Monday, February 08, 2010

Magisterium More Sufficient than Scripture? (Part 6)

[Cont'd from previous section]

Is the Roman Catholic Magisterium More Sufficient than Sacred Scripture?
Bryan Cross answered on the subject of the ability of the Scripture to interpret Scripture sufficiently, from Scripture, reason, and tradition.
(Part 6)

2 Peter 1:19-20

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Bryan also fails to recognize the perspicuity of Scripture:

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
In our reply we have followed Him to the moment of His glorious death, and taking one by one the statements of their unhallowed doctrine, we have refuted them from the teaching of the Gospels and the Apostle. But even after His glorious resurrection there are certain things which they have made bold to construe as proofs of the weakness of a lower nature, and to these we must now reply. Let us adopt once more our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it. For the Lord spoke in simple words for our instruction in the faith, and His words cannot need support or comment from foreign and irrelevant sayings.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book XI, §7.

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
The Lord has not left in doubt or obscurity the teaching conveyed in this great mystery; He has not abandoned us to lose our way in dim uncertainty. Listen to Him as He reveals the full knowledge of this faith to His Apostles; — I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but through Me. If ye know Me, ye know My Father also; and from henceforth ye shall know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and ye have not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Father? Dost thou not believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth His works. Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe for the very works’ sake. He Who is the Way leads us not into by-paths or trackless wastes: He Who is the Truth mocks us not with lies; He Who is the Life betrays us not into delusions which are death. He Himself has chosen these winning names to indicate the methods which He has appointed for our salvation. As the Way, He will guide us to the Truth; the Truth will establish us in the Life. And therefore it is all-important for us to know what is the mysterious mode, which He reveals, of attaining this life. No man cometh to the Father but through Me. The way to the Father is through the Son. And now we must enquire whether this is to be by a course of obedience to His teaching, or by faith in His Godhead. For it is conceivable that our way to the Father may be through adherence to the Son’s teaching, rather than through believing that the Godhead of the Father dwells in the Son. And therefore let us, in the next place, seek out the true meaning of the instruction given us here. For it is not by cleaving to a preconceived opinion, but by studying the force of the words, that we shall enter into possession of this faith.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book VII, §33.

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
Now we ought to recognize first of all that God has spoken not for Himself but for us, and that He has so far tempered the language of His utterance as to enable the weakness of our nature to grasp and understand it.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book VIII, §43.

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
The Lord enunciated the faith of the Gospel in the simplest words that could be found, and fitted His discourses to our understanding, so far as the weakness of our nature allowed Him, without saying anything unworthy of the majesty of His own nature.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book IX, §40.

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67) commenting on John 10:30:
But this passage concerning the unity, of which we are speaking, does not allow us to look for the meaning outside the plain sound of the words. If Father and Son are one, in the sense that They are one in will, and if separable natures cannot be one in will, because their diversity of kind and nature must draw them into diversities of will and judgment, how call They be one in will. not being one in knowledge? There can be no unity of will between ignorance and knowledge. Omniscience and nescience are opposites, and opposites cannot be of the same will.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book IX, §70.

The perspicuity of Scripture, however, does not mean that everything in Scripture is clear. The necessary things for salvation are clear in Scripture, but there is much additional in Scripture for which our attention and study is both necessary and commended.

Paschasius of Dumium (6th century A.D.):
Some brothers went to Abbot Antony and asked to hear from him words by which they might be saved. He said to them: “You have heard the Scriptures, and you know what is sufficient to you from Christ.”
- Paschasius of Dumium, FC, Vol. 62, Paschasius of Dumium, Questions and Answers of the Greek Fathers, Chapter 6, §2 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1969), p. 127.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
I begin, therefore, by requesting you to lay aside the opinion which you have too easily formed concerning me, and dismiss those sentiments, though they are gratifying evidences of your goodwill, and believe my testimony rather than any other’s regarding myself, if you reciprocate my affection. For such is the depth of the Christian Scriptures, that even if I were attempting to study them and nothing else from early boyhood to decrepit old age, with the utmost leisure, the most unwearied zeal, and talents greater than I have, I would be still daily making progress in discovering their treasures; not that there is so great difficulty in coming through them to know the things necessary to salvation, but when any one has accepted these truths with the faith that is indispensable as the foundation of a life of piety and uprightness, so many things which are veiled under manifold shadows of mystery remain to be inquired into by those who are advancing in the study, and so great is the depth of wisdom not only in the words in which these have been expressed, but also in the things themselves, that the experience of the oldest, the ablest, and the most zealous students of Scripture illustrates what Scripture itself has said: “When a man hath done, then he beginneth.”
- Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. I, Letters of St. Augustine, Letter 137, Chapter 1, §3.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Consider, moreover, the style in which Sacred Scripture is composed,—how accessible it is to all men, though its deeper mysteries are penetrable to very few. The plain truths which it contains it declares in the artless language of familiar friendship to the hearts both of the unlearned and of the learned; but even the truths which it veils in symbols it does not set forth in stiff and stately sentences, which a mind somewhat sluggish and uneducated might shrink from approaching, as a poor man shrinks from the presence of the rich; but, by the condescension of its style, it invites all not only to be fed with the truth which is plain, but also to be exercised by the truth which is concealed, having both in its simple and in its obscure portions the same truth. Lest what is easily understood should beget satiety in the reader, the same truth being in another place more obscurely expressed becomes again desired, and, being desired, is somehow invested with a new attractiveness, and thus is received with pleasure into the heart. By these means wayward minds are corrected, weak minds are nourished, and strong minds are filled with pleasure, in such a way as is profitable to all. This doctrine has no enemy but the man who, being in error, is ignorant of its incomparable usefulness, or, being spiritually diseased, is averse to its healing power.
- Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. I, Letters of St. Augustine, Letter 137, Chapter 5, §18. See also FC, Vol. 20, Saint Augustine Letters, 137. Addressed to Volusian (412 AD) (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1953), p. 34.

Bryan also forgets that the words of our Lord are able to speak for themselves, without needing external support:

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
In our reply we have followed Him to the moment of His glorious death, and taking one by one the statements of their unhallowed doctrine, we have refuted them from the teaching of the Gospels and the Apostle. But even after His glorious resurrection there are certain things which they have made bold to construe as proofs of the weakness of a lower nature, and to these we must now reply. Let us adopt once more our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it. For the Lord spoke in simple words for our instruction in the faith, and His words cannot need support or comment from foreign and irrelevant sayings.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book XI, §7.

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
Verse 11. “For we which live are also delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in us in our mortal flesh.” For every where when he has said any thing obscure, he interprets himself again. So he has done here also, giving a clear interpretation of this which I have cited. ‘For therefore, “we are delivered,”’ he says, ‘in other words, we bear about His dying that the power of His life may be made manifest, who permitteth not mortal flesh, though undergoing so great sufferings, to be overcome by the snowstorm of these calamities.’ And it may be taken too in another way. How? As he says in another place, “If we die with him, we shall also live with Him.” (2 Timothy 2:11.) ‘For as we endure His dying now, and choose whilst living to die for His sake: so also will he choose, when we are dead, to beget us then unto life. For if we from life come into death, He also will from death lead us by the hand into life.’
- Chrysostom, NPNF1: Vol. XII, Homilies on Second Corinthians, Homily 9.

Ambrose (about A.D. 339-397):
In most places Paul so explains his meaning by his own words, that he who discourses on them can find nothing to add of his own; and if he wishes to say anything, must rather perform the office of a grammarian than a discourser.
Latin text:
In plerisque ita se ipse suis exponat sermonibus, ut is qui tractat, nihil inveniat quod adjiciat suum; ac si velit aliquid dicere, grammatici magis quam disputatoris fungatur munere.
Citation: Ambrose, Epistola XXXVII.1, PL 16:1084; translation by William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, 2nd edition, 3 Volumes (London: John Henry Jackson, publisher, 1853), Vol. 3, p. 262; see also Chemnitz, Vol. 1, p. 167, and Whitaker, pp. 398, 492, who all render plerisque as “most.” The translation found in FC, Vol. 26, Saint Ambrose: Letters 54. Ambrose to Simplicianus (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1954), p. 286, has mistranslated this word plerisque to read “in some instances” rather than the correct translation of “most places.”

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (about A.D. 393-466):
Eran. — We have gone through many and sound arguments, but I was anxious to know the force of the Gospel saying.
Orth. — You stand in need of no interpretation from without. The evangelist himself interprets himself. For after saying “the Word was made flesh,” he goes on “and dwelt among us.” That is to say by dwelling in us, and using the flesh taken from us as a kind of temple, He is said to have been made flesh, and, teaching that He remained unchanged, the evangelist adds “and we beheld His glory — the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” For though clad with flesh He exhibited His Father’s nobility, shot forth the beams of the Godhead, and emitted the radiance of the power of the Lord, revealing by His works of wonder His hidden nature. A similar illustration is afforded by the words of the divine apostle to the Philippians: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man he humbled Himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross.”
- Theodoret of Cyrrhus, NPNF2: Vol. III, Theodoret, Dialogue I.—The Immutable.Orthodoxos and Eranistes.

Indeed, the words of Scripture are best suited to explain Scripture:

Hilary of Poitiers (about A.D. 315-67):
The worldly man cannot receive the faith of the Apostle, nor can any language but that of the Apostle explain his meaning. God raised Christ from the dead; Christ in Whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. But He quickened us also together with Him, forgiving us our sins, blotting out the bond of the law of sin, which through the ordinances made aforetime was against us, taking it out of the way, and fixing it to His cross, stripping Himself of His flesh by the law of death, holding up the powers to shew, and triumphing over them in Himself.
- Hilary of Poitiers, NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book IX, §10.

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
Mark how he disapproves of questioning. For where faith exists, there is no need of question. Where there is no room for curiosity, questions are superfluous. Questioning is the subversion of faith. For he that seeks has not yet found. He who questions cannot believe. Therefore it is his advice that we should not be occupied with questions, since if we question, it is not faith; for faith sets reasoning at rest. But why then does Christ say, “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. vii. 7); and, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life”? (John v. 39.) The seeking there is meant of prayer and vehement desire, and He bids “search the Scriptures,” not to introduce the labors of questioning, but to end them, that we may ascertain and settle their true meaning, not that we may be ever questioning, but that we may have done with it.
- Chrysostom, NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy, Homily 1.

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
You see, despite the use of such precision by Sacred Scripture, some people have not questioned the glib words of arrogant commentators and farfetched philosophy, even to the extent of denying Holy Writ and saying the garden was not on earth, giving contrary views on many other passages, taking a direction opposed to a literal understanding of the text, and thinking that what is said on the question of things on earth has to do with things in heaven. And, if blessed Moses had not used such simplicity of expression and considerateness, the Holy Spirit directing his tongue, where would we not have come to grief? Sacred Scripture, though, whenever it wants to teach us something like this, gives its own interpretation, and doesn’t let the listener go astray. . . . So, I beg you, block your ears against all distractions of that kind, and let us follow the norm of Sacred Scripture.
- Chrysostom, FC, Vol. 74, Homilies on Genesis 1-17, 13.13 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1986), p. 175.

The Scripture even explains the allegorical parts of Scripture:

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407):
There is something else we can learn here. What sort of thing is it? It is when it is necessary to allegorize Scripture. We ourselves are not the lords over the rules of interpretation, but must pursue Scripture’s understanding of itself, and in that way make use of the allegorical method. What I mean is this. The Scripture has just now spoken of a vineyard, wall, and wine-vat. The reader is not permitted to become lord of the passage and apply the words to whatever events or people he chooses. The Scripture interprets itself with the words, “And the house of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord Sabaoth.” To give another example, Ezekiel describes a large, great-winged eagle which enters Lebanon and takes off the top of a cedar. The interpretation of the allegory does not lie in the whim of the readers, but Ezekiel himself speaks, and tells first what the eagle is and then what the cedar is. To take another example from Isaiah himself, when he raises a mighty river against Judah, he does not leave it to the imagination of the reader to apply it to whatever person he chooses, but he names the king whom he has referred to as a river. This is everywhere a rule in Scripture: when it wants to allegorize, it tells the interpretation of the allegory, so that the passage will not be interpreted superficially or be met by the undisciplined desire of those who enjoy allegorization to wander about and be carried in every direction. Why are you surprised that the prophets should observe this rule? Even the author of Proverbs does this. For he said, “Let your loving doe and graceful filly accompany you, and let your spring of water be for you alone.” Then he interprets these terms to refer to one’s free and lawful wife; he rejects the grasp of the prostitute and other woman.
- Chrysostom, Duane A. Garrett, An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 with an English Translation, Isaiah Chapter 5 (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1992), pp. 110-111.

Chrysostom (about A.D. 349-407): Commenting on Isaiah 8:6-7:
Do you see how flawlessly the passage shines before us? For Scripture everywhere gives the interpretation of its metaphors, just as it has done here. Having spoken of a river, it did not stick to the metaphor, but told us what it means by river: “The king of Assyria, and all his glory.”
- Chrysostom, Duane A. Garrett, An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 with an English Translation, Isaiah Chapter 8 (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1992), pp. 161.

And the obscure portions have a reason in themselves, not to hide an important doctrine, but to stimulate our spiritual appetite, increase our humility, or give us spiritual exercise and excitement.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Accordingly the Holy Spirit has, with admirable wisdom and care for our welfare, so arranged the Holy Scriptures as by the plainer passages to satisfy our hunger, and by the more obscure to stimulate our appetite. For almost nothing is dug out of those obscure passages which may not be found set forth in the plainest language elsewhere.
- Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. II, On Christian Doctrine, Book II, Chapter 6, §8.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Here by that rule I would wish to take “the sons of men” of those that from old men have been regenerated by faith. For these, by certain obscure passages of Scripture, as it were the closed eyes of God, are exercised that they may seek: and again, by certain clear passages, as it were the open eyes of God, are enlightened that they may rejoice. And this frequent closing and opening in the holy Books are as it were the eyelids of God; which question, that is, which try the “sons of men;” who are neither wearied with the obscurity of the matter, but exercised; nor puffed up by knowledge, but confirmed.
- Augustine, NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 11, §8.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
The depths of meaning in the word of God are there to excite our eagerness to study, not to prevent us from understanding. If everything was locked up in riddles, there would be no clue to the opening up of obscure passages.
- Augustine, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 3, Vol. 5, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., Sermons, Sermon 156.1 (Brooklyn: New City Press, 1992), p. 96.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Our thoughts, my dearest brothers and sisters, in reflecting on and discussing the holy scriptures must be guided by the indisputable authority of the same scriptures, so that we may deal faithfully both with what is said clearly for the purpose of giving us spiritual nourishment, and what is said obscurely in order to give us spiritual exercise. Who, after all, would dare to expound the divine mysteries otherwise than has been practiced and prescribed by the mind and mouth of an apostle?
- Augustine, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Part 3, Vol. 10, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., Sermons, Sermon 363.1 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1995), p. 270. (414 AD.).

Thus, Scripture can teach us all that is worth knowing.

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430):
Love to read the sacred Letters, and you will not find many things to ask of me. By reading and meditating, if you pray wholeheartedly to God, the Giver of all good things, you will learn all that is worth knowing, or at least you will learn more under His inspiration than through the instruction of any man.
- Augustine, FC, Vol. 20, Saint Augustine Letters, 140. Addressed to Honoratus (412 AD), Chapter 37 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1953), pp. 135-136. Honoratus was a catechumen.

And thoroughly equip us:

Caesarius of Arles (about A.D. 470-543):
When the Gospel was read, we heard that word which is at the same time both terrible and desirable, the sentence of our Lord which is equally dreadful and desirable. It is terrible because of what He says: ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire’; it is desirable because of the words: ‘Come, blessed, receive the kingdom.’ . . . For if a man carefully heeds this lesson, even if he cannot read the rest of the Scriptures, this lesson alone can suffice for him to perform every good act and to avoid all evil.
- Caesarius of Arles, FC, Vol. 47, Saint Caesarius of Arles, Sermons 187-238, Sermon 158.1 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University Press, 1963), p. 359.

Ambrose (about A.D. 339-97):
Frequent reading of the Scriptures, therefore, strengthens the mind and ripens it by the warmth of spiritual grace. In this way our powers of reasoning are strengthened and the influence of our irrational passions brought to naught.
- Ambrose, FC, Vol. 42, Saint Ambrose: Cain and Abel, Book 2, chapter 6, §20 (New York: Fathers of the Church, 1961), p. 421.

[cont'd in Section 7]

200 comments:

natamllc said...

Taking just from Hillary above, these words:::>

"....But even after His glorious resurrection there are certain things which they have made bold to construe as proofs of the weakness of a lower nature, and to these we must now reply. Let us adopt once more our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it. ...".

Two things jump out at me; one, the weakness of a lower nature; and two, our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it.

The perpescuity of Scripture certainly does that with Balaam and Balak. Here we see by Sacred Scripture "the weakness of a lower nature" at work which in turn makes plain to us the "true signification" of Scripture, that is, the vile attempts of the lower natures of man to "change" the Spoken Word as recorded as the Written Word from a blessing to a curse. It didn't work for Balaam and Balak, it won't for Bryan or Rome.

And an even more telling true signification from Scripture itself is that that has become "sacred" Scripture, too, with regard to Pilate and his own words:::>

Joh 19:19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."
Joh 19:20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.
Joh 19:21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'"
Joh 19:22 Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."

For me, here, I see the irony of Rome crossing the Tiber to go to Jerusalem, fulfilling God's Judgment "written" for the errors of men trying all the more to have written what they have written, [the Talmud], as Sacred Scriptures instead of what is written and approved by the seal of the Sacred Spirit, [the Torah and the Prophets]. When, in fact, by examples such as this one with Pilate, by it, we are able to understand the true signification of the attempts of Rome back across the Tiber to add their own books to the approved books of God, too, just as those Jews did by creating the Talmud!

I will muse outloud: "hmmmmm, what can we do to gain the ascendency of Christ's Rule? Let's conspire to falsify the true signification of Scripture and the Writings adding our own words to the Words of God and do our best by our laws, the papacy and magisterium as sufficient to discourage people from reading the Word of God alone"!

Now, whether one will accept that proposition as a fact, it is a fact that this world is still full of demons who are still churning out doctrines all in an attempt to appease the wrath of God upon the souls of men intentionally bringing them under the wrath of God and not the Blessings of Christ's death, burial and resurrection and enjoy His Promises in this life:

Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
Rom 4:5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

and

Rom 4:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

Blogahon said...

Tfan.

Are you going to the Father's teaching on the role of the church in interpreting scripture?

Such as the following from Hilary:

"They who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. For the ship exhibits a type of Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand."
Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, Homily 13:1 (A.D. 355).

of Ambrose:

"Wherefore all other generations are strangers to truth; all the generations of heretics hold not the truth: the church alone, with pious affection, is in possession of the truth."
Ambrose, Commentary of Psalm 118,19 (A.D. 388)

Of Golden Mouth:

"They teach what they themselves have learnt from their predecessors. They have received those rites which they explain from the Church's tradition. They preach only 'the dogmas of the Church'"
John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction (A.D. 389)

Or Augustine:

"But those reasons which I have here given, I have either gathered from the authority of the church, according to the tradition of our forefathers, or from the testimony of the divine Scriptures, or from the nature itself of numbers and of similitudes. No sober person will decide against reason, no Christian against the Scriptures, no peaceable person against the church."
Augustine, On the Trinity, 4,6:10 (A.D. 416).

Just several examples. You cannot just throw up a bunch of quotes about the Fathers' right and true high view of scripture and declare that they believed or taught a Reformed sense of the perspicuity of scripture. Well, I guess you can do that but it only works if you completely divorce their ecclesiology from the picture.

Is this how Reformed apologists prove the Fathers also taught faith alone? Just ignore and pass over the passages that say otherwise?

Blogahon said...

cont'd...

The following sentiments better explain my thoughts on your 'perspecuity' project than I could:

"The fathers of the church spoke as they did because they regarded themselves as interpreters of the Scriptures. Therefore they are not to be made a substitute for the Scriptures; nor can the Scriptures be understood apart from the authoritative interpretation which tradition places upon them...if tradition is primitive, Protestant theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’ requires redefinition."
Jaroslav Pelikan, Obedient Rebels

"The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed tothe varying opinions of heretical sects—together form one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key and true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse."
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

"Several publications by evangelicals have argued that the doctrine of sola scriptura was practiced, though implicitly, in the hermeneutical thinking of the early church. Such an argument is using a very specific agenda for the reappropriation of the early church: reading the ancient Fathers through the leans of post-Reformational Protestantis...Scripture can never stand completely independent of the ancient consensus of the church’s teaching without serious hermeneutical difficulties...the real question, as the patristic age discovered, is, Which tradition will we use to interpret the Bible?"
D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism

dtking said...

"The fathers of the church spoke as they did because they regarded themselves as interpreters of the Scriptures. Therefore they are not to be made a substitute for the Scriptures; nor can the Scriptures be understood apart from the authoritative interpretation which tradition places upon them...if tradition is primitive, Protestant theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’ requires redefinition."
Jaroslav Pelikan, Obedient Rebels


Thank you for this classic example of how Romanists treat scholars like Pelikan. It gives me great delight to demonstrate the full context of Pelikan's quote here...

Jaroslav Pelikan: The fathers of the church spoke as they did because they regarded themselves as interpreters of the Scriptures. Therefore they are not to be made a substitute for the Scriptures; nor can the Scriptures be understood apart from the authoritative interpretation which tradition places upon them. Thus, as we have sought to show in an earlier discussion, tradition is primitive, tradition is inevitable, and tradition is exegetical. This view of tradition suggests, as we have seen, that it is time for both sides to look more carefully at the Reformation attitude toward Scripture and tradition. If tradition is primitive, Protestant theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’ requires redefinition. But if tradition is exegetical, Roman Catholic theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’, properly understood is correct. For the writings of the church fathers are expository, even the controversial writings that have been haded down to us. Jaroslav Pelikan, Obedient Rebels: Catholic Substance and Protestant Principle in Luther’s Reformation (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964), p. 180.

This sort of thing is done when either 1) someone is cutting and pasting from someone else's web site who misrepresented Pelikan in this instance with a butchered quote, or 2) the Romanist himself is engaged in an agenda that distorts evidence in favor of Rome.

louis said...

Ouch!

Blogahon said...

Ouch,

You really got me 'pastor' King.

Let us review your quote with a different emphasis shall we?

But if tradition is exegetical, Roman Catholic theology must admit that ‘Scripture alone’, properly understood is correct.

Quite a bit packed into the 'properly understood' bit methinks especially considering that Pelikan died not professing the Reformed doctrine of "sola scriptura."

Well, ok. If we 'properly understand' sola scriptura to mean that scripture if formally sufficient than yeah, I can profess 'sola scriptura' too.

Ouch.

More: Jaroslav Pelikan
"The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine"

"The catholic response to this claim (of the Gnostics), formulated more fully by Irenaeus than by any other Christian writer, was to appeal to 'that tradition which is derived from the apostles.' Unlike the Gnostic tradition, however, this apostolic tradition had been preserved publicly in the churches that stood in succession with the apostles....Together with the proper interpretation of the Old Testament and the proper canon of the New, this tradition of the church was a decisive criterion of apostolic continuity for the determination of doctrine in the church catholic....So palpable was this apostolic tradition that even if the apostles had not left behind the Scriptures to serve as normative evidence of their doctrine, the church would still be in a position to follow 'the structure of the tradition which they handed on to those to whom they committed the church.' This was, in fact, what the church was doing in those barbarian territories where believers did not have access to the written deposit, but still carefully guarded the ancient tradition of the apostles, summarized in the creed -- or, at least, in a very creedlike statement of the content of apostolic tradition...The term 'rule of faith' or 'rule of truth' did not always refer to such creeds and confessions, and seems sometimes to have meant the 'tradition,' sometimes the Scriptures, sometimes the message of the gospel."

Turretinfan said...

There's no need for quotation marks around the word pastor. Pastor King is, in fact, a pastor.

dtking said...

Yes, you were caught red-handed. You can count on the Romanists to do precisely what I indicated. But, as usual, Romanists know no shame for their agenda driven tactics.

Blogahon said...

If David T King can act like a pastor and not just hurl castigations and insults at me whenever he responds to me than perhaps I can call him 'pastor' without the use of quotation marks.

I have an idea. Stop calling me "Romanist" and I'll stop calling him "pastor."

But you raise an interesting question. What makes David T King a pastor if he is ‘in fact’ a pastor?

Apparently this is not the first time that David T King has engaged in selectively quoting Pelikan.

Talk about caught red handed.

So, tell me David T King...if Pelikan thinks the fathers all taught the Reformed Sola Scriptura why did he cease being Lutheran?

Blogahon said...

Cont'd...

This whole thing, selectively quoting church fathers and not giving a fiddling fart about the same church fathers and what they taught about the church, is just a giant charade.

But hey, lets try to be very selective with we want to read in Pelikan and then call somebody a 'romanist' and then open up the peanut gallery and then we can all feel warm and fuzzy.

natamllc said...

Pastor King,

"....This sort of thing is done when either 1) someone is cutting and pasting from someone else's web site who misrepresented Pelikan in this instance with a butchered quote, or 2) the Romanist himself is engaged in an agenda that distorts evidence in favor of Rome."

Your point is well taken by me!

Could it be, though, that it is both?

After all, Peter and Paul did admonish men of God to be aware of both:

I Tim. 3:2 and 1 Peter 5:8.


Oh yeah, foolish me; RCC bishops can't be married; and of course, the magisterium is a work of [g]od not the devils, ah, man!

Turretinfan said...

Blogahon:

If you're not a Romanist (an adherent to the communion of the Roman bishop), by all means say so. We don't want to falsely label you. Pastor King is in fact a pastor.

If you're just using the quotation marks to be annoying because you find being identified with the label "Romanist" annoying, then your conscience should convict you of the impropriety of that strategy.

-TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Yeah, I pretty much find David T King's tactics, voice, demeanor and delivery very un-pastoral.

And, the word "Romanist" used in the context that David T King uses it is meant as an insult.

But I'll try and him:

David T King, will you please stop calling me a "Romanist." I prefer "Catholic" or "Roman Catholic."

Thanks.

dtking said...

No sir,

I refuse to call you a "catholic" for reasons already explained. I believe you to be a Romanist because you embrace the dogmas of Rome.

I am not ashamed of being called a Calvinist, so I regard your complaint as an attempt to pretend you've been insulted when the term is intended to be an accurate description of your position, and not the slur you attempt to make it out to be.

Your complaint about me being un-pastoral is simply due to the fact that you do not like being told point blank that your quote in that instance was an utter misrepresentation (as it was), and so you resort to the ad hominem, "oh, he's being un-pastoral."

Well, the fact is that I'm not your pastor, so don't expect me to be pastoral with someone whom I believe is deliberately trying to misrepresent truth. Now, you may well be acting out of ignorance, but it is willful and deliberate.

Was Paul being "pastoral" when he rebuked people?

But all of this is simply a diversion from the point in question, because what you really want to do is to register your complaint because you cannot hold your own either meaningfully and/or substantially.

You were caught red-handed, and you know no shame, which your complaint bears out. I have no respect for people who cannot own that when it is so manifestly set forth for all to see.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that you simply lifted that butchered quote off someone's web site, and that you've never read that book by Pelikan himself. But, as with most Romanists like yourself, you depend on other people's apologetics (even if done poorly), because it requires too much effort to do your own work. No, all you can do is sit back and scoff at the work of others with whom you happen to disagree.

Blogahon said...

And I am so thankful that you are not my pastor.

You completely vomit all over Pelikan in your book in an attempt to profit the whitewashed version of reality that you peddle around. This is well documented in the thread I linked earlier but in case you missed it...

HERE IT IS.

But rather than, er, take the plank out of your own eye you just attack a layperson who pasted a quote which I still contend proves the point I was trying to make to another person. God forbid that I copied and pasted a quote I read somewhere else. Must I have read all of Pelikan's book before I can quote him? I didn't realize that this was required of interacting with David T King.

You are basically a bully. So keep beating me up I guess. I can take it David T King.

dtking said...

Whining is for those who have already lost the argument, and still refuse to own their error. All you have is your complaints, no substance.

Coram Deo said...

dtking said: I am not ashamed of being called a Calvinist...

I think you've implicitly been called a "mean Calvinist". Does something worse creep upon the face of the earth?

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

"Yeah, I pretty much find David T King's tactics, voice, demeanor and delivery very un-pastoral."

My suggestion is for you to focus more on his arguments and less on what you perceive as the above. If you can't do that, you're just going to perceived (from our side) as unable to handle the substantive points he's raising.

We see this all the time from certain folks on your side of the Tiber - some of them spend an enormous amount of time complaining about being mistreated rather than responding to substantive arguments. Others, to their credit, try to address the substance of the matter.

Blogahon said...

Frankly TFan, the 'substance' of David T King's rhetoric is lost to most because of his instance on trying to parse his rhetoric with insult.

I did respond to the 'substance' of David T King's missive against me in my 8:47PM quote. He responded by calling me a Romanist.

There is also tons of substance that I linked in the thread that was a direct response to David T King's sloppy approach to Pelikan. I suggest you read it.

There is also more substance of mine that is ignored in other parts of the thread.

The David T King's of the world just latch on to one thing and flip it to an ad hom. "Oh, look. Blogahon is a typical Romanist. He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about."

That is supposed to be substance?

Further, I've pointed out the problem with these 'perspicuity' posts over and over again. My point being that you cannot possibly take the fathers of teaching anything remotely close to a Reformed understanding of the perspicuity of scripture because of what the same fathers wrote about the role of the church and tradition.

Again...a better summary than mine:

"Several publications by evangelicals have argued that the doctrine of sola scriptura was practiced, though implicitly, in the hermeneutical thinking of the early church. Such an argument is using a very specific agenda for the reappropriation of the early church: reading the ancient Fathers through the leans of post-Reformational Protestantis...Scripture can never stand completely independent of the ancient consensus of the church’s teaching without serious hermeneutical difficulties...the real question, as the patristic age discovered, is, Which tradition will we use to interpret the Bible?"
D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism

David T King makes the Catholic position look like roses and he doesn't even know it.

dtking said...

"Oh, look. Blogahon is a typical Romanist. He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about."

Yes, it is substance in this sense, you cannot do you own apologetic work. You are simply cutting and pasting from other sites on the web. You gave that butchered Pelikan quote because it was obviously lifted from another site that butchered it in the same precise was as you did. The point, again, is this - you are not doing your own work. You're simply objecting with the "cut and paste" work of others.

You haven't dealt with a single patristic citation that TF made in this blog. You've simply objected with "cut and paste" from other places on the web.

And then you complain because someone doesn't sweet talk to you, and pat you on the back for dragging all that "cut and paste" here. :)

Yes, that is precisely what I mean by a "typical Romanist" tactic. I have watched others who preach up the Roman communion do the very same thing for over fifteen years now. It is not novel or substantial, but typical.

Blogahon said...

David T King.

What I did was object that the same father's teaching about church and tradition isn't dealt with all these quotes about scripture. In other words, these quotes about scripture are being read in a vacuum and with Post Reformation rose colored glasses to boot. I’ve made this observation several times.

Making this observation is not 'apologetic work' but rather just an observation.

I posted several quotes from non-Catholic scholars illustrating this point. You ignored some of them completely but latched onto one and flipped the conversation into an ad hom. You do this all the time.

In fact the very first time we interacted you immediately basically called me a lying Romanist. You don’t even know me. You are a pastor? I’ve never met a pastor like that and I know many PCA pastors and am still friends with several.

Maybe you should go through the internet and copy all of the statements that you have made to Catholics and publish them your church bulletin. Would you be proud of it?

I showed you that your broadening of the Pelikan quote is the 'ouch' moment that you think it is but you don’t respond. You just call me a Romanist instead. You have no response to the fact that Pelikan died not professing Reformed sola scriptura. I then posted another quote from Pelikan furthering my point that you are wrong about Pelikan and you ignored it.

You basically pull away from any discussion that you cannot turn into an ad hom. You also publish total garbage about Pelikan and then get taken to task on it publically. How embarrassing.

But keep it up. You are a better apologist for the Catholic Church than I could ever be.

dtking said...

But keep it up. You are a better apologist for the Catholic Church than I could ever be.

Given its exclusive claims, Rome is the most anti-catholic communion in existence today. There is nothing "catholic" about the dogmas peculiar to Rome.

Blogahon said...

Given its exclusive claims, Rome is the most anti-catholic communion in existence today. There is nothing "catholic" about the dogmas peculiar to Rome.

So, in order to be the Church that Christ founded there must be no exclusive claims?

I sure hope that your church does not profess the Nicene Creed. It makes some pretty exclusive claims.

Blogahon said...

PS.

Schism has shown itself to be a much bigger impediment to catholicity than exclusive claims.

dtking said...

So, in order to be the Church that Christ founded there must be no exclusive claims?

No, in order to be catholic, one must believe what the whole catholic church believes.

I sure hope that your church does not profess the Nicene Creed. It makes some pretty exclusive claims.

Where in the Nicene Creed do you find the assumption of Mary, the primacy and the infallibility of the pope, purgatory, indulgences, etc? That's what I mean by catholicity. Rome is not "catholic."

One other word about all these quotes from the ECFs - Apart from the whole matter of sola Scriptura, all of them display a confidence in and reverence for Holy Scripture that is non-extant in the Roman world of apologetics. All we hear from Romanists today is their expressions concerning the insufficiency of Holy Scripture. The ECFs would never have taken the posture towards Holy Scripture that Rome has assumed today. In short, there is nothing "catholic" about the Roman view of Holy Scripture. There is nothing Romanist about the words of Paul to Timothy...

15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17)

No Romanist shares the catholic sentiment of Paul that the Scriptures "are able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Given Rome's apologetic against Holy Scripture, she is anything but "catholic."

Blogahon said...

A) Fortunately catholicity is not defined by a set of doctrines that David T King agrees with...

B) No Romanist shares the catholic sentiment of Paul that the Scriptures "are able to make us wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Given Rome's apologetic against Holy Scripture, she is anything but "catholic."

That is false. You conflate the Catholic Church's insistence that the scriptures need an interpreter to mean that the Catholic Church is somehow against scripture or does not believe that the scriptures are materially sufficient. It seems that you go with strawmen when your ad homs lose momentum.

C) All we hear from Romanists today is their expressions concerning the insufficiency of Holy Scripture. The ECFs would never have taken the posture towards Holy Scripture that Rome has assumed today.

As can be demonstrated from various passages from every single ECF that TFan is quoting the fact is that the ECFs did not divorce scripture from the bosom of the Catholic Church. This is your problem and it is admitted by many Protestant scholars who are able to honestly look at the fact of history and not approach the matter from a set of immovable Reformed presuppositions and personal vendettas.

Such an argument is using a very specific agenda for the reappropriation of the early church: reading the ancient Fathers through the leans of post-Reformational Protestantis...Scripture can never stand completely independent of the ancient consensus of the church’s teaching without serious hermeneutical difficulties...

- DH Williams

The bolded part may as well have your name attached to it.

dtking said...

Schism has shown itself to be a much bigger impediment to catholicity than exclusive claims.

Pray tell me what you think causes schisms? Is it not often the exclusive claims of one communion? Look at Pope Victor who attempted to excommunicate the churches of Asia Minor over what he insisted must be the time for the observance of Easter. Irenaeus had the good sense to rebuke him, and urged him to back off.

It was the spirit of Diotrephes, which was rebuked in 3 John, because he love[d] to have the preeminence and refused "to receive others." That is a claim to exclusivity which resulted in schism. It is the arrogation to one man the rule and headship of the church that belongs to Christ alone. We can gladly confess with Basil of Caesarea (Ad 329-379) that "the one and only true Head which is Christ exercises dominion over and unites the members, each with the other, unto harmonious accord." Fathers of the Church, Vol. 9, Preface on the Judgment of God (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1950), p. 41.
Greek text: τῆς μιᾶς καὶ μόνης ἀληθῶς κεφαλῆς. De Judicio Dei, §3, PG 31:660.

Rome cannot express that "catholic" sentiment, because its bishop has usurped the headship of Christ as the only King of His Church.

Try reading the ECFs without Romanist lens...Notice the following words of Basil concerning the bishop of Rome in his day...

Basil of Caesarea (AD. 329-379) commenting on the proposed trip of his brother, Gregory of Nyssa, to Rome: "I cannot understand how it is that no one has told you that the road to Rome is wholly impracticable in winter, the country between Constantinople and out’ own regions being full of enemies. If the route by sea must be taken, the season will be favorable; if indeed my God-beloved brother Gregory consents to the voyage and to the commission concerning these matters. For my own part, I do not know who can go with him, and am aware that he is quite inexperienced in ecclesiastical affairs. With a man of kindly character he may get on very well, and be treated with respect, but what possible good could accrue to the cause by communication between a man proud and exalted, and therefore quite unable to hear those who preach the truth to him from a lower standpoint, and a man like my brother, to whom anything like mean servility is unknown?" NPNF2: Vol. VIII, Letters, Letter 215, To the Presbyter Dorotheus. The translation that Edward Denny offers is, “I know not what advantage could arise to the whole Church from the intercourse of such a person, who has no mean adulation in his nature, with one high and lifted up sitting on I know not how lofty a seat, and not able to catch the voice of those who tell him the truth on the ground.” See Edward Denny, Papalism (London: Rivingtons, 1912), p. 636, §1217.

You see, it is the fantasy of Rome to claim that those who are in separation from its arrogance to be guilty of schism. That's very convenient - usurp the headship of Christ and then claim all others are in schism!

dtking said...

I don't trust any of your "copy and paste" quotes, which I've already demonstrated to suffer from the butcher's knife.

As can be demonstrated from various passages from every single ECF that TFan is quoting the fact is that the ECFs did not divorce scripture from the bosom of the Catholic Church. This is your problem and it is admitted by many Protestant scholars who are able to honestly look at the fact of history and not approach the matter from a set of immovable Reformed presuppositions and personal vendettas.

This long assertion begs the question of the catholic church. These ECFs were not Romanists, and for you to assume that, you must first prove it, and I (for one) know that you can't.

But seeing that you have already fled from the Nicene Creed (which you raised as a "catholic" confession), I do not expect you to be able to engage in any meaningful way these ECFs who were indeed part of the church catholic, but not one was a Romanist.

dtking said...

The bolded part may as well have your name attached to it.

Thanks for sharing your sentiments. Now, care to offer anything by way of argument besides assertions and claims?

dtking said...

That is false. You conflate the Catholic Church's insistence that the scriptures need an interpreter to mean that the Catholic Church is somehow against scripture or does not believe that the scriptures are materially sufficient. It seems that you go with strawmen when your...

No, These are not ad hominem. They are expressions of what Romanists deny. Romanists deny the power that the apostle Paul ascribed to Holy Scripture in his pastoral epistle to Timothy. Paul says that the Scriptures possess this δυνάμενά (ability) that he declares to be a property of Holy Scripture.

No Romanist can confess the catholic sentiment of Chrysostom...

Chrysostom (349-407): All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, Homily III, Comments on 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 10.

No Romanist can express the catholic sentiment of Chrysostom when he declares...

Chrysostom (349-407): For those without—philosophers, rhetoricians, and annalists, not striving for the common good, but having in view their own renown—if they said anything useful, even this they involved in their usual obscurity, as in a cloud. But the apostles and prophets always did the very opposite; they, as the common instructors of the world, made all that they delivered plain to all men, in order that every one, even unaided, might be able to learn by the mere reading. Thus also the prophet spake before, when he said, “All shall be taught of God,” (Isa. liv.13). F. Allen, trans., Four Discourses of Chrysostom, Chiefly on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, 3rd Sermon, §3 (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1869), pp. 62-68.

No Romanist can confess with Chrysostom...

Chrysostom (349-407): Hereby the Catechumen also is taught not to learn to hear these things of men, (for He saith, “Call no man master upon the earth, but from above, from heaven, “For they shall be all taught of God.” (Isaiah 54:13.). NPNF1: Vol. XII, Homilies on Second Corinthians, Homily 2.

No Romanist can confess with Chrysostom...

Chrysostom (349-407): Tarry not, I entreat, for another to teach thee; thou hast the oracles of God. No man teacheth thee as they; for he indeed oft grudgeth much for vainglory’s sake and envy. Hearken, I entreat you, all ye that are careful for this life, and procure books that will be medicines for the soul. If ye will not any other, yet get you at least the New Testament, the Apostolic Epistles, the Acts, the Gospels, for your constant teachers. NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily 9.
(cont.)

dtking said...

No Romanist can exegete 2 Timothy 3 with Chrysostom...

Chrysostom (349-407): “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” All what Scripture? all that sacred writing, he means, of which I was speaking. This is said of what he was discoursing of; about which he said, “From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures.” All such, then, “is given by inspiration of God”; therefore, he means, do not doubt; and it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
“For doctrine.” For thence we shall know, whether we ought to learn or to be ignorant of anything. And thence we may disprove what is false, thence we may be corrected and brought to a right mind, may be comforted and consoled, and if anything is deficient, we may have it added to us.
“That the man of God may be perfect.” For this is the exhortation of the Scripture given, that the man of God may be rendered perfect by it; without this therefore he cannot be perfect. Thou hast the Scriptures, he says, in place of me. If thou wouldest learn anything, thou mayest learn it from them. And if he thus wrote to Timothy, who was filled with the Spirit, how much more to us!
“Thoroughly furnished unto all good works”; not merely taking part in them, he means, but “thoroughly furnished.” NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy, Homily 9.

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "Just several examples. You cannot just throw up a bunch of quotes about the Fathers' right and true high view of scripture and declare that they believed or taught a Reformed sense of the perspicuity of scripture. Well, I guess you can do that but it only works if you completely divorce their ecclesiology from the picture."

SP also wrote: "As can be demonstrated from various passages from every single ECF that TFan is quoting the fact is that the ECFs did not divorce scripture from the bosom of the Catholic Church. This is your problem and it is admitted by many Protestant scholars who are able to honestly look at the fact of history and not approach the matter from a set of immovable Reformed presuppositions and personal vendettas."

This vague accusation of "divorc[ing] their ecclesiology" and "divorc[ing] scripture from the bosom of the Catholic Church is misleading at best.

When Augustine tells semi-Arian bishops to set aside their councils and he'll set aside Nicaea but for Scripture to be their arbiter, how much more strongly could he "divorce" his "ecclesiology" from Scripture?

Or what about when Basil great tells a widow:

Basil the Great, the bishop of Caesarea from 370 to 379 A.D., testifies to his belief in the all-sufficient nature of the Scriptures in these words taken from a letter he wrote to a widow:"Enjoying as you do the consolation of the Holy Scriptures, you stand in need neither of my assistance nor of that of anybody else to help you comprehend your duty. You have the all-sufficient counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead you to what is right" - how else could that be interpreted such that the widow also needs the assistance of an infallible magisterium?

I'm happy to deal with the quotations provided, but the underlying accusation of "divorce" is based (I hope) on a lack of knowledge about what the fathers had to say. It's the result of imposing presuppositions on the fathers, not reading them carefully.

Blogahon said...

Try reading the ECFs without Romanist lens...

Myself and literally dozens of people I personally know have done this and become Catholic.

I currently know several Presbyterian seminarians who started reading church history from Reformation lenses and are entering the Catholic Church this Easter.

Your premises is falsified by a growing number of Christians that read Church History and do not find Reformed Presbyterianism and instead find the Catholic Church.

But seeing that you have already fled from the Nicene Creed

I profess the Nicene Creed every day of my life.

But here is exhibit A of you creating an Ad Hom and Straw Man at once.

I profess every line of the Nicene Creed. You, sir, do not. I can say, "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" without blushing and completely reinventing what the council fathers meant by the words.

I can certainly confess everything about the scriptures that you quote from Chrysostom.

You however cannot profess with Chrysostom the following:

"So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by Epistle of ours.' Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther."
John Chrysostom, Homily on 2nd Thessalonians, 4:2 (A.D. 404).

"They teach what they themselves have learnt from their predecessors. They have received those rites which they explain from the Church's tradition. They preach only 'the dogmas of the Church'"
John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction (A.D. 389)

You see, nowhere does Chrysostom say "The church does not interpret scripture and define dogmas. the individual believer must do this on his own."

Blogahon said...

TFan.

I think you know what I mean by divorce.

You cannot take a high view of scripture espoused by an ECF and disregard what that same father had to say about the Church.

I mean, if you want a smoking gun quote on a high view of scripture why not simply just quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

Scripture being materially sufficient does not equal = sola scriptura.

Blogahon said...

If you need an example, here is a quote from Basil that David T King cannot profess (but he'll quote Basil as an authority when he thinks it suits him).

St. Basil the Great(A.D. 329-379), Doctor of the Catholic Church, bishop of Caesarea, and brother St. Gregory of Nyssa’s writes:

"Of the dogmas and kergymas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in manners ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject the unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kergyma to a mere term"
(Holy Spirt 27:66).

Ouch

John Bugay said...

Sean, if you would continue with that citation you just provided from Basil, you would see that he continues on with a listing of external practices that have nothing to do with doctrines.

dtking said...

Myself and literally dozens of people I personally know have done this and become Catholic.

No, you became Romanists, members of the most anti-catholic communion in the world.

I currently know several Presbyterian seminarians who started reading church history from Reformation lenses and are entering the Catholic Church this Easter.

No, they too became Romanists because they became sympathetic to Romanist views.

Your premises is falsified by a growing number of Christians that read Church History and do not find Reformed Presbyterianism and instead find the Catholic Church.

No, people who read the ECFs through Romanist lens become Romanists. My extensive reading of the ECFs proves that they were not Romanists. The eastern church never accepted the arrogant claims of Rome. I have found in the ECFs many more sentiments with which I agree. What you never find in the ECFs of the catholic church the Roman dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, the bodily assumption of Mary, etc. You never read those things in the ECFs unless it was through Romanist lens that claim those things are there.

I profess every line of the Nicene Creed. You, sir, do not. I can say, "I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" without blushing and completely reinventing what the council fathers meant by the words.

Yes, I can say the same without blushing, so your claim is wrong again. Please name me one ECF at the council of Nicea who believed in the dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, the bodily assumption of Mary. The fact is that none of them believed those things (dogmas) that Rome insists are necessary to be ebelieved for salvation. Those are Romanist, not catholic sentiments.

I can certainly confess everything about the scriptures that you quote from Chrysostom.


No you can't, because Rome denies the formal sufficiency of Holy Scripture. You're fooling yourself.

Blogahon said...

Here is another quick example because you've been quoting Augustine.

"But when proper words make Scripture ambiguous, we must see in the first place that there is nothing wrong in our punctuation or pronunciation. Accordingly, if, when attention is given to the passage, it shall appear to be uncertain in what way it ought to be punctuated or pronounced, let the reader consult the rule of faith which he has gathered from the plainer passages of Scripture, and from the authority of the Church, and of which I treated at sufficient length when I was speaking in the first book about things."
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 3,2:2 (A.D. 397).

And what does Augustine say about the authority of the Church?

"As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, e.g. the annual commemoration, by special solemnities, of the Lord's passion, resurrection, and ascension, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and whatever else is in like manner observed by the whole Church wherever it has been established." Augustine, To Januarius, Epistle 54:1 (A.D. 400).

Blogahon said...

Contd

"What the custom of the Church has always held, what this argument has failed to prove false, and what a plenary Council has confirmed, this we follow!" Augustine, On Baptism against the Donatist, 4:10 (A.D. 401).

"For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: 'Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it !' The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: -- Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander,(...) and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found. But, reversing the natural course of things, the Donatists sent to Rome from Africa an ordained bishop, who, putting himself at the head of a few Africans in the great metropolis, gave some notoriety to the name of "mountain men," or Cutzupits, by which they were known."
Augustine, To Generosus, Epistle 53:2 (A.D. 400).

“In like manner as if there take place an ordination of clergy in order to form a congregation of people, although the congregation of people follow not, yet there remains in the ordained persons the Sacrament of Ordination; and if, for any fault, any be removed from his office, he will not be without the Sacrament of the Lord once for all set upon him, albeit continuing unto condemnation.” Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, 24:32 (A.D. 401).

Where is the sacrament of ordination in the PCA? Where is the numbering of bishops back to Peter via the sacrament of ordination in the PCA?

Where are the traditions of the PCA that the church catholic holds as equal authority as scripture?

dtking said...

You however cannot profess with Chrysostom the following:

"So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by Epistle of ours.' Hence it is manifest, that they did not deliver all things by Epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition, seek no farther."
John Chrysostom, Homily on 2nd Thessalonians, 4:2 (A.D. 404).


When you can tell me with precision what those traditions were, I'll believe you. But I can tell you this, Chrysostom never held to any tradition of Roman primacy or infallibility. Yes, I accept true traditions, as does the Church catholic, but not Romanist accretions.

"They teach what they themselves have learnt from their predecessors. They have received those rites which they explain from the Church's tradition. They preach only 'the dogmas of the Church'"
John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction (A.D. 389)

You see, nowhere does Chrysostom say "The church does not interpret scripture and define dogmas. the individual believer must do this on his own."


This is a strawman argument. I never made any false dichotomy that you suggest. What you really mean is that all of Christendom must submit to the interpretations of the Roman magisterium. That is not a "catholic" principle. But even so, Rome has offered very very few official interpretations of Holy Scripture, so why you insist on the need for Rome to do what it has rarely ever done is beyond me. Read your own theologians, and they will confirm the same about how very few official interpretations by Rome exist!

Sure the Church interprets the Scriptures, but according to the Scriptures, not the reading into the Scriptures the inventions of such dogmas that are peculiar to the Roman communion. As much as you don't like to hear it, Rome is not catholic no matter how many times that term is obtruded upon us by Romanists.

Blogahon said...

No, you became Romanists, members of the most anti-catholic communion in the world.

More chest thumping from Pastor David T King.

No, they too became Romanists because they became sympathetic to Romanist views.

More chest beating from Pastor David T King (and now he can read the minds of other men)

No, people who read the ECFs through Romanist lens become Romanists.

More chest beating from Pastor David T King.

My extensive reading of the ECFs proves that they were not Romanists.

And I suppose that every Christian who has ever read the ECFs comes to the same conclusion?

The eastern church never accepted the arrogant claims of Rome.

Your ecclesiology is an absolute joke to the Eastern Orthodox church. Don't know why you are treating them as an authority. Regardless, the Orthodox bishops are about 99% in agreement with Catholic doctrines and there is some serious hope that we will be in communion again soon.

What you never find in the ECFs of the catholic church the Roman dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, the bodily assumption of Mary, etc. You never read those things in the ECFs unless it was through Romanist lens that claim those things are there.

More chest beating.

Please name me one ECF at the council of Nicea who believed in the dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, the bodily assumption of Mary.

Your chest beating here only works if it is the Catholic claim that every doctrine was fully expressed in AD 325.

But your sophist attack here is proven by the fact that you know full well that none of the fathers at Nicea would recognize your church as orthodox.

dtking said...

"What the custom of the Church has always held, what this argument has failed to prove false, and what a plenary Council has confirmed, this we follow!" Augustine, On Baptism against the Donatist, 4:10 (A.D. 401).

What plenary council in the Early church ever affirmed the dogmatic accretions peculiar to Rome? Augustine was no papist, and if you were really familiar with and objective about the history of the ancient African church, you would know that.

Blogahon said...

As much as you don't like to hear it, Rome is not catholic no matter how many times that term is obtruded upon us by Romanists.

Keep telling yourself that from the confines of you 250,000 member 'church' which is 'american' in title.

Meanwhile billions of Catholics all over the world, in every nation and tongue are professing the faith.

Blogahon said...

What plenary council in the Early church ever affirmed the dogmatic accretions peculiar to Rome?

What difference does the year a plenary council takes place have to do with anything?

Augustine was no papist, and if you were really familiar with and objective about the history of the ancient African church, you would know that.

Chest beating. I just proved that Augustine numbered the sucession of the bishops from the Bishop of Rome.

dtking said...

If you need an example, here is a quote from Basil that David T King cannot profess (but he'll quote Basil as an authority when he thinks it suits him).

St. Basil the Great(A.D. 329-379), Doctor of the Catholic Church, bishop of Caesarea, and brother St. Gregory of Nyssa’s writes:

"Of the dogmas and kergymas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in manners ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject the unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kergyma to a mere term"
(Holy Spirt 27:66).


OK, Erasmus believed this was an interpolation into Basil's work.

But even so, do you face the east when you pray? Do you believe in the vital necessity of triple immersion? In context, these were things that Basil affirmed as vital to the faith! So, if you do not believe these things are vital to the faith, you cannot believe with Basil's words in context.

Don't quote Basil as if you agree with him here, if in the context of his words you would disagree.

BTW, Basil would have denied papal primacy and infallibility as necessary dogmas of the church catholic. Such an attempt to construe Basil as a Romanist will not work. The ancient eastern church, of which Basil was a representative, believed as I do that such dogmas are the result of the pride of the Roman communion. Moreover, Basil denied explicitly that belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary was dogma. Now, to be sure, he acknowledged it as a pious belief, but he denied it to be dogma.

I don't think you're helped by Basil.

john martin said...

The many quotes only produce the fallacy of the unexplained quotes used to infer a false conclusion derived from a false premise.

The false premise is the RC church teaches it is more sufficient than scripture when it doesn't. It does teach it is formally sufficient and scripture is materially sufficient.

The conclusion that the church is not required because scripture alone is sufficient is also fallacious because it ignores the formal/material sufficiency distinction.

JM

dtking said...

It does teach it is formally sufficient and scripture is materially sufficient.

Please, and I ask please, show me the official Roman magisterial document that declares Scripture to be materially sufficient. Now, I know what Romanists claim, how they are *permitted* to believe that Scripture is materially sufficient. But what I am asking (because I do not believe it exists) what is the official Roman magisterial document which declares that the Roman communion teaches the material sufficiency of Scripture.

You will be the first if you're able to produce such official proof, because Rome (as far as I know) has never officially declared Scripture to be materially sufficient. Your own theologians have declared that the very thing you assert has never been officially defined by the Roman communion.

I am convinced that your "false premise" is based upon something that is not officially taught by the Roman communion. It is a question that the Roman communion, for centuries, has left open.

Blogahon said...

David T King,

But what I am asking (because I do not believe it exists) what is the official Roman magisterial document which declares that the Roman communion teaches the material sufficiency of Scripture.

Why does the Catholic Church need to have an official declaration about this? There is no controversy in the Catholic Church as to whether the scriptures are materially sufficient. Virtually every father affirmed that the most perfect expression of the faith is to be found in the scriptures. However, the problem for your version of history is that the Fathers affirmed with equal conviction that the faith also has been transmitted to the Church through Sacred Tradition. And according to the Fathers, the bible can only be interpreted within the Catholic Church and in light of her Tradition.

I am convinced that your "false premise" is based upon something that is not officially taught by the Roman communion. It is a question that the Roman communion, for centuries, has left open

Let me ask you this. The Catholic Church has not officially and dogmatically declared that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God. No council has weighed in on Joseph Smith's propehcies.

Do you suggest that the Church is 'leaving this matter open?'

dtking said...

Why does the Catholic Church need to have an official declaration about this? There is no controversy in the Catholic Church as to whether the scriptures are materially sufficient.

This controversy has raged for centuries, and Rome has conveniently ignored adjudicating it. It is a very widespread controversy. So when folks from the Roman communion pop up, such as yourself, and engage in private interpretation of Rome's position on this or that, I ask for the source of the official Roman magisterial teaching.

Now, you folks are the ones who insist that Rome is able to address these things officially as no one else can, but Rome has ignored this controversy in spite of the fact that her own theologians have both affirmed and denied the material sufficiency of Scripture, and Rome loves to have it so.

As for Joseph Smith's status as a prophet, Roman theologians haven't publicly debated that issue for centuries as they have concerning the relationship of tradition to Scripture, whether Scripture is materially sufficient or is the view one of partim/partim. Rome knows this issue has been debated for centuries, but has never had the ecclesiastical guts to resolve the controversy - and Rome loves to have it so - it's called wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

You folks are the ones that make these grandiose claims for the adjudicating authority of Rome, and yet this controversy has never been officially adjudicated by the Roman magisterium.

Meanwhile, people like yourself pontificate your own private opinions about the material sufficiency of Scripture, when your own communion has never made any such official statement to that effect.

Your illustration of Smith is simply a red herring for you to declare your own private belief about what Rome should or shouldn't do.

Here's how you guys operate - If it serves your own purpose to declare that Rome is able to adjudicate such a matter (because it has this or that controversy), then you crow to the high heavens. But if it serves your purpose not to have the issue resolved officially, then you complain when we point out the double standard. I've observed this now for over 15 years, so this is nothing new to my experience.

Blogahon said...

This controversy has raged for centuries, and Rome has conveniently ignored adjudicating it. It is a very widespread controversy.

You think that the Catholic Church has had a controversy about whether or not scripture is materially sufficient for decades? I am not aware of any such controversy. Which bishops are teaching that scripture is not materially sufficient?

Meanwhile, people like yourself pontificate your own private opinions about the material sufficiency of Scripture, when your own communion has never made any such official statement to that effect.

And?

If the Catholic Church tomorrow held a council and affirmed the material sufficiency of scripture what would be your response?

I am sorry that you understand how the teaching chrism of the Catholic Church so poorly. The Catholic Church does not profess to define dogmatically every single conceivable doctrine.

Turretinfan said...

"I am sorry that you understand how the teaching chrism of the Catholic Church so poorly."

This is coming from someone who is unaware of the conflict of teaching within Romanism on the topic of material sufficiency. Might a step down from the high horse be in order?

Turretinfan said...

"If the Catholic Church tomorrow held a council and affirmed the material sufficiency of scripture what would be your response?"

You seem to have missed the point ... if that were the case, dtking wouldn't say you were wrong to say: "It does teach ... scripture is materially sufficient."

Blogahon said...

This is coming from someone who is unaware of the conflict of teaching within Romanism on the topic of material sufficiency.You seem to have missed the point ... if that were the case, dtking wouldn't say you were wrong to say: "It does teach ... scripture is materially sufficient."

I don't know of any father or council that taught that scripture is not materially sufficient.

Turretinfan said...

"I don't know of any father or council that taught that scripture is not materially sufficient."

Well, of course, the fathers didn't teach that the Scripture is not materially sufficient - they taught (most of them for whom we have any significant amount of extant writings) both the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture.

Some councils (particularly the early ones) likewise presume the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture.

Trent had initially proposed an explicitly partim-partim wording for the fourth session (partim in libris scriptis partim in sine scripto traditionibus "partly in written books and partly in unwritten traditions"), but modified it to a more vague wording that neither adopted nor rejected the partim-partim position.

-TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

This is a brief summary of how I understand it. Correct me if I am wrong but in no way could this be described as a "conflict of teaching" or a "controversy has raged for centuries."

Source

Sola scriptura is understood in different ways among Protestants, but it is commonly taken to mean that the Bible contains all of the material needed to do theology. According to this theory, a theologian does not need to look to Tradition — or at least does not need to give Tradition an authoritative role.

This view is not acceptable to Catholics. As the Second Vatican Council stressed in its constitution Dei Verbum, "It is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws its certainty about everything that has been revealed. Therefore both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence" (DV 9).

One of the principal architects of Dei Verbum was the French theologian Yves Congar, who thought Catholics could acknowledge a substantial element of truth in sola scriptura.

He wrote that "we can admit sola scriptura in the sense of a material sufficiency of canonical Scripture. This means that Scripture contains, in one way or another, all truths necessary for salvation" (Tradition and Traditions, 410).

He encapsulated this idea with the slogan Totum in scriptura, totum in traditione ("All is in Scripture, all is in Tradition"), which he attributes to Cardinal Newman. According to this theory, Scripture and Tradition would not be two sources containing different material but two modes of transmitting the same deposit of faith. We might call it the "two modes" view as opposed to the "two source" view.

The decrees of Trent and Vatican II allow Catholics to hold the two-mode idea, but they do not require it. A Catholic is still free to hold the two-source view.

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Well, of course, the fathers didn't teach that the Scripture is not materially sufficient - they taught (most of them for whom we have any significant amount of extant writings) both the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture.

Please name the church fathers and the councils that taught the formal sufficiency of scripture.

Some councils (particularly the early ones) likewise presume the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture.

Please name the councils that implied the formal sufficiency of scripture.

Turretinfan said...

"Please name the church fathers ... that taught the formal sufficiency of scripture. " (Since this was in response to my comment about the fathers, I think you meant only to ask specifically about the father here.)

Here's where reading the Webster/King trilogy, "Holy Scripture: the Ground and Pillar of the Faith" would come in handy. I'm hesitant to try to provide a complete list here, but a partial list would include:

"These are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take ought from these. For concerning these the Lord put to shame the Sadducees, and said, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures.’ And He reproved the Jews, saying, ‘Search the Scriptures, for these are they that testify of Me.’"

-Athanasius, Festal Letter 39

"Enjoying as you do the consolation of the Holy Scriptures, you stand in need neither of my assistance nor of that of anybody else to help you comprehend your duty. You have the all-sufficient counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead you to what is right."

- Basil of Caesarea, Letter 283

"Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures."

- Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 4:17

"Please name the councils that implied the formal sufficiency of scripture."

Again, I don't want to pretend to give an exhaustive list. Read Athanasius' accounts of the proceedings of the council of Nicaea for one example.

- TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

TFan.

What is a good and acceptable definition of the 'formal' sufficiency of scripture that you would recommend?

And, just to make sure, your contention at the least is that Athanasius, Basil and Cyril of Jerusalem taught the formal sufficiency of scripture correct?

Blogahon said...

Can I just start with Athanasius?

Where does Athanasius deny the church binding authority to interpret the scripture?

This link includes about 30 quotes from Athanasius that seem to affirm the Church's role in defining biblical doctrine.

Examples: 'For, what our fathers have delivered, this is trully doctrine; and this is truly the token of doctors, to confess the same thing with each other, and to vary neither from themselves nor from their fathers...Thus the Greeks, as not witnessing to the same doctrines, but quarreling one with another, have no truth of teaching; but the holy and veritable heralds of truth agree together, and do not differ..preaching the same Word harmoniously'
- De Decretis 4

'But what is also to the point, let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and preserved by the fathers. On this the church was founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.'
- Ad Serapion 1,28

dtking said...

You think that the Catholic Church has had a controversy about whether or not scripture is materially sufficient for decades? I am not aware of any such controversy.

What an admission! Where have you been? This communicates to me that you simply are not familiar with the very issues that you're attempting to defend. I know you think I'm being mean, but my friend you are clueless.

Must I educate you about the debates of your own theologians? Let me point you in the corect direction. Read the debates of your own theologians following Trent. Some will affirm the material sufficiency of Scripture, while others insist and/or argue that Trent enshrined the theory of partim/partim.

This indicates to me that you have never seriously studied these issues, and I would encourage you to do so if you intend to interact in any meaningful way with those who disagree with you.

Example...

Thomas G. Guarino: Several historians have noted that the change in the decree [i.e., from Trent] from “this truth and rule are contained partly in written books and partly in unwritten traditions” (partim…partim) to “this truth and rule are contained in written books and unwritten traditions” (et), was, most likely, nothing more than a stylistic alteration on the part of the authors. If this were true, then the textual change hardly reflected a new acceptance of the material sufficiency of Scripture. Yves Congar notes, however, that although the change was probably not made to favor explicitly the material sufficiency of Scripture, the fact remains that, theologically speaking, room was now made for this thesis. The conciliar decree is open to this interpretation inasmuch as Catholic believe that statements of ecumenical councils are providentially guided by the Holy Spirit. Congar closes by noting that the proper way of summing up the relationship between Scripture and tradition as found in both the Fathers and the pre-Tridentine period is the formula used by Newman and the nineteenth-century theologian, J. E. Kuhn: Totum in scriptura, totum in traditione.
While Congar and J. Geiselmann believe that Trent left the door open for the thesis of the material sufficiency of Scripture, Joseph Ratzinger [your present pope] stakes the the same claim for the Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican II, Dei Verbum #9. This text is “…the product of the attempt to take into account, to the widest possible extent, the points made by the Reformed churches and [was] intended to keep the fold open for a Catholic idea of sola scriptura….” If these theologians are correct, and the majority of contemporary Catholic theologians surely agree with them, then Catholics, in their own way, could agree with the position that the entire truth of salvation is found in Scripture. See Thomas G. Guarino, “Catholic Reflections on Discerning the Truth of Sacred Scripture” in Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, eds., Your Word Is Truth (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2002), pp. 85-86.

The Roman commentator above admits, for all practical purposes, that it has been the strength of the Reformed apologetic that forced these theologians to view Trent as "leaving the door open" for the material sufficiency of Scripture.

But Trent never adjudicated the matter in any official way, and no conciliar authority in the Roman communion has ever resolved the issue.

Now, you ask, if a council resolved it in the future, how would I respond? I would say, "Great! The jello has finally been nailed to the wall!"

But, make no mistake, Rome has no desire to resolve this issue, because Trent enables folks like yourself to play both sides of the issue as the writers in Sungenis' book, Not By Scripture Alone. The writers in that book will affirm material sufficiency when it suits their apologetic, but they do a flip-flop when they want to argue for the partim/partim view.

I'm willing to provide more quotes from your own theologians,but the debate continues.

Turretinfan said...

JM wrote: "The many quotes only produce the fallacy of the unexplained quotes used to infer a false conclusion derived from a false premise."

This has to be the most lame response yet.

"The false premise is the RC church teaches it is more sufficient than scripture when it doesn't."

This remarkable assertion is then rebutted by JM's own next line:

"It does teach it is formally sufficient and scripture is materially sufficient."

Leaving aside the point about material sufficiency, Rome does teach (at least implicitly) that Rome's own teachings are formally sufficient and Rome does teach (at least implicitly) that Scripture itself is not formally sufficient. That means (to those with the ability to do at least simple cognitive tasks) that Rome claims to be more sufficient than Scripture.

"The conclusion that the church is not required because scripture alone is sufficient is also fallacious because it ignores the formal/material sufficiency distinction."

The conclusion isn't premised on ignoring the formal/material sufficiency distinction. The conclusion is based on rejecting the unhistorical Roman denial of Scripture's formal sufficiency.

Blogahon said...

David T King.

What an admission! Where have you been?

I admitted that I am not aware of any huge controversy and I stand by the fact there is not a huge controversy.

I simply don't see the raging debate that you see nor do I see any difficulty with the precise definition being unresolved. Differences of opinion which are valid and worked through is not mean that there is some huge faith shattering debate being raged. This question is not causing schism.

I am aware of Yves Conger's views and also aware that he was a principle author of De Verbum

But, make no mistake, Rome has no desire to resolve this issue, because Trent enables folks like yourself to play both sides of the issue as the writers in Sungenis' book, Not By Scripture Alone.

So, you think that the Catholic Church does not officially define something so that 'I can play both sides?'

Is that really what you think?

Cut Scene to a dark Vatican City Chamber...

Benedict - We should make a decree about the material sufficiency of scripture...

Cardinal Arinze - NO! Lets not do that. Its funny because people like Blogahon can mess with Reformed apologists and play it both ways!

Benedict - You are right Arinze. After all, we chose not to define doctrines on the basis of whether or not our laypeople can win internet debates.

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Hopeing you can interact with my 8:31:00 PM.

If you can show that Athanasius denied the church binding authority to interpret scripture I'd like to see it.

Turretinfan said...

SP:

Before I do, would you acknowledge that is possible (in theory) for a person to hold to the formal and material sufficiency of Scripture and also to hold that the church has "binding authority to interpret scripture"?

- Turretinfan?

Turretinfan said...

"Cut Scene to a dark Vatican City Chamber..."

No need to be so conspiratorial about it. Rome has intentionally not resolved the matter, and that permits folks like yourself more wiggle room.

Blogahon said...

Before I do, would you acknowledge that is possible (in theory) for a person to hold to the formal and material sufficiency of Scripture and also to hold that the church has "binding authority to interpret scripture"?


It would depend on one's eccliesiology. In other words, one could not logically hold this if they believed the church could err or that scripture could err.

No need to be so conspiratorial about it. Rome has intentionally not resolved the matter, and that permits folks like yourself more wiggle room.

Could you please prove that the Catholic church has not resolved the matter in order to permit me wiggle room?

Turretinfan said...

"Could you please prove that the Catholic church has not resolved the matter in order to permit me wiggle room?"

We are willing to take for granted that people intend the obvious result of their intentional actions.

Blogahon said...

We are willing to take for granted that people intend the obvious result of their intentional actions.

And what is the 'obvious' result?

Better yet...how am I wiggling around here? I personally believe that scripture is materially sufficient. I believe that this is the testimony of the fathers.

On other matters with 'wiggle room.' On presdestination I am a Thomist and not a Molinist. Whats the problem? I still worship in the same Mass with the Molinists.

Turretinfan said...

I had asked: "Before I do, would you acknowledge that is possible (in theory) for a person to hold to the formal and material sufficiency of Scripture and also to hold that the church has "binding authority to interpret scripture"?"

You replied: "It would depend on one's eccliesiology. In other words, one could not logically hold this if they believed the church could err or that scripture could err."

Ok ... let's take for granted that the fathers didn't think that Scripture could err and lets set aside the issue of whether they thought that "the church could err." What's your answer now?

Blogahon said...

Tfan.

Ok ... let's take for granted that the fathers didn't think that Scripture could err and lets set aside the issue of whether they thought that "the church could err." What's your answer now?

I can't put it aside because this is the hinge on which the question turns.

If the church can err than how can you argue that the church has binding authority to interpret scripture?

dtking said...

I admitted that I am not aware of any huge controversy and I stand by the fact there is not a huge controversy.

Yes, your ignorance of this controversy demonstrates quite sufficiently that you really do not understand the issues involved with respect to authority. I see no indication that you really understand enough, let alone have investigated carefully, the claims of the communion with which you've identified.

And, I might add, it is quite convenient for Romanists to ignore this controversy within its own communion, because that means depending on the scenario, you can either argue for or against material sufficiency.

To demonstrate with two more quotes from one of your own theologians, material sufficiency of Scripture is not a "given" in Roman theology...

Gabriel Moran: In the late Middle Ages the distinction between Scripture and tradition became increasingly clear, so that long before Trent the doctrine of two partial sources of revelation was being taught, and the Council merely ratified this common teaching of the pre-Tridentine theologians. The full development of the doctrines of the Catholic faith made it abundantly clear that Scripture is incomplete and requires a complement in the oral traditions.
Post-Tridentine theology, basing itself on the definition of Trent, has always taught the existence of extrascriptural traditions. Theologians were able to understand the Tridentine decree without the inclusion of the partly-partly formula. For present-day theology to suddenly decide that all of revelation is contained in Scripture would be to charge that Catholic theology has been in error these past four hundred years. Finally, the Vatican Council paid much attention to questions concerning Scripture, and none of the postulate of the Bishops suggested that the question of tradition required clarifying. When they came to tradition they had nothing more to say: word for word, the Tridentine decree was taken over and repeated by the Vatican Council. To the Fathers of the nineteenth-century Council, Trent had made itself sufficiently clear on the matter of tradition; or “were they unaware that Bellarmine had distorted Catholic theology?” Gabriel Moran, F.S.C., Scripture and Tradition: A Survey of the Controversy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), p. 56.

Gabriel Moran: The Council Fathers were almost unanimous in the belief that there are unwritten, dogmatic, apostolic traditions which must be accepted in addition to the Scriptures. Post-Tridentine theology has consistently taught the existence of two partial sources of revelation: Scripture and tradition. A denial of this consensus would require solid proof; no such proof has been brought forward to justify that the contents of Scripture and tradition are identical. Furthermore, the Church has shown no indication in her official teachng (sic) of substituting the one-source theory for the two-source theory. Gabriel Moran, F.S.C., Scripture and Tradition: A Survey of the Controversy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), pp. 60-61.

Turretinfan said...

You wrote: "I can't put it aside because this is the hinge on which the question turns.

If the church can err than how can you argue that the church has binding authority to interpret scripture? "

Let's say, for the sake of the argument, that the church cannot err. Is there then any conflict between Scripture being formally sufficient and the church having binding authority to interpret Scripture?

- TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

David T King.

To demonstrate with two more quotes from one of your own theologians, material sufficiency of Scripture is not a "given" in Roman theology...

I didn't mean to say that material sufficiency of scripture is a 'given' in Catholic theology. I think this is currently the majority view and it’s also my view.

And, yeah, I am pretty sure that there is no earth shattering controversy about this that is ripping the seams of the Catholic Church apart. Theologians, theologize. That’s what they do.

Blogahon said...

Is there then any conflict between Scripture being formally sufficient and the church having binding authority to interpret Scripture?

Define formally sufficient and define 'binding authority.'

Turretinfan said...

"And, yeah, I am pretty sure that there is no earth shattering controversy about this that is ripping the seams of the Catholic Church apart."

Is it your impression that Pastor King was claiming that the controversy over material sufficiency is ripping the seams of the Roman church apart?

Turretinfan said...

"Define formally sufficient and define 'binding authority.'"

What definitions did you have in mind when you posted the quotations from Athanasius above?

dtking said...

I didn't mean to say that material sufficiency of scripture is a 'given' in Catholic theology. I think this is currently the majority view and it’s also my view.

Then you have no formal, official authority for holding that view according to your own ecclesial position. Your own communion has refused to adjudicate it. Now, I understand that this gives you no pause, because you refuse to see the double standard involved.

From our perspective, you're simply sticking your head in the sand and pretending that the confusion doesn't exist.

natamllc said...

Sean

"....I didn't mean to say that material sufficiency of scripture is a 'given' in Catholic theology. I think this is currently the majority view and it’s also my view.....".

That "absolutely" cannot be true!

We have several RCC buildings in my community that are full to the brim with parishoners.

If your claim is so, why are the parking lots of those places routinely full?

And that's in my area of about 160K total for a county the size of Delaware!

I believe as some have already pointed out in here, that there is brewing within your house a bit of confusion about material sufficiency.

Maybe I did not understand you? Do you claim material sufficiency now?

Blogahon said...

TFan- Definitions I am working with:

For Scripture to be materially sufficient, it would have to contain or imply all that is needed for salvation. For it to be formally sufficient, it would not only have to contain all of this data, but it would have to be so clear that it does not need any outside information to interpret it.

Binding authority of the church - The church has the authority to define doctrine for the whole church (catholic) all over the world.

David T King,

From our perspective, you're simply sticking your head in the sand and pretending that the confusion doesn't exist.

Well, if you think that being Catholic means that there is never any question of any theological matter than you are confused.

dtking said...

I think it is due to the strength of the Reformed apologetic that many Romanists today claim to believe in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture. We have demonstrated repeatedly from the ECFs that this view is not novel for us, (i.e., that this position did not begin with the Reformers).

But here is why I believe Romanists to be disingenuous when they profess to believe in material sufficiency. Romanists are forever insisting that Protestants cannot know the list of canonical books because no such list is given in the Bible. Now, I don't regard that as a serious objection, because I believe the list of canonical books to be an artifact of Revelation, rather than an object of revelation.

But nonetheless, the Romanist who insists that he believes in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture, while at the same time insisting that the revelation of canonical books is outside of Holy Scripture, demonstrates thereby that he really does not believe in the material sufficiency of Scripture.

If there is a material content of revelation outside of Scripture that is needed to render Scripture formally sufficient, then that is a de facto denial of the material sufficiency of Scripture, whether the Romanist is honest enough to admit it or not.

Likewise, if according to the Roman apologetic there is needed a material content of revelation outside of Scripture to reveal an inspired list of canonical books, then again, whether he is willing to admit it or not, that too constitutes a denial of the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

The following Roman theologian makes precisely the same point...

Gabriel Moran: Those who deny that there is a constitutive tradition [i.e., the partim/partim view] assert that Scripture is complete as to the contents of revelation, that is, Scripture is materially complete. According to them, the interpretation of the Church is sufficient for the explication of all the dogmas of the Catholic faith. However, it is difficult to see how this theory can possibly be true because Scripture would seem to be incomplete with respect to many points of doctrine in sacramentology and Mariology, and with regard to canonicity. Gabriel Moran, F.S.C., Scripture and Tradition: A Survey of the Controversy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), p. 57.

This is why I insisted on pointing out the controversy within the Roman communion about the relationship of tradition to Scripture, and that Rome has never sought to resolve that issue in any official authoritative way.

So, then, any Romanist who wants to claim that he believes in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture is simply being inconsistent at best, and disingenuous at worst.

dtking said...

No, from what I just posted about the Romanist position on the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture, I am not the one who is confused. Your apologetic is shot through and through with holes when you claim to believe in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

Blogahon said...

I think it is due to the strength of the Reformed apologetic that many Romanists today claim to believe in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

OK. You can think that.

We have demonstrated repeatedly from the ECFs that this view is not novel for us, (i.e., that this position did not begin with the Reformers).

The Reformers didn't preach the material sufficiency of scripture alone. They taught the formal sufficiency which every single church father rejects. (Unless you just ignore their ecclesiology)

I don't think you can find any Catholic pronouncement in history that flatly rejects the material sufficiency of Scripture. Therefore, its odd that you claim that the Reformed apologetic influenced the Catholic Church in this regard. It ain't like the Church did a 180 or anything.

But nonetheless, the Romanist who insists that he believes in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture, while at the same time insisting that the revelation of canonical books is outside of Holy Scripture, demonstrates thereby that he really does not believe in the material sufficiency of Scripture.

Wrong. Getting the list of canonical books right is not by any Catholic standard a doctrine that is 'needed for salvation.'

If there is a material content of revelation outside of Scripture that is needed to render Scripture formally sufficient, then that is a de facto denial of the material sufficiency of Scripture, whether the Romanist is honest enough to admit it or not.

We don't believe that scripture is formally sufficient. Hello?

Likewise, if according to the Roman apologetic there is needed a material content of revelation outside of Scripture to reveal an inspired list of canonical books, then again, whether he is willing to admit it or not, that too constitutes a denial of the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

I don't know what definition of 'material sufficiency of scripture' that you are using. This is a pretty ridiculous tangent and one that you cannot escape either. We believe that the canon is a matter of revelation to the church. You believe that the canon is a matter of revelation to David T King.

David T King.

No, from what I just posted about the Romanist position on the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture, I am not the one who is confused. Your apologetic is shot through and through with holes when you claim to believe in the material sufficiency of Holy Scripture.

Your ranting only makes sense with a contrived David T King definition of 'material sufficiency of scripture.' The very definition of 'material sufficiency' says nothing about the canon and how it is received by the church.

If the canon can be revealed to David T King and he can maintain the material sufficiency than the canon can be revealed to the Catholic church and we can maintain the material sufficiency.

Blogahon said...

To illustrate my point lets take Cyril of Jerusalem as an example.

Earlier, TFan said that Cyril taught the formal sufficiency of scripture.

Yet what does Cyril say about the canon?

"Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testaments, and what those of the New." (Catechetical Lectures ,4:33).

And about the teaching of the church:

"But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the scriptures." (Catechetical Lectures, 5:12).

So, apparently Cyril can believe that the Church teaches the canon and also the material sufficiency of scripture.

Boom goes the dynamite.

natamllc said...

Methinks the tail has the dog wagging in the wind!

Blogahon said...

nata.

I am sorry for not responding to your questions. I simply don't understand what you are asking.

dtking said...

The Reformers didn't preach the material sufficiency of scripture alone. They taught the formal sufficiency which every single church father rejects. (Unless you just ignore their ecclesiology)


Straw man point. I never said that they taught the material sufficiency of Scripture alone. But this is how the typical Roman apologist proceeds – pretend that your opponent has denied something, or omitted something, and then act if if you’ve really hit him where it hurts. 

I don't think you can find any Catholic pronouncement in history that flatly rejects the material sufficiency of Scripture. Therefore, its odd that you claim that the Reformed apologetic influenced the Catholic Church in this regard. It ain't like the Church did a 180 or anything.
You are the one who is historically confused here. You own theologians point out that the materially sufficiency of Holy Scripture has been denied. I hate to keep giving you history lessons, but here is one from one of your own theologians…
Gabriel Moran: Whatever Trent intended to define on the Scripture-tradition relationship, there is very little controversy about the interpretation of post-Tridentine theologians. Sixteenth-century theologians like Cano, Bellarmine, and Cansius, in stressing the equality of tradition and Scripture as opposed to the doctrine of the reformers, originated the modern two-source theory. The classification of theological sources by Melchior Cano placed emphasis on tradition as an extrascriptural source of revelation and tended to out the Church, Scripture, and tradition into separate categories. Gabriel Moran, F.S.C., Scripture and Tradition: A Survey of the Controversy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), p. 38.
You are not only apologetically challenged, but historically challenged as well.

Wrong. Getting the list of canonical books right is not by any Catholic standard a doctrine that is 'needed for salvation.
Romanists insist that the material content of the list of canonical books is outside of Scripture. Therefore, according to Romanists Holy Scripture is not materially sufficient. Your inconsistency on this issue is glowing.

We don't believe that scripture is formally sufficient. Hello?
Hello, yes, if there is a material content outside of Scripture needed to render it sufficient both materially and formally, then Scripture cannot be materially sufficient because there is a material content of revelation outside of Scripture. That is a no-brainer except for those who are challenged to think through that for which they’re contending.

cont.

dtking said...

I don't know what definition of 'material sufficiency of scripture' that you are using. This is a pretty ridiculous tangent and one that you cannot escape either. We believe that the canon is a matter of revelation to the church. You believe that the canon is a matter of revelation to David T King.

And I don’t know what you think “material” means. Romanists affirm that there is a material content of revelation outside of Scripture, namely, the list of canonical books. Romanists never tire of telling us that. The fact that you wish to live oblivious to your inconsistency is your problem.

Your ranting only makes sense with a contrived David T King definition of 'material sufficiency of scripture.' The very definition of 'material sufficiency' says nothing about the canon and how it is received by the church.
No, I’m simply holding your feet to the fire of your own claims. You want to have your cake and eat it too, but the inconsistency is obvious.

If the canon can be revealed to David T King and he can maintain the material sufficiency than the canon can be revealed to the Catholic church and we can maintain the material sufficiency.

Let’s see, what part between the canon being an artifact of revelation as opposed to an object of revelation did you fail to understand? You see, you have not sufficiently considered these matters. You have not sufficiently grappled with these issues, and it becomes apparent more and more with your every post.

dtking said...

Correction on the Moran quote...

Gabriel Moran: Whatever Trent intended to define on the Scripture-tradition relationship, there is very little controversy about the interpretation of post-Tridentine theologians. Sixteenth-century theologians like Cano, Bellarmine, and Cansius, in stressing the equality of tradition and Scripture as opposed to the doctrine of the reformers, originated the modern two-source theory. The classification of theological sources by Melchior Cano placed emphasis on tradition as an extrascriptural source of revelation and tended to put the Church, Scripture, and tradition into separate categories. Gabriel Moran, F.S.C., Scripture and Tradition: A Survey of the Controversy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1963), p. 38.

natamllc said...

Sean

apology accepted.

You asked:::>

"....nata.

I am sorry for not responding to your questions. I simply don't understand what you are asking....".

First, let me state "nata" means to me "nothing or empty". And you will find it far more to your liking dialoguing with me than TF or Pastor King, seeing they are very full of wisdom and knowledge and understanding with regard to the material being handled by them debating you.

They are, materially sufficient, you might say? :)

I am materially insufficient, you might have noticed? :)

Nevertheless, making that a qualifier, go ahead and highlight one of the many questions I asked you lest I begin to think you are setting me up to answer a fallacious question you asked and end up answering it falsely even though sincerely I was answering you with the Truth?

If you believe I am being rather unkind, then go ahead and say so and I will gladly repent!

Blogahon said...

David T King.

It would be nice if a man of your standing as a pastor for so many years could manage to discuss something without the ad homs.

You are the one who is historically confused here. You own theologians point out that the materially sufficiency of Holy Scripture has been denied.

Name the council that denied the material sufficiency of scripture.

I hate to keep giving you history lessons, but here is one from one of your own theologians…

Sure you do. I can tell.

Gabriel Moran: Whatever Trent intended to define on the Scripture-tradition relationship, there is very little controversy about the interpretation of post-Tridentine theologians.

I agree.

Sixteenth-century theologians like Cano, Bellarmine, and Cansius, in stressing the equality of tradition and Scripture as opposed to the doctrine of the reformers, originated the modern two-source theory.

And? These were theologians postulating and theologizing. Thats what theologians do David T King. And there are also theologians such as Yves Conger and Ratzinger who don't really see it the way these theologians see it.

Have you been reading anything that I've written? What is your point?

Romanists insist that the material content of the list of canonical books is outside of Scripture.

If you can produce a list of the canonical books from inside scripture than I'll join your church next Sunday.

Romanists affirm that there is a material content of revelation outside of Scripture, namely, the list of canonical books.

Because you are so much smarter than me perhaps you can tell me how it is that you escape the revelation of the canon of scripture as being outside of scripture.

Let’s see, what part between the canon being an artifact of revelation as opposed to an object of revelation did you fail to understand?

Please tell me the difference David T King. I am dying to know.

Here is what I know. The Holy Spirit revealed to the Church the canon of scripture.

Here is what you claim. The Holy Spirit reveals to individual Christians the canon of scripture.

The difference?

Yay for Cano. He is a theologian putting forth a theological theory. He is allowed to do that.

Now maybe you can go through this thread and address all the issues that I've raised that you have ignored?

Blogahon said...

nata (you ain't nothing)

Just ask me one question or make one point to me at a time and I'll try to respond.

dtking said...

Yet what does Cyril say about the canon?

"Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testaments, and what those of the New." (Catechetical Lectures ,4:33).


Yes, what did Cyril say about the canon? He gives us a list of canonical books from the OT that differs from Trent's; and it's the 22 books of the Jewish canon excluding the deuterocanonicals...

Cyril of Jerusalem: Read the Divine Scriptures, the twenty-two books of the Old Testament, these that have been translated by the Seventy-two Interpreters.

Oops, you may not want to use Cyril, because he got the church's canon wrong according to Trent! :)

natamllc said...

Sean

thanks for your notice, maybe I can pound my chess now?

Let me give you my wife's cell number and you can convey your sentiments to her cause she still doubts me and questions me all the time and we have been married a really long time! :)

So, here goes:::>

I wrote as the very first commentor above, that was like years ago, it seems the way this one thread is going, this:

"....Taking just from Hillary above, these words:::>

"....But even after His glorious resurrection there are certain things which they have made bold to construe as proofs of the weakness of a lower nature, and to these we must now reply. Let us adopt once more our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it. ...".

Two things jump out at me; one, the weakness of a lower nature; and two, our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it.

The perpescuity of Scripture certainly does that with Balaam and Balak. Here we see by Sacred Scripture "the weakness of a lower nature" at work which in turn makes plain to us the "true signification" of Scripture, that is, the vile attempts of the lower natures of man to "change" the Spoken Word as recorded as the Written Word from a blessing to a curse. It didn't work for Balaam and Balak, it won't for Bryan or Rome."

Do you agree with that?

If so, explain your agreement.

If you do not, then explain what you don't agree with or understand.

I am assuming you agree with every citation of Hilary of Poitiers in here?

dtking said...

Just ask me one question or make one point to me at a time and I'll try to respond.

No, not going to make it easy for you. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you do anything. You are free to bail out of this exchange at any time.

Personally, I think one of the reasons you're here is because of your own doubts and struggles with your decision to join the Roman communion.

Now, to be sure, I know you haven't thought through these issues because your responses make that very evident. Thus far all we've witnessed on your part is ignorance and a great deal of stubbornness, and that is serving us well for others who are following these exchanges.

However, I do feel sorry for you because I understand more and more that you really do not understand Rome, or how your theologians have offered varying interpretations of conciliar decrees.

What we are receiving from you are the pontifications of an individual member of the communion of Rome who is engaging in private interpretation while trying to defend Rome.

You are not even sufficiently familiar with the history of your own communion.

Blogahon said...

David T King.

Uh Oh. Maybe you should give the whole quote?

"Of these read the two and twenty books, but have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings. Study earnestly these only which we read openly in the Church. Far wiser and more pious than thyself were the Apostles, and the bishops of old time, the presidents of the Church who handed down these books. Being therefore a child of the Church, trench thou not upon its statutes. And of the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, which, if thou art desirous of learning, strive to remember by name, as I recite them. For of the Law the books of Moses are the first five, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. And next, Joshua the son of Nave, and the book of Judges, including Ruth, counted as seventh. And of the other historical books, the first and second books of the Kings are among the Hebrews one book; also the third and fourth one book. And in like manner, the first and second of Chronicles are with them one book; and the first and second of Esdras are counted one. Esther is the twelfth book; and these are the Historical writings. But those which are written in verses are five, Job, and the book of Psalms, and Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, which is the seventeenth book. And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch [1-5] and Lamentations and the Epistle[of Jeremiah-Baruch 6]; then Ezekiel, and the Book of Daniel, the twenty-second of the Old Testament." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 4:33 (A.D. 350).

Is his canon exactly like the Catholic Church? No. But it ain't your canon either. The church had not yet defined the canon. That is the point.

Cyril did, however, quote other passages of the Catholic Old Testament as scripture many times.

One example: "Learn from this instance the mightiness of God: for 'He hath numbered the drops of rain' Job 26:27, which have been poured down on all the earth, not only now but in all time. The sun is a work of God, which, great though it be, is but a spot in comparison with the whole heaven; first gaze steadfastly upon the sun, and then curiously scan the Lord of the sun. 'Seek not the things that are too deep for thee, neither search out the things that are above thy strength: what is commanded thee, think thereupon' (Sirach 3:20,21)." Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 6:4 (A.D. 350).

And his material sufficiency of scripture led him perhaps give the earliest and most concise description of transubstantiation.

"Do not think it mere bread and wine, for it is the Body and Blood of Christ, according to the Lord's declaration". "Having learned this and being assured of it, that appears to be bread is not bread, though perceived by the taste, but the Body of Christ, and what appears to be wine is not wine, though the taste says so, but the Blood of Christ . . . strengthen thy heart, partaking of it as spiritual (food), and rejoice the face of thy soul".

Oops.

Blogahon said...

Personally, I think one of the reasons you're here is because of your own doubts and struggles with your decision to join the Roman communion.

You have professed this amazing ability to read men's minds several times in this discussion.

And, if you really believed that and being the pastor that you are I don't think you would treat me with such contempt.

A real pastor would recognize a prodigal son (if I were one) and gently call me home. Not call me stupid and accuse me of treachery.

dtking said...

It would be nice if a man of your standing as a pastor for so many years could manage to discuss something without the ad homs.

OK, on my list of the top ten Roman techniques, this is #3...

3. Accusation of hate technique - Insist vehemently that your opponent is full of hate.

Sorry, my friend, you'll have to find someone else on which to use the "guilt trip" technique. It won't work on me. To be sure, you can make the claim that I'm mean and nasty to your heart's content, but I don't find such bully techniques intimidating in the least. :)

natamllc said...

Ah, Pastor King,

"Just ask me one question or make one point to me at a time and I'll try to respond."

Wasn't that one directed towards me?

Maybe I am now confused too?

dtking said...

A real pastor would recognize a prodigal son (if I were one) and gently call me home. Not call me stupid and accuse me of treachery.

Yes, a real pastor will point out your errors, as I have been repeatedly. Remember, this may not be pleasant for you, but it will help you if you'll but repent of your stubbornness, confess to yourself (not me) that your ignorance is not serving you well, and return to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But remember, I'm not dealing with someone who wants to be rebuked and corrected. I'm engaged with someone who is resisting and opposing what I'm saying every step of the way. You may be challenged on these issues, but you are not the harmless lamb you make yourself out to be.

Blogahon said...

By the way David T King.

You haven't demonstrated that the Catholic Church has ever decreed that scripture is not materially sufficient.

All you have done is show that some theologians express this and some do not.

I already knew that.

Thanks.

Blogahon said...

nata.

I don't see how the quote from Hilary of Poitiers has anything to do with the novel Reformed doctrine of the perspicuity of scripture.

Here is something Hilary did say that is more on point:

"They who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. For the ship exhibits a type of Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand." Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, Homily 13:1 (A.D. 355).

That does not sound very much like a formal sufficiency of scripture sentiment to me.

Blogahon said...

3. Accusation of hate technique - Insist vehemently that your opponent is full of hate.

I'll pray for you David T King.

Blogahon said...

David T King.

Can you just explain to me this:

Here is what I know. The Holy Spirit revealed to the Church the canon of scripture.

Here is what you claim. The Holy Spirit reveals to individual Christians the canon of scripture.

The difference?


I honestly want to know how you frame the difference.

dtking said...

Is his canon exactly like the Catholic Church? No.

No, the point is that he claims his church taught one canon, and the point is that the Roman communion (via Trent) taught another canon.

Remember, I'm not like the Romanist who claims that these fathers were members of the Roman communion. Cyril was a Catholic, but he was not a Romanist. That, my friend, is the point.

The church had not yet defined the canon. That is the point.

Let's see if I understand you correctly...Cyril is telling his catechumens to receive the church's canon that it hadn't defined? Please, please tell me you want to retract such a statement that makes absolutely no sense.

One thing is certain, Cyril was giving his catechumens a canon that he believed the church of his day had defined. Besides, given your lack of familiarity with church history, together with the fact that we must take Cyril at his word that he was conscious of some conciliar decision on the books he which he named, your point that his church had not defined or recognized a canonical list of books is absurd. Otherwise, Why would he want his catechumens to accept a canonical list of books from the church if the church had no such list yet?

I think I understand now why you are so confused.

dtking said...

I'll pray for you David T King.

I certainly don't begrudge you for that. Remember yourself before the throne of grace as well.

natamllc said...

Sean,

"...."They who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. ".

Can you cite a Verse of Scripture whereby Hillary got such wisdom?

dtking said...

Here is what you claim. The Holy Spirit reveals to individual Christians the canon of scripture.

No, I never made that claim. This is one reason why you do not fare well in these discussions - you seem to be unable to read carefully what someone who disagrees with you is saying.

If you want an honest answer, you're going to have to be honest about how you represent what I've said.

But so far (and I am not trying to be mean-spirited) you do not appear to be able to read others what others say, and then represent what they've said with accuracy. The fact that you do not seem to be able to represent the views of others correctly makes me wonder if any response would serve you well.

More and more, I find you to be very confused in the way you read others.

Blogahon said...

No, the point is that he claims his church taught one canon, and the point is that the Roman communion (via Trent) taught another canon

Oh lets see. Cyril lived AD 313 - 386 estimated and he was writing contra the Council of Trent from the 16th century. Riiiggghhhhtt.

Remember, I'm not like the Romanist who claims that these fathers were members of the Roman communion. Cyril was a Catholic, but he was not a Romanist. That, my friend, is the point

You are just begging the question. I am scared to know how you define "Romanist" but I can assure you that Cyril was in communion with the Bishop of Rome via the sacrament of ordination. He was not outside of the communion of the whole church. He even expressed that Peter's see was given the keys.

"In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis (Acts 9:32-34)." St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catechetical Lectures" c. 350 A.D.

David T King.

This is important and if you are genuinely interested in 'correcting me' than you'll answer this question.

Can you just explain to me this:

Here is what I know. The Holy Spirit revealed to the Church the canon of scripture.

Here is what you claim. The Holy Spirit reveals to individual Christians the canon of scripture.

The difference?

I honestly want to know how you frame the difference because you profess that one option violates the material sufficiency of scripture and one does not. Unless you can demonstrate the difference that you are just arbitrarily making a distinction.

Blogahon said...

David.

Maybe I didn't summarize you claim very well because you have not presented your claim very well.

You said that the canon was an artifact of revelation.

What does that mean?

Or, more basically, how do you know that the canon of scripture that you accept is true and how does your knowing this (and the way you know it) not violate the material sufficiency of scripture.

Blogahon said...

Nata:

Can you cite a Verse of Scripture whereby Hillary got such wisdom?

a good start

natamllc said...

Sean,

a good start huh?

Well, here is where I would say Hillary was inspired to write the quotation we are discussing now:::>

Tit 3:10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Tit 3:11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.


I went through most of whatever that was you linked me too and did not find those two verses referenced. I did see Titus 3:8 mentioned.

What was that that you linked me to?

dtking said...

Please do not address me simply by my first name, and here's why. I am probably old enough to be your father, and I do not think it's proper for you to address me on a first name basis.

If you want to address me by my signature, "dtking" I find that acceptable. I require no official address, but you should not be addressing me on a first name basis.

Maybe I didn't summarize you claim very well because you have not presented your claim very well.

I disagree, what I said well was not understood well.

You said that the canon was an artifact of revelation.

What does that mean?

Or, more basically, how do you know that the canon of scripture that you accept is true and how does your knowing this (and the way you know it) not violate the material sufficiency of scripture.


By "artifact" I mean something that is a feature not normally present but visible as a result of an external agent or action.

More precisely, I said that I believe the canon to be an artifact of revelation rather than an object revelation.

While the Romanist believes that the canon is an object of revelation, I believe it to be the *result* (hence an "artifact") of revelation. In other words, the canonical list of the books of Holy Scripture are the result of God's revelatory work, and not the object of what God has revealed.

A Christian's *recognition* of these books is result of God's working in him to will and to believe.

I believe 1) Scripture's own witness of its inspiration, and 2) that God confirms that by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit. I drawn a distinction (as the Reformers did before me) between the Spirit's revelatory work and his illuminating work.

In his work, Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental, Chapter 14, Augustine made this point...

You can find nothing better than to praise your own faith and ridicule mine. So, after having in my turn praised my belief and ridiculed yours, what result do you think we shall arrive at as regards our judgment and our conduct, but to part company with those who promise the knowledge of indubitable things, and then demand from us faith in doubtful things?

Hence, we acknowledge with Augustine that the Church is most often the initial and outward means by which men are called to faith in Christ, but God brings us to the place (as Augustine put it) "to know what we believe by the inward illumination and confirmation of our minds, due no longer to men, but to God Himself."

Scripture itself furnishes us with clear illustration of this in the fourth chapter of John’s gospel. After having dealings with Christ, the woman of Samaria returns to her city, and there bears witness to Christ. John 4:39-42:

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.
41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

The point this passage illustrates is this - that though it was the woman’s witness which intially induced belief in Christ, nonetheless, the confirmation of their faith came to rest in the testimony of Christ’s own word. While the woman’s witness was true and sufficiently credible to move the inhabitants of the city, it does not follow that she became the infallible bulwark of their subsequent faith. The inhabitants of the city came to rest not in her word, but Christ’s own word.

Likewise, though the Church (or the witness of an individual Christian) is often the initial and outward means by which men are called to faith in Christ, it does not follow that this renders the church or the individual Christian with the attribute of infallibility.

cont...

Blogahon said...

nata.

I don't think we are on the same wavelength brother.

I don't believe that every question has a particular scripture that applies. So, if you see Hilary and think "Titus 3:8" and I see Hilary and think "Hilary is professing the biblical notion that scripture is not read by ones self but with the Church which is the body of Christ" than that is ok.

Here it is again:

"They who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. For the ship exhibits a type of Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand."
Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, Homily 13:1 (A.D. 355).

Hilary is saying that no understanding of the scripture is possible outside of the church.

How does Hilary define the church?

Here are some clues:

“Simon, who after his confession of the mystery was set to be the foundation-stone of the Church, and received the keys of the kingdom...”
Hilary de Poiters, On the Trinity, 6:20(A.D. 359).

“The Church, ordained by the Lord and established by His Apostles, is one for all; but the frantic folly of discordant sects has severed them from her. And it is obvious that these dissensions concerning the faith result from a distorted mind, which twists the words of Scripture into conformity with its opinion, instead of adjusting that opinion to the words of Scripture. And thus, amid the clash of mutually destructive errors, the Church stands revealed not only by her own teaching, but by that of her rivals. They are ranged, all of them, against her; and the very fact that she stands single and alone is her sufficient answer to their godless delusions. The hosts of heresy assemble themselves against her; each of them can defeat all the others, but not one can win a victory for itself. The only victory is the triumph which the Church celebrates over them all.”
Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 7:4 (A.D. 359).

"We shall not recede from the faith ... as once laid it continues even to this say, through the tradition of the fathers, according to the succession from the apostles, even to the discussion had at Nicea against the heresy which had, at that period, sprung up."
Hilary of Poitiers, History Fragment 7 (ante A.D. 367)

dtking said...

God's own word is a spiritual reality which is sufficient to create faith in itself. I do not believe any church or human being is able to accomplish that supernatural work.

The Apostle John wrote, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:9). Needing no support, the witness of God stands by itself. God’s own testimony is decisive and inexpugnable. If Holy Scripture is in reality the God-breathed word, then it must be self-authenticating, and in need of no human sanction. It is nothing less than a compromise of the integrity of God’s own witness to presuppose Scripture to be anything other than the living oracles of the Creator and Redeemer of mankind. To hold in suspension, as it were, the question of God’s speaking in Scripture until some external, authoritative criterion outside of God himself is applied as the deliberative, decisive court of appeal is a de facto assault on the truth that “the witness of God is greater.”

We have strong precedent in the some works of the ECFs which indicate there was in their time this belief that God's word is self-authenticating, which I will provide below...

cont.

dtking said...

Clement of Alexandria (150 - c. 215): It will naturally fall after these, after a cursory view of theology, to discuss the opinions handed down respecting prophecy; so that, having demonstrated that the Scriptures which we believe are valid from their omnipotent authority, we shall be able to go over them consecutively, and to show thence to all the heresies one God and Omnipotent Lord to be truly preached by the law and the prophets, and besides by the blessed Gospel. ANF: Vol. II, The Stromata, Book IV, Chapter 1.
Greek text: Οἷς ἑπόμενον ἂν εἴη μετὰ τὴν ἐπιδρομὴν τῆς θεολογίας τὰ περὶ προφητείας παραδεδομένα διαλαβεῖν, ὡς καὶ τὰς γραφὰς αἷς πεπιστεύκαμεν κυρίας οὔσας ἐξ αὐθεντείας παντοκρατορικῆς ἐπιδείξαντας προϊέναι διʼ αὐτῶν εἱρμῷ δύνασθαι, καὶ ἁπάσαις ἐντεῦθεν ταῖς αἱρέσεσιν ἕνα δεικνύναι Θεὸν, καὶ Κύριον παντοκράτορα τὸν διὰ νόμου καὶ προφητῶν, πρὸς 4.1.2.3 δὲ καὶ τοῦ μακαρίου εὐαγγελίου γνησίως κεκηρυγμένον. Stromata, Liber IV, Caput 1, PG 8:1216.

Lactantius (260-330): For it was not befitting that, when God was speaking to man, He should confirm His words by arguments, as though He would not otherwise be regarded with confidence: but, as it was right, He spoke as the mighty Judge of all things, to whom it belongs not to argue, but to pronounce sentence. ANF: Vol. VII, The Divine Institutes, Book III, Chapter I. See also FC, Vol. 49, The Divine Institutes, Book III, Chapter 1 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University Press, 1963), pp. 165-166.

conti...

dtking said...

Nemesius of Emesa: But for us the sufficient demonstration of the soul’s immortality is the teaching of Holy Scripture, which is self-authenticating because inspired of God. William Telfer, ed., The Library of Christian Classics, Vol. IV, Cyril of Jerusalem and Nemesius of Emesa: On the Nature of Man, Chapter 2 Of the Soul (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1955), p. 292. It is believed that Nemesius of Emesa wrote this work sometime between the years 392-400 AD (p. 206).
Greek text: ἡμῖν δὲ ἀρκεῖ, πρὸς ἀπόδειξιν τῆς ἀθανασίας αὐτῆς, ἡ τῶν θεῖων λογῖων διδασκαλία, τὸ πιστὸν ἀθ’ ἐαυτῆς ἔχουσα, διὰ τὸ θεόπνευστος εἶναι• De Natura Hominis, Caput II.18, Migne PG 40:589.

Salvian the Presbyter (5th century): I need not prove by arguments what God Himself proves by His own words. When we read that God says He perpetually sees the entire earth, we prove thereby that He does see it because He Himself says He sees it. When we read that He rules all things He has created, we prove thereby that He rules, since He testifies that He rules. When we read that He ordains all things by His immediate judgment, it becomes evident by this very fact, since He confirms that He passes judgment. All other statements, said by men, require proofs and witnesses. God’s word is His own witness, because whatever uncorrupted Truth says must be the undefiled testimony to truth. FC, Vol. 3, The Writings of Salvian, The Presbyter, The Governance of God, Book 3.1 (New York: CIMA Publishing Co., Inc., 1947), pp. 68-69.
Latin text: Neque enim necesse est ut argumentis a me probetur quod hoc ipso quia a Deo dicitur comprobatur. Itaque cum legimus dictum a Deo quia aspiciat jugiter omnem terram, hoc ipso probamus quod aspicit quia aspicere se dicit; cum legimus quod regat cuncta quae fecit, hoc ipso approbamus quod regit, quia se regere testatur; cum legimus quod praesenti judicio universa dispenset, hoc ipso est evidens quod judicat quia se judicare confirmat. Alia enim omnia, id est, humana dicta, argumentis ac testibus egent. Dei autem sermo ipse sibi testis est, quia necesse est quidquid incorrupta veritas loquitur, incorruptum sit testimonium veritatis. Sancti Salviani Massiliensis Presbyteri De Gubernatione Dei, Liber Tertius, I, PL 53:1567.

These ECFs, to name a few, are examples in the ancient church who also believed Scripture to be self-authenticating.

Blogahon said...

David T King.

I'll call you David T King then and not call you by your first name as you request. You can call me Sean Patrick instead of 'Romanist' and I'd appreciate it.

(I don't mind if you call me by my first name)

Thanks for giving a substantial answer.

I really don't see how the difference you articulate helps you escape the charge you are making against the Catholic Church. The Church does not profess that she invented the canon but that the canon was revealed to Her by the Holy Spirit.

You said:

I believe-
1) Scripture's own witness of its inspiration,

2) that God confirms that by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit.

I agree with that. The difference is that you don't prescribe the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to the Church but I do.

And, neither does the Catholic Church deny the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit in the believer.

Your problem with the apologist raising the canon issue is that the history simply demonstrates that at a point in time the witness of the bishops in the world felt it necessary to define which books were canonical based on which books were read in liturgies all over the world. That fact does not mean that the Holy Spirit was not at work. Nor does it mean that scripture in many ways can be self authenticating. Heck the Reformers at Westminster did the same thing. They outlined the canon. Does this make them guilty of the same transgression that you charge the Catholic Church?

But if scripture is self authenticating in the strict manner that you suppose (which I don't believe the consensus of the ECFs espoused) than why was Martin Luther, for example, not convinced about Hebrews or James or Revelation? Why did many Christians for 1500 years believe that Maccabeus is scripture (including Hilary for example)? Why did the fathers at the Council of Hippo not get what is self authenticating?

In fact, if scripture is self authenticating in the strict sense that you are describing, why do more than half of the Christians on the planet today profess a different canon than you?

Come to think of, Clement of Alexandria, whom you quote as believing in the self authenticity of scripture quoted scriptures as scripture that you deny is scripture. Can you explain how that is?

dtking said...

Here is Hilary's words again...

Hilary of Poitiers (c 315-67) commenting on Matthew 13:1-2: The reason why the Lord sat in the ship, and the crowds stood without, is derived from the things that lie under these circumstances. For He was about to speak in parables; and by this kind of action He signifies, that they who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine words. For the ship exhibits a type of the Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand. For translation, see J. Berington and J. Kirk, The Faith of Catholics, with preface, corrections, and additions by Rt. Rev. Monsignor Capel, Vol. 1, Third Enlarged Edition (Ratison: Fr. Pustet & Co., 1909), p. 48.
Latin text: Sedisse Dominum in navi, et turbas foris stetisse, ex subjectis rebus est ratio. In parabolis enim erat locuturus: et facti istius genere significat eos, qui extra Ecclesiam positi sunt, nullam divini sermonis capere posse intelligentiam. Navis enim Ecclesiae typum praefert: intra quam verbum vitae positum et praedicatum hi, qui extra sunt, et arenae modo steriles atque inutiles adjacent, intelligere non possunt. De parabolis autem jam a Domino absolutis loqui otiosum est. In Evangelium Matthaei Commentarius,Caput XIII, PL 9:993C-D.

Hilary is indeed an orthodox ECF. What he is stating here is what we should understand to be a *general* truth as opposed to an *universal* truth.

A general truth is one that holds true oftentimes, but not always, much the same as proverbial language - "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." This is a general truth, but not a universal truth. Children sometimes do depart from what they have been taught.

Now a universal truth is one that holds true at all times and in every situation.

The Reformed agree that outside the church there is no ordinary means of salvation, but there are exceptions to that general truth.

The reason why this language of Hilary cannot be applied absolutely from the Romanist perspective in they favor is because there are people outside the communion of Rome who do hold orthodox views (e.g. Trinity, Deity of Christ, etc.) on the basis of their having embraced the teaching of Holy Scripture.

Hilary is offering an allegorical interpretation of Matthew 13:1-2, for which he really has no basis in this particular passage of Scripture for the teaching that he reads *into* the text.

The ECFs were fallible men, and at times did poor exegesis.

dtking said...

Oh lets see. Cyril lived AD 313 - 386 estimated and he was writing contra the Council of Trent from the 16th century. Riiiggghhhhttt

You know, I should have learned from my very first first experience with you that you are a waste of my precious time. And if this is the best you have to offer, then just keep right on crowing.

I am willing to help you, but I'm not going to get into a crowing contest with a rooster. I'm done with these kind of generation X "cock-a-doodle-doos."

Blogahon said...

dtking.

I think that you should be able to explain the problems I outlined with the 'self authenticating' canon theory in my 4:19AM comment.

I'll look for a substantial comment on those questions as it relates to a fundamental issue that you raised.

Remember, I didn't raise the canon question. You did. You accused Catholics of not being able to genuinely believe in the material sufficiency of scripture because the Church believes that the Holy Spirit worked through Her to solemnly define the canon.

You think that the canon is self authenticating.

I raised some questions about this in the 4:19AM that I think deserve your attention.

You need to demonstrate that the canon is self authenticating. If you cannot than you cannot profess that a Catholic cannot believe in the material sufficiency of scripture on the basis of the Catholic belief that the Church defined the canon.

I'll look for an answer to these questions. If none materialize than I am done with this conversation because I feel we've finally reached the focal point.

In summary from my initial comment, here is my point on all of TFan's posting about the formal sufficiency:

"The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed tothe varying opinions of heretical sects—together form one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key and true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse."
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "You haven't demonstrated that the Catholic Church has ever decreed that scripture is not materially sufficient. All you have done is show that some theologians express this and some do not. I already knew that."

This is ridiculous. Pastor King has repeatedly and emphatically pointed out that the Roman church has not provided any such decree and has permitted various of her theologians and apologists to take opposing positions (to one another) on this topic.

SP previously denied ("You think that the Catholic Church has had a controversy about whether or not scripture is materially sufficient for decades? I am not aware of any such controversy.") what he now affirms ("All you have done is show that some theologians express this and some do not. I already knew that.").

Turretinfan said...

Another example:

SP at first: "Earlier, TFan said that Cyril taught the formal sufficiency of scripture.

Yet what does Cyril say about the canon?

"Learn also diligently, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testaments, and what those of the New." (Catechetical Lectures ,4:33).

And about the teaching of the church:

"But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the scriptures." (Catechetical Lectures, 5:12).

So, apparently Cyril can believe that the Church teaches the canon and also the material sufficiency of scripture.

Boom goes the dynamite.
"

Then, after Pastor King pointed out that Cyril doesn't teach the canon that Trent taught, SP replied: Is his canon exactly like the Catholic Church? No. But it ain't your canon either. The church had not yet defined the canon. That is the point.

Of course, what SP has overlooked is that when Cyril told his catechumen to "learn from the church" he really meant that they should learn from him (as a teacher in the church). That kind of point doesn't in any way undermine the formal or material sufficiency of Scripture. And, indeed, we recognize and agree that the ordinary way that people learn what the Bible is, is by the assistance of the teachers in the church.

But SP's suggestion that "the point" of his appeal to Cyril was that the church hadn't defined the canon is plainly absurd. It is totally unreasonable to think that Cyril was telling his catechumen that they should wait around for the church to define the canon.

Blogahon said...

TFan,

SP previously denied ("You think that the Catholic Church has had a controversy about whether or not scripture is materially sufficient for decades? I am not aware of any such controversy.") what he now affirms ("All you have done is show that some theologians express this and some do not. I already knew that.")

Maybe the confusion from you lies in the fact that I do not equate differing viewpoints that are both acceptable in the Catholic Church to 'controversy.'

Here is what David T King said:

This controversy has raged for centuries, and Rome has conveniently ignored adjudicating it. It is a very widespread controversy.

And

Yes, your ignorance of this controversy demonstrates quite sufficiently that you really do not understand the issues involved with respect to authority.

No controversy has raged or is raging. That is my point. Both views are acceptable. Where is the controversy.

Lastly, in the other thread you jumped on me for not addressing some direct questions, which I accidentally overlooked and then answered.

Are you going to get on track here and answer some of the direct questions I've asked you?

Turretinfan said...

"Maybe the confusion from you lies in the fact that I do not equate differing viewpoints that are both acceptable in the Catholic Church to 'controversy.'"

Why not?

"No controversy has raged or is raging. That is my point. Both views are acceptable. Where is the controversy."

Apparently, for you, it's only a controversy after one side wins and gets a dogmatic definition in their favor? Is the group that rejects the dogmatic definition still in the church? If not, haven't you simply arbitrarily defined controversy to avoid the possibility of there being controversy within your church? If you have done that, why have you done that? None of the scholars that I've read from your side of the Tiber use the word "controversy" that way? Why are you using such an idiosyncratic definition?

Blogahon said...

This is my last comment on today because I am too busy to be giving this much time.

For starters, thanks for putting up with me.

My conclusion on this topic is that no church father taught the formal sufficiency of scripture. The reason is that every church father you have cited also gives the authority to the Church (which by their definition includes the succession of the bishops from the apostles) the authority to bind doctrine. And not just the fathers you cited. Many who you don't cite teach that the church binds doctrines even more explicitly. I provided quotes from several of these fathers to illustrate this fact and I quoted several non-Catholic scholars who agree with my conclusion. DH Williams even said that it is only through an 'agenda' and an attempt to 're-appropriate' the early church that Reformed scholarship suggests that sola scriptura was the hermeneutical thinking of the early church.

Nothing in this thread has led me to see it otherwise.

Turretinfan said...

Until you clear up this matter of why you are using the word "controversy" in such an unusual way, I think it's best if you don't contribute to this thread.

As for the "authority to bind doctrine" you haven't established that there is any inherent conflict between that and holding to formal sufficiency.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Oh rats, cats and bats. I guess it is true, "the early bird gets the worm"?

Sean, please don't go?

SP: "....This is my last comment on today because I am too busy to be giving this much time...."

What I find amusing with your last comment Sean is your reference to non-catholics confirming your position. Doesn't that open up a world of hurt for you? Are you saying you will now include all faiths and philosophies into your system of religious governance? That certainly would be an evangelistic program to watch!

Anyway, I asked realizing you won't answer me anyway today, that is! :)

But now to where I want to go. In your last post to me, NATA, and let's be clear, dealing with me, NATA, is like dealing with oranges all the while most if not all the others you have been going at it in here with are grapes, fresh, juicy grapes ready for the wine press! :)


Sean, you posted: "....nata.

I don't think we are on the same wavelength brother.

I don't believe that every question has a particular scripture that applies. So, if you see Hilary and think "Titus 3:8" and I see Hilary and think "Hilary is professing the biblical notion that scripture is not read by ones self but with the Church which is the body of Christ" than that is ok....".

Ok, ok, I got it. But, apparently you didn't get it?

Let's try and get it together, shall we?

First, lets clear something up? In your post you make a reference to me as "brother".

Could you make sense of that, just what do you mean by making that link between us as "brothers"?

Do you believe I am a "catholic brother" like you?

As for seeing Hilary when reading that citation "I" cited from TF's work, above, I saw Titus 3:10-11. I noted in your response materials, "start here", that when reading the materials, in them, whoever produced that material, I saw reference being made to Titus 3:8?

A big leap of faith ain't it?

Anyway, I will just have to wait for you, then? Waiting, waiting, waiting, :)!

natamllc said...

Well, again, different rats, cats and bats, then.

That last post TF kinda ends the controversy for me too!

You still are my brother, right? :)

Turretinfan said...

SP:

Your comment above was deleted because it failed to explain why you used the word "controversy" in such an unusual way.

Until you explain your reason for using the word "controversy" in such an oddly limited sense, you're not welcome to participate here.

The reason is that when people use words in a way that is extremely unusual and then refuse to explain why, I start to suspect that there may be something other than ignorance of English or simple misfortune of word choice at play.

- TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Princeton University definition:

Noun: S: (n) controversy - a dispute where there is strong disagreement, "they were involved in a violent argument"

The Free Dictionary:

1. A dispute, especially a public one, between sides holding opposing views. See Synonyms at argument.

Merriam-Webster:

1 : a discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views : dispute
2 : quarrel, strife


These are standard definitions of the word "controversy."

I am using this definition when I say, "No controversy has been raging for centuries."

In the theological conversations amongst various theologians about the material sufficiency of scripture I see no 'raging', 'arguments', 'disputes', 'violence', 'quarrelling', or 'strife.' I see measured opinions given by different theologians that together are searching for the truth.

Hence, a 'raging controversy' is not how most would describe the theological discourses from Catholic theologians concerning whether or not scripture is materially sufficient.

In fact, I don’t know anybody who has ever classified this topic outside of David T King and apparently you as a ‘raging controversy.’ If I am wrong about that by all means demonstrate it.

And, maybe…just maybe I could be convinced that there has been a ‘raging controversy’ for centuries if evidence of such a ‘raging controversy’ could be provided. I’d be happy to admit that it’s a raging controversy if it were one. Admitting such would change my position at all and I fail to grasp the significance or your query.

natamllc said...

SP,

with all due respect, "come on now"?

As if I have been patiently commenting to you thinking you were my blood brother.

I wasn't near to the center of a lot of Pastor King's admonitions directed sharply towards you until now.

Now I am more convinced this whole thing we have engaged ourselves in with you has been just a waste of time except for the fact he points too that there just may be others following closely to all the exchanges and have had their senses sharpened and trained to know the difference between good and evil, which is a Biblical exercise bringing one to perspicuity.

And for what it is worth, weigh carefully these Proverbs, I mean the whole chapter, but for length, I post the first and last verse of Proverbs 12 as a clue, a hint, as to how I would want to proceed with you down the course I would like us to go if TF is willing and you are too? Of course I acknowledge that you have your view of these things and to be fair it would be with both caution and comity to proceed?

Pro 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

to

Pro 12:28 In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.


This isn't a game being played in here. We are quoting from people long since gone from the earth who could quite literally be cooking in hell because of error!

No, I would count you a brother in Christ and extend the right hand of fellowship to you in this combox upon these three Truths of Scripture:

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

and

Rom 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
Rom 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
Rom 10:7 or "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

and

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.

Turretinfan said...

Recall that your previous claim was: "I do not equate differing viewpoints that are both acceptable in the Catholic Church to 'controversy.'"

Now, you are using dictionary definitions that would permit differing viewpoints that are both acceptable in your church to be considered controversies.

Have we persuaded you to change your mind?

Blogahon said...

meant: Admitting such would not change my position at all and I fail to grasp the significance or your query.

Blogahon said...

Have we persuaded you to change your mind?

Fine. Lets call it a 'controversy' just maybe not a 'raging' one.

Turretinfan said...

Going back through the comments still ...

dtking (I think) had written: "As much as you don't like to hear it, Rome is not catholic no matter how many times that term is obtruded upon us by Romanists."

SP replied: "Keep telling yourself that from the confines of you 250,000 member 'church' which is 'american' in title."

a) Implicit in this comment is a classic example of the Argumentum ad populum

b) There is also confusion in this comment over the claim that dtking is making. The claim is not the the PCUSA, or PCA, or RPCNA or whatever is the church, but rather that it is a part of the visible church. One would think that SP would know this.

SP continued: "Meanwhile billions of Catholics all over the world, in every nation and tongue are professing the faith."

a) There are not even two billion Roman Catholics according to Rome's highest estimate - so "billions" is not a true statement.

b) Among the "about a billion" Roman Catholics on the rolls, many are on the rolls largely because it is so difficult to get off the rolls these days.

c) Nominalism in Roman Catholicism is widespread, particularly in countries with large Roman Catholic populations, like France, Spain, and Italy. We recognize that the number of sincere and zealous members of that religion are still a large number, but if American Senators are a guide, the fraction of nominal to zealous Roman Catholics is decidedly in favor of the nominals. Bragging about large numbers that are vastly inflated by nominal adherents is quite odd.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

dtking (I think) wrote: "What plenary council in the Early church ever affirmed the dogmatic accretions peculiar to Rome?"

SP replied: "What difference does the year a plenary council takes place have to do with anything?"

It would be one way to establish a consensus at least among the large number of bishops associated with the council. There wasn't a consensus on the peculiarly Roman accretions in the early church, and consequently adherents to Romanism invariably run into problems in trying to substantiate claims of catholicity or apostolicity for their peculiar dogmas.

dtking (I think) wrote: "Augustine was no papist, and if you were really familiar with and objective about the history of the ancient African church, you would know that."

SP wrote: "Chest beating. I just proved that Augustine numbered the sucession of the bishops from the Bishop of Rome."

a) It takes more than numbering a succession of bishops to make one a papist. That should be obvious to anyone familiar with the modern dogmas associated with the papacy.

b) If pointing out the uncomfortable fact that the North African bishops didn't act like papists is "chest beating," then I guess dtking should do more of it. Waving off uncomfortable facts by labeling their presentation, however, looks more like what is conventionally called "chest beating."

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

btw - the original reason that plenary councils were raised was because SP quoted this:

"What the custom of the Church has always held, what this argument has failed to prove false, and what a plenary Council has confirmed, this we follow!" Augustine, On Baptism against the Donatist, 4:10 (A.D. 401).

supposedly as showing that Augustine held a high view of church authority. Notice, however, that sandwiched between "custom of the Church" and "what a plenary Council has confirmed" (not "defined" but "confirmed") is "what this argument has failed to prove false"!

Does that mean that Augustine held to some sort of infallibility of failed arguments? Of course not. The very idea is absurd. So likewise, assuming that Augustine thought that plenary councils and church customs were infallible, simply because he appealed to them within a broader argument, is also absurd.

Turretinfan said...

dtking asked: "Please name me one ECF at the council of Nicea who believed in the dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, the bodily assumption of Mary."

SP responded: "Your chest beating here only works if it is the Catholic claim that every doctrine was fully expressed in AD 325."

It's interesting how anyone would think that unexpressed doctrines could be believed by the apostles and church fathers.

"But your sophist attack here is proven by the fact that you know full well that none of the fathers at Nicea would recognize your church as orthodox."

I wonder what part of Nicaean orthodoxy SP thinks that we "know" we lack?

-TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

Tfan.

Well, I take it that you are not going to answer the direct questions that I asked you about your entire thesis of this series.

I am surprised but maybe I shouldn't be.

I am very confident that in this thread I raised very tangible and very true objections to your whole point of this series that you simply are incapable of answering. Because if you could answer them, you would.

Rather than handle the questions and meat of my argument you raise trifling objections. Disappointing.

I hope that you think these things through and pray about them.

So, rather than chase the new tangents that you are trying to take me down I'll just wait for you to respond to the substantive questions I've asked you over and over again in this thread.

If you can't do that than I'll just remember it and go about my business.

natamllc said...

Hey SP, over here, hey, hey, can't you see me up on the hillside waving my hands and jumping up and down?

What? Should I get a sling and stone and throw it at you?

Why not address me while you wait for TF. He is not ignoring you.

:)

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "Well, I take it that you are not going to answer the direct questions that I asked you about your entire thesis of this series."

I'm wading my way through the multitude of comments you've thrown out there. It's quite possible that any "direct questions" you asked "about [my] entire thesis of this series" have gotten lost amidst the numerous other points you have tried to raise.

SP wrote: "I am surprised but maybe I shouldn't be.

You should never be surprised by your own guesses.

SP wrote: "I am very confident that in this thread I raised very tangible and very true objections to your whole point of this series that you simply are incapable of answering. Because if you could answer them, you would."

I can't answer what I can't find. Rather than vaguely refer to the allegedly tangible, true, and unanswerable objections, you could reiterate them. That would help me differentiate between the many comments of yours that are a total waste of time and the comments of yours that you think are significant.

SP wrote: "Rather than handle the questions and meat of my argument you raise trifling objections. Disappointing."

At this point I could simply claim that while you call them "trifling objections" "you simply are incapable of answering [them]. Because if you could answer them, you would," but that would seem to be stooping to your level. Instead, I'll simply note that they may seem like trifling objections to you, but they are objections to points you raised in this dialog - if they are trifling objections, it is because you raised points that you yourself don't find worthy of defense.

SP wrote: "I hope that you think these things through and pray about them."

...

SP wrote: "So, rather than chase the new tangents that you are trying to take me down I'll just wait for you to respond to the substantive questions I've asked you over and over again in this thread."

My responses to your comments are "new tangents" eh?

-TurretinFan

If you can't do that than I'll just remember it and go about my business.

Coram Deo said...

TF - this was a fantastic thread.

I deeply appreciate the back and forth between yourself, Pastor King and Sean Patrick, as it served to illuminate me on several topics.

Sadly SP's illogical and inconsistent musings remind me of the scriptural teaching on the mind of the carnal man who is unable to appraise the things of the Spirit, because they are spiritually discerned, and who's vain imaginings result in futility of mind.

Even the wrath of man will surely redound to the glory of God.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

"Where is the sacrament of ordination in the PCA?"

Whether or not they label it a sacrament, the PCA has ordination.

"Where is the numbering of bishops back to Peter via the sacrament of ordination in the PCA?"

There's a theoretical chain of ordination back to the apostles for the PCA elders. All are ordained by men who were ordained before them etc.

I don't think anyone has attempted to actually trace out that chain, but no one seriously doubts that the chain exists.

"Where are the traditions of the PCA that the church catholic holds as equal authority as scripture? "

This question seems to be looking for an answer that we would not expect to exist.

Turretinfan said...

SP asked: "And what does Augustine say about the authority of the Church?"

And SP provided the following quotation:

"As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, e.g. the annual commemoration, by special solemnities, of the Lord's passion, resurrection, and ascension, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and whatever else is in like manner observed by the whole Church wherever it has been established." Augustine, To Januarius, Epistle 54:1 (A.D. 400).

I'm not sure how carefully SP read this quotation. The "things" that Augustine holds on extra-scriptural authority are practices, such as the celebration of various feasts. Those practices are not dogma - and Roman Catholics themselves seem to acknowledge that the ancient practices can change without any problems resulting.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "If you need an example, here is a quote from Basil that David T King cannot profess (but he'll quote Basil as an authority when he thinks it suits him)."

There are lots of points on which we disagree with certain fathers and on which certain fathers disagreed with one another. There is a persuasive authority that Basil has, and there is (more importantly) an historical evidential authority that Basil has. Neither of those types of authority require us to have even widespread agreement (though we do) much less universal agreement (which we acknowledge we don't).

SP provided the quotation:

St. Basil the Great(A.D. 329-379), Doctor of the Catholic Church, bishop of Caesarea, and brother St. Gregory of Nyssa’s writes:

"Of the dogmas and kergymas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in manners ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject the unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kergyma to a mere term"
(Holy Spirt 27:66).

Then SP commented: "Ouch"

As some others have pointed out already, perhaps the reason for SP's "ouch" is the cut he's feeling from the edge of his own sword on this one. Basil's words in this instance would condemn Rome for departing from the ancient practices. It's unclear whether SP realized that when he quoted Basil.

Even more significantly, SP seems to have totally overlooked Basil's qualifier "in respect to piety" which should help to show to the reader that Basil was speaking specifically to that issue, and not to the issue of, for example, derivation of doctrine or rules for faith and life.

- TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

TFan,

First, I re-read my last comment and it reads a lot meaner than I intended. I didn't edit and it comes off rude and I apologize.

What I was referring to was our conversation
regarding this line:

Me:

If you can show that Athanasius denied the church binding authority to interpret scripture I'd like to see it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:49:00 PM


You:

Before I do, would you acknowledge that is possible (in theory) for a person to hold to the formal and material sufficiency of Scripture and also to hold that the church has "binding authority to interpret scripture"?

And then I explained the conflict and then you said you wouldn't go any further unless I explained my use of 'controversy' in an unrelated thread. And then I did that.

This started when I asked you: Please name the church fathers and the councils that taught the formal sufficiency of scripture.

And then you provided quotes from three fathers including Athanasius.

I said, Where does Athanasius deny the church binding authority to interpret the scripture?

And then I gave a link on Feb 11 (8:31PM) to dozens of passages from Athanasius that counter any hint of the 'formal sufficiency' of scripture in his writing.

Two examples:

Examples: 'For, what our fathers have delivered, this is trully doctrine; and this is truly the token of doctors, to confess the same thing with each other, and to vary neither from themselves nor from their fathers...Thus the Greeks, as not witnessing to the same doctrines, but quarreling one with another, have no truth of teaching; but the holy and veritable heralds of truth agree together, and do not differ..preaching the same Word harmoniously'
- De Decretis 4

'But what is also to the point, let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and preserved by the fathers. On this the church was founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.'
- Ad Serapion 1,28

- At the end of the day I am just looking for evidence that any church father taught the formal sufficiency of scripture. I picked Athanasius because this is one you cited.

It was at the Council of Nicaea that Athanasius wrote: "The words of the Lord which were spoken by the General Council of Nicaea, remain in eternity" (Ep. ad Afros 2)

I invite you to read this letter as a good example in context. Note how he treats the judgement of the Catholic Church and tradition handed down concerning scriptural faith.

For what is so manifestly shown to be evil, it is not necessary to waste time in exposing further, lest contentious persons think the matter doubtful. It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this.

In a nutshell, if you are going to boldly claim that Athanasius taught the 'formal' sufficiency of scripture than you need to demonstrate it and you cannot demonstrate it by posting passages that express his belief in the material sufficiency of scripture.

Turretinfan said...

SP wrote: "Schism has shown itself to be a much bigger impediment to catholicity than exclusive claims."

Catholicity has to do with the faith. Certain exclusive claims attempt to add to the gospel (for example, "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff") and thereby undermine the faith.

In contrast, some schism is undertaken for an appropriate end:

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

And other types of division can lead to other beneficial ends.

More briefly, the apparent reason for your assertion is an embedded presupposition that unity with the Roman pontiff is itself an aspect of catholicity (which it is not).

Blogahon said...

Tfan,

Schism is always sin and an abomination.

Turretinfan said...

"First, I re-read my last comment and it reads a lot meaner than I intended. I didn't edit and it comes off rude and I apologize."

Thanks. I really hadn't noticed, but I appreciate the apology.

"What I was referring to was our conversation
regarding this line:

Me: If you can show that Athanasius denied the church binding authority to interpret scripture I'd like to see it.

You: Before I do, would you acknowledge that is possible (in theory) for a person to hold to the formal and material sufficiency of Scripture and also to hold that the church has "binding authority to interpret scripture"?"

Ok, I remember that exchange.

"And then I explained the conflict and then you said you wouldn't go any further unless I explained my use of 'controversy' in an unrelated thread. And then I did that."

I'm sorry, but I don't recall you explaining the conflict. I recall that I asked:

"Let's say, for the sake of the argument, that the church cannot err. Is there then any conflict between Scripture being formally sufficient and the church having binding authority to interpret Scripture?"

Rather than explaining the conflict, you asked: "Define formally sufficient and define 'binding authority.'"

I responded by inviting you to provide your definitions: "What definitions did you have in mind when you posted the quotations from Athanasius above?"

You responded by providing the following definitions: "For Scripture to be materially sufficient, it would have to contain or imply all that is needed for salvation. For it to be formally sufficient, it would not only have to contain all of this data, but it would have to be so clear that it does not need any outside information to interpret it.

Binding authority of the church - The church has the authority to define doctrine for the whole church (catholic) all over the world.
"

As far as I can tell, you then never got back to explaining what the conflict is. You're welcome to pick up where you left off or to reveal to me the place where you showed the conflict, if I missed it.

Turretinfan said...

"Schism is always sin and an abomination."

Yes, assuming one defines "schism" in a particular, narrow sense.

Blogahon said...

TFan,

I think I explained the conflict between 'formal sufficiency of scripture' and 'binding authority of the church' in the comment that was deleted.

Formal sufficiency, by definition, excludes the possibility of the binding authority of the church.

Material Sufficiency affirms that all doctrines of the Christian faith are contained within the corpus of the Old and New Testaments. Hence, material sufficiency is compatible with the binding authority of the church.

Formal Sufficiency of Scripture requires no other coordinate authority such as a teaching Church or Tradition in order to determine its meaning.

Thus, 'binding authority of the church' and 'formal sufficiency' are de facto at odds. If we have 'formal sufficiency' than there is nothing for the church to bind.

Edward Tait, an Anglican, hits on this when he writes: Of course the Fathers thought that they could prove their view from Scripture. They also thought that the historic communion of bishops in succession from the Apostles, gathered in Councils (with Rome playing some role, which I don't want to debate here), could be counted on to interpret Scripture correctly. The whole sola scriptura debate only became possible when a sizeable number of influential Christians began proclaiming that the bishops gathered in Council, in communion with Rome, had seriously erred in interpreting Scripture over a period of several centuries. Of course both sides can appeal to the Fathers, because the Fathers never thought of Scriptural sufficiency and the authority of the Church/Tradition as being at odds.

Heiko Oberman also writes:

As regards the pre-Augustinian Church, there is in our time a striking convergence of scholarly opinion that Scripture and Tradition are for the early Church in no sense mutually exclusive: kerygma, Scripture and Tradition coincide entirely. The Church preaches the kerygma which is to be found in toto in written form in the canonical books.

The Tradition is not understood as an addition to the kerygma contained in Scripture but as the handing down of that same kerygma in living form: in other words everything is to be found in Scripture and at the same time everything is in the living Tradition.

It is in the living, visible Body of Christ, inspired and vivified by the operation of the Holy Spirit, that Scripture and Tradition coinhere . . . Both Scripture and Tradition issue from the same source: the Word of God, Revelation . . . Only within the Church can this kerygma be handed down undefiled . . .

(The Harvest of Medieval Theology 366-367)


This is what I saw when I read the ECFs and what I still see. Its also the predominant understanding of early Christian scholarship, by far.

So, this is my whole point. If you can demonstrate that Athanasius or any other ECF taught the formal sufficiency of scripture than I am all ears.

Turretinfan said...

"Formal sufficiency, by definition, excludes the possibility of the binding authority of the church."

However, your definition was: "For it to be formally sufficient, it would not only have to contain all of this data, but it would have to be so clear that it does not need any outside information to interpret it."

How does that exclude "the possibility of the binding authority of the church"?

"Formal Sufficiency of Scripture requires no other coordinate authority such as a teaching Church or Tradition in order to determine its meaning."

"Requires no other" can be ambiguous. If you mean "needs no other" (and I think you mean that) ... ok ... but I'm curious what you think the conflict is then. See my question above.

"Thus, 'binding authority of the church' and 'formal sufficiency' are de facto at odds. If we have 'formal sufficiency' than there is nothing for the church to bind."

That is an interesting observation. Is there any logical reason that the church couldn't "bind" those things with respect to which Scripture speaks clearly? If no such obstacle exists, it would appear that there is not a conflict.

-TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Is there any logical reason that the church couldn't "bind" those things with respect to which Scripture speaks clearly?

OK. Than the Church binds biblical doctrine. I believe that.

The church has bound, for example, that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The blessed bread becomes Christ body and we call this Transubstantiation. The Church has bound this.

Do you except it?

Turretinfan said...

"The church has bound, for example, that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ."

The Eucharist, of course, is the whole sacrament. Your church (not "the church") has defined a dogma on this topic.

"The blessed bread becomes Christ body and we call this Transubstantiation."

Actually, the defined dogma of transubstantiation says that the bread becomes "Christ whole and entire" (Trent, Session 21, Chapter 3 and Canon 3) and specifically "the veritable Body of our Lord, and His veritable Blood, together with His soul and divinity, are under the species of bread and wine;" (Trent, Session 13, Chapter 3 and Canon 1).

"The Church has bound this."

Your church has - "the church" has not.

"Do you except it?"

I'm quite sure you mean "accept it" though since I take exception to it (on the grounds that it contradicts Scripture which teaches us that the true human body of Christ is in heaven until he comes again) I suppose I could answer "yes" to the wording as given.

Turretinfan said...

"OK. Than the Church binds biblical doctrine. I believe that."

ok ... then we are sort of "back to square one" as they say, since your quotations of Athanasius were apparently directed to something that doesn't rebut the thesis of this series.

Blogahon said...

The Eucharist, of course, is the whole sacrament. Your church (not "the church") has defined a dogma on this topic.

Well, TFan...pretty obviously, the 'church' cannot bind anything at all if its only binding to people if they agree with it.

How can any denominational conception of 'church' bind anything at all?

Can you address the issues I expressed in my February 13, 2010 7:40:00 PM post now? Because clearly, our conception of 'church' does not lend itself to agreeing on what it means to 'bind' doctrine.

Turretinfan said...

"Well, TFan...pretty obviously, the 'church' cannot bind anything at all if its only binding to people if they agree with it."

This looks like another new tangent relating to your conception of what the church ought to look like.

"How can any denominational conception of 'church' bind anything at all?"

This seems like a continuation of the above tangent. There are a number of ways: (1) subordinately and (2) declaratively are two that come to mind.

"Can you address the issues I expressed in my February 13, 2010 7:40:00 PM post now?"

I've responded to (and even quoted from) that post. If you think some important point of that post was overlooked, please feel free to reiterate it.

"Because clearly, our conception of 'church' does not lend itself to agreeing on what it means to 'bind' doctrine."

Perhaps this comment of yours will make more sense once you explain what significant point you think has been overlooked in your 7:40:00 comment.

Blogahon said...

TFan.

Rather than talk past each other why not just tell me what you think it means and to what extent the 'church binds doctrine.'

And, then, we can relate what you you think "binding doctrine" means and relate to Athanasius.

Turretinfan said...

"Rather than talk past each other why not just tell me what you think it means and to what extent the 'church binds doctrine.'"

My reason for not investing a lot of time on that point is that it sounds like yet another tangent that you will drop.

"And, then, we can relate what you you think "binding doctrine" means and relate to Athanasius."

I'm trying to see the connection between this tangent and anything in the main post.

Way back on Feb. 11, you wrote: "Where does Athanasius deny the church binding authority to interpret the scripture? This link includes about 30 quotes from Athanasius that seem to affirm the Church's role in defining biblical doctrine."

However, above, you seem to have acknowledged that there is not a necessary conflict between "defining biblical doctrine" and holding to formal sufficiency of Scripture.

Is there a point to this tangent? Is that point germane to this post?

-TurretinFan

Blogahon said...

However, above, you seem to have acknowledged that there is not a necessary conflict between "defining biblical doctrine" and holding to formal sufficiency of Scripture.

There is only not a conflict if the church really has the authority to bind doctrine in the sense that the church (one church) binds doctrine for the entire world.

If there are thousands of little denominations running around 'binding' different things than it falls apart.

It seems to be that you are avoiding the major premise of my argument completely. The major premise being that no ECF taught the 'formal' sufficiency of scripture. Unless you can demonstrate something to the contrary that I really must just leave it at that.

natamllc said...

SP,

seeing you are now ignoring me, I won't ignore you.

You just concluded with this:

"....It seems to be that you are avoiding the major premise of my argument completely. The major premise being that no ECF taught the 'formal' sufficiency of scripture. Unless you can demonstrate something to the contrary that I really must just leave it at that....".

I have been nurtured you might say somewhat by TF for awhile now, learing much from his insights and personal dedication to the defense of the Truth found in the Grace and Faith, both in here and privately through a few emails directly on several personal occasions. And for me to read that was really really hard!

The man has gone way overboard with you in here and needs a life boat to get him back on board because he has continually been giving you major time dealing with all your major premises, all the while he has kindly and gently at times maybe to gently, brought you back repeatedly to the "major premise" of this thread. Have you forgotten that?

I am a willing participant in here, obviously on the other side of the kernal and the robust kergyma brought forth and brought forth by your side and ours of this issue and have to say that I for one did not appreciate those words cited above by me which you posted and directed towards him just there then.

Here's my hope and guess nevertheless, is that, you are indeed 'closer' to Our Common Faith and Salvation and you now just want to jump into the Tiber and swim across to our side and hopefully this exchange in here is the death blow that precipitates that swim over?

Anyway, I think you should apologize yet again, now this third or fourth time. I would have to go back up this exchange to count just how many times you have humbly done so already? Yet again, I suggest you do it again because I am fearful of the Almighty and His Word which indicates that if a man continues to stiffen his neck bad things are sure to follow:::>

Pro 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

And, in any event, seeing you have not responded to my lead to go toe to toe with me on the Sacred Scriptures alone, foregoing the ECFs and other extraneous writings, I am prepared to accept that your defense is solely ruled by the extraneous writings of the RCC, the magisterium's councils and not by the Sacred Scriptures alone?

And so it is understandable that if you have not familiarized yourself in the Scripture as the basis for your defenses, you would not want to come to the defense of them as I would, who has spent my time there for a fair amount of my life and not nearly as much time with the ECFs as you and TF and Pastor King have.

I truly enjoy this blog thoroughly and throughly am educated to the historical truths being maligned by ignorant meddlers of it and some schemers too!

Turretinfan said...

"There is only not a conflict if the church really has the authority to bind doctrine in the sense that the church (one church) binds doctrine for the entire world."

There would also not be a conflict if the church had less power. If there is no necessary conflict when "bind" has the strongest sense, there is no necessary conflict when the word "bind" has a lesser sense.

"If there are thousands of little denominations running around 'binding' different things than it falls apart."

Please explain how "thousands of little denominations running around 'binding' different things" conflicts with the formal sufficiency of Scripture?

"It seems to be that you are avoiding the major premise of my argument completely. The major premise being that no ECF taught the 'formal' sufficiency of scripture."

Actually, I have pointed you to a lot of information that demonstrates that your premise is wrong. Both I and Pastor King have documented the teaching of the formal sufficiency of Scripture in the fathers. Your response has not been to dispute any of that evidence, as such, but rather has been to assert that the same fathers had a high view of the authority of the church.

However, you have acknowledged that a high view of the church is not necessarily in conflict with holding to the formal sufficiency of Scripture. Therefore, your attempted support of your premise has been defeated.

"Unless you can demonstrate something to the contrary that I really must just leave it at that."

See above.

-TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

I stand in awe of your patience, TF.

Praise be to the Lord for granting you a humble, teaching spirit.

In Him,
CD

Blogahon said...

Both I and Pastor King have documented the teaching of the formal sufficiency of Scripture in the fathers.

With due respect you haven't done this.

And you and David T King's conclusions are contrary to just about every early church scholar that has studied this question.

In this conversation you haven't even been willing to define either 'formal sufficiency of scripture' or 'binding authority of the church.'

Could you define those terms? I've asked you several times now. Because if you define them than we can examine each church father that you claim taught the formal sufficiency of scripture.

Blogahon said...

Nata.

I have not countered with scriptures here because we are not talking about scripture.

TFan's purpose behind this post and others is to prop up his very unique view that the ECFs taught that scripture is formally sufficient. Hence, I've tried to make him confront the church fathers on their own terms.

This whole interaction has been pretty amazing, in many respects. TFan and David T King (and you) seem to be completely unmoved that the conclusion about the ECFs that you are drawing are contrary to the most respected Protestant scholarship.

Since this keeps getting ignored, casually, as if it doesn't matter I ask you to Nata to tell me why Heiko Oberman is wrong. Remember, this is not a question of your interpretation of scripture. It is a question of historical fact.

As regards the pre-Augustinian Church, there is in our time a striking convergence of scholarly opinion that Scripture and Tradition are for the early Church in no sense mutually exclusive: kerygma, Scripture and Tradition coincide entirely. The Church preaches the kerygma which is to be found in toto in written form in the canonical books.

The Tradition is not understood as an addition to the kerygma contained in Scripture but as the handing down of that same kerygma in living form: in other words everything is to be found in Scripture and at the same time everything is in the living Tradition.

It is in the living, visible Body of Christ, inspired and vivified by the operation of the Holy Spirit, that Scripture and Tradition coinhere . . . Both Scripture and Tradition issue from the same source: the Word of God, Revelation . . . Only within the Church can this kerygma be handed down undefiled . . .

Heiko Oberman - The Harvest of Medieval Theology 366-367

Here is Mr. Oberman's wiki page.

I have shown that my conclusion is the consensus of scholarship yet I am being treated like a fool for thinking it.

natamllc said...

SP,

granted, I accept your last post's definity.

However, your definity is contrary to mine and most if not all Protesters of the RCC's faith.

You wrote:::> ".... Hence, I've tried to make him confront the church fathers on their own terms....".

What I am confronting is your ignorance to the 'BASIS' of their argument and tried to take you by the hand with one Hilary citation and show you from Spiritual Revelation of Scripture "alone" why his position was such.

The position?

The position he took for grounds to excommunicate someone from the Church.

My position, which I told you was the one position absent from the material you linked qualified as a "starting point", is Titus 3:10-11.

Now, there are plenty of examples of what Paul was teaching in the Scriptures.

It's odd to me that you can come up with material sufficiency in material that you want me to start with and I review it and conclude we are traveling on two different roads, my road is across the Tiber away from Rome and your road is across the Tiber, dried off and towards the Pope, the papacy and the magisterium councils of Rome.

I don't want to belittle you SP. But, don't you find it odd we are so divergent here?

Come along now and just address Titus 3:10-11 as a pausible answer to:::>

"They who are placed without the Church, cannot attain to any understanding of the divine word. For the ship exhibits a type of Church, the word of life placed and preached within which, they who are without, and lie near like barren and useless sands, cannot understand."
Hilary of Poitiers, On Matthew, Homily 13:1 (A.D. 355).

Could it simply be that Hilary knows the Scriptures better than you and he employs it and you don't?

My position is simple, Hilary must have considered Titus 3:10-11 to make that claim: "They who are placed without the Church".

Excommunicated, kicked out, severed from the Church is something one can do, fallible as they are, because they have "attained" to an understanding of the Divine Word.

Thoughts?

Blogahon said...

Nata.

Hilary was no proto-sola scripturist protestant. As is evidenced by the best Protestant scholarship, the ECFs did not teach that scripture is formally sufficient nor anything close to 'sola scriptura.'

And, please don't assume that I 'don't employ the scriptures.' The first time I was drawn into the Catholic Church was by reading scriptures and not seeing the particular Presbyterian/Reformed doctrines which I had been taught.

If you want to discuss Scriptures alone and why I am Catholic than you can email me at spctc2008@gmail.com.

This conversation is not about whether the bible teaches the formal sufficiency of scripture but I'd be happy to talk about that.

For starters, Willaim Webster and David T King's book's title calls scripture the pillar and foundation of truth but scripture says that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth.

I know of now serious scholar that is putting forth the conclusions that TFan is putting up. (and William Webster and David T Kings highly selective attempt in their book hardly qualifies as scholarly).

Again...

Here is my conclusion and expressed by a Protestant church historian:

"Several publications by evangelicals have argued that the doctrine of sola scriptura was practiced, though implicitly, in the hermeneutical thinking of the early church. Such an argument is using a very specific agenda for the reappropriation of the early church: reading the ancient Fathers through the leans of post-Reformational Protestantis...Scripture can never stand completely independent of the ancient consensus of the church’s teaching without serious hermeneutical difficulties...the real question, as the patristic age discovered, is, Which tradition will we use to interpret the Bible?"
D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism

This conclusion which is affirmed by scholars that are truly scholars and not just men with an axe to grind confirm my point. TFan is not acknowledging these hermeneutical difficulties which is fine but I wish he would just admit that thesedifficulties exist.

Blogahon said...

I know of now serious scholar-should be "I know of 'no'

natamllc said...

SP,

well now, why do that? Why did you make that fallacious attribution of me?

You wrote:::> "....And, please don't assume that I 'don't employ the scriptures.".

Here is something you can do for me?

Why not go back to all or any one of my comments and highlight just where and when I made that assumption?

Just for fun, why not go to your "just start here link" and highlight all the Scriptural references your source material refers too and then come back and make that fallacious argument about me, ok?

Once you are done fooling around, [and admittedly, that might be my fallacious attribution there, that you are just fooling around with me in here] then you might actually take some time and actually acknowledge things more correctly.

Blogahon said...

nata.

you said:

Could it simply be that Hilary knows the Scriptures better than you and he employs it and you don't?

Hence, I took i that you think I don't employ scriptures thus I said: And, please don't assume that I 'don't employ the scriptures

get it?

natamllc said...

SP,

did you want to move on or what?

I got it the first time but apparently you were assuming something there fallaciously or you only expected me to click on your source material, blind my eyes so that I did not read any Scriptures and just read the extraneous text?

Would you at least concede that Hilary might have thought about Titus 3:10-11 as a material source for the basis of all the extraneous thought he put down in writing when writing instruction about how and when and why you expell a heretic from the Church as he understood the Church to be at that time? And that being expelled from, or put without the Church, meant, erroneously I might add, that once expelled that one who was deemed a heretic by the expelling Church, had no other source or access available to them to God but through restoration back to the Church? And why? Because the Church leadership thought they were infallible, possibly?

Again, I believe your assumption was wrong.

Let's go over exactly what I meant.

Please note what I highlight in the highlighted portion following and the operative words ok?

My statement to you was:::>

"....What I am confronting is your ignorance to the 'BASIS' of their argument and tried to take you by the hand with one Hilary citation and show you from Spiritual Revelation of Scripture "alone" why his position was such...".

So that we are clear on that, please take a second glance at the words, and where the words "BASIS" and "alone" are constructed in them?

Where in there is the fallacious assumption you suppose I made?

I would think only an idiot such as I am would assume any one of the ECFs would build their "theology" on extraneous traditional magisterial counciliar writings "only".

Even the Devil when he tempted My Christ and Lord and King wasn't that stupid. What he did do was use portions of the Scriptures with a bit of lime twist to lead astray the Truth Himself because he wasn't quite fully convinced that He was the Christ, His God and Creator, yet.

Now let it be very clear that there is no doubt in any devil's mind just Who Jesus Is, now!

The question I have for you, is this one, "do you know Who He Is"?

Of course you can ignore that question as another one of my rhetorical flourishes.

natamllc said...

SP,

Oh, and one other thing that pops into my mind to comment:

In the title of this thread: "Magisterium More Sufficient than Scripture" and the following well thought out and expressed treatise on such an idea by TF kinda pokes into your fallacious assumption too, doesn't it?

Just so you are clear on the one word in the Title that I am thinking about I will quote it now:

"more".

My part of the bargain, if you can see it that way, is to cross the street so to speak and walk down the sola scriptura ave. alone and see with Scripture if the ECFs reasonings and logic and assumptions are correct, all the while trusting God's Word and His Spirit of Grace to do the highlighting and correcting if in these days of better sense and sensibilities, we might see any reason to assume an error in judgment and apply a reasonable correction to it?

Now, granted by just how entrenched you are in it, that might be just a wishful thought on my part?

dtking said...

Could it simply be that Hilary knows the Scriptures better than you and he employs it and you don't?

This is not a comment for the Romanist, but rather the opportunity to point out how they try to argue that "the fathers know best." The suggestion "could it be" in the realm of possibilities?

Well, in the realm of possibilities, most anything could be true, but the "could it be" does not make it be.

Bear with me please while I apply this theory to Hilary. No doubt, Hilary was an orthodox ECF, but Hilary (like all the ECFs) was a fallible man and subject to error. Take, for example, his view of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hilary asserts in Book 10, section 23 of his work on the Trinity that our Lord Jesus "had a body to suffer, and He suffered: but He had not a nature which could feel pain."

This is a patent error in Hilary's theology concerning the passion of our Lord to which no orthodox theologian today adheres. He goes on in the next section (24) to inform us that his hunger was not really hunger, nor his thirst really thirst, and argues that because Christ was sinless he could not have experienced pain. Hilary held to what could be described as sophisticated docetism with respect to his Christology. No Romanist in his right mind would suggest that Hilary embraced this distorted Christology on the basis of revelation handed down via unwritten tradition. But in their ignorance (and I believe this is truly ignorance here) they act as if they are blissfully unaware of not only the possibility, but the actuality of the errors of orthodox ECFs.

But since Romanists, in their use of the fathers, are unwilling to apply the same skeptical standards to the ECFs that they apply to Protestants, the Fathers are given a "pass," an uncritical appreciation as though they were "demi-gods" with wonderful insights that God has communicated to no one else.

But this is an example of Hilary's distorted Christology to which an otherwise good man fell into error.

"Could it be" that Hilary knew the scriptures better than we do? Of course he could have known them much better than us in many instances. But his Christology fell woefully short of orthodox Christianity in his attempt to refute the Arians of his day. In other words, he fell into error while trying to do good.

Thus, we as Protestants respond to the "could it be" that "it was not always" the case that Hilary knew the scriptures better, because Hilary, like all men, was very very fallible.

DTK

Turretinfan said...

I wrote: "Both I and Pastor King have documented the teaching of the formal sufficiency of Scripture in the fathers."

SP replied: "With due respect you haven't done this."

Sure we have. Your refusal to accept the evidence doesn't mean we haven't documented the teaching.

"And you and David T King's conclusions are contrary to just about every early church scholar that has studied this question."

That isn't true, but even if it were true, appeal to that kind of point isn't useful substitute for explanation. If the scholars are right, and if the scholars explain themselves, and if you are competent to judge their work, you also ought to be able to follow their approach and demonstrate a way to reach their conclusions validly, rather than simply appealing to their alleged authority.

"In this conversation you haven't even been willing to define either 'formal sufficiency of scripture' or 'binding authority of the church.'"

You were the one to introduce those terms, and I let you define them.

"Could you define those terms? I've asked you several times now. Because if you define them than we can examine each church father that you claim taught the formal sufficiency of scripture."

Even by your definition, they teach the formal sufficiency of Scripture. Your definition, you may recall, was: "For Scripture to be materially sufficient, it would have to contain or imply all that is needed for salvation. For it to be formally sufficient, it would not only have to contain all of this data, but it would have to be so clear that it does not need any outside information to interpret it."

While that definition might be improved a little, properly understood it would seem to be a handy working definition.

Now, that said,

You've been given many opportunities to try to shoot holes in the article, and every one has been shot down in flames or left abandoned by you.

Your attempt to disprove formal sufficiency by alleging a high view of church authority is the latest of your attempts.

By your own definition what you need to show is that the fathers we've identified think that the Scriptures themselves are insufficiently clear on the important things, such that an additional source or external interpreter ("outside information" in your rough-and-ready definition) is needed.

You are welcome to try to back that up with some sort of demonstration.

Turretinfan said...

"Hilary was no proto-sola scripturist protestant."

That is not the issue. There's a good reason why opponents of sola scriptura attempt to change the subject from sola scriptura to general "protestantism."

"As is evidenced by the best Protestant scholarship, the ECFs did not teach that scripture is formally sufficient nor anything close to 'sola scriptura.'"

As noted above, if the scholarship is really the best, and if you have read it, and if you are competent to judge it, you should be able to demonstrate what it aims to demonstrate rather than simply trying to make appeals to authority.

"And, please don't assume that I 'don't employ the scriptures.' The first time I was drawn into the Catholic Church was by reading scriptures and not seeing the particular Presbyterian/Reformed doctrines which I had been taught."

It's interesting how private judgment of Scripture is supposedly valid as a reason to leave the Reformed churches but not to leave Rome. One of the many double-standards of Romanism.

"For starters, Willaim Webster and David T King's book's title calls scripture the pillar and foundation of truth but scripture says that the church is the pillar and foundation of truth."

One can tell you've not read the book. The title calls the Scripture the pillar and foundation of the faith. Do you have a problem with that too?

"I know of now serious scholar that is putting forth the conclusions that TFan is putting up. (and William Webster and David T Kings highly selective attempt in their book hardly qualifies as scholarly)."

The Webster-King series has received a lot of positive commendation. And, of course, if you read the series, you'd be less inclined to make claims like that.

"Here is my conclusion and expressed by a Protestant church historian:"

See above about appeals to authority.

"This conclusion which is affirmed by scholars that are truly scholars and not just men with an axe to grind confirm my point."

See above about appeals to authority.

"TFan is not acknowledging these hermeneutical difficulties which is fine but I wish he would just admit that thesedifficulties exist."

Conclusory assertions (and quotations of others conclusory assertions, even if those others have very lovely credentials) aren't the way to demonstrate the problem.

Turretinfan said...

"TFan's purpose behind this post and others is to prop up his very unique view that the ECFs taught that scripture is formally sufficient."

No, the purpose behind the post is to demonstrate the novelty of Rome's attempt to usurp Scripture's supreme role.

"Hence, I've tried to make him confront the church fathers on their own terms."

No, you haven't. You've barely scratched the surface of the fathers. And when you have done that, you haven't been able to find an argument that rebuts we we've demonstrated.

"This whole interaction has been pretty amazing, in many respects."

(no comment)

"TFan and David T King (and you) seem to be completely unmoved that the conclusion about the ECFs that you are drawing are contrary to the most respected Protestant scholarship."

See above about appeals to authority.

"Since this keeps getting ignored, casually, as if it doesn't matter I ask you to Nata to tell me why Heiko Oberman is wrong."

Rather, you (SP) ought to be telling us why you think Oberman is right with demonstration from the fathers - rather than simply appealing to those of Oberman's conclusions that you like.

"Remember, this is not a question of your interpretation of scripture."

Not in this instance ... in this instance the question is an historical question.

"It is a question of historical fact."

Yes, which is why we have presented a mountain of historical data.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"I have shown that my conclusion is the consensus of scholarship yet I am being treated like a fool for thinking it."

No, you have retreated to the secondary literature and you have demonstrated your abilities by the presentation of your position that you have provided.

natamllc said...

Well explained Pastor King, thanks!

SP,

you wrote in response to me, NATA:::>

"....Since this keeps getting ignored, casually, as if it doesn't matter I ask you to Nata to tell me why Heiko Oberman is wrong. Remember, this is not a question of your interpretation of scripture. It is a question of historical fact....".

I would go beyond a casual response, to the best of my ability, fallible human that I am and be more of a critical eye then.


First off, I am not nearly as learned as you, because, to put it mildly, "who in the world is Heiko Oberman"?

Ok, ok, I clicked on the wiki link and read up a little about him. For me, I don't much care who he is or what his position is in this debate. If it is a position you want to build your argument on, then, so be it. I can start with him just fine and forego Hilary for now. Don't you go forgetting Titus 3:10-11 Sp?

First things first then, before I parse Oberman.

The basis I would procede now is based on this "revelation" from Christ Himself, here:::>

Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:16 "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me."

You see, with me, here is my belief about that. God, through Christ, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has much more to reveal to His Church. Everything necessary that He will reveal to us will come specifically from the Scriptures. And I believe those verses to be the 66 books "alone", of the Protestant Reformation discipline, excluding all others. I know that limits your scope some, from 72 down to 66; just how much is yet to be determined?

What does Jesus say there that can be understood by us now using other Scripture?

I can think of two other Scriptural basis for understanding John 16 as cited above.

Here is one of them:

Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

And another one is here:

Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last,
Rev 1:18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Rev 1:19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.


From these two Scriptural references one can come to understand something of what Jesus meant there back at John 16:

"...."I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.".


to be cont'd

Blogahon said...

It's interesting how private judgment of Scripture is supposedly valid as a reason to leave the Reformed churches but not to leave Rome. One of the many double-standards of Romanism.

All I have time for right now is to tell you that in my experience, I did not leave the Reformed faith based on my interpretation of scripture alone. It was one facet.

Thanks.

natamllc said...

from the previous post:::>

We see by the History of the texts themselves, the New Testament books, Matthew to Revelation, that as the New Testament was being formed by revelations given to fallible men from the Holy Spirit and from one another an understanding of Eternal Life emerged among men on earth as this same Eternal Life is being experienced by men in Heaven now. Eternal Life, as I define it is this verse, John 17:3.

Of course, for me, the reference to "one another" above kinda goes along with Traditions after this sort, verses out of the Old Testament:::>

Pro 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

and

Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.


So, to sum up so far, inching along, I would ask you to consider that I have given a scope that includes both the Scriptures and the interaction between men of God called and anointed by the same Holy Spirit, Who was at work in the creation of the Old Testament canon. That then is the confining experiences that I would draw from to base any reasoning on when parsing out the Oberman citation you have cited.

For instance, as you study the life of Paul and how things began to unfold for him, as he could understand it unfolded to him here and there, he was able to bring correction to Peter and his apostleship of the Gospel being proclaimed to the Jews. There were errors being understood as is clear when reading the book of Acts. Those errors, ironically are still a source of contention with the Jews, errors clearly we understand are revealed to us. Or do you think those errors don't reside in some Jews today?

John, on the other hand, is a bit more to perceive and understand, as we learn by reading his words, there at John 16, his epistles and the book of the Revelation. From those readings though, things were being unsealed, understood and then, as things were being unsealed and revealed to him, the significance of he came to understand was then being sealed up again until afterwards, until a later time:::>

Rev 10:4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down."

I assert, that the "later time" is now. And I assert that with the material sufficiency of both Scripture and certain anointed extraneous writings, we can look and see what amounts to an error or two or three and so on. I would say an "error" is that which is not anointed by the Holy Spirit but taught as though it was as valid as that that we commonly agree upon is not an error.

For us today, this amounts to the uncovering of what has been sealed up for such a time as this? At least, that's the way I see it. This is our generation and our time to walk out Eternal Life on earth as it is in Heaven.

And to be fair, SP, whether you liked the things these brothers have come forward with, or not, they have not hedged or dodged anything you have put over, as far as I can realize it? Go ahead and continue to point out what it is you believe is being overlooked and not considered by them then.

Ok, I will stop there and post, because of length.

Turretinfan said...

"All I have time for right now is to tell you that in my experience, I did not leave the Reformed faith based on my interpretation of scripture alone. It was one facet."

Yes, yes, we recall your previous comment where you applied your private judgment to history as well: "Myself and literally dozens of people I personally know have done this and become Catholic."

natamllc said...

Ok,

Oberman:
As regards the pre-Augustinian Church, there is in our time a striking convergence of scholarly opinion that Scripture and Tradition are for the early Church in no sense mutually exclusive: kerygma, Scripture and Tradition coincide entirely. The Church preaches the kerygma which is to be found in toto in written form in the canonical books...."

Well, first thing off the bat is where do we locate this comment? Was it in the 1960's? Was it written in the 1990's. A lot has gone on between those two decades.

Second, is the "Church" he refers too the RCC or another?

Third, which cannonical books is he referencing here?
"....

Turretinfan said...

While we're waiting to see what demonstration SP hopes to bring to the table, let's take a look at the evidence that he's already offered (and then seemingly abandoned). One of the quotations he reproduced was this one:

'But what is also to the point, let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning was preached by the Apostles and preserved by the fathers. On this the church was founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian.'
- Ad Serapion 1,28

1) In Part 4 of this series, I pointed out how Athanasius affirms the formal sufficiency of Scripture in that very letter:

Athanasius (about A.D. 297-373): Since, therefore, such an attempt is futile madness, nay, more than madness!, let no one ask such questions any more, or else let him learn only that which is in the Scriptures. For the illustrations they contain which bear upon this subject are sufficient and suitable. (Athanasius, C. R. B. Shapland, trans., The Letters of Athanasius Concerning the Holy Spirit, Ad Serapion 1.19 (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1951), p. 108.)

Athanasius (about A.D. 297-373): These things are sufficient to refute your foolish speech. Mock no more at the Godhead. For it is the part of those who mock to ask the questions which are not written and to say, So the Spirit is a son and the Father a grandfather? (Athanasius, C. R. B. Shapland, trans., The Letters of Athanasius Concerning the Holy Spirit, Ad Serapion 4.7 (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1951), p. 188.)

2) As I discussed at greater length on a prior occasion, the quotation itself (in context) is simply serving as a transition from one set of Scriptural arguments to the next set of Scriptural arguments.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Another appeal that SP makes to Athanasius is this, SP writes: "It was at the Council of Nicaea that Athanasius wrote: "The words of the Lord which were spoken by the General Council of Nicaea, remain in eternity" (Ep. ad Afros 2)"

1) As I demonstrated in response to K. Doran, this quotation is misleading. As noted there, since Athanasius goes on to suggest that the reader should judge Nicaea by Scripture, we must realize that the quotation doesn't mean what it's been cited for by the opponent of formal sufficiency.

2) As I noted in response to Bryan Cross and others (with help from Pastor King), Athanasius actually goes on to explain in the letter that Nicaea obtained its teaching on this subject from Scripture:

Athanasius (297-373): But here too the Bishops, beholding their craftiness, collected from the Scriptures the figures of brightness, of the river and the well, and of the relation of the express Image to the Subsistence, and the texts, ‘in thy light shall we see light,’ and ‘I and the Father are one.’ And lastly they wrote more plainly, and concisely, that the Son was coessential with the Father; for all the above passages signify this. NPNF2: Vol. IV, Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa, §6. Greek text: Ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐνταῦθα οἱ ἐπίσκοποι, θεωρήσαντες ἐκείνων τὸ δόλιον συνήγαγον ἐκ τῶν γραφῶν τὸ ἀπαύγασμα τήν τε πηγὴν καὶ τὸν ποταμὸν καὶ τὸν χαρακτῆρα πρὸς τὴν ὑπόστασιν καὶ τὸ »ἐν τῷ φωτί σου ὀψόμεθα φῶς« καὶ τὸ »ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν.« Καὶ λευκότερον λοιπὸν καὶ συντόμως ἔγραψαν ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρὶ τὸν υἱόν· τὰ γὰρ προειρημένα πάντα ταύτην ἔχει τὴν σημασίαν. In Epistolam Ad Afros Episcopos Monitum, §6, PG 26:1040.

- TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

TF - I touched on this subject in another thread, but with your indulgence (Romanist pun intended); would you care to explore the epistemic futility of moving back a step one's responsibility to interpret the scriptures?

In other words the Romanist seems to believe he gains some level of certainty by accepting Rome's interpretations of scripture, believing the Magisterium to be the only infallible interpreter thereof.

Yet isn't the individual Romanist necessarily required to interpret the infallible interpretations of the Magisterium in order to make sense of said interpretation?

Why are the Magisterium's interpretations apparently believed to be perspicuous and comprehensible to the individual Romanist while the scriptures themselves are not?

In Christ,
CD

Blogahon said...

TFan,

You are the one who claimed that the ECFs taught the 'formal sufficiency' of scripture. Not me. You need to prove it and not expect me to prove that they didn't. It isn't fair to ask somebody to prove a negative. On the other hand, it should be very easy for you to prove a positive.

What do you nee to do? You need to prove that any ECF taught the 'formal sufficiency.' This would be done by demonstrating that various ECFs (or even one) taught that the Church had no role in interpreting scripture and binding doctrine for the faithful. You haven't done that.

I am not moved by David T King and William Webster. Their work is an apologetic piece and both have shown themselves publicly to be completed biased and polemic.

I am surprised that you are so quick to discredit and discard genuine scholarship that has asked this question.

Its David T King versus the most heavily peer reviewed early church scholarship available: Phillip Schaff, JND Kelly, Pelikan, Conger and others...and you take your friend David T King.

Church History is better received from the extant material and peer reviewed scholarship. Not apologists with bad tempers like Mr. King.

David T King's error is in the fact that he equates material sufficiency with formal sufficiency and unfortunately you have given plenty of evidence in this thread that you make the same error. You make no attempt to differentiate between material and formal sufficiency. Its like you won't even go there. You won't even define the terms. All you have done during this 'series' is provide quotes affirming the material sufficiency. You have said nothing about the church and nothing about the interpretation of scripture.

In David T Kings last comment he seemed to concede that the ECFs on this question aren't as supportive of your view as you think. He says, "Well, they are fallible you know..." David T King should know that Catholics do not believe that every utterance of every ECF is infallible. But, I won't waste any more time with strawmen.

cont

Blogahon said...

But once David T King senses that the fathers are not on his side so he starts to get cynical about them:

But since Romanists, in their use of the fathers, are unwilling to apply the same skeptical standards to the ECFs that they apply to Protestants, the Fathers are given a "pass," an uncritical appreciation as though they were "demi-gods" with wonderful insights that God has communicated to no one else.

Given this suspicious and cynical view of the ECFs I wonder why David T King would spend so much time writing books about what they wrote? Well, at least the true colors are coming through.

No, the purpose behind the post is to demonstrate the novelty of Rome's attempt to usurp Scripture's supreme role.

Scripture does not interpret itself TFan. Its either up to individuals to discern the Christian faith or the Church. If its the Church it can be the Church that Christ founded or it can be any sect claiming to be the Church. In any scenario scripture is getting interpreted. When you read scripture and interpret it do you accuse yourself of trying to usurp Scripture's supreme role? I doubt it. Just because the Catholic Church interprets scripture it does not make Her a usurper of scripture any more than the CREC or PCA or OPC or PCUSA when they interpret scripture.

You last Athanasius entry is telling. You subject the quote that I provided about the church to the quotes you provided about scripture. I take them as Athanasius handed them down. The scriptures and the church go together. The scriptures do not 'usurp' the church and the church does not 'usurp' scripture.

Athanasius letter, taken as a whole, deals a fatal blow to the idea that he taught the formal sufficiency of scripture. You can't just scan the letter and hone in on the bits about scripture while ignoring the bits about the church but this is what you've done.

And, Athanasius saying that the fathers at Nicea used scripture doesn't prove your case either. The Fathers at Trent used scripture. So did the fathers at the Vatican Council.

It seems to be that your whole outlook here is looking for ways to pit scripture against the church. "Oh look. This father quotes scripture...he must not believe in the church or tradition!"

Nata, I am sorry brother. I don't follow your line of thinking and to be honest your writing style is hard to follow. Any oversight of any of your comments on my part is not intended.

For Lent (which starts Wednesday) I am giving up blogging. Between now and then I'll be traveling on business. I think its for the best as this thread alone is 200 posts long and I fear that most of them were cases where we were talking past each other.

natamllc said...

SP,

In reviewing what has gone on in here and a lot has, I found a comment you made that I liked and want to rehash a bit, if it is ok?

SP: "....The first time I was drawn into the Catholic Church was by reading scriptures and not seeing the particular Presbyterian/Reformed doctrines which I had been taught....".

The more I ponder what you imply there the more I warm up to it.

Now, why would that fancy us?

It clearly demonstrates why you should come to your senses and flee that woman as the Scripture teaches.

Remember the temptations put upon Jesus by His creature, Satan?

He was trying to beguile the Truth just like he has been beguiling humanity since Eve!

Could it be the reason your senses were seeing the Scriptures the way you state there, was because of the beguiling nature of some evil inspiration from above? And an inspiration not from the Highest Heavens above?

From which heavens do you suppose Satan was coming from when he came to tempt Jesus? Are any one of us exempt from such temptations? My Bible teaches me about the "Eternal Purpose" the Church is to be engaged in. Please study Ephesians chapter 3. It just might bring a clarity of thought and sense to you that you have not experienced here to fore?

From where do you suppose these Words came from and were written down by inspiration because of, the created heavens or from God in the Highest Heavens given to Jesus to be given to His Angel sent down to a fallible man confined to an Island prison?:::>


Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

natamllc said...

SP,

what?

Wait a minute.

I asked you three simple questions and now you say it is hard to follow me?

Come on? Answer the three questions. They focus on who Oberman is and the way he was thinking during the time he wrote that that you cited.

Don't you know your source? I don't know the man nor have I studied anything about him.

Tell me when he wrote those words, if you know? If you don't, why cite them then?

Tell me which church he is referring too? The Protestant or Catholic or EOC or some silly hill billy backwoods one room sort?

And what canonical books was he referencing?

Is that to hard for you to grasp?

dtking said...

Men,

The Reformed can let the ECFs be what they were. We don't have to make them be something that they were not, and never could be. And my own appreciation for them has not been mitigated in the least. I still agree wholeheartedly with John Calvin who said, "If the contest were to be determined by pattristic authority, the tide of victory--to put it very modestly--would turn to our side."

The ECFs were catholic, but they were not Romanists, and a true reading of history vindicates that reality whenever the sides are compared.

But the ECFs knew, as we know, that all controversies are to be adjudicated by the authority of God's inscripturated word which alone is the infallible rule for the Church of Jesus Christ.

Augustine (354-430): God alone swears securely, because He alone is infallible. NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 89, § 4.
Latin text: Deus solus securus jurat, quia falli non potest. See In Psalmum LXXXVIII Enarratio, Sermo I, PL 37:1122.

Turretinfan said...

"You are the one who claimed that the ECFs taught the 'formal sufficiency' of scripture. Not me."

No kidding. This is part 6 of a 7-part series on the topic.

"You need to prove it and not expect me to prove that they didn't."

a) I've abundantly proved it.

b) I don't expect you to do anything except continue to retreat every time your arguments are countered.

c) But yes, if someone comes in here and says "no, you haven't proved it yet," the burden is on them to demonstrate that, rather than just claim it.

"It isn't fair to ask somebody to prove a negative."

You're welcome to let me demonstration stand. But simply gainsaying it (as you've done) isn't a rebuttal. A rebuttal includes some kind of demonstration.

"On the other hand, it should be very easy for you to prove a positive."

Thanks.

"What do you nee to do?"

Let's see whether what you offer is a positive or negative in view of your comments above.

"You need to prove that any ECF taught the 'formal sufficiency.'"

Sounds positive so far ... but let's see ...

"This would be done by demonstrating that various ECFs (or even one) taught that the Church had no role in interpreting scripture and binding doctrine for the faithful. You haven't done that."

a) Oops, there we go: "no role." Looks like a negative. According to the first part of your double-standard, your request is unfair.

b) Sola Scriptura doesn't entail the church having no role in interpreting Scripture. Thus, your request is actually for me to defend a straw man.

c) Even your own definition of "formal sufficiency" doesn't require that the church have no role in interpreting Scripture.

"I am not moved by David T King and William Webster."

Surprise, surprise.

"Their work is an apologetic piece and both have shown themselves publicly to be completed biased and polemic."

You've demonstrated that you prefer ad hominem with that kind of comment. If only it were an isolated instance!

"I am surprised that you are so quick to discredit and discard genuine scholarship that has asked this question."

There's more of that (this time, the reverse - praising the conclusions you like as coming from "genuine scholarship - but still "to the man").

"Its David T King versus the most heavily peer reviewed early church scholarship available: Phillip Schaff, JND Kelly, Pelikan, Conger and others...and you take your friend David T King."

See above.

"Church History is better received from the extant material and peer reviewed scholarship. Not apologists with bad tempers like Mr. King."

See above. (By the way, the next time you post a comment that includes an ad hominem comment regarding my friend, I'll just delete your comment.)

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]

"David T King's error is in the fact that he equates material sufficiency with formal sufficiency and unfortunately you have given plenty of evidence in this thread that you make the same error."

You haven't demonstrated that alleged error. You've been, in this thread, long on assertions and short on demonstration.

"You make no attempt to differentiate between material and formal sufficiency."

a) If that's intended to be a general observation, it's not true.

b) I'm not sure why I would need to specifically spell out the difference given that you've already acknowledged the difference in this thread.

"Its like you won't even go there."

It is like I don't even need to go there, given that you already acknowledge the difference.

"You won't even define the terms."

You've already defined the terms, and I've consented to use your definitions provisionally for the discussion. Your complaint that I didn't oppose your definitions with my own is puzzling complaint, to put it mildly.

"All you have done during this 'series' is provide quotes affirming the material sufficiency."

You've said that, but you haven't demonstrated it. I'm starting to wonder if you understand the difference between the two, since you never seem to get around to demonstrating things though you make a lot of claims.

"You have said nothing about the church and nothing about the interpretation of scripture."

See above.

"In David T Kings last comment he seemed to concede that the ECFs on this question aren't as supportive of your view as you think."

No, you've misunderstood him.

"He says, "Well, they are fallible you know...""

Yes, they are fallible. Surely you didn't think my position was that they were infallible.

"David T King should know that Catholics do not believe that every utterance of every ECF is infallible."

Yes, and sometimes they need to be reminded of that.

"But, I won't waste any more time with strawmen.

cont "

Good ... fighting the imagined perception of Pastor King as claiming that Romanists view the ECFs as infallible would look and sound a lot like a strawman.

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"But once David T King senses that the fathers are not on his side so he starts to get cynical about them: But since Romanists, in their use of the fathers, are unwilling to apply the same skeptical standards to the ECFs that they apply to Protestants, the Fathers are given a "pass," an uncritical appreciation as though they were "demi-gods" with wonderful insights that God has communicated to no one else."

That's not Pastor King being cynical about the fathers - that's Pastor King pointing out the double-standards of Romanism.

"Given this suspicious and cynical view of the ECFs I wonder why David T King would spend so much time writing books about what they wrote?"

See above.

"Well, at least the true colors are coming through."

See above.

"Scripture does not interpret itself TFan."

Many of the church fathers, particularly the Antiochians, plainly expressed their belief that Scripture does interpret Scripture.

"Its either up to individuals to discern the Christian faith or the Church."

False dichotomy. The church is composed of many individual believers.

"If its the Church it can be the Church that Christ founded or it can be any sect claiming to be the Church."

Again, a false dichotomy. The church that Christ founded is not institutionally one.

"In any scenario scripture is getting interpreted."

Ok.

"When you read scripture and interpret it do you accuse yourself of trying to usurp Scripture's supreme role?"

No.

"I doubt it."

Good.

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]

"Just because the Catholic Church interprets scripture it does not make Her a usurper of scripture any more than the CREC or PCA or OPC or PCUSA when they interpret scripture."

None of them claim infallibility, dogmatically render themselves irreformable, and demand the assent of faith to things they cannot demonstrate from Scripture.

Nor, of course, do we individual Reformed believers - yet Rome does all those things.

"You last Athanasius entry is telling."

What is is trying to tell you and what you decide to infer from it are two radically different things, to wit:

"You subject the quote that I provided about the church to the quotes you provided about scripture."

And, of course, I explain why Athanasius should be read as I've noted.

"I take them as Athanasius handed them down."

No, you try to read your modern Romanism into Athanasius.

"The scriptures and the church go together."

That statement is so general that the Reformation gladly embraces it.

"The scriptures do not 'usurp' the church and the church does not 'usurp' scripture."

In practice, the Roman church usurps Scripture's role.

"Athanasius letter, taken as a whole, deals a fatal blow to the idea that he taught the formal sufficiency of scripture."

No, taken as a whole it confirms his view of formal sufficiency, as I've demonstrated.

"You can't just scan the letter and hone in on the bits about scripture while ignoring the bits about the church but this is what you've done."

No, that's not true. I've explained how the "bits about the church" (as you call them) have to be read in context and that (in context) they don't say what you and your co-religionists have tried to pass them off as saying.

"And, Athanasius saying that the fathers at Nicea used scripture doesn't prove your case either."

I doubt if there is any evidence that you would accept as proof of my case. That's just life. You feel free to read your views back into history without evidence and refuse to count the evidence against your anachronistic eisegesis.

"The Fathers at Trent used scripture. So did the fathers at the Vatican Council."

Yes - so did Satan. You left him out of your list. Yet if you think that the heresy of transubstantiation was defined by Trent via Scriptural exegesis the way that Nicaea relied on Scriptural exegesis for its doctrinal claims, you're sadly mistaken.

"It seems to be that your whole outlook here is looking for ways to pit scripture against the church."

Your quest for the truth might be aided by not trying to look behind my stated purpose for some hidden purpose. I'm quite open about my purpose - and my purpose (in this series) is to shine the light of truth on the false claims of Rome.

"Oh look. This father quotes scripture...he must not believe in the church or tradition!"

That caricature shows how little attention you actually pay to the discussion.

"For Lent (which starts Wednesday) I am giving up blogging."

alrighty ...

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

And, for good measure, lest SP come back after he is done from fasting from blogging, and claim that his remaining quotation from Athanasius hadn't been addressed, I've addressed it in a separate post (link).

dtking said...

"Scripture does not interpret itself TFan."

Chrysostom (349-407): There is something else we can learn here. What sort of thing is it? It is when it is necessary to allegorize Scripture. We ourselves are not the lords over the rules of interpretation, but must pursue Scripture’s understanding of itself, and in that way make use of the allegorical method. What I mean is this. The Scripture has just now spoken of a vineyard, wall, and wine-vat. The reader is not permitted to become lord of the passage and apply the words to whatever events or people he chooses. The Scripture interprets itself with the words, “And the house of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord Sabaoth.” To give another example, Ezekiel describes a large, great-winged eagle which enters Lebanon and takes off the top of a cedar. The interpretation of the allegory does not lie in the whim of the readers, but Ezekiel himself speaks, and tells first what the eagle is and then what the cedar is. To take another example from Isaiah himself, when he raises a mighty river against Judah, he does not leave it to the imagination of the reader to apply it to whatever person he chooses, but he names the king whom he has referred to as a river. This is everywhere a rule in Scripture: when it wants to allegorize, it tells the interpretation of the allegory, so that the passage will not be interpreted superficially or be met by the undisciplined desire of those who enjoy allegorization to wander about and be carried in every direction. Why are you surprised that the prophets should observe this rule? Even the author of Proverbs does this. For he said, “Let your loving doe and graceful filly accompany you, and let your spring of water be for you alone.” Then he interprets these terms to refer to one’s free and lawful wife; he rejects the grasp of the prostitute and other woman. Duane A. Garrett, An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 with an English Translation, Isaiah Chapter 5 (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1992), pp. 110-111.

Patristic scholar Robert Charles Hill: In fact, he [i.e., Chrysostom] is a great believer in his principle “Scripture interprets itself,” which he formulates in connection with Psalm 45.4, where he says the meaning emerges “if you examine it precisely.” Robert Charles Hill, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 1 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), p. 30.

As the Lord Jesus said to the apostle Paul, "It is hard to kick against the goads."

Turretinfan said...

dtking has provided an example from the Antiochian Fathers, let me provide one from the Cappadocian Fathers

Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–394): "The Lord," it says, "is the Spirit [2 Corinthians 3:17]." But our friend who interprets Scripture at his own sweet will calls "Lordship" by the name of "essence," and thinks to bring his statement to proof by means of the words quoted. Well, if it had been said by Paul, "Now the Lord is essence," we too would have concurred in his argument. But seeing that the inspired writing on the one side says, "the Lord is the Spirit," and Eunomius says on the other, "Lordship is essence," I do not know where he finds support for his statement, unless he is prepared to say again that the word "Spirit" stands in Scripture for "essence." Let us consider, then, whether the Apostle anywhere, in his use of the term "Spirit," employs that word to indicate "essence."

- Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomias, Book 7, Chapter 1

Notice how Gregory of Nyssa opposes Eunomias' arbitrary interpretation by requiring that the words of Scripture interpret themselves. He doesn't use the catchphrase "Scripture interprets Scripture" but he certainly applies the principle.

- TurretinFan

natamllc said...

TF and Pastor King,

as I reflect and ponder your last posts, I come to this:

1Co 2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
1Co 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
1Co 2:4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1Co 2:5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

It becomes obvious to me, both joyfully and painfully, learning from you guys and quite frankly learning some things from Sean Patrick too, that the struggles we see happening within here that are implicit within the two camps, are explicitly being displayed in here. With the One camp, the "Light" that is shining out of darkness is the True Oracle, all the while the other light, the light shining out of darkness is a false oracle.

The way you have conducted yourselves establish these facts!

What do we learn from the Apostle there at 1 Corinthians that can induce a response then?

He makes reference to "spiritually" interpreting all things later on in that chapter:

1Co 2:11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
1Co 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.


When you put both sides together in parallel and see the "line" of Truth and work backwards as we so wonderfully saw illustrated by TF's reference material, Augustine's words, you sense the two separate trajectories are clearly visible.

In the first reference Paul cuts out all the extraneous stuff, the lofty speech and human wisdom and gets right to it, Jesus Christ and him crucified. He does this while he himself is in a state of weakness and in fear and much trembling, his speech and message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but he, in demonstration of the Spirit and of power of God lays out the Truth of the Gospel. And why was that? So that our faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

What a blow that is to what we are struggling against in here!


One needs to be careful just what is happening in here and come to their senses quickly and realize the severity of what has been put forth over this long thread of comments.

One would hope and pray that each of us would do as we read later on in this epistle to the Corinthians, when error was being addressed within that True Church, here:

1Co 11:31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Here we see an example of self correction and, if not, then because of whatever reason, there is a lack of it, Divine Correction is applied. This reality, [with us the learned and the novices, the participants], is going on in here as well!

I see the two perspectives lead to different outcomes. One, the spiritually mature are able to judge implicitly and explicitly, all the while, the other hasn't got a clue the outcome of where one will end up, once receiving the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and continues in error?

I am trembling at His Word and yours as I comment here this way.

Turretinfan said...

CD wrote: "TF - I touched on this subject in another thread, but with your indulgence (Romanist pun intended); would you care to explore the epistemic futility of moving back a step one's responsibility to interpret the scriptures?"

I have done so in some of my previous response to Bryan Cross (check out the index page here). Items 2-6 tend to address that kind of issue.

"In other words the Romanist seems to believe he gains some level of certainty by accepting Rome's interpretations of scripture, believing the Magisterium to be the only infallible interpreter thereof."

Yes, many of Rome's adherents love to claim to have obtained certainty about things for which they formally lacked certainty.

"Yet isn't the individual Romanist necessarily required to interpret the infallible interpretations of the Magisterium in order to make sense of said interpretation?"

Yes, and the individual is required to exercise fallible judgment in picking the Roman magisterium in the first place.

"Why are the Magisterium's interpretations apparently believed to be perspicuous and comprehensible to the individual Romanist while the scriptures themselves are not?"

1) What is interesting is that objectively speaking, there are certain points where it may well be that Rome speaks more clearly to an issue than Scripture does. The same goes for other things, like the Westminster Standards, for example.

2) But the argument used by Romanists to try to create a need for their magisterium precludes them from appealing to this objective reality - because this same objective reality shows us that things can be perspicuous in themselves, without the need for additional layers of interpretation.

In other words, if Rome's magisterium can be perspicuous, there's no inherent reason why Scripture cannot be perspicuous.

- TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

I don't have anything further to add to this conversation; I just wanted to see this thread hit 200 comments.

Mission accomplished.

In Him,
CD