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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Protestantism's Adulterous Affair

Anyone who holds Scripture in high regard will recognize that divorce is something God despises (Mal 2:16; Mark 10:2-12) since it is a tearing apart of a sacred bond and a repudiation of one's covenant vows. Divorce is a (grave) sin, and only the most liberal Protestants out there would deny that (since they repudiate Christian morality in general). This post is aimed at the "conservative" Protestant crowd, since Catholics can find much common ground with them to build from. Given that we're dealing with a serious sin (at least under certain circumstances), this is not an issue one can remain indifferent towards since it touches upon a basic teaching of Christian morality (i.e. adultery).


Naturally, this debate would immediately turn towards examining the Scriptural evidence for one's position on this matter. I believe it is prudent to look at the Biblical evidence directly touching upon this subject:
Matthew 5: 31 "It was also said [in the Mosaic Law], 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Matthew 19: 3And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?" 4He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." 7They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" 8He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." 10The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry."
Mark 10: 2And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" 4They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." 5And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6But  from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 7 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." 10And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Luke 16: 18Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

1 Cor 7: 10To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11(but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. ... 39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

Romans 7: 2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
These passages all are saying basically the same thing: divorce is sinful and forbidden, and only death frees up the widow for another marriage (if desired, 1 Cor 7:8-9, 40). Most Protestants generally agree with this assessment, but would point out that an "exception" is clearly stated in Matthew's accounts on the matter. This "exception" will now be examined.

There are three general categories on how the clause in Matthew - "except for sexual immorality" - is to be understood:

(1) In the event one spouse sexually "cheats" on the other spouse, the "innocent spouse" has grounds to divorce and remarry. The "guilty spouse" cannot remarry, despite being divorced, though some Protestants would drop this prohibition should the sin of "cheating" be repented of.

(2) In the event the spouse chooses anything to love above that of their wife/husband, that can be considered "cheating" in a true and just sense. For example, a spouse that is addicted to alcohol, pornography, gambling, a deadbeat, etc, could be said to be acting just as bad if not worse than if sexually "cheating" on their wife/husband with another person, and thus have grounds to divorce them. This can also be expanded to include a couple who "just cant get along" and feels it better to divorce, but stops short of "no fault" divorce (which would fall into the "liberal" Protestant sphere). The 'rules' for remarriage are essentially identical to the previous interpretation.

(3) There is no actual "exception" in the sense most people are thinking, and thus divorce is never allowed under any circumstances. This is the Catholic view, but it is starting to be shared by more and more Protestants (though still in a serious minority). A more detailed examination of this view will be discussed later on in this article.

There are "conservative" Protestants in all of the above categories, with the great majority falling within category 1 or 2. The Westminster Confession of Faith (written in 1646) is a standard which has informed and guided many denominations of Protestants for almost 400 years, and this is what it teaches on the subject of divorce (Chapter 24 Sec V-VI, note the Scripture proof texts are still linked):
V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.[11] In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce,[12] to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.[13]

VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:[14] wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.[15]
The 'guidelines' here are essentially that of category 1 above. In this case, the Westminster Confession includes abandonment of your spouse along with sexual immorality as grounds for divorce, arguing 1 Corinthians 7 includes this as an exception. How broadly these "exceptions" can be taken is something Protestants cannot agree upon, hence the existence of the second category above.

The third category is the least popular for two main reasons: it's not a conclusion people favoring divorce want to accept, and it's explanation of the Biblical evidence is the least understood. The Catholic analysis of the Biblical evidence leading to the conclusion of category 3 is basically as follows:

(1) Mark, Luke, and Paul don't mention any "exception," which suggests no exception exists. Of all that was written on this subject, that no "exception" is listed is quite telling. Paul even explains the only thing allowed is to live separately but "remain unmarried," while explaining the only grounds for remarriage are death of one of the spouses. 

(2) All the texts speak of the serious rupture divorce would cause, and that Christ is holding men to a higher standard than what the Mosaic Law held men to. Divorce is explicitly said to be allowed by Moses only reluctantly, on the basis of hardness of hearts of the Jews. Contrasted to this, Christ says this goes against God's original purpose for Marriage (i.e. permanence), starting back in Eden!

(3) If you look carefully, especially at Luke's account, both the one who divorces and the one divorced are not allowed to remarry (indicating the original marriage still exists), and this goes against the idea of an "innocent spouse" being still able to remarry. Here is Luke's account: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." The man in this case is the "guilty party" by illegitimately divorcing and thus is acting sinfully, but if the "innocent spouse" theory is true, the illegitimately divorced woman should be free to marry, yet this is explicitly ruled out by Our Lord.

(4) If some sin were grounds to allow divorce, this would encourage couples (even if only unconsciously) to commit that sin so that a divorce would result, tarnishing Christ's teaching in the first place. This would distort the message Christ is trying to covey about the two now being "one," and not letting man undo "what God has joined."

(5) It would leave one unable to explain why the "guilty spouse" is not free to remarry if the mutual bond is indeed broken. This is further complicated if cases where both spouses mutually seek divorce. Arguing that the "guilty party" cannot remarry as a matter of disciplinary punishment rather than theological goes against the context of the passage (i.e. Jesus is grounding marriage on God's covenantal terms, where as Moses was grounding it on civil law).

Given all this, when approaching the "exception" clause, it should be clear that a genuine "exception" would not harmonize well with the above evidence. Now I turn to ways in which the "exception" clause can be understood in a way perfectly in harmony with the abundant evidence against divorce and remarriage:
  • When Matthew says "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery," the Greek term for "sexual immorality" (sometimes translated "fornication") is not the same Greek word as "adultery". So a reading of "whoever divorces their spouse, except for adultery, commits adultery," is not an accurate interpretation, yet this is precisely how those advocating an exception would need the text to read. The two terms also appear in Matthew 15:19, side by side, in a list of sins, further indicating there is a distinction. That there are two different words here suggests something else is intended rather than "adultery" (i.e. "cheating") being grounds for divorce.
  • The term "sexual immorality" (one word in Greek) can refer to unlawful unions of people who should not be getting married (e.g. close relatives, already married), making any genuine marriage impossible or invalid. This can be shown in how the term is used in places like 1 Corinthians 5:1 (where a Gentile Christian is having relations with his step-mother) and Acts 15:20 (where a disciplinary decree was issued listing "sexual immorality" alongside other Jewish disciplinary laws, and in which forbidding fornication in general would have been unnecessary since such a thing goes without saying for any Christian).
  • Matthew is the only writer to mention this clause, but he could be doing this since he is the only one who covers the potential divorce between Joseph and Mary in 1:18ff, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly." In Jewish times there were 'stages' of marriage, with 'betrothal' being a step above our modern understanding of 'engagement'. It was at this point when Joseph, a just man and not acting out of hardness of heart, sought to divorce her, since he suspected "sexual immorality" tarnishing a potentially full fledged marriage commitment. Thus, he was not breaking apart a fully ratified marriage, but instead a semi-marriage. This fits perfectly with Christ's "exception" clause and is (ironically), precisely what the Westminster Confession spoke of above when speaking of divorce "before marriage".
  • The separation Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 is not to be confused with the Lord's commandment in 7:10-11 between married Christians not being able to divorce. Those in focus in 7:12-15 involve a marriage between a Christian and unbeliever, which is a valid marriage but doesn't carry the mark of a Christian (Sacramental) marriage, and is speaking of the unbeliever abandoning the marriage, so it is not the subject of "except for sexual immorality". 
Having taken all the evidence into consideration, it is clear that the Bible does not allow divorce, which is precisely what the Catholic Church has always taught. Interestingly enough, more and more Protestants are beginning to see this. One very noteworthy example is that of popular author, pastor, and apologist, Reformed Baptist John Piper came to this same conclusion based on his own personal careful study of all the Scriptural evidence. See his article on his ministry webpage here. He argues his point very closely to how a Catholic would, though Piper comes to some slightly different conclusions outside of the agreed upon point that divorce and remarriage is certainly sinful according to Scripture. It is noteworthy to point out that Piper "concludes" that someone who is divorced and now "remarried" should not leave this second 'marriage' nor should it be considered an adulterous relations, but rather a valid second 'marriage'. He could not be more wrong.


With all 3 categories examined, we now see a serious problem emerging: everyone is ultimately determining for themselves what is true and permissible on an issue which affects (both directly and indirectly) the day to day life and belief of Christians. Something is wrong here, and that problem is Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura cannot 'settle' this issue, and that's because each Protestant is ultimately their own magisterium, deciding for themself whether something such as divorce is allowed or not. The result is a slippery-slope to moral and doctrinal relativism, and this is clearly seen today with the staggering rate of divorces and leniency among "conservative" Protestants on other moral issues (e.g. contraception and masturbation). Only the Catholic Church has remained faithful to Scripture and Tradition in this regard, and that is clear testimony to why it is the Church Christ Himself founded and which all who wish to follow Him must strive to unite them self to.

Worse yet, Piper and the other pastors at his church have issued a signed decree for all his congregation stating that:
Among the membership of Bethlehem in 1989 complete unanimity does not exist concerning the question what divorces and what remarriages are Biblically permissible. This lack of unanimity is a reflection of the evangelical church worldwide.
...
Many of those in leadership at Bethlehem share this early Christian consensus that remarriage after divorce is wrong while the spouses are still living. Pastor Piper's efforts to understand the Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage led him to this conclusion some years ago. While he does not count this view the normative one for the staff, deacons or church, it is the guideline for his own counsel, preaching and performance of weddings. The same freedom of conscience applies to each of the other pastors as well.
Remember, this is coming from the very "conservative" end of the Protestant spectrum, with well respected Protestants involved. But what was admitted here and elsewhere is simply astonishing, and so much so that the Catholic position is clearly the only acceptable one. Here we see enshrined in this Protestant church's bylaw is a statement that says each pastor ultimately decides for himself whether divorce and remarriage are acceptable and that Pastor Piper himself wont force his views on his own fellow pastors! This leads to nothing short of short of church sponsored adultery! Imagine what's going on with less "conservative" Protestant churches than this! And the elephant in the room is none other than Sola Scriptura.


While the Bible gives sufficient evidence to know the correct view one should take on divorce, the fact is the Sola Scriptura approach has been proven disastrous to uphold and defend Christian morality since it leaves the authoritative interpretation of Scripture in the hands of each individual. This is a prime example of why an authoritative Church, the very thing Sola Scriptura rules out, is necessary for Christianity to function. Protestants have had an adulterous affair with Scripture, tearing it from its eternal union with the Catholic Magisterium, resulting in all sorts of adulterous mutilations of the Gospel Truth.

100 comments:

Paul Hoffer said...

Thank you Nick for this interesting article!

God bless!

Nick said...

Sure thing Paul.

While some might think I'm being a bit harsh here, the fact is what is going on is not a joke and has become so rampant that people can't tell the difference between black and white here. When 95% of Protestantism is saying 'yes' to divorce, they're condoning adultery in a very real sense (even if unintentional). A lot of people don't want to hear this, but it's the sad truth.

Exploring the Unknowable said...

---

I figured I'd put this in the most recent post, since I'm not sure if you go back and read from old posts. I'm an unbeliever directed here from Ken Pulliam's blog "Why I De-Converted from Evangelical Christianity", but I really appreciate the work you do here. It is refreshing to see someone so serious about the consistency and coherence of their worldview. I do come from an evangelical background, so I must admit, when I was a believer, I always just assumed out of hand that Catholics stubbornly refused to yield to the "clear" teaching of Scripture, but after reading some of your posts here (of course, I've yet to read rebuttals, though I've heard some biased rebuttals in the past), I'm quite impressed. You are good at expressing your case, you detail and support all of your assumptions and arguments with Scripture and evidence.

I was reading your post where you "obliterated" the doctrine of justification by faith, and I found your conclusions quite interesting, though I do disagree with your assessment of Paul. I've been reading a book by E.P. Sanders recently, simply titled "Paul", and while he considered himself a believer, he refers to himself as a liberal, "Secularized" believer; as far as I'm concerned, he might as well just call himself a non-believer, but I digress. He keeps any theological views he might have out of his scholarship. This can be seen in the rather unflattering ways that he deals with Paul, and the several Scriptural authors. Also, he is decidedly reticent to refer to some books claimed to have been written by Paul, but that are considered pseudepigraphical by many scholars. Long story short, he reads Paul without bringing in any external assumptions that would cloud his judgement, and he reads Paul as advocating justification by faith.

Anyways, keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading more of your post.

Thanks!

Nick said...

Thank you for your comments, even if we don't fully agree on things.

I'm glad you understand my overall goal with my work, and that is to present logical and Biblically based arguments that do touch upon the core issues. You touched upon something very important to me, and that was recognizing that Catholicism is not some institution that looks down on Scripture but actually appeals to it all the time and harmonizes it quite well (and we'd even say to the fullest extent possible, which others cannot do).

What's been a real eye-opener for me is to realize how many Protestant doctrines are not founded upon harmonizing Scripture, but rather taking a few texts here and there and making them the rule rather than exception or even harmonizing them. This divorce situation is a prime example, where their strongest argument comes from looking to Matthew alone, ignoring all the other evidence, and not even considering the fact Matthew's "exception" has other more consistent interpretations than a strict "exception" to the rule. As I said above, this might come off harsh, but it's a terrible scourge of Christendom today when Protestants are effectively promoting church sponsored adultery.

Anonymous said...

As a former Catholic I am living the fruit of the practices of the Catholic Church.

I see my wife and her long time lover openly welcomed, as a couple, even speaking for the sacraments of our five children. I blocked her annulment lies in Rome but, except for a church ceremony(which will happen before rigor mortis fully sets in my remains) in all aspects our valid marriage means nothing.

I will not argue further other than to say YOU ARE MISLEAD. Now, although I have again begun going to Mass, I do so as a former Catholic.

What the Catholic Church practices is very, very evil. What it teaches is beautiful. These nightmares are well known in Rome which turns its back on abandoned, faithful spouses.

Our spouses are encouraged to murder their maliciously abandoned partners, by inches, using the power of the state as is lawfully possible, to destroy us and breakdown our bodies and our will to live.

I HATE what the Catholic Church has become and does regarding marriage. I would love to personally give the Pope a piece of my mind.

It breaks my heart, all that I have seen!

Nick said...

Anon,

It is a sad reality that there are sinners in the Church, even those who rise above to noteworthy levels. That's how it is though, as the parable of the wheat and tares teaches. Abuses of all kinds have taken place in the Church from the start, but that doesn't overturn the fact these people are abusing the true rules.

That said, I don't know the details of your situation, so it very well could be you're hurt over something that is in fact, objectively, perfectly within the laws of the Church. For example, if a marriage is invalid, it's invalid; it doesn't matter how hurt one of the parties is.

As for your claim that I am misled - considering this is an apologetics blog, such a claim needs some specific argument presented, else it means nothing.

Lastly, I don't want this comment box going off topic. The main topic is that the Bible forbids divorce and that Protestantism has not only gone against this teaching, it has no way of correcting the problem.

Rhology said...

This is quite rich coming from a member of a church which dispenses "annulments" in lieu of divorces. If you want a position on which RCC really truly holds the moral high ground, look elsewhere.
When the church calls a divorce an annulment, it's a divorce with the name changed. Nothing more.

Nick, you told Anonymous pretty much that his experience is not worth considering, that "there are sinners in the RCC". Duh. And what prevents the Prot from making the same argument about his church?
Nothing except your special pleading.


it has no way of correcting the problem.

That's just silly. We have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to illuminate. That's more than enough.
Or will you retreat to more special pleading? It's not like "Sacred Tradition" has a much better track record.

Peace,
Rhology

Nick said...

Rhology,

An annulment, by definition, is not a divorce or substitute for a divorce. If you can't get your definitions correct, then all is going to seem like a blur to you.

As for your comment about my implied double standard, you are confusing/conflating a teaching with whether or not the teaching is obeyed. Someone who disobeys a teaching says nothing about the integrity of the teaching itself.

You said you have the Bible AND Holy spirit to "illuminate" you on whether or not divorce is acceptable...yet *MY* point is that Protestants "illuminated" in such a manner cannot agree on what Scripture is really saying on this subject, and some (e.g. Piper and his church) saying each pastor is free to decide one way or the other!

Is that what you call "illumination" from the Bible and Holy Spirit? God forbid! It's as abominable as the Protestants who say that while abortion is tragic, if one is raped they can prayerfully consult the Holy Spirit's guidance on whether to go ahead with an abortion!

Rhology said...

An annulment, by definition, is not a divorce or substitute for a divorce

Obviously I don't agree with the RCC's definition of "annulment". When a marriage has taken place and marital intercourse has as well, an "annulment" is indistinguishable from a divorce in substance. Changing the name to "annulment" does nothing for you.



Someone who disobeys a teaching says nothing about the integrity of the teaching itself.

Then I presume you do not use the "33,000 denominations" or "blueprint for anarchy" argument against the perspicuity of the Scripture. Good deal.
And yet you said the Prot has no recourse to correct. You have to give up one or the other. Choose wisely.


yet *MY* point is that Protestants "illuminated" in such a manner cannot agree on what Scripture is really saying on this subject,

Um, remember what you just said? How someone who disobeys a teaching says nothing about the integrity of the teaching itself?


It's as abominable as the Protestants who say that while abortion is tragic, if one is raped they can prayerfully consult the Holy Spirit's guidance on whether to go ahead with an abortion!

Um, no, the latter case is far more tragic. But why would I consider this even close to applicable to my position?

You need to figure out what position you're going to stay consistent on, and stay there.

Nick said...

Rhology,

There is a clear and essential difference between an annulment and a divorce. An annulment means a valid marriage never took place to begin with; a divorce is the severing of a valid marriage.

If Person A is married to Person B, then "A" cannot get also married to "C". If person "A" and "C" were to go through a ceremony, make their vows, even have children, that wouldn't matter since the marriage is invalid. Person "A" is already married to "B".


You said: "Then I presume you do not use the "33,000 denominations" or "blueprint for anarchy" argument against the perspicuity of the Scripture. Good deal."

I don't use the 33,000 figure because I can't verify it's accuracy, but I do believe there are easily thousands of denominations and that Sola Scriptura is a blueprint for anarchy.


You said: "Um, remember what you just said? How someone who disobeys a teaching says nothing about the integrity of the teaching itself?"

You're mixing apples and oranges. If the Church teaches X, then any member who teaches other than X is being disobedient. If 100 members are disobedient, that says nothing about whether X is actually true or not.

In the Protestant set up, each pastor decides for themself what X is, which is a different issue than the disobedience issue above, and it is this (latter) issue where we should focus: whether doctrine X is true or not cannot be settled in the Protestant scheme. (it can be settled in the Catholic scheme)


You said: "Um, no, the latter case is far more tragic. But why would I consider this even close to applicable to my position?"

Not "close to" your position, but what is de facto true of your position.

scotju said...

Poor Rho, he just doesn't understand the scripture. He ought to do what I had to do years ago. I read the early church fathers. Guess what, Rho? They made it quite clear that Christ forbade divorce and remarriage while both lawfull spouses were alive. The only reason to seperate a couple was an illegel marriage. I found out that meant a forced marriage against the will of one or both parties, inability or lack of willingness to comsumate the marriage, proof of sexual immorality before the marriage and continuing into the marriage, or being too closely related by blood.You see son, you need tradition ans scripture to know how to apply the scriptres rightly. Try it, yo'll like it.

Rhology said...

Nick,

An annulment means a valid marriage never took place to begin with

And applying "annulment" label to when a marriage DID take place, as well as marital relations, is a sham. That's what I'm saying. That's a DIVORCE.
So the RCC DOES allow divorce. Your point is dead. Just b/c the church doesn't call it "divorce" means nothing.



I don't use the 33,000 figure because I can't verify it's accuracy, but I do believe there are easily thousands of denominations and that Sola Scriptura is a blueprint for anarchy.

1) Then please read the post I linked to. This point is also dead.
2) Also, please review the many, many posts under "Blueprint for Anarchy" in the BA archives. Apparently Scr + Magisterium is also a blueprint for anarchy.



If the Church teaches X, then any member who teaches other than X is being disobedient.

If the Scripture teaches X, then any member who teaches other than X is being disobedient.
Hmm, sounds like you're committing special pleading.


In the Protestant set up, each pastor decides for themself what X is

Well, I'm not interested in defending what Prots may or may not do. What the Bible says is that the Bible says sthg, and we are supposed to obey it.
In the RCC set up, each priest decides for themself what X is (where X = "the Magisterial teaching"). And then each parishioner decides for themself what Y is (where Y = "what the priest meant"). You're in no better situation. Best learn that now, before you continue to look foolish.


Not "close to" your position, but what is de facto true of your position.

Now all you need is an argument!


scotju,
I read the early church fathers. Guess what, Rho? They made it quite clear that Christ forbade divorce and remarriage while both lawfull spouses were alive.

Good for you. I'd rather just read the Scr to determine what the Scr says. Why add unnecessary middlemen?
Especially when the Bible gives clear conditions under which a marriage may be dissolved?


you need tradition ans scripture to know how to apply the scriptres rightly.

That's an interesting view, especially since Jesus told us in Mark 7:1-13 to submit all tradition to Scr. But you can have that depraved practice if you want. Just can't be right with God.

Peace,
Rhology

Nick said...

Rho,

The situation you are describing is not Church teaching but an *abuse* of Church teaching.

Most of your other comments are tangents to the main topic, and I don't have the time to get carried off on another agenda.

You're good at deflecting charges and muddying the waters, but that simply has no place here.

Rhology said...

So nick, what authority do YOU have to call what real priests do "abuse"? How very Protestant of you.

Nick said...

Rhology,

If the Church says "X is an abuse," and I see someone, even a priest, do "X", then that person has engaged in an abuse by definition. This isn't about "my authority," but rather about relaying information.

You are confusing issues, as you have a track record of doing, in this case trying desperately to draw attention away from the fig leaf of Sola Scriptura.

scotju said...

Oh Rho! you claim you don't need the church fathers to understand scriptures, yet when I look at your Prot bretherns sites, you boys can't agree on anything, except to hate the Catholic Church! If ask you me, thats a pretty poor platform to base unity on!

You quoting Mk 7:1-13 to claim Nick or I are following the traditions of men is a witness against you, not us. Your Protestant forefathers are the ones who set up soul-damning false traditions on marriage that contradicted the true doctrine that our Lord and his apostles taught. Is it any wonder why Wittenburg and Geneva became known as places to go to to dissolve a legetimate marriage and contact a new one? Is it any wonder why God allowed Luther to be exposed as a hypocrite in the Phillip Of Hesse affair? Is it any wonder why Calvin's step-children were exposed as adulterers and fornicators? God isn't mocked, without serious blow-back. And right now the corrupt church of Henry VIII is in the process of receiving its fair share of blow-back for its founders fornications and adulteries. I predict all the other Prot churches will start falling like dominos over this century. The more liberal mainstream ones will fall first, then the more consevative fundementalist/evangelical churches will start or continue to fight among themselves over what's left of their 'reformed' doctrines and fade into utter irrelevancy like the liberal churches. But not to worry, we'll be there to rescuse the survivors who want to be rescused. Hopefully, you and your blog buds will be among the ones we rescue. We really hate to see good raw material go to waste!

Rhology said...

Not sure what you mean, Nick.
Our ultimate authority - Scripture.
Yours - Magisterium.

Sometimes ppl disobey what the Scr says. We call them "disobedient".
You claim when ppl disobey what the Mag says, they're "disobedient".

What's the difference here?


scotju,
you boys can't agree on anything, except to hate the Catholic Church!

Reckless exaggeration. We agree on plenty.
Besides, as I've already showed you (if you looked), those who hold to Scripture + tradition have even wider areas of disagreement. So you fail on that count as well.


soul-damning false traditions on marriag

If we judge these trads by Scr, we find which ones are OK and which aren't. Then we hold to the Scriptural ones.
You are quite ignorant.


Is it any wonder why God allowed Luther to be exposed as a hypocrite in the Phillip Of Hesse affair?

You must think that Sola Scriptura includes the doctrine that "well-known Sola Scriptura teachers will be impeccable". That is incorrect.
The rest of your comment is Rome-drone drivel. Have fun in your self-delusion.

scotju said...

Rho, I stand by what I've said.

You Prots can't agree on anything. For an example, take baptism. Some of you say the mode of baptism must be immersion. Others say sprinking or pouring. Then there's the split between the idea of pedo-baptism and believer's baptism. And to top it off, disagreements as to wheather baptism is merely symbolic or salvitic.

You claim that scripture alone you can judge which traditions are true. Oh? Then why can't you poor Prots agree on why divorce is a sin or not by scripture alone? Face it, you and your fellow Prots cherry-pick what pleases your fancy and imagination. If truth was your criterion, you would have figured this out years ago.

Your defense of Luther was pitiful. He sinned willfully and he never repented. Your claim that I must think "sola scriptura teachers must be impeccable" is a hoot. No, I think they must teach the truth. But since the reformers turned from the truth, lying was easy for them. See Rom 1:18-32 for a good understanding of it.

Jae said...

Brothers, Rhology is a lost case...to what I discerned from our previous encounters in Beggars All, I really think he lost it already, by that I mean the use of his plain common sense is not possible any longer and couldn't grasp even simple operation and equation. (the most probable cause...prejudice-aside from calling us names viz "romanist").

Just look at his assertion, "those who hold to Scripture + tradition have even wider areas of disagreement".... Oh, the last time I check the Catholic Church is still ONE in belief and doctrines against his thousands of differing whatevers. (Rhology can even ask the dictionary, Britannica Encyclopedia, Atlas and other secular references if they want to check about Catholic, List of popes etc.) but NONE for their claim so far)....I don't see any version of catholic mormons, catholic seventh days, catholic baptists or catholic jehovah in any of the sources!!!!!my, my Rhology where do you get your numbers, really? Be intellectually honest for once...this is getting pathetic.

Furthermore, Rhology can't even seem to comprehend the idea in simple english the difference between the issue of disobeying a binding doctrine (I gave an e.g. of Artificial Contraception) that regardless of 80% or 90% of catholics or any bishop, priest who disagree or being disobedient DOESN'T MAKE THE TEACHING/DOCTRINE VOID the teaching is still TRUE and BINDING and to make it super clear for him, IT IS A GRAVE SIN TO COMMIT THE ACT OF ArContraception...as compared to protestantism where the issue of DISUNITY IS DUE to each man determining what is a doctrine - protestants can not tell another protestant to believe in "X" 'cause that entails authority which they hated the Catholic Church for so, in essence they can't make a binding doctrine so thus it falls upon on every individual to determine what they want to be doctrine....to their own judgment, understanding and liking.

Notice, to save his idea from collapsing he's going to appeal to his position , "When a Romanist disagree with another Romanist"....I dare put the challenge to every catholic or even kids (my middle school kid) to read his famous dissertation he got from Dr. James White....even my kid noticed the idea behind using the infamous "circulus in probando" aka circular reasoning...my kid even asked me if he could apply it to my parental authority (asking authority from what authority by what authority without end).Hmmm.

On the serious end, my kid said this kind of work would not even pass their school debate club! case closed.

Peace.

Jae said...

Rhology said, "Not sure what you mean, Nick.
Our ultimate authority - Scripture.
Yours - Magisterium."

Isn't determining and believing the "true" teaching of the Bible which you obviously exercizing is already a form of a mini-magisterium on your part?just don't have the guts to say it, huh?

Oh, wait (beside the fact you got it right and anybody who disagree with you are wrong) but you're going to say I'm not claiming infallibility unlike the Catholic church, right? Then ask yourself WHY DO YOU THINK christians or yourself would trust your own idea on the first place if you could err at all which follows you could err in ANY POINT? Or UNSURE? (because Christian doctrine is God's revealed plan of salvation to which at stake is under the pain of eternal lost, so at least my friend you must hold on to something with 100% CERTAIN and guaranteed error free). I forgot it is the Bible is your only authority, right? Well, I think it's just a novel excuse of the Protestant founders because ultimately it falls on every protestant individual...(you can't even agree with your "fathers" about artificial contraception) you know why because the Bible can't make and pass a decision to who's right and wrong, isn't it? If the Bible ever speaks back to you ( I mean by audible sound waves) then tell us.

Peace.

Andrew said...

Nick,

I know of two separate instances in which marriages took place, lasted for several years (over twenty in once case) and produced two and three children respectively, and were ultimately "annulled". These happened at different times and in different jurisdictions. For the RCC to refer to these as annulments is beyond comprehension. They were divorces which were given a different name. In one case there was adultery and the adulterous husband was not going to return. They divorced and the wife remarried. There is nothing wrong with what she did, but it was a divorce. You can call a turd a tic tac if you like; but it's still not going to freshen your breath.

scotju said...

Jae, you're right about poor ol' Rho. He is lost. If he would stop following his blind guides he might come to the light. Bt as long as he and the 'enlightened ones' at Beggers, Tria, and his own blog prefer the traditions of men, he's going to trip and fall into ditches instead of crossing the Tiber.

Stephanie said...

Hi Nick,

While considering other scripture, the exception in Matthew cannot be ignored too.

Jesus said this in Matthew 5:32 'But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, Except for Marital Unfaithfulness, ....'

This except is important because Jesus don't lead people blindly. He knows that when a man is unfaithful to his wife, his heart is no more with the wife. He won't force the wife to stay in the marriage to suffer.

Abba father is a loving father. It's when one get close to Him and know His Heart, He leads by His Spirit.

The bible comes alive when lead by the spirit. To dry quote from just some other verses that support your view does not cut it. Lord always have scripture that explains each other.

1 Cor 7:15 'But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.'

You know why? If both husband and wife are believer, Lord can change them to love each other when one or both party put their trust in the Lord to change the other party.

But for unbeliever, there is no way Lord could change him/her because Lord give man free choice to accept Him. He is no going to do anything against his/her will.

Shalom!

Rhology said...

scotju,

Statements like this:
You Prots can't agree on anything.

are either ignorant or slanderous. But they are certainly ridiculous.
BTW, how's the agreement going among the competing sects that hold to "Sacred Tradition"? You haven't tried to answer that yet.


And BTW,
Your defense of Luther was pitiful.

Hmm, maybe b/c I didn't defend him.



Jae,
Just look at his assertion, "those who hold to Scripture + tradition have even wider areas of disagreement".... Oh, the last time I check the Catholic Church is still ONE in belief

1) When will you read my argument?
Until you do, you can't deal intelligently with the topic.
2) And Rome is most definitely NOT "one in belief". Which you'd know if you weren't so brainwashed, if you read the other side.


disobeying a binding doctrine (I gave an e.g. of Artificial Contraception) that regardless of 80% or 90% of catholics or any bishop, priest who disagree or being disobedient DOESN'T MAKE THE TEACHING/DOCTRINE VOID

OK, then be consistent.
Disobeying a binding biblical doctrine that regardless of 80% or 90% of Protestants or any pastors who disagree or are being disobedient DOESN'T MAKE THE TEACHING/DOCTRINE VOID.

Peace,
Rhology

scotju said...

Rho, "you Prots can't agree on anything" "slanderous", "ignorant", or "ridiculous"? Come on, Rho! Luther, Calvin, Zwinghi, and all the other reformers had no unity. They all wanted to be top dog in the great reforming movement, and they all despised each other. As I've already said, if you and your fellow Prots didn't have us as your Boogyman to hate and fear, you would have no "unity" at all.

You didn't defend Luther? You most certainly did defend him Rho in your 7/31/2010 reply to me when your said: " You must think that Sola Scriptura incldes the doctrine that well-known sola scriptura teachers will be immpeccable". The contexts of our postings show it was Luther we were talking about. And you accuse other people of being deluded!?

Rhology said...

scotju,

"No unity" = you don't know what you're talking about. Do you really think God honors froth-at-the-mouth incredulity like you're displaying here?
Either show some intellectual honesty or talk to yourself.

Rhology said...

Also. Read it.

Nick said...

scotju,

You made a good point with this: "you boys can't agree on anything, except to hate the Catholic Church"

What non-Catholics don't realize is that their source of unity is Catholic Church, because without the CC they lose a lot of common ground. It's amazing how far various denominations will extend the title of "Christian" but stop at the point of calling Catholics Christian.


And you really hit the nail on the head with this:
"You quoting Mk 7:1-13 to claim Nick or I are following the traditions of men is a witness against you, not us. Your Protestant forefathers are the ones who set up soul-damning false traditions"

People don't realize the serious danger here, and that this isn't a game. Protestants think it's a game of Catholics trying to attack Sola Scriptura and their duty to respond by defending it. What they don't realize is that sin, grave sin, soul-damning false traditions, are being propagated totally unchecked. If a Catholic objects, then the Protestant thinks we hate Scripture, totally blind to the danger.

Protestantism is advocating moral relativism on foundational Christian moral issues, and yet all they're worried about is how to try and shut-up the Catholic Church.

Rhology said...

What they don't realize is that sin, grave sin, soul-damning false traditions, are being propagated totally unchecked

That's a ridiculous thing to say. The Word of God is a check.
Speaking of blasphemy...


yet all they're worried about is how to try and shut-up the Catholic Church.

Hahahahahaha, um, no, that's far from "all they're worried about". Believe me, we have other things going on.
If that's all we have going on, why is it that Prots are the ones who are at the forefront against liberalism? And Darwinian evolution? And Islam? And atheism?

Nick said...

Rhology,

You said: "Not sure what you mean, Nick.
Our ultimate authority - Scripture.
Yours - Magisterium.
Sometimes ppl disobey what the Scr says. We call them "disobedient".
You claim when ppl disobey what the Mag says, they're "disobedient".
What's the difference here?"


There is no difference between ignoring the magisterium and ignoring Scripture - that's the the problem. The problem is the Protestant METHOD:

You're blind, utterly blind, to the fact regenerate pastors DISAGREE on what the Scripture SAYS. One pastor thinks Scripture SAYS Divorce is ok, while another pastor thinks Scripture SAYS divorce is not ok. WHICH PASTOR IS CORRECT? Answer: In Protestantism, BOTH. Both pastors are functioning as their personal, stand-alone, magisterium.

Let me illustrate the problem:

Nick: Pastor Bob, is divorce ok?
Bob: Don't as me, look at Scripture.

Nick: Well, I did, but I can't tell.
Bob: Don't worry, I'll help. Based on these texts of Scripture, divorce is acceptable.

Nick: Oh. The reason why I asked is because your fellow co-pastor John Piper pointed me to the same texts and says based on Scripture, divorce is not-ok.
Bob: Well, each pastor is entitled to follow their conscience.
John: Amen, Bob!

Nick: Don't you guys see a problem here? Either divorce is a sin or it isn't. I'm Catholic, so even though I made the same biblical argument as John Piper, my conclusions obviously can't be right.
John: Nick, you need to abandon your Papist ways and trust in Christ Alone for your salvation.
Bob: Amen, John!

The above dialogue is sadly how these discussions often go.

Nick said...

Rhology,

I'll refute your whole position, everything you stand on, in one question: Rhology, according to Scripture, is divorce acceptable or not?

BOOM! Didn't even see it coming...

Rhology said...

Let's look at it another way, Nick.
You're blind, utterly blind, to the fact baptised and ordained priests DISAGREE on what the RC Magisterium/tradition SAYS. One priest thinks the Magisterium/tradition SAYS Divorce is ok, while another priest thinks Magisterium/tradition SAYS divorce is not ok. WHICH PRIEST IS CORRECT? Answer: In RCC, BOTH. Both pastors are functioning as their personal, stand-alone, magisterium of what the Magisterium/tradition says.


You said:
Rhology, according to Scripture, is divorce acceptable or not?

Ummmm, why is this a "BOOM!"? (And is there room in Roman dogma to be so childish, so playground-bully-like?)
And it depends on what you mean by "acceptable". Divorce is permissible under certain conditions, yes. Stephanie just pointed out a few to you. I'd recommend John MacArthur's sermon series on the topic, in which he ties together church discipline (sthg fairly unknown in today's mostly-liberal ishy-squishy RCC these days, BTW) and divorce.

Peace,
Rhology

Nick said...

Rhology,

Your comparison to Catholic priests doesn't work, since there is no moral relativism resulting. A priest cannot pick and choose whether divorce is a sin or not, where as Protestants can.


As for the question I asked you, you said: "Divorce is permissible under certain conditions, yes."

While your answer is in agreement with historic Protestant Confessions and the grand majority of Protestantism today, well respected folks like John Piper have come to polar opposite conclusions based on their study of Scripture. The thing is though, nobody can take on Piper's exegesis, and instead must rely solely on special pleading from the "except" clause.

What are you going to appeal to at that point? That you're a better exegete than Piper? That this topic isn't serious enough to cause divisions? The result is moral and doctrinal relativism based on mini-magisteriums, and you've fallen right into that.

Rhology said...

A priest cannot pick and choose whether divorce is a sin or not, where as Protestants can.

That makes no sense. God picks and chooses. We either accept it or we don't (with the consequences).


well respected folks like John Piper have come to polar opposite conclusions based on their study of Scripture.

Now if you could only figure out a way to paint us as thinking Piper is infallible, you might have a case!
But, since Piper's NOT infallible... so what? The man is wrong on multiple things.


nobody can take on Piper's exegesis, and instead must rely solely on special pleading from the "except" clause.

I have no idea what you mean. Disagreeing on exegetical grounds IS "taking on Piper's exegesis".
You know, I had more respect for your abilities before this combox.


That you're a better exegete than Piper?

How does that follow? How about that he's wrong ON THIS ISSUE, and to show why?
When are you going to apply the same questions to your own side?
When an ordained priest says divorce is OK, what do you do? Don't you appeal to YOUR UNDERSTANDING of what the Mag says? Of course.
And why has your church performed annulments after marital sex has taken place? You're in no position to talk like you're talking.

scotju said...

Rho, I went to the link you provided in your 08/02/10 post. I read it and I had to laugh at how the Catholic and Orthodox commentators ran circles around you and your buddies. All the RC and OC guys made one point that made you look foolish. Namely, we, the RC and the OC, excepting for the tragic schism of 1054, basically have one church, one doctrine. You poor Prots since your follies of 1517, have thousands of churches that have no doctrinal unity, sometimes within a single denomination. No Rho, I believe in "one holy, apostolic, Catholic Church", not in the multipling schisms, unholy, false apostolic, Protestant churches.

Nick said...

Rho: That makes no sense. God picks and chooses. We either accept it or we don't (with the consequences).

N: But Protestants cannot agree on whether the Bible forbids it or not, and the quote I gave of John Piper's Church says: "The same freedom of conscience applies to each of the other pastors as well" in regards to each pastor deciding for themself if it is a sin or not.


R: Now if you could only figure out a way to paint us as thinking Piper is infallible, you might have a case!
But, since Piper's NOT infallible... so what? The man is wrong on multiple things.

N: I just got this email from Piper: Now if you could only figure out a way to paint us as thinking Rhology is infallible, you might have a case!
But, since Rhology's NOT infallible... so what? The man is wrong on multiple things.

Hmmm...it seems he thinks you're wrong on your interpretation of Scripture; but Piper doesn't mind since he leaves the OPTION up to each pastor.


R: I have no idea what you mean. Disagreeing on exegetical grounds IS "taking on Piper's exegesis".
You know, I had more respect for your abilities before this combox.

N: My point is nobody has taken on Piper's ("Catholic") exegesis; they merely special plead on the 'except' clause.


R: How does that follow? How about that he's wrong ON THIS ISSUE, and to show why?

N: It follows from the fact each pastor is operating as their own magisterium and you can't see that.


R: When are you going to apply the same questions to your own side?
When an ordained priest says divorce is OK, what do you do? Don't you appeal to YOUR UNDERSTANDING of what the Mag says? Of course.

N: I appeal to whatever documents I know of that speak on the issue. If a Church document teaches Marriage is permanent, then the priest is wrong.


R: And why has your church performed annulments after marital sex has taken place? You're in no position to talk like you're talking.

N: Because sex doesn't determine validity in and of itself. Folks can have sex in a whole number of contexts and not have it be marriage.

Rhology said...

And RCs cannot agree on whether Sacred Tradition/Magisterium forbids it or not, since some do divorces and some don't. And some annul marriages post-coitus and some don't. So, since your position is not any better, what is your point?


Now if you could only figure out a way to paint us as thinking Rhology is infallible, you might have a case!
But, since Rhology's NOT infallible... so what? The man is wrong on multiple things.


1) Oh no! John Piper thinks I'm fallible?
An email like that would be a testament to the man's common sense.
You wrongly think that it's either infallibility or complete incomprehensibility. But that's totally incorrect, and your own church's practice backs that up.
2) Why should anyone think that your fallibly interpreting what the infallible Magisterium said would be valid?


It follows from the fact each pastor is operating as their own magisterium and you can't see that.

It follows from the fact each priest is operating as their own magisterium (fallibly, individually interpreting what the Magisterium says) and you can't see that.
It follows from THAT fact that each parishioner, including you, is operating as their own magisterium of what the priest said the Magisterium said, and you can't see that, either.



I appeal to whatever documents I know of that speak on the issue.

Hahahaaha, that's exactly what *I* say.
Wait a sec - you're fallible. So since disagreement and dissent exist within RCC, who are you to tell anyone else which priest is right about this?


If a Church document teaches Marriage is permanent, then the priest is wrong.

OK, now watch how I take the same thing and apply it to my situation:
If the Bible teaches Marriage is permanent but divorce is permissible under certain specific circumstances, then John Piper is wrong.
What's the difference here?


Because sex doesn't determine validity in and of itself. Folks can have sex in a whole number of contexts and not have it be marriage.

You must really enjoy trying to play people. This is absurd.
If you
1) get married
2) exchange rings
3) say the vows
4) the priest says "Mr and Mrs ____"
5) you kiss the bride
6) you go to the hotel and consummate the marriage

and then
7) RCC "annuls" the marriage

That just shows the vapidity of reassigning the word "annulment" when a DIVORCE has taken place.
You're demonstrating you're just a Rome-drone. It's kind of amazing.

Peace,
Rhology

Nick said...

Rho,

Divorce is forbidden very clearly in official Catholic teaching. It doesn't matter how many priests disobey, the dogma doesn't change. Period.


R: You wrongly think that it's either infallibility or complete incomprehensibility.

N: I deny that false either-or. Infallibility and comprehensibility are not the same. The Bible is for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two Protestants point to the same verse(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions. THIS is the root of your problem in all your responses, confusing and conflating perspicuity with infallibility.

If the Church dogmatically teaches that "Matthew is inspired," that's pretty perspicuous ("clear"). It's also infallible. What you're going around confusing (and falsely accusing) is saying some priests don't believe Matthew is inspired as well going around saying Catholics can't be sure if they comprehend what "Matthew is inspired" means.

What is going on in Protestantism is some pastors saying "X is inspired" while others are saying "X is not inspired" - which is an authority that belongs to the Magisterium.


You said: "OK, now watch how I take the same thing and apply it to my situation:
If the Bible teaches Marriage is permanent but divorce is permissible under certain specific circumstances, then John Piper is wrong.
What's the difference here?"

You're missing the point: authority to interpret. In your situation, Piper doesn't have to listen to you, since his *interpretation* is just as authoritative as yours. In the Catholic example I gave, the Church has the authority, and the priest does not. That's precisely why Piper is effectively castrated as a pastor and had to admit all his fellow pastors could decide for themselves whether divorce was ok.


You said: "You must really enjoy trying to play people. This is absurd. If you
1) get married 2) exchange rings
3) say the vows 4) the priest says "Mr and Mrs ____" 5) you kiss the bride 6) you go to the hotel and consummate the marriage"

You just laid the ground work for gay-marriage, incestuous marriage, and polygamy...since each of those groups could follow your "requirements" for marriage, they must "really" be "married". Right? If Bob is married to Jill, and goes through your "requirements" with Sally, then by your logic, Bob is (also) now married to Sally.
---OR---
Could there be impediments in the above groups that prevent marriage from taking place in the first place? So if Bob is married to Jill, and goes through your "requirements" for Marriage with Sally, that doesn't matter since he's already married, making this second "marriage" a sham.

scotju said...

Rho, here's a scenario for you. If John has a monagamous gay relationship with Joe, and contracts a marriage with Suzie, who's straight, exchange rings, says the vows, the priest, rabbi, or minister says Mr and Mrs, you kiss the bride, go to the hotel and... Now, Rho, if all of these things have taken place, what would you do? Which relationship is to by busted up? How will they be busted up? Annullment or divorce? Remember, you said if they went through all of these things, and the church annulls it, it's a divorce. But, if one does not have the capacity to fullfill the resonsiblities of marriage due to a grave moral defect, or a physical defect, then does it matter that all of the things took place? No Rho, all of these things don't matter at all. The conditions of marriage were never there in the first place, so the marriage was a sham, a nullity. And it doesn't matter if the 'marriage' lasted overnight or twenty years. If the conditions for marriage were never met during that time, it's still a nullity. So, please, put aside your bitterness toward the faith and make an effort to understand true Christian marriage, instead of the 'reformers' twisted verison of it.

Rhology said...

Nick,

Divorce is forbidden very clearly in official Catholic teaching. It doesn't matter how many priests disobey, the dogma doesn't change. Period.

Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances very clearly in Scriptural teaching. It doesn't matter how many pastors disobey, the dogma doesn't change. Period.
See how you're just engaging, over and over again, in special pleading?


I deny that false either-or. Infallibility and comprehensibility are not the same.

Now you're mixed up. *I* deny the false either-or. YOU'RE the one who keeps setting up the scenario according to it.
So now you're not only special pleading all the time, but your memory is self-beneficially selective and short.



The Bible is for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two Protestants point to the same verse(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.

Magisterial declarations are for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two RCs point to the same decree(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.
Uh oh - you've got a problem.
Or lookie here:
Sacred Tradition is for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when one Romanist and one Eastern Orthodox point to the same passage(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.


What is going on in Protestantism is some pastors saying "X is inspired" while others are saying "X is not inspired"

Interesting. Who, precisely, among Sola Scripturists regards their interpretation of Scr as "inspired"? Name names, be specific.
Right, nobody does. And if they did, they wouldn't be Sola Scriptura, now would they? Why would I care about what people with whom I disagree do? My final authority is the Scripture, and it doesn't surprise me when people make mistakes or get stuff wrong, b/c the Scr predicted that would happen.


You're missing the point: authority to interpret.

And who gave you authority to interpret what the RCC says?
Oh wait, that's right - it's not a question of AUTHORITY, it's a question of "you're human, therefore you have to interpret EVERYTHING that crosses your path". You have a very mixed up view of epistemology.


In your situation, Piper doesn't have to listen to you, since his *interpretation* is just as authoritative as yours

1) ? I'm unsure what "have to listen" means, but I do know that none of us have any authority to teach against what the Scr teaches.
So no, Piper has zero authority to teach wrongly, but nobody's perfect. No good reason to break fellowship with the man just b/c he's wrong about divorce. At least he erred on the better side.
2) This reminds me of what you said above - I asked you what you do if a priest is wrong and you appealed to "Church documents". And yet in your situation, the preist doesn't have to listen to you, since his *interpretation* is just as authoritative as yours. Actually, more, since he's a priest and you're an anonymous Romanist blogger. So it's actually kind of ironically funny that you're pontificating about authority to interpret.



You just laid the ground work for gay-marriage, incestuous marriage, and polygamy

1) Only if you're ignorant.
You can't get married if you're gay, so that would've stopped in step 1.
2) Nice red herring. Wriggle, dance, wriggle.


Could there be impediments in the above groups that prevent marriage from taking place in the first place?

Yes, of course necessary preconditions apply.
Now, how is this even remotely relevant to how RCC has "annulled" valid marriages just so they don't have to "divorce"?

Rhology said...

scotju,

I'm sorry you're ignorant of my beliefs regarding marriage. Reference the London Baptist Confession of Faith before you make any more a fool of yourself.
And this is also a red herring. Guys, get over yourselves and answer my question.

scotju said...

Rho, I looked at your confession, and I saw nothing that covered the issue of annulments or divorce. It just simply says a man or a woman should only have one spouse at the same time. It doesn't say wheather the other spouse is dead or divorced. It also doesn't say that marriage is for life, till death do you part.

Now the copy of the LBC that I looked at did have Matt 19:5-6 saying "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder". It did mention co-sangity in Chap 25, sect 4. But strangely, Matt 19:9 is not mentioned at all. I find this odd, for unless the word "fornication" is strickly defined, as it is used in this passage, you could be setting up someone up in an adulterous situlation. Also, I noticed on the spurgeon.org site, they presented the LBC "with sight revisions". If a confession of faith is revised, why should I trust it? We Catholics have confessed the same things for nearly 2000 years without revision, yet you Protestants are always reforming, or better yet, always revising your faith. Again, why shold Nick, Paul, Jae, or anyone else on this blog believe you or yor confession of faith when it can be changed on a whim?

Nick said...

Rho: Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances very clearly in Scriptural teaching. It doesn't matter how many pastors disobey, the dogma doesn't change.

N: It's not special pleading since you're talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand, you're speaking authoritatively/dogmatically on what Scripture says, on the other hand you're denying any authority to interpret so as to hide the fact authoritative interpretation is necessary. Your first sentence is precisely what pastors cannot agree upon, so there is nothing to "violate" by denying the first sentence. If your first sentence is dogma, then pastors cannot disagree with it.

R: Now you're mixed up. *I* deny the false either-or. YOU'RE the one who keeps setting up the scenario according to it.

N: The problem is you're conflating the two. Authority relates to binding, perspicuity relates to comprehensibility. Your interpretation of Scripture cannot be binding on anyone else.

R: Magisterial declarations are for the most part "plain English" and can be comprehended by the average reader. The problem arises when two RCs point to the same decree(s) and come to polar opposite dogmatic conclusions.

N: There is no such "problem". If someone points to Trent that says "Divorce is forbidden", then no priest can oppose that.

R: Interesting. Who, precisely, among Sola Scripturists regards their interpretation of Scr as "inspired"?

N: I never said their interpretation was inspired, what I said was their conclusion for what books/teachings/etc were inspired. One pastor is saying "Scripture forbids X" while another is saying "Scripture allows X".

R: My final authority is the Scripture, and it doesn't surprise me when people make mistakes or get stuff wrong, b/c the Scr predicted that would happen.

N: Your final authority is yourself, you just don't realize it. If two Protestants study the Scriptures for equally as long and with just as much honesty, and come to polar opposite conclusions on divorce, then Scripture was not the "final authority". Both Protestants will accuse the other of being wrong, mistaken, etc, but that's simply a stalemate since each interprets with the same authority.

R: And who gave you authority to interpret what the RCC says?
Oh wait, that's right - it's not a question of AUTHORITY, it's a question of "you're human, therefore you have to interpret EVERYTHING that crosses your path". You have a very mixed up view of epistemology.

N: This is a classic example of confusing/conflating authority and perspicuity. The RCC can make authoritative interpretations, I cant. If the Church says "divorce is forbidden," I can't turn around and say divorce is OK.

Nick said...

R: 1) ? I'm unsure what "have to listen" means, but I do know that none of us have any authority to teach against what the Scr teaches.
So no, Piper has zero authority to teach wrongly, but nobody's perfect. No good reason to break fellowship with the man just b/c he's wrong about divorce. At least he erred on the better side.

N: Piper doesn't have to submit to your judgments. He'd say you erred on the wrong side.

R: No good reason to break fellowship with the man just b/c he's wrong about divorce.

N: Moral relativism by definition. Don't break communion just because a pastor is "wrong" about a moral teaching.

R: 2) This reminds me of what you said above - I asked you what you do if a priest is wrong and you appealed to "Church documents". And yet in your situation, the preist doesn't have to listen to you, since his *interpretation* is just as authoritative as yours. Actually, more, since he's a priest and you're an anonymous Romanist blogger. So it's actually kind of ironically funny that you're pontificating about authority to interpret.

N: Confusing and conflating authority and perspicuity. Neither the priest nor I in this case are engaging in authoritative interpretation. THATS the key.


R: 1) Only if you're ignorant.
You can't get married if you're gay, so that would've stopped in step 1.
2) Nice red herring. Wriggle, dance, wriggle.

N: It's not a red herring, it's proof that your individualized views on marriage are dangerous and can be used to justify anything. The way you laid out your grounds for marriage, all someone had to do was follow the instructions.

R: Yes, of course necessary preconditions apply.
Now, how is this even remotely relevant to how RCC has "annulled" valid marriages just so they don't have to "divorce"?

N: You just admitted what the Catholic has been saying all along. Certain impediments can prevent a valid marriage from taking place. So even if such folks followed your instructions, even lived together for 20 years, a true marriage never existed.

All this is a matter of systematics, which Protestantism lacks; and Protestantism lacks such structure precisely because it can't go 'head-to-head' with Catholicism.

Anyone is free to see all the various layers of confusion you've introduced throughout this discussion - even if totally unintentional. It's simply a 'default' the Protestant unconsciously goes into when dealing with subjects such as authority.

It's precisely the "Maverick Theology" of Protestantism that causes the Gospel to be watered down, especially in the area of morals.

Nick said...

Scotju,

The London Baptist Confession is a virtual plagiarism of the pre-existing Westminster Confession. The LBC simply erased or edited out of the WC what the LBC didn't consider important or binding.

When it came to marriage and divorce, the Westminster said divorce is allowed under certain cercumstances. The LBC simply *deleted* those paragraphs, indicating that the subject of divorce was a personal matter which Christians could disagree on and believe as they saw fit.

scotju said...

Nick, the revision I was talking about was done by Spurgeon. I was slightly aware that the LBC was a swipe from the Westminister one. But what you have added strenghtens my point. Why should we trust a religion that revises what they believe with a stroke of a pen? And why take a Presbyterian statement of faith and make it a Baptist one? Wasn't God able to inspire a Baptist theologian to write an orginal confession of their own? Oh, maybe God wasn't involved at all.

Nick said...

You are exactly right. These "Confessions" are a joke in that on one hand they want to subject folks to their teaching, while on the other hand claiming no Church decree is perfect and in fact can contain errors and thus subject to revision.

Those who authored them don't realize the irony and double standard of saying all the Councils in the past were subject to error, but none the less we writing this Confession are following the Bible and thus "right".

In reality, as the folks at Called to Communion have beautifully pointed out, in Protestantism a Confession only has authority in so far as it agrees with the individual Protestant's interpretation of Scripture.

Jae said...

These were the proclamations that Rho raised to high esteem...the LBC! after to that the London Lambeth Conference of 1930's when they first open the gates of contraception and now gay-marriage....historically, protestants follow the footsteps of Anglicanism, history just repeats itself...and Rho is still caught sleeping!

Peace

Rhology said...

On confessions - if you don't know that confessional Protestants consider that they are
1) secondary in authority to the Scr, which is the final authority, and
2) used as a useful shorthand to what the Scr teaches and to delineate membership in a particular church

then you are woefully ignorant of the Sola Scripturist position.
The statement "in Protestantism a Confession only has authority in so far as it agrees with the individual Protestant's interpretation of Scripture" does not take into acct the purpose of confessions. They DO have authority - for the church that has taken the confession as its own! My church has a confession, and if you teach or believe a denial of the confession, we will ask you to repent and if you do not, we will excommunicate you. What other "authority" do you want? We don't have authority to write truth; only God does. What we CAN do is obey the Scr, believe what the Scr teaches as best we can, and excommunicate those who dissent. That is authority. It's not the authority you Rome-drones are used to, but that's hardly my problem.



Nick,
Replacing the concept of perspicuity with the concept of authority to interpret doesn't get you anywhere. The problem remains unchanged, since you are a single fallible individual (as am I).
Best to give up on this unhelpful line of thought and deal with the fact that you claim that the Scr teaches RCC, start proving it from there.

Let me illustrate:
On one hand, you're speaking authoritatively/dogmatically on what Scripture says, on the other hand you're denying any authority to interpret so as to hide the fact authoritative interpretation is necessary.

On one hand, you're speaking authoritatively/dogmatically on what Sacred Tradition/Magisterium says, on the other hand you're denying any authority to interpret so as to hide the fact authoritative interpretation is necessary.
Uh oh. Same problem, just a different term. When are you going to start asking yourself the same questions you're asking me?


Authority relates to binding, perspicuity relates to comprehensibility. Your interpretation of Scripture cannot be binding on anyone else.

Authority relates to binding, perspicuity relates to comprehensibility. Your interpretation of Tradition/Magisterium cannot be binding on anyone else.


If someone points to Trent that says "Divorce is forbidden", then no priest can oppose that.

Yet they do. Divorce occurs openly in RCC and so do fake "annulments".
Do you live in a fantasy-land, thinking that this stuff doesn't occur? If not, then why say "no priest can oppose that", when they do in fact "oppose that"?



I never said their interpretation was inspired, what I said was their conclusion for what books/teachings/etc were inspired. One pastor is saying "Scripture forbids X" while another is saying "Scripture allows X".

I never said their interpretation was inspired, what I said was their conclusion for what books/teachings/etc were inspired. One priest is saying "Tradition/Magisterium forbids X" while another is saying "Tradition/Magisterium allows X".

Rhology said...

Your final authority is yourself, you just don't realize it. If two Protestants study the Scriptures for equally as long and with just as much honesty, and come to polar opposite conclusions on divorce, then Scripture was not the "final authority". Both Protestants will accuse the other of being wrong, mistaken, etc, but that's simply a stalemate since each interprets with the same authority.

Your final authority is yourself, you just don't realize it. If two RCs study tradition/Magisterium for equally as long and with just as much honesty, and come to polar opposite conclusions on divorce, then tradition/Magisterium was not the "final authority". Both RCs will accuse the other of being wrong, mistaken, Protestant, etc, but that's simply a stalemate since each interprets with the same authority.


The RCC can make authoritative interpretations, I cant. If the Church says "divorce is forbidden," I can't turn around and say divorce is OK.

The Scripture can make authoritative interpretations, I can't. If the Scripture says "divorce is permitted under certain conditions," I can't turn around and say divorce is never permissible.



Piper doesn't have to submit to your judgments. He'd say you erred on the wrong side.

Priests who permit divorce don't have to submit to your judgments. They'd say you erred on the wrong side.



Moral relativism by definition. Don't break communion just because a pastor is "wrong" about a moral teaching.

Moral relativism by definition. Don't break communion just because a priest is "wrong" about a moral teaching.


Neither the priest nor I in this case are engaging in authoritative interpretation.

Oh, OK, then by naked assertion, I simply deny that I'm engaging in authoritative interpretation of the Scr as well.
See how easy special-pleading naked assertions are?
Just b/c I don't have "interpretive authority" doesn't mean I can't understand the Scr. It is clear and by its God-breathed nature, it is authoritative itself. When I repeat the words of Scr to myself or someone else, it's not the interp that is authoritative - it's the message of Scr itself. Yes, it has to be interped, and it can be correctly interped and incorrectly interped. To check which is which, read it in context again. Notice you'd, in less-guarded moments, say the same thing about tradition/Magisterium - Just b/c I don't have "interpretive authority" doesn't mean I can't understand the trad/Mag. It is clear and by its God-ordained and -guided nature, it is authoritative itself. When I repeat the words of trad/Mag to myself or someone else, it's not the interp that is authoritative - it's the message of trad/Mag itself. Yes, it has to be interped, and it can be correctly interped and incorrectly interped. To check which is which, read it in context again.
The question is: Will you be intellectually honest to admit this? So far, no.


There's more, but that is a sufficient demolition of your epistemologically-naïve position.

Peace,
Rhology

scotju said...

Nick, I've think all of the Catholic posters here have done a good job of upholding the truth and refuting the false doctrines of Protestantism concerning marriage, annulments, and divorce. Rhology's inane logic has been exposed for the nonsense that it is, over and over again. He's not able to see his utter lack of comprehension becase of his anti-Catholic bigotry and hatred. It is useless to reason with him because his mind is already made up, so he doesn't want to be confused with the facts. I'm through trying to talk sense to him, for as Jae said, he's a lost case. So, if the rest of you wish to argue with him, be my guest. I'm quiting while I'm ahead of the game.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
Since you guys are covering epistemological issues relating to the canon of scripture I’d like to weigh in on the discussion. However, I’m going to borrow the position of Dr. Michael Liccione as stated on the Called to Communion website. I think he states the argument so well, against Andrew McCallum, whose position regarding the canon is substantially the same as your own (form what I can tell) that I’m just going to let him state the issue and the problem. Needless to say, I think this issue lies at the heart of the discussion taking place here.

I hope to avoid the snide remarks and one-liners posing as substantial answers. I look forward to your response.

Liccione's argument will be in the following comment.

costrowski said...

Argument of Dr. Michael Liccione part 1:

"Nobody denies that it is logically possible for God to have given us an inerrant canon through a fallible church. But that poses no difficulty for the Catholic position. Why? Because the fact that some proposition P is logically possible is not, of itself, a good reason to believe that P is actually the case. It is logically possible that Pluto is made of green cheese, but there is no good reason to believe it is, and there is good reason to believe it isn’t. Hence, the burden is not on us to show that the logical possibility on which you keep insisting is not actually the case. Instead, the burden is on you to show that, on the hypothesis of a fallible church, it is nonetheless reasonable to believe that the Protestant canon, whose content is allegedly discerned by and through this fallible church, is divinely inspired and thus inerrant.

That is by no means as easy as you seem to think. For, given the hypothesis of a fallible church, the question needing to be asked is this: How do we know (a) what the correct biblical canon is, and (b) that, whatever the correct canon is, it is inerrant? This is the epistemic crux that Ray rightly says you keep evading. Of course the above question is not a question for Catholics. We believe that the Church is protected from error by the Holy Spirit when teaching with her full authority; and the teaching that the Tridentine canon is divinely inspired is one that we accept as irreformable, because it was infallibly set forth with the full authority of the Church. But since you deny that your church or any church is ever infallible, you cannot appeal to the authority of the something called “the Church” as a good reason to believe that the canon she certifies as such is inerrant. You can’t even tell us which visible body counts as “the” Church whose allegedly fallible authority you nonetheless want to cite. So the reasonable thing for you to do here would be to cease citing whatever-it-is you call “the Church” as a reason to believe that the Protestant canon is inerrant. For if whatever-it-is you call “the Church” could always be wrong, then that is itself a reason to believe that she could be wrong both in how she identifies the canon and in her belief that the writings so compiled are inerrant. Even if you could actually identify some visible body as “the” Church, its self-claimed authority is fallible, and thus is not, of itself, a good reason to believe that what she says is inerrant is, in fact, inerrant.

So, how do you make your case? In my previous comment, I said that your case for the Protestant canon is “essentially academic.” What I meant was that you propose a historical review that seeks to identify some sort of consensus among Christian scholars about which writings belong in the canon. Once such a consensus is identified, then that is our reason to believe that the canon consist of such-and-such writings and no others. And since they believed that whatever-the-canon-is is, itself, inerrant, that is our reason to believe it’s inerrant. Or so you seemed to be saying. But now you say:

Mike, I’m sure you know that my answer here is that no, it’s not just an academic point. The formation of the canon is the work of God working through the Church.

OK, so the case is not “just” academic; it also involves identifying “the work of God through the Church.” But actually, your case remains academic. Why?"
-continued...

Rhology said...

costrowski,

I should think the burden would be on RCC to give some reason to believe that it is in fact infallible.
But first, to prove that it is the only One True Church®.


the teaching that the Tridentine canon is divinely inspired is one that we accept as irreformable

1) This is an ignorant thing to say, since the Tridentine canon passed over at least one book in silence. So your canon of Scr is not closed or complete.
2) Further, for a Sola Scripturist, the canon of Scr is identical to the list of infallible teachings, since only Scr is infallible.
What is Rome's infallible canon of infallible teachings? If you can't provide it, what is Rome's fallible canon of infallible teachings?



You can’t even tell us which visible body counts as “the” Church whose allegedly fallible authority you nonetheless want to cite.

So he just got finished telling us that SS-ists don't think that the church is infallible, that we think the canon is made by a fallible church. And then he rubs it in our faces that we can't claim an infallible church? Um, isn't that what we were saying the whole time?


For if whatever-it-is you call “the Church” could always be wrong

But we don't depend on the church. We depend on and trust in God to make His revelation known. We're theists.


how do you make your case?

My case is found here.


The formation of the canon is the work of God working through the Church.

Prove it by bringing fwd:
1) your infallible canon of infallible teachings;
OR, FAILING THAT
2) your fallible canon of infallible teachings;
OR, FAILING THAT
3) your infallible canon of Scr.

Thanks!

costrowski said...

-continued from my previous comment...

"Because the questions remain: which church is “the Church,” and by what criteria do we identify the work of canon formation as “the work of God” as distinct from human academic work? You have no answer to the first question, which is ontic, and you have offered no criteria for applying the distinction called for by the second question, which is epistemic. The two questions are closely related; for without identifying some church as “the Church” that does the pertinent “work of God,” one has no principled, as opposed to ad hoc, way of making the distinction called for by the second question. To be sure, I do seem to recall your citing “internal evidence” to Devin. But you’ve never explained either why we should regard such subjective factors as evidence at all, or if they can be shown to be some sort of evidence, why the subjective experience of some fallible human beings should be taken as in any way authoritative for others. What’s left of your case is essentially academic, in the way I’ve described above.

Now as I also said in my previous comment, mounting a case on that level yields only “an opinion with no authority.” What you give us thereby is only your opinion and that of your particular branch of Protestantism, which does not claim infallibility. Your response to that was that I have not defined what I mean by ‘opinion’. So now I’ll tell you.

Opinions are beliefs one holds to be true, but which it would be reasonable for one to be willing to give up under certain conditions, such as logical refutation or an accumulation of empirical evidence. Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other. A fact is a state of affairs expressed by a proposition it would be unreasonable to remain in doubt about: e.g., that 2+2=4, that China is a populous country, and that Pluto is not made of green cheese. An article of faith is a truth expressing revelation by a God who can no more deceive than be deceived, and that is believed on such authority. If some P truly is an article of faith, then it would be unreasonable to remain in doubt about P, even if at one time one was reasonably in doubt about it.

Given as much, the question at hand for us is this: when we identify some proposition P as an article of faith–such as that a certain set of writings is divinely inspired, or that it is inerrant–how are we to distinguish belief that P from mere opinion? Since it is a conceptual truth that articles of faith cannot be proven by natural reason, one can only accept P on divine authority. Accordingly, answering the question how we are to distinguish belief that P is an article of faith from the mere opinion that P is true hinges on the question how to identify some visible authority as having divine authority. Only such authority is credible enough to enable us to distinguish P as a true article of faith from P as a mere opinion.

Now as I argued above, a fallible church that you can’t even identify with a visible body cannot count as such an authority. I’ve also shown that your case for both the content and the inerrancy of the canon is essentially academic. But academic authority is not, by itself, divine authority. Hence your case for both the content and the inerrancy of the canon yields only a human opinion lacking the needed sort of authority.
Best,
Mike"

I apologize for the length and for borrowing from another, but I thought Dr. Liccione stated the case so well that I wanted to give him credit and let him eplain it.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
You responded before I posted the second half of Dr. Liccione's position. Therefore an adequate response was impossible. Could you please read the whole argument and then provide a direct response to the points he brings up?

Rhology said...

which church is “the Church,”

Great question. If you are suggesting that we accept the RCC a priori as the infallible interpreter, please let me know why I should. After all, there's lots of competition out there for that spot! EOC, the Watchtower, the LDS, David Koresh, José Luís de Jesús Miranda, etc. If your response resembles: "Just check which church has the pedigree and the line of apostolic succession," then
1) EOC claims the same thing. How can I know who's right?
2) Is it just your non-authoritative interp that apostolic succession/pedigree are the hallmarks of The One True Church®?
3) If I were in fact to check apostolic succession, wouldn't that be non-authoritative interp on my part? If you proceed to tell me to give up on that personal interp stuff, isn't that begging the entire question?
4) If JW/LDS, for example, is the infallible interpreter, wouldn't their interpretation of church history (including a Great Apostasy and later Restoration) be correct by definition, since it's infallible?



without identifying some church as “the Church” that does the pertinent “work of God,”

But we DO identify it. It is the Church.
But "the Church" here is not "the RCC", b/c the church to which I refer is not identical with the modern RCC. But we're not reliant on the church, we're reliant on God Himself to make His revelation known.



What you give us thereby is only your opinion and that of your particular branch of Protestantism, which does not claim infallibility.

1) False dilemma - it is not true that there is either infallibility or "just your opinion". In between is an educated, argued-for position.
2) The individual RC cannot claim infallibility for himself, so this argument cuts his own position's throat. Simply citing another infallible source doesn't get you anywhere either - SS-ists do that when we cite God as infallible source.
So try as you might, I'm very sorry, but you have no epistemological advantage here in this question.



a fallible church that you can’t even identify with a visible body cannot count as such an authority.

Strawman. We DO identify a visible body - the Church. Doesn't mean it's infallible.



Therefore an adequate response was impossible.

I commented on the parts I thought were worth responding to, and same here.

Peace,
Rhology

costrowski said...

Rhology,
Could you give the "positive" case for how you know what comprises the exact contents of the canon (epistemology)? I didn't find it either in the link you provided or in your comment here. Rather, I found a harsh critique of the position of others. Perhaps I missed it.

Rhology said...

We trust our omnipotent, loving God to make His self-revelation known to His people. There is little reason to think this would require that His people be infallible. Indeed, did He not successfully make His Word known to the Old Testament people of God? And what was their infallible interpreter? The Sanhedrin which put Jesus to death? The Sadducees who denied the resurrection in the Eschaton?

We further know it through the impossibility of the contrary. If God has not spoken clearly, sufficiently, and in a way understandable to people, then let us eat, drink, and be merry, for neither today nor tomorrow do we know anything about God, eternal life, atonement, sin, judgment, resurrection, or moral law. Indeed, I'd argue we have no basis for ANY objective epistemology or metaphysics. Such an idea is certainly unlivable, and if one is inclined to argue that its unthinkability is a crutch for weak-minded people, I simply respond that if God did not speak, there's nothing right OR WRONG with being weak-minded.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
Thanks for that clarification. Am I correct in summarizing your position in the following way?

I trust God to make the contents of the canon of scripture known to me (Rhology). Therefore anyone who disagrees with me (Rhology) regarding the contents of the canon of scripture is wrong.

Rhology said...

I find that a pretty disingenuous thing to say, costrowski. Where did the singular pronoun come from? Certainly not my comment. See all the "we"s and "us"s in there? See all the references to the church in my previous two comments?

I thought you wanted an honest dialogue. This is not making me optimistic.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
I certainly didn't mean anything disingenuous, nor do I see anything disingenuous in my comment. I identified you personally as the recipient of God's "making known" the contents of the canon of scripture because I saw no attempt on your part to name an historically identifiable body to compose the "we" who received the knowledge of the contents of the canon. Perhaps you can help me to better understand your position by pointing me to this historically identifiable group to which God made known the contents of the canon.

Rhology said...

no attempt on your part to name an historically identifiable body to compose the "we"

The people of God, as the excerpt makes plain.
Let me quote it and boldface the relevant part:
We trust our omnipotent, loving God to make His self-revelation known to His people. There is little reason to think this would require that His people be infallible. Indeed, did He not successfully make His Word known to the Old Testament people of God?


Your confusion might center around "historically identifiable". I don't want to put words in your mouth, so I'll simply ask you to consider the paradigmatic case of the OT people of God before you take issue with that.

Rhology said...

costrowski,

Could you please link to this article by Liccione? I'd appreciate it.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
You correctly identify the key problematic phrase as "historically identifiable". Without identifying this group you have not addressed the epistemic question. This is because, as we all know, there are different groups who hold to differing canons, especially at different points in time. This is one reason why I have haven't yet seen a positive case for your epistemology. Perhaps you'll help me to understand this positive case.

costrowski said...

Rhology,

Here's where you can find the comment by Dr. Michael Liccione. It's contained in the comments and was posted on Aug. 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm.
http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/07/faith-reason-context-conversion/#comment-10435

Rhology said...

This is because, as we all know, there are different groups who hold to differing canons, especially at different points in time.

Quite true.
Now, ask yourself the same question of your own church.
How does this hurt my positive case?

Rhology said...

Thanks!

costrowski said...

Rhology,
If you can't identify an historical group that received the knowledge of the canon from God then you haven't made any epistemic case. This lack of an identifiable group lends credence to my use of the singular pronouns earlier.

Rhology said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion! Good talking to you.

costrowski said...

Rhology,
Thanks for your courtesy. I appreciate that. I think dialogue with courtesy is the only real way to better understand each other and the issue at hand, including our own positions.

I look forward to any future clarifications you may have on the matter of your positive epistemic case for the canon of scripture. Please don't feel rushed.

Nick said...

Rho,

I'm not sure what more I can say at this point, since I'm just repeating myself - and since most of your responses come in the form of copying my comments and changing a word or two as your response.

Comments like this highlight the fact you're refusing to make a basic distinction and would rather try to muddy the waters:

---------------------
N: If someone points to Trent that says "Divorce is forbidden", then no priest can oppose that.

Rho: Yet they do. Divorce occurs openly in RCC and so do fake "annulments".
Do you live in a fantasy-land, thinking that this stuff doesn't occur? If not, then why say "no priest can oppose that", when they do in fact "oppose that"?
---------------

Responses such as that show you don't or can't see the difference between perspicuity and authority.

And it's also telling that you've never engaged Piper's exegesis of the relevant passages, because then it becomes clear that there aren't "exceptions" after all.

Nick said...

costrowski,

That was a very good quote, and I think this part is particularly relevant in this discussion:

"Now as I also said in my previous comment, mounting a case on that level yields only “an opinion with no authority.” What you give us thereby is only your opinion and that of your particular branch of Protestantism, which does not claim infallibility. Your response to that was that I have not defined what I mean by ‘opinion’. So now I’ll tell you.

Opinions are beliefs one holds to be true, but which it would be reasonable for one to be willing to give up under certain conditions, such as logical refutation or an accumulation of empirical evidence. Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other."

What the Protestant exegete is going around doing is conflating their opinion with authority. Some who don't conflate the two, at least not all the time, like Piper, end up saying their interpretation is not normative, and thus each pastor is free to hold their own opinion on divorce.

costrowski said...

Nick,
I felt bad about using the copy & paste method to make an argument, but I thought that Dr. Liccione's words were so good that I would only do them injustice if I rephrased them. Therefore I'd rather be open and give him the credit and point people to the whole context of his ongoing dialogue.

He makes excellent points regarding making a positive epistemic case for one's own position while avoiding the pitfalls of tu quoque and ad hoc arguments. Sadly these pitfalls are mostly what passes for apologetics these days.

Also, I think it's not helpful to engage one's opposition by resorting to mostly one-liners while neglecting to state a positive case for one's own position.

Rhology said...

...mounting a case on that level yields only “an opinion with no authority.” What you give us thereby is only your opinion and that of your priest and/or parish, which does not claim infallibility. Your response to that was that I have not defined what I mean by ‘opinion’. So now I’ll tell you.

Opinions are beliefs one holds to be true, but which it would be reasonable for one to be willing to give up under certain conditions, such as logical refutation or an accumulation of empirical evidence. Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other.

What the RC individual, blogger, or priest is going around doing is conflating their opinion with authority.

Jae said...

Rho said, "What we CAN do is obey the Scr, believe what the Scr teaches AS BEST we can, and excommunicate those who dissent. That is authority. It's not the authority you Rome-drones are used to, but that's hardly my problem."

I find this unacceptable and unBiblical. Nowhere in Scripture it says or even slightly imply for any individidual to interpret as BEST as he could and based this on one's own capability....very unBiblical indeed!

Well, at least I give Rho a credit for calling us, "Rome-drones" which I could still sleep over BUT NOT the other's side of "egocentric-drones" which they ultimately practiced and quilty of.

Rho said, "Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other."

I agree, you are ALL opinions and hearsays NOT SUPPORTED by written historical FACTS, Academic References and Early Christian Writings.

Rho said, "
I never said their interpretation was inspired, what I said was their conclusion for what books/teachings/etc were inspired. One priest is saying "Tradition/Magisterium forbids X" while another is saying "Tradition/Magisterium allows X".

Is this the very best you got, Rho? For Pete's sake do we have to repeat it again and again ...you are just so obstinate and playing blind because of your prejudice against our Church you're not able to see the elephant in front of you!

Put it again to the test and in plain, very rudimentary structured english so you could at least comprehend the message, ok?....THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (Magisterium) SAYS, IT IS A GRAVE SIN TO COMMIT AN ACT OF ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION...period!period! Now, which part of this sentence you don't understand? Where does it say that any bishop, priest , 80% of catholics who disagree and disobedient to this plain teaching or whomever you quote says otherwise or say that this teaching becomes VOID, where?....SHOW US! If you can't then, allll you got is just plain hogwash.

You apparently don't have any idea behing the "the buck stops here" slogan.

You couldn't even agree with your "fathers" teaching viz. Luther, Calvin and Wesley on this very topic and they disagree with you vehemently, then you will lecture us with your fallacious circular reasoning....and this is my last posting to answer your same old objection.

Go home brother to His One and Only Church that is waiting for you with open arms...don't fight anymore...seek with humility and you shall find.

Peace.

Jae said...

Rho said, "What we CAN do is obey the Scr, believe what the Scr teaches AS BEST we can, and excommunicate those who dissent. That is authority. It's not the authority you Rome-drones are used to, but that's hardly my problem."

I find this unacceptable and unBiblical. Nowhere in Scripture it says or even slightly imply for any individidual to interpret as BEST as he could and based this on one's own capability....very unBiblical indeed!

Well, at least I give Rho a credit for calling us, "Rome-drones" which I could still sleep over BUT NOT the other's side of "egocentric-drones" which they ultimately practiced and quilty of.

Rho said, "Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other."

I agree, you are ALL opinions and hearsays NOT SUPPORTED by written historical FACTS, Academic References and Early Christian Writings.

Rho said, "
I never said their interpretation was inspired, what I said was their conclusion for what books/teachings/etc were inspired. One priest is saying "Tradition/Magisterium forbids X" while another is saying "Tradition/Magisterium allows X".

Is this the very best you got, Rho? For Pete's sake do we have to repeat it again and again ...you are just so obstinate and playing blind because of your prejudice against our Church you're not able to see the elephant in front of you!

Put it again to the test and in plain, very rudimentary structured english so you could at least comprehend the message, ok?....THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (Magisterium) SAYS, IT IS A GRAVE SIN TO COMMIT AN ACT OF ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION...period!period! Now, which part of this sentence you don't understand? Where does it say that any bishop, priest , 80% of catholics who disagree and disobedient to this plain teaching or whomever you quote says otherwise or say that this teaching becomes VOID, where?....SHOW US! If you can't then, allll you got is just plain hogwash.

You apparently don't have any idea behing the "the buck stops here" slogan.

You couldn't even agree with your "fathers" teaching viz. Luther, Calvin and Wesley on this very topic and they disagree with you vehemently, then you will lecture us with your fallacious circular reasoning....and this is my last posting to answer your same old objection.

Go home brother to His One and Only Church that is waiting for you with open arms...don't fight anymore...seek with humility and you shall find.

Peace.

scotju said...

Jae, bravo! It's useless to reason with a man who's blinded by hatred of the Catholic faith and the false traditions of the pretend reformers. It will take a Damascus road experiance to bring him around.

costrowski said...

I still think it's important for Rhology to give his positive epistemic case for the canon of scripture that avoids the pitfall ad hoc, and tu quoque arguments, but I hope he takes the time to reflect in order to give a proper response. Therefore I'm in no hurry for it.

If one can't point to an historically identifiable church that received the knowledge of the canon from God, then one can't point an anonymous unidentifiable church to prove one's epistemology since there's nothing to point to in order to validate the epistemology. Simply put, an unidentifiable anonymous church equals an unidentifiable anonymous epistemology.

The well known Catholic position is that God provided an infallible, historically identifiable Church. One may disagree with this position, but I have yet to hear any other logically valid option.

Nick said...

I invite people to check out this recent discussion from Beggar's All, since it touches upon the issue of theological relativism:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/08/heresy-of-orthodoxy.html

See especially the comment box (my comments and John's).

Dozie said...

"We trust our omnipotent, loving God to make His self-revelation known to His people."

Perhaps a few questions will help Rhology think through the questions of the Catholic canon.
Of course, the question is not about the character or nature of God no matter how pious Rhology wants to sound. The question is: how did/does Rhology know the extent of the canon? Did the omnipotent God reveal the canon to Rhology while Rhology was an unbeliever? Did Rhology have chance to investigate and resolve competing claims for canonicity before he became a Christian? Or, did he become a Christian and accepted the "Christian" canon as presented to him by “John Doe”? If Rhology did not come to “Christianity” with his own canon would he have any canon other than that which was decided for him by the Catholic Church? When Rhology writes of “His People”, does he have in mind individuals or a group of people? Precisely how did God make “His self-revelation known to His people”?

Rhology said...

Jae,

Nowhere in Scripture it says or even slightly imply for any individidual to interpret as BEST as he could and based this on one's own capability....very unBiblical indeed!

1) Did you interp that as best as you could? Or did you interp it with less than your best effort?
2) Please let me know how an individual can avoid doing interpretation.
3) How would you know whether it's unbiblical if you had not done some interpretation of the Bible?


Rho said, "Opinions are to be distinguished from facts on the one hand and articles of faith on the other."

Actually, I was just spoof-quoting one of the RCs on this combox to make a point. I am not the originator of this sentence.



THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (Magisterium) SAYS, IT IS A GRAVE SIN TO COMMIT AN ACT OF ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION

MANY ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS SAY ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION IS OK.
OTHER RCS ARE FULLY IN FAVOR OF BABY-MURDER.
CLEAN YOUR HOUSE AND THEN COME TALK TO ME ABOUT 'UNITY'.



Where does it say that any bishop, priest , 80% of catholics who disagree and disobedient to this plain teaching or whomever you quote says otherwise or say that this teaching becomes VOID, where?

For those actually paying attention and not just reacting from emotion, I never said that. Rather, I used the fact that many RCs dissent from official RC dogma w/o consequence, AND that this destroys the "we're unified and you're not" argument that you're also using. Reading comprehension, Jae.



You couldn't even agree with your "fathers" teaching viz. Luther, Calvin and Wesley

1) I've asked you before why I should care what they said. I'll ask you again.
2) Where have I referred to any of them as "fathers"? A direct quote will be sufficient, thanks.
3) Pop quiz - is, say, Calvin my final authority? Yes or no?



costrowski,
If one can't point to an historically identifiable church that received the knowledge of the canon from God, then one can't point an anonymous unidentifiable church to prove one's epistemology

1) I did point to one.
2) Make your argument why this statement is true.



The well known Catholic position is that God provided an infallible, historically identifiable Church.

Nice bait-and-switch. Why throw in "infallible" in this statement when that's not what you asked me before?



Dozie,
how did/does Rhology know the extent of the canon?

the Holy Spirit's work in the church throughout time.
Now, how do YOU know the canons I asked for from RCC? You have three to choose from. Go for it.



did he become a Christian and accepted the "Christian" canon as presented to him by “John Doe”?

I have no idea what this means.



When Rhology writes of “His People”, does he have in mind individuals or a group of people?

A group of people. You know, "the people of God", like I said.
And yet, groups are composed of individuals.
Kinda like the group "Jew-hating, race-baiting Roman Catholics" is composed of Dozie and other individuals.



Precisely how did God make “His self-revelation known to His people”

Gradually, over time, in the hearts and minds of people and local churches, to the effect that they, though fallible, were guided subtly and providentially to recognise certain books as inspired and others as not-inspired. Just like the OT people of God. Did the OT people of God have an infallible Magisterium? No.

Peace,
Rhology

costrowski said...

Rhology,

First, let me ask if we could stop with the insults (accusation of bait-and-switch)? How about just asking me to clarify something?

Second, there was no bait-and-switch because my reference to infallibility was used to explain Catholic epistemology. Since I never asked you to explain RC epistemology I committed no bait-and-switch. Of course I’m sure you disagree with my epistemic position, but all I did was give it and identify the historical Church, just as I asked you to do.

Thirdly, my point that one must point to an historically identifiable church in order to posit this same church as receiving the canon from God seems to me to be the only logical position because without this identifiable church you have no connection to a “beginning”, or knowledge of the correct canon itself. The only connection seems to be a tenuous ad hoc decision to identify with an unidentifiable group that you think agrees with you, and thus my previous use of singular personal pronouns. (At this point, please remember that instead of making accusations I asked if I accurately summarized your position.) In addition to this, your explanation violates what I originally asked for because it posits an ad hoc decision to identify the contents of the canon as being divinely protected yet denies an infallible church (the typical protestant, including reformed position), without any explanation of the basis of this distinction.

Lastly, you claim that you did indeed point to an historically identifiable church. Perhaps I missed it. Could you give me that information again?

Rhology said...

How about just asking me to clarify something?

OK. Why did you introduce the concept of "infallible" after you'd already asked me the question? How do you expect someone in my position to react when you do that?


my reference to infallibility was used to explain Catholic epistemology.

Yes, but that's not how you set up the question to me.


all I did was give it and identify the historical Church, just as I asked you to do.

Please prove that the RCC is infallible.


seems to me to be the only logical position because without this identifiable church you have no connection to a “beginning”, or knowledge of the correct canon itself.

1) I did identify the church.
2) How do you explain the fact that the modern RCC is not interchangeable with the early church? If you deny this fact, I'm afraid there's little more that can be said to get thru to you. The modern RCC is quite different from the early church, and this is not up for question or debate; it is simply fact.
3) Why have you not attempted to provide any of the 3 canons I asked about earlier?


Could you give me that information again?

Please see here, and please remember it this time.

costrowski said...

Rhology,

Please remember that I asked you to give the POSITIVE position of your epistemology and. I didn’t introduce the concept of infallibility into your POSITIVE position; rather I gave my POSITIVE position for RC epistemology. I hope I explained this well enough for you to understand what I mean.

You asked me to prove the RC is infallible, but this has nothing to do with your POSITIVE epistemic position which I have yet to see.

You seem to have a preference for less than courteous language, such as this:
“Please see here, and please remember it this time.”
The link you provided is only a link to this particular topic on this particular blog. I don’t find this helpful. If you want me to have a better understanding of your position I think it would help if you provided a concise POSITIVE position of your epistemology.

As for your 3 points:
1)“I did identify the church” – I haven't found it.

2)“How do you explain the fact that the modern RCC is not interchangeable with the early church? If you deny this fact, I'm afraid there's little more that can be said to get thru to you. The modern RCC is quite different from the early church, and this is not up for question or debate; it is simply fact.” – This is not a POSITIVE position of your epistemology, so I can only see it as a distraction at this point.

3)“Why have you not attempted to provide any of the 3 canons I asked about earlier?” – This is not a POSITIVE position of your epistemology, so I can only see it as a distraction at this point.

Therefore I charitably ask you once again to provide me with a POSITIVE case for your epistemology, and as my original comments asked, one that avoids the ad hoc and tu quoque pitfalls.

Rhology said...

rather I gave my POSITIVE position for RC epistemology

OK.



You asked me to prove the RC is infallible, but this has nothing to do with your POSITIVE epistemic position which I have yet to see.

Am I the only one who has to give a positive epistemic case?



You seem to have a preference for less than courteous language, such as this:
“Please see here, and please remember it this time.”


I said 'please' twice. But tbh, I'm getting tired of you asking the same question over and over again. I find constant re-asking the same question less than courteous, myself.



The link you provided is only a link to this particular topic on this particular blog. I don’t find this helpful.

I am sorry to hear that. It is, however, the answer to your question.
This is just another sign of how the RC epistemology does not answer the problem of the individual fallible interper.



I haven't found it.

Then I guess we're done talking, if I can tell you the same thing 3 times and you won't take it into acct.



This is not a POSITIVE position of your epistemology

If you'd read (and remembered) my original statement of my position, a great deal of my argument is the impossibility of the contrary, and the fact that we do agree that God has spoken in His Word. That's a given, so where do we go from there?



as my original comments asked, one that avoids the ad hoc and tu quoque pitfalls.

1) My position is hardly ad hoc. Up to you to make an argument that it is.
2) Revealing tu quoques are part of my toolbox to show the untruth of the Roman position. I presuppose the truth of the Word of God b/c it is irrational not to do so; I do not prove my epistemic position. How could one possibly prove that his thoughts are thoughts? I don't think you're really wrestling with the implications of your question.

Peace,
Rhology

scotju said...

Rho, your slanderous and libelous remark about Catholics being "Jew baiting and race hating" was uncalled for. One, it had nothing to do with the topic of this post. Two, I've never seen any posts on this site that dealt with Judaism, Jews, or Israel unless it was discussing the Old Testament. Third, the Catholic Church has always had Jewish members since day one. Hmmm, they must not have known about that "Jew baiting" and "race hating" stuff. Fourth, how dare you presume that Dozie or anyone else who posts on this blog is a Jew Baiter or a race hater without proof! It would be like me calling every white Baptist a KKK member just because a lot of them were Kluxers. Fifth and finally, I happen to be of Jewish descent. I come from a Marrano family that's been in this country since the 1600's. One member of my family knew several of the founding fathers. I mention my Jewish descent for several reasons. One, I don't find the Catholic church to be "Jew Baiting" or "race hating". The CC has always been multi-ethnic from the get-go. Two, more Jews have converted to the Catholic church than any of the broken off branches of the Protestant churches. Hmmm, they must be too smart to believe your slanders and libels Rho. Third, in spite of the antagonism that has existed between the Jewish community and the church since day one, the church has always welcome sincere converts among the Jews as members of the body of Christ. I'm one of those members. Forth, the church always did it's best to keep Jew-hatred among Catholics and anti-Christianism amomg Jews in check. The church told the Christians that the Jews were not to be molested in their synagogue services, (the only exception to this rule is if it became public knowledge that anti-christian blasphemies and actions were commited during services) they were not to be harrassed on the streets, their homes or their graves were not to be broken into, and they were not to be forced into converting to the faith. the church authorities told the Jews not to be blaspheming the name of Christ, the BVM, the saints, or the church in public. They were not to have Christian servants or slaves, (Jews were known to force converison upon Christian servants) They were not supposed to proselyte Christian into becoming Jews, they were not to take usury from Christians in a business deal, and not to fake converison to Christianity for illegal or subversive purposes. When both sides abided by the rules, it was possible to have civil relationships. Of course, when foolish people from either side broke these rules, relations were strained, and sadly, sometimes violence erupted. When it got to this point, the priest and the bishops did their best to calm things down, even to the extent of offering shelter to the Jews. When things calmed down, the clergy would rebuke and demand punishment for the wrongdoers. Of course, if the Jews were found in the wrong, it usally meant heavy fines, and possibly exile.

In conclusion Rho, I find your remark about Jew-hating and race baiting to be slander and libel against the Catholic church and the decent people who post here. And your behavior and that of your fellow Calvinist/Reformed on other subjects is one good reason why I'll never darken the door of one of your churches. It would be like going to a KKK meeting.

costrowski said...

I think everyone can now see that Rhology has not, and refuses to give a POSITIVE epistemic case for his canon. His evasions are manifest. The only case he provided is comprised almost entirely of a negative case, along with ad hoc and tu quoque arguments. After this round of unpleasant exchanges I think it's fair to conclude that Rhology CANNOT give a positive case for his epistemology. This lack of an explanation underscores Nick's point that protestantism is completely subjective and relativistic.

I guess I'll probably bail out of this discussion at this point since I have no intention of engaging in a mudslinging fest,or spend all day sifting through red herrings.

Rhology said...

scotju,

You're an emotional wreck, man. Go back, calm down, and read what I said again. I didn't say all RCs are Jew-haters or race-baiters, did I? But some certainly are.


I happen to be of Jewish descent.

Then I fully expect that you will call out, rebuke, and distance yourself from Dozie, given that he is precisely as I described him.


I'll never darken the door of one of your churches. It would be like going to a KKK meeting.

1) Unless you rebuke Dozie with more force than what you've used to rebuke me, your lack of desire to go to a Reformed church wouldn't surprise me - those are mostly for those who enjoy consistency and biblical fairness.
2) Which fairness you in no way extend, by comparing them to a KKK meeting. What rubbish.



costrowski,

After this round of unpleasant exchanges I think it's fair to conclude that Rhology CANNOT give a positive case for his epistemology.

I prefer to think it's fair to conclude that you don't want to recognise when one has been given. And it's a bit "unpleasant" too to read disingenuous comments like this.
I have also offered you the chance to make your own positive case, and you have of course declined. I suppose we should also conclude that you cannot. And, as you said, this lack of an explanation underscores Nick's point that RCC is completely subjective and relativistic.

scotju said...

Rho, I went to your link. Dozie simply said The Jews have too much influence over church policies, and we Catholics have been too willing to accomindate them. That is a true statement. You calling Dozie a Jewbaiter and a race hater is a lie. And your buddy James White has the gall to claim we Catholics will do anything to serve Mother Rome? Sounds to me you'll do anything to serve Grampa Geneva!

Nick said...

This discussion seems to be going nowhere and is at the point of flooding our email inboxes of unnecessary updates. I'm on the fence as to whether to close this comment box or to hold out and hope a new Protestant will read the main article and comment.

Rhology said...

Don't worry about closing it, Nick. I'll stop commenting.

Thanks for hosting it. Not everyone is courageous enough to have an unmoderated combox.

costrowski said...

It funny that I actually agree with Rhology on something. I think his example makes a very strong case for a moderated combox. It's impossible to have any kind of constructive dialogue when the only responses you receive are one-liners and complete deconstruction of everything you say, so as to obscure any point you make.

I certainly won't jump in that kind of mud.

scotju said...

Nick, if you want to avoid the problems that Rho caused on this post, I've got a cople of helpfll suggestions for you.

Read Titus 3:9-10. It's one thing to allow a Protestant or any other non-Catholic to comment as long as they're not trying to use them to teach or preach against the Church and its doctrines. But when it becomes plain to see that their agenda is to hold the church up to ridicule, they should be warned to cease and desist. If they fail to comply, put them on a ban list.

David Armstrong had problems with Rho's Beggers All buds a few years back. He doesn't any more. You should go to his website to see how he handled it. It couldn't hurt

Nick said...

While I understand the point, and this might surprise people, I think Rho was actually well within line and his "rights" to post here. I know from personal experience things get heated at times, and it's not easy to come into Catholic or Protestant "territory" alone and try to answer multiple folks at once. So, whatever shortcomings any of his posts had, I didn't detect any maliciousness or flooding of the combox.

After a while, threads have a greater tendency to spiral off topic anyway.

Isahel said...

Nick, I heard that you're going to have a debate against Soliman. He is not a good debater we had exchanges before in our blogs. If you ask him tough questions he will not give you a direct answer rather he will accuse of various logical fallacies. I know you can beat him in Sola Scriptura debate. I've debated (though an informal one) him on that before, he is not a worthy opponent. Ask him to prove the Canon of Scriptures using the principles of Sola Scriptura he'd be like a snake trying to escape. God Bless!

Nick said...

Hi Isahel my friend!

I already agreed to the debate, so I'm not backing out. Based on his Opening Essay, I'm personally saddened since I was hoping for a more robust Essay to interact with, yet his first Essay was only 1/4 the allowed size.

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