Friday, April 23, 2010

Lourdes and other "Worthy of Belief" Fictions

Louis asked:
But does your church believe this story [the story of "St. Philomena"] is true? Or are they saying that even if this vision [revelation that Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Roman Catholic nun, claimed she received] is a delusional lie (a false sign or wonder), then it is still "not contrary to the Catholic faith", and may still be used to express devotion to this saint?
(source)
Paul Hoffer (Roman Catholic) responded:
Hi louis, The Church does not offer an opinion as to whether it is true or not because we, as individual Catholics, are not required to accept as true a private revelation made to a private individual as true as such do not belong to the deposit of faith. What the Church has said is that a person may accept the revelation as true if they wish without danger to their soul. [CCC 67] We recognize that such revelations are devotional in nature, not doctrinal.
(source)
I answer:

The RCC is a little unusual in this regard. In some cases, things are written off as frauds. In other cases, things are indicated as being, in essence, believable or "worthy of belief." For example, people are permitted to believe that something miraculous happened at Lourdes, but a person is not required to believe that.

On the other hand, sometimes (much more rarely) the RCC adds some new requirement to the list of things that must be believed. For example, about four years before the Lourdes event, the RCC defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception - requiring people to believe the unbiblical (and frankly Pelagian) doctrine of the Immaculate conception.

Interestingly, at Lourdes, a 14-year-old local girl named Bernadette Soubirous (who is the central figure in the event) claimed that the apparition of a beautiful woman told her, "I am the Immaculate Conception." This oddly ungrammatical claim (original French: "Je suis l'Immaculée conception" UPDATE: the French is not original ... apparently, the original is the Basque Bigourdan dialect: "Que soy era Immaculada Councepciou.") is probably best explained by the fact that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had recently been defined, and Bernadette, while aware of the definition, didn't fully understand it. Mary calling herself the "Immaculate Conception" would be like Jesus saying, "I am the virgin birth." Of course, an alternative is that since Mary was a Palestinian Jewess, perhaps her French (UPDATE: Basque Bigourdan dialect) just isn't that good. But this seems unlikely, because other things that Bernadette reportedly heard from the apparition were more well constructed grammatically - even to the point of being formal.

In any event, Rome views the Immaculate Conception itself as a dogma that must be believed (despite the fact that we can't find it in Scripture or among the extant writings of orthodox Christians for the first few centuries of church history). In contrast, the fraud at Lourdes is viewed as being "worthy of belief." Rome won't say that it is true, and won't say that it is false.

Lourdes, as a result, is one of the most popular Marian shrines (probably the most popular in Europe, and perhaps in the world). There are dozens of miracles that are attributed to visits to Lourdes and use of the water there. Furthermore, while there may not be an official pronouncement that the Lourdes' apparitions were genuine, we see Benedict XVI acting as though he thinks they were:
Lourdes is one of the places chosen by God for his beauty to be reflected with particular brightness, hence the importance here of the symbol of light. From the fourth apparition onwards, on arriving at the grotto, Bernadette would light a votive candle each morning and hold it in her left hand for as long as the Virgin was visible to her. Soon, people would give Bernadette a candle to plant in the ground inside the grotto. Very soon, too, people would place their own candles in this place of light and peace. The Mother of God herself let it be known that she liked the touching homage of these thousands of torches, which since that time have continued to shine upon the rock of the apparition and give her glory. From that day, before the grotto, night and day, summer and winter, a burning bush shines out, aflame with the prayers of pilgrims and the sick, who bring their concerns and their needs, but above all their faith and their hope.
(13 September 2008 - Emphasis added to one of the most outrageous comments.)

Sean Patrick of the Roman Catholic blog "Called to Communion" has suggested that I should point out worship to Mary in each post I do on Roman Catholicism. I don't really think that is necessary, but I've included the paragraph above as an example to help satisfy his request. I'm sure that there will be those who deny that paying religious homage and giving Mary "glory" are worship, but I trust that there are those who will see it for what it is.

Nevertheless, to return to the point of the post, the answer is to Louis' question is that if something is designated as "worthy of belief," the RCC is not saying that it is true, but rather that you are safe believing it (i.e. doing so won't harm your faith or morals), even if it is false. Where these apparitions (and the like) tend to get into trouble is when they start to try to speak authoritatively on things (Rome doesn't like competition). So, while "I am the Immaculate Conception" should be seen to be a clumsy fraud, Rome approves of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and consequently sees no harm in letting people believe that the events of Lourdes are true.

- TurretinFan

44 comments:

louis said...

"you are safe believing it (i.e. doing so won't harm your faith or morals), even if it is false."

Here is my point. Rome implicitly acknowledges that the vision may be false, and yet they teach their members that this falsity doesn't matter, and that they may base their devotional life on it anyway.

Think about that for a minute. It may be a false sign and lying wonder, purportedly from heaven but in fact not. But even if it is a false sign, you are permitted to base your prayers and devotions on it.

I'm curious as to why RC's apparently do not have a problem with this.

Thanks for the post, TF.

natamllc said...

Louis,

for me, I hope your post was rhetoric and not a sincere form of inquisition?

Probably one of the best expressions of "reality" that we face day in and day out is captured by Luke in this "Word", an apparition, if you would assign it as such, from Jesus to Saul of Tarsus. Notice that all false signs and wonders reflect the True:::>

Act 26:12 "In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
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,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

Notice that Paul tells the king that he has remained faithful to "the heavenly vision".

I am all for "heavenly visions" just so long as they are True, from God directly as this one was or through an Elect Angel sent to assist time and place and people stay the "True" Course into Eternal Life.

I suppose the false apparitions of things will be amplified or increased among unsuspecting souls as the day draws to a close? It seems it to be a diversion tactic of sorts principalities and powers are allowed to bring upon some?

By the way, why don't the demons manifest more aggressively towards the mature Elect? It seems, among those faithful RCC's, it is always some simple minded soul who is visited and isn't well equipped to bring validation and conviction with such clarity as the true apparitions are, given to God's True Servants for the benefit of edification of the Body, as recorded in Scripture??

"...to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."

Turretinfan said...

Sean Patrick,

Sorry you're unhappy, but you have to deal with the facts. Your church's doctrines and practices are contrary to God's word. You ignore that fact at your own spiritual peril.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Rome implicitly acknowledges that the vision may be false, and yet they teach their members that this falsity doesn't matter, and that they may base their devotional life on it anyway. "

As far as I know the Church only says that it does not contradict faith or morals. So it does not affect one's faith one way or another. It doesn't matter if the apparition is authentic or not, we do not worship apparitions. The message that is given (in this case Lourdes) does not conflict with Catholic doctrine or dogma, therefore the Church says that people can read the messages without any danger to their faith. That is about the extent of it as far as I know. Its not a big deal to me. It seems that you are just looking for another excuse not to follow Christ and His Church.

louis said...

MB,

Thanks. Could you help me understand a little better how it is that believing a false prophecy or false claim about God does not affect your faith one way or another? Also, is this judgment -- that the vision does not conflict with faith or morals -- an infallible one? Or could your church be wrong about that?

Matthew Bellisario said...

I believe that when the Church officially investigates the issue it determines without a doubt that nothing contradicts Church teaching. So it poses no threat whatsoever to the faithful in reading about that particular event.

Turretinfan said...

Without a doubt? The determinations are not considered infallible, as far as I know.

Matthew Bellisario said...

It is very simple. There is either something that contradicts or hinders the faith or there is not. The Church has the authority and God given ability to determine such things. If Lourdes does not violate faith or morals in either content or action, then it is not a problem for the faithful. Seems pretty simple to me.

Turretinfan said...

Whether or not it is a simple determination, it is a fallible determination, agreed?

Matthew Bellisario said...

I think you are confused about the term infallibility. There are different levels of infallibility strictly speaking. When talking about events such as Lourdes, the Church as a strict rule has stated that no new doctrine can come form them and they are not required for any of the faithful. They are private revelations. "God continues to reveal Himself to individuals "not indeed for the declaration of any new doctrine of faith, but for the direction of human acts" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q174 a6 reply 3) This is no different than any "miracle" that happens where one is to use their own reason to determine whether or not it is apt to be true or not.

Most Protestants that I know believe in miracles that happen to people in today's world. A healing can happen for example, yet we may very well question wether or not it is authentic. Benny Hinn for example. Many consider healings like that to be authentic, many do not. It is up to the individual to determine whether or not such a "miracle" is real or not. it is nothing different with the Church. It looks at the event and with prudence it decides whether or not the event is credible or not. This is actually a benefit for Catholics since we have the living body of the Church to help us determine what miracles are worthy of belief, and which are not. I do not see the big deal here.

Turretinfan said...

"I think you are confused about the term infallibility."

I'll wait and see what new light you shed on the subject.

"There are different levels of infallibility strictly speaking."

Really? This interesting. Like "totally infallible," "mostly infallible," "somewhat infallible" and "slightly infallible"?

"When talking about events such as Lourdes, the Church as a strict rule has stated that no new doctrine can come form them and they are not required for any of the faithful."

Ok ...

"They are private revelations."

Or possibly not revelations at all.

"God continues to reveal Himself to individuals not indeed for the declaration of any new doctrine of faith, but for the direction of human acts (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q174 a6 reply 3)"

ok

"This is no different than any 'miracle' that happens where one is to use their own reason to determine whether or not it is apt to be true or not."

Apt to be true? What about is or is not true?

"Most Protestants that I know believe in miracles that happen to people in today's world."

Same here.

"A healing can happen for example, yet we may very well question w[h]ether or not it is authentic."

right

"Benny Hinn for example."

There's no question that he's a fraud.

"Many consider healings like that to be authentic, many do not."

Sure.

"It is up to the individual to determine whether or not such a 'miracle' is real or not."

ok - but the truth itself is objective, agreed?

"it is nothing different with the Church."

I'm not sure what you mean here ... I think your next sentence was aimed at explaining it:

"It looks at the event and with prudence it decides whether or not the event is credible or not."

right ... this makes it sound like you're saying that the church's judgment is just the same as that of any individual. I would find that unexpected from you.

"This is actually a benefit for Catholics since we have the living body of the Church to help us determine what miracles are worthy of belief, and which are not."

Is the Church's judgment infallible or not? If there are different levels of infallibility (which sounds for all the world like different levels of pregnancy), which level (if any) is implicated here?

"I do not see the big deal here."

Indeed.

Matthew Bellisario said...

i am glad we agree then, no big deal. I'll take it that you are not familiar how the Catholic Church defines dogma and doctrine, since there are different levels of infallibility in the Church's definitions. i don't have time to get into that now. In the case of private revelation the Church does not need to speak infallibly on the issue. Like I said, it looks at the event and determines if it is something that will hinder the salvation of the faithful. That is the end of it. When the Church determines that there is nothing that is a threat to the one's faith, then the faithful can have the assurance that the Church has examined the event and has determined it to be OK. What assurance do you have that any miracles are indeed authentic? None whatsoever. At least I have the Church to help me determine such things, what do you have? Determining events like this one does not require infallibility as far as I am aware. It seems to me that Catholics are in a much better place than you are in determining such events. In the end it doesn't matter whether the Church is infallible in this respect or not. I don't think it claims to be in these cases because they are nothing other than private revelations.

Here is an article that may shed more light on the subject.

http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/apparitions.htm

Turretinfan said...

"I'll take it that you are not familiar how the Catholic Church defines dogma and doctrine, since there are different levels of infallibility in the Church's definitions."

I am actually familiar with how your church defines dogma. I'm also aware that there are different bases on which things are considered infallible - but calling that "different levels of infallibility" doesn't seem justified.

Infallible isn't really conceptually differentiable into multiple levels - just like pregnancy isn't.

"i don't have time to get into that now."

:)

"In the case of private revelation the Church does not need to speak infallibly on the issue."

Whether it needs to or not is not the issue.

"Like I said, it looks at the event and determines if it is something that will hinder the salvation of the faithful. That is the end of it. When the Church determines that there is nothing that is a threat to the one's faith, then the faithful can have the assurance that the Church has examined the event and has determined it to be OK. What assurance do you have that any miracles are indeed authentic? None whatsoever. At least I have the Church to help me determine such things, what do you have? Determining events like this one does not require infallibility as far as I am aware."

How is your fallible church any better than any other fallible church?

"It seems to me that Catholics are in a much better place than you are in determining such events."

No comment.

"In the end it doesn't matter whether the Church is infallible in this respect or not. I don't think it claims to be in these cases because they are nothing other than private revelations."

I don't think it claims infallibility on this either.

-TurretinFan

louis said...

"it looks at the event and determines if it is something that will hinder the salvation of the faithful."

But without determining whether the event was actually true. In other words, they're saying that relying on a false prophecy can be perfectly consistent with Roman Catholic faith and practice.

"What assurance do you have that any miracles are indeed authentic? None whatsoever."

Which is why we don't base our prayers and devotions on them. It matters to us whether God has actually spoken. You seem much more casual about this question.

At the beginning of the previous thread, I said the RCC uses false signs and wonders to confirm their church. You guys were outraged. Now it appears that the sum total of your response is this:

"We only use possibly false signs and wonders, and only in our worship, not our doctrine."

We're getting there.

natamllc said...

".... In other words, they're saying that relying on a false prophecy can be perfectly consistent with Roman Catholic faith and practice....".

Louis,

my, my, my! Has the mousetrap just snapped on the church mouse?

Now, I suppose, Dr. Luther was right! She is the antiChrist!

It makes no sense to me; when one has been given the Truth, that one would want to rely upon anything other than Him, ah, I mean the Truth!

Matthew Bellisario said...

Oh yeah you guys are brilliant. Make issues where there are none. Brilliant! The Church does not base its teachings on private revelations. If so show me where.

Turretinfan said...

"Oh yeah you guys are brilliant. Make issues where there are none. Brilliant! The Church does not base its teachings on private revelations. If so show me where. "

On what public revelation was the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary based? and the Immaculate Conception? I realize that the Immaculate Conception wasn't based on Lourdes, but on what public revelation was it based?

Of course, the answer may well be that both are not based on any revelation at all ... they are both ex cathedra (and for all practical purposes ex nihilo) papal definitions.

-TurretinFan

john martin said...

“On the other hand, sometimes (much more rarely) the RCC adds some new requirement to the list of things that must be believed. For example, about four years before the Lourdes event, the RCC defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception - requiring people to believe the unbiblical (and frankly Pelagian) doctrine of the Immaculate conception.”

“and frankly Pelagian” are you for real? The Immaculate Conception is the very opposite of Pelagianism. It indicates Mary was saved completely by God through His grace from conception. This is the Gospel of salvation by grace and not by Pelagian works. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for making such a wild claim.

“In any event, Rome views the Immaculate Conception itself as a dogma that must be believed (despite the fact that we can't find it in Scripture or among the extant writings of orthodox Christians for the first few centuries of church history). In contrast, the fraud at Lourdes is viewed as being "worthy of belief." Rome won't say that it is true, and won't say that it is false.”

The Immaculate Conception is implied from the doctrine of Mary as mother of God and Jesus perfection as her son. Jesus is the cause of Mary’s salvation and keeps the commandments by perfectly honoring His mother. This perfect honor requires that Mary never sinned, so she could receive the highest glory His Son could give her in heaven. The Immaculate Conception is implied and results from Christ’s relationship to His mother, His power as God and His perfect keeping of the commandments.

“The Mother of God herself let it be known that she liked the touching homage of these thousands of torches, which since that time have continued to shine upon the rock of the apparition and give her glory.

. . . I don't really think that is necessary, but I've included the paragraph above as an example to help satisfy his request. I'm sure that there will be those who deny that paying religious homage and giving Mary "glory" are worship, but I trust that there are those who will see it for what it is.”

Yep, it’s a misapplied text based upon the ignorance of a Calvinist who doesn’t know his scriptures.

We are told to honor our parents and imitate Christ.
Christ honored Mary as His mother
Jesus is our brother, so Mary is our Mother
Therefore Christians honor Mary as their mother through offerings of love and gifts. This is direct from the NT and the Calvinist missed it. Yikes!!


JM

twoabsolutes said...

johnmartin said:

"“and frankly Pelagian” are you for real? The Immaculate Conception is the very opposite of Pelagianism. It indicates Mary was saved completely by God through His grace from conception. This is the Gospel of salvation by grace and not by Pelagian works. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for making such a wild claim."

It's clear (shame on you) you are unaware of the Pelagian doctrine in its entirety. I believe TF refers to that part of Pelaginaism that states the following: Pelagius said there is no such thing as original sin. Adam’s sin affected Adam and only Adam. There is no transmission or transfer of guilt or fallenness or corruption to the progeny of Adam and Eve. Everyone is born in the same state of "innocence" in which Adam was created.

I have to also assume you are unaware of the Romanist doctrine of the immaculate conception: "...was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin..."

The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was "excluded", it never was in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin, the state of original sanctity,
"innocence", and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her,.... (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Carefully consider these two points.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

My concern is, of course, if a vision or apparition is false, shouldn't we wonder why it is trying to confirm some doctrine that our church holds?

It seems to me that we either have to take the vision as real and embrace it or see it as false and deny it. I don't understand this "it's o.k. to believe that if you want to" approach.

If the vision/apparition has been determined to be false while it is at the same time extolling the virtues of some particular church doctrine, that's a major red flag for me, suggesting there may be something wrong with the doctrine.

Constantine said...

I would like to commend Matthew Bellisario for his greatly improved and civil tone. When one sees phrases in his postings like "it seems to me" or "I think that..." one cannot but help note the effort on his part to be more congenial.

Thank you, Matthew. I appreciate our effort.

Peace.

Constantine said...

Oops.

Last posting should have finished with, "I appreciate YOUR effort."

john martin said...

“It's clear (shame on you) you are unaware of the Pelagian doctrine in its entirety.”

Its clear you are making a statement without an argument.

“ I believe TF refers to that part of Pelaginaism that states the following: Pelagius said there is no such thing as original sin. Adam’s sin affected Adam and only Adam. There is no transmission or transfer of guilt or fallenness or corruption to the progeny of Adam and Eve. Everyone is born in the same state of "innocence" in which Adam was created.”

The Catholic Church teaches there is such thing as original sin as against Pelagius. The church also teaches Mary is a very special creature due to her unique relationship to Jesus as the mother of God. The IC is a unique act of Gods mercy to save His mother from conception onwards and in now way denies the doctrine of original sin of Adam or of the rest of the human race.

Original sin is a doctrine that says men are born outside the grace of God because of the fall. However the fall occurred in the first creation and Christ and His mother are the beginning of a new creation, therefore they are free of sin, just as Adam and Eve were free from sin when they were first created.

Pelagius says - Everyone is born in the same state of "innocence" in which Adam was created.”

The CC says - Everyone is born in the same state of original sin with the exception of Jesus and Mary. Only Jesus and Mary were conceived and born in the state of innocence.

Yet some how this means all men are born in the state of innocence for the CC to be Pelagian. This is an embarrassment for both you and TF.

“I have to also assume you are unaware of the Romanist doctrine of the immaculate conception: "...was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin..."

You can assume all you want but it only shows me you don’t have an argument. “I have to assume . . .” is another example of the truncated, elitist and judgmental mind of the reformed Christian (probably a Calvinist).

Calvinism is a false Gospel, just like Lutheranism, along with many other reformation and post reformation ecclesial bodies. For a good refutation of many parts of Calvinism see Dave Armstrong’s answers to Calvin’s institutes here http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/calvin-calvinism-index-page.html and other refutations on double predestination here http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/04/biblical-evidence-against-double.html


JM

Turretinfan said...

"Calvinism is a false Gospel, just like Lutheranism, along with many other reformation and post reformation ecclesial bodies. For a good refutation of many parts of Calvinism see Dave Armstrong’s answers to Calvin’s institutes here http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/11/calvin-calvinism-index-page.html and other refutations on double predestination here http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2010/04/biblical-evidence-against-double.html"

Ironically, Dave Armstrong considers Calvinists and Lutherans Christians. But no, his comments on Calvin's Institutes aren't really worth a read.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Well, if I said this about my mother in her earshot, I would have an egg on my forehead after she took a 2x4 and knocked me crazy:::>

Mat 12:46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
Mat 12:47 [Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you."]
Mat 12:48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
Mat 12:49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
Mat 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

I am just pointing to the plain meaning of Scripture.

Can you explain why Jesus makes such a distinction about that woman you call the Mother of God?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Fan:

I posted a response to this article on my own blog as it was too lengthy to post in a comment box.

God Bless!

john martin said...

“Ironically, Dave Armstrong considers Calvinists and Lutherans Christians.”

And as is well known by Catholics who engage anti Catholics, the routine goes like this –

Anti catholic makes an allegation against the Catholic faith.

Catholic answers allegation

Anti catholic replies with a false argument or runs away. Your statement above is a false argument. Dave regards Calvinist are Christian because they hold to a Catholic creed, such as the Nicean creed and have been baptized. He also regards Calvinists and Lutherans to be in serous error on many doctrinal and moral issues and if they know they are in error and persist in their error they are in real danger of damnation.

Also, I’ve noticed you have not commented on your falsified charge of the Catholic Church being Pelagian on Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Meh! I guess when the throw away line concerning Pelagianism doesn’t stick, just avoid the demonstrated absurdity in your statement and hope nobody notices.

“But no, his comments on Calvin's Institutes aren't really worth a read.”

Oh yes they are. He pulls Calvin’s institutes apart and shows one of the foundational documents of the reformation to be the work of a charlatan. So bro, Calvinism is not biblical and it certainly isn’t the apostolic faith.

JM

Alphonsus said...

Here's something that might clarify how Catholics are supposed to approach alleged private revelations:

'Speaking of such revelations as (e.g.) those of St. Hildegard (approved in part by Eugenius III), St. Bridget (by Boniface IX), and St. Catherine of Siena (by Gregory XI) Benedict XIV says: "It is not obligatory nor even possible to give them the assent of Catholic faith, but only of human faith, in conformity with the dictates of prudence, which presents them to us as probable and worthy of pius belief)" (De canon., III, liii, xxii, II).'
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13005a.htm

God Bless.

Turretinfan said...

"And as is well known by Catholics who engage anti Catholics, the routine goes like this"

I'm not sure who you are trying to call "anti Catholics" but as for this blog, we've demonstrated that we've debated Rome's apologists in full. (those apologists, who - unlike Dave Armstrong - actually debate)

"He also regards Calvinists and Lutherans to be in serous error on many doctrinal and moral issues and if they know they are in error and persist in their error they are in real danger of damnation."

Who on earth thinks that they "know they are in error"? Who would remain in an error if he knew he was in error?

"Also, I’ve noticed you have not commented on your falsified charge of the Catholic Church being Pelagian on Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Meh! I guess when the throw away line concerning Pelagianism doesn’t stick, just avoid the demonstrated absurdity in your statement and hope nobody notices."

Actually, my response to your cavils in this regard was written yesterday and is scheduled to post today.

"Oh yes they are. He pulls Calvin’s institutes apart and shows one of the foundational documents of the reformation to be the work of a charlatan."

No, he doesn't.

"So bro, Calvinism is not biblical and it certainly isn’t the apostolic faith."

Judged by Scripture, Calvinism is one aspect of the apostolic faith. Judged by Scripture, Romanism is an anti-Christian faith.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"Here's something that might clarify how Catholics are supposed to approach alleged private revelations"

Yeah, I think we're pretty clear on it.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

"we've demonstrated that we've debated Rome's apologists in full."

Except for Paul Hoffer of course.

Alphonsus said...

"But no, his comments on Calvin's Institutes aren't really worth a read."

But you read them in order to make that judgment, yes?

Turretinfan said...

"Except for Paul Hoffer of course."

I've responded repeatedly to things that Paul Hoffer has written, and he and I are planning on engaging in an extended debate. I have no idea what you are referring to with this comment.

Turretinfan said...

"But you read them in order to make that judgment, yes?"

I read them to see if there was anything worth responding to in them.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer:

Amid a lot of other stuff, there are a few intriguing points to your post. If I find time, I'll respond.

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. Fan, Thank you for taking the time to read my response. I look forward to seeing what you have to say. If you are too busy to post an entire article, let me know what your thoughts are and I will try to reply.

I was also happy to see you say that you were still planning on debating with me. It has been awhile that we have last touched upon that matter and I was afraid that you had forgotten or moved on to bigger and better projects.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

It's probably the second biggest and one of the best projects on my list of things to do. The primary delay right now is the size of the project.

john martin said...

"Can you explain why Jesus makes such a distinction about that woman you call the Mother of God?"

Tell me what the distinction is first and then we'll see what the apparent problem is.

JM

john martin said...

“Who on earth thinks that they "know they are in error"? Who would remain in an error if he knew he was in error?”

A sinner.

"Oh yes they are. He pulls Calvin’s institutes apart and shows one of the foundational documents of the reformation to be the work of a charlatan."

No, he doesn't.”

He sure does. If you think otherwise I challenge you to make substantive replies to his work on the institutes.

“Judged by Scripture, Calvinism is one aspect of the apostolic faith. Judged by Scripture, Romanism is an anti-Christian faith.

-TurretinFan”

Judged by scripture Catholicism is the only apostolic faith taught in the church fathers and Calvinism is chock full of errors.

JM

louis said...

"He sure does. If you think otherwise I challenge you to make substantive replies to his work on the institutes."

Just an FYI, James Swan is doing so over at Beggars All.

Turretinfan said...

I wrote: “Who on earth thinks that they "know they are in error"? Who would remain in an error if he knew he was in error?”

JM replied: "A sinner."

That answer isn't very persuasive. Everyone is a sinner, but most people hold to errors because they think they are true.

"He sure does. If you think otherwise I challenge you to make substantive replies to his work on the institutes."

I'm already responding to plenty of other things that Armstrong has written. And, as Louis has noted, Mr. Swan is responding (and getting insulted by Dave for his troubles) to parts of that series. I'm not sure what additional benefit my comments would serve.

"Judged by scripture Catholicism is the only apostolic faith taught in the church fathers and Calvinism is chock full of errors."

I'm not sure if you were thinking carefully when you crafted that sentence.

a) No, Judged by Scripture Romanism contains a number of non-Apostolic novelties, including novelties of practice (like the Rosary) and novelties of doctrine (like Purgatory).

b) The same goes for the church fathers. They provide historical evidence that documents the progressive novelty of the distinctive doctrines and practices of Romanism.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

John Martin,

the verse I cited, [Matt. 12:46-50], clearly show Christ, the Son of Adam, the Son of God made a distinction about His biological mother, Mary and His brothers from her womb and his "Spiritual" brother, sister and mother.

Do you not recognize that?

Also, Jesus, at the time of His death, [John 19:26-7], while hanging on the cursed Tree, the Cross of our "common" Salvation, reaches out to His biological mother, Mary, in a very common sort of way, which also makes a clear distinction about her and John, the disciple.

Do you not recognize that?

You see, this being my opinion, you have been induced to some rhetorical flourish, some human genius and mostly a lack of ability to accept the Faith once delivered to the Saints so as not to be able to discern between good and evil by holding to the teachings of the RCC when it comes to the distinctions Jesus made about Mary, that anyone of sound mind and full of the Holy Spirit would not, make or see, in the plain reading of Scripture when reading it.

Granted, that there are some Scriptures hard to understand, such as what we read about in Acts 8 when the Holy Spirit directs Philip to join to the chariot of the Eunuch from Ethiopia who was struggling to understand the Prophet's writings.

Common salvation isn't difficult when once one is born again.

The Spirit of Truth is sent to that one and the plain meaning of Scripture becomes evident with regard to idolatry and the First commandment, to loving God and our neighbor and most especially to our duty to love our enemies.

john martin said...

“a) No, Judged by Scripture Romanism contains a number of non-Apostolic novelties, including novelties of practice (like the Rosary) and novelties of doctrine (like Purgatory).”

The rosary is a prayer based upon scripture and the life of Christ. There is nothing not apostolic in the rosary.

“b) The same goes for the church fathers. They provide historical evidence that documents the progressive novelty of the distinctive doctrines and practices of Romanism.

-TurretinFan”

I don’t think so. The fathers taught men become children of God, whereby God has a physical or real presence inside men to transform them into Saints. This is Catholicism and not Calvinism.

The fathers taught baptismal regeneration, the real presence in the Eucharist a sacramental economy, hierarchical church and many other Catholic distinctives. They did not teach sola scriptura or sola fide as against the reformers. Only Catholicism can lay claim to the fathers.

JM

john martin said...

the verse I cited, [Matt. 12:46-50], clearly show Christ, the Son of Adam, the Son of God made a distinction about His biological mother, Mary and His brothers from her womb and his "Spiritual" brother, sister and mother.

Do you not recognize that?

The church teaches Mary had everything (gifts and not sin) the disciples had and then some. Citing Matt 12 does nothing to undermine this.

Currently out of time.

JM