Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ratzinger, Material Sufficiency? (by David King)

(The following is a guest post by my friend, Pastor David King)

Cardinal, now Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, while commenting on the documents of Vatican II (article nine of Dei verbum), stated that “no one is seriously able to maintain that there is a proof in Scripture for every catholic doctrine.” See Joseph Ratzinger’s “The Transmission of Divine Revelation” in Herbert Vorgrimler, ed., Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969), Vol. 3, p. 195.

When I quoted this some time ago (here), Mr. Waltz commented: “As for David’s isolated quote, he [Ratzinger] was dealing with interpretation (formal sufficiency) and not simply material sufficiency. David King clearly misspoke; but you know, everyone makes mistakes, and the bulk of his work/s should be judged on their OVERALL merit and content.” (link - that page seems to have been removed - here's a cached page containing the quotation)

What I suspected then, concerning Ratzinger's inconsistency on the question of material sufficiency, is now cleared up (I think) in the work, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, God’s Word, Scripture—Tradition—Office, Peter Hünermann and Thomas Söding, eds., Henry Taylor, trans. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005). Some of this material has been reworked from an earlier publication, namely, Karl Rahner and Joseph Ratzinger, Revelation and Tradition (New York: Herder and Herder, 1966).

Now, to be sure, I have always thought that our Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent on their affirmation of the material sufficiency of Scripture. But I think this later work by the man who is now Pope makes it clear that he does not affirm material sufficiency in any positive sense, and I did not (as Mr. Waltz charged) misspeak on this issue. I would encourage any Roman disputants to remain calm, at least until they’ve read the extended quote below.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI:
Geiselmann starts from a new interpretation of the Council of Trent’s decrees about the nature of tradition. Trent had established that the truth of the gospel was contained in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus. That was (and is to this day) interpreted as meaning that Scripture does not contain the whole veritas evangelii [truth of the gospel] and that no sola scriptura principle is therefore possible, since part of the truth of revelation reaches us only through tradition. Geiselmann took up the point, already made by others, that the first draft of the text provided the formulation that truth is contained “partim in libris scriptis partim in sine scripto traditionibus”. Here, then, the doctrine of a division of truth into two sources (Scripture and tradition) was clearly articulated. The Council renounced the use of partim—partim, however, and contented itself with the simple conjunction et. Geiselman concludes from this that they had turned away from the idea of a division of truth into two separate sources, or had at least not explicitly defined it. And he further concludes that consequently even a Catholic theologian can argue the material sufficiency of Scripture and can also, as a Catholic, hold the opinion that Holy Scripture transmits a material sola scriptura thoroughly acceptable even for a Catholic—indeed, he believes he can show that this has much the stronger tradition in its favor and that the Council of Trent, likewise, intended to point us in this direction.

It is easy to understand how such a thesis could count on widespread agreement in view of the quite new opportunities for contact between Catholic and Evangelical Christians that it seemed to open up. [Here Ratzinger offers a footnote concerning how he and H. Fries, in another work, gave a survey of everyone who agreed in principle with Geiselmann] I hold it to be quite indisputable that it does indeed represent appreciable progress in objective terms. Nonetheless, as soon as one analyzes it somewhat more closely with respect to both its historical and its factual basis, a whole series of questionable points emerge that make it impossible to stop at that. In the second section, we will attempt a few remarks on the historical side of the problem; meanwhile, we turn directly to the problems of the subject itself, and any investigation of this will probably first of all produce the question: What does “the sufficiency of Scripture” actually mean? Even Geiselmann, as a Catholic theologian, cannot get beyond having to hold fast to Catholic dogmas, and none of them can be obtained by means of sola scriptura—not the early Christian dogmas of the former quinquesaecularis consensus, and still less the new ones of 1854 and 1950. What kind of meaning does talk about “the sufficiency of Scripture” still have, then? Does it not threaten to become a dangerous self-deception, with which we deceive ourselves, first of all, and then others (or perhaps do not in fact deceive them!)? In order to go on maintaining that Scripture contains all revealed truth, on one hand, and, on the other, to maintain that the 1950 dogma [which I pressed on Mr. Waltz repeatedly] is a revealed truth, we would have at least to take refuge in a notion of “sufficiency” so broadly conceived that the word “sufficiency” would lose any serious meaning.

This, however, opens up the second and really decisive question: In concerning ourselves with the idea of the “sufficiency” of Scripture, have we grasped the real problem involved in the concept of tradition at all, or are we lingering over a relatively superficial symptom of an issue that in itself lies much deeper? The introductory reflections from which we started should have made it clear that the answer to this question must clearly be Yes. The question of the sufficiency of Scripture is only a secondary problem within the framework of the far more fundamental decision that we glimpsed a little while ago in the concepts of abusus and auctoritas, and that thus concerns the relationship between the authority of the Church and the authority of Holy Scripture; everything else depends on how we understand that.

To make further progress, it will therefore be necessary to deepen our approach, not being preoccupied with such superficial implications as the sufficiency or insufficiency of Scripture, but presenting as a whole the overall problem of the mode of presence of the revealed word among the faithful. Then we can see that we have to reach beyond the positive sources of Scripture and tradition, to their inner source: the revelation, the living word of God, from which Scripture and tradition both spring and without which neither can be grasped in the importance they have for faith. The question of “Scripture and tradition” remains insoluble so long as it is not expanded to a question of “revelation and tradition” and thereby inserted into the larger context in which it belongs. In what follows, therefore, I should like to unfold the concept of tradition in a positive sense, on the basis of its inner impulse, in thesis form, without going into the details of possible arguments. I do this in the hope that some part of an answer to the Reformers’ question may be found in it and that the whole may thus prove to be a part of a conversation, the necessity of which is being recognized with increasing clarity on both sides.
See Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, God’s Word, Scripture—Tradition—Office, Peter Hünermann and Thomas Söding, eds., Henry Taylor, trans. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), pp. 48-51.

As he indicated, Ratzinger proceeds to offer another “thesis” than that of Geiselmann and others. Two things are clear, he does not affirm the material sufficiency of Scripture in any positive sense; and if his language is to be understood at all, he thinks that such a formulation misses the bigger point of what he calls “revelation and tradition.”

77 comments:

natamllc said...

Pastor King or TF:

"... abusus and auctoritas..." ??? in English.

dtking said...

abuses and authorities

Coram Deo said...

Pastor King,

This is off subject, but I recently purchased a couple of books at my local "Half-Price Bookstore" by Jaroslav Pelikan because I noticed that you frequently make reference to him both in your books and in combox exchanges with Romanists.

The books are Credo and Whose Bible Is It?

I understand that Pelikan is very learned and reliable with respect to church history, but I'm not sure how sound he is theologically given the fact that he evidently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.

I'm eager to read the two works referenced above, but I wanted to ask you if you had any words of caution or advice when reading Pelikan. I'm unfamiliar with him, so it's unclear to me as to whether or not he's prone to import his worldview into his writings or otherwise dabble in eisegesis in his handling of scripture.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

In Christ,
CD

ChaferDTS said...

Very intresting article Pastor King. Thank you for your work in Holy Scripture The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith.

dtking said...

Actually, I have been told on good authority that while Pelikan was in a conservative Lutheran denomination that he fled it when he thought he was about to come under their discipline theologically (I don't want to be too specific here), and went into the EO communion, which he had always held in high esteem. He certainly knew too much about church history ever to desire to convert to Romanism.

I have his Credo and have found his historical insights helpful. As for Whose Bible Is It? it just so happens that I recently ordered it and should be receiving it any day.

Pelikan is helpful, but read him with caution.

David Waltz said...

Hello David,

Thanks for the charity and courtesy that you have extended in informing me that you had this post published…oops, wait a minute, you didn’t inform me about it, I happened upon your post when I came here to utilize TFs wonderful listing of Migne’s volumes on the web. Anyway, you wrote:

>>What I suspected then, concerning Ratzinger's inconsistency on the question of material sufficiency, is now cleared up (I think) in the work, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, God’s Word, Scripture—Tradition—Office, Peter Hünermann and Thomas Söding, eds., Henry Taylor, trans. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005). Some of this material has been reworked from an earlier publication, namely, Karl Rahner and Joseph Ratzinger, Revelation and Tradition (New York: Herder and Herder, 1966).>>

Me: I own Revelation and Tradition, and the selection you provided from God’s Word, Scripture—Tradition—Office is virtually identical to the original (pp. 32-35)—I can discern no reworking—care to give some examples?

>>Now, to be sure, I have always thought that our Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent on their affirmation of the material sufficiency of Scripture. But I think this later work by the man who is now Pope makes it clear that he does not affirm material sufficiency in any positive sense, and I did not (as Mr. Waltz charged) misspeak on this issue. I would encourage any Roman disputants to remain calm, at least until they’ve read the extended quote below.>>

Me: Once again, it sure seems to me that you are attempting to force Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) into a ‘box’, for a few pages later in Revelation and Tradition he denies that, “there is a second material principle besides scripture, independent from the beginning” (p. 46). If tradition does not function as “a second material principle” independent from scripture, then what is left? Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) further adds:

Tradition by its very nature is always interpretation, does not exist independently, but only as exposition, interpretation ‘according to the scriptures’.” (Page 47)

Though Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) clearly denies any formal sufficiency of scripture (even pertaining to “the early Christian dogmas of the former quinquesaecularis consensus”—i.e. the Trinity, Christology, etc.) when ALL of what he has written has been carefully weighed, I do not believe the same can be said concerning material sufficiency. The following sure seems to confirm my read:

==While Congar and J. Geiselmann believe that Trent left the door open for the thesis of the material sufficiency of Scripture, Joseph Ratzinger stakes 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 field 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. (Thomas G. Guarino, “Catholic Reflections on Discerning the Truth of Sacred Scripture” in Your Word Is Truth, edited by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, 2002, p. 86.)==

So, even though I no longer have a ‘dog in this fight’ (i.e. I am no longer Roman Catholic), I still cannot help but believe that you have not properly understood Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) on this issue.


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

As to the first point, you seem to have misunderstood Pastor King's point that the material was gleaned from the earlier work. However, since you and he are in agreement that the material is at least approximately the same in both works, there doesn't seem need for further discussion of that point.

As to the second point, you seem to be removing important context that you yourself are aware of.

Recall that you earlier quoted that as: “The question whether certain express affirmations were transmitted from the beginning side by side with scripture, whether, therefore, there is a second material principle besides scripture, independent from the beginning, becomes quite secondary in comparison; but it would probably have to be answered negatively”. (here)

As for the third point, I think you may have unfairly isolated Ratzinger's statement. Later, at page 79, footnote 15, note that Ratzinger points out: The "sufficiency" of Scripture that is being talked about here is, of course, something different from the material sufficiency asserted by Geiselmann and of much more radical significance.

Likewise, you seem to be overlooking Ratzinger's discussion at pages 70-71.

We note first of all, then, that contrary to our usual expectation and interpretation, not two, but three principles are asserted: Scripture -- gospel -- revelation of the Spirit in the Church. (p. 70)

Even the second principle, then, offers a spiritual surplus beyond what is written. In this conception, gospel is something other than Scripture, and hence it is only in part written (which should be understood, not as that division of the contents of the faith so horrifying to Geiselmann, but in the sense of a determination of dignity: the gospel as such can of its nature only be partly written down). (p. 71)

The nail in the coffin, though, for your and (apparently, assuming you have accurately quoted him) Guarino's position is found in Ratzinger's open criticism of Geiselmann's position:

In order to go on maintaining that Scripture contains all revealed truth, on one hand, and, on the other, to maintain that the 1950 dogma is a revealed truth, we would have at least to take refufe in a notion of "sufficiency" so broadly conceived that the word "sufficiency" would lose any serious meaning. (pp. 49-50)

So, while I appreciate your contribution here, I must insist that Pastor King is correct on this one. Even though Ratzinger does not view the other sources as independent, he does fairly plainly disavow anything approaching a Reformed view of the material sufficiency of Scripture.

-TurretinFan

James Swan said...

Ratzinger: And [Geiselmann] further concludes that consequently even a Catholic theologian can argue the material sufficiency of Scripture and can also, as a Catholic, hold the opinion that Holy Scripture transmits a material sola scriptura thoroughly acceptable even for a Catholic—indeed, he believes he can show that this has much the stronger tradition in its favor and that the Council of Trent, likewise, intended to point us in this direction

The Romanist theologian does indeed argue this or that. For all their talk about certainty, when it comes right down to the essential nature of God's revelation, it all becomes a bit foggy in Romanism. Ironically, this ambiguity speaks loudly and clearly to how far the sect of Romanism has strayed from the truth, in that, it can't even consistently explain the nature of revelation. Depending on which Romanist one is in conversation with, one will get different explanations on the interaction of Tradition and Scripture, as well as the meaning of Tradition. If one thing is clear about Romanism's view of the God's revelation, it's that it isn't clear.

Does Romanism, by and large, care? No, I don't think so. Even her most zealous self-appointed apologists have balked about doing in-person debates on the nature and meaning of Tradition. Sure, they've jumped all over sola scriptura over the years, but when Tradition is mentioned, they back away as fast as possible. This has happened time after time in Dr. White's debates with Roman apologists. It would be interesting to listen back to these debates as a whole, and isolate each Roman apologist's response and definition of Tradition. They can tear down that which they despise, but they can't (or won't) provide a meaningful explanation as to what their position is. They won't subject themselves to the same scrutiny that they go after sola scriptura with.

Mr. Waltz says he's no longer in the dog fight. I would simply ask Mr. Waltz to explain the following sentence:

Trent had established that the truth of the gospel was contained in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus. That was (and is to this day) interpreted as meaning that Scripture does not contain the whole veritas evangelii [truth of the gospel] and that no sola scriptura principle is therefore possible, since part of the truth of revelation reaches us only through tradition.

Now outside of the dog ring, Perhaps Mr. Waltz can explain if Ratzinger is simply being careless. Perhaps Mr. Waltz can also offer some suggestions as to whom Ratizinger is referring to as the interpreter.

James Swan said...

This is off subject, but I recently purchased a couple of books at my local "Half-Price Bookstore" by Jaroslav Pelikan because I noticed that you frequently make reference to him both in your books and in combox exchanges with Romanists.The books are Credo and Whose Bible Is It?

Just my 2 cents, but I picked up Whose Bible Is It shortly after it was released. In comparison to many of Pelikan's other books, this one, for lack of a better term, was a bit sparse.

dtking said...

Mr. Waltz,

You do have a dog in this, it's called "trying to save face."

dtking said...

Thanks for the charity and courtesy that you have extended in informing me that you had this post published…oops, wait a minute, you didn’t inform me about it,...,

Mr. Waltz, as the self-appointed internet policeman, I knew you would track me down. Remember, when you left the Roman communion you promised on your blog that you would still be sticking around to arrest any blogs you deemed to be out of line. I knew you would be faithful to yourself. :)

ChaferDTS said...

"This has happened time after time in Dr. White's debates with Roman apologists. It would be interesting to listen back to these debates as a whole, and isolate each Roman apologist's response and definition of Tradition. They can tear down that which they despise, but they can't (or won't) provide a meaningful explanation as to what their position is. They won't subject themselves to the same scrutiny that they go after sola scriptura with. "

That is a serious problem that I have always noticed. They start off with propaganda regarding Sola Scriptura and then when they are asked concerning tradition you wont get a clear answer. Then when I bring up a church father which contradicts one of their pet " traditions " I get told that that church father was speaking as a private theologian only. While when they quote church fathers they often present them as representing the entire church in general. They are to me very inconsistant in their own following of tradition. And yet claim that Scripture and tradition are their rule of faith as defined by the RCC. I do give Dr. James White alot of respect with dealing with that in his past debates. Only God by His sovereign work of efficacious grace will open a persons heart to see the truth.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

David Waltz: "So, even though I no longer have a ‘dog in this fight’ (i.e. I am no longer Roman Catholic),"

If you're no longer Roman Catholic, then what would you say are?

What church are you worshipping at now?

Turretinfan said...

TU&D:

My recollection is that Waltz has said he will continue to worship at the local RCC parish church.

- TurretinFan

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Waltz: "I am no longer Roman Catholic."

TFan: "My recollection is that Waltz has said he will continue to worship at the local RCC parish church."

Is that true, Mr. David Waltz?

If not true, what church are you worshipping at now?

David Waltz said...

Before I delve into the ‘hornets-nest’, I would first like to address the following falsehood:

>> My recollection is that Waltz has said he will continue to worship at the local RCC parish church.>>

Me: False—I never said that, nor even faintly implied such—in fact, I said just the opposite; note the following from my 01/06/2010 post:

“As of 2010, after months of in depth research, and sincere prayer, I will no longer be attending worship services in any church with official ties to the Bishop of Rome.” (http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/01/solemn-announcement-but-with-no-thanks.html)


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

Ah, I seem to be confusing your bio with that of Jay Dyer.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

David Waltz: "I will no longer be attending worship services in any church with official ties to the Bishop of Rome.”

What church, if any, are you worshipping at now?

You can be general in your answer: Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, or no church at all.

Of course, be more specific if you'd like.

David Waltz said...

>>What church, if any, are you worshipping at now?>>

I have been attending churches (note the plural), and meeting with pastors since 01-01-10 -- all of them Protestant.

Grace and peace,

David

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

David Waltz: "I have been attending churches (note the plural), and meeting with pastors since 01-01-10 -- all of them Protestant."

A good step in a good direction.

Glad to hear it.

Blessings,

Truth Unites... and Divides

David Waltz said...

Hello TF,

IMO, your response is the most reasonable of the lot (as well as the first), so I shall attempt to address what you wrote ONE POINT per post. You said:

>> As to the first point, you seem to have misunderstood Pastor King's point that the material was gleaned from the earlier work. However, since you and he are in agreement that the material is at least approximately the same in both works, there doesn't seem need for further discussion of that point.>>

Me: The material was not “gleaned from the earlier work”, the material IS the earlier work republished; the only changes are very minor—an occasional substitution of one English word and/or phrase for another that has the same meaning (i.e. synonyms). Perhaps Genevanists interpret this as a “reworking”, but IMO, that is straining the use of the word. So, to be clear, pages 41-90 of God’s Word, Scripture—Tradition—Office, are not merely “approximately the same in both works”, but rather, it IS the same material found in pages 26-66 of Revelation and Tradition.

You may charge me with ‘splitting-hairs’, but I think it is important to note Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) position has not changed; that David’s words “is now cleared up” are confusing at best; that is why I asked for an example(s) of reworking.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

>> As to the second point, you seem to be removing important context that you yourself are aware of.

Recall that you earlier quoted that as: “The question whether certain express affirmations were transmitted from the beginning side by side with scripture, whether, therefore, there is a second material principle besides scripture, independent from the beginning, becomes quite secondary in comparison; but it would probably have to be answered negatively”.>>

Me: I sincerely fail to see how the extra context changes anything for we are dealing with whether or not Ratzinger believes that there exists constitutive apostolic tradition that is not materially present in Scripture. He certainly believes in interpretive, living tradition, but I have yet to find where he affirms a constitutive apostolic tradition that is not materially present in Scripture. Now, I am anything but infallible, and may have missed where he affirms such—please be so kind as to provide the quotations I may have missed.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

>>As for the third point, I think you may have unfairly isolated Ratzinger's statement. Later, at page 79, footnote 15, note that Ratzinger points out: The "sufficiency" of Scripture that is being talked about here is, of course, something different from the material sufficiency asserted by Geiselmann and of much more radical significance>>

Me: I disagree TF; note the following that is written immediately after “page 79, footnote 15” (page 59 in Revelation and Tradition):

“What is really meant should stand out quite clearly here: Tradition refers to the institution vitae, to the mode of realization of the word in actual Christian living. In other words, it is the form in which the word finds reality and without which the word would remain unreal.”

Once again, this in NOT a constitutive apostolic tradition. but rather, it is an interpretive, living tradition; as such, I do not believe I “have unfairly isolated Ratzinger's statement”; here it is again:

“Tradition by its very nature is always interpretation, does not exist independently, but only as exposition, interpretation ‘according to the scriptures’.” (Page 49)

But, as I said earlier, I am anything but infallible—perhaps you could explain how the quote from page 49 differs from what Ratzinger said on page 59.


Grace and peace,

David

dtking said...

"But, as I said earlier, I am anything but infallible..."

Agreed, and your piecemeal exceptions to the direction Ratzinger is pointing in his thesis are unimpressive. The fact is this is all an unsuccessful attempt to save your own face. Ratzinger makes it clear that he has no real interest in what you insist is his real position. And the fact that you have the earlier book by Ratzinger that I mentioned makes your contention all the more culpable.

BTW, no one but you has invoked "constitutive" tradition. The thesis to which Ratzinger points transcends that, but again, you simply do not get it Mr. Waltz, which is why I have come to question your reading comprehension.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Dear Mr. Waltz,

In your visits to various Protestant churches, are you also visiting Protestant churches that don't claim apostolic succession?

David Waltz said...

>>Likewise, you seem to be overlooking Ratzinger's discussion at pages 70-71.

We note first of all, then, that contrary to our usual expectation and interpretation, not two, but three principles are asserted: Scripture -- gospel -- revelation of the Spirit in the Church. (p. 70)

Even the second principle, then, offers a spiritual surplus beyond what is written. In this conception, gospel is something other than Scripture, and hence it is only in part written (which should be understood, not as that division of the contents of the faith so horrifying to Geiselmann, but in the sense of a determination of dignity: the gospel as such can of its nature only be partly written down)
. (p. 71)>>

IMO, you have yet to grasp what Ratzinger means by “revelation”; Ratzinger subsumes the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts/minds/spirits of men under the term “revelation”. Ratzinger wrote:

“Because the Son of man was not to remain with us always, he sent his Holy Spirit into the world; he was to reveal the mysteries of God and make clear anything which had remained doubtful in the minds of men.” (Page 52)

The Gospel, the Scriptures, Revelation, can never be correctly understood without the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts/minds/spirits of men.

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63 – NIV)


Grace and peace,

Turretinfan said...

Waltz:

There were basically two comments I didn't find objectionable in your last comment to Pastor King.

1) "Explain to all what I believe Ratzinger’s “real position” is; "

2) in response to >>And the fact that you have the earlier book by Ratzinger that I mentioned makes your contention all the more culpable.>>

you wrote: And that “contention” is ???

Your lack of fondness shows clearly through your writing. Try to mute it a little, if you can.

natamllc said...

Pastor,

could you be a bit more elementary for my edification?

You responded quite clearly to Mr. Waltz, above: "....The fact is this is all an unsuccessful attempt to save your own face.".

In your tradition, [and by "tradition" here, I am presupposing you are still seeing the work of the Holy Spirit sanctify those called out of this world system by the same revelation of His propitiation as we], in your Pastorate, how is one guided out of any attempt to save face?

I am being very elementary now and proposed gentle in asking for a gentle answer.

I would be interested to know how you do that work God has given you to do in keeping the charge for the souls under your care?

dtking said...

IMO, you have yet to grasp what Ratzinger means by “revelation”; Ratzinger subsumes the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts/minds/spirits of men under the term “revelation”.

Thanks for sharing.

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz,

Do I detect an edge in your words and some sense of subtle bitterness behind them?

As I read your responses to Pastor King, I get a sense of a couple of ships who did not pass quietly at night?

Turretinfan said...

Beyond Pastor King's thanks for sharing, I see neither any good reason to share your conclusion that I'm unaware of the meaning of "revelation" to Ratzinger nor any particular relevance to such a misunderstanding, were it to exist.

In short, so what?

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

Hi TF,

You said:

>>Your lack of fondness shows clearly through your writing. Try to mute it a little, if you can.>>

Me: What in the world are you referring too? Are you suggesting that I should ignore inflammatory assertions?


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

As to the second point, I'm not sure why you feel the need to add the qualifier "constitutive" to the mix. Perhaps you are willing to admit the case without that qualifier?

As to the third point, you again quote a passage from Ratzinger in which the qualifier "independent" (or some form of it) looms large. That qualifier, however, is not necessary for Ratzinger to deny material sufficiency. Thus, Ratzinger's denial of "independent" tradition hardly seems relevant to the discussion.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"What in the world are you referring too? Are you suggesting that I should ignore inflammatory assertions?"

That would be one very reasonable approach, particularly since you and I may have very different ideas of what is inflammatory.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

As to the issue of "reworked," I'm not sure what better term for the situation can be found. If you can think of one, I'd be happy to hear it.

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz,

I am curious: "...IMO, you have yet to grasp what Ratzinger means by “revelation”; Ratzinger subsumes the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts/minds/spirits of men under the term “revelation”.".

What brings you to this understanding?

From what I read above by Pastor King, it seems he does have a sense of the issue here and he isn't buying into it?

It seems to me, I may be wrong now, that Pastor King is writing from a place of "revelation" and a "revelation" that doesn't naturally come even with a learned course?

Let me ask you for your settled opinion about what the Pope has said there in the "extended quote below.", above?

I am going somewhere with this, maybe? It all depends on how you would respond to my inquiry if I would go farther with it?

And, by the way, it seems to me an odd approach to take among men as these guys here, especially ones such as TF and Pastor King? If the Good Shepherd is indeed leading His flocks to green or greener pastures, wouldn't it behoove your attention to what they are teaching us in here? Unless of course what you have to teach us explains what they are teaching us, is better taught by, ah, you?

David Waltz said...

>> Beyond Pastor King's thanks for sharing, I see neither any good reason to share your conclusion that I'm unaware of the meaning of "revelation" to Ratzinger nor any particular relevance to such a misunderstanding, were it to exist.

In short, so what?>>

In short, Ratzinger affirms that revelation exists outside of Scripture—“so what?”

In length, the fact that Ratzinger affirms that revelation exists outside of Scripture does not translate into a denial of the material sufficiency of Scripture. Further, though David wishes to remove the issue of constitutive apostolic tradition apart from Scripture from the discussion (I think I understand why he wants to), it is unreasonable to debate the issue of the material vs. formal sufficiency of Scripture without doing so. The historical debates concerning material vs. formal sufficiency of Scripture centered over whether or not constitutive apostolic tradition apart from Scripture existed. The vast majority of Roman Catholic theologians prior to Newman and Möhler read Trent in such a way as to affirm that constitutive apostolic tradition apart from Scripture existed/exists; however, that view has been challenged by a number of Roman Catholic theologians (see the following thread for some examples: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2009/01/catholics-and-material-sufficiency-of.html).

Now, the question that should be asked (IMO) is simply this: does Ratzinger affirm that constitutive apostolic tradition apart from Scripture existed/exists? I maintain that he does not. My goodness, I honestly cannot fathom how such a simple question has produced so much hostility.

Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

With all due respect, "constitutive apostolic tradition" is hardly a standard term.

And if you'd pay closer attention to the discussion, you would note that we have not relied on the fact that Ratzinger (like us) believes that there is revelation outside of Scripture. Instead, we've pointed out things like Ratzinger's position that the gospel is incapable of being written down completely.

I'm puzzled why you insist on trying to recast the discussion in non-standard terms while missing the arguments we present.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

Hi natamllc,

I sincerely appreciate your constructive post; you wrote:

>>I am curious: "...IMO, you have yet to grasp what Ratzinger means by “revelation”; Ratzinger subsumes the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts/minds/spirits of men under the term “revelation”.".

What brings you to this understanding?>>

Me: Because the selection from Ratzinger provided by TF suggested that I was quoting Ratzinger out of context; and that the fact that Ratzinger affirms “revelation” exists outside of Scripture must be translated into denial of the material sufficiency of Scripture.

>>From what I read above by Pastor King, it seems he does have a sense of the issue here and he isn't buying into it?>>

Me: Exactly what do you believe Pastor King is not “buying into” ?

>>It seems to me, I may be wrong now, that Pastor King is writing from a place of "revelation" and a "revelation" that doesn't naturally come even with a learned course?>>

Me: Forgive me, I am not quite understanding what you are saying—could you rephrase?

>>Let me ask you for your settled opinion about what the Pope has said there in the "extended quote below.", above?>>

Me: Here is my read of Ratzinger: he explicitly stated that the issue of sufficiency vs. insufficiency is “secondary” to the ‘bigger picture’, and that ‘bigger picture’ is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. He understands that work (right or wrong) as “revelation”. To help clarify this, I provided the two follow selections from Ratzinger:

==“What is really meant should stand out quite clearly here: Tradition refers to the institution vitae, to the mode of realization of the word in actual Christian living. In other words, it is the form in which the word finds reality and without which the word would remain unreal.” (page 59 in Revelation and Tradition)

“Tradition by its very nature is always interpretation, does not exist independently, but only as exposition, interpretation ‘according to the scriptures’.” (Page 49)==

Ratzinger seems pretty clear here…


>>And, by the way, it seems to me an odd approach to take among men as these guys here, especially ones such as TF and Pastor King? If the Good Shepherd is indeed leading His flocks to green or greener pastures, wouldn't it behoove your attention to what they are teaching us in here? Unless of course what you have to teach us explains what they are teaching us, is better taught by, ah, you?>>

Me: With all due respect, pretty much everyone who has posted here, apart from myself, are passionately anti-Roman Catholic; I have some reservations about the objectivity that is being exercised. That is why I provided the following assessment of Ratzinger from Guarino:

==While Congar and J. Geiselmann believe that Trent left the door open for the thesis of the material sufficiency of Scripture, Joseph Ratzinger stakes 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 field 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. (Thomas G. Guarino, “Catholic Reflections on Discerning the Truth of Sacred Scripture” in Your Word Is Truth, edited by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, 2002, p. 86.)==

Thanks much for questions,

David

David Waltz said...

>>And if you'd pay closer attention to the discussion, you would note that we have not relied on the fact that Ratzinger (like us) believes that there is revelation outside of Scripture. Instead, we've pointed out things like Ratzinger's position that the gospel is incapable of being written down completely.>>

Me: And I agree with him, apart from the work (“revelation”) of the Holy Spirit, the written gospel remains just words, or as Paul puts it, “foolishness”. So, in a very real sense the “the gospel is incapable of being written down completely.”

>> I'm puzzled why you insist on trying to recast the discussion in non-standard terms while missing the arguments we present.>>

Me: Hmmm…I am puzzled as to why you are suggesting that I am using “non-standard terms”; note the following:

http://books.google.com/books?q=%22constitutive+tradition%22&btnG=Search+Books


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

Waltz:

How do you address the problem that Ratzinger specifically criticizes Geiselmann's position?

- TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"And I agree with him, apart from the work (“revelation”) of the Holy Spirit, the written gospel remains just words, or as Paul puts it, “foolishness”. So, in a very real sense the “the gospel is incapable of being written down completely.”"

Your agreement with him or lack thereof doesn't really seem relevant to the discussion.

"Hmmm…I am puzzled as to why you are suggesting that I am using “non-standard terms”; note the following:

http://books.google.com/books?q=%22constitutive+tradition%22&btnG=Search+Books"

Do the same search on the term you were using, "constitutive apostolic tradition." That may help your puzzlement.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

>>That would be one very reasonable approach, particularly since you and I may have very different ideas of what is inflammatory.>>

Me: So it seems—in the future I will attempt to use the exact words thrown my way.

>>As to the issue of "reworked," I'm not sure what better term for the situation can be found. If you can think of one, I'd be happy to hear it.>>

Me: When I “rework” something I have written in the past, I do not merely exchange synonyms; I add and/or delete material.


Grace and peace,

David

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Fellas,

Please don't discourage David Waltz from exploring Protestantism. Although I do assume that Mr. Waltz has a thick skin. And accustomed to participating in edgy discussions.

Anyways Mr. Waltz, given your interest in apostolic succession, may I assume that you're looking at some form of Anglicanism? If so, I'd steer away from The Episcopalian Church. As a denomination, they're pretty much apostate. You might consider a Continuing Anglican church, although they've been rather fissiparous. Or an ACNA affiliated church, although they permit Women's Ordination at the priest level.

Pax.

Turretinfan said...

I don't promise impartiality in comment moderation, so perhaps your previous proposal was better.

Your further criticism of the term "rework" is noted, but you haven't provided a better description than "rework" for this sort of situation.

Turretinfan said...

"Please don't discourage David Waltz from exploring Protestantism. "

We couldn't stop him if we tried (though we are not trying). However, this particular conversation isn't about Protestantism or Waltz's search.

It's about Ratzinger's rejection of material sufficiency.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

For TF:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ILXeBwiQpZ8C&pg=PA135&dq=constitutive+apostolic+tradition&cd=2#v=onepage&q=constitutive%20apostolic%20tradition&f=false


http://books.google.com/books?id=OxKzmNVFS18C&pg=PA182&dq=constitutive+apostolic+tradition&lr=&cd=11#v=onepage&q=constitutive%20apostolic%20tradition&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=WlNfJC6RveAC&pg=PA1178&dq=constitutive+apostolic+tradition&lr=&cd=14#v=onepage&q=constitutive%20apostolic%20tradition&f=false

Reconsiderations; Roman Catholic/Presbyterian and Reformed theological ...‎ - Page 77
Roman Catholic/Presbyterian and Reformed Conversation Group, John L. McKenzie - Philosophy - 1967 - 157 pages
It is this Spirit who protects apostolic tradition from falsifying God's word,
... the New Testament is a constitutive element of the apostolic Church, ie, ...


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi TU,

You wrote:

>> Please don't discourage David Waltz from exploring Protestantism. Although I do assume that Mr. Waltz has a thick skin. And accustomed to participating in edgy discussions.>>

Me: Not to worry, I do have very “thick skin”. Personally, I could sit down this evening with any of the participants here and discuss the weather over a glass of wine.

>>Anyways Mr. Waltz, given your interest in apostolic succession, may I assume that you're looking at some form of Anglicanism?>>

Me: Not interested at this time in Anglicanism as an option for church affiliation—but, thanks much for your concerns in this matter.

God bless,

David

Turretinfan said...

Yes, the three words are sometimes found in close proximity. The phrase "constitutive apostolic tradition" is quite rarely used, and the sense where it is used is not necessarily what you have in mind:

link to the three examples in Google Books

If persuading you that your phrase is non-standard is this hard ... no wonder we're not making headway on the matters of substance.

David Waltz said...

Hi TF,

Me: Let me get this straight, you maintain “constitutive tradition” is standard, and “apostolic tradition” is standard—right?

If so, what phrase would you use to describe “constitutive tradition” that is apostolic? (Not trying to make any point here, I am really curious).

Thanks in advance,

David

David Waltz said...

>>Waltz:

How do you address the problem that Ratzinger specifically criticizes Geiselmann's position?

- TurretinFan>>

Excellent question! Ratzinger (right or wrong) believes material sufficiency is not worth debating over, and this because he (and the Roman Catholic Church as a whole) rejects the formal sufficiency of Scripture (i.e. perspicuity).

I think the “ABOUT THE BOOK” forward to Revelation and Tradition is helpful here:

“Moving away from the thesis of J. R. Geiselmann, Ratzinger shows that while the Bible retains its central place in Christian belief, the concept of tradition implied by Trent nevertheless embraces more than merely the notion of the transmission of the scriptures. Tradition in its deepest sense is the Church’s living consciousness of its faith in the revealing Word, and as such is the hermeneutical key to grasping the written word of the Bible.”

Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

"Ratzinger (right or wrong) believes material sufficiency is not worth debating over..."

Are you under the impression that Ratzinger merely criticizes him for debating the topic?

David Waltz said...

>> Are you under the impression that Ratzinger merely criticizes him for debating the topic?>>

No. I believe that Ratzinger takes him to task for his attempt to FOCUS the issue (i.e. Trent’s position on Scripture and Tradition) on that of material sufficiency. Once again, that aspect of the issue is NOT relevant to Ratzinger’s emphasis on living tradition—in other words, Ratzinger immediately moves beyond the issue of material sufficiency to that of formal sufficiency, without (IMO) denying material sufficiency.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz,

I reviewed your questions of mine.

I want to get to them, shortly I hope?

But, I would observe, and this is strictly a digression, if one of our young men came into one of our circle meetings, as you have come in here, seeking to learn something or actually acquire wise counsel, we would reprove him sorely.

I would observe your approach as one coming into a wise council meeting seeking bullets of wisdom and knowledge and understanding, when actually you are with a loaded gun all the while you are saying you have a gun but no bullets to fire through it, could you give me some?

I mean, there isn't anything wrong with coming in here with a loaded gun and shooting at the target. But it seems to me you came in here as one sitting on iron on the high seas, no bunker fuel to get the engine going so you are now being drawn about by the trade winds and sea currents all the while you really do have plenty of fuel to sail the high seas with, and it was a ruse instead, or put another way, you came in here with a loaded gun?

Well, are you in with the RCC and the Pope? Or are you moving away from that institution of religious learning? Which is it? Are you agreeing that the Pope is being a bit duplicitous about material sufficiency or not?

It now doesn't seem you really are far away from your host? You have been doing some fairly good shooting in here. Albeit, you have been shooting at targets that Pastor King and now TF have pointed out do exist that the Pope is shooting at. Hmmmmm?

By the way, we are not target practicing!


1Co 9:23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
1Co 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
1Co 9:25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1Co 9:26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

Turretinfan said...

"Let me get this straight, you maintain “constitutive tradition” is standard, and “apostolic tradition” is standard—right?"

I was simply pointing out that "constitutive apostolic tradition" isn't a standard term.

Both "apostolic tradition" and "constitutive tradition" are more broadly used.

Those two terms suffer from opposite issues. "Apostolic tradition" has a long history, but with about three discrete meanings:

1) Anything handed down by the Apostles;

2) Anything handed down by the Apostles aside from Scripture; and

3) Anything handed down under "apostolic" authority, including things constituted by alleged successors of the apostles.

The term "constitutive tradition" has the opposite problem. It's popularity mostly begins last century, where it serves a variety of purposes without much of a central authority to say what it must mean.

The term "constitutive" can distinguish from a variety of things. I'm guessing you mean tradition handed down in a concrete form outside of Scripture, although it would be better for you to explain what you mean and why you think that if there is no constitutive tradition in that sense, there is no partim-partim position.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz:

"Me: Exactly what do you believe Pastor King is not “buying into” ?".

The Pope's position and yours.

You answered TF with this:

"...No. I believe that Ratzinger takes him to task for his attempt to FOCUS the issue (i.e. Trent’s position on Scripture and Tradition) on that of material sufficiency. Once again, that aspect of the issue is NOT relevant to Ratzinger’s emphasis on living tradition—in other words, Ratzinger immediately moves beyond the issue of material sufficiency to that of formal sufficiency, without (IMO) denying material sufficiency.".

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz,

"....
>>It seems to me, I may be wrong now, that Pastor King is writing from a place of "revelation" and a "revelation" that doesn't naturally come even with a learned course?>>

Me: Forgive me, I am not quite understanding what you are saying—could you rephrase?....".

In the article TF has published for his friend Pastor King, he brings you into the picture, here:

"...When I quoted this some time ago (here), Mr. Waltz commented: “As for David’s isolated quote, he [Ratzinger] was dealing with interpretation (formal sufficiency) and not simply material sufficiency. David King clearly misspoke; but you know, everyone makes mistakes,...".

Pastor King concluded, here:

"Now, to be sure, I have always thought that our Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent on their affirmation of the material sufficiency of Scripture. But I think this later work by the man who is now Pope makes it clear that he does not affirm material sufficiency in any positive sense, and I did not (as Mr. Waltz charged) misspeak on this issue."

It seems very perspicacious of Pastor King his understanding/revelation of the matter that "Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent." pointing to you as one such Roman disputant with regard to our Reformed position of the material sufficiency of Scripture.

Clearly there is a wide gulf between you, the Roman disputant, admittedly now, hereon and this matter of material sufficiency not held by the current Pope?

You:

"....Me: With all due respect, pretty much everyone who has posted here, apart from myself, are passionately anti-Roman Catholic; I have some reservations about the objectivity that is being exercised.".

Who is being unclear? You or Pastor King?

By some of your comments above you led me to believe you are moving away from Rome and in fact, I concluded you had already swam across the Tiber and were drying off? But your beans to bullets betray your bang!

David Waltz said...

>>I would observe your approach as one coming into a wise council meeting seeking bullets of wisdom and knowledge and understanding, when actually you are with a loaded gun all the while you are saying you have a gun but no bullets to fire through it, could you give me some?>>

I think I have clarified my actual position on Ratzinger—here it is again:

== I believe that Ratzinger takes him to task for his attempt to FOCUS the issue (i.e. Trent’s position on Scripture and Tradition) on that of material sufficiency. Once again, that aspect of the issue is NOT relevant to Ratzinger’s emphasis on living tradition—in other words, Ratzinger immediately moves beyond the issue of material sufficiency to that of formal sufficiency, without (IMO) denying material sufficiency.==

The “bullets” you speak of are (or at least should be) Ratzinger’s own words; I would be very interested in your understanding of the following:

==“What is really meant should stand out quite clearly here: Tradition refers to the institution vitae, to the mode of realization of the word in actual Christian living. In other words, it is the form in which the word finds reality and without which the word would remain unreal.” (page 59 in Revelation and Tradition)

“Tradition by its very nature is always interpretation, does not exist independently, but only as exposition, interpretation ‘according to the scriptures’.” (Page 49)==

I have sincerely tried to come to an understanding of Ratzinger by using what seems to be the crystal clear passages, to interpret the less clear ones.

[BTW, I would also be interested in your view of Scripture and tradition; for instance, do you believe there is a place for creeds, confessions, etc.?]

>>Well, are you in with the RCC and the Pope?>>

I thought I made myself quite clear on this earlier; yet one more time: NO.

>>Which is it? Are you agreeing that the Pope is being a bit duplicitous about material sufficiency or not?>>

I do not believe that Ratzinger is being duplicitous about material sufficiency; but I do believe that he has gotten some much more important issues dead wrong, with perhaps the most important being the very office he holds.

>>It now doesn't seem you really are far away from your host?>>

I do not believe that we were ever that far apart on this given the fact the formal sufficiency is the much more important issue at stake; at the end of the day the REAL issue that remains for ALL is this: which tradition (i.e. regula fidei) is one going to rely upon to come to an accurate understanding of Scripture?


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. This will have to be my last post for today—take care all, and God bless!

Turretinfan said...

I wonder how "a spiritual surplus beyond what is written" fits into merely criticizing G's focus.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz:

"...I think I have clarified my actual position on Ratzinger—...".

Ok

"... I would be very interested in your understanding of the following:....".

This, I am glad you raised that!

Here is where I was intending to go as I alluded in my initial comment directed to you.

The issue is, "who is right"? Is it the Reformed doctrine of material sufficiency or Rome's position that the faithful need more than God and the Word of His Grace to get out of here alive, such as, a magisterium, the papacy, extra doctrinal teachings, such as Mariology or transubstantiation or prayers to the Saints or the decrees based on the infallibility of the Pope, once a fallible Cardinal then elected by fallible Cardinals, who then ascends to the See, forever after infallible in this life?

I believe in the most basic sense, that, looking to both "historia salutis" with regard to "good works" and "ordo salutis" with regard to "good works", one can only come into maturity by a "revelation" from the Holy Spirit. And Faith must be understood by every believing Christian if they are to go beyond elementary doctrines of the Faith as listed at Hebrews 6:1-2. Maturity, in my view is also a "gift" from God, Hebrews 6:3. One does not have to go onto maturity to receive their Kingdom inheritance. But to defend the Faith once delivered to the Saints, you had better be a bit more mature and have the stuff such as what both TF and Pastor King have, especially if you intend on contenting with the likes of Pope Benedict XVI. :)

So, in a very elementary sense when Pastor King cites this, quoting Pope Benedict XVI:

"...That was (and is to this day) interpreted as meaning that Scripture does not contain the whole veritas evangelii [truth of the gospel] and that no sola scriptura principle is therefore possible, since part of the truth of revelation reaches us only through tradition....", I agree.

cont'd

natamllc said...

WHAT?

Yes, I agree, but not in the sense the Pope is getting at it, as he the Pope and holds to the RCC 'TRADITION'.

He is, IMO, speaking for the RCC and her positions delineated above by me. His position is, the "magisterium" is the mechanism by which the "faithful" attain to the tradition he has in mind. He is the Lord's Shepherd on earth so that the faithful can only advance to maturity in this life by their traditions. That's why I believe Pastor King's contention that he does not hold to material sufficiency. If he did believe it, he wouldn't be elected Pope by his peers.

Wouldn't it be grand, though, for Pope Benedict XVI to disrobe and dive in and swim across the Tiber to Truth? :)

The Reformed say, "good works" are a necessary "fruit" that confirms within any local Church's traditions the Believer has been given the gift of Faith too, the Faith once delivered to the Saints.

Not all New Testament Church traditions are the same. What is then? The Gospel.

Jesus taught:

Mat 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Col 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
Col 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
Col 1:6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing--as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,


Good works are not a necessary means to one's Justification before God; but rather, they are a testament to God being Just and the Justifier of the one who has been given the Faith of God.

Another way of going at this is to say, "I'm monergistic" and there is nothing I can do to appease God's wrath upon me or lift the curse of the Law off of me.

Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.


The Roman Catholic tradition is synergistic and based on a lot of good works in this life so that I can die and go to Heaven; and by the way, if I fail, there is purgatory, so, not to worry, I will get a second chance at a place in Heaven's True Sinless Glory!

For me, that's stating it abruptly.

We have the Scriptures. They are "sufficient" for the very simplest to come to Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ provided the Holy Spirit is sent to them. The Faith is not a good work, but the Faith produces the good works that attest to the gift of Faith given to God's Elect, Called Out Ones, who, everyone, male and female, make up the Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation, the body of Christ, living, active both here on earth and there in Heaven after passing over to His Kingdom of Glory. Here, we are both male and female. Here and there we are of one Spirit with the Lord.


Next?

natamllc said...

Mr. Waltz

"...[BTW, I would also be interested in your view of Scripture and tradition; for instance, do you believe there is a place for creeds, confessions, etc.?]...".

Yes

Coram Deo said...

Thanks to David and James for "Pelikan brief".

I don't think I'd want Pelikan to take me under his wing, even though he does seem to demonstrate some of the characteristics of a bird of pray. Furthermore his depth perception into church history seems eagle-eyed, even as his conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy brings to mind the well worn maxim of "birds of a feather flocking together".

I'll also admit that I was a bit disappointed to read James' lukewarm opinion of the quality of work found in "Whose Bible Is It?"...it sounds as if Pelikan may have laid an egg with that one.

*grin*

In Christ,
CD

James Swan said...

I do give Dr. James White alot of respect with dealing with that in his past debates. Only God by His sovereign work of efficacious grace will open a persons heart to see the truth.

As far as I know, none of the recent batch of pop-apologists has ever done a live debate defending Tradition as a rule of faith. In fact, I can't think of any written recent debates either done by a "respected" (for lack of a better term) Romanist (like, Staples, Akin, Hahn, etc.). Sure, they'll write about it, but they won't go into a debate on it.

James Swan said...

In length, the fact that Ratzinger affirms that revelation exists outside of Scripture does not translate into a denial of the material sufficiency of Scripture.

David,

Now that you've left Romanism, there isn't any reason to make unnecessary over qualifications so as to make words mean something other than they say, or make excuses for anyone who makes words mean something other than they say.

This has always been one of the fundamental characteristics of Romanism. Romanists have to take words that imply a particular explicit meaning and make them not mean what they imply. Perhaps this is simply a leftover from Scholasticism.

James Swan said...

I'll also admit that I was a bit disappointed to read James' lukewarm opinion of the quality of work found in "Whose Bible Is It?"...it sounds as if Pelikan may have laid an egg with that one.

The work lacks the depth that Pelikan put into many of his other books. Perhaps though, the publisher wanted Pelikan to put out a book that would be more widely read.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

James Swan: "This has always been one of the fundamental characteristics of Romanism. Romanists have to take words that imply a particular explicit meaning and make them not mean what they imply."

This rather reminds me of the double-speaking, underhanded revisionism that's so often done by Liberal Protestants.

David Waltz said...

Good morning James,

This thread seems to be taking off in trajectories that are not germane to the original post…but I would like to respond to the following you posted:

>>Now that you've left Romanism, there isn't any reason to make unnecessary over qualifications so as to make words mean something other than they say, or make excuses for anyone who makes words mean something other than they say.>>

Me: Perhaps you are not aware of the fact the Reformed theologians also use the term “revelation” in more than one sense. Note the following from the esteemed Herman Bavinck:

“Scripture clearly teaches that God’s full revelation has been given in Christ and that the Holy Spirit who was poured out in the church has come only to glorify Christ and take all things from Christ (John 16:14).

But to that end, accordingly, the activity of the Spirit is continually needed. For the special revelation in Christ is not meant to be restricted to himself but, proceeding from him, to be realized in the church, in humanity, in the world. The aim of revelation, after all, is to re-create humanity after the image of God, to establish the kingdom of God on earth, to redeem the world from the power of sin and, in and through all this, to glorify the name of the Lord in all his creatures. In light of this, however, an objective revelation in Christ is not sufficient, but there needs to be added a working of the Spirit in order that human beings may acknowledge and accept that revelation of God and thereby become the image of the Son. Just as in the sciences the subject must correspond to the object, and in religion subjective religion must answer to objective religion, so external and objective revelation demands an internal revelation

Now, the activity of the Holy Spirit, which is subjectively necessary in human beings to bring them to [saving] faith in Christ, can in a broad sense also be called a revelation.” (Reformed Dogmatics, 1. 347, 348 – bold emphasis mine.)

I was trying to be balanced, and fair with what Ratzinger has written, even though I do not agree some of his assessments. Sincerely hope this helps to clear up your concerns in this matter.


Grace and peace,

David

ChaferDTS said...

"As far as I know, none of the recent batch of pop-apologists has ever done a live debate defending Tradition as a rule of faith. "

I have noticed that. I do not believe that they can really defend their position on that at all. They change the meaning of the word " Tradition " as used from Scripture and the church fathers. Then they can't even agree with one another on how to define tradition.

"In fact, I can't think of any written recent debates either done by a "respected" (for lack of a better term) Romanist (like, Staples, Akin, Hahn, etc.). Sure, they'll write about it, but they won't go into a debate on it."

I think deep down they know that their arguments won't hold water to those who are informed such as many Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist scholars and Pastors. It appears to me that their targets are really antiintellectual types like many KJV onlyist. I think they would rather debate those rather than someone like Dr. James White who would take them to task if they ever debated the issue of tradition with the RCC apologist trying to present a positive case. All they appear to do is attack Sola Scriptura and nothing more at times. Their inconsistant arguments makes my head spin. One moment they cry out material sufficiency than in the next sentence present a partly Scripture and partly tradition argument view that was held by most Trent and Vatican I Roman Catholics. One positive thing I learned was that Roman Catholicism is not as united as they want to claim to me.

David Waltz said...

Hi Michael (natamllc),

You informed me over at my blog that you wanted to continue the combox discussion here, so I shall attempt to do so. I believe the oldest post of yours that I did not directly respond to included the following:

==>>It seems to me, I may be wrong now, that Pastor King is writing from a place of "revelation" and a "revelation" that doesn't naturally come even with a learned course?>>

Me: Forgive me, I am not quite understanding what you are saying—could you rephrase?....".

In the article TF has published for his friend Pastor King, he brings you into the picture, here:

"...When I quoted this some time ago (here), Mr. Waltz commented: “As for David’s isolated quote, he [Ratzinger] was dealing with interpretation (formal sufficiency) and not simply material sufficiency. David King clearly misspoke; but you know, everyone makes mistakes,...".

Pastor King concluded, here:

"Now, to be sure, I have always thought that our Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent on their affirmation of the material sufficiency of Scripture. But I think this later work by the man who is now Pope makes it clear that he does not affirm material sufficiency in any positive sense, and I did not (as Mr. Waltz charged) misspeak on this issue."

It seems very perspicacious of Pastor King his understanding/revelation of the matter that "Roman disputants are themselves inconsistent." pointing to you as one such Roman disputant with regard to our Reformed position of the material sufficiency of Scripture.

Clearly there is a wide gulf between you, the Roman disputant, admittedly now, hereon and this matter of material sufficiency not held by the current Pope?==

Me: Wow, where to start…first, I cannot be “the Roman disputant” as you charged above, for I am no longer Roman Catholic, and have not been for over 5 months now. Second, I believe Pastor King has not accurately understood Ratzinger. I believe that I have answered his attempts, as well as TF’s, to paint Ratzinger as one who denies the material sufficiency of Scripture by pointing out that the quotes they have chosen to discuss/highlight do not rule out material sufficiency, but rather, formal sufficiency. It is important to note both Catholic and Protestant scholars I have read who discuss Ratzinger’s position on the material sufficiency of Scripture, AFFIRM, rather than deny, that he maintained material sufficiency. I have already provided Professor Thomas G. Guarino’s affirmation in this combox (see above), and will now provide Norman L. Geisler’s and Ralph E. MacKenzie’s (Protestant scholars) take:

“Catholics are not all agreed on their understanding of the relation of tradition to Scripture. Some understand it as two sources of revelation. Others understand apostolic tradition as a lesser form of revelation. Still others understand tradition in an almost Protestant way, namely, as merely an interpretation of revelation (albeit, an infallible one) that is found only in the Bible. Traditional Catholics, such as Ludwig Ott and Henry Denzinger, tend to be in the first category, and more modern Catholics such as John Henry Newman and Cardinal Ratzinger, in the latter.” (Roman Catholics and Evangelicals – Agreements and Differences, p. 180.)

continued…

David Waltz said...

… continued

Ratzinger himself wrote:

==…“formulations of our Decree [Dei Verbum], were the product of the attempt to take into account, to the widest possible extent, the points made by the Reformed Churches and were intended to keep the field open for a Catholic idea of sola Sciptura” (Joseph Ratzinger, “The Transmission of Divine Revelation” in Herbert Vorgrimler, ed., Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II , New York: Crossroad, 1989, Vol. 3, p. 192.)

By the phrase, “a Catholic idea of sola Sciptura”, Ratzinger (like his colleague Rahner), is referring to the material sufficiency of Scripture; one who denies the material sufficiency of Scripture does not AFFIRM “a Catholic idea of sola Sciptura”.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

David

thank you for your gracious replies.

Seeing you are clinging to that rock like some abalones I have known, I will let what you put forth rest and simply agree that we do not agree.

Just one last note, as I have said before, had Pope Benedict XVI held to material sufficiency of Scripture as I understand it, none of the other Cardinals at the passing of Pope John Paul would have voted him up to the status of "infallibility".

What's the role of this human religious affair and historical institution of the Cardinals and the Magisterium and the Papacy, if there is a clear belief in the material sufficiency of Scripture?

I do say though, since you affirm your belief now going into 6 months of unbelief, and with the vast knowledge you possess, a reconciliation with Pastor King would be in order and remaining a faithful blogger commenting in here would equally be in order.

By so doing your faith might just turn towards the "Faith once delivered to the Saints" and you just might come to concede the Apostle Paul's admonition is direction enough for you to finish your course?


Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Waltz,

Assuming you have no further evidence to muster to your position, I'm content to stand on the evidence I've already presented (in combination with the evidence Pastor King presented).

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

Hello TF,

Over the weekend, you posted the following:

>> Mr. Waltz,

Assuming you have no further evidence to muster to your position, I'm content to stand on the evidence I've already presented (in combination with the evidence Pastor King presented).

-TurretinFan>>

I am not surprised at all with your decision, even though Ratzinger himself in writing affirmed, “a Catholic idea of sola Sciptura”, which, as all should know, is equivalent to material sufficiency. I too am “content to stand on the evidence I've already presented” (in combination with the views expressed by professors Thomas G. Guarino and Norman L. Geisler).


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

As I quoted above:

In order to go on maintaining that Scripture contains all revealed truth, on one hand, and, on the other, to maintain that the 1950 dogma is a revealed truth, we would have at least to take refufe in a notion of "sufficiency" so broadly conceived that the word "sufficiency" would lose any serious meaning. (pp. 49-50)

Joe said...

It leaves a lot to be desired when non-Catholics resort to call Catholics - "Romanists". Perhaps dialogue would be much more constructive if we would hold off the desires of the flesh. After all, we are supposed to be a new creation. So how about we call Catholics - Catholics. Not Roman Catholics either, as there are 23 different rites within Catholicism - which include Eastern Catholics (Not to be confused with Eastern Orthodox). Or perhaps you feel like giving in to the desires of the old self.

BSDN said...

Dropping in here very late.
For the same reason we don't call Mormons Christian. Because they are not.
Thanks for this, TF.