Monday, July 30, 2012

The shallow route

One Tyler Dalton McNabb, a street evangelist, formerly affiliated with the good folks at Way of the Master/Living Waters, has decided to swim the Tiber.

It's often instructive to read these types of conversion stories with a careful eye toward the reasons they give for forsaking the Gospel of grace. It's like there's a dozen or so common cheap "arguments" that proved persuasive to the feckless new convert, and they slide glibly by seemingly without any awareness of the standing rebuttals that were available to them and have been for years and years without effective reply from the other side of the Tiber. No, rather, it's as if Catholic Answers is the final word on the matter. Don't listen to men like the Triablogue, Eric Svendsen, or James White, because as we all know, they're just too mean and nasty to be taken seriously.

I left a comment on his post. We'll see if it makes it through moderation. Here it is:


I am quite saddened to hear of what amounts to apostasy and I have some reactions to what you've written here.

Now coming back to how my graduate studies in philosophy helped pave the way, it was by reading the medieval Catholic philosophers like Anselm, Aquinas, and Molina, as well as reading contemporary Catholic philosophers like Feser, van Inwagen, Stump, and Flint. Reading philosophers like these allowed me to see that Catholics were not the enemies.

How funny. Reading the Scripture allowed me to see that Roman dogma (not "Catholics", however) is an (not the) enemy.
Unsurprising that someone who shows little indication of being grounded firmly in Scripture would fall into such error.
What is a little surprising is that someone who is attempting to sound like he's really thought this all the way through would say something like "Catholics were not the enemies". I mean, are you reacting against backwoods fundies or some other class of ignoramus Protestant, or are you supposed to be appealing to people who have a halfway-decent idea of what they're talking about and what the true issues at hand are?

There was even one night last Mother’s Day where I had a dream that a man was calling me to become a Catholic. What is even more strange is that the same night, my wife had a spiritual dream. The conclusion of her dream was that we were not to go to Israel but we were to help defend the faith here. Why were these dreams so strange? These dreams were strange for us because the few weeks beforehand, we were praying on the topics of going to Israel and if Rome’s doctrines were true. Needless to say, we attended Mass that day.

The other day I had a disgusting borderline-pornographic dream, I'm sorry to say.
I doubt you'd think, however, that I'd be justified in now engaging in pædophilia.

as I figured presuppositionally, if Peter is reining still, then Rome is true

Well, he's not. He died.
*Jesus* is reigning still.
It's pretty common for Romanists to say stuff like that, about Peter, other Popes, or Mary. It's amazing to me that they don't see how it clearly denigrates Jesus.

It was overwhelming to see that the early fathers believed in the real presence/sacrifice in regards to the Eucharist (some even quoting Mal. for justification), baptismal regeneration, bishops, and confession (Cyprian, Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine etc.). Have I mentioned how nice it is to now have a Church history?

You must have missed how Rome claims the support of the unanimous consent of the "Fathers" for several of her dogmas, and that there is no such consent.
You must have missed that numerous "Fathers" teach "Protestant" doctrine, such as sola fide, iconoclasm, and Sola Scriptura.
You clearly missed the implication that you're relying on men like Origen - the universalism-espousing father of allegorical interpretation uber alles - as one of your guidiing lights. How do you justify the picking and choosing in which you have to engage?
Oh wait, let me guess - the modern Magisterium told you which writings of which men we are to acknowledge as prooftexts, and others are to be ignored/rejected/suppressed.
"Fathers" are not our authority. God is. Correct me if I missed it but I don't see much indication at all in this post that the Scriptures were your authority even as you began this journey, that you were looking for how best to follow what God said, as opposed to finding a system that you could overlay on top and prooftext with at least some degree of credibility. Sad.



Lvka said...

Orthodoxy (and Catholicism) is based on patristic consensus. Protestantism is based on patristic oddities (singularities).

Rhology said...

Then why isn't there patristic consensus on the main EO distinctives?

Lvka said...

There are no EO distinctives.

If by "lack of consensus" you mean that it is possible to find an isolated idea in a few Fathers that differs from what the overwhelming majority of Fathers said or wrote on a given topic, then you're confusing "consensus" with "unanimity".

Rhology said...

How do you know what % is necessary before you can safely declare a consensus exists?

Lvka said...

As I said, the majority is over-whelming.

Rhology said...

So did you have an answer?

How come the majority of "Early Church Fathers" held to Sola Scriptura?

Lvka said...

They didn't. Nor do the Orthodox priests I've heard saying that the Scripture is crystal-clear about this or that issue. Or that this or that practice or belief is dubious or even heretical because it's not found in the Scriptures, while at the SAME time practicing stuff that isn't explicitely stated in Scripture: just like the Fathers. For instance, all patristic testimony, from the earliest times onwards, speaks about water being mixed with wine in the Eucharist, or about tripple immersion in baptism (none of which are 'obvious' in Scripture, yet both are considered necessary or binding, and their presence is not up for debate). Such little `inconsistencies` (from your perspective) are found in both Orthodoxy and the Fathers, but NOT in Protestantism.