Thursday, August 18, 2011

Response to Roman Apologetic Comment ...

This comes from the comment box of Mark Shea's post regarding Augustine, Scripture, and Nicaea. It's not him commenting (as far as I know), but another member of his religion. Here's the quotation:
The Catholic (i.e. Universal) Church has Taught, and never wavered from [its] teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist for over two thousand years. That's four hundred years before the canon of scripture, fifteen hundred years before Luther. Two thousand years before us.

Mary and I have never met, I live in [America], and she lives in Kenya. Don't you think it's odd that we could be saying the EXACT same thing.

Jesus Christ the God-man who walked the streets of Nazareth is on earth!
Last things first:

Mark 13:20-22
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: for false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

You may reply, "But that passage is talking about people pretending to be Jesus, people like Vissarion, José Luis de Jesús Miranda, or Sun Myung Moon - human beings pretending to be Christ." Yet notice that (a) this passage speaks primarily about people announcing Christ, not about people calling themselves Christ; and (b) are there not many alleged eucharistic miracles that are brought forward in an attempt to show that Christ is present (Santarem, Sienna, Erding, and Cascia, for example). What signs and wonders are foolish blasphemers like Vissarion doing that compare with the bold claims of miracles amongst those of the Roman communion? The elect will reject all these false Christs.

Going back to the beginning of the comment, his mathematics skills reflect poorly on America. The last supper was less than 2000 years ago. Moreover, the doctrine of the real presence (in the transubstantial sense it is given by Rome today) was not the ancient teaching of the churches - even if a real spiritual presence was taught by some of the fathers.

Rome didn't formally define the canon of Scripture until after Luther died and the Reformation was already well under way. On the other hand, the apostles clearly recognized the Old Testament books as canon, and recognized the New Testament books as canon, as they were being written. For example, Paul refers to Luke's gospel (or perhaps Matthew's gospel) as Scripture:

1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Matthew 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Moreover, Peter refers to Paul's epistles as Scripture:

2 Peter 3:15-16
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Likewise, Luther wasn't the first to oppose Rome's dogma of transubstantiation. Wycliffe opposed the dogma of transubstantiation in the 1300's - and considering that the term "transubstantiation" was first used by an "ecumenical" council in the 1200's, the idea that this dogma was some long-standing or apostolic tradition that Luther was the first to question (something only implied, not stated, by our Roman friend here) - is not credible.

I'm sure that the two folks in the Roman communion have the same views. My Reformed brethren around the globe have the same views I do, if geographical dispersion is important. But ultimately, the question is not geographical distribution but Scriptural authenticity. And to be blunt: one cannot legitimately derive transubstantiation from Scripture.



Anonymous said...

What I find remarkable and salient about your words, here:

"Moreover, Peter refers to Paul's epistles as Scripture".

Rom 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.


1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.

is this:

When you get a sense of the content of the Holy Scriptures and you then let that clear up the muddle that is between your ears, however the origin of the confusion came in there, it is so much easier to see who it is or was muddying up the Waters!

In this instance, the teaching on transubstantiation does a good job of it as does a few other of the RCC's teachings.

Anonymous said...

"Trinity" as a term wasn't used until late in the first millenium but that in no way means Christians didn't believe in a Holy Trinity.

As for the late use of a term, I simply have to say that heresy sharpens dogma; dogma is what we already believe even if it is strictly defined later. As you lived since conception but your mother didn't name you until later, just so did transubstantiation exist since the Last Supper.

(There is always, of course, the argument from "not just a symbol": When pressed by his disciples for a more temperate explanation, Jesus intensifies his words as meaning "gnawing on" his flesh.)

athanasios said...

"Rome didn't formally define the canon of Scripture until after Luther died and the Reformation was already well under way."

also before Luther in dogmatical document of Ecumenical Council of Florence (in 1442) Church definitely teached:

"Sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia, Domini et Salvatoris nostri voce fundata, firmiter credit, profitetur et praedicat ... Unum atque eundem Deum Veteris et Novi Testamenti, hoc est, Legis et Prophetarum atque Evangelii profitetur auctorem: quoniam eodem Spiritu Sancto inspirante utriusque Testamenti Sancti locuti sunt: quorum libros sucipit et veneratur, qui titulis sequentibus continentur:
Quinque Moysi, id est Genesi, Exodo, Levitico, Numeris, Deuteronomio; Josue, Judicum, Ruth, Quatuor Regum, Duobus Paralipomenon, Esdra, Neemia, Tobia, Judith, Hester, Job, Psalmis David, Parabolis, Ecclesiaste, Canticis Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiastico, Isaya, Jeremia, Baruch, Ezechiele, Daniele, Duodecim Prophetis Minoribus id est Osee, Johele, Amos, Abdia, Jona, Michea, Naum, Abachuc, Sophonia, Ageo, Zacharia, Malachia; Duobus Machabeorum, Quatuor Evangeliis Mathaei, Marci, Lucae, Johannis; Quatuordecim Epistolis Pauli, Ad Romanos, Duabus ad Corinthios, Ad Galatas, Ad Ephesios, Ad Philipenses, Duabus ad Thesalonicense, Ad Colocenses, Duabus ad Timotheum, Ad Titum, Ad Philomenon, Ad Hebraeos; Petri duabus; Tribus Johannis; Una Jacobi; Una Judae; Actibus Apostolorum et Apocalypsi Johannis." (DS 1335).

ChaferDTS said...

"also before Luther in dogmatical document of Ecumenical Council of Florence (in 1442) Church definitely teached "

There is a major problem there. The Council of Florence was not an ecumenical council as claimed. It was a Roman Church Council only. Florence did not settle the issue of the OT Canon either for the Roman Church. The RCC OT Canon was dogmatically defined and settled at the Council of Trent in 1546ad. That is right from the New Catholic Enclyopedia itself and the old edition as well. Jerome's position on the OT Canon was the right one when all is said and done. :)

ChaferDTS said...

Transubstantiation is really a post 800ad doctrine of Roman Catholicism. It is after that time when it is fully define. The Church fathers held different views on the matter of the Lord's Supper. There was hardly any consent of the church fathers either unless one reads back later concepts in to their writings. Let's not forget the doctrine of transsubstantiation also contradicts the historical creeds when it comes to the two natures of Jesus in one person. And also goes againist Scripture on where Jesus is physically at until His second coming. The Calvinistic strain of Reformers were correct on their understanding of the Lord's Supper in relationship to Jesus presense. :)