Saturday, December 25, 2010

Critique of Bishop Olmsted's Response

Bishop Olmsted, responding to blogger criticism of his decision to remove the "Catholic" designation from St. Joseph's hospital because it took the life of a child in defense of the life of the child's mother, stated:
I really don't read the blogospheres. I try to pray each day to find my identity in Jesus Christ. I start my day, every day, with an hour of adoration. I celebrate the Eucharist. I pray morning prayer, mid-day prayer, evening prayer, and night prayer. My identity comes from Christ. Christ is present in his living body, the Church. That's my identity - it comes from that. If I'm unfaithful to that -- then whether I'm looked at one way, or another - if I'm given praise or whether I'm given ridicule - it doesn't matter. What I'm called to be is faithful to Jesus Christ and his Church.
(source)

A few responses:

1) He's not going to win any bonus points from me for blowing off the blogosphere. Obviously, though, he's under no moral duty to read what people write on the Internet or in the newspaper, or what they say on TV or over the radio. Whether the media is old or new, he's not under a moral duty to take any interest in what other human beings have to say about things.

2) For someone who really thinks it doesn't matter, he looked rather nervous and he sounded quite defensive. Perhaps, however, the nervousness had some other source, such as what his fellow bishops will be saying about his decision.

3) His mention of his adoration, Eucharist, and daily prayers is a reference to the fact that he is required under the canon law of his church:
Can. 663 §1. The first and foremost duty of all religious is to be the contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer.

§2. Members are to make every effort to participate in the eucharistic sacrifice daily, to receive the most sacred Body of Christ, and to adore the Lord himself present in the sacrament.

§3. They are to devote themselves to the reading of sacred scripture and mental prayer, to celebrate worthily the liturgy of the hours according to the prescripts of proper law, without prejudice to the obligation for clerics mentioned in ⇒ can. 276, §2, n. 3, and to perform other exercises of piety.

§4. With special veneration, they are to honor the Virgin Mother of God, the example and protector of all consecrated life, also through the marian rosary.

§5. They are to observe faithfully an annual period of sacred retreat.
And again:
Can. 276 §1. In leading their lives, clerics are bound in a special way to pursue holiness since, having been consecrated to God by a new title in the reception of orders, they are dispensers of the mysteries of God in the service of His people.

§2. In order to be able to pursue this perfection:

1/ they are first of all to fulfill faithfully and tirelessly the duties of the pastoral ministry;

2/ they are to nourish their spiritual life from the two-fold table of sacred scripture and the Eucharist; therefore, priests are earnestly invited to offer the eucharistic sacrifice daily and deacons to participate in its offering daily;

3/ priests and deacons aspiring to the presbyterate are obliged to carry out the liturgy of the hours daily according to the proper and approved liturgical books; permanent deacons, however, are to carry out the same to the extent defined by the conference of bishops;

4/ they are equally bound to make time for spiritual retreats according to the prescripts of particular law;

5/ they are urged to engage in mental prayer regularly, to approach the sacrament of penance frequently, to honor the Virgin Mother of God with particular veneration, and to use other common and particular means of sanctification.
I bring this up simply to note that what he says he is doing is simply what canon law requires him to do.

4) These requirements are not as rigorous as the requirements for those in monastic life, but they do impose a significant daily burden on a person. The various hours require not just a quick "Hail Mary," but reference to the books that dictate the particular prayers, hymns, and readings for that particular day and hour (there's a great deal more discussion here, for those interested).

5) It's easy to believe that the bishop has found his identity in this, which he has (exceedingly sadly) confused with Christ. A life of daily attendance on these requirements is a disciplined life that adheres to rules. Those who have been in the military may have seen men like this who found a sense of identity in the rules and regimes associated with that life. The prayers at regular intervals from a book that requires simply obedience, not thought, provide a regime that can be followed and give one a sense of belonging.

6) Such discipline is (in itself and without consideration of the end to which it is being put) a good thing. God has created men to obey. Indeed, it is even good to be regular in praying to God - not so that it will become a rote chore, but to be in the habit of turning to God to seek His aid, thank Him for His gifts, confess our sins, and praise Him for His greatness. Rome further perverts the matter by including all sorts of mariolatry into the regime, but that's neither here nor there.

7) Rome, however, uses this as a yoke to place on the shoulders of their priests (bishops are priests too). It becomes a duty that they must do to please the Church and (it is implied) God. But God has not asked for this - God has not said that this is what will please Him.

8) I have to admit that when I heard this short speech, many verses flooded into my mind. The first passage was this:

Luke 18:9-14
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
When questioned about his decision, this bishop put down his critics and exalted himself, based on his rituals. But he's missing the point, what God desires is not the rituals, but the contrite heart:

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

What this attitude of following the rules of religious life in the Roman religion misses is what Jesus himself taught:

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

9) A final passage also came to mind as fitting the situation.

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Here's a bishop talking about going through his rote prayers - the minimal requirements of his clerical office, and yet he has just condemned a hospital that made the very difficult decision to use lethal force to defend the life of a woman from her child. Was that decision right? Ultimately God will judge, but normally lethal force is permitted in defense of life. If, in fact, the situation is as it has been reported, it appears that the woman had the right to defend herself.

10) I was also struck by the fact that the bishop's stated identity was not Christ alone, but "Christ and the Church." What he considers to be faithfulness to Christ is faithfulness to the rules of his church. However, in following the rules of his church, he's not following God's law. I'm not simply talking about his failure to allow self-defense to be a justification for killing in this case, but about the fact that he offers worship (hyper-dulia) to Mary, engages in idolatry (in the latria of what is truly bread), and seeks to be right with God (evidently) through faithfulness rather than by faith.

- TurretinFan

P.S. I was also a little surprised he didn't mention Mary. But don't worry, there's an image of Mary based on the Guadalupe idol behind him.

49 comments:

Coram Deo said...

Bishop Olmsted is a slave to sin. He is in bondage to the vain, legalistic, traditions of men which Rome attempts to market as Christianity.

But when the true Head of the church is dethroned, and salvation by works is substituted for salvation by grace alone, then man-made, man-focused false religion becomes the idol du jour.

In Christ,
CD

Joe Heschmeyer said...

TF,

It's Christmas. I get that you're doing what you think helps to purify the Body of Christ, and that in your you're fighting heresy, instead of just gossiping about someone who you know (from his own words) won't ever read the nasty things you say about him. But please, I beg you as a Christian, just lay down your arms for one day. If you can't find anything positive to say on the Feast of the Lord's Birth, then just take the day off and be with family. Even the troops in World War I laid their weapons down for this great Day. Is it too much to ask that you do the same?

Coram Deo said...

Why should Christians give the devil Christmas day off, Joe?

We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! war to the knife with her! Peace there cannot be. She cannot have peace with us—we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church, and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand upon her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free; but their doctrine we would destroy from the face of the earth as the doctrine of devils. So let it perish, O God, and let that evil thing become as the fat of lambs. Into smoke let it consume: yea into smoke let it consume away.

C.H. Spurgeon

Joe Heschmeyer said...

Coram,

I'm not asking you to give the devil the day off, but to give the individual men and women you're attacking. It's not as if you're waging wars against principalities and powers here - you're attacking a man, by name, on Christmas. And I'm asking you to stop -- for a single day. Stand firm against the devil, but show some human compassion. The better question is: what possible damage would taking this suggestion do?

Ryan said...

Joe,

The shackles of man-made tradition and religion, indeed the very shackles of man's rebellion against God manifested in man's ordering his worship of God according to his own way, are the very kinds of things that Christ was born into the world to free men from. Why, then, would this day be a day in which we would cease from exposing darkness and hoping the light of Christ would penetrate into the souls of men chained to their idolatry?

Ryan said...

"The better question is: what possible damage would taking this suggestion do?"

What possible damage would ignoring your suggestion do?

Turretinfan said...

Joe:

a) The timing of this is not my choosing. Hopefully you're aware of that. It's not like I was saving up this story to make you cry on Christmas day.

b) You are here saying negative things. You may not have noticed that, but whatever.

c) I've tolerated your off-topic comments because you comment so rarely here (and because my post linked to your post), but enough. If you don't have something to say about the subject of the itself, please don't comment.

d) I know you won't appreciate hearing this, but your loyalty to Rome causes me to doubt your "Christian" profession. No man can serve two masters. I hope my doubt is misplaced, and that you trust in Christ alone for salvation.

e) I don't observe the day, as you may know.

f) I don't appreciate the description, "attacking a man," as what I'm doing is criticizing his words and actions.

- TurretinFan

steve said...

Actually, I'd expect TFan to blog on Christmas or Easter (or some other religious holiday) to demonstrate his theological conviction that it really is business as usual. That except for Sunday, no (other) days are set apart for special reverence.

So I think Joe's objection misses the unspoken point of his timing. (Although that might also be coincidental.)

Also, I don't see where TFan said anything "nasty" or "gossipy" about the bishop. Rather, TFan raised some substantive ethical and theological issues.

steve said...

There is, of course, a certain irony in the spectacle of Roman bishops who are so concerned for the prenatal wellbeing of the young, but so unconcerned for the postnatal wellbeing of the young.

Canadian said...

TF,
"The prayers at regular intervals from a book that requires simply obedience, not thought, provide a regime that can be followed and give one a sense of belonging."

Like the regular intervals of midweek prayer meeting and the deeply thoughtful, heartfelt and certainly not rote chore of: Lord we just really wanna really kinda ask you to just really really....


Or how about the WCF binding all to a Christian Sabbath with all kinds of varying rules and guidelines that they can fight over among the various sabbath-keepers.

Or how about Calvin's ecclesiastical police state of Geneva--oh the freedom to worship.

Canadian said...

TF,
"The prayers at regular intervals from a book that requires simply obedience, not thought, provide a regime that can be followed and give one a sense of belonging."

Like the regular intervals of midweek prayer meeting and the deeply thoughtful, heartfelt and certainly not rote chore of: Lord we just really wanna really kinda ask you to just really really....


Or how about the WCF binding all to a Christian Sabbath with all kinds of varying rules and guidelines that they can fight over among the various sabbath-keepers.

Or how about Calvin's ecclesiastical police state of Geneva--oh the freedom to worship.

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

1) Saying it once is enough.

2) Whether Geneva was free or a "police state" is way off the topic of this post.

3) The WCF is actually a pretty concise document. The catechisms have a lot more rules. And the catechisms prove each rule from Scripture. It's legitimate to bind the conscience if Scripture does.

4) If someone made up a book of "mid-week prayer service" prayers that had to be said rote, you'd have a point in that regard.

In short ... perhaps you would have been better of saying it not at all than twice (I'm guessing you said it twice simply because of the "too long URI" error).

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,
I said it twice so it was rote, vain repetition and therefore not sincere :-)
Just kidding. I seem to have that double comment happen here for some reason, I guess I am just inept.
The liturgical Jewish and Christian worship was full of repetition. Like the Lord's prayer. Is it violating the conscience of folks to expect them to say the extra biblical creed in Presbyterian assemblies?
My point about Geneva was that form and content were enforced upon pain of capital punishment or banishment and yet you chide a Catholic bishop because he follows a precise form with specific content as something inherently insincere and corrupt.
Using texts of scripture to "prove" your rules is an exercise in subjectivity. The individual will interpret the scripture or the confession or the father's to "prove" their position is correct and then start or join a particular church accordingly. This is called legitimate binding of the conscience because scripture is invoked. You really can't bind the conscience because you could be wrong and might need to change the rules or find another rule giver you agree with.

Oh, Merry Christmas to you by the way. And I mean that sincerely, not as a vain repetition taught by tradition.

natamllc said...

Candian,

you make some points.

However, the differences seem clear to me.

For instance, assuming your words here are your intent, not God's:

The individual will interpret the scripture or the confession or the father's to "prove" their position is correct and then start or join a particular church accordingly.

I have two Biblical objections to them because I see no differences in those days and in our time as the same Eternal Spirit of God works among humanity today drawing out His Elect from among men. Jesus is still building His Church adding daily such as should be saved and joining them to a particular Body of Believers in particular Fellowships of Holy Communion in communities around the world.

One is this:

Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Act 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.



The other is this:

Act 11:20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Act 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.


The unity in "one heart" and "soul" held together according to the Will of God by One Spirit in "one accord" in these days is still the unique work of the Spirit when He is sanctifying a soul or a group of souls "adding" them to His body as "He wills", not according to the will of man. After all, He is building His Church and He still is the Good Shepherd guiding His present day sheep out of darkness and into His Eternal Glory and Light.

While anyone living contrary to common laws that govern mankind will eventually end up in a conflict with common law authorities, no one will be able to escape living contrary to Christ in this world or the next.

Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.


The devils found out just how much of a conflict instantly came upon them when they fell from Divine Order before these present heavens and earth were formed from nothing. Jesus described what He witnessed happened to Satan then as a "fall" "like lightening"!

Ever seen a flash of lightening in the night sky? Did you ever see any of the people jumping from either of the Twin Towers Sept. 11th after the planes slammed into them? Quite a difference in the speed of those falls. One fall was like the speed of a lightening flash while the other was the speed of gravity.

It seems you insinuate there is an accord between RC Bishops, Bishop Olmsted, official rulings of the RCC or his ruling and that of the Royal Priesthood of Ministers of Reconciliation, those called who practice True Biblical Christianity?

Am I mistaken about your position?

Turretinfan said...

"I said it twice so it was rote, vain repetition and therefore not sincere :-)
Just kidding. I seem to have that double comment happen here for some reason, I guess I am just inept."

No problem.

"The liturgical Jewish and Christian worship was full of repetition."

When? That's not the sense one gets from Justin Martyr, for example.

"Like the Lord's prayer."

The Lord's prayer is probably best understood as a form of prayer, rather than a form prayer.

"Is it violating the conscience of folks to expect them to say the extra biblical creed in Presbyterian assemblies?"

It can be, especially if they do not believe it in the sense they understand it.

"My point about Geneva was that form and content were enforced upon pain of capital punishment or banishment ... "

Form and content of what exactly?

" ... and yet you chide a Catholic bishop because he follows a precise form with specific content as something inherently insincere and corrupt."

I don't think I made that argument. Could you point me to where you think I made it?

"Using texts of scripture to 'prove' your rules is an exercise in subjectivity."

No. It's an exercise in objectivity.

"The individual will interpret the scripture or the confession or the father's to 'prove' their position is correct and then start or join a particular church accordingly."

That's not an honest hermeneutic. Such people who use Scripture to try to justify their position are misusing the Scripture. That's obviously not what I'm suggesting.

"This is called legitimate binding of the conscience because scripture is invoked."

No, because Scripture is followed.

"You really can't bind the conscience because you could be wrong and might need to change the rules or find another rule giver you agree with."

We can speak what God says after Him.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,
"When? That's not the sense one gets from Justin Martyr, for example."

You just engaged in the hermeneutic I described above. Choose a source; whether scripture or confessions or father's and interpret them independantly of ecclesial authority to determine where you go.

"It can be, especially if they do not believe it in the sense they understand it."

So you cause them to stumble by the obvious public repetition and declaration of it? Why then do you "require" this occasion of the violation of their conscience in your liturgy?

"Form and content of what exactly?"

Genevan Ecclesiastical Ordinances is a place to start. His Consistory penalties were often degrading, humiliating and supported or enforced by civil authority including dozens of executions. This due to any resistance to Calvin's established beliefs and practices.

"I don't think I made that argument.[That following this form and content are inherently insincere and corrupt] Could you point me to where you think I made it?"

When you said "What he considers to be faithfulness to Christ is faithfulness to the rules of his church. However, in following the rules of his church, he's not following God's law."
And when you quoted several verses about insincere fasting and boasting of personal righteousness as if to make judgement of his heart. You laud some spiritual disciplines in general, but pass judgement on what you don't like. This is inherent in the protestant hermeneutic. Each chooses their own rules, disciplines, forms, doctrinal content and invokes the scriptures to cast doubt on either the practices or the motives of the others.

"No. It's an exercise in objectivity."

If that was the case, you would not have the constant melee I just described above.

"Such people who use Scripture to try to justify their position are misusing the Scripture. That's obviously not what I'm suggesting."

That's not what I was describing. Protestants go to the sources (scripture, history, the father's, creeds and confessions etc) as if tabula rasa, to come to a position. Then they embrace the group that closest resembles this position. Even the sources are up for grabs from the outset. Ecclesial and interpretive authority is not even a serious consideration until one settles on a position. How one is to come to know divine revelation is assumed to be personal right from the get-go.

"No, because Scripture is followed."

Yet this is claimed by all, even on opposing salvific issues. How do you know if your interpretation is mistaken personal opinion or divine revelation?

"We can speak what God says after Him."

Sure, and it's a wonder why there isn't more just plain old reading of scripture in protestant services. But the apostolic church speaks what God says after Him with authority in things the protestant assemblies do not and cannot:

Define heresy and orthodoxy with certainty.

Demand the assent of faith because of this.

The ability to forbid and identify the sin of schism.

Command and procure ecclesial unity.

Now, I will ask your forgiveness for taking this away from directly dealing with the Bishop and the hospital issue, and thank you for your interaction in spite of this.

Joe Heschmeyer said...

Ryan,

The damage is that it seems unduly disrespectful, contra Peter's injunction in 1 Peter 3:15-16. When Christians present the Gospel in an unnecessarily hostile and provocative manner, just as the Westboro Baptist Church turns people off to authentic Christianity with their methods and general nastiness. Why set out vinegar instead of honey, if you're out to catch flies?

Besides that, it can contribute to a feeling of superiority (sort of an "I'm so much better than that Olmsted, since he's such a Pharisee"), an irony too ugly to dwell on at much length, other than it's the actual parallel to Luke 18:11. So I think it's damaging to everyone involved.

TF,

a) No tears, no worries.

b) I'm not positive what you're talking about here, specifically, but if it helps, I wasn't trying to attack you in the comment at all.

c) I thought that the comments were topical. It was in direct response to your writing the post, as well as the timing and tone thereof. But I understand what you're saying, and as it's your blog, I'll try and abide by the house rules. Since Ryan asked a direct question, I answered him above: but that's all I intend to say on the subject here, and I hope you don't mind my responding. As to the specific arguments you raised, I'll probably respond in a post on my blog on Monday. I'll shoot you a link if I have the presence of mind.

d) Honestly, I'm just thankful you're at least acknowledging the possibility.

e) Sure didn't know this. I still think that respect calls for a better sense of decorum than you exhibited, but I've made that point already.

f) I hope I didn't make you cry on Christmas, either. :-)

In Christ,

Joe.

Turretinfan said...

Joe:
Thanks for the follow-up.

Canadian:

I asked: "When? That's not the sense one gets from Justin Martyr, for example."

You replied: "You just engaged in the hermeneutic I described above. Choose a source; whether scripture or confessions or father's and interpret them independantly of ecclesial authority to determine where you go."

a) That's not a legitimate answer to the question "when."

b) Who cares if it is interpreted independently of the authority of your church? You haven't established that the authority of your church is necessary.

c) What does matter is the author's intent. That is best understood without imposing your church's doctrines onto them.

I wrote: "It can be, especially if they do not believe it in the sense they understand it."

You responded: "So you cause them to stumble by the obvious public repetition and declaration of it?"

Yes.

You ask: "Why then do you "require" this occasion of the violation of their conscience in your liturgy?"

I think it's a bad thing. I don't support or defend it.

I asked: "Form and content of what exactly?"

You wrote: "Genevan Ecclesiastical Ordinances is a place to start."

And what is the answer to the question? How are the GEO supposed to be remotely similar to the liturgy of the hours?

You wrote: "His Consistory penalties were often degrading, humiliating and supported or enforced by civil authority including dozens of executions."

What of it? This doesn't appear to have anything to do with the topic.

You wrote: "This due to any resistance to Calvin's established beliefs and practices."

Again, even if this were true, who cares?

I pointed out: "I don't think I made that argument.[That following this form and content are inherently insincere and corrupt] Could you point me to where you think I made it?"

You replied: When you said "What he considers to be faithfulness to Christ is faithfulness to the rules of his church. However, in following the rules of his church, he's not following God's law."
And when you quoted several verses about insincere fasting and boasting of personal righteousness as if to make judgement of his heart. You laud some spiritual disciplines in general, but pass judgement on what you don't like.


That doesn't seem to equate at all to the argument you attributed to me. And, of course, the standard isn't "what I don't like," as you should know.

You wrote: "This is inherent in the protestant hermeneutic. Each chooses their own rules, disciplines, forms, doctrinal content and invokes the scriptures to cast doubt on either the practices or the motives of the others."

That accusation is false. And when you repeat it after being corrected, it makes dialog difficult.

[cont'd below]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from above]

I wrote: "No. It's an exercise in objectivity."

You responded: "If that was the case, you would not have the constant melee I just described above."

That argument is flawed for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the easiest way to address it is to point out that the fact that something is an objective inquiry doesn't entail that all those who make the inquiry will do so flawlessly.

I had pointed out out: "Such people who use Scripture to try to justify their position are misusing the Scripture. That's obviously not what I'm suggesting."

You wrote: "That's not what I was describing."

It sure sounded like it. In fact, it sounds like it above, even in this very post.

You wrote: "Protestants go to the sources (scripture, history, the father's, creeds and confessions etc) as if tabula rasa, to come to a position."

ok

You wrote: "Then they embrace the group that closest resembles this position."

Birds of a feather flock together.

You wrote: "Even the sources are up for grabs from the outset."

I'm not sure how the inquiry for truth can begin without selecting sources. So, I'm not sure why this is a criticism.

You wrote: "Ecclesial and interpretive authority is not even a serious consideration until one settles on a position."

How could it be?

You wrote: "How one is to come to know divine revelation is assumed to be personal right from the get-go."

It might very well be seen that way by many people. Others see it as a personal duty.

I had written: "No, because Scripture is followed."

You wrote: "Yet this is claimed by all, even on opposing salvific issues."

Who cares? People claiming things is not the standard.

You wrote: "How do you know if your interpretation is mistaken personal opinion or divine revelation?"

One gets confidence that one is correct a variety of ways.

I had written: "We can speak what God says after Him."

You wrote: "Sure, and it's a wonder why there isn't more just plain old reading of scripture in protestant services."

Reading the Scriptures and giving the sense of it is generally the central element of the liturgy in a Reformed church service.

You continued: "But the apostolic church speaks what God says after Him with authority in things the protestant assemblies do not and cannot:"

They allege an authority they don't have.

You wrote: "Define heresy and orthodoxy with certainty."

False certainty is not a virtue.

You wrote: "Demand the assent of faith because of this."

See above.

You wrote: "The ability to forbid and identify the sin of schism."

Scripture already forbids schism, as such, and all Christians have the duty to identify it.

You wrote: "Command and procure ecclesial unity."

There has not been "ecclesial unity" at least since the Nestorian and non-Chalcedonian churches broke away. So, the "procure" part is pretty much a hollow claim.

And their claim to be able to command it is just a false claim.

You wrote: "Now, I will ask your forgiveness for taking this away from directly dealing with the Bishop and the hospital issue, and thank you for your interaction in spite of this. "

Thanks for your interaction as well.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,

"How are the GEO supposed to be remotely similar to the liturgy of the hours?"

You select certain historic liturgical form and content (not just Catholic) as if it is something imposed with the inherent result of dead pharisaical religion and brake out your Genevan wig, robe and gavel. Yet I show you where Calvin enforced liturgical, moral, ecclesial, and social form and content; and where your own assembly requires certain things in a similar fashion, and you wax ambivalent.

"the fact that something is an objective inquiry doesn't entail that all those who make the inquiry will do so flawlessly."

But you have no mechanism or ability to determine when the inquiry is flawless. At best, personal confidence in one's interpretation is all you get--until a better exegete comes along and shakes your confidence (sempor reformanda after all!)

"It sure sounded like it. In fact, it sounds like it above, even in this very post."

Yes your right. My jumping thoughts often reveal my weak skills in argumentation, sorry for that :-)

"It might very well be seen that way by many people. Others see it as a personal duty."

To clarify, I agree that seeking divine revelation is a personal duty but the way that is accomplished is what I have come to question. Is it a scientific, Enlightenment borne personal inquiry into the sources as if we could flawlessly arrive at the divine intent? Or is it a discovery of and submission to that which is the pillar and ground of the truth?

I said: "But the apostolic church speaks what God says after Him with authority in things the protestant assemblies do not and cannot:"
You replied: "They allege an authority they don't have....
.....False certainty is not a virtue.
When I said apostolic, I meant the church of the Apostles. The NT church Christ established had the the ability to define heresy with certainty (not just offer exegetical opinion) and to demand the assent of faith as a result. The Post apostolic church also operated on this basis. If whatever Protestant denomination is this church, why can't they do this?

"Scripture already forbids schism, as such, and all Christians have the duty to identify it."

So tell me, schism from who? The NT writers FORBID it. They called for repentance, they corrected errors, they commanded obedience, they rebuked local assemblies but they never allowed for schism to address these things. The apostles and their NT successors/designees exerted real and Christ authorized, Spirit-led authority upon all churches. They did not leave them to self determination.

"There has not been "ecclesial unity" at least since the Nestorian and non-Chalcedonian churches broke away. So, the "procure" part is pretty much a hollow claim."

But I thought you said we could identify schism. The Nestorian and non-Chalcedonian churches BROKE AWAY. The church of Christ has unity in itself because he indwells her. When some brake away it is schism, and therefore sinful. But the place of unity--the Christian Church--is still there and schismatics can and sometimes do return to this unity.
The unity of the church did not disappear just because there were gnostics, Novatians, Manicheaists, Arianists, or Docetists.

"And their claim to be able to command it is just a false claim."

The NT and post apostolic church both within and after the NT scriptures commanded it.

Pax Christi.

Anonymous said...

Greetings in the Lord, TurretinFan.

You mentioned our bishop’s “failure to allow self-defense to be a justification for killing in this case”. Are you saying that the baby was an unjust aggressor? Her heart condition was the “problem,” not the baby. The baby was innocent. We may never do evil that good may result.

Somehow the doctors were able to “prophesy” that killing the mother’s 11-week baby in her womb wouldn’t put any life-threatening stress, physical or emotional, on this woman with a heart condition, and that this was the better and safer course, rather than finding a way to get her the help she needed for her heart. In the words of Augustine, “You must excuse me for saying we do not believe a word of this” (Letter 93: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102093.htm).

This particular blog entry of yours was not published to the glory of God, but to His great shame and dishonor.

With the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

"You mentioned our bishop’s “failure to allow self-defense to be a justification for killing in this case”. Are you saying that the baby was an unjust aggressor? Her heart condition was the “problem,” not the baby. The baby was innocent. We may never do evil that good may result."

The baby was killing the mother. I don't suppose the baby intended to kill the mother. I'm not sure how you got "unjust aggressor." Nor do I think that the baby needs to be "guilty" in order for the baby to his mother. If the defense of the mother justifies the use of lethal force, then there is no doing of evil involved.

"Somehow the doctors were able to “prophesy” that killing the mother’s 11-week baby in her womb wouldn’t put any life-threatening stress, physical or emotional, on this woman with a heart condition, and that this was the better and safer course, rather than finding a way to get her the help she needed for her heart."

They used judgment, not prophetic gifts. And, of course, self-defense (particularly when it involves the use of lethal force) always requires a judgment about expectations.

"In the words of Augustine, “You must excuse me for saying we do not believe a word of this” (Letter 93: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102093.htm)."

Heh. In context, Augustine's words might be more aptly used by me than thee, I think.

You wrote: "This particular blog entry of yours was not published to the glory of God, but to His great shame and dishonor."

I'm really not phased by your opinion.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Canadian:

I asked you: "How are the GEO supposed to be remotely similar to the liturgy of the hours?"

You responded: "You select certain historic liturgical form and content (not just Catholic) ..."

I didn't select it - the bishop did.

You continued: "... as if it is something imposed with the inherent result of dead pharisaical religion ..."

That wasn't an argument I made, i.e. the "inherent result" idea.

You continued: "... and brake out your Genevan wig, robe and gavel."

A very colorful description!

You continued: "Yet I show you where Calvin enforced liturgical, moral, ecclesial, and social form and content; ..."

He imposed rules. His rules were not similar in form or content to the Liturgy of the hours. Hopefully you recognize that. If you do, your argument seems essentially irrelevant.

"... and where your own assembly requires certain things in a similar fashion, and you wax ambivalent."

I fail to see any similarity in form and content between things you've identified and the Liturgy of the Hours. You've had a chance to point out the similarity - and if you think I've missed it, you're welcome to explain the similarity in a new comment.

I had pointed out: "the fact that something is an objective inquiry doesn't entail that all those who make the inquiry will do so flawlessly."

You responded: "But you have no mechanism or ability to determine when the inquiry is flawless."

Let's assume you're right about that. So what? Why should that matter?

You continued: "At best, personal confidence in one's interpretation is all you get--until a better exegete comes along and shakes your confidence (sempor reformanda after all!)"

What other kind of confidence is a person going to have than personal confidence? And why should one be dissatisfied with confidence? Faith is not sight, after all.

I had pointed out: "It might very well be seen that way by many people. Others see it as a personal duty."

You responded: "To clarify, I agree that seeking divine revelation is a personal duty but the way that is accomplished is what I have come to question. Is it a scientific, Enlightenment borne personal inquiry into the sources as if we could flawlessly arrive at the divine intent? Or is it a discovery of and submission to that which is the pillar and ground of the truth?"

I think it would be a mistake to view the humanities approach as born out of the Enlightenment, instead of recognizing it as revitalization of the older patristic ad fontes approach - an approach that was interrupted by the scholasticism of the middle ages.

[cont'd below]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from above]

Re: "If whatever Protestant denomination is this church, why can't they do this?"

a) We don't claim any one denomination is "the Church." We're not sectarian.

b) You and I clearly have different ideas of what the early church looked like. The early church (from the death of the apostles to just before Constantine) fought heresies without any real centralized mechanism. Their common authority (common to all the Christians) was the Word of God in two Testaments.

I had pointed out: "Scripture already forbids schism, as such, and all Christians have the duty to identify it."

You wrote: "So tell me, schism from who? The NT writers FORBID it."

Schism is "of what" not "from whom."

You wrote: "They called for repentance, they corrected errors, they commanded obedience, they rebuked local assemblies but they never allowed for schism to address these things."

Schism is a sin. Not every division involves the sin of schism on the part of both parties. In fact, some divisions don't involve the sin of schism on either party. But yes, we are taught to reject false teachers, which can naturally lead to divisions.

You continued: "The apostles and their NT successors/designees exerted real and Christ authorized, Spirit-led authority upon all churches. They did not leave them to self determination."

I'm not sure what that pair of assertions entails.

I pointed out: "There has not been "ecclesial unity" at least since the Nestorian and non-Chalcedonian churches broke away. So, the "procure" part is pretty much a hollow claim."

You wrote: "But I thought you said we could identify schism."

We can.

You wrote: "The Nestorian and non-Chalcedonian churches BROKE AWAY."

So what? They are still "away." My point was simply that unity (of the kind you suggested your church can procure) is not present. Therefore, the claim to be able to procure unity cannot be true.

You wrote: "The church of Christ has unity in itself because he indwells her."

Well, no doubt. That sort of unity, however, is invisible and inter-denominational.

You wrote: "When some brake away it is schism, and therefore sinful."

The word "schism" refers to a sinful breaking up of churches. Nevertheless, the result is not unity.

You wrote: "But the place of unity--the Christian Church--is still there and schismatics can and sometimes do return to this unity."

It's sectarianism to designate one denomination as "the Christian Church" to the exclusion of all others. We reject that practice as itself a schismatic practice.

You wrote: "The unity of the church did not disappear just because there were gnostics, Novatians, Manicheaists, Arianists, or Docetists."

Some heretics were schismatics, some were not. Those who were schismatics, however, did damage the unity of the visible church. There can also be orthodox schismatics.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,
Thanks for your reply.
Let me start with two things.First, I am not Catholic so you need not say "your church", though it is evident I am considering Catholicism to be a reasonable option.
Second, I am shocked by your comments:
"The baby was killing the mother."
"If the defense of the mother justifies the use of lethal force, then there is no doing of evil involved."

These are remarkable assertions. Purely personal and subjective on your part. I think I'll stick with the ancient church's patristic and proper views of person, nature and Christology; it stands in stark opposition to your confusion. Here's where you make determinations on your own and need divine revelation not just personal opinion. The intentional destruction of an innocent person to protect one's own life is sin. Trust should be in the providence of God with one's own life and the laying down of it for another if necessary.
"Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me"

Turretinfan said...

"Thanks for your reply."

My pleasure.

"Let me start with two things.First, I am not Catholic so you need not say "your church", though it is evident I am considering Catholicism to be a reasonable option."

ok

"Second, I am shocked by your comments:
'The baby was killing the mother.'
'If the defense of the mother justifies the use of lethal force, then there is no doing of evil involved.'"

Why?

"These are remarkable assertions."

The second assertion is obviously true. The first assertion is what the evidence I've seen suggests.

"Purely personal and subjective on your part."

Your shock is personal and subjective. My first assertion is a conclusion based on the evidence, and my second assertion is just a general moral principle that everyone accepts.

"I think I'll stick with the ancient church's patristic and proper views of person, nature and Christology; it stands in stark opposition to your confusion."

a) There's not just one such view in the ancient church. Thus, in contrast, my (single) view is less confused.

b) Christology isn't part of this discussion.

"Here's where you make determinations on your own and need divine revelation not just personal opinion."

I don't see how you hope to establish that.

"The intentional destruction of an innocent person to protect one's own life is sin."

It sounds very intuitive that way. Why don't you rephrase it as: "It's sinful for an innocent woman to defend herself against her child who is killing her."

"Trust should be in the providence of God with one's own life and the laying down of it for another if necessary."

That sounds great, but (a) it is not normally a moral duty for people to sacrifice themselves for other people and (b) it was not possible for this woman to lay down her life for her child. All she could do (according to the evidence) was either to defend herself or to permit her child to kill both of them.

"Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me"

That's pretty obviously taken out of context. And, of course, that verse is not a prohibition on the use of self-defense.

-TurretinFan

Canadian said...

TF,
"I didn't select it - the bishop did."

You went after the bishop and the LofHours as an imposed and also unfruitful activity saying "what God desires is not the rituals, but the contrite heart."
Yet Calvin or modern Reformed can impose to varying degrees (no executions at your assembly recently I hope) religious forms of worship, rituals and even extreme rules without you carrying on about concerns of self righteousnes, improper motives. That is why I used the word "inherent" because you associated your selected "disliked" activities with a problem with the heart, but your selected "liked" activities were seemingly not guilty of this causal effect.

"That sort of unity, however, is invisible and inter-denominational."

Mere assertion and as I infered, not a biblcal one. Again, there is no basis to determine or even recognize any sin called schism here.

"It's sectarianism to designate one denomination as "the Christian Church" to the exclusion of all others. We reject that practice as itself a schismatic practice."

By the authority of....well...er...um...us--we declare to be schismatic all who think there are any schismatics.

Biblical authority at its finest.

Canadian said...

The murder of an innocent is never self defence. Your confusion is unbelievable here TF if you think the child is killing his mother. The child was not going to die anyway, it was normal and healthy and to attack it is murder. Christology has everything to do with it. It sets guidelines to dispel confusion about person, nature and other categories without which you end up doing stupid things like aborting innocent children.

donsands said...

"I try to pray each day to find my identity in Jesus Christ. I start my day, every day, with an hour of adoration. I celebrate the Eucharist."

There's a lot of sinners who do this, who are not known by the Lord.

I wonder if this man trusts in eating the body and blood of Jesus as his salvation?

I know Catholics who have said to me, after i argued with them about the bread and wine being simply bread and wine, "You can not take my salvation from me."

Their salvation is in the religious system set before them. And to be as good a human as they can, while keeping all the man-made doctrines of Rome.

Maybe this man does know Christ, and trusts in Him alone, and loves Him. But his testimony didn't really say a lot to me.

Turretinfan said...

"You went after the bishop and the LofHours as an imposed and also unfruitful activity saying 'what God desires is not the rituals, but the contrite heart.'"

I criticized him, yes.

"Yet Calvin or modern Reformed can impose to varying degrees (no executions at your assembly recently I hope) religious forms of worship, rituals and even extreme rules without you carrying on about concerns of self righteousnes, improper motives."

And this is only inconsistent with what you seem to imagine my argument is, as opposed to any actual argument I made.

"That is why I used the word "inherent" because you associated your selected "disliked" activities with a problem with the heart, but your selected "liked" activities were seemingly not guilty of this causal effect."

As I said above, the contradiction is simply in the argument of your making, not the argument I presented.

I wrote: "That sort of unity, however, is invisible and inter-denominational."

You wrote: "Mere assertion and as I infered, not a biblcal one."

a) Your inferences are not a substitute for an argument.

b) Yes, of course, its an assertion on my part. We're sufficiently far off topic that I don't feel the need to justify it.

"Again, there is no basis to determine or even recognize any sin called schism here."

a) You say that - but it's just your say so.

b) In contrast, we can read Scripture, which has actual authority.

I had pointed out: "It's sectarianism to designate one denomination as "the Christian Church" to the exclusion of all others. We reject that practice as itself a schismatic practice."

You reply: "By the authority of....well...er...um...us--we declare to be schismatic all who think there are any schismatics."

That's not what I said. Perhaps you should read more carefully.

You added: "Biblical authority at its finest."

Shame on you for saying that.

You wrote: "The murder of an innocent is never self defence."

I did not say otherwise. Murder is always wrong. Not all killing is murder, however.

You wrote: "Your confusion is unbelievable here TF if you think the child is killing his mother."

It may well be that I am confused about the facts. Let me state clearly that if that fact is wrong, then of course the rest of my comments about the situation are inapplicable. They are premised on that.

"The child was not going to die anyway, it was normal and healthy ..."

That's not what I read.

"... and to attack it is murder."

Given your premises, that is the correct conclusion.

"Christology has everything to do with it."

I've already answer this.

"It sets guidelines to dispel confusion about person, nature and other categories without which you end up doing stupid things like aborting innocent children."

It's not "aborting," it's killing. No need to whitewash it.

-TurretinFan

Joe Heschmeyer said...

TF,

I responded here:
http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-abortion-self-defense-defense-of.html

But I wrote this before reading your last comment, and I'm genuinely confused. You say that this baby-murder is okay because it's "self-defense," but now you're restricting that conclusion to 'only if the baby would die either way.' How is that question even relevant to the determination of self-defense?

It increasingly sounds like you're smuggling a utilitarian framework (better to kill one baby than to let two people die through inaction) into the question of self-defense. But to be clear, for genuine self-defense, you don't count body bags. As I say in the post, if a mob of twenty people tried to kill you, you could kill all twenty in the name of self-defense; but you can't intentionally kill a single innocent person, regardless of whether that person was already dying.

Anyways, when you get a chance, will you take a look at the post, and let me know if I'm misunderstanding what you're articulating as "self-defense"?

In Christ,

Joe.

Turretinfan said...

Joe:

Murder is always wrong.

Killing is not always wrong.

Justified killing is not murder.

There are lots of possible justifications for killing.

One justification is self-defense.

I don't know where you get your quotation ('only if the baby would die either way.') but I don't find that I typed that.

I was actually answering a hypothetical scenario that Canadian had raised. In his scenario, the woman is supposed to sacrifice her own life for the life of her child. That's a different scenario than the one we are addressing here.

And I have the same objection to the title of your blog post that I do to Canadian's comment above: stop whitewashing the killing of the unborn by calling it "Abortion." It's not "abortion" (yes, I know people call it that), it's killing - and unless that killing has a legitimate justification it's either manslaughter (if accidental) or murder (if intentional).

If you want to consider the matter rationally, you have to think about it for what it is - killing, the taking of a life. It's a very serious thing, and not something to be undertaken casually.

-TurretinFan

Kerath25 said...

"stop whitewashing the killing of the unborn by calling it "Abortion." It's not 'abortion' (yes, I know people call it that), it's killing - and unless that killing has a legitimate justification it's either manslaughter (if accidental) or murder (if intentional)."

I'm sorry, TurrinFan, but I don't quite understand your distinction here between abortion and "killing of the unborn". In my understanding, these are the same thing. Could you please clarify what the difference is?

Grace and peace,
kerath25

Turretinfan said...

"I'm sorry, TurrinFan, but I don't quite understand your distinction here between abortion and "killing of the unborn". In my understanding, these are the same thing. Could you please clarify what the difference is?"

Yes, they are the same thing, but "abortion" sounds clinical. Advocates for the death of the unborn prefer the word "abortion," because they don't like to acknowledge that abortion takes a human life.

It's an extraordinarily serious thing, not simply a medical procedure.

-TurretinFan

Coram Deo said...

It doesn't sound so negative to be labelled "anti-manslaughter" or "anti-murder", either.

But when you're against a mundane medical procedure, why you're just a tyrant! After all, who are YOU to say that a woman shouldn't have a tooth extracted if it's causing her pain, or to have a foreign abdominal growth surgically removed if it's going to cause her "pain and discomfort"?


Sadly in their murderous zeal many in the pro-death camp are so unreasoning in their extreme hatred of babies that they deny ABORTION even takes a LIFE. It's pretty sad when people can't even say that an unborn child is, in fact, and unborn child as opposed to "something else", and "not a person" by redefining terms.

I mean, even sticking with the mundane medical term ABORTION wasn't something ABORTED? Was that "something" genetically a cat? A parakeet? An apple tree?

We don't usually think of a bum tooth, or a cancerous growth (both of which I've seen unborn children likened to) as being "aborted"; even though there's a sense in which certain aggressive cancers may be said to take on a "life of their own" as it were [not to be confused with the development of a child in the womb].

I do pray that by the grace of God future generations will someday look back on the ugly horrors of the BIG BUSINE$$ of the abort-uary industry in a manner not dissimilar to the way we look back at the slavery of black Africans today - as a morally reprehensible, bankrupt, and inhuman practice.

May it be soon, Lord!

In Him,
CD

Joe Heschmeyer said...

Coram Deo and TF,

I agree with your general point, that terms like "abortion," "fetus," "termination" and the like are often used as euphemisms to describe the horrible reality of what's occurring. But in the post, I'm not using them that way. Rather, I'm referring to the specific species of murder involving the unborn: abortion.

Given that, your criticism of the post's title (that I say "abortion" instead of "killing") is silly. Changing the question from "Is abortion self-defense" (Answer: no, never) to "Is killing self-defense" changes the question itself, and changes the answer, since some killings ARE self-defense, but only as against aggressors.

In general, your objection seems to dance around the issue. You're obsessed with the letter (whether I'm using the term you've deemed the right one to describe the horror of abortion) while missing the spirit (you're actually advocating, or at least defending, the horror of abortion, while I'm opposing it).

And to your other question, I was paraphrasing your point, which is why I used single quote marks to describe the idea summarized.

Turretinfan said...

JH:

I've responded to your recent post in a new blog entry (link to entry).

Your argument seems to stand or fall on the question of whether a baby can itself present a real threat to the life of the mother.

If it cannot, then of course you are right.

If it can, you are wrong.

The evidence is that it can.

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote, “Heh. In context, Augustine's words might be more aptly used by me than thee, I think.”

I respond with love…

The context of the sentence that I pulled from Letter 93 is remonstration against schismatics: “How many, believing that it mattered not to which party a Christian might belong, remained in the schism of [Calvin] only because they had been born in it, and no one was compelling them to forsake it and pass over into the Catholic Church!” Elsewhere, Augustine taught that schismatics “themselves are swept away who read in the Holy Scriptures the names of churches to which the apostles wrote, and in which they have no bishop. For what could more clearly prove their perversity and their folly, than their saying to their clergy, when they read these letters, ‘Peace be with you,’ at the very time that they are themselves disjoined from the peace of those churches to which the letters were originally written?” (Letter 53: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102053.htm) For “by the words of Christ we have learned where the Church is to be found: ‘Throughout all nations,’ He says, ‘beginning at Jerusalem.’ Whosoever, therefore, separates a man from that complete whole to place him in any single part, is proved to be a son of the devil and a murderer” (Answer to Petilian, Bk. 2, Ch. 13: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/14092.htm). And “we see that the Church of God that is called Catholic is spread throughout the world, as it was foretold that it would be… We ask, then, that you not delay to reply to us with the reason ─ which you perhaps know ─ why it has come about that Christ lost his inheritance spread throughout the world and suddenly remained only among the” Reformed (Letter 49: http://books.google.com/books?id=UmG5hYsJAAIC&pg=PA7&dq=augustine+letters+1+99&hl=en&ei=IVoZTeiAK4Ss8AarrpyDDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=augustine%20letters%201%2099&f=false).

Augustine helped bring me safely home to the Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Christ. I hope that God will use him to do the same for you.

Your brother in Christ,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

Augustine has taught me to great respect for Scriptures for that, Mr. Holter. But I do appreciate what I take to be a sincere expression of goodwill.

Of course, neither you nor I have exactly the same views as Augustine. I can justify my departure from his views - can you?

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Hail, TurretinFan!

We emailed briefly, last January. I’m not sure if you remember.

Perhaps a crucial difference between our departures from Augustine would be that you depart from him in ways that he would identify as heretical, whereas I am not aware that I do this. I try to stay as close to Augustine as I can. I love him, and I view him as the greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church and the safest personal guide to faith in Christ and love of Christ.

Did you have a particular doctrine in mind? Emailing might be better, if you are interested. I’m at pholter@amrl.net. May the LORD be with you.

In Christ,
Pete

Turretinfan said...

"Perhaps a crucial difference between our departures from Augustine would be that you depart from him in ways that he would identify as heretical, whereas I am not aware that I do this."

Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.

- TurretinFan

Tribute Books said...

Hello,

Would you be interested in reviewing our title, "Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life" on your site?

http://www.whygodmatters.com

Best wishes,
Nicole Langan
Tribute Books

Anonymous said...

TurretinFan wrote, “Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.”

I think it is more accurate to say that Augustine would point others to the Roman Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Scriptures as the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. For Augustine, the Scriptures alone could be appealed to as a sufficient witness, but the faith and practice of the whole Church could also be appealed to as a sufficient witness. Most often, the two would coincide, but not always. For “even if it were no where at all read in the Old Scriptures, not small is the authority… of the whole Church” (On the Care of the Dead, 3).

And “although I find something written by Catholics on the subject [of the origin of the soul], yet the defence of the truth had not yet been undertaken against those men, neither was there any anxiety to answer them. But this I say, that according to the Holy Scriptures original sin is so manifest, and that this is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration is confirmed by such antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church, that what is argued by the inquiry or affirmation of anybody concerning the origin of the soul, if it is contrary to this, cannot be true. Wherefore, whoever builds up, either concerning the soul or any other obscure matter, any edifice whence he may destroy this, which is true, best founded, and best known, whether he is a son or an enemy of the Church, must either be corrected or avoided” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Bk. 3, Ch. 26).

The fact of original sin is founded on the Holy Scriptures themselves; but the fact that original sin “is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration” is not rested by Augustine upon the authority of the Scriptures, but upon the “antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church.” The teaching is “true, best founded, and best known,” and whatever “is contrary to this, cannot be true.” Augustine says that whoever opposes this teaching “must either be corrected or avoided,” indicating thereby that this is a question of heresy, and one for which Augustine did not appeal to the Scriptures in order to answer, the authority of the Church alone sufficing.

Your brother in the LORD,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this response earlier, but I don’t see it on the blog entry. If you deleted my post, then I am sorry for reposting. I thought maybe something else happened to it. If it doesn’t show up this time, I’ll know that you deleted it. In that case, again, I am sorry for reposting it.

TurretinFan wrote, “Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.”

I think it is more accurate to say that Augustine would point others to the Roman Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Scriptures as the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. For Augustine, the Scriptures alone could be appealed to as a sufficient witness, but the faith and practice of the whole Church could also be appealed to as a sufficient witness. Most often, the two would coincide, but not always. For “even if it were no where at all read in the Old Scriptures, not small is the authority… of the whole Church” (On the Care of the Dead, 3).

And “although I find something written by Catholics on the subject [of the origin of the soul], yet the defence of the truth had not yet been undertaken against those men, neither was there any anxiety to answer them. But this I say, that according to the Holy Scriptures original sin is so manifest, and that this is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration is confirmed by such antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church, that what is argued by the inquiry or affirmation of anybody concerning the origin of the soul, if it is contrary to this, cannot be true. Wherefore, whoever builds up, either concerning the soul or any other obscure matter, any edifice whence he may destroy this, which is true, best founded, and best known, whether he is a son or an enemy of the Church, must either be corrected or avoided” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Bk. 3, Ch. 26).

The fact of original sin is founded on the Holy Scriptures themselves; but the fact that original sin “is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration” is not rested by Augustine upon the authority of the Scriptures, but upon the “antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church.” The teaching is “true, best founded, and best known,” and whatever “is contrary to this, cannot be true.” Augustine says that whoever opposes this teaching “must either be corrected or avoided,” indicating thereby that this is a question of heresy, and one for which Augustine did not appeal to the Scriptures in order to answer, the authority of the Church alone sufficing.

Your brother in the LORD,
Pete Holter

Turretinfan said...

Nicole:

That might be a good idea.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Holter:

The Spam filter has been pretty active lately. I suspect that's where your comments are. I'll check on that a little later and release the trapped comments. I may end up deleting the redundant one(s).

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, thanks. This was my first post using A tags. I’ll take em out and maybe that will help…

TurretinFan wrote, “Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.”

I think it is more accurate to say that Augustine would point others to the Roman Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Scriptures as the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. For Augustine, the Scriptures alone could be appealed to as a sufficient witness, but the faith and practice of the whole Church could also be appealed to as a sufficient witness. Most often, the two would coincide, but not always. For “even if it were no where at all read in the Old Scriptures, not small is the authority… of the whole Church” (On the Care of the Dead, 3: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1316.htm).

And “although I find something written by Catholics on the subject [of the origin of the soul], yet the defence of the truth had not yet been undertaken against those men, neither was there any anxiety to answer them. But this I say, that according to the Holy Scriptures original sin is so manifest, and that this is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration is confirmed by such antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church, that what is argued by the inquiry or affirmation of anybody concerning the origin of the soul, if it is contrary to this, cannot be true. Wherefore, whoever builds up, either concerning the soul or any other obscure matter, any edifice whence he may destroy this, which is true, best founded, and best known, whether he is a son or an enemy of the Church, must either be corrected or avoided” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Bk. 3, Ch. 26: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15093.htm).

The fact of original sin is founded on the Holy Scriptures themselves; but the fact that original sin “is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration” is not rested by Augustine upon the authority of the Scriptures, but upon the “antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church.” The teaching is “true, best founded, and best known,” and whatever “is contrary to this, cannot be true.” Augustine says that whoever opposes this teaching “must either be corrected or avoided,” indicating thereby that this is a question of heresy, and one for which Augustine did not appeal to the Scriptures in order to answer, the authority of the Church alone sufficing.

Your brother in the LORD,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, thanks. This was my first post using A tags. I’ll take em out and maybe that will help…

TurretinFan wrote, “Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.”

I think it is more accurate to say that Augustine would point others to the Roman Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Scriptures as the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. For Augustine, the Scriptures alone could be appealed to as a sufficient witness, but the faith and practice of the whole Church could also be appealed to as a sufficient witness. Most often, the two would coincide, but not always. For “even if it were no where at all read in the Old Scriptures, not small is the authority… of the whole Church” (On the Care of the Dead, 3: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1316.htm).

And “although I find something written by Catholics on the subject [of the origin of the soul], yet the defence of the truth had not yet been undertaken against those men, neither was there any anxiety to answer them. But this I say, that according to the Holy Scriptures original sin is so manifest, and that this is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration is confirmed by such antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church, that what is argued by the inquiry or affirmation of anybody concerning the origin of the soul, if it is contrary to this, cannot be true. Wherefore, whoever builds up, either concerning the soul or any other obscure matter, any edifice whence he may destroy this, which is true, best founded, and best known, whether he is a son or an enemy of the Church, must either be corrected or avoided” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Bk. 3, Ch. 26: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15093.htm).

The fact of original sin is founded on the Holy Scriptures themselves; but the fact that original sin “is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration” is not rested by Augustine upon the authority of the Scriptures, but upon the “antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church.” The teaching is “true, best founded, and best known,” and whatever “is contrary to this, cannot be true.” Augustine says that whoever opposes this teaching “must either be corrected or avoided,” indicating thereby that this is a question of heresy, and one for which Augustine did not appeal to the Scriptures in order to answer, the authority of the Church alone sufficing.

Your brother in the LORD,
Pete Holter

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, thanks. This was my first post using A tags. I’ll take em out and maybe that will help…

TurretinFan wrote, “Augustine, of course, would not have made himself the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. He repeatedly and unequivocally pointed his readers to Scripture as the standard.”

I think it is more accurate to say that Augustine would point others to the Roman Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Scriptures as the measure of heresy/orthodoxy. For Augustine, the Scriptures alone could be appealed to as a sufficient witness, but the faith and practice of the whole Church could also be appealed to as a sufficient witness. Most often, the two would coincide, but not always. For “even if it were no where at all read in the Old Scriptures, not small is the authority… of the whole Church” (On the Care of the Dead, 3: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1316.htm).

And “although I find something written by Catholics on the subject [of the origin of the soul], yet the defence of the truth had not yet been undertaken against those men, neither was there any anxiety to answer them. But this I say, that according to the Holy Scriptures original sin is so manifest, and that this is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration is confirmed by such antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church, that what is argued by the inquiry or affirmation of anybody concerning the origin of the soul, if it is contrary to this, cannot be true. Wherefore, whoever builds up, either concerning the soul or any other obscure matter, any edifice whence he may destroy this, which is true, best founded, and best known, whether he is a son or an enemy of the Church, must either be corrected or avoided” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, Bk. 3, Ch. 26: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15093.htm).

The fact of original sin is founded on the Holy Scriptures themselves; but the fact that original sin “is put away in infants by the laver of regeneration” is not rested by Augustine upon the authority of the Scriptures, but upon the “antiquity and authority of the catholic faith, notorious by such a clear concurrent testimony of the Church.” The teaching is “true, best founded, and best known,” and whatever “is contrary to this, cannot be true.” Augustine says that whoever opposes this teaching “must either be corrected or avoided,” indicating thereby that this is a question of heresy, and one for which Augustine did not appeal to the Scriptures in order to answer, the authority of the Church alone sufficing.

Your brother in the LORD,
Pete Holter