foolish.

I don't know if 7th day Adventists do, but just for the sake of discussion we'll say they do.

So Sola Ecclesia:
RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons

Sola Scriptura:
Reformed, Southern Baptists, some Lutherans, some Pentecostals, some Evangelicals, some Methodists, some 7th Day Adventists, etc.


Where is there a wider variation of doctrine?
The answer is obvious, and I'm glad I don't have to defend EOC like you have to.
(But you don't have to - you can change your mind and have forgiveness for your sins.)

Peace,
ALAN

Lucian said...

Allan ...

doesn't it seem just a little bit weird, even to You, that just about anyone and everyone who doesn't hold to what You grosso-modo believe, are automatically of another algorithm (one that they themselves aren't even aware of that they hold!) ?

Adventists aren't Sola Scriptura, right? They're ... sola ... something ... sola something-something, right? ... just not, of course, Sola Scriptura ... obviously not ... I mean ... how COULD they be? ... Right? (It's the Conspiracy of Zion fuelling them from behind, ... no? It's the Protocols of the Elders of Zion they also admit as Scripture, ... am I right? It's the Rabbinical Ecclesia that's their REAL supreme authority, ... right?) ;)

Rhology said...

What's weirder to me is that I'm still interacting w/ someone who has shown such a distaste for answering questions as you.

Besides, didn't I just finish saying that for the sake of argument I would assume that 7th Day Adventists ARE Sola Scripturists?

Lucian said...

Yeah ... You 'said' it ... but You didn't "really" mean it, ... did Ya?

Rhology said...

I confess that I don't know. I fear that my time has recently been taken up talking to Hymenaeans, universalists, Emergents, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and JWs.

Do you really enjoy wasting your time and mine? Or were you planning on responding to my argument in this thread?

orthodox said...

>The point is that Jesus told us how to know which
>traditions are bad and which are good by testing
>them from the Scriptures.

Did he really ask us to test which are good, or did he only ask us to get rid of those that are bad? It's quite a different thing.

>As it is, you claim some amorphous, totally vague
>notion of "the Church" and "Tradition" to arbitrate
>between them.

Totally vague? What is more vague, the bible's teaching on infant baptism, or the Tradition on infant baptism?

>Thus you have to interp any input into your
>mind, whether it is Scr or Holy Tradition or the
>Teaching of the Church or hymns or liturgies

Which is more likely to lead to an indeterminate result on infant baptism? Scripture or Tradition?

>The point about having an infallible church is
>that the charism of the church ensures that you
>at least have the important things right, and you
>don't have any important things wrong.
>
>How do you know that?

The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

>Does the Bible say that?

Yep.

>How are you able to interp the Bible individually
>to find out that the Church has the charism of
>infallibility?

Why wouldn't I be able to?

The reason you are not able to, is that you have only a subset of revelation and thus have a distorted picture.

>It doesn't provide a cure, so you have the same
>problem as I do when I read the infall Scr.

Do I have the same problem? Which is more likely to lead to an indeterminate result on infant baptism? Scripture or Tradition?

>Is that just your personal interpretation?
>And is that not Sola Ecclesia glaringly
>demonstrated?

No more or less than God leading his people to the truth about the canon. Be consistent.

>You don't know whether Copts or non-
>Chalcedonians or ROCOR are in your church
>either, so I don't see any superiority you can
>claim.

Yes I do know. The answer is No, No and Yes respectively.

>Besides, comparing EOC to the spectrum of Prot
>denoms is a bad comparison. I'll be happy to
>compare apples to apples, though - how about
>EOC to Reformed Baptists? Let's see who has
>more unity then.

Is that a fair comparison? Do you consider Presbyterians to be outside the Church? If not, it would hardly be comparing apples to apples.

orthodox said...

>As opposed to the rule of faith to which I hold,
>where any question of authority, interpretation,
>hermeneutic, etc, comes down to What The
>Scripture Says (Sola Scriptura).

ANY question? What does the scripture say about the canon?

And havn't I just been lectured that I don't understand sola scriptura because sola scriptura doesn't deny that there are other authorities, just not infallible authorities? So it's not true is it that you have only one authority?

>One of the problems in being a holder of Sola
>Ecclesia is that EOC is not the only group w/in
>Sola Ecclesiaists. RCC, Coptic Orthodoxy, other
>non-Chalcedonian Orthodox groups, Jehovah's
>Witnesses, and Mormons are also holders of Sola
>Ecclesia.

One of the problems with sola scriptura is that there isn't just one canon of scripture floating around.

But we've already had Svendsen and now you conceed that the epistimology dictates that it is the people of God which are led into the truth concerning the canon. That makes the logical first step to find the people of God, NOT to find the scripture.

>By contrast, there aren't very many holders of
>Sola Scriptura, and the doctrinal variation among
>the denominations is FAR narrower than those
>who hold to Sola Ecclesia,

What, because you lump Mormons into the Ecclesia camp? Why don't I find some buddhists who adhere to their scriptures and lump them into the sola scriptura camp?

I think if we look at the actual historical churches, Catholic and Orthodox they differ a lot less than the protestant world.

d-mc said...

Did he really ask us to test which are good, or did he only ask us to get rid of those that are bad? It's quite a different thing.

Hmmm, how do you get rid of the bad without first testing to see which is good?

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV)
Test everything. Hold on to the good.

orthodox said...

>Hmmm, how do you get rid of the bad without first
>testing to see which is good?

There's good, bad and unstated as far as scripture (or any authority) comments on. To answer your question, you get rid of bad by testing if it is bad, not testing if it is good.

>Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Ahh, but no sola scriptura here. We could get rid of the bad according to scripture and hold onto the good from tradition and still be following these commands.

d-mc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
d-mc said...

Ahh, but no sola scriptura here.

I didnt claim there was. My question was limited in scope to how to determine what is bad without determining what is good.

We could get rid of the bad according to scripture and hold onto the good from tradition and still be following these commands.

I agree we could get rid of the bad according to scripture. On what basis do we determine if a tradition is good and worth holding onto?

orthodox said...

>I agree we could get rid of the bad according to
>scripture. On what basis do we determine if a
>tradition is good and worth holding onto?

Well, the bible says that a righteous man can judge all things. How much more can the people of God do so. In the case where Jesus was complaining about a tradition of men, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it is not morally good.

I hear in that Svendsen debate that most of the protestant churches in the 60s were pro-choice because there is no scripture against abortion. There you have a case where sola scriptura collides with common sense and righteous judgment.

Lucian said...

Are Lutherans Sola-Scripturists? If "yes", then if on were to interpret the Bible in an honest and logical way, one would have no problem in remaining a Lutheran. Not even if ones opinions on certain matters (say, consusbstantiation) were to depart from the majority-Lutheran view, right?

Same goes for Calvinists (or, as they're otherwise called, Presbyterians). If one were to disagree, -using an honest and logical Biblical interpretation-, with the majority of Calvinists on a said issue (say Predestination, or 'Eternal Security', or 'Total Corruption') one were still be able to remain Calvinist, right?

I mean, after all, it's Bible alone, right? That was what the Apostolic faith was all about before Roman corruptions crept in, right?

So, why don't these people remain what they were? (Luth. or Calv.?)

My old, cliched gut-feeling tells me that, -for instance-, Luth. have to ALSO abide to the '95 Theses', two 'Catechisms', and the 'Book of Concord'.

The same visceral hunch tells me that Calv. have to ALSO abide to the 'Commentaries' and 'Institutes'.

Why do Baptitsts knee-jerk right out of their system any ideea comming from a Charismatic? (and since they're both Bible-alone, why are there 2 religions, not one? -- I mean, the divergences between them are not "essentials", right? I mean, if they were -and I'm NOT saying here that they are-, then that would pretty much succumb the whole SS-concept, ... would it not? -- except, of course, one were to believe that ONE of these two denominations is EITHER stupid, OR ill-intentioned...) -- and it's not like Baptitsts have 'Baptist Conventions', to whos decisions they have to abide if they further want ot be regarded as Baptists, ... right?

So ... So--la ... Scripture? Sure?

But, yes, the JW and Mormons are, of course!, the only bad-guys who bring their own man-made traditions to the table while reading The Bible, ... right?

Rhology said...

ORTHODOX: Did he really ask us to test which are good, or did he only ask us to get rid of those that are bad? It's quite a different thing.

RHOLOGY: Both. And how do we know which are good and bad? By testing them. How? Thru the Scr.

ORTHODOX: Totally vague? What is more vague, the bible's teaching on infant baptism, or the Tradition on infant baptism?

RHOLOGY: Tradition is, since some 'tradition-ers' are paedo and others are credo.
But what I meant was not even that - you can't tell me a priori what Holy Tradition is. You can only tell me AFTER I cite you some writing of the ECFs or sthg. Then, if it agrees w/ your position, it is Holy Tradition. If it does not, it is not. Which is, of course, circular and unconvincing.

ORTHODOX: Which is more likely to lead to an indeterminate result on infant baptism? Scripture or Tradition?

RHOLOGY: Tradition, since Scr is clear. It's not my fault that paedobaptists get it wrong.

RHOLOGY: How do you know that (the Ch has infallibility)?
ORTHODOX: The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

RHOLOGY: OK. And where did infallibility come in?
And how am I, a mere individual, supposed to realise that the EOC has infallibility from reading 1 Tim 3:15 if I can't perform correct interping of Scr?

ORTHODOX: Why wouldn't I be able to (interp the Scr correctly)? The reason you are not able to, is that you have only a subset of revelation and thus have a distorted picture.

RHOLOGY: But how would I know that if I can't interp the Scr correctly, as a mere individual?
Or, if you're saying that I can interp the Scr correctly, then thanks much. Thru previously-done exegesis I know that EOC is wrong on many, many points. Even on this very question it's got it wrong.

ORTHODOX: Do I have the same problem?

RHOLOGY: Yes, b/c you have to pass your "infallible Holy Tradition" thru the person, who is fallible. That person is you.

ORTHODOX: No more or less than God leading his people to the truth about the canon. Be consistent.

RHOLOGY: What you have said makes no sense in relation to my argument.

ORTHODOX: Yes I do know. The answer is No, No and Yes respectively.

RHOLOGY: Oh, cool. How do you know that?

ORTHODOX: Is that a fair comparison? Do you consider Presbyterians to be outside the Church? If not, it would hardly be comparing apples to apples.

RHOLOGY: They're outside of my denomination, and you're talking about unity. Why are you so afraid of comparing my denom's unity to yours, or my rule of faith's unity to yours? Have you seen the end already?

ORTHODOX: ANY question? What does the scripture say about the canon?

RHOLOGY: Plenty. And the White Question goes to help us know that as well. You can start your argument by actually answering the WQ.

ORTHODOX: And havn't I just been lectured that I don't understand sola scriptura because sola scriptura doesn't deny that there are other authorities, just not infallible authorities? So it's not true is it that you have only one authority?

RHOLOGY: I didn't lecture you for not understanding SS. I don't know - maybe you do, maybe you don't. You'll have to prove you understand it, of course, but I don't know right now.
But your question reveals that you don't, and you should b/c you've been debating the Triabloggers long before you came here. Shame on you for not knowing it. There, NOW you've been lectured.
No, we don't have only one authority. SS means we have only one FINAL INFALLIBLE authority.

ORTHODOX: One of the problems with sola scriptura is that there isn't just one canon of scripture floating around.

RHOLOGY: Not among those who hold to SS.
And you have the same problem - you can't even tell me what your own Canon of Scr is. It's a pitiful argument to make.

ORTHODOX: That makes the logical first step to find the people of God, NOT to find the scripture.

RHOLOGY: OK, but you and I agree on the identity of the people of God for at least the 1st few centuries AD. So that leaves us... yep, back at what I said.

ORTHODOX: What, because you lump Mormons into the Ecclesia camp? Why don't I find some buddhists who adhere to their scriptures and lump them into the sola scriptura camp?

RHOLOGY: You'd have to make the case that Buddhists DO that. But they don't and you know it.
And LDS hold to the Sola Ecclesia/Infallible Interpreter model. Thus, they're in your camp. Like I was telling Lucian: If you don't like being lumped in w/ LDS, you can always change to a position that makes sense and is right w/ God.

ORTHODOX: I think if we look at the actual historical churches, Catholic and Orthodox they differ a lot less than the protestant world.

RHOLOGY: Oh, you think, do you? Why should I accept your one-man Papal statement?
And that's fine - if you want to take 2 denoms out of Sola Ecclesia, we can do that.
Compare EOC and RCC versus Reformed Baptists and Presbyterian Church of America.

ORTHODOX: We could get rid of the bad according to scripture and hold onto the good from tradition and still be following these commands.

RHOLOGY: But we're testing Tradition itself, so it is stupid to say "We test tradition by tradition to see if tradition is good." Whose intelligence are you insulting here?

ORTHODOX: Well, the bible says that a righteous man can judge all things. How much more can the people of God do so.

RHOLOGY: Since we're taking things way out of context here, I'll go ahead and make my statement then.
I am righteous. How do I know? The Scr tells me I am b/c I have faith.
I don't need anyone to teach me since I'm righteous.
Therefore, Orthodox, I'm going to block all of your comments from now on and I'm proclaiming that all adherents to EOC are hellbound barring repentance.

There, that was easy, wasn't it?


FYI, I'm not really going to ban anyone (I don't ban commenters) and I don't really believe nobody can teach me anythg. But I was just doing what you told me to, Orthodox. I assume, since you obviously speak for The Church Founded By Jesus Christ®, you must be telling me God's honest truth.
Instead, you've demonstrated that having an infallible church behind you doesn't go even a short way towards helping the EO layman understand Scr. Why should I trust it w/ my eternal soul?

ORTHODOX: In the case where Jesus was complaining about a tradition of men, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it is not morally good.

RHOLOGY: Ha, you sound like an atheist.
And no, you don't need a genius. You need a revelation from God, no more, no less. And I just happen to have a New American Standard copy of that revelation sitting right here...

ORTHODOX: most of the protestant churches in the 60s were pro-choice because there is no scripture against abortion. There you have a case where sola scriptura collides with common sense and righteous judgment.

RHOLOGY: This is part of your confusion. Again, just b/c people misuse or neglect the Scr doesn't mean that it's the Scr's fault that they believed abortion was OK. That's where people DIDN'T pay attention to God's revelation thru Scr.


LUCIAN: Are Lutherans Sola-Scripturists? If "yes", then if on were to interpret the Bible in an honest and logical way, one would have no problem in remaining a Lutheran.

RHOLOGY: Some Lutherans, like LCMS and others are. Others aren't.
And they interp the Scr wrong too, but not nearly as badly as you and Orthodox do.

LUCIAN: Not even if ones opinions on certain matters (say, consusbstantiation) were to depart from the majority-Lutheran view, right?

RHOLOGY: Um, at that point one might want to join a diff ch than a Lutheran ch, I'd say.

LUCIAN: A bunch of gobbledy-gook about how many denominations = Sola Scriptura is a bad idea

RHOLOGY: Dealt w/ already. You don't have unity either. You can't escape the problem of sinful and bad interps of Scr and Trad either. You don't even know what your own Canon of Scr is. You can't tell me whether ROCOR or non-Chalcedonians are in communion w/ you or not. Why would I listen to your complaints about multiple denoms?

LUCIAN: But, yes, the JW and Mormons are, of course!, the only bad-guys who bring their own man-made traditions to the table while reading The Bible, ... right?

RHOLOGY: No, everyone brings their own man-made traditions to the table while reading The Bible. Also, everyone brings their own man-made traditions to the table while reading Holy Tradition too.
What is the answer? To prayerfully and soberly study the Scr and Trad, taking into acct other pts of view as well, in order to minimise as much as possible my own weaknesses and limitations.
And what you and Orthodox forget is that the Scr is clear enough to communicate. See, you guys, along w/ my friend David Bryan have so little de facto faith in the clarity and workability of God's revealed Word that it really really makes me fearful for your souls. What punishment awaits those who take God's Word w/ such scorn and derision?

Lucian said...

I answered Your question, and I think the point I made there was clear to just about anyone: You've asked me about which side had more unity, SS or SE?

I've showed You firstly that Prot. aren't really, as they say they are or pretend to be, Sola-Scripturists. (They each bring in their own assumptive baggage, and have their own presumptive axes to grind). [Ditching the JW an Mormons into my back-garden wasn't that very impressive].

Secondly, we're left with Traditional Churches on one hand: RC, Orth., and MonoPhysism. Telling them apart is like telling the difference between pink, red and purple. -- I'm not saying it "can't" be done ... just that it takes a good pair of eyes -and possibly even glasses- to do so.

And on the other hand, we've got Protestants, ranging in an 32000+ denominational spectrum, and including anything, from Lutherans and Calvinists; going through Baptists and Charismatics; passing by 7th Day Adventists; only to slow down at JW and Mormons, just in time for it to finally take a rest in Liberalism.

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Stop emoting and start reading, please.

Go back to the list of those who hold to Sola Ecclesia and then the list of those who hold to Sola Scriptura.

Take a deep breath.
Respond rationally.
You can do it!

d-mc said...

Well, the bible says that a righteous man can judge all things. How much more can the people of God do so.

1-What is the difference between a righteous man and a person of God? I'm a little confused there.

2-I agree with your answer as to how we can determine which traditions are good. Your answer seems to be that righteous people can rightly discern.

To clarify though, can you tell me if any righteous person is allowed to do this or only certain righteous people? Also, how do you determine who is righteous?

Lucian said...

That's funny ... 'cause I think I've pretty much already did. :)

orthodox said...

>>Did he really ask us to test which are good, or did
>>he only ask us to get rid of those that are bad? It's
>>quite a different thing.
>
>RHOLOGY: Both.

So if someone in my family questions the tradition of drinking green cordial and wonders if we ought really be drinking red cordial, we MUST abandon green cordial because we can't prove it is a "good" tradition? Some traditions are merely neutral.

> And how do we know which are good and bad?
>By testing them. How? Thru the Scr.

That's one way. But it's not the only way. If you disagree show me the verse saying it is the only way.

>>Totally vague? What is more vague, the bible's
>>teaching on infant baptism, or the Tradition on
>>infant baptism?
>
>RHOLOGY: Tradition is, since some 'tradition-ers'
>are paedo and others are credo.

I wasn't talking about "traditioners", I was talking about "the Tradition" which has a specific meaning in Orthodoxy. It doesn't mean any old person who likes traditions, it means the Orthodox Tradition.

Now instead of obfuscating, tell is what is clearer, the Orthodox Tradition, or scripture alone?

>But what I meant was not even that - you can't
>tell me a priori what Holy Tradition is. You can
>only tell me AFTER I cite you some writing of the
>ECFs or sthg. Then, if it agrees w/ your position,
>it is Holy Tradition. If it does not, it is not. Which
>is, of course, circular and unconvincing.

No, it is not Holy Tradition if it agrees with me, it is Holy Tradition if it agrees with the Church, aka the people of God whom the Spirit led into all truth.

And yes, if an ECF is at variance to the rule of faith, then they are in error. Just like if an ECF is wrong about the canon from your point of view are in error.

>RHOLOGY: OK. And where did infallibility come
>in?

It says the church IS the pillar of the truth. Not that it ought to be or ideally should be. Whatever the church holds up IS the truth. The bible says so.

>And how am I, a mere individual, supposed to
>realise that the EOC has infallibility from reading
>1 Tim 3:15 if I can't perform correct interping of
>Scr?

Nobody said you can't correctly interpret scripture. What we would say is you can't INFALLIBLY interpret scripture. Of course I hope that you find your way to interpreting it correctly, but you may not.

You argument is similar to me saying to you, how am I, a mere individual, supposed to know the canon of scripture when I can't infallibly discern it? I presume you hope for me to discern it, but that doesn't mean I infallibly will.

>RHOLOGY: But how would I know that if I can't
>interp the Scr correctly, as a mere individual?

It's called humility Alan.

>Or, if you're saying that I can interp the Scr
>correctly, then thanks much. Thru previously-
>done exegesis I know that EOC is wrong on
>many, many points. Even on this very question
>it's got it wrong.

That you "can" doesn't mean that you actually will.

>RHOLOGY: Yes, b/c you have to pass your
>"infallible Holy Tradition" thru the person, who is
>fallible. That person is you.

As in everything in life, but I have at my disposal the collective wisdom of the Church which is led into all truth. Furthermore I have the apostolic Tradition which accompanies the scripture.

Which is why protestants can't agree on paedo baptism, but Orthodox Tradition has no ambiguity.

>ORTHODOX: No more or less than God leading
>his people to the truth about the canon. Be
>consistent.
>
>RHOLOGY: What you have said makes no sense
>in relation to my argument.

Yes it is. You've claimed that you can know that canon by observing God's providence in leading his people. But if I want to say I can have knowledge about God's people led into the truth concerning the traditioin, suddenly you claim it is all too fuzzy.

>RHOLOGY: Oh, cool. How do you know that?

It is common knowledge.

>RHOLOGY: They're outside of my denomination,
>and you're talking about unity. Why are you so
>afraid of comparing my denom's unity to yours,
>or my rule of faith's unity to yours? Have you
>seen the end already?

I don't see anything about "denominations" in scripture. All I see mentioned is the Church. Why are you so afraid to compare who you consider in the Church to who I consider in the Church? Have you seen the end already?

>>ORTHODOX: ANY question? What does the >>scripture say about the canon?
>
>RHOLOGY: Plenty. And the White Question goes
>to help us know that as well.

Whoa, the "White Question" is not in scripture. Neither is the canon. You said that any question comes down to what scripture says. Now you are adding to scripture.

>No, we don't have only one authority. SS means
>we have only one FINAL INFALLIBLE authority.

Thus: chaos. Scripture plus a credobaptist tradition/authority leads to credobaptism. Scripture plus a paedobaptist tradition/authority leads to credobaptism. An unclear teaching in the infallible scripture plus a clear teaching in the fallible "other authority", leads to the "other authority" winning out. Thankyou, SS doesn't work.

>ORTHODOX: One of the problems with sola
>scriptura is that there isn't just one canon of
>scripture floating around.
>
>RHOLOGY: Not among those who hold to SS.

Really? So no buddhists adhere to sola the buddhist scriptures? No Muslims adhere to sola the Koran? I don't think that's true.

And BTW, do you list any ECFs as SSists?

>RHOLOGY: OK, but you and I agree on the
>identity of the people of God for at least the 1st
>few centuries AD. So that leaves us... yep, back
>at what I said.

The first few? Just when did the true church perish from the earth? Please tell us, we want to know. Apparently we need to know, so that we can identify the true canon.

And if we supposedly agree where it is in the first few centuries, I fail to see how that helps your case. Who in these first centuries enumerated your canon? This ought to be good.

>RHOLOGY: You'd have to make the case that
>Buddhists DO that. But they don't and you know
>it.

I've never thought about it, because I never thought of dividing the worlds religions into scripture only or not. But now that I do look into it, there is a similar argument in Islam. Wahhabis Muslims claim to only go to the Koran as the sole infallible rule of faith. Sunni Muslims consult the consensus of religious scholars.

So if you're going to make the absurd link of lumping us with LDS, I'm going to lump you with Wahhabis Muslims. Deal?

>And that's fine - if you want to take 2 denoms
>out of Sola Ecclesia, we can do that.
>Compare EOC and RCC versus Reformed Baptists
>and Presbyterian Church of America.

Why RCC and EOC? Since you define a denomination as an administratively separate organisation, why shouldn't I compare Greek Orthodox with Russian Orthodox? Or if you want to compare RCC with EOC, why shouldn't I compare reformed baptists with anglicans, or pentacostals, or even oneness pentacostals?

>ORTHODOX: We could get rid of the bad
>according to scripture and hold onto the good
>from tradition and still be following these
>commands.
>
>RHOLOGY: But we're testing Tradition itself, so it
>is stupid to say "We test tradition by tradition to
>see if tradition is good." Whose intelligence are
>you insulting here?

I didn't say that. I said that we can get rid of the bad by testing against scripture. I never said to compare tradition to tradition.

>RHOLOGY: Since we're taking things way out of
>context here, I'll go ahead and make my
>statement then.
>I am righteous. How do I know? The Scr tells me I
>am b/c I have faith.

Here you go again misinterpreting scripture. When scripture refers to a righteous man it isn't always referring to anybody and everybody who simply has faith. See what happens with you and your bible under a tree?

>RHOLOGY: Ha, you sound like an atheist.
>And no, you don't need a genius. You need a
>revelation from God, no more, no less. And I just >happen to have a New American Standard copy
>of that revelation sitting right here...

Did you really NEED your NASB to tell you that it is right to look after your parents as per the passage in question? Paul said that the signs of the sinful nature are obvious, and that it seems to me is one of them. That doesn't mean that everything in theology is similarly obvious.

>RHOLOGY: This is part of your confusion. Again,
>just b/c people misuse or neglect the Scr doesn't
>mean that it's the Scr's fault that they believed
>abortion was OK. That's where people DIDN'T
>pay attention to God's revelation thru Scr.

There is no scriptural revelation specifically about abortion.

>And what you and Orthodox forget is that the Scr
>is clear enough to communicate. See, you guys,
>along w/ my friend David Bryan have so little de
>facto faith in the clarity and workability of God's
>revealed Word that it really really makes me
>fearful for your souls.

The only clarity and workability that is of practical interest, is what we find in real life. There's no point having an ivory tower idea of how scripture works if it crashes where it intersects with reality. Thousands of contradictory protestants teachings is where it hits reality.

And to point out the obvious, the Word of God doesn't claim to be easy to understand. 2 Peter says some things are hard to understand. The fact is, the Word of God is quite easy enough to understand when it is used from within the context of the Church to which it was entrusted. Paul said in scripture to hold to the oral traditions. It's really hard to follow that if you never received the oral traditions. But it's quite easy to do so if you did receive them.

d-mc said...

If anybody answered my questions at:
Thu May 24, 05:12:00 PM CST,
I missed it.

At least i'm not picking up on the answers in any of the following posts.

I'm genuinely trying to learn more about catholicism from actual catholics.

thanks

Lucian said...

Well, the Bible says that a righteous man can judge all things

D-MC,

Were You reffering to First Corinthians 6:2, or Matthew 5:5 ? See Wisdom 3:8.

Also, how do you determine who is righteous?

See Wisdom, first 5 chapters.

Rhology said...

Hey D-MC, just FYI - these guys are Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholic. Some of their responses will resemble those of RCs and others won't.
Also, I think when Orthodox said "people of God", he was referring to the collective People of God, not persons. I hope that clarifies.

Lucian,
When I say you're "emoting," I mean you're just shooting off answers w/o interacting w/ my point. Either interact w/ it or give me a good reason why it is invalid.


And just FYI, I answered Orthodox here.

Lucian said...

Haven't I just already done it? (Like, repeatedly?)

Rhology said...

No.

You keep not interacting w/ the list of SE groups and SS groups that I've listed.

Either say why you're rejecting those classings or interact w/ them, please.

Lucian said...

Hey D-MC, just FYI - these guys are Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholic.

Jee ... thanks for blowing our cover, snitch! (and we would've gotten away, were it not for this meddlin' kid!).

Rhology said...

Ha HA! To the Mystery Mobile!

d-mc said...

Thanks Lucian. I'll check out the Book of Wisdom again.

I would note though that when you were quoting me, you were actually quoting someone (orthodox) that i had quoted.