DavidW of Pious Fabrications, who debated me on Sola Scriptura, has changed his position on the Scripture. Before, he thought there were some minor factual errors in Scripture, but now says he no longer thinks that.
That's good news. Full stop.
It also brings up an interesting question for an EO like him, which I asked but which he declined to answer - Why is it "your position" at all? Why didn't the EOC inform your position authoritatively on this? Are you "working thru it" or something? Why? Just repeat what the EOC teaches on the topic!
...Unless it doesn't teach sthg monolithic on the topic. In which case, I have to question what good EOC's teaching authority is to you in real life.
Anyway, so that's one conversation I've been having.
The other is over at Catholic Nick's place. Nick is an interesting fellow - he's debated TurretinFan and brought up an interesting post on 2 Tim 3:16-17 which is far from injurious to Sola Scriptura, but still warrants some more careful thought. So kudos to him on that, and to be honest, from that post and from previous interactions on Beggars All, I'd taken him for a cut above the typical Roman epologist. Unfortunately, his blindness to his rampant special pleading in this combox has reduced my respect for him significantly.
1) He will not recognise or deal with the fact that the RCC has acceded to the wishes of hetero couples who were duly and properly married and who consummated the marriage, in some cases even having children together(!), and who wanted to get an annulment. As Nick said: An annulment means a valid marriage never took place to begin with; a divorce is the severing of a valid marriage. Indeed. Yet taking what is a divorce by any measurement and renaming it an annulment is not honorable nor good. Still less is subsequent chest-thumping about how Rome teaches divorce is wrong and never grants divorces. Nick has not even attempted to deal with this.
2) He has, OTOH, attempted to deal with his special pleading with respect to "interpretive authority". Let's see how well that's turned out for him by examining a few snippets (and of course anyone can read the whole thing by following the link):
Nick: (Protestantism) has no way of correcting the problem.
Me: That's just silly. We have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to illuminate. That's more than enough.
Or will you retreat to more special pleading? It's not like "Sacred Tradition" has a much better track record.
Nick: yet *MY* point is that Protestants "illuminated" in such a manner cannot agree on what Scripture is really saying on this subject,
Me: Um, remember what you just said? How someone who disobeys a teaching says nothing about the integrity of the teaching itself?
Nick: If the Church teaches X, then any member who teaches other than X is being disobedient.
Me: If the Scripture teaches X, then any member who teaches other than X is being disobedient.
Nick: The situation you are describing is not Church teaching but an *abuse* of Church teaching.
Me: So nick, what authority do YOU have to call what real priests do "abuse"? How very Protestant of you...Sometimes ppl disobey what the Scr says. We call them "disobedient".
You claim when ppl disobey what the Mag says, they're "disobedient".
Nick: You're blind, utterly blind, to the fact regenerate pastors DISAGREE on what the Scripture SAYS. One pastor thinks Scripture SAYS Divorce is ok, while another pastor thinks Scripture SAYS divorce is not ok. WHICH PASTOR IS CORRECT? Answer: In Protestantism, BOTH. Both pastors are functioning as their personal, stand-alone, magisterium.
Me: Let's look at it another way, Nick.
You're blind, utterly blind, to the fact baptised and ordained priests DISAGREE on what the RC Magisterium/tradition SAYS. One priest thinks the Magisterium/tradition SAYS Divorce is ok, while another priest thinks Magisterium/tradition SAYS divorce is not ok. WHICH PRIEST IS CORRECT? Answer: In RCC, BOTH. Both pastors are functioning as their personal, stand-alone, magisterium of what the Magisterium/tradition says.
Nick: But Protestants cannot agree on whether the Bible forbids it or not, and the quote I gave of John Piper's Church says: "The same freedom of conscience applies to each of the other pastors as well" in regards to each pastor deciding for themself if it is a sin or not.
Me: And RCs cannot agree on whether Sacred Tradition/Magisterium forbids it or not, since some do divorces and some don't. And some annul marriages post-coitus and some don't. So, since your position is not any better, what is your point?
Nick: It follows from the fact each pastor is operating as their own magisterium and you can't see that
Me: It follows from the fact each priest is operating as their own magisterium (fallibly, individually interpreting what the Magisterium says) and you can't see that.
It follows from THAT fact that each parishioner, including you, is operating as their own magisterium of what the priest said the Magisterium said, and you can't see that, either.
Nick: If a Church document teaches Marriage is permanent, then the priest (who contradicts) is wrong.
Me: OK, now watch how I take the same thing and apply it to my situation:
If the Bible teaches Marriage is permanent but divorce is permissible under certain specific circumstances, then John Piper is wrong.
What's the difference here?
Nick: Divorce is forbidden very clearly in official Catholic teaching. It doesn't matter how many priests disobey, the dogma doesn't change. Period.
Me: Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances very clearly in Scriptural teaching. It doesn't matter how many pastors disobey, the dogma doesn't change. Period.
See how you're just engaging, over and over again, in special pleading?
Nick: The Bible is for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two Protestants point to the same verse(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.
Me: Magisterial declarations are for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two RCs point to the same decree(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.
Uh oh - you've got a problem.
Or lookie here:
Sacred Tradition is for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when one Romanist and one Eastern Orthodox point to the same passage(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.