Monday, December 07, 2009

Not just a problem for Sola Scriptura part 2

DavidW said...

Multiplying authors simply makes mutual consistency that much more difficult.

Absolutely agreed; which is why I consider the mutual consistency of the Fathers nothing short of miraculous, and a sign of Christ's fulfilled promise that the gates of hades would not prevail against the Chruch and that the Holy Spirit would guide it.

That's precisely what you were getting at when we were discussing the sign over Christ's Cross.

I've read this and other attempts at harmonizing the signs as reported by the evangelists. I find them unconvincing; too desperate.

No. They held to the deity of Christ. Monotheism. Baptism. An as-yet unrealised Eschaton.

They also held to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the visibility and unity of the One True Church founded by the Apostles, Apostolic Succession in said Church, and a belief in Theosis -- all of which you reject. So, the question remains: were they all simultaneously mistaken, but agreement with each other, as to the message of the Apostles OR did they conspire together to distort said message?

The shared beliefs far outweigh the differences.

100% agreed.

the majority of CFs held to Sola Scriptura.

That's the very thing I'm exploring in my series on the issue -- and I'm finding the exact opposite of Mr. Webster, as everyone who actually takes the time to read the writings of the Fathers tends to do.

1 Clement contains a very clear endorsement of justification by grace alone thru faith alone.

I've read St. Clement's letter several times and never seen such an endorsement. Perhaps you could provide me with the quote or at least verse number so I can read it for myself?

Infant baptism was inconsistently held.

I think the Protestants are skewing the evidence on this one. It's a topic I investigated quite a bit, because I had my own doubts about it initially (even having been baptized as an infant myself). St. Gregory Nazianzen's objections are rather late in the early Church -- and not quite what the guy at this blog is trying to make of them (read it for yourself). The inscriptions, paintings, and fathers of the first, second, and third centuries are pretty clear on the issue. Later, beginning in about the 3rd century, some began to delay baptism into adulthood in order to assure that all previous sins were washed away -- this practice was later condemned by the Church for being what it was: an attempt to evade living a Christian life.

Kinda puts the kibosh on the whole "everywhere by all at all times".

St. Vincent, whose canon you're quoting here, addresses that very thing in the paragraph following that quote; and I've addressed it several times to you as well.

I take the CFs' mutual and internal inconsistencies and count them as 100% expected - they were MEN. ... especially since on many issues they were jumbled and thus useless as a prescriptive authority.

You've made this allegations many times in the past, but you have yet to present a single issue upon which this was the case. I'd love to see one, especially on an essential matter of faith or practice.

1) Which claim of course begs the question in favor of the EOC.

Insofar as the Orthodox Church is the One True Church founded by the Apostles and preserving the Faith thereof, yes, it does; it can't help but. No other Christian organization or church has a legitimate claim. The closest to having a decent claim are the Roman Catholics and the Assyrian Church of the East, as they both possess at least a physical link with the Apostles (via laying on of hands) -- but both have clear points of departure from the early Church, which can be quite easily named and dated.

DavidW said...

Since the OT was the Bible of the earliest church

But not the Bible alone, else we'd all be Jewish.
and then the NT served in large measure to inform and correct churches in their error

Exactly -- for the most part, they were written to correct problems in the churches already founded. Which calls into question how they could have ever been intended as all-encompassing -- as standing alone. Correcting errors is not explicating the entirety of the Gospel.

That's a pretty disingenuous thing to say, since this whole time you've been making the CFs into at the very least a more useful tool.

I never claimed they were "more useful." They are necessary to Scripture, as they teach us the correct interpretation thereof.

Not to mention "the Faith of the Church", whatever that is.

The Faith of the Church is the Scriptures and the Councils, speaking in terms of dogma. More correctly, though, the Faith of the Church is our worship -- if one were able to attend every Church service in an entire year, he'd have heard the entirety of the Orthodox Faith explained -- it's the same standard the Fathers used in determining what belonged in Scripture hundreds and hundreds of years ago: the Liturgy.

Rhology said...

which is why I consider the mutual consistency of the Fathers nothing short of miraculous

It's only by willful blindness that anyone could consider the Fathers mutually consistent. You're inviting us to Patristic FantasyLand, but I prefer reality.


I've read this and other attempts at harmonizing the signs as reported by the evangelists. I find them unconvincing; too desperate.

What cracks me up is your willingness to ignore the obvious wrt mutual patristic inconsistencies, but find "desperate" my friend Seth's harmony of the Cross inscriptions. Again, let the reader judge.


They also held to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the visibility and unity of the One True Church founded by the Apostles, Apostolic Succession in said Church, and a belief in Theosis -- all of which you reject

You're missing the point. Congrats, you came up with three issues on which I'd largely disagree with at least your characterisation of their position, but there are far more with which they and I *are* in agreement. Just b/c the disagreements are more visible b/c we're always debating them doesn't mean that the disagreements are more numerous than the agreements. So again, your argument fails.
As for how they ended up mistaken, we can see that at work already in the NT churches, the addressees of most of the epistles and the 7 letters in Revelation 1-3. I've said that many times to you; when are you going to take that fact into acct?


I'm finding the exact opposite of Mr. Webster, as everyone who actually takes the time to read the writings of the Fathers tends to do.

Rdr DavidB once told me sthg that an EO priest with whom he used to meet when considering conversion to EOC told him: EOdoxy is found in the Bible, just in the places less often quoted by evangelicals. That would apparently be the case for SS and the CFs. Maybe you should expand your reading and take a look at what Webster and King have found.


Later, beginning in about the 3rd century, some began to delay baptism into adulthood in order to assure that all previous sins were washed away

Next you're going to tell me that this fits in perfectly with Vincent de Lérins' aphorism and your rule of faith.


You've made this allegations many times in the past, but you have yet to present a single issue upon which this was the case.

Cyprian vs Pope Stephen on the issue of the baptism of heretics is a great place to start.
Council of Hieria vs 2nd Nicaea.


Insofar as the Orthodox Church is the One True Church founded by the Apostles and preserving the Faith thereof, yes, it does; it can't help but.

yes, that's exactly my point. EOC says it's the OneTrueChurch, you've made the choice to switch your brain off when it comes to testing that claim, and so the circularity doesn't bother you. You have no way to test it, but you don't care to.


Exactly -- for the most part, they were written to correct problems in the churches already founded.

Exactly.


Which calls into question how they could have ever been intended as all-encompassing -- as standing alone.

1) the NT epistles were not meant to stand alone.
2) You're assuming w/o proof that the oral msg delivered to the churches covered material found outside the Bible.
3) The churches, standing alone, didn't do so hot either. So... what's the answer?

42 comments:

John said...

"It's only by willful blindness that anyone could consider the Fathers mutually consistent. "

Nonsense.

Of course this doesn't surprise me since Protestants have to have Fathers contradicting themselves within sentences of each other in order to maintain the fantasy they were sola scripturaists, and other fantasies.

"Maybe you should expand your reading and take a look at what Webster and King have found."

Tell me why I should think the least bit credible someone who would paint Basil to be a sola scripturaist.

"EOC says it's the OneTrueChurch, you've made the choice to switch your brain off when it comes to testing that claim".

It wouldn't make much difference if the EOC is the one true church or not as far as dogma is concerned. The Christian faith is what it is, and the Tradition is what it is, it doesn't make Johnny come latelies of protestantism to be right.

"You're assuming w/o proof that the oral msg delivered to the churches covered material found outside the Bible."

It would be astonishing if everything oral was written down, would it not? Such an astonishing claim would require the burden of proof, would it not?

David said...

Cross-posting this comment.

It's only by willful blindness that anyone could consider the Fathers mutually consistent.

How much of the writings of the Fathers have you actually read for yourself? Be honest.

Just b/c the disagreements are more visible b/c we're always debating them doesn't mean that the disagreements are more numerous than the agreements.

They are.

As for how they ended up mistaken, we can see that at work already in the NT churches, the addressees of most of the epistles and the 7 letters in Revelation 1-3.

So Christ's promise that the gates of hades will not prevail against the Church has failed. And you posit, just as your Jehovah's Witness, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Mormon brethren, that there was a Great Apostasy of the early Church. Got it.
Maybe you should expand your reading and take a look at what Webster and King have found.

I've read some of the writings of both -- slanderous, rediculous, and malacious.

Next you're going to tell me that this fits in perfectly with Vincent de Lérins' aphorism and your rule of faith.

Well, yes; they were doing exactly what St. Vincent said we shouldn't do -- they were departing from the Faith always held, and the Church reacted by banning the practice.

Cyprian vs Pope Stephen on the issue of the baptism of heretics is a great place to start.

Nobody said there weren't disagreements -- there's still disagreements in the Church about who should (re)baptized and who simply chrismated. This isn't quite was I was looking for -- and these are really pathetic attempts -- I thought you meant disagreements on important matters of Faith between the early Fathers. Let's see some of those. Let's see the Fathers who don't believe in the Real Presence or Apostolic Succession.

Council of Hieria vs 2nd Nicaea.

Really? This is the best you can come up with? First, these councils took place in the 8th century -- awful late in time when I was asking for early Christian history. Second, the council of Hieria is a heretical council, as iconoclasts are heretics; therefore, not Church Fathers. I'll address this fuller at a later time.
1) the NT epistles were not meant to stand alone.

Yep.

2) You're assuming w/o proof that the oral msg delivered to the churches covered material found outside the Bible.

You're assuming it didn't -- based on statements in the NT directing us to both written and unwritten traditions of the Apostles, I'd say my position is much more Scriptural than yours.

3) The churches, standing alone, didn't do so hot either. So... what's the answer?

They weren't standing alone -- they had the Holy Spirit and the Apostles to guide them. There were problems, but said problems were duly corrected. Same today.

David said...

Um, if the Scr can't teach us their own proper interp, but the CFs can...

Really? Try interpreting Scripture without the help of Calvin and Luther's "traditions of men."

1) Nothing else? Why have you elsewhere mentioned the living tradition, the voice of the church? Why has Rdr DavidB elsewhere told me the liturgies and hymns of the church?

I did too -- in the sentence that follows this one.

2) How do you know when sthg is dogma?

If it's part of the Faith of all Orthodox Christians. -- As much as you try to say that our rule of Faith is unsound and confusing, you'd think you'd have at least ONE example of how it is so in modern Orthodox belief and practice. On what essential matter of Faith do Orthodox Christians disagree with each other?

And that's not incredibly vague?

No, it's not. The worship of the Church is pretty clear.

What is one to conclude who attends DLs and hears homilies from liberal, secular humanist-leaning EO priests?

Where are they? I haven't seen any yet. Also, we're not Protestants -- the homily is probably the least important part of the Liturgy (it's optional to the Liturgy, actually -- I didn't hear a single homily the entire year I attended a Romanian Orthodox Church in Iraq). The words of the worship itself contain our Faith.

Or reads the Confession of Cyril of Lucaris?

Cyril was a Calvinist -- he had renounced the Orthodox Faith in favor of heresy.

Or who read, back in the day, Christian iconoclasts' writings which were later destroyed?

Of course they were -- as were those of the Gnostics -- and the documents that say that Christ and Mary Magdalene were married. And the parts of the Bible that talked about reincarnation. It's all part of the Great Apostasy.

I'm sure Calvinists have never burned books that they thought were blasphemous, right? No, just people (like Michael Servetus), I guess.

What about the papist parts of the 1st millennium church?

The Church in Rome was pulling away from the other Patriarchs by about the 5th century.

They're part of the early church; just b/c you don't accept that stuff NOW doesn't mean that didn't exist THEN.

Because they depart from the Faith of the Apostles and Fathers -- go further back; go to the Apostolic Fathers especially -- take a look. There's always been disagreements -- the fact that there were heretics running around even in the 1st century doesn't undermine the truth of Christianity. You're going the way of Ehrman here again -- with his false idea that the existence of the Gnostics, Ebionites, and Marcionites undermines the validity of the Real Christianity. You're doing the same thing.

Rhology said...

John,

Tell me why I should think the least bit credible someone who would paint Basil to be a sola scripturaist.

B/c Basil told ppl to let Scripture decide between him and them on matters of doctrine. Sounds a lot more like me than like you.



The Christian faith is what it is, and the Tradition is what it is

Ah, but who decides what "**T**radition" is? What's included in it?


It would be astonishing if everything oral was written down, would it not? Such an astonishing claim would require the burden of proof, would it not?

It would be astonishing if the apostles said extra stuff that wasn't written down, would it not? Such an astonishing claim would require the burden of proof, would it not?


How much of the writings of the Fathers have you actually read for yourself? Be honest.

ANF01 up thru the end of Ignatius.


So Christ's promise that the gates of hades will not prevail against the Church has failed.

Your understanding of that promise has failed.
Remember my cross-ex answer? Remnant. Not always identifiable visibly. Been that way all thru the OT. Expected in the NT, like in Acts 20:32, 2 Tim 3-4, etc.


malacious

Side note - I should start using this word. Combine "malicious" and "fallacious", :-).
I'm not ripping you for a quick-type misspell, I just liked this one.


they were doing exactly what St. Vincent said we shouldn't do -- they were departing from the Faith always held, and the Church reacted by banning the practice.

OOOOORRRRR, they blvd diff than you do, and you're judging them from your modern standpoint, "The Church® doesn't blv that, you're outta here!"
This is exactly the question-begging procedure I've come to expect from your position.


I thought you meant disagreements on important matters of Faith between the early Fathers.

Now you're shifting the goalposts. Do you have unity or don't you?
Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith? On which famous Father Cyprian was wrong? I suppose when he wrote about THAT, he was just speaking as a private individual, right? And when what he wrote suits your position, alluvasudden he represents the voice of the church.


First, these councils took place in the 8th century -- awful late in time when I was asking for early Christian history.

Shifting the goalposts again. Now it's just the "early church" that had unity. So what's the cutoff date?


Second, the council of Hieria is a heretical council, as iconoclasts are heretics;

Exactly. More picking and choosing, based on LATER DECISION.


Try interpreting Scripture without the help of Calvin and Luther's "traditions of men."

Old, very tired canard.
How does this respond to my contention? Here it is again:
--Um, if the Scr can't teach us their own proper interp, but the CFs can.


Of course they were -- as were those of the Gnostics -- and the documents that say that Christ and Mary Magdalene were married. And the parts of the Bible that talked about reincarnation. It's all part of the Great Apostasy.

I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify?


I'm sure Calvinists have never burned books that they thought were blasphemous, right? No, just people (like Michael Servetus), I guess.

1) Two wrongs make a right fallacy.
2) Calvin didn't burn Servetus. He risked his life to ask him to repent, tried to reason with him, asked the Geneva City council to behead him rather than burn him. Your history is weak here.
3) So what if Calvin was a monster? That's an irrelevant ad hominem.


The Church in Rome was pulling away from the other Patriarchs by about the 5th century.

So, conveniently, you get to ignore THEM too when you want. Great.


You're going the way of Ehrman here again

anyone who knows anythg about Ehrman can see how silly this is.

Peace,
Rhology

David said...

ANF01 up thru the end of Ignatius.

Thank you for your honesty. Not very much then. Keep reading :)

So what did you think of St. Ignatius' views on the Real Presence, the unity of the Church, and the authority of the Bishop (and where he derives said authority from)?

Remnant. Not always identifiable visibly.

This is a historical unreality. The JWs claim the same thing about their Arian theology -- equally unhistorical. The fact is that there is no group in history before the Protestants that you can find which held to the same essentials of Faith -- iconoclasm, sole fide, sola scriptura, rejection of intercession by/for the departed, etc. are all separate heresies in history. You'll find a group that was iconoclasts, but this same group believed in faith + works. You'll find a group who rejected saintly intercession, but this same group used images vociferously. There's no "remnant" to be found -- Protestantism is imply a hodgepodge of heresies already handled (see especially Gnosticism -- you'll enjoy reading St. Irenaeus when you get to him in ANF01).

Side note - I should start using this word. Combine "malicious" and "fallacious", :-).

I invented it -- I'm calling copyright infringement if you use it. ;)

OOOOORRRRR, they blvd diff than you do, and you're judging them from your modern standpoint,

The perspective I'm judging iconoclasts as heretics by is not a backwards chronologically perspective, but a forwards one. It's not because we use images now that iconoclasm is a heresy; it's because those Christians before them used images that it's a heresy. Something a heresy because it departs from the Faith of the Fathers -- as iconoclasm does. It's not a "heresy in retrospect" -- it's a heresy because it was the change from the Apostolic practice.

Do you have unity or don't you?
Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith? On which famous Father Cyprian was wrong?


He wasn't completely wrong, but that's another discussion.

The controversy between Ss. Stephen and Cyprian was one of how to apply the Apostolic teaching they both held to -- namely, baptismal regeneration. The question was if the baptisms of heretics could provide the regeneration which baptism brought about. Cyprian thought it best to re-baptize; Stephen took the opposite stance.

What's important in this debate is not that there was a conflict -- conflict is an inevitability of being human; and there's still plenty of conflict in the Church today on some issues -- what's important is that they were both trying to apply Apostolic principles.

Obviously, there was no Apostolic Tradition to follow on the matter of whether heretics should be re-baptized; the Apostles had never had to face this issue. Both of these Fathers started with the same Apostolic Tradition -- Baptismal Regeneration -- and did their best to apply it to this new situation.

So what we find in the debate between Stephen and Cyprian is a fundamental agreement on an essential matter of Faith, with disagreement about how it should be applied in new situations.

David said...

So what's the cutoff date?

I've said before: Apostolic Fathers -- that's who I'm really interested in. The Apostolic Fathers knew Apostles; the Apostolic Fathers were what the Fathers of the 3rd and 4th and 5th centuries were talking about when they said "the Fathers." The Apostolic Fathers are the closest in time, relationship, etc. to the Apostles -- find me something they disagree on.

Exactly. More picking and choosing, based on LATER DECISION.

No, see above about iconoclasm. They're not heretical because of a "later decision" -- they're heretical because of a departure from the earlier practice.

--Um, if the Scr can't teach us their own proper interp, but the CFs can.

My point was that I interpret the Scripture in the light of the writings of the Fathers; you replace the Fathers with Luther and Calvin. You can't get around the fact that you interpret it through lenses of a certain color. The real question is: what's the right color?

I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify?

I apologize for that; it was mockery directed at what I took as a very 'conspiracy-minded' statement about book burnings.

2) Calvin didn't burn Servetus. He risked his life to ask him to repent, tried to reason with him, asked the Geneva City council to behead him rather than burn him. Your history is weak here.

Well, I guess beheading is a little less painful that burning, as long as the axe is sharp...

3) So what if Calvin was a monster? That's an irrelevant ad hominem.

It is, from your perspective. From mine, it's an indicator of his nature, which is one that could not possibly have taught truth and righteousness and the Gospel of the Lord. Compare Calvin's "life and times" to those of the Fathers (or some of the great Orthodox teachers of the 20th century for that matter).

The degree to which a man lives the Gospel has a lot to do with whether to trust him in teaching the Gospel -- hypocrites simply aren't trustworthy.

So, conveniently, you get to ignore THEM too when you want. Great.

No, notice I said "beginning in about the 5th century." Meaning: before that, they weren't. Therefore: in the 5th century, they began to depart from the Faith and practice of the Church. Innovation is always bad -- no matter when it happens. It was bad with the Ebionites and Gnostics too (boy, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Irenaeus when you get to him!)

anyone who knows anythg about Ehrman can see how silly this is.

You're using the exact same argument he uses. He says that the disagreements between the Ebionites, Gnostics, "Proto-orthodox," and Marcionites in early Christianity undermines the validity of the Gospel as taught by the Proto-orthodox "winners." You say the same -- that the disagreements between the Orthodox, Monophysites, Arians, Novatianists, Iconoclasts, etc. in semi-early Christianity undermines the validity of the Gospel as taught by the Orthodox "winners." You're both trying to justify your reasons for departing from the Faith of the Apostles.

John said...

"B/c Basil told ppl to let Scripture decide between him and them on matters of doctrine. Sounds a lot more like me than like you."

So I guess every person who cites scripture to prove a doctrine believes sola scriptura??

You are aware of the whole range of things Basil said about tradition, right? If you're not, find out. If you are, why defend such nonsense?

"Ah, but who decides what "**T**radition" is? What's included in it?"

Who decides what scripture is? What's included in it?

Apparently you are able to discern what God's people have been led to in scripture (judging from reading your debate), so if you were sincere you ought to be able to apply the same principles here.

"It would be astonishing if the apostles said extra stuff that wasn't written down, would it not? "

Why? Do you write down everything you say???

Does the New Testament give evidence that all the apostles made an attempt to systematically write down the Christian faith? (Clearly not, since most of the apostles wrote nothing, and those who did few if any could be claimed to have attempted to make a systematic explanation of the Christian faith).

"ANF01 up thru the end of Ignatius. "

At a rough guess, that's about 1% of the commonly cited church fathers.

"Remember my cross-ex answer? Remnant."

You need to make a plausible case for where this Remnant was at all times in history. Trouble is, there is no such case unless you allow some form of Orthodoxy to be it.

""The Church® doesn't blv that, you're outta here!"
This is exactly the question-begging procedure I've come to expect from your position."

No more question begging than your attempts to defend your canon against other canons.

"Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith? "

Err, no. Since a great father like Basil actually explicitly allowed different practices. And I might add, the reason for different practices is due to things external to the church - i.e. the changing landscape of heretical groups.

David wrote:
"You say the same -- that the disagreements between the Orthodox, Monophysites, Arians, Novatianists, Iconoclasts, etc. in semi-early Christianity undermines the validity of the Gospel as taught by the Orthodox "winners.""

Exactly, and if R. was thinking clearly he would realise this also undermines his canon of scripture

Rhology said...

Yeah, I think that's ~200 pages in ANF01. Seemed like a lot, but compared to the entirety...nope. And then to think there's quite a lot more patristic stuff that's not even translated into EN yet, mind-boggling!


So what did you think of St. Ignatius' views on the Real Presence, the unity of the Church, and the authority of the Bishop (and where he derives said authority from)?

I noted them. I keep track of interesting quotes, for "better" or "worse", and that was in the journal.
But given my rule of faith, you know. The argument matters, not the man.


The JWs claim the same thing about their Arian theology -- equally unhistorical.

It's actually pretty dang old. So's Gnosticism, Marcionism...



This is a historical unreality.

What, the remnant? Not in the OT, that's for sure.



You'll find a group that was iconoclasts, but this same group believed in faith + works.

So not very everywhere by all at all times, is it?



It's not because we use images now that iconoclasm is a heresy; it's because those Christians before them used images that it's a heresy.

The NT Christians didn't. The OT covenant community of God didn't.
And not everyone in later-early church used them.



It's not a "heresy in retrospect" -- it's a heresy because it was the change from the Apostolic practice.

If you're really concerned with apostolic practice - as in, what the apostles practiced - then you have no business bowing down to images and talking to dead ppl. But "apostolic practice" is a misleading term from the EO mouth.



What's important in this debate is not that there was a conflict -- conflict is an inevitability of being human; and there's still plenty of conflict in the Church today on some issues -- what's important is that they were both trying to apply Apostolic principles.

Give an argument for this, in light of your "historical unanimity as rule of faith" paradigm you're fwding.



I've said before: Apostolic Fathers -- that's who I'm really interested in

1) Vincent de Lérins hardly qualifies, then, does he?
2) And why not just go all the way back to the apostles? The NT? Why arbitrarily extend the "valid date" until the Ap Fathers?
3) And why not go all the way up to modern times? Isn't the voice of the church the important thing? You just finished telling me that "there was no Apostolic Tradition to follow on the matter of whether heretics should be re-baptized; the Apostles had never had to face this issue". So clearly you need to qualify this statement.


They're not heretical because of a "later decision" -- they're heretical because of a departure from the earlier practice.

And of course the earlier practice was spotty and of dubious origin.



My point was that I interpret the Scripture in the light of the writings of the Fathers; you replace the Fathers with Luther and Calvin.

False, false, false. I interpret Scr in the light of Scripture. Luther and Calvin, in the context of rule of faith, I couldn't care less.
Doesn't it bother you to strawman my position so much?


I apologize for that; it was mockery directed at what I took as a very 'conspiracy-minded' statement about book burnings.

Oh, gotcha.
And mockery is allowed around here, haha. ;-) I just didn't get it.
I'd simply respond that there's more evidence for some conspiracy theories than for others.



Well, I guess beheading is a little less painful that burning, as long as the axe is sharp...

True. And the Romanist Inquisition would have done much worse to both Calvin and Servetus.

Rhology said...

From mine, it's an indicator of his nature, which is one that could not possibly have taught truth and righteousness and the Gospel of the Lord.

as opposed to you, oh worm?


The degree to which a man lives the Gospel has a lot to do with whether to trust him in teaching the Gospel -- hypocrites simply aren't trustworthy.

I guess the discipline of not committing the genetic fallacy is not well-tended in EOdoxy...



Therefore: in the 5th century, they began to depart from the Faith and practice of the Church. Innovation is always bad -- no matter when it happens.

Doesn't seem to bother you when it comes to Marian dogmas. Or talking to dead ppl.


You say the same -- that the disagreements between the Orthodox, Monophysites, Arians, Novatianists, Iconoclasts, etc. in semi-early Christianity undermines the validity of the Gospel as taught by the Orthodox "winners."

No, you've completely missed the point. I bring up disagreements b/c YOU CLAIM THIS MASSIVE AGREEMENT VALIDATES YOUR RULE OF FAITH. My arguments are a REBUTTAL to YOUR position, not an argument for mine. Rebuttal and pre-emptive rebuttal are not equivalent to making a positive case for one's own position.

Rhology said...

John,

So I guess every person who cites scripture to prove a doctrine believes sola scriptura??

Re-read it. He didn't just "cite Scripture to prove a doctrine".
And notice your argument from silence here. He goes to SCRIPTURE. He didn't go to "tradition", but somehow you know that he held to your rule of faith. How do you know that? How do you know he did so consistently?


You are aware of the whole range of things Basil said about tradition, right? If you're not, find out.

No, surely not of the whole range. I simply charge that here, he's acting as a Sola Scripturist.
If you "counter-cite" a contradictory statement, either
1) he's inconsistent, and therefore shouldn't be granted tons of authority, or
2) you should speak just as inconsistently, if you're following in his steps.
It's not that complex.



Who decides what scripture is?

God. Now, please answer the question I asked.


Why? Do you write down everything you say???

Argument from silence.


Does the New Testament give evidence that all the apostles made an attempt to systematically write down the Christian faith?

Scripture is the only rule of faith that the NT gives us, so...


You need to make a plausible case for where this Remnant was at all times in history.

Oh, right, like God explained that to Elijah when He reminded him of the 7000 who had not yet bowed the knee to Baal. Sure.


No more question begging than your attempts to defend your canon against other canons.

True, but see I actually DO have a canon. You don't.
And you accept that a Canon of Scr exists (sorta). If I grant you your Canon of Scr, my position remains untouched, since your Canon doesn't contain anything that militates against my position. And you're supposed to accept that God has spoken somewhere, and not in other places.
So we agree on that, but we don't agree on your canon of tradition, which is why I'm questioning you and not allowing you to beg the question.

David said...

mind-boggling!

It definitely is -- and a lot of it is pretty dense reading -- but the pay-off is well worth it.

But given my rule of faith, you know. The argument matters, not the man.

Understood. I think an important point in how the "argument matters" is what he's phrasing the argument against as well; it's important to study the history alongside the Patristic writings -- St. Ignatius, for instance, maintaining the belief in the Real Presence against the Docetists.

It's actually pretty dang old. So's Gnosticism, Marcionism...

It is, but their's is a revival not a continuation. Important difference.

What, the remnant? Not in the OT, that's for sure.

What I mean is that it is completely unhistorical to assert that any group believing anything even similar to Protestants in general (or Calvinists in particular) has existed continuously for the last 2000 years; it's simply untrue. Protestantism is its own innovation, howevermuch it may resemble previous innovations. Calvinism, for instance, closely resembles Gnosticism, but is not a continuation of it.

The NT Christians didn't.

They sure did. I've presented you with the irrefutable archaeological and textual evidence for that before and you dismissed it as part of the Great Apostasy.

The OT covenant community of God didn't.

They sure did. I've presented you with those quotes before as well.

And not everyone in later-early church used them.

They sure did -- up until Islamic influence brought about "Christian" iconoclasm.

If you're really concerned with apostolic practice - as in, what the apostles practiced - then you have no business bowing down to images and talking to dead ppl.

1. I don't to images; I bow to the person the image is of.
2. I don't talk to dead people; but ask for the prayerful intercession of those who are alive in Christ, because my God is the God of the living.
3. Both of said practices date from the time of the Apostles -- historical evidence is concrete.

1) Vincent de Lérins hardly qualifies, then, does he?

I don't think you got my point. That statement was in reference to your allegations that the Fathers are hugely inconsistent. I was asking for you to show me Apostolic Fathers who didn't believe the same thing.

And of course the earlier practice was spotty and of dubious origin.

Only if you dismissively ignore the piles of archaeological and written evidence, as you've done previously when so presented.

False, false, false. I interpret Scr in the light of Scripture. Luther and Calvin, in the context of rule of faith, I couldn't care less.

Really? So you read the Bible and just so happened to reach the exact same conclusions as Calvin all on your own?

I'd simply respond that there's more evidence for some conspiracy theories than for others.

I'd highly suggest that you read the statements of the Council for yourself -- not quite what ole boy here makes them out to be.

I'd also have to ask whether or not you agree with St. Athanasius' orders to destroy the Gnostic writings in the 4th century?

True. And the Romanist Inquisition would have done much worse to both Calvin and Servetus.

And the Roman Inquisition (& Crusades) did do worse, much worse, to the Orthodox...

David said...

I guess the discipline of not committing the genetic fallacy is not well-tended in EOdoxy...

No such thing when it comes to the Gospel. If your pastor had somebody burned at the stake for heresy today, would you find yourself another church or not?

Doesn't seem to bother you when it comes to Marian dogmas. Or talking to dead ppl.

Neither is a departure -- the ancientness of each stands firm on historical grounds.

A response to some of your statements to John:

No, surely not of the whole range. I simply charge that here, he's acting as a Sola Scripturist.
If you "counter-cite" a contradictory statement, either
1) he's inconsistent, and therefore shouldn't be granted tons of authority, or
2) you should speak just as inconsistently, if you're following in his steps.
It's not that complex.


I think option 3 is much more likely: Rhology just isn't understanding the Fathers because he's too caught up in his own presuppositions. It's much more likely than asserting that every single of the Fathers -- some of the most brilliant men of any age -- each contradicted themselves within sentences. Absurdity -- Sartre would be proud.

God. Now, please answer the question I asked.

Let's keep going ... God ... working through ... whom.......?

Argument from silence.

No, yours is an argument from silence. The Bible is loud and clear: 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Philipians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 11:2, and 2 Thessalonians 3:6

And then of course, there's common sense... nobody writes down everything they say.

Scripture is the only rule of faith that the NT gives us, so...

No, no, it's not. See Scripture references above.

You don't.

Yes, we do. We gave your yours actually.

Now a couple more things:

1. I think you're not quit understand St. Vincent's canon. Finding an exception here, a variation there doesn't undermine the rule of Faith. I've explained this before, but not well enough apparently. As he himself says, when there's a disagreement to be found, then you look for which practice is the more ancient of the two -- which can be trace back to the Apostles and which can't. You also look at who's in the majority. If only one parish somewhere in the desert in Egypt is using the Secret Gospel of Mark, but nobody else is -- there's a problem with that parish, not the entirety of the Church.
2. You pretty much ignored my response to you on Ss. Cyprian and Stephen -- are you willing admit that you were wrong on this one?

Darlene said...

Rhology (mind if I call you Alan?),

You said, "False, false, false. I interpret Scr in the light of Scripture. Luther and Calvin, in the context of rule of faith, I couldn't care less."

So, are you then a Solo Scripturist? Me and my Bible alone? Do you really mean to say you have never been taught by anyone and that you only have the Holy Spirit guiding you? What about the Ethiopian eunuch's response to Philip's question "Do you understand what you are reading?" Was he wrong in saying to Philip, "How can I unless someone guides me?" Why didn't Philip instruct the eunuch to just pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach him?

Rhology, you mean to say you've never been instructed in the faith by anyone? What about just prior to confessing the Christian faith? Didn't anyone speak with you and preach the gospel to you? Didn't anyone explain the meaning of the Scriptures to you? Did you just figure it out on your own?Even St. Paul says, "And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?"

Do you mean to say you have not been influnced by anyone in regards to how to understand the Scriptures? What would be the purpose of having teachers and preachers in the body of Christ if we can interpret the Scr. on our own? What would be the purpose of ever even hearing another man's sermon if such is the case?

Please tell me I'm misunderstanding you hear. Even Calvin and Luther (the ones you seem to dismiss) acknowledged that they followed a tradition, and that they were instructed and influenced by some of the early Fathers, for they quoted them often to make their points.

Eagerly awaiting your response. :)

In Christ,

Darlene

Rhology said...

So you read the Bible and just so happened to reach the exact same conclusions as Calvin all on your own?

That's not the same question you asked me. Back up, think it thru again, ask it differently.


Darlene,

I prefer Rhology, but I don't care.
And no, it should be clear from the numerous denials I've issued, that I don't hold to me and my Bible under a tree. It's a lame strawman that Sola Ecclesia adherents like to toss out there to make Sola Scripturists look bad. Less than honest.

John said...

"The NT Christians didn't. The OT covenant community of God didn't.
And not everyone in later-early church used them."

The OT covenant used images. It states it right there in the bible. You must know all this. I don't know why you keep stating what is manifestly false.

"If you're really concerned with apostolic practice - as in, what the apostles practiced - then you have no business bowing down to images and talking to dead ppl."

We also have in the bible the apostles talking to "dead" people. At least be more specific about your criticism.

"Re-read it. He didn't just "cite Scripture to prove a doctrine". "

It amounts to the same thing. There was different customs in different places, and Basil wanted to cite scripture to prove his side. This does't help you at all.

"He goes to SCRIPTURE. He didn't go to "tradition""

Scripture says that scripture IS tradition.

He didn't go to non-written tradition, because that was indecisive in this case. There are other cases in Basil where the written tradition is indecisive, and Basil is then a strong advocate for the non-written tradition. So this helps you how? Nobody claimed that oral and written tradition are always equally applicable or clear in all cases. If Basil in all cases points to ONLY scripture as the rule of faith, then you would have a point. But Basil is so far away from that position it isn't funny.

"but somehow you know that he held to your rule of faith. How do you know that?"

Are you seriously not familiar with what Basil said on tradition? If so I'll give you a taste of it (and no, I see no reason whatsoever for claiming Basil was inconsistent, as no doubt you will have to resort to).

"The one aim of the whole band of opponents and enemies of “sound doctrine” is to shake down the foundation of the faith of Christ by levelling apostolic tradition with the ground, and utterly destroying it. So like the debtors, — of course bona fide debtors. — they clamour for written proof, and reject as worthless the unwritten tradition of the Fathers." Basil, on the Holy Spirit

"Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us “in a mystery” by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay; — no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church." - ibid

" If they deprecate our doxology on the ground that it lacks written authority, let them give us the written evidence for the confession of our faith and the other matters which we have enumerated. While the unwritten traditions are so many, and their bearing on “the mystery of godliness is so important, can they refuse to allow us a single word which has come down to us from the Fathers; — which we found, derived from untutored custom, abiding in unperverted churches; — a word for which the arguments are strong, and which contributes in no small degree to the completeness of the force of the mystery?" - ibid

John said...

"If you "counter-cite" a contradictory statement, either
1) he's inconsistent, and therefore shouldn't be granted tons of authority, "

Why should we assume that if Basil appeals to scripture in one place to clarify tradition, and appeals to tradition in another place to clarify scripture, that he is inconsistent? That's about as rational as if we found something lacking in clarity in Matthew, and I said "Let the testimony of Mark and Luke settle the matter about the meaning of this passage", then supposedly I reject the authority of Matthew? This divide and conquer Protestant nonsense lacks rational thinking.

"God. Now, please answer the question I asked."

I give the same answer as you - God.

"Scripture is the only rule of faith that the NT gives us, so..."

No it isn't: 2Th 2:15. And even if it was you would beg the question of why we should look to scripture to give us such a list, then we are all agreed that the early church didn't stick to just scripture, being as the Christian faith wasn't in the OT scriptures.

You say that things changed (or should have changed) when the apostles died and we are left with only scripture. Even if we accepted this unsubstantiated claim, we would know with certainty that the NT doesn't teach that, since we already agreed that it wasn't practiced when the apostles were alive. Basically, you logically can't appeal to the NT for this, even ignoring the fact that the NT teaches no such thing.

"You need to make a plausible case for where this Remnant was at all times in history.

Oh, right, like God explained that to Elijah when He reminded him of the 7000 who had not yet bowed the knee to Baal."

???? Firstly, how is this situation addressing parallel epistemological problem? Secondly, isn't that exactly what God does explain: where his remnant is? Thirdly, the issue was about a specifically NT promise.

"True, but see I actually DO have a canon. You don't. "

??? Since when?

"So we agree on that, but we don't agree on your canon of tradition, which is why I'm questioning you and not allowing you to beg the question."

No cigar I'm afraid. If you can't defend your position without resorting to the same arguments you won't accept for my position, then you have no argument.

Darlene said...

Ok Rho, so you don't hold to you and your Bible under a tree. And, according to you, you couldn't care less about Luther and Calvin's rule of faith.

So, who has influenced you to believe what you believe? Specifically, where were you taught and from whom that you need to compare Scripture in the light of Scripture?

I am curious though, why you dismiss Calvin's rule of faith. Are you not a son of the Reformation and do you not recognize that your beliefs (although not all of them as a Ref. Bap) directly go back to Calvin. What's wrong with proudly claiming that you're a student of Calvin if you are a Reformed Christian?

Rhology said...

David,

It is, but their's is a revival not a continuation. Important difference.

I'm not sure one could make the historical case that, say, Gnosticism has been totally eradicated at a given point in history. Historical study is not well-suited for making that kind of concrete statement. That's why I find this line of reasoning pretty weak.



What I mean is that it is completely unhistorical to assert that any group believing anything even similar to Protestants in general (or Calvinists in particular) has existed continuously for the last 2000 years; it's simply untrue.

Even if I granted that, it makes no difference. The TEACHING did - in the Bible. God's truth has no expiration date.


Calvinism, for instance, closely resembles Gnosticism,

Oh, please.


They sure did. I've presented you with the irrefutable archaeological and textual evidence for that before and you dismissed it as part of the Great Apostasy.

You must have misunderstood the challenge. Where is the evidence for **NT** Christians? NT = New Testament.
And the fact that you think the OT ppl of God were not iconoclasts is laughable on its face. Fine, fine, thanks, we're done here.


1. I don't to images; I bow to the person the image is of.

The person isn't there.



2. I don't talk to dead people;

Let the reader judge whether addressing someone who is dead means you're talking to a dead person or not.



(Vincent de Lérins') statement was in reference to your allegations that the Fathers are hugely inconsistent. I was asking for you to show me Apostolic Fathers who didn't believe the same thing.

I hardly see how this responds to my challenge.



Only if you dismissively ignore the piles of archaeological and written evidence, as you've done previously when so presented.

You would know, with your dismissive ignoring of CF writings when it suits you.



I'd also have to ask whether or not you agree with St. Athanasius' orders to destroy the Gnostic writings in the 4th century?

Irrelevant. It would be anachronistic of me to make some kind of judgment on that - 21st century USA is not nearly the same as 4th cent Alexandria.



And the Roman Inquisition (& Crusades) did do worse, much worse, to the Orthodox...

One of the reasons I could never be a Romanist. And yes, I know.
So...YOU were the one who brought up Calvin and Servetus. I take it you're withdrawing your contention.



If your pastor had somebody burned at the stake for heresy today, would you find yourself another church or not?

Hmm, that's a good question.
Yes, b/c he would have unjustifiably killed (ie, murdered) someone - the covenant community of God today is not authorised to do that unless the State says it is. And even then it wouldn't be authorised by God to do so. that's a doctrinal question.
Anyway, genetic fallacy is sometimes OK, then? So, your worldview commits a logical fallacy, do I understand you rightly?



Rhology just isn't understanding the Fathers because he's too caught up in his own presuppositions.

Right, when someone says "Holy Scripture, the ground and pillar of our faith" like Irenaeus, or "divine Scripture is sufficient above all things" (Athanasius), I'm just totally off my rocker to echo that thinking in dialogue with you. Whatever.


Let's keep going ... God ... working through ... whom.......?

The church. Whom else?
Now, let's do keep going. God worked...BEFORE the NT...through...whom....?


Finding an exception here, a variation there doesn't undermine the rule of Faith.

It says EVERYwhere. At ALL times. By ALL.

Rhology said...

Look, if it's not EVERYwhere, by ALL, at ALL times, I suggest you publish a retraction to your first cross-ex answer. Seriously, you have to know how big a difference that is! How can you stand being so disingenuous?



You pretty much ignored my response to you on Ss. Cyprian and Stephen -- are you willing admit that you were wrong on this one?

Not at all. i said this above:
Now you're shifting the goalposts. Do you have unity or don't you?
Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith? On which famous Father Cyprian was wrong? I suppose when he wrote about THAT, he was just speaking as a private individual, right? And when what he wrote suits your position, alluvasudden he represents the voice of the church.

I don't think your response adequately answered that. Let the reader judge.



Why should we assume that if Basil appeals to scripture in one place to clarify tradition, and appeals to tradition in another place to clarify scripture, that he is inconsistent?

Gosh, I don't know. Maybe b/c that's why YOU quote him to validate that very question?



No it isn't: 2Th 2:15.

Now PROVE that another rule of faith is mentioned and that the oral msg wasn't identical to the written in overall content.



???? Firstly, how is this situation addressing parallel epistemological problem?

Remnant. You must've lost track of what we were talking about right there.



Secondly, isn't that exactly what God does explain: where his remnant is?

Did He now? OK, find in the psg where He did so.



Thirdly, the issue was about a specifically NT promise.

Oh, there are no promises from God that He'll preserve His ppl in the OT?



??? Since when?

Memory isn't too sharp, eh?




Darlene,
And, according to you, you couldn't care less about Luther and Calvin's rule of faith.

That's not what I said either. This is getting a little tiresome.
YOU claim things about Luther and Calvin. I tell you it's wrong, then you repeat from a diff wrong angle.
What they said was right, but the only authority they have is insofar as they properly interpret Scr, repeating God's Word. That's all. So whether they held to inf bapt makes no difference. Whether they liked Mary or not makes no difference. What does the Scripture say? that makes ALL the difference.


So, who has influenced you to believe what you believe?

Tons of ppl, those two great men included.


where were you taught and from whom that you need to compare Scripture in the light of Scripture?

Jesus. "Have you not read...?"



What's wrong with proudly claiming that you're a student of Calvin if you are a Reformed Christian?

I do, but that's not what you've been representing me to say.

Darlene said...

Rho:

I said, "And according to you, you couldn't care less about Luther and Calvin's rule of faith."

Your reply,"That's not what I said either."

You said in your second response here:
"Luther and Calvin in the context of rule of faith, I couldn't care less."

So I'm scratching my head when you respond with, "You claim things about Luther and Calvin, I tell you it's wrong, then you repeat from a different angle."

Rho, I really have no idea what you are talking about. But, I think you need to reconsider your response to me.

Perhaps you need to take a few days away from blogging. Enjoy the fresh air and take a hike in the park, relax in a nice, warm bubble bath (it does wonders for me), have a romantic evening out with your wife, take your children to Chucky Cheese. (do you have those where you live?) Or just relax in a cozy chair, with a nice glass of wine, or your preferred drink of choice, and read some of John Donne's poetry.

I do mean this in all sincerity.

May our Lord Jesus bless you this day.

Darlene

David said...

I'm not sure one could make the historical case that, say, Gnosticism has been totally eradicated at a given point in history.

Gnosticism has had a series of revivals, but no continuous line of succession from the earliest Gnostic groups. Calvinism is a modern example.

Even if I granted that, it makes no difference. The TEACHING did - in the Bible. God's truth has no expiration date.

Right, and so we go back to the Great Apostasy. I'm still waiting on your answer for which it is: did the Apostolic Fathers all simultaneously misunderstand the Apostles on the exact same issues but nonetheless have remarkable agreement with each other concerning those things upon they were mistaken OR did they all conspire together to intentionally overthrow the Faith of the Apostles? You've only got two options here -- it shouldn't be hard.

Oh, please.

All Fives points of traditional Calvinism were held by the Gnostics in some form:
1. Total depravity - Gnostics believed that the material world is utterly corrupt and evil, including the vast majority of people.
2. Unconditional election - According to the Gnostics, only certain individuals have been chosen by God to be saved.
3. Limited atonement - According to the Gnostics, Christ came only to save those said individuals above -- the Gnostics called them "the perfect;" Calvinists call them "the elect."
4. Irresistible grace - See above -- those "perfect"/"elect" will be brought to whatever "knowledge" is necessary for their salvation -- even against their own wills.
5. Perseverance of the saints - It's impossible for the "perfect"/"elect" to apostasize.

Again, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on St. Irenaeus when you read him! He seems to be arguing against Calvinists half the time!

David said...

Where is the evidence for **NT** Christians? NT = New Testament.

1. Argument from silence -- if we're using the NT alone.
2. Again, archaeological and written evidence for the use of images in the 1st century.

And the fact that you think the OT ppl of God were not iconoclasts is laughable on its face.

Absolutely agreed; it is laughable on its face to state the OT community were iconoclasts. You said; not me.

The person isn't there.

Did God tell you that?

Let the reader judge whether addressing someone who is dead means you're talking to a dead person or not.

Let the reader judge whether Christ is a liar (Matthew 22:32).

I hardly see how this responds to my challenge.

1. What was your challenge? Maybe I missed it.
2. You haven't responded to my challenge either: find Apostolic Fathers who are mutually inconsistent, especially in something that you disagree with them on.

You would know, with your dismissive ignoring of CF writings when it suits you.

Another challenge I've issue you which you've avoided: show me a single thing a CF says that I disagree with.

Irrelevant. It would be anachronistic of me to make some kind of judgment on that - 21st century USA is not nearly the same as 4th cent Alexandria.

And yet you had no qualms about making judgments on the Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council for having had the writings of the Iconoclastic heretics burned. You're as inconsistent as you accuse the Fathers and the Scriptures of being!

Yes, b/c he would have unjustifiably killed (ie, murdered) someone

Right -- and would this activity by your pastor not undermine his credibility in being a teacher of the Gospel -- which he has so obviously and horrendously contradicted by his actions?

Anyway, genetic fallacy is sometimes OK, then?

I guess so, from my perspective. I don't see how being a hypocrite can be okay.

Right, when someone says "Holy Scripture, the ground and pillar of our faith" like Irenaeus, or "divine Scripture is sufficient above all things" (Athanasius), I'm just totally off my rocker to echo that thinking in dialogue with you.

And the question is: do you really understand what each of those Fathers intended by those statements or are you interpreting them in the context of your own presuppositions? You have to interpret a statement in the light of all other statements made by said individual; especially within the same work! It's called context.

The church. Whom else?

Right -- so God gave us a Church, and then, through the Church, Scripture -- correct?

God worked...BEFORE the NT...through...whom....?

The Church. Whom else?

It says EVERYwhere. At ALL times. By ALL.

Please. Read it. Stop embarrassing yourself. Here.

David said...

Do you have unity or don't you?

St. Stephen and St. Cyprian both believed in Baptismal Regeneration -- the dispute was over how to apply that belief in a new situation, one for which there was no Apostolic precedent because the Apostles had never faced said situation. Get it now?

Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith?

Sure it is -- here's the answer: everyone. The question was over whose Baptism counts as a valid one -- a question the Apostles, unfortunately, didn't leave us an answer for, so we had to figure out, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for ourselves.

On which famous Father Cyprian was wrong?

He wasn't wrong at all -- nor was St. Stephen.

I suppose when he wrote about THAT, he was just speaking as a private individual, right?

Well, pretty much everyone always speaks as a private individual. The only documents which the Church considers infallible are the Scriptures and the decrees of the Councils. The writings of various Fathers can have errors -- they all spoke as individuals.

And when what he wrote suits your position, alluvasudden he represents the voice of the church.

Well, yes, pretty much. The Church has always believed the same thing -- insofar as somebody adequately expresses that Faith always held, he speaks for the Church.

Now PROVE that another rule of faith is mentioned and that the oral msg wasn't identical to the written in overall content.

The word "and" in the sentence? If I said "a candy cane is red and white" does "red" contain the "white"? Seriously, Rho, that's not a very intelligent statement.

What they said was right, but the only authority they have is insofar as they properly interpret Scr, repeating God's Word.

And, of course, you are the infallible authority which determines whether they correctly interpreted God's word. Insofar as they agree with you, they correctly interpreted; insofar as they disagree with you, they incorrectly interpreted. Do you mind if I call you Your Holiness Pope Rhology?

Whether they liked Mary or not makes no difference.

The inference from this statement being that you don't "like Mary" -- got it.

What does the Scripture say? that makes ALL the difference.

It saith in the Gospel according to St. Rhology...

John said...

"Even if I granted that, it makes no difference. The TEACHING did - in the Bible. God's truth has no expiration date."

The promises weren't about the truth, but about the Church.

"And the fact that you think the OT ppl of God were not iconoclasts is laughable on its face."

I've read enough of your stuff, that you really ought to know better than to try and foist this nonsense on us.

1Kings 6:21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.
1Kings 6:22 He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.
1Kings 6:23 ¶ Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.
1Kings 6:24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing were ten cubits.
1Kings 6:25 The other cherub was ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form.
1Kings 6:26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub.
1Kings 6:27 He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house.
1Kings 6:28 He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.
1Kings 6:29 ¶ Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer sanctuaries."

Iconoclasts... Ya, right.



"Gosh, I don't know. Maybe b/c that's why YOU quote him to validate that very question? "

You lost me.

"No it isn't: 2Th 2:15.

Now PROVE that another rule of faith is mentioned and that the oral msg wasn't identical to the written in overall content."

(a) I don't need to prove another rule is mentioned, it is right there in the text. "Hold to the traditions, by word of mouth". Right in plain view.

(b) Isn't the topic rules of faith? The content of said rules of faith is a question that logically comes after establishing what the rules of faith are. Once we establish that oral tradition is a rule of faith, then we can investigate the content thereof.

"Remnant. You must've lost track of what we were talking about right there."

"Remnant" is not an espistemological problem. You have to be more specific.

"Did He now? OK, find in the psg where He did so. "

1Ki 19:18 - all those of Israel who don't bow to Baal are the Remnant. Your point would be what?

"Oh, there are no promises from God that He'll preserve His ppl in the OT? "

Prima facie, the people of God in the OT are Jews. The issue was rather different back then.

"Memory isn't too sharp, eh?"

You were thoroughly refuted on that. Different levels of importance within scripture does not amount to a different canon.

John said...

"How is that not a form of justification?

B/c it has nothing to do with justification - making one righteous before God."

You already agreed that this judgment of your works is before God. "Our works determine what reward in Heaven believers get". All that remains to be established is that being judged to have good works can be described as being justified.

But Protestant thought already admits this. It agrees that if someone could hypothetically perfectly do good works throughout their life, they would be justified.

The word justified in the bible is really "to be judged righteous". δικαιόω. Righteousness is δικαιοσύνη.

All through the bible, being δικαιόω is associated with good works. Unrighteousness is sin.

"the one who practices righteousness is righteous". - 1Jn "

Deut. 25:1 “If there is a dispute between men and they go to court, and the judges decide their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked

Rom. 2:13 the doers of the Law will be justified.

In light of this, can you explain to me how if God judges your works to be good (as you have agreed he may), that this is not a form of justification?

"I'm going with DavidW in this little intra-church squabble that reminds me alot "

You lost me.

Rhology said...

Darlene,

Luther and Calvin have nothing to do with my rule of faith. They are fallible men. they are not theopneustos. Scripture is.
They just happened to be right about alot of things. That does not mean they have anythg to do with my rule of faith. DavidW holds to the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the command to be baptised, the command to celebrate the Eucharist. He is right in these things. Doesn't mean he has anythg to do with my rule of faith.
Hope that helps. I have to say, again, that I find it hard to blv that you had even a basic knowledge of Calvinism from your professed yrs in a Reformed church. how could you not know this, and ask such questions as these?




John,
1Kings 6:21

Where were the ppl of God bowing down to the images? Talking to the images or angels? Praying to them? Requesting stuff from them? Just a direct quote from the psg will suffice.



(a) I don't need to prove another rule is mentioned, it is right there in the text. "Hold to the traditions, by word of mouth". Right in plain view.

I don't need to prove another rule is mentioned, it is right there in the text. "Hold to the traditions, by letter". Right in plain view.


It agrees that if someone could hypothetically perfectly do good works throughout their life, they would be justified.

Aren't you forgetting sthg? Original sin?



Rom. 2:13 the doers of the Law will be justified.

Yep, and Paul's whole point in Rom 2-3 is that NO ONE does the Law.

Rhology said...

DavidW,
the earliest Gnostic groups. Calvinism is a modern example.

Sigh. OK, obviously it tickles you to think that. Fine.


1. Total depravity - Gnostics believed that the material world is utterly corrupt and evil, including the vast majority of people.

OK, so that one's out the window, since that's not Calvinistic depravity.
1) It's not the vast majority of ppl who are depraved. It's EVERYone.
2) The NT tells us that the creation groans, that it's been subjected to curse.
3) And yet it's not utterly corrupt and evil.
So fail #1.

As for the rest, I suppose they sorta match.
I guess Augustinian doctrine is Gnostic too. And the NT.
Although "the perfect" hardly matches any Calvinistic description of "the elect". Good try.
Anyway, the NT teaches these things, so... I don't know what you're trying to prove with this guilt-by-association bogeyman. Plenty of groups get other things wrong but get alot of things right. EOC is a great example.



God's truth has no expiration date.

Right, and so we go back to the Great Apostasy.


1) If that's the case, so be it. The OT gives us every reason to see the remnant motif in operation for God's ppl.
2) This is no response, but rather a red herring with the "Great Apostasy" bogeyman, as if that's a settled question.


Did the Apostolic Fathers all simultaneously misunderstand the Apostles on the exact same issues but nonetheless have remarkable agreement with each other concerning those things upon they were mistaken OR did they all conspire together to intentionally overthrow the Faith of the Apostles?

Ask yourself the same question wrt the churches of Ephesus, Rome, Colossae, Corinth, Thessalonika, Crete, and 5 of the 7 mentioned in Revelation 1-3.



1. Argument from silence -- if we're using the NT alone.

So the NT doesn't teach it. Noted.
To say "the NT doesn't mention or teach it" is not an argument from silence. It's a statement of fact.



archaeology

From here:

Eastern Orthodox patristic scholar John McGuckin, while acknowledging the existence of some early Christian artwork, writes:

"Christianity in the earliest period seems to have shared the aversion common in Judaism (though not an absolute aversion as is demonstrated by the highly decorated second-century synagogue at Dura Europos) to painted representations in religious contexts." (The Westminster Handbook To Patristic Theology [Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004], p. 32)
McGuckin goes on to say that the church in general (not just some illiterate, ignorant laymen) "turned from it [art] as part of their apologia against false cult" (p. 32). He goes on to give examples of men like Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Epiphanius. He could have mentioned other names as well, and these people include bishops. Early enemies of Christianity, such as Celsus and Caecilius, criticize Christians in general for their opposition to the veneration of images.
The situation is such that even a conservative Roman Catholic like Ludwig Ott will write:

"Owing to the influence of the Old Testament prohibition of images, Christian veneration of images developed only after the victory of the Church over paganism. The Synod of Elvira (about 306) still prohibited figurative representations in the houses of God (Can. 36)." (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma [Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1974], p. 320)

But you tell us that it's an apostolic tradition always taught by the church. You don't reach that conclusion because of historical evidence suggesting that the earliest Christians taught the concept. Rather, you assume that the church always taught it in spite of the evidence that suggests otherwise.

Rhology said...

1. I don't to images; I bow to the person the image is of.

The person isn't there.

Did God tell you that?


1) Yep. They're either in Hades or in Paradise, not hanging around the Earth like a ghost.
2) And this is exactly what I mean by your pathetic disingenuousness. You know very well that the person is not standing there in front of you. You're just obfuscating.



Let the reader judge whether addressing someone who is dead means you're talking to a dead person or not.

Hahahaha, yes, let him judge. This is pure comic gold.



Only if you dismissively ignore the piles of archaeological and written evidence, as you've done previously when so presented.

You would know, with your dismissive ignoring of CF writings when it suits you.


The CFs are not part of my rule of faith. I don't rely on them for my authority. YOU DO.
How are you not getting this?



Let the reader judge whether Christ is a liar (Matthew 22:32).

Alive TO GOD. You're not Him.


Another challenge I've issue you which you've avoided: show me a single thing a CF says that I disagree with.

Done over and over again. My post on Athanasius and Chrysostom. My post on Clement.



And yet you had no qualms about making judgments on the Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council for having had the writings of the Iconoclastic heretics burned. You're as inconsistent as you accuse the Fathers and the Scriptures of being!

I wasn't accusing them of being politically incorrect. I was saying there's far more to the historical picture than you give credit for. Do try to follow the argument.



And the question is: do you really understand what each of those Fathers intended by those statements or are you interpreting them in the context of your own presuppositions?

And the question is: do you really understand what each of those Fathers intended by those statements or are you interpreting them in the context of your own presuppositions?




Please. Read it. Stop embarrassing yourself. Here.


I read it. It says EVERYwhere. At ALL times. By ALL.
(Besides that, it makes the same idiotic error that you often do - thinking the Scr is unclear b/c ppl disagree about it, neglecting to realise that ANY text is subject to the same human weakness, including his own. So thanks for the link - it was much weaker than I thought it'd be.)



Do you have unity or don't you?

St. Stephen and St. Cyprian both believed in Baptismal Regeneration -- the dispute was over how to apply that belief in a new situation, one for which there was no Apostolic precedent because the Apostles had never faced said situation. Get it now?


So the answer is no. Thanks.

Rhology said...

Whom to baptise isn't an important matter of faith?

Sure it is -- here's the answer: everyone. The question was over whose Baptism counts as a valid one -- a question the Apostles, unfortunately, didn't leave us an answer for, so we had to figure out, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for ourselves.


So, there was disagreement over an important matter of faith.
There, was that so hard? Now, what does that say about your "what the church has always believed" position?



I suppose when he wrote about THAT, he was just speaking as a private individual, right?

Well, pretty much everyone always speaks as a private individual. The only documents which the Church considers infallible are the Scriptures and the decrees of the Councils. The writings of various Fathers can have errors -- they all spoke as individuals.


But a whole bunch of fallible, error-prone individuals getting together - that's WAY better?



And when what he wrote suits your position, alluvasudden he represents the voice of the church.

Well, yes, pretty much. The Church has always believed the same thing -- insofar as somebody adequately expresses that Faith always held, he speaks for the Church.


This admission is also golden. Thank you so much for displaying the vicious circularity of your position.



The word "and" in the sentence? If I said "a candy cane is red and white" does "red" contain the "white"? Seriously, Rho, that's not a very intelligent statement.

Red and white are not interchangeable. That's hardly analogous. Try again.



And, of course, you are the infallible authority which determines whether they correctly interpreted God's word.

Ridiculous strawman. Do you never tire of it?

John said...

"Where were the ppl of God bowing down to the images? Talking to the images or angels? Praying to them? Requesting stuff from them? Just a direct quote from the psg will suffice."

Shifting the goal posts now? How about a retraction stating the Jews were not iconoclasts?

Where did they bow to the images? David says in Psalm 99:5, "bow before the footstool of His feet....". The footstool of God is the name David calls the ark. 1Chr. 28:2 "King David ..said.. the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God."

And as we know, the ark was covered in pictures of the Cherubim. Psalm 99 speaks of the Lord as him who "dwells between the Cherubim".

Where does someone talk to an image of an angel, who isn't physically present? Isaiah 6:6 is an example off the top of my head.

How about a full retraction now?

"Aren't you forgetting sthg? Original sin?"

We don't believe OS entails any guilt. If you do, chapter and verse thanks.

Rhology said...

The weakness of this response is its own refutation.

And Isaiah 6:6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.

I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify?


It agrees that if someone could hypothetically perfectly do good works throughout their life, they would be justified.

Aren't you forgetting sthg? Original sin? We don't believe OS entails any guilt. If you do, chapter and verse thanks.


But we DO believe that, and you're asking about MY position. I think you got mixed up.
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died,

Darlene said...

Rho -

You said, "Luther and Calvin have nothing to do with my rule of faith."

Being that you are a Reformed Baptist in a Southern Baptist Church, I believe you. :)

You said, "They are fallible men."

Indeed. And so are James White, Turretinfan, James Swan, the guys at Pyromaniac site, and the guys at Triablogue. But you sure do like to reference them and agree with their rule of faith and their teaching/preaching. Or am I missing the mark here cuz I've noticed that you are very influenced by these Reformed fellas.

Btw, how do you know when/if what they are teaching is orthodox? (small o) Please don't throw the question back at me without first answering it yourself.

You said, "They are not theopneustos. Scripture is."

So, were the men that wrote Holy Scr. infallible? (rhetorical ques.) I think we'd agree that they were not. Were the men at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage infallible? Answer - Same as above. See where I'm headed?

You said, "I have to say that I find it hard to blv that you had even a basic knowledge of Calvinism from your professed yrs. in a Reformed Church. How could you not know this, and ask such questions as these?"

Rho, I find it hard, astonishing really, that I attended a Reformed church for a decade, really I do! But I can tell ya that I've read A.W.Pink, C.H.Spurgeon, Martin-Lloyd Jones, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, John Bunyan (love Pilgrim's Progress), and, oh yeah,....John Calvin, the guy who started it all. Calvinism, that is.

But I ask you these questions because I want to get inside your head. Really I do! :) It's best not to assume as I've said elsewhere. You know, I want to hear it from the horse's mouth.

Another thing - the five point Calvinists I knew/know take Calvin VERY seriously. The Presbyterians would say that his teachings form the foundation of their beliefs. They would say their beliefs are most closely aligned to Calvin's. I mean, afterall, they call themselves Calvinists, and wear that as a badge of honor :)

Even the Ref. Bap. I've known hold J. Calvin in high regard. I can't help it if the Calvinists I've known quote Calvin, love his Institutes, and are unashamed in attaching his name to their beliefs. Come to think of it, they even celebrate Luther on Reformation Day.

Must be that Southern Baptist influence in you that Calvin isn't high on your list. Or Luther for that matter. Hmmm...did you actually say you call yourself a Reformed Calvinist or have I misunderstood you? :)

Rhology said...

Hi Darlene,

Yes, I know those men are fallible. Like I've been pointing out to you, I don't accept your implicit false dilemma that one is either infallible or totally useless. Fallible men sometimes say good things and sometimes bad. Jesus has held all ppl responsible for rightly dividing the word of truth. I can know sthg is orthodox by comparing it with the Scr, just like Jesus told me to many times.

The authors of Scr wrote inerrant documents; they were not infallible in themselves. See Peter and Gal 2.

I do hold Calvin in high regard, but he was fallible and he himself told ppl to examine what he said in light of the Scr. One could only wish EOC would do the same!


Must be that Southern Baptist influence in you that Calvin isn't high on your list

No, he IS high on my list! But NOT w.r.t. my rule of faith. My rule of faith is the Scriptures. Period. Done. No más.
But the Scr are the only FINAL, INFALLIBLE authority; that doesn't mean there aren't other subordinate fallible authorities that are helpful and indeed some to which I am commanded IN THE SCR to submit, such as my elders.

And yes, I am a Reformed Baptist, a Calvinist. Only recently, though. Thing is, I don't think I'm saying anythg different than what I've heard other RefBaps say, so I'm not sure if all this is new to you, and if it is, why that would be.

Darlene said...

Rhology,

Thanks for the considerate reply. I appreciate it. :)

You said, "I'm not sure if all of this is new to you, and if it is, why that would be."

No, it isn't new to me. But, you must understand that I know Calvinists from various "strains" of Calvinism. Afterall, Presbyterian Covenanters are quite different in their practice and worship that Ref.Southern Baptists. And PCA is different than the more conservative OPC. A husband and wife couple who've I've known for many yrs. gave up on going to Reformed churches because, according to them, all the Ref. churches they attended had strayed from Calvin's teachings. Now they meet with other like-minded Calvinists in their home and read the Institutes every Lord's Day. Just take a gander over at the "Green Baggins" Presbyterian blog and you'll discover that confessional Presbyterianism differs in practice and worship from Ref. Baptist.

Btw, there is an excellent quote from the most recent thread over there. It spoke to my heart as I hope it will yours. "Our goal should be to win people and not arguments." From "Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church" by Martin Downes.

Christ be with you.

David said...

1) It's not the vast majority of ppl who are depraved. It's EVERYone.

How are you depraved if you're elect, though? Doesn't make the sense. The Gnostics knew that -- and tailored their philosophy to fit. Calvinists just aren't taking things to their logical conclusions.

2) The NT tells us that the creation groans, that it's been subjected to curse.

But it's not totally depraved. The idea is simply un-Scriptural.

As for the rest, I suppose they sorta match.

Yeah, they pretty much exactly much. C.S. Lewis once said something like "the devil is remarkable uncreative." Definitely true -- he keeps recycling the same heresies over and over; and it's only our ignorance of (and even disdain for) history that allows it to happen.

I guess Augustinian doctrine is Gnostic too.

Well, yes, pretty much. Augustine was a Gnostic before he joined the Orthodox Church, remember? Seems a lot of his former ideas carried over into his later thought.

And the NT.

See St. Irenaeus of Lyons on how the Gnostics and Marcionites, your Protestant forefathers, used the Scriptures -- rearranging the beautiful mosaic of a king into the shape of an ugly dog; and then having the gall to claim that this ugly dog is the king!

Anyway, the NT teaches these things, so...

So... apparently, the Fathers were all incorrect in their interpretations of Scripture and the Gnostics and Marcionites were correct. Since you have such a problem with the real Church Fathers and agree so much with the Gnostics and Marcionites, why not just admit that the real Fathers of your "church" are Marcion, Cerinthus, Basilides, Simon Magus, etc.

1) If that's the case, so be it. The OT gives us every reason to see the remnant motif in operation for God's ppl.

Well on your way to being a good Jehovah's Witness yet. Now just take that to its logical conclusion and you'll be there. After all, if the Apostolic Fathers couldn't get something as simple as Baptismal Regeneration right, how could they possibly have preserved doctrines like the Trinity? It's all just made up in the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th -- whatever) century -- right?

2) This is no response, but rather a red herring with the "Great Apostasy" bogeyman, as if that's a settled question.

It should be for any Christian worth the name.


Ask yourself the same question wrt the churches of Ephesus, Rome, Colossae, Corinth, Thessalonika, Crete, and 5 of the 7 mentioned in Revelation 1-3.

And did they all fall into the same errors individually? No; they each fell into different errors. Error produces diversity -- dozens of people don't simultaneously err on the exact same point; that's illogical.

So the NT doesn't teach it. Noted.
To say "the NT doesn't mention or teach it" is not an argument from silence. It's a statement of fact.


The NT doesn't teach you how to brush your teeth either. I'm assuming you do that, though.

But you tell us that it's an apostolic tradition always taught by the church.

And I, along with a great many scholars (such as Justo Gonzalez and even your boy Bart Ehrman) disagree with their conclusions. The latter statement in particular is contradicted by even a cursory glance at Dura Europos, the oldest Christian church yet found by the way.

You don't reach that conclusion because of historical evidence suggesting that the earliest Christians taught the concept. Rather, you assume that the church always taught it in spite of the evidence that suggests otherwise.

No, quite the opposite. But believe what you will. You constantly accuse me of working with assumptions; might I suggest taking a look at yourself in your misreadings of the Fathers and Scriptures?

Rhology said...

How are you depraved if you're elect, though?

Basically it goes like this.
Everyone starts off as an enemy of God, depraved. Eph 2:1-4.
God has elected some from eternity past to express His mercy towards (Romans 9).
He chose whom He would save and when. At the time He appointed for Person X, He regenerates them and they become born again.
That's the very crux of the matter, in fact. God's grace is expressed by extending undeserved mercy and undeserved grace to the depraved, those who hate and reject Him in sin. Romans 5:8.
Diminish man's depravity and you diminish the depth of God's grace in saving such wretches as myself.


But it's not totally depraved. The idea is simply un-Scriptural.

Romans 3.


See St. Irenaeus of Lyons on how the Gnostics and Marcionites, your Protestant forefathers, used the Scriptures -- rearranging the beautiful mosaic of a king into the shape of an ugly dog; and then having the gall to claim that this ugly dog is the king!

It's not like Gnosticism is unknown doctrine. Anyone can find out what the Gnostics blvd and compare it to the Scr.
Some similarities between two systems don't make the two identical. After all, EOC shares quite a lot in common with the Mormons.


So... apparently, the Fathers were all incorrect in their interpretations of Scripture and the Gnostics and Marcionites were correct.

I am simply taking each on a case by case basis and asking "Does the Scr teach this?" If yes, I believe it. If not, I blv sthg else.


why not just admit that the real Fathers of your "church" are Marcion, Cerinthus, Basilides, Simon Magus, etc.

Now you're just letting your emotion take you into FantasyLand.


how could they possibly have preserved doctrines like the Trinity? It's all just made up in the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th -- whatever) century -- right?

The same way the Corinthians got lots of things right and some things wrong.
It's like my challenges never even penetrate your psyche.


2) This is no response, but rather a red herring with the "Great Apostasy" bogeyman, as if that's a settled question.

It should be for any Christian worth the name.


Prove it.


And did they all fall into the same errors individually? No; they each fell into different errors. Error produces diversity -- dozens of people don't simultaneously err on the exact same point; that's illogical.

1) There's nothing "illogical" about that. What logical principle is that violating, precisely?
2) I don't know how anyone could look at the history of manking and conclude that you have any idea what you're talking about. ALL SORTS of evil and rebellion have been conceived in the hearts of man, all over the place, all the time.
3) You think Satan figures out a good deception and then never repeats it anywhere else? You didn't think so just a few sentences ago!
4) I guess in your world a lot of errors are better than a few. Interesting.
5) I doubt you'd deny that the churches of the NT are part of the early church. Yet you claim EOC is the true church, descended directly from the early one. Yet you also claim that a mark of the true church is not diversity of doctrine, but unity. You've got trouble.

Rhology said...

So the NT doesn't teach it. Noted.
To say "the NT doesn't mention or teach it" is not an argument from silence. It's a statement of fact.

The NT doesn't teach you how to brush your teeth either. I'm assuming you do that, though.


This is a very sad attempt at a sidestep. In what way is brushing one's teeth a question of doctrine or divine inspiration?
Please answer the original question.


And I, along with a great many scholars (such as Justo Gonzalez and even your boy Bart Ehrman) disagree with their conclusions.

Sounds like Ehrman's YOUR boy now. Just for the benefit of any reader, DavidW takes perverse pleasure in projecting agreement with Ehrman on various things onto me, when in fact DavidW has more in common with him, given his propensity for ignoring Scripture at his convenience and more specifically, DavidW believes the Bible contains errors. So does Ehrman.
I don't.
Let the reader judge to whom Ehrman is closer.


might I suggest taking a look at yourself in your misreadings of the Fathers and Scriptures?

1) I look at my reading of Scr all the time and examine it for correction. You have merely to show me where I'm wrong.
2) Pop quiz - how much weight would I, given my presuppositions, give to the writings of the church fathers? let's see how much you've actually absorbed from talking to me.

Peace,
Rhology

David said...

I'll address the rest of this in a post on my blog later, but wanted to address this point now:

1) There's nothing "illogical" about that. What logical principle is that violating, precisely?

Come on now. Really? One would think this would stand as self-evident. But, obviously, nothing is self-evident with you. You'd question logic, history, the Apostles, even God before you'd give up your own opinions. Logic says if I push a domino to the right, it isn't going to fall to the left. Follow me here.

You've got 12 men, the Apostles, all taught by Christ Himself and, one would assume, deemed worthy by him of teaching the Gospel themselves. These 12 men then go and teach others and ordain certain men as Bishops over the communities they found. For some strange reason, all of these Bishops (and all of these communities) happen to all agree on certain things, no matter which of the 12 they were taught by. You following me here?

Which is the more logical explanation: that these 12 men all taught the same thing and therefore all of these communities believed the same thing. Or that all of these communities just so happened to individually misunderstand whichever of the 12 men preached to them and strangely agreed with each other on those misunderstandings.

Let's try this: If I tell a few dozen people a message (assuming that I properly convey that message), what are the chances that they all err on exactly the same points when they attempt to teach that message to someone else? So insignificant as to be laughable.

At least your forefathers, the Gnostics, were decent enough to be honest. They recognized that this was a problem. And so they attributed the defect to the teaching and understanding of the Apostles. That is, of course, where Great Apostasy-type thinking naturally leads us.

So, once again, you're stuck with a conundrum. Either you have to assert an absolute absurdity -- that dozens of individuals and communities taught by 12 different men all happen to err on exactly the same points. OR you have to assert that the Apostles were deficient in teaching ability or message. So which is it?

Rhology said...

Sure, you can accuse quite well - we've seen that. Now you just have to substantiate the accusation.


You'd question logic, history, the Apostles, even God before you'd give up your own opinions.

Boy, you sure nailed me. I'm hanging my head in shame now.


Which is the more logical explanation: that these 12 men all taught the same thing and therefore all of these communities believed the same thing. Or that all of these communities just so happened to individually misunderstand whichever of the 12 men preached to them and strangely agreed with each other on those misunderstandings.

Either one is logical. You're questioning, I suppose, the probability of one or the other.
Fortunately, we don't necessarily have to ask that question, either. We just have to look at the history of the NT and go from there.
So, to review, you haven't even attempted to back up the original claim of a logical problem, and I had to define the problem for you. I'd suggest rewording your contention.

John said...

"I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please clarify?"

Well, I suppose you can say that Isaiah doesn't explicitly communicate with the angel here. Then I could cite Rev 17:7 where the angel is aware of John's thoughts and responds to him by answering his problem.

"by the transgression of the one the many died"

That says nothing about being born guilty.

The weakness of this response is its own refutation.

"Everyone starts off as an enemy of God, depraved. Eph 2:1-4. "

Says nothing about them starting this way, only that they become like this.

"God has elected some from eternity past to express His mercy towards"

Ro 9 says nothing about election from eternity past being the normative means of differentiating those who are saved. What it says is those who pursued righteousness by faith attained mercy.

"But it's not totally depraved. The idea is simply un-Scriptural.

Romans 3."

Romans 3 doesn't say nobody seeks God until Reformed regeneration takes place. It says noone seeks God under the covenant of Law, but this is resolved by the covenant of faith.

Rhology said...

John said: Where does someone talk to an image of an angel, who isn't physically present? Isaiah 6:6 is an example off the top of my head.

Then to clarify: Well, I suppose you can say that Isaiah doesn't explicitly communicate with the angel here.


?? The angel FLEW TO HIM. Isaiah talked to him. Next question.



Then I could cite Rev 17:7 where the angel is aware of John's thoughts and responds to him by answering his problem.

1) God could've told the angel. We're not told, but I suppose b/c you represent The One True Church® it's A-OK to speculate.
2) I finish ppl's thoughts all the time, b/c I guessed what they were thinking.


"by the transgression of the one the many died"

That says nothing about being born guilty.


Sure it doesn't.


"Everyone starts off as an enemy of God, depraved. Eph 2:1-4. "

Says nothing about them starting this way, only that they become like this.


Yes, EVERYONE is like that. Sure it doesn't.


Ro 9 says nothing about election from eternity past being the normative means of differentiating those who are saved.

Sure it doesn't.


What it says is those who pursued righteousness by faith attained mercy.

Where in Romans 9 does it say that?


Romans 3 doesn't say nobody seeks God until Reformed regeneration takes place. It says noone seeks God under the covenant of Law, but this is resolved by the covenant of faith.

Where is that distinction made in Romans 3?

John said...

"God could've told the angel."

Great, wonderful. Does the mechanism matter to me? No!

"2) I finish ppl's thoughts all the time, b/c I guessed what they were thinking. "

Well if it turns out that is the mechanism, you could be a great saint in heaven.

"Yes, EVERYONE is like that. Sure it doesn't."

You think Paul expects his intended audience to include new born babies who can't read? You grammatical historical exegesis needs a brush-up huh?

"Sure it doesn't."

Wow, the argumentation is devastating. Which verse says "this is the normative means of salvation?

"Where in Romans 9 does it say that?"

v30 ff

No tough questions today?

"Where is that distinction made in Romans 3?"

v21-22