Saturday, January 09, 2010

Pastor David King Responds to Taylor Marshall

The following is a response from David King to Taylor Marshall's comments on the earlier Erasmus thread (link to Mr. Marshall's comments). I've made only minor edits to what Pastor King and Mr. Marshall wrote. I've also added some editorial footnotes both to Mr. Marshall's comments and to Pastor King's comments.

Jesuits and Roman Unity

Mr. Marshall wrote: Mr. King, Contemporary Jesuits tend to be the most subversive religious order within the Catholic Church - known from their dissent. Many are rather "Protestant" [FN1] - so don't take this random Jesuit quote as indicative of Catholic tradition.

David King Responds: Then I guess that the Roman magisterium doesn’t really live up to all you folks make it out to be. Where is the ecclesiastical discipline for these, the “most subversive religious order” within the Roman communion? The fact that Schatz’s observation of early church history disagrees with yours doesn’t make him wrong. As a Jesuit he does hold orders in your communion, while you hold no official position among the clergy. What makes your censure of Mr. Schatz any more than that of a private judgment? It is interesting how members of the Roman communion cry out against the exercise of all private judgment if they think a Protestant has engaged in such, while they reserve it for themselves against their own clergy.

Clement of Rome and Early Christian Views of Rome

Mr. Marshall wrote: Then you provide a quote reads: "If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no." (Schatz quote)
This can't be right. Let's look at what actually Christians from this period said and wrote about the Church of Rome.

Pope [FN2] Clement of Rome (ca. 89-96) wrote: "The church of God which sojourns at Rome to the church of God which sojourns at Corinth ... But if any disobey the words spoken by him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger." Clement of Rome 1,59:1

David King Responds: Yes, let’s do look at it, in context. In the first place, this is a rather anachronistic designation which you have assigned to Clement. There is absolutely no historical evidence to support your designation of him as “pope.” This tradition is without support because the office of the monarchical bishop, as it later came to exist, is no where present in Rome at this time. Leadership in Rome as this time had, according to 1 Clement 44:1-6 had been entrusted not to one, but a plurality of bishops, also known as presbyters. The very assertion of this claim that Clement was a “pope” is clearly based upon nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of Romanists.[FN3] This letter was composed by the Church of God at Rome to correct the behavior of the Corinthians, the majority of whom were responsible for removing their ecclesiastical leaders for no just cause.

This piecemeal quotation you’ve put together, which connects the beginning of the letter to the 59th chapter of this epistle is clearly not the result of your own study, but something you’ve lifted from a Roman apologetic web site. This is a prime example of the kind of misrepresentation of which you’ve accused me. The Church at Rome is simply pointing out to the Corinthians that they have trampled on the rights of their duly appointed elders. This is far from claiming some papal or Roman primacy over the Church at Corinth, whose members were in rebellion, not against Rome, but their own clergy.

As I indicated, you have cherry-picked this piece-meal quote which can be found in this form at a number of Roman apologetic web sites. The presupposition behind this proffered piece-meal citation is ludicrous, and fraught with anachronistic wishful thinking. In Chapter 57, 1 Clement instructs the Corinthians to “submit to [their] presbyters and accept discipline leading to repentance.” The admonition of 1 Clement refers this letter as “our advice [notice the plurality] and you will have nothing to regret.” (1 Clement 58)

This letter is giving biblical instruction to the congregants at Corinth to correct them. You haven’t demonstrated to me that you are even familiar with the intent of the letter. Clement appears to be acting as the secretary of the presbyters at Rome in the sending of this pastoral letter. This is nothing here that offers any proof for a papal or Roman primacy of jurisdiction. They urge the Corinthians saying:
But if certain people should disobey what has been said by him [i.e., Jesus Christ, whose commands they have been citing to the Corinthians] through us [notice again the plurality, not papacy], let them understand that they will, entangle themselves in no small sin and danger. We, however, will be innocent of this sin, and will ask, with earnest prayer and supplication, that the Creator of the universe may keep intact the specified number of his elect throughout the whole world, through his beloved servant Jesus Christ, through whom he called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to the knowledge of the glory of his name.
(1 Clement 59)

The misrepresentation here belongs to you, Mr. Marshall. You would be well served to invest some time in meaningful research, instead of offering some piecemeal quotation like this one from some Roman web site, or Denzinger's Sources of Catholic Dogma.

We learn from the early church father Jerome who confesses the obvious from Scripture in his commentary on Titus, that in the beginning the churches were governed by a common council of presbyters, and that bishops were appointed to be above presbyters by custom rather than divine appointment!

Jerome (347-420):
A presbyter, therefore, is the same as a bishop, and before dissensions were introduced into religion by the instigation of the devil, and it was said among the peoples, ‘I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, and I of Cephas,’ Churches were governed by a common council of presbyters; afterwards, when everyone thought that those whom he had baptised were his own, and not Christ’s, it was decreed in the whole world that one chosen out of the presbyters should be placed over the rest, and to whom all care of the Church should belong, that the seeds of schisms might be plucked up. Whosoever thinks that there is no proof from Scripture, but that this is my opinion, that a presbyter and bishop are the same, and that one is a title of age, the other of office, let him read the words of the apostle to the Philippians, saying, ‘Paul and Timotheus, servants of Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons.’
Latin text:
Idem est ergo presbyter qui et episcopus, et antequam diaboli instinctu, studia in religione fierent, et diceretur in populis: Ego sum Pauli, ego Apollo, ego autem Cephae, communi presbyterorum consilio, Ecclesiae gubernabantur. Postquam vero unusquisque eos quos baptizaverat suos putabat esse, non Christi, in toto orbe decretum est, ut unus de presbyteris electus superponeretur caeteris, ad quem omnis Ecclesiae cura pertineret, et schismatum semina tollerentur. Putet aliquis non Scripturarum, sed nostram esse sententiam, episcopum et presbyterum unum esse, et aliud aetatis, aliud esse nomen officii: relegat Apostoli ad Philippenses verba dicentis: Paulus et Timothaeus servi Jesu Christi, omnibus sanctis in Christo Jesu, qui sunt Philippis, cum episcopis et diaconis, gratia vobis et pax, et reliqua.
Citation: Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, PL 26:562-563. English translation from John Harrison, Whose Are the Fathers? (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1867), p.488. See also Karl Von Hase, Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, trans. A. W. Streane, Vol. 1, 2nd ed. rev. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909), p. 164.

Jerome (347-420):
Therefore, as we have shown, among the ancients presbyters were the same as bishops; but by degrees, that the plants of dissension might be rooted up, all responsibility was transferred to one person. Therefore, as the presbyters know that it is by the custom of the Church that they are to be subject to him who is placed over them so let the bishops know that they are above presbyters rather by custom than by Divine appointment, and ought to rule the Church in common, following the example of Moses, who, when he alone had power to preside over the people Israel, chose seventy, with the assistance of whom he might judge the people. We see therefore what kind of presbyter or bishop should be ordained.
Latin text:
Haec propterea, ut ostenderemus apud veteres eosdem fuisse presbyteros quos et episcopos: paulatim vero ut dissensionum plantaria evellerentur, ad unum omnem sollicitudinem esse delatam. Sicut ergo presbyteri sciunt se ex Ecclesiae consuetudine ei qui sibi praepositus fuerit, esse subjectos: ita episcopi noverint se magis consuetudine, quam dispositionis Dominicae veritate, presbyteris esse majores, et in commune debere Ecclesiam regere, imitantes Moysen, qui cum haberet in potestate solum praeesse populo Israel, septuaginta elegit, cum quibus populum judicaret. Videamus igitur qualis presbyter, sive episcopus ordinandus sit.
Citation: Commentariorum In Epistolam Ad Titum, PL 26:563. Translation from John Harrison, Whose Are the Fathers? (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1867), p.488. See also Karl Von Hase, Handbook to the Controversy with Rome, trans. A. W. Streane, Vol. 1, 2nd ed. rev. (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909), p. 164.

Thus, this whole business of the Roman primacy and/or the papacy is something unknown to Holy Scripture, but has been obtruded upon the Church of Jesus Christ by the communion of Rome.

Irenaeus

Mr. Marshall continues:

Irenaeus (ca 180) also wrote: "For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church (i.e. the Church of Rome), on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:3:2

David King Responds: How are we to understand the words of Irenaeus here? I’m content to defer to the explanation offered by J. N. D. Kelly. He states, while commenting on this passage from Irenaeus that
This interpretation [i.e., the one implied by Mr. Marshall], or some variant of it, has been accepted by many, but it is awkward to refer in qua to hanc ... ecclesiam, and anachronistic to attribute such thinking to Irenaeus. Hence it seems more plausible to take in qua with omnem … ecclesiam, and to understand Irenaeus as suggesting that the Roman church supplies an ideal illustration because, ‘in view of its preeminent authority’ based on its foundation by both Peter and Paul, its antiquity and so on, every church—or perhaps the whole church—in which the apostolic tradition has been preserved must as a matter of course agree with it. There is therefore no allusion to the later Petrine claims of the Roman see.
See J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (San Francisco: Harper, 1960), p. 193.

But, even if we did permit the meaning you suggest implicitly, Irenaeus does not speak for the church universal with respect to the primacy of Rome or its pope. And to be sure, the eastern churches never recognized, let alone acknowledged, Roman and/or papal primacy.

Victor I

Mr. Marshall insists: Also, Pope Victor 1 (pope from AD 189–199) presumed to excommunicate all the churches of Asia Minor and most people of that day (including those in Asia Minor) were worried about it. This confirms that most Christians did believe that the bishop of Rome DID in fact have such juridical power.

David King Responds: Confirms it? It’s very difficult to believe that you would actually offer Pope Victor 1, the bishop of Rome, and this particular instance, as representative of the views of the church universal at this time. First of all, the vaunted prejudice of any bishop of Rome ought not to be accepted as an example for proof of the contemporary belief of the universal church. The fact that he decided to jump into a dogfight with the Christians of Asia Minor over the date of Easter proves nothing. And yes, the fact that he presumed to tell the churches in Asia Minor what to do didn’t mean squat to them. In fact, their refusal to acquiesce to his pompous demands is proof in the pudding that they didn’t recognize any such notion of Roman primacy. Eusebius informs us that
Victor, who presided over the church at Rome [notice the church at Rome, not the world], immediately attempted to cut off from the common unity the parishes of all Asia, with the churches that agreed with them, as heterodox; and he wrote letters and declared all the brethren there wholly excommunicate. But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor.
See The Church History of Eusebius, 5.24.9-10.

You mean to tell me that Victor’s attempt to censure all of Christendom in Asia Minor under the threat of excommunication, when all of them opposed his jurisdiction, that this proves that the universal church of that day understood and embraced Roman and/or papal primacy? Please tell me that you’re really joking here, and that you really aren’t serious? Even Irenaeus, whom you referenced above, was busy in this particular controversy exhorting Victor to make peace with the churches of Asia Minor. Eusebius informs us that
Among them was Irenaeus, who, sending letters in the name of the brethren in Gaul over whom he presided, maintained that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be observed only on the Lord’s day. He fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom ... .
See The Church History of Eusebius, 5.24.11.

If Irenaeus really supported the Roman bishop’s juridical primacy and authority over the universal church, then pray tell me why he was instructing Victor to back off! The whole notion that Victor's attempt to pontificate to the churches of Asia Minor proves papal primacy, is about the most ludicrous example one could possibly imagine, and which blows up in one's face historically.

Mr. Marshall wrote: All written sources indicate that the Church of Rome was held as first and supreme.

David King Responds: No, not all. There’s a book in the Bible which we Protestants know as the Acts of the Apostles, and it informs us that the first church in which all the apostles gathered was in Jerusalem, that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Act 11:26), and that this church, under the leadership of James, the Apostles, and Presbyters, were the first to send out “decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem” (Acts 16:4). Now, I understand that you dear Romanists don’t sweat that Bible stuff, but we Protestants do. :)



[FN1] One is reminded of the recent accusations against Fr. Raymond Brown, S.S. (link).

[FN2] Mr. Marshall designates him as "pope," although this is incorrect, as Pastor King notes later in the post.

[FN3] As Pastor King has explained elsewhere (link) his use of the term Romanist is not intended to be derogatory, but merely descriptive - although we are aware that some Roman Catholics object to this designation.

30 comments:

SP said...

Victor, who presided over the church at Rome [notice the church at Rome, not the world]

Thats odd...because didn't David just finish saying that no one person presided over the church at Rome?

We call Clement 'Pope' even at the time he was not known as 'Pope' because he sat in the chair of St. Peter. We are told that Clement sat in the chair of St. Peter by church fathers from the 2nd century.

The Papacy, while immediately given to Peter and his successors, grew in development and in understanding. I don't think anybody denies this.

There are several inescapable truths about the early church that is taken from the extant historical record.

From the very beginning the church has recognized sacramental ordination and succession a necessary mark of a true bishop.

You cite Kelly who also writes: "Where in practice was the apostolic testimony or tradition to be found?...The most obvious answer was that the apostles had committed it orally to the Church, where it had been handed down from generation to generation...Unlike the alleged secret tradition of the Gnostics, it was entirely public and open, having been entrusted by the apostles to their successors, and by these in turn to those who followed them, and was visible in the Church for all who cared to look for it"
Early Christian Doctrines, 37

And even Protestant scholarship estimates the Bishop or Rome emerged as the center of unity by the 3rd century.

Making much hay about the development of the Papacy is interesting because the New Testament canon was not fully developed until about the same time but no Reformed Protestant questions that development.

Apostolic succession is really what the conversation should be about.

Furthermore, Roman primacy by many scholars (even non Catholic ones) from the earliest generations is treated as a fact.

"Let us turn to the facts. We know that the Church of Rome took over the position of 'church-with-priority' at the end of the first century. That was about the time at which her star ascended into the firmament of history in its brightest splendor...Even as early as the Epistle to the Romans, Rome seems to have stood out among all the churches as very important. Paul bears witness that the faith of the Romans was proclaimed throughout the whole world (Rom 1:8)....we have a document which gives us our earliest reliable evidence that the Church of Rome stood in an exceptional position of authority in this period. This is the epistle of Clement of Rome...We know that Clement was 'president' of the Roman Church...."
- THE PRIMACY OF PETER : Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church edited by John Meyendorff

This page cites several prominent non-Catholic scholars who conclude that Roman primacy is evident from at least the time of Clement...and that is about 200 years before the canon of the NT was decided.

SP said...

By the way. Can David respond to this?

Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, Prologue (A.D. 110) writes:

"Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Mast High God the Father, and of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is sanctified and enlightened by the will of God, who farmed all things that are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour; the Church which presides in the place of the region of the Romans, and which is worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of credit, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love..."

Meyendorff writes thus of Ignatius' words:

"We find the first direct evidence about the priority of the Roman Church in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch. Speaking of the Church of Rome, Ignatius uses the phrase 'which presides' in two passages.... The Roman Church 'presides' in love, that is, in the concord based on love between all the local churches. The term 'which presides' needs no discussion; used in the masculine it means the bishop, for he, as head of the local church, sits in the 'first place' at the eucharistic assembly, that is, in the central seat. He is truly the president of his church...Ignatius pictured the local churches grouped, as it were, in a eucharistic assembly, with every church in its special place, and the church of Rome in the chair, sitting in the 'first place.' So, says Ignatius, the Church of Rome indeed has the priority in the whole company of churches united by concord....In his period no other church laid claim to the role, which belonged to the Church of Rome."

And Alexander Schmemann writes:

"It is impossible to deny that, even before the appearance of local primacies, the Church from the first days of her existence possessed an ecumenical center of unity and agreement. In the apostolic and the Judaeo-Christian period, it was the Church of Jerusalem, and later the Church of Rome -- 'presiding in agape,' according to St. Ignatius of Antioch. This formula and the definition of the universal primacy contained in it have been aptly analyzed by Fr. Afanassieff and we need not repeat his argument here. Neither can we quote here all the testimonies of the Fathers and the Councils unanimously acknowledging Rome as the senior church and the center of ecumenical agreement.

"It is only for the sake of biased polemics that one can ignore these testimonies, their consensus and significance. It has happened, however, that if Roman historians and theologians have always interpreted this evidence in juridical terms, thus falsifying its real meaning, their Orthodox opponents have systematically belittled the evidence itself. Orthodox theology is still awaiting a truly Orthodox evaluation of universal primacy in the first millennium of church history -- an evaluation free from polemical or apologetic exaggerations."
- (The Idea of Primacy in Orthodox Ecclesiology)

dtking said...

Thats odd...because didn't David just finish saying that no one person presided over the church at Rome?

Two things SP...

1. You have confused timelines between Clement and Victor, and suggested something I never did. The concept of the monarchical bishop did not surface in Rome until the second half of the 2nd century. Do yourself a favor and invest in Peter Lampe's book, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries, trans. Michael Steinhauser (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003)

2. If the papacy took centuries to develop as you insisted earlier, why do you and Mr. Marshall disagree? Mr. Marshall clearly implies it was from the very beginning, as Leo XIII pontificated, and you claim it took centuries.

You see, in your hurried effort to launch a response, you didn't bother to give my post a careful reading. The fact that you can't even get your facts straight about what I said and what I didn't say doesn't encourage me to respond to you until you demonstrate to me that you are able to read me accurately.

SP said...

dtking,

1. You have confused timelines between Clement and Victor, and suggested something I never did. The concept of the monarchical bishop did not surface in Rome until the second half of the 2nd century. Do yourself a favor and invest in Peter Lampe's book, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries, trans. Michael Steinhauser (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003)

I am very aware of this work thanks to the daily citations from another blogger. Have you read the book? I have. I didn't find anything in the book that suggests anything different than what I have argued here.

2. If the papacy took centuries to develop as you insisted earlier, why do you and Mr. Marshall disagree? Mr. Marshall clearly implies it was from the very beginning, as Leo XIII pontificated, and you claim it took centuries.

I don't believe Mr. Marshall and I are in disagreement. We both affirm that Peter was the first among the apostles and that he ended up in Rome and appointed a successor and that this chair extends throughout the ages to this very day. The papacy was 'from the very beginning.' Even the other day John Bugay cited Schatz and Schatz affirms that the papacy was not an invention but always there.

Further, I did respond to you about Leo's statements in the other thread. You can find my response there.

You see, in your hurried effort to launch a response, you didn't bother to give my post a careful reading. The fact that you can't even get your facts straight about what I said and what I didn't say doesn't encourage me to respond to you until you demonstrate to me that you are able to read me accurately.

dtking. I did read your statement quite carefully. I could accuse you of not reading my responses because you just acted as if I didn't address the Leo question...but I won't do that.

I'd like to know how you accept the development of the new testament canon which by every measure took longer than the development of the papacy.

dtking said...

Meyendorff writes thus of Ignatius' words...

No, Mr. Meyendorff didn't write those words. They were written by Nicholas Afanassieff in chapter 4 of a book edited by Meyendorff, The Primacy of Peter (Crestwood: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992), pp. 126-127.

But, here again, is your typical piecemeal citation as offered by wanna-be Roman apologists. What you do not quote here is what Afanassieff proceeds to say…

“Nevertheless, in the epistle to the Church of Rome, we find no reference to its power over the other churches, and Ignatius does not say anything about the Bishop of Rome. This is puzzling to us, but also proves that Ignatius had absolutely no idea of Roman primacy. Priority, to him, did not imply the notion of power. …If every church’s life is founded on love, if love underlies all relations with other churches, then priority too must spring from love and be a living example of love’s authority. Ignatius almost certainly knew of Clement of Rome’s epistle, in which the Church of Rome refused to countenance the ejection of Corinthian presbyters; but he had never heard of any standards laid down by the Church of Rome to regulate doctrine or discipline.” See The Primacy of Peter (Crestwood: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1992), p. 127.

You see, SP, I doubt you actually have this book, or else you would not have made the mistake in 1) assigning these words to the wrong author, or 2) misrepresent what he said in context. But this is the problem when you rely on Roman apologetics 101 as presented in cyberspace. Oh, and in the future, you might want to consider that the people you seek to correct might actually have the work you’re trying to cite in their personal library. This book is sitting on my shelf.

dtking said...

SP, not only can you not read my posts correctly, but you cannot even get basic facts straight about who wrote what, let alone carefully represent what they said in context. Now, I will give you the benefit of the doubt as to why you cannot handle reading material correctly, but since you can't (for whatever reason), I don't think your inquiries are worth my time, unless I see something else that obviously needs a response.

SP said...

dtking.

The author of the book I cited is Meyendorff. In hindsight I should have gone the extra step and cited whom he was citing in chapter four. I have a word document that is several hundred pages in length of quotes from father and scholarship. I haven't read every work (but I have read much of them, including Lampe) that I have cited but that isn't unusual. If you have read every piece that you have ever cited than kudos to you.

If the rules of the combox dictate that one can only cite sources that he/she has read in its entirety than somebody should point me to that rule.

In the other thread John Bugay cited a Schatz book that he clearly hadn't read because the conclusion he drew from Schatz's statement was exactly the opposite of Schatz's own conclusion. I don't recall you jumping all over John Bugay.

The other day TFan gave a partial citation of Aquinas which if the wider context was provided propped up the Catholic position. I provided the expanded quote but I didn't accuse TFan of anything nefarious.

You'll see that I did remember to quote Alexander Schmemann from the same work as quoted my Meyendorff. Do I get a pat on the back for that?

Now, if you could try to focus on the topic at hand and stop trying to make this about how ill equipped you think I am to respond to your argument than we might get somewhere.

The expanded quote that you provided from, ahem Afanassieff via Meyendorff, says that to Ignatius Rome's priority was not a matter of 'power' but of 'love' and that Ignatius never mentions the 'bishop of Rome.'

I don't see how either point proves that Rome did not have primacy. I do see that Rome's primacy was based on love and not power and that Ignatius did not mention the bishop of Rome but other fathers within a generation or two of Ignatius mentioned the bishop of Rome specifically.

SP said...

PS. The Orthodox sources that we are citing still refer to the Bishop of Rome as the first among equals.

There is obviously a lot to work out between the Orthodox and Catholic communions and I pray that this does get worked out.

But, given that you put so much weight into the scholarship of these Orthodox sources do you as a Pastor also consider the Bishop of Rome the 'first among equals' and if not why not?

dtking said...

SP,

No thanks, you continue to insinuate and attribute to me things I never said nor indicated, which is why I feel no need to interact with you.

The fact that you continue to conduct yourself here in this fashion speaks volumes to me about how you treat any reading material before you. I have no desire to offend you, but I refuse to waste my time correcting every erroneous inference you invent. Sorry, not going to run down all your bunny trails.

John Bugay said...

SP, I notice you've now been banned from Triablogue, under the third different handle now. Again you have been cited for dishonesty. Here's the link:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/01/theological-chicken.html#2579061638825188835

SP said...

you continue to insinuate and attribute to me things I never said nor indicated

If I did that, than sorry. I am not sure what you are referring to here.

I think if you'll go through and read just about every comment you've written to me over the past day and half you'll see that you also insinuated quite a bit about me but I digress.

In your very first comment to me, ever, you wrote:

I think the real problem is that folk, such as yourself, are not open to considering any historical facts that differ from that in which you've chosen to place your faith, viz., the communion of Rome.

Thus, you can be sure, it is not only Protestants that disagree with Roman fanaticism, but also scholars from within your own communion who are more objective in their assessments of what history demonstrates to have been reality.


There is quite a bit of insinuation about me in that comment but I didn't take my ball and go home like you are doing.

The 'fact' is that I am very open to considering the historical facts that you think differ from what the Catholic Church teaches about herself. I was kind of hoping that you would produce some of these facts...

John Bugay said...

By the way, I can read Schatz's book and draw different conclusions from the same history. I don't presuppose Rome to be "the one true church," and I'm not afraid to let the facts of history stand as they are.

SP said...

John.

I was banned once by Triablogue and didn't know about it till yesterday afternoon.

But thats ok. I have seen much better men than myself banned from Triablogue.

And, you shouldn't be one to make hay over somebody getting banned from a blog if memory serves.

John Bugay said...

Re. my getting banned from DRD: He was a bit confused. He seems to be thinking more clearly now.

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "The author of the book I cited is Meyendorff."

This is really a trivial point in itself, but Meyendorff is not the author of the book.

SP wrote: "In hindsight I should have gone the extra step and cited whom he was citing in chapter four."

No, he's not citing someone else in chapter four. Chapter 4 is written by Nicholas Afanassief. The book you're talking about even indicates this in the table of contents. That's also why Afanassief is listed as a "contributor" on p. 173 of the book (he's listed first because his last name starts with 'a').

Afanassief didn't write his chapter in English, but Katharine Farrer translated it.

Meyendorff is also a contributor to the book: he wrote chapter 3. Furthermore Mehendorff is the editor of the book.

Recall that your original comment was: "Meyendorff writes thus of Ignatius' words:" which is not accurate. It's not a question of you not going far enough, but of you making a mistake.

In fact, this isn't a particularly controversial issue, or even a major point. However, there isn't any question at all that you were wrong, and that your response to being corrected was to entrench your mistake.

Consider a different approach: Pastor King has an extensive of knowledge of this subject: rather than ignoring the evidence that he presents (you wrote: "I was kind of hoping that you would produce some of these facts..." despite the fact that he presented such evidence in the post above) consider at least taking the time to try to understand what his reasons are for saying what he is saying (not perceived motivations, but reasons with respect to the historical data).

Of course, my advice above isn't supposed to be an argument against any of the arguments you've made - instead it is encouragement to slightly alter your approach which I understand (from what you've told me) is one that involves investigating the facts. The change is simply to give Pastor King a little more credit before assuming that you are right and he is wrong (which is the appearance that your comment about book authorship above gives).

-TurretinFan

SP said...

TFan.

I admitted to citing it incorrectly and to not having read the whole book.

And I admit that my hurried response to Pastor King was slightly motivated from my feeling insulted by him from the moment he first responded to me.

I can admit that I should not have cited this work so carelessly but I still do not see how King's original argument disproves the papacy or something.

SP said...

Having said that...

Rather than getting angry again and not showing my better side I will bow out of this conversation.

Plus I have to get ready to watch the Cowboys lose tonight.

Ryan said...

Instructive post, as always.

"I have to get ready to watch the Cowboys lose tonight."

Hear, hear.

Alex said...

Then I guess that the Roman magisterium doesn’t really live up to all you folks make it out to be. Where is the ecclesiastical discipline for these, the “most subversive religious order” within the Roman communion?

Why is it that David and his fellow protestants make us of this silly argument? This belies a fundamental error in understanding the role and task of the magisterium of the Church. As I have said elsewhere (I forgot where now):

The magisterium as the teaching office of the Church has as its task is to give us an authentic interpretation of the Word of God. Perhaps the term "office" is what throws folks off, as if you can call the Vatican and press <3> for the extension to the magisterium.

I hope that folks like David King will stop misusing the term and role of the magisterium.

Nuno Fonseca said...

Catholic unity? Please.

Here in Portugal, one of the most Catholic Catholic countries left in the world, on a daily basis, priests and bishops openly deny such dogmas as the infallibility of the Scriptures and outright disrespect the authority of Pope. Some go on TV and defend the use of condoms and others go on to speak in far-left wing party conventions - just to name a few 'misdemeanors'.

They're never disciplined; nor are they ever rebuked by anyone in the higher hierarchy. Among the laity, no-one is ever excommunicated. Ever. As far as Portugal, the homeland of Our Lady of Fatima, 'Peter' has lost his keys. Worse: he's become a liberal theologian who no longer sits in his Cathedra and is nowadays busy licking the boots of Conservative politicians.

What a joke.
And by the way, please tell all those American ex-Evangelical Catholic traditionalist-converts that, in case they haven't noticed, Vatican II has actually taken place. I'm just saying.

GeneMBridges said...

I was banned once by Triablogue and didn't know about it till yesterday afternoon.

But thats ok. I have seen much better men than myself banned from Triablogue.

And, you shouldn't be one to make hay over somebody getting banned from a blog if memory serves.


Sean or this Stephanie, you were banned from Tblog because you have defied your initial ban more than once...Remember those? You were posting under different ID's at that time. Please don't act like you were banned at didn't know about it...Jason bans people not just screennames.

Turretinfan said...

Alex:

It's interesting how some Roman Catholics appeal to passages about discipline to allege power to interpret Scripture, and then argue that the disciplinary role of the Roman church should be considered completely separately from the teaching role of the Roman church.

But nevertheless, the exercise and lack of exercise of discipline is instructive.

-TurretinFan

Alex said...

Turretinfan,

Would you mind providing one example for me?

I'm not saying that you can't, I just want to see if what you are referring to falls under the role of the Magisterium which is to ensure the Church's fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles in matters of faith and morals.

Secondly, is it your understanding that the role and task of the Magisterium is to police and discipline any and every dissident Catholic?

Thanks

Taylor Marshall said...

I've responded Mr King here:

http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2010/01/ancient-church-of-rome-was-ruled-by.html

by showing that Clement of Rome did in fact teach the mono-episcopate. This basically settles the discussion. If Clement of Rome was the sole bishop of Rome, then the papacy is Apostolic.

Moreover, it proves that Presbyterian polity is unbiblical.

Godspeed,
Taylor Marshall

John Bugay said...

Taylor Marshall: You are quite simplistic in your "interpretation," that 1 Clement 40 somehow supports the papacy.

Much more exegetical work needs to be done on 1 Clement, but he goes on to say in Chapter 41:

Let each of you brothers, give thanks to God with your own group, maintaining a good conscience, not overstepping the designated rule of his ministry, but acting with reverence. Not just anywhere brothers, are the continueal daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the offerings for sin and trespasses, but only in Jerusalem. And even there the offering is not made in any place, but in front of the sanctuary at the altar, the offering having geen first inspected for blemishes by the high priest and the previously mentioned ministers. (All of whom, Clement is clear, must be located in Jerusalem). Those, therefore, who do anything contrary to the duty imposed by his will receve death as penalty.

So what Clement is saying here is that, anyone who purports to offer a sacrifice that is not in Jerusalem "will receive the death penalty."

Ergo, the entire history of Romanism is subject to the death penalty, because it does not conduct its sacrifices in Jerusalem.

SP said...

John,

Taylor corrected you on his blog but in case you missed his response when you posted there as 'guest.'


Dear Guest,

1 Clement 40 compares the Christian ministerial hierarchy (bishop > priest > deacon) to the Jewish hiearchy (high priest > priest > Levite).

1 Clement 41 thus compares the exclusivity of bishop's liturgy to the exclusivity of the Jerusalem sacrifices. The point here is that in the OT, a Jew could not institute a sacrifice apart from the high priest and Temple. Likewise, a Christian cannot erect a Eucharist apart from that of the Catholic bishop. This last point is against the claim of Protestants who set up their worship services apart from the local bishop.

Your interpretation seems to entail that true Christian worship MUST be held at Jerusalem - something patently false.

1 Clement 42 then goes on to show that only the bishops of the Catholic Church have this exclusive authority.

So I fail to see how your objection overturns the Catholic argument of Saint Clement.

Here is what we glean from this passage:

1 Clement 40: the Church has an analogous hierarchy to that of Jerusalem (high priest/priest/Levite > bishop/presbyter/deacon)
1 Clement 41: each local assembly is like Jerusalem. It alone can celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice, just as the OT sacrifices were restricted to Jerusalem.
1 Clement 42: the Apostles appoint bishops to ensure that this principle is carried on

That is the plain reading of these passages...and it perfectly conforms to Catholic practice.

The conclusion from all of this is that the Church in Rome under Clement had a clear doctrine of the mono-episcopate - and it thought that assemblies formed apart from it were invalid.

Boom-shaka-laka and Bing-badda-bing!

dtking said...

I've responded Mr King…by showing that Clement of Rome did in fact teach the mono-episcopate. This basically settles the discussion. If Clement of Rome was the sole bishop of Rome, then the papacy is Apostolic.

This is the most question begging response I have seen in a long time. But look at the leap in logic here. If it were granted that Clement was the bishop of Rome, which contradicts the work of virtually every serious scholar outside of Roman fanaticism, the leap is that the bishop of Rome would then prove that the papacy (universal jurisdiction of the church) is Apostolic. That has to be about the most wishful thinking I have ever encountered, but it simply goes to show the fanaticism that prevails in the Romanist mindset.

You have proven nothing about the universal belief of the Church in the first three centuries of the church.

This man has brought forth three witnesses from the early church, and two of the three presented were members of the clergy of Rome itself. I disagree vehemently with the misrepresentation of these witnesses. But if I were going to try to prove the universal jurisdiction of the Roman papacy, I would at least look elsewhere than Rome itself. What a self-serving, ahistorical claim!

Moreover, it proves that Presbyterian polity is unbiblical.

This goes even further than your original claim; but, as I have shown, Jerome’s exegesis of Titus contradicts you in no uncertain terms. But as I said before, Romanists do not sweat that Bible stuff.

This illustrates for me in the clearest terms possible the kind of intellectual suicide that Roman fanaticism demands, and which turns the Bible itself on its head.

SP said...

sheesh...for somebody who is worried about insinuations and all that you certainly don't hold back...

Turretinfan said...

Alex:

You wrote: "Would you mind providing one example for me?"

Example:

J. Salza: Yes, Jesus meant what He said when He promised to build His Church upon Peter, give him the keys to the kingdom, and the authority to teach infallibly (bind and loose). I wish Protestants would take Jesus’ words at face value. While Peter did have “that solid foundation of faith,” Jesus builds His Church upon the person of Peter, not just His faith. In fact, Peter’s faith has nothing to do with Jesus renaming Simon and giving him the keys and the binding and loosing authority. Instead, Jesus does this because Peter demonstrated the ability to receive a divine revelation from the Father and communicate it without error. This is the basis for the Church’s teaching on papal infallibility.

Alex wrote: "Secondly, is it your understanding that the role and task of the Magisterium is to police and discipline any and every dissident Catholic?"

It is a role of the Church to exercise discipline. Obviously, the term "Magisterium" has specifically to do with teaching.

"Any and every dissident Catholic" is one thing - prominent scholars is another thing.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

TM/SP: Pastor King has responded in a new post (link). You can respond to that post there, or of course at your own blogs, if you prefer.