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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Protestants are #1! (They can't be #2.)

A common rebuttal Protestants give to Catholics when accused of engaging in "Private Interpretation" of Scripture is that Catholics engage in "Private Interpretation" as of Scripture as well, particularly when it comes to a Catholic deciding for themself that the Catholic Church is the church to join. The Protestant envisions that he and the Catholic both are fallibly interpreting Scripture and each are coming to their own fallible conclusions. Given this, the Protestant sees any arguments given for submitting to Rome as not only unnecessary, but even engaging in the same fallible private judgment that Catholics clobber Protestants for doing. In short, the Protestant sees the Catholic engaging in circular reasoning and special pleading. 

When I encountered this for the zillionth time, here is the response I gave to one Protestant Blogger (slightly modified for this blog post):
The problem with that claim is there is a misunderstanding (even equivocation) going on with the term "interpret". Really, there are two distinct things going on:
(1) Studying the Evidence and coming to a fallible but plausible conclusion.

(2) Authoritatively teaching a binding doctrine, including authoritatively interpreting a text of Scripture.
Everyone must engage in category #1. That's not the issue. The issue is category #2. When it comes to addressing category #2, one must see that there either is an authoritative teaching body ("Magisterium") or there is not. If there is no Magisterium, then there are no definitive doctrines, only fallible but plausible opinions. That's basically the state of Protestantism and why fewer and fewer doctrines are seen as "essential". If there is a Magisterium, one must engage in #1 to locate and eventually submit to which Magisterium is the most credible.

Let me give an example of the problem with Protestantism. Let's say that St Paul came down from Heaven into your denomination and told your pastor that your pastor was teaching incorrect doctrines and rather your pastor should be teaching these other doctrines. In the Protestant view, your pastor could theoretically disagree with St Paul if your pastor felt Paul's comments did not align with your pastor's interpretation of Scripture. In the Protestant mind, both your pastor and St Paul were in the category #1 above: they were both fallible men doing their best to discern what the Spirit was telling them through Scripture. Neither could or were teaching authoritatively.

The problem with the above example is obviously that we know St Paul is not on par with your pastor, and in fact St Paul was entrusted by God with the role of #2 above. This means your pastor and his congregation, who are all in category #1, are not free to overturn Paul's teaching should they come to a different interpretation of the Bible. They'd be in the wrong and Paul would be in the right.

What you and other Protestants do is think that a Christian in category #1 has the (optional) duty of locating a denomination and pastor also in category #1. And since everyone is in category #1, then it's possible there could come a time when you disagree with your pastor's fallible but plausible interpretation of Scripture on a doctrine you plausibly but fallibly believe is important, and at that point you could leave to find another denomination or start your own. All the Protestant is doing is shifting between denominations of category #1, completely oblivious to or denying the existence of someone of category #2.
Unless Catholics and Protestants can differentiate and understand these two categories, they will continue to talk past eachother. The good folks at Called to Communion have written extensively about this, but I thought it should be repeated in a more concise form.

255 comments:

1 – 200 of 255   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Nick,
Claiming to have a "authoritative teaching body ("Magisterium") does not guarantee that they teach the truth.

To know if an institution or person is teaching truth is to compare it with Scripture. When we examine RCC doctrines with Scripture we find that many of the doctrines are not supported by Scripture.

Nick said...

Ralph,

It is true that simply CLAIMING to be the authentic Magisterium established by Jesus does not mean that specific camp actually is the authentic Magisterium. That's not the point of this post though.

The point of this post is whether there really is such a Magisterium, and particularly focused on the realization that if there is, then there is also the power to authoritatively teach in the sense my #2 describes.

All I'm trying to do is to help people cut through a typical logical fallacy that Protestants project onto Catholicism. The startling realization is that even if Jesus or Paul came down from Heaven and told a Protestant their interpretation of Scripture was wrong, the Protestant would still always retain the option to politely disagree with Jesus and Paul.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

If Christ created a physcial Church on this planet and that Church was endowed with the Holy Spirit, HOW COULD IT ERR IN ITS TEACHING? HOW?

How do you know that scriputre teaches truth? Because it comes from God. How do you know that Christ's Church teaches truth? Because it comes from God. SAME EXACT REASONING AND THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE MEDIUM THE TRUTH WAS COMMUNICATED.

The only way your worldivew of scripture is accurate is if Christ and the HS are not in charge/guiding/control of the Church when teaching about faith and morals. How is that possible that God is not in charge of his own Church? He gave us scripture that says X and then a Church that says Y to confuse us?

That makes no sense just as the level of proof you require for somehting to be biblical makes no sense. Scripture was never intended to cover every Christian doctrine. Three persons and one essence? Nowhere is that in scripture but you won't deny the doctrine of the Trinity. You even use tradition to determine what is scripture which violates your own condition.

Scripture clearly indicates that Christ created a physical Church on this earth that was endowed with the Holy Spirit. Now where can I find this Church? Seems to me that such church must have lasted since Pentecost and be easy to find.

Scripture is NOT the only medium that God uses to teach truth. In fact, Scripture doesn't even make such claim, only man makes such claim because he wants to be his own church.

cwdlaw223 said...

"Take Away the Supernatural and What Remains is the Unnatural"

G.K. Chesterton

Ralph has a worldview that does not recognize the supernatural on this earth right now. The effect of Ralph's worldview is that it's impossible for God to continue interacting with man through the Church that God built.

This is probably the biggest reason why Protestantism fails. Protestants do not believe in anything supernatural on this earth right here and now communicating with man. It's completely outside their worldview. What are the fruits of Protestant theology? Theological relativism and scholasticism which are unnatural and incongruent with Christendom (and history).

Anonymous said...

Nick,
Protestant pastors and teachers do teach with authority. The authority of Scripture. They bear a greater responsibility to do so. See James 3:1

Keep in mind that if "Jesus or Paul came down from Heaven and told the RC Magesterium their interpretation of Scripture was wrong, the RC would still always retain the option to politely disagree with Jesus and Paul."

This applies also to you and your church.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

How can Christ tell himself he's wrong? That's what you don't get. Do you claim that God is within your pastors when the teach on issues of faith and morals? NOPE!

You have a massive epistemological problem with "scripture only" and you're too blind to see it.

How can the Church created by Christ and endowed with the HS err when teaching on faith and morals? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? The same possibility that such Church could err is the same possibility that scripture errs! Why? The communication is from the same source.

You have an even bigger infallability problem defining what is scripture as evidenced by RC Sproul's nonsense of an "fallible collection of infallible books."

Let me guess, you think co means equal don't you? Christ never, ever intended scripture to be alone from his Church. Otherwise, he knew the Protestant nonsense and relativism would cause man to be hoodwinked and believe man over God. Is my heart more important than my brain? Both are necessary for my body to function. Out of thin air you have placed scripture in a position where it was never, ever intended to be and developed a warped construct of Christianity around your skewed construct.

Where does scripture say that it's supposed to be alone? Scripture was determined to be scripture by the use of scripture AT MASS!

You also have placed an requirement that man must be able to read and have access to the written word that defies human history and basic ecnonomics. Man has illeterate for over 1,500 years (if not more) since Christ and he certainly couldn't afford to buy a Bible.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
You are making a couple of assumptions about your church:
1- it is the church that Christ established
2- that it cannot err.

Both points have been proven false.

cwdlaw223 said...

This has nothing to do with Rome (for now).

(1) How can A CHURCH created by Christ and endowed with the Holy Spirit err in teaching faith and morals? Assume this Church is not Rome. Please tell me how such a Church could err in teaching faith and morals when creatd by Christ and endowed with the Holy Spirit? HOW!

(2) Do you believe Christ created a physical Church on this earth endowed with the Holy Spirit to teach infallbily? Yes or No.

Anonymous said...

Any church can err. Jesus never promised the church could not err and Scripture warns of false teachers coming into the church that will deceive many.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Scripture never says: (a) what is scripture, or (b) that scripture is error free. Scripture talks about individuals deceiving, not the Church created by Christ. That's insane to assert from scripture that the Church created by Christ would deceive.

How can you not separate individuals vs. the Church itself?

So if Christ created a Church on this earth and the HS is within this Church you believe this Church could teach error on faith and morals?

The exact same reason you believe that scripture cannot err is the exact same reason why a Church created by Christ and endowed with the Holy Spirit cannot err. God is in charge/control of the communication.

Nick said...

Ralph,

You said:
"Protestant pastors and teachers do teach with authority. The authority of Scripture."

So ANYONE who teaches from the Bible is a pastor of the Church?


You said:
"Keep in mind that if Jesus or Paul came down from Heaven and told the RC Magesterium their interpretation of Scripture was wrong, the RC would still always retain the option to politely disagree with Jesus and Paul.
This applies also to you and your church."

First of all, how does this help you at all? How in the world could you say it's OK to disregard the corrective teaching of Jesus or Paul if they hypothetically came down from Heaven?

Second of all, a Catholic would never go against Jesus or Paul if they hypothetically appeared and told a Catholic that a given interpretation was wrong.

cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

Let me make this even easier for you to follow. Why exactly is scripture infallible? Please explain how scripture is infallible.

My answer: Because scripture is from God himself.

I'll even let it pass that you can't infallibility determine the canon. You don't believe that Christ can communicate with people today through his Church, do you?

Anonymous said...

Nick,
Where do you get the idea that "ANYONE who teaches from the Bible is a pastor of the Church?"

Your hypothetical example of Jesus and Paul is not a fact. Give me a specifically example of a teaching of a Protestant church they would give a corrective teaching on.

Your church already has doctrines that contradict Scripture. The doctrine that Mary was without sin and a celibate leadership are 2 examples.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
You asked-"How can you not separate individuals vs. the Church itself?"
The church is made up of individuals. In your church the magesterium and the pope represent your church and speak for it. Now we know that those in this group have been guilty of error and dong evil.

If the church could not teach error then the warnings against it doing so would be absurd to make. The fact is that we already see in Revelation the church teaching error.

Nick said...

Ralph

You said:
"Where do you get the idea that "ANYONE who teaches from the Bible is a pastor of the Church?"

Because you said the authority they teach with is the Bible's authority. Thus anyone teaching from the Bible is a pastor. And any Protestant will admit this, since they would have no problem disagreeing with their pastor on a given interpretation if they don't agree with him.


You said:
"Your hypothetical example of Jesus and Paul is not a fact. Give me a specifically example of a teaching of a Protestant church they would give a corrective teaching on."

Take the "Eternal Security" doctrine where some Protestants believe salvation cannot be lost. If Jesus or Paul came and told them that this was not a Biblical teaching, that congregation could still turn to the Bible and rely on their own interpretation.

The reason is because you would say Jesus' and Paul's interpretation of Scripture is just as fallible as your own congregation's interpretation.


Anonymous said...

Nick,
You don't reason well. It does not follow that "anyone teaching from the Bible is a pastor." That is just silly.

If Jesus or Paul came back and said that the doctrine of eternal security was wrong I would then know they were not who they claimed to be but of the Antichrist.
They already taught 2000 years ago that eternal security is what Jesus gained for us.

cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

My posts aren't about Rome yet and you keep avoiding my simple questions.

Here it is again:

Why and how is scripture infallible when it doesn't claim to be infallible? Please explain.

Give me your best answer how man can know that Scripture is infallible.

cwdlaw223 said...

Nick -

Who does this sound like:

One day, a young doctor meets a patient who swears that he is dead. In fact, he swears that he's been dead for years. This poor patient is somewhat delusional, obviously, but the young doctor thinks that some cognitive therapy might help. Surely, he could talk this man out of his delusion.

So, he sits the man down and asks him, "You're dead, eh?"

"Yes," the young man replies, "been dead for years."

"Tell me," the doctor replied, "do dead men bleed?"

The young man answered, "No, I don't think I've ever heard of a dead man bleeding. That wouldn't really seem possible."

At this point, the young doctor recognizes he has found the solution. One can almost see the glimmer of hope in his eye as he pulls a sterile hypodermic needle from his kit, requests the man finger, and pricks it with the needle.

Imagine his face, however, when hears the man exclaim, "Well look at that! Dead men DO bleed."

The story is amusing to most people, because it is so absurd, and yet conceivable.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ralph told God that he was wrong.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

I'm still waiting on the names of the "true believers" in the 4th-8th Century who did not participate in the Mass that you avoided giving me. I'll make it easy on you. Just give me two names of "true believers" according to Ralph from this time period who did not participate in the Mass.

Who are these two, non-Mass participating true believers in the 4th-8th Century? If your position is correct, it should be easy for you to give me two people that I can look up in history and examine their beliefs. Scripture certainly doesn't give me any names in this time period and I can't find anyone like you from the 4th-8th Century who was refraining from the Mass.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
Lets start at the beginning. Show someone participating at a mass in the NT. Show me a priest taking the bread and wine and changing it into Christ. Chapter and verse please.

Nick said...

Ralph,

You said:
"If Jesus or Paul came back and said that the doctrine of eternal security was wrong I would then know they were not who they claimed to be but of the Antichrist."

Ok, this discussion is pretty much over.
My point is PROVEN. At the end of the day, the Protestant trusts their own interpretation of Scripture even over that of the Apostles interpretation of Scripture.

If you were living in 75AD with St Timothy and St Timothy told you that your interpretation of Scripture was wrong and told you eternal security was not taught in Scripture, I suppose you's say the same thing. WOULD YOU REALLY say: "There's no way you're the real Timothy, you're an evil twin! I know the Scriptures, and the real Timothy would not contradict my interpretation!"??? ...and all along it was the real St Timothy, the same one Paul wrote to and ordained.

cwdlaw223 said...

Why can't you prove your position from history? I can prove the Mass from history. People who were directly under the tutelage of the Apostles were participating in the Mass. let me guess, you understand scripture better then they did? Pure scholasticism. The Didache was written in 70 AD which is before much of your scripture.

Just admit the Church failed right out of the gate but you can't point to the "true believers" in history until the Reformation.

I'll give you chapter and verse when you give me chapter and verse for sola Scriptura and that Scripture claims to be the only infallible teaching from God. That's only fair.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Nick -

The story about about a living person claiming to be dead is Ralph. Invincible ignorance might actually work for him on judgment day. Of course, he'll keep dodging my request (now it's down to one person) in the 4th-8th Century who was a true believer according to him but this person did not participate in the Mass.

Restless Pilgrim said...

Making unfounded assertions, failing to stay on-topic, dodging the simple questions, calling other people's reasoning into question without actually explaining where it's wrong...this seems eerily familiar...

Anonymous said...

Nick,
You should read Galatians 1:8-9. To deny eternal security in Christ is to deny the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Nick,
You should read Gal 1:8-9. To deny eternal security in Christ is to deny the gospel.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
No sense in talking about the mass in the 4th-8th century until we first see it in the NT. If its not in the NT then its not apostolic. That's why I need to see it in the NT i.e. a priest turning the bread and wine into Christ.

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

Why can't you tell me ONE person in history from the 4th-8th Century who was a true believer according to you but did not participate in the Mass? JUST ONE NAME!!!

This would help you prove that scripture is abundantly clear and other people could have figured out your interpretation if s rupture. The problem you run into is that there is no one "true believer" like you in history who wasn't participating in the Mass. You detest the Mass but history proves a different interpretation of Scripture.

Why would the Mass need a chapter and verse when the practice was already in place BEFORE most of the canon was complete???? The Mass was already instituted before your cook book was complete.

Just one name!!!! Please.

I'm glad you agree that sola scriptura is no longer apostolic.

Daniel said...

Anonymous,

1) Divine Wisdom is so big that Scripture cannot contain it. If you walked up to Jesus when He is in a cooperative mood with your Bible in hand and asked Him to teach you one fact derived from Divine Wisdom that's not found in Scripture, then Jesus must respond in one of two ways: A) Admit He is powerless to do so or B) Provide an example.

I am going to assume that you instinctively know that A is foolish.

Well that leaves B by default. But if B is true, then one can appeal to Divine Wisdom in supporting a doctrine without supporting it from Scripture.

And if one were to argue against the nonScriptural doctrine, one would HAVE TO REFUTE THE ASSERTION THAT IT'S DIVINE WISDOM on its merits rather than dismiss it on the grounds that it's not in Scripture.

By analogy, I'll use House since that's a favorite show of mine. Surely we both agree that every disease and every cure is not in a medical textbook. If Dr. House is making the case that X will cure a disease, then whatever you do to rebuttal Dr. House the one thing you can't say with any logical foundation, is that we know X won't work because it isn't in the textbook..


Daniel said...


2) Now that the philosophy behind your error in strictly requiring Scripture to support dogma is out of the way, let me actually address the liturgy in Scripture.

11For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the Gentiles, saith the LORD of hosts.

If you have read Leviticus, you know an offering is a sacrifice. There are grain offerings, and lamb offerings, and dove offerings, etc.

Gentiles never did make the name of the Lord great in the OT times, so we know this is talking about the Gentiles being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

So the true church will have the following as a norm:

1) Her liturgy will be all the time. The Catholic liturgy is celebrated 24-7 all over the world. Mass is said everyday. Protestant services are once a week or twice a week or three times a week, but I seriously doubt that your denomination celebrates her liturgy every single day.

2) Her liturgy is in every place. The Southern Baptist Convention doesn't have a church in Fiji (that I know of) and the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America doesn't have a church in Berma (that I know of). But with the right connections, you could go to Mass anywhere. There are 1.2 billion Catholics scattered all over the world.

3) Incense would be used in her liturgy. In the rubrics for the Novus Ordo, Latin Rite, Ambrosian Rite, the liturgies of John Chrysostom, Basil, etc. They all use incense in her liturgy. Protestant churches generally do not.

4) A pure offering...a perfect sacrifice, is made by the Church.

Which church has a dogma that a sacrifice or offering is made during the liturgy?

Both.

The Protestants offer money in the offering plate, and make a sacrifice of praise by singing hymns. Is your tithe and your music a perfect sacrifice? I haven't heard you sing or balanced your checkbook, but I imagine there is always room for improvement.

Now the Catholics say this: really there is only one pure offering, only one perfect sacrifice: at Calvary.

And that when the Lord speaks the words of institution using the hands on loan from the priest and the tongue on loan from the priest, Christ's one time sacrifice is made really and truly present on the altar hidden in the appearance of bread and wine.

That's why we call it an altar not a table. An altar is where you do a sacrifice. A table is where you celebrate a meal. (Which the Mass is as well--it's the wedding banquet between the Church and the Bridegroom.)

Christ is our paschal lamb. At the time of passover, a lamb was sacrificed and eaten. In the new passover (the celebration of the death of Christ which is to say our liturgical worship), the Lamb is sacrificed and consumed.

If you want to make the case that your denomination fits those 4 criteria for Gentile liturgical worship better and more precisely than the Mass, feel free to make your case...

cwdlaw223 said...

He won't. He'll just call it an abomination and ignore anything to the contrary like the Didache. In Ralph's world, his book tells him that if the theological recipe isn't in the book it's not correct. Ralph received the book from the Angel Moroni but he's not telling us that fact.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
It is true the mass is practiced by RC's the world over. Now, can you answer the question I have asked others:

Show someone participating at a mass in the NT. Show me a priest taking the bread and wine and changing it into Christ. Chapter and verse please.

Daniel said...

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, 24and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”l 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord [which is to say you proclaim is paschal sacrifice ] until he comes.

27Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. 28A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment* on himself. 30That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.

So there's the Real Presence in the Eucharistic meal.

But was Paul a Christian priest?

The Bible says he was.

Let's give Romans 15:15-16 some detailed analysis.

I'll quote the ESV because it so closely follows the Greek:

But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

'priestly service' in the Greek is hierourgeĆ³ which is literally the "Priest (hiereus) Service (ergon)" (you could also say "Temple Service" because priest and temple have the same root.) Hiereus means the sacrificial priesthood.

When it says a 'minister' of Christ in the Greek, we need to zoom in a bit there. The Greek word is "leitourgon"...a leitourgon is someone who does the leitourgia, or in English: a minister is someone who does the liturgy.

The phrase, "so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable" is confusing in English. Are the Gentiles being offered up as a sacrifice?

In Greek, it's very clear. "he prosphora ton ethnon euprosdektos" Literally '[that might be] the offering of the Gentiles acceptable' or perhaps a better translation, "That the Gentile's sacrifice might be acceptable."

So a Christian's priestly service is to be a liturgical minister, proclaiming the Gospel in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the liturgy.

And again, the Eucharistic sacrifice is where the paschal lamb is slaughtered and eaten. You can't slaughter a lamb and eat a Popsicle. You have to eat what was sacrificed. Christ is our paschal lamb.

Now that I have answered your question, I expect you to answer mine:

Where does Scripture say the body and blood is only a symbol of Christ? Chapter and verse only.

Also, feel free to ask me either a new question or a follow up question to my post.





cwdlaw223 said...

Show us one of your true believers from the 4-8Th Century who was not participating in the Mass! How many times do you keep avoiding proof for your position? The reason history is infected with the Mass is because it's true and taught directly by the Apostles.

cwdlaw223 said...

Daniel -

Great response. Ask him for a true believer in the 4-8th Century was did not participate in the Mass. He avoids providing one name.

I guess scripture isn't as clear as it should be for Ralph. Otherwise, he could rattle off hundreds of names of true believers like himself.

Daniel said...

I left out an important part of Romans 15:16.

"...offering...sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

If that offering or sacrifice was only a symbol, I agree it would be a holy symbol.

BUT! It would be a holy symbol because Christ made it holy at the Last Supper and on Golgotha, not because it was sanctified by the Holy Spirit in the liturgy.

So whatever the phrase means, it can't it's just a symbol because it confuses the Persons of the Trinity on who makes the symbol sacred.

But does it mean that it's a symbol in which Christ is spiritually present?

A good question.

But if that's true, then Paul wouldn't say that the impious are condemned for not discerning the Lord's body but rather he would have said the Lord's Spirit.

So it can't be a symbol, it can't be a symbol with Christ also spiritually present.

That leaves one option: He, Jesus of Nazareth, Light from Light, True God from True God, is bodily present, unobservable to our senses (and not the first time that Christ is unrecognizable to His flock when He is bodily present, cf Luke 24:13-35).

But let me ask this: is it that outrageous to believe that when Christ said, "For my flesh is meat indeed* [ truly, of a truth, in reality, most certainly], and my blood is drink indeed*," that He meant it?

*Alethos, Strong's G230: 1) truly, of a truth, in reality, most certainly

cwdlaw223 said...

You answered his question. Now I bet Ralph won't provide any proof that another "true believer" like Ralph exists in history (4-8th Century) and DID NOT participate in the Mass.

If Scripture is so clear, nobody should have been partaking of the Mass according to Ralph. But if people were partaking of the Mass, it would show that they came up with a completely different interpretation of scripture. There are millions and millions of people from the 4-8th Century who participate in the Mass as part of their worship.

Ralph can't even name one "true believer" during this time period who did not particpiate in the Mass. Certainly a true believer would have interpreted scripture like Ralph. History = Consistency! There is no consistency in Ralph's theological relativism.

I'm just glad that he's now using his own standards and has rejected sola scriptura as being non-apostolic since it isn't in scripture. We're making progress with him.

John W said...

We can also see the High Priest Himself celebrating the basic form of the Mass along the Road to Emmaus (in addition to the last supper) in Luke 24.

Their hearts burned as he opened up the scriptures to them, but was only made know to them in the breaking of the bread.

This is the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist, i.e., the Mass

What did they say to the disciples about this experience?

Luk 24:35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

They did not say they recognized Him in the reading of scripture as their eyes were closed even though their hearts burned within them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized Him only in the breaking of the bread, which was important enough to repeat to the disciples.

This was the first post resurrection Mass.

DS said...

Nick,

You're point regarding authority is critical. Without a central authority, we as Christians scatter as can be seen in the Protestant experiment. Hundreds, or thousands, of Protestant denominations are already present on earth, each with its own authority and each exemplifying relativism.

Great blog- I have a lot to learn regarding Catholic apologetics.

John W said...

Also in Hebrews, the author compares the OT sacrifices with the New and Living way which we approach God.

He is speaking to Jewish Christians who are considering returning to Judaism and the old form of animal sacrifices which the author says can never take away sins. Some may have already abandoned Christ due to the persecution they were suffering and probably wondering if it was worth it.

Hbr 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,

We approach God by the blood of Jesus in a new and living way - through the veil of His flesh. Not by waiting to see if the OT High Priest exits through the veil alive and the Shekinah Glory Cloud appears above the Temple.

Hbr 10:21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

Jesus is the High Priest of the order of Melchisedek who offered a sacrifice of bread and wine.

Hbr 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Those who have been baptized can draw near to God with the full assurance of faith by this new and living way by the offering of the High Priest - through his flesh.

Was this just a once for all offering of the High Priest at Calvary or is that same sacrifice eternally before us? Let's see what the author of Hebrews says about this:

Hbr 8:1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law;
5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."

So Jesus is ministering from the heavenly sanctuary as High Priest who must have gifts and sacrifices something to offer which is Himself who appears in Heaven as a lamb standing as though slain. He wasn't effectively High Priest until he returned to Heaven, so His offering continues post-Calvary - From the rising of the sun till its setting.
So the once-for-all offering is explained as once for all time which continues for all time and is eternally before the “eyes” of the Father in Heaven. Not once for all as in over and done and nothing more than a distant memory.
We have (not We had) such a High Priest, a minister (liturgist) in heaven. Whoever denies this, would strip Jesus of His High Priestly ministry in heaven offering gifts and sacrifices.

Continued.....

John W said...

Continued...


Back to Hebrews 10.

Hbr 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

The sinning spoken of refers back to the habitual failure to assemble. And for those who fail to assemble, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin. They are skipping Mass where the New and living sacrifice is offered. Going back to Judaism and animal sacrifices can never take away sins, but was only a shadow and copy of the heavenly things.

So what is the result of continual, willful sin, failing to assemble and having no more sacrifice for sin? The result of not approaching God through the blood of Jesus in the new and living way, through His flesh?

Hbr 10:27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

By habitually skipping the assembly where the only sacrifice for sins remains, these waivering Jews are regarding as unclean the blood of the covenant (The Eucharist is the only reference to the New Covenant/Testament in NT scriptures.), the blood of Jesus, through which we approach God in the new and living way, through His flesh. And as Jesus Himself said:
John 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
I know that you don’t think that a piece of bread was nailed to the cross, but your completely symbolic view can’t make sense of this.
Yes, those who deny the Eucharist regard the flesh of Christ as unclean and even call it pagan and demonic.
Where else does Hebrews make the distinction between the old sacrifice and the new?
Hbr 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
If these Jews do leave Christ and return to Judaism, they have no right to eat from the Altar of the Lord.
So here is Paul referencing the Mass again.

Anonymous said...

DS, consider this:
"“Very few texts have in fact been authoritatively determined and ‘there consequently remain many important matters in the explanation of which sagacity and ingenuity of Catholic interpreters can and should be freely exercised…” [Source: Dom Bernard Orchard, M.A., ed., A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (London: Thomas Nelson, 1953), p.60, first column (as cited by David T. King, Holy Scripture: The Ground And Pillar of Our Faith Volume 1 (WA: Christian Resources inc, 2001), 223].

“The number of texts infallibly interpreted by the Church is small…It has been estimated indeed that the total of such texts is under twenty, though there are of course many other indirectly determined”[Source: Dom Bernard Orchard, M.A., ed., A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (London: Thomas Nelson, 1953), p.59, second column ((as cited by David T. King, Holy Scripture: The Ground And Pillar of Our Faith Volume 1 (WA: Christian Resources inc, 2001), 224]."

cwdlaw223 said...

How about that one true believer anonymous that didn't celebrate the Mass in the 4-8th Century? How many times do I have to ask you for one name so I can look this person up in history?

It would show that someone else can come up with your position from scripture.

I think I've asked at least 8 times now and you still can't find one person that supports your true believer theology in the 4-8th Century that wasn't participating in the Mass.

The least you could do is present some real evidence outside of scripture that someone on this earth was a true believer but not celebrating the Mass.

John W said...

Also Ralph or Anonymous,

The Mass is patterned after the liturgy in Heaven in the book of revelation.

We believe that we participate in that same heavenly liturgy as St. John did when he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.

As Hebrews says the OT worship/sacrifices were but a copy and shadow of the heavenly things with better sacrifices.

If you are familiar with Revelation, and were listening at Mass, you will hear the echoes throughout.

So our worship on the Lord's day is patterned after that in heaven, and while retaining a very Jewish liturgical rhythm, yet with Christ at the center. This would be expected that the Mass was given to us by the earliest Christians who were Jews.

We are never taken inside of play by play 1st century worship service in the bible except in Revelation, so for you to ask for all of the details to be provided in the bible is like me asking you for the literal usage of the word Trinity. Yet the bible is saturated with descriptions about the Mass.

John W said...

Also Ralph or Anonymous,

The book of Acts says that they dedicated themselves to the apostles teachings and THE prayers and the breaking of bread.

Is your church dedicated to the breaking of bread. I don't think dedication means once a month, quarterly or bi-annually.
Since I was a Protestant for many years and still attend a Non-denom church (and several others) with my Baptist wife every Sunday, I can credibly say that reverence at communion is not the norm.

To wrap this up, we have more evidence from the Didache showing the Eucharist as sacrifice. This portion of the Didache is as early as 49 AD. Also in the apostolic era, we have Clement of Rome's epistle to Corinth telling them that their sin won't be small if they eject from the episcopate those who offer the sacrifices.

Shortly after that, we have Ignatius writing in no uncertain terms about the nature of the Eucharist as Christ's body and blood.

Then in about 155 AD a detailed description of the early Mass from Justin Martyr.
A steady stream of writings continue up to the present day with little variation at all.

Thus, we have writings well before your arbitrary introduction of Catholicism, that no Protestant would claim except maybe high church Anglicans or Anglo-Catholics.

In conclusion, the Mass is not only biblical, being patterned after the highest form of worship in heaven, but it is ubiquitous from the earliest days of the church up to the present day.

The typical low church Protestant worship service with a long sermon as the center of worship has it's roots from Zwingli in the 16th century.
So where is this type of public worship found in scripture?



Anonymous said...

John,
Is the mass a re-sacrifice of Christ?

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
When did the church dogmatically define the nature of the Lord's supper?

Did all the church fathers understand the concept of the eucharist as a sacrifice?

John W said...

Anon,

I have never witnessed Jesus Christ die again at Mass. And since He is glorified and can't die and bleed again, how would you propose that He could be re-sacrificed?


John W said...

The church isn't compelled to make a dogmatic definition when everyone understands it and there is no dispute.

Most of the church's dogma's are the product of major heresies.
There was no major dispute over the nature of the Eucharist until Berengar of Tours in the eleventh century, who later repented of His error and came to believe what the church had always believed.

The unanimous testimony of the Fathers established the infallibility of this teaching.

cwdlaw223 said...

Why can't you just answer my question? Now I've asked over nine times. I'm not asserting your questions that can easily be answered by scripture or a Google search.

You are acting like a child by refusing to answer my legitimate question. GIVE ME THE NAME OF ONE TRUE BELIEVER IN THE 4-8Th CENTURY WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE MASS?

Show me that such a person existed. This shouldn't be that hard for you. I could easy rattle off 50 Catholics who believe exactly the way I do from the 4-8th century with a couple clicks of the button.

Act civilized and just state you refuse to answer this question because of a lack of evidence.

I'm still glad you've rejected sola scriptura now since it isn't in scripture and therefore not-apostolic.

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

If you want to have an adult conversation about the Mass go read the various articles at Shameless Popery on this topic. The Mass WAS everything in the early church which is why it preceded most of NT Scripture. The Didache was written in 70 AD and outlined the Mass. Of course, that document was a forgery or written by a false believer instead of a true believer.

cwdlaw223 said...

Read this article and stop asking the same anti-catholic questions over and over:

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

Of course, just name one true believer other than yourself!!! JUST ONE!

Anonymous said...

John,
There was not one understanding of the Lord's supper over the centuries. There were different opinions of it which can be seen in the fathers.

Here is what Trent said about the eucharist:
"The Sacrifice of the Mass is not merely an offering of praise and thanksgiving, or simply a memorial of the sacrifice on the Cross. It is a propitiatory sacrifice which is offered for the living and dead, for the remission of sins and punishment due to sin, as satisfaction for sin and for other necessities." http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/link/e-litur.html

The mass is a re-sacrificing of Christ according to Trent. This runs counter to the Scripture.

John W said...

Actually there was one understanding of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

There were developments on how to best describe how the bread and wine were transformed. That they were transformed wasn't in question.
The term that was settled on was transubstantiation which simply means change of subtance.
That term itself is not infallible. It simply is the best human explanation that we could find.
Justin Martyr in the year 155 AD called it transmutation.

Again, show me one person who had a different understanding.
And please don't give half of a quote as professional anti-Catholics like James White attempts to do. We will just complete the quote and expose the disingenuousness.

Which ones ever believed as you do? Name just one. That's all. Just one.

I already gave you tons of scripture to prove the mass is heavily referenced in scripture.
You respond to none of it, but continue to bombard with minutae and false claims.

All I will add is that if you are interested in truth, then maybe you should read scripture and history for yourself without the heavily tinted glasses on.

Sigh. Trent does not call it a re-sacrifice. Where is there any mention of re-sacrifice?

Was Calvary a propitiatory sacrifice and on what basis?

I should know better than ask questions, because no answer is forthcoming. It shows all of us that you haven't studied any of this on your own.

Restless Pilgrim said...

>When did the church dogmatically define the nature of the Lord's supper?

I don't understand if you're asking this for rhetorical effect or you didn't understand the previous answer you had been given.

In case it's the latter, allow me to repeat my previous response. You misunderstand how the Catholic Church operates. The Church doesn't have to make dogmatic declarations about everything that's in the Deposit of Faith. If it's commonly understood then there's no need to do so.

Let's try a consistency test: When was the Virgin Birth dogmatically defined? What about the Trinity or the Deity of Christ? What can you conclude from this?


Did all the church fathers understand the concept of the eucharist as a sacrifice?

You've been given this information many, many times, yet you have apparently failed to read it...


There was not one understanding of the Lord's supper over the centuries. There were different opinions of it which can be seen in the fathers.

...yet you still go on to assert something like this.

You have been challenge on this (evidence-free) assertion many times before. All you've done in response is to produce links to other people's articles which don't actually prove what you need them to prove.

Rather than staying in generalities, if you're up for the challenge, please name the first Christian in history with a belief in the Eucharist which is at odds with the Catholic view. Shouldn't be hard, right?


The mass is a re-sacrificing of Christ according to Trent.

Your fallible interpretation of this Catholic document is incorrect I'm afraid.

Please consider this: if Catholics tell you that you're interpreting a Catholic document incorrectly shouldn't you listen them? It is their document after all...shouldn't they get to say what it means...or does your personal opinion overrule that?

I'm really intrigued about your answer here as it will say a lot about your interpretation Scripture

Anonymous said...

John,
The quotes you gave in support of the mass were never never exegeted by you. You assume they are about the mass but in reality are about something else. The contexts are not about the Lord's supper. You abused the texts by claiming its about the mass when it says nothing about the Lord's supper. Hebrews 10 nor John 6 is about the Lord's supper. You are reading into the texts of Scripture your theology.

Where does the RCC say that Revelation is about the mass?

Anonymous said...

Restless Pilgrim,
When understanding what your church believes its always best to got to its official documents. I have met to many catholics who interpret contrary to church teachings.

Here are quotes that are at odds with your church's understanding of the Lord's supper:

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.)

Bread and wine are offered, being the figure of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. They who participate in this visible bread eat, spiritually, the flesh of the Lord. (Macarius, Homily xxvii.)

For He, we know, who spoke of his natural body as corn and bread, and, again, called Himself a vine, dignified the visible symbols by the appellation of the body and blood, not because He had changed their nature, but because to their nature He had added grace. (Theodoret, Diologue I, Eranistes and Orthodoxus.)

For the Lord did not hesitate to say: “This is My Body”, when He wanted to give a sign of His body. (Augustine, Against Adimant.)"

Anonymous said...

Restless,
The mass is a re-sacrificing of Christ according to Trent.

Here is what the New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, vol 2, question 357, "The mass is the sacrifice of the new law in which Christ, through the Ministry of the priest, offers himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine. The mass is the sacrifice of Christ offered in a sacramental manner...the reality is the same but the appearances differ."

Question 358 asks "What is a sacrifice?" The answer given is "A sacrifice is the offering of a victim by a priest to God alone, and the destruction of it in some way to knowledge that he is the creator of all things."

cwdlaw223 said...

Keep dodging me anonymous. So quick to say others are wrong yet you can't even produce one true believer from history. Why do you even believe in Christ at all when nobody believed like you. You should be ashamed by your ignorance and pride.

cwdlaw223 said...

Will you at least admit that the world was wrong right out of the gate by ALL EARLY CHURCH FATHERS!

cwdlaw223 said...

It's a re-presentation, not another sacrifice of Christ's humanity: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-institution-of-the-mass

There is nothing supernatural in your world Ralph which is why you can't comprehend this pillar of Christianity that preceded most of the NT. The eternal now is lost upon you.

Daniel said...

Anon,

If you actually read the Baltimore Catechism, you would run into question 266 before you 358.

266:

Question: How is the Mass the same sacrifice as that of the Cross?

Answer: The Mass is the same sacrifice as that of the Cross because the offering and the priest are the same--Christ our Blessed Lord; and the ends for which the sacrifice of the Mass is offered are the same as those of the sacrifice of the Cross.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
How could the mass be the "same as those of the sacrifice of the Cross" when Hebrews 10:12-14 tells us that its a one time event
"12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.
14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."????

cwdlaw223 said...

Where are your true believers anonymous?

I'm not leaving this question go even though you desperately want it to go.

How could so many people be wrong (including the EO) and you're correct? You can't even use history to prove your case. What else do you have? Superior intellect? You haven't demonstrated that. Only a spoiled child view of a new Christianity off the back of Catholicism. You, Ellen White and Joseph Smith would have gotten along well.

The Mass is not EXACTLY the same because Christ's human body was only sacrificed one time.

cwdlaw223 said...

This sums it up beautifully there anonymous:

"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the centuries until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us" (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47).

I've already proven to you the Mass was in effect by 70 AD (the date of the Didache) and probably sooner. Let me guess, from 35AD-70AD the Church was materially different and then fell into an apostasy over the Mass? That's the type of analysis I would expect from you and the theological progressivism you spew on this website.

Barbara said...

Anonymous
Post May 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

From the first verse and throughout the epistle of the Hebrews, the writer is emphasizing on the superiority of the new covenant over and against the old covenant. Hebrews chapter 10 tells us, the old covenant was a shadow or just an outline to the new covenant that was promised in old testament , Jeremiah 31 (Hebrew 8:8-13 is a quotation for Jeremiah 31)
If we would interpret Hebrews 10:14 in context with the entire epistle we would conclude that, Jesus Christ had to sacrifice Himself once on Calvary to perfect the humanity that he took from His blessed Mother, Virgin Mary . This one sacrifice on Calvary was sufficient to enable Him to enter the heavenly sanctuary as our high priest to sit on the right hand of God the Father. He entered the sanctuary with His glorified Body and Blood not like the old testament high priests that they had to yearly sacrifice for their sins and the sins of the people. Their sacrifice that is the high priests (Hebrew 9:11 referencing Leviticus chapter 8) was not sufficient to make them come to the present of God they had to quickly sprinkle the book ,the vassals and the Ark in the holy of holies with the blood of bull [signifying the renouncement of the golden calf sins back in mount Sinai .Every priest in Aaron (Moses brother ) had to renounce the sin of their forefather, Aaron] and leave as quick as possible. so the Priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary supersede and superior to the ministry of the earthly high priest in the earthly sanctuary. Christ had to offer His body as a sacrifice on the cross in 33 AD but that sacrifice was sufficient to make His humanity suitable for the heavenly ministry and perfect sacrifice offered to the Father on our behalf till the end of time .

to be continue>>>>

Barbara said...

>>>>Continue
May 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Hebrew chapter 9:6 and the following , the writer is drawing a parallel between the old and the new covenant. The food and drinks and the baptism of the old testament couldn't perfect the worshipers' conscience until the time of the new covenant. But when Christ came as a high priest he had to sacrifice once to enter to the holy of holy and the food His Body and Blood is the true food and drink that can perfect the worshipers' conscience after all Jesus said My Body is a true food and My Blood is a true drink. He offers Himself to God for us and give himself to us by the power of the holy spirit so it can perfect our conscience, the inner man by ( his body and blood) we can now be in presence of God not like the old testament high priests who could not by their repeated sacrifices bring the people to the presence of God . the old testament had various baptisms for the washing of the external, in the new covenant we have the water of baptism that flew from His said when He was pierced . this water is for the baptism of our soul
Christ is the High priest forever and the Lamb of God who is now in throne looking as it is slain as revelation chapter 5 tells us and He will always be presenting Himself to His Father as the Lamb who is slain from the foundation of the earth as Revelation 13;8 tells us. If we have a perpetual high priest and perpetual victim then we have perpetual sacrifice that is sufficient to perfect our concisions. Revelation 5:10 tells us that He has made those who he saved priests and what priests do? They offer sacrifice. Has Christ sacrifice ended all sacrifices? No, Christ’s sacrifice ended all this ineffective bloody animal sacrifice that never did anything anyway (that is what the Book of Hebrews tells us). Now for the first time in history we can really begin to offer perfect sacrifice to God and this is a fulfillment of what was prophesied in Malachi 1:11 the Gentile will
what sacrifice that we can offer to God to be perfect and acceptable as the prophet predicted ( Jesus Christ Himself)
Hope you go back and read the letter to the Hebrews again in new perspective. God bless

Daniel said...

Anon,

Have you not read John Chrysostom and his homily on 1 Cor 11?

"Next also he proceeds to recount the very things that were done, saying, He took bread, and, when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is broken for you. If therefore you come for a sacrifice of Eucharist, do thou on your part nothing unworthy of that sacrifice: by no means either dishonor your brother, or neglect him in his hunger; be not drunken, insult not the Church. As you come giving thanks for what you have enjoyed: so do you yourself accordingly make return, and not cut yourself off from your neighbor. SinceChrist for His part gave equally to all, saying, Take, eat.He gave His Body equally, but dost not thou give so much as the common bread equally? Yea, it was indeed broken for all alike, and became the Body equally for all....
....Next, having spoken concerning that Supper, he connects the things present with the things of that time, that even as on that very evening and reclining on that very couch and receiving from Christ himself this sacrifice, so also now might men be affected;"

John W said...

Anonymous said...
<<>>

I didn't exegete what I wrote? Are you requiring metaphysical proof? Do you think I was expecting you to agree with anything I wrote or even respond to anything in specific. Of course not. All of your responses are nothing more than general protests. I've given you plenty of support for the mass in scripture. I will now wait for you to refute any single thing I've written before I respond any further. You can be in denial all you want, but denial is a river in Egypt, not an well thought out response.

<<<<>>>>

Just read the scriptures? Do you deny that John is showing us a vision of worship in heaven on the Lord's day?
If you are interested, you can read Scott Hahn's "The Lamb's Supper" or you can go to youtube and search for "The Mass in the Book of Revelation" Dr. Scott Hahn or Dr. Terry Barber may just open your eyes.

It was Dr. Hahn who while still a Presbyterian, attended Mass for the first time as an observer. It wasn't long before he opened his bible to the Book of Revelation to follow along. He knew exactly what he was hearing.

Restless Pilgrim said...

Anon,

You didn't mention my response to your earlier assumption that Catholics need everything dogmatically defined. Hopefully my consistency test concerning the Virgin Birth, the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ has put that to rest. If so, we're moving in a good direction.

Now, your use of the Fathers. Oh. Dear. This is the problem when you refuse to read the Church Fathers and instead just google for some backup, pasting some cherry-picked quotations which you think support your case. It may surprise you, but I have no difficulty affirming the quotations you provided. However, they are also not the whole story. Before we go further could you please just confirm something for me? Are you trying to assert that Tertullian, Augustine etc. didn't believe in the Real Presence?

You didn't really address my questions concerning Catholic documents. I asked you whether or not it makes sense to let Catholics explain to you what their documents mean and whether your interpretation overrules them. You didn't really answer this. Please do.

Anonymous said...

Restless,
How could Augustine etc believe in the real presence when their quotes show otherwise?

How can a Roman Catholic know what their documents mean when they have to interpret for themselves what they mean? Take the matter of the conscience. I have had a number of Roman Catholics give me different views of it and how it's applied. Take homosexuality. Church teaching is against it but many Roman Catholics support it. Those that support it tell me they are following their conscience. So who is right?

Anonymous said...

John,
Does Scott Hahn speak for the entire church? What you are doing with scripture is to make it fit your doctrines rather than allowing the scripture to in its contexts and form the doctrine. The authors of Scripture were not making a case for the mass. John 6 and Hebrews 10 is not about the mass in any way. These passages don't even mention the Lord's supper. This alone refutes your views.

cwdlaw223 said...

The CHURCH is correct because the Church has authority. There are plenty of Protestant like Catholics within the Church. There always will be the prideful who think they know more than the physical Church created by God.

The Church decides disputes, not individuals like in Protestantism where you take your ball and start a new church if you don't like what you hear.

Augustine was a non-believer at one point in time. Does that mean he never believed and died believing in the real presence? To claim that Augustine denied the real presence after his conversion is just as bad as claiming Christ didn't claim to be God.

cwdlaw223 said...

So everyone was wrong in the early church? Just admit they were wrong so we can move on. The Didache was written in 70AD and outlines the Mass.

What you fail to understand, because tradition is meaningless in your world, is that the Mass PRECEEDED most of the NT. Scripture was chosen because how it was used at Mass.

cwdlaw223 said...

http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2013/04/augustines-favorite-apologist-explains.html?m=1

Daniel said...

Bottom line, Anon, the Protestant scholar JND Kelly had already dismantled this argument:

Occasionally these writers [the Fathers] use language which has been held to imply that, for all its realist sound, their use of the terms 'body' and 'blood' may after all be merely symbolical. Tertullian, for example, refers [E.g. C. Marc. 3,19; 4,40] to the bread as 'a figure' (figura) of Christ's body, and once speaks [Ibid I,14: cf. Hippolytus, apost. trad. 32,3] of 'the bread by which He represents (repraesentat) His very body.'"Yet we should be cautious about interpreting such expressions in a modern fashion. According to ancient modes of thought a mysterious relationship existed between the thing symbolized and its symbol, figure or type; the symbol in some sense was the thing symbolized.Again, the verb -repraesentare-, in Tertullian's vocabulary [Cf. ibid 4,22; de monog. 10], retained its original significance of 'to make present.'"All that his language really suggests is that, while accepting the equation of the elements with the body and blood, he remains conscious of the sacramental distinction between them. In fact, he is trying, with the aid of the concept of -figura-, to rationalize to himself the apparent contradiction between (a) the dogma that the elements are now Christ's body and blood, and (b) the empirical fact that for sensation they remain bread and wine."("J.N.D. Kelly: Early Christian Doctrines, pg. 212 c. 1978", 

The Church affirms the Eucharist is a sign:

4. "At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of His Death and Resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.''

The Church also affirms the Real Presence:

This presence is called "real" not to exclude the idea that the others are "real" too, but rather to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man. (41) And so it would be wrong for anyone to try to explain this manner of presence by dreaming up a so-called "pneumatic" nature of the glorious body of Christ that would be present everywhere; or for anyone to limit it to symbolism, as if this most sacred Sacrament were to consist in nothing more than an efficacious sign "of the spiritual presence of Christ and of His intimate union with the faithful, the members of His Mystical Body." 

Anon, you could provide a million quotes from the Fathers affirming the first point, and it wouldn't change the validity of the second point one whit.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
Was Jesus in 2 or more places at once on the night of the supper? He would have had to have been if He was literally present in the bread and wine. If He was, then He was not a human being like us.

John W said...

<<>>

So what’s the point? That there are catholics who don’t know what the church teaches (I can affirm this), or that you are the final authority at understanding church doctrinal statements? If your interpretations of church documents are similar to how you came to conclusions about Trent (importing a meaning that was never mentioned or implied), then I don’t think I can affirm your statement. After all, your comments on this blog don’t indicate that your primary goal is to try to understand, but to create controversy by pointing out apparent inconsistencies or by decree. Your comments would put all of us here into that category of not knowing what the church actually teaches. Does this seem just a little bit arrogant?

Anon said::<<>>
Did I not predict that you would cut and past the work of patristic island quote miners? Not only do these kind of isolated quotes attempt to pit the fathers against themselves, but they show disinterst in understanding what these rare statements concerning symbols or figures actually mean.
Tertullian is first arguing against Marcion’s Doecetist view that Christ did not have a real humanity. If you would have continued the quote, Tertullian says the body wasn’t a phantasm. So the primary argument here is that Christ had a real human body. The figure he speaks of is the bread, which is a figure or symbol of Christ’s body and consistent with our understanding of the elements – that the bread and wine are symbols that truly are what they represent. In Tertullian’s case, the real body of Christ that truly did exist.
If you think I’m just obfuscating on the fly, the catechism states this about the sacraments:
1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify.48 They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies…..
Thus there is no controversy here. While moderns can only associate a symbol as completely divorced from what it represents, the ancients did not understand it this way. This is confirmed by premier Protestant Historians like JND Kelly and Darwell Stone. They both conclude that there is no point of controversy throughout the early church and affirm that all of the Catholic distinctives concerning the Eucharist were ubiquitous.
Here are Tertullians other quotes:
“Likewise, in regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the sacrificial prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive the body of the Lord.. The body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice. (Prayer 19:1)”
--------------------------------
“The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ, so that the soul too may fatten on God. (Resurrection of the Dead 8:3)”
----------------------------------
“The Sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord commanded to be taken at meal times and by all, we take even before daybreak in congregations... we offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries.... We take anxious care lest something of our Cup or Bread should fall upon the ground…. (The Crown 3:3-4)”
-------------------------------------
“A woman, after the death of her husband, is bound not less firmly but even more so, not to marry another husband...Indeed, she prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice. (Monogamy 10:1,4)”
_________________________
Nothing symbolic in any of these quotes and certainly wording that would never even be considered by Protestants.

Daniel said...

Anonymous,

Am I to understand your objection is that Christ's human flesh is utterly incapable of being just like ours save the stain of sin on one hand and on the other hand at the same time experience bilocation, EVEN IF God Almighty were to wish it be so?

Restless Pilgrim said...

> How could Augustine etc believe in the real presence when their quotes show otherwise?

This is why you should read the Fathers and not just Google and cherry pick quotations!

To try and drive this point home, I'm going to assume your theological position for a moment. When it comes to the subject of justification, what would you say to someone who had only read St. James' epistle ("Man is justified by works and not by faith alone...")?

You'd tell her to read Paul too, right? Until she does, she'll have only heard part of the story (and an easily misleading part too)! It would sound an awful lot like works have some role to play in our salvation! To remedy this you would invite her to read more of what the Bible has to say on the matter (Romans and Galatians).

Hopefully you understand my point. Well, it's the same with the Fathers... I see in the comments above that the others have done an admirable job demonstrating your misunderstanding of the Fathers and their beliefs. I'll simply add one Augustine quotation:

"What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that THE BREAD IS THE BODY OF CHRIST AND THE CHALICE THE BLOOD OF CHRIST" - Sermons 272

Augustine was Catholic. He believed in the Real Presence.


> How can a Roman Catholic know what their documents mean when they have to interpret for themselves what they mean?

Church documents are not the Bible. You can't really ask the Bible follow-up questions where it's unclear. Fortunately, we have an authoritative Church to whom we can ask follow-up questions if She says something that seems ambiguous. This is the job of the Magisterium, to teach.


>Take homosexuality. Church teaching is against it but many Roman Catholics support it. Those that support it tell me they are following their conscience.

They are very clearly wrong. This has been clarified many, many times. Church teaching is crystal clear. Conscience should be formed based upon Church teaching and that teaching says that the homosexual act is sinful. Conscience is not a license for moral relativism or a pick-and-mix faith.

Now there are two things I would be grateful if you'd do to clear up some things omitted in your response:

1. Please confirm that you now understand that Catholics don't require everything to be dogmatically defined.

2. Tell me whether it makes sense to let Catholics explain to you what their documents mean and whether your interpretation overrules them.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
This is what Hebrews 2:17 says about Christ "For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people."

Since Jesus was fully human He could not be in 2 places at once. Even in His post resurrection appearances do we see Him in 2 different places at the same time.

Daniel said...

You believe Jesus could walk on water, turn water into wine, raise the dead, and probably became invisible (John 8:59), but not bilocate?

Anonymous said...

Yes. These miracles did not involve Him being in 2 places at once as a man.

This is not the only problem. At the supper His blood had not yet been shed and the apostles gave no indication that they thought He was speaking literally.

Daniel said...

What about where he walked through walls to reach the disciples in the upper room?

Anonymous said...

This is was done in His resurrected body. At the supper He did not have a resurrected body. If Jesus meant at the supper that the bread was His body then the bread would have to have been changed in the human flesh because that is what a human body is.

Matt 28:20 Jesus promises to be with the disciples until the end. In Matt 18:20 He says that where 2-3 are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst. There is no such promise in the supper accounts that He says He is in the bread or wine.

John W said...


Anonymous said...
John,
Does Scott Hahn speak for the entire church? What you are doing with scripture is to make it fit your doctrines rather than allowing the scripture to in its contexts and form the doctrine. The authors of Scripture were not making a case for the mass. John 6 and Hebrews 10 is not about the mass in any way. These passages don't even mention the Lord's supper. This alone refutes your views.
____________________________________________________________________________
You expect the church to make an official statement that the Mass is patterned after the Book of Revelation? You asked where the Mass was in scripture. I’ve shown you evidence in many places. You aren’t prepared to give a reasoned response to any of them, just silence and a few general objections, with nothing to back them up.
Dr. Hahn has not been told by the church to cease teaching heretical doctrines, so he is perfectly able to teach the faith and give deeper insights into the scriptures. Most of his work isn’t original, he just re-presents it in a very understandable and insightful way.
In his book, he simply points out the obvious parallels between the Mass and the Worship in heaven seen in Revelation. He recognized this while he was still a Protestant having studied the Apocolypse for years and never coming away with a clear understanding of it. That is, until he went to Mass for the first time. While he was in the back row as an observer with a bible in his hands and was quickly prompted to open the book of Revelation. It was this and subsequent visits to Mass that unlocked the key to this book of scripture; that he was participating in this very same worship.
Then he found that he wasn’t the only one that saw this, but that it was always simply assumed throughout church history.
If you listen to Dr. Terry Barber’s short youtube video “The Mass in the Book of Revelation” he will point out the obvious parallels. It’s really simple Ralph. Either the parallels are obvious or they are not. If worship in heaven is unbiblical, then the Mass, which is very similar in form, is also unbiblical. Seems to me that a Zwinglian style church service used by low-church Protestants and first formulated in the 16th century is more likely to be the candidate.

Hebrews 10 and John 6 are definitely about the Eucharist and therefore inseparable from the Mass. I’ll just wait for your specific objections to what I already wrote instead of trying to respond to a blanket objections. A general denial with no coherent response is not a refutation.

If you are unwilling to accept that the charism of infallibility is mainly a protection against error, and not a scholastic mandate to define everything and interpret every verse of scripture, then I’m afraid you will just continue to ask an unending line of irrelevant questions.

Restless Pilgrim said...

Anon, now that you've explained to Daniel the things that Jesus is unable to do, I'd appreciate a response to my post. In an attempt to keep the dialog focused, there are a number of issues raised which I think need to be tidied off:

1. You spoke to the effect that Catholics need everything dogmatically defined. Given your silence following the explanation you were given I would like confirmation that you now understand that this is not the case.

2. You spent some time telling the Catholics here what their documents (e.g. Council of Trent) mean. I asked you if it makes sense to ignore the Church's explanation of those documents and replace it with your own understanding. You never answered that question. Please do.

3. You attempted to support your assertion that "There was not one understanding of the Lord's supper over the centuries" with quotations from Augustine, Tertullian etc. I would suggest that John W, Daniel and I have conclusively shown this not to be the case, as well as demonstrating the dangers of cherry-picking the Fathers. I would appreciate a response to the counter-evidence that you have been presented.

God bless,

Restless Pilgrim

Anonymous said...

John,
Where does John 6 or Hebrews 10 mention the Lord's supper?

Jesus never promised that the church could not err. What He did say and the apostles concurred that error would come into the church and deceive many.

Daniel said...

The Bible says the Church is the pillar and bulwark of Truth.

If I take a little bit of error and mix it with truth, what do I get? Truth or error? A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

If the Church is going to be a pillar of Truth then it can't have any defects in the faith.

And too, the Lord said we would be lead to all Truth by the Spirit.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous-

Did he promise that he would not err? Where did he say this in scripture? He doesn't need to be cause he's God. The same reason that his Church cannot err because his Church is founded by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit.

How could a Church created by Christ and lead by the Holy Spirit err in teaching faith and morals? HOW? You've dodged this issue before without any logical response but that it can't because it would mean you would be forced to find such physical Church on this earth (which you clearly aren't in).

His Church would err or certain individuals? Chapter and verse that Christ's church would err? You are now at a point of deliberating altering scripture for your own non-church, man centered agenda.

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

Let me guess, his followers that walked away from Jesus hard sayings in John 6 were as confused as Catholics because when Christ spoke they knew he was speaking literally? Or, John 6 is really a dream sequence in John and not real? Or, Jesus was joking and didn't really mean what he said?

At what point do you stop using your brain to investigate the ridiculous crap that you spew on this website? It's impossible to have an adult conversation with you because you refuse truth and live in a progressive, theologically relative world where you answer to no one but your own interpretation of what "really" happened in scripture notwithstanding 1,500 years of history that directly contradicts your heresy.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
It does not follow that church cannot have any defects in faith. Just look at a number of doctrines. There was even a pope who was condemned for teaching heresy.

Jesus's promise of leading them into the truth was not to the church but to the apostles alone who would go onto to write the New Testament.

Daniel said...

If you are really and truly serious about Honorius being an objection to infallibility, then please please please take the hour it takes to read the following:

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_condemnation_of_Pope_Honorius.html?id=kL8zAQAAIAAJ

Anonymous said...

I'm quite familiar with humorous. Was it not true that popes for centuries after him condemned him in their oaths of office for being a heretic?

Daniel said...

That's my understanding. And if you bothered to read the essay I linked you would see why that doesn't matter for the purposes of papal infallibility as defined by Rome.

cwdlaw223 said...

He doesn't care about truth. Only what his one eye wants to see. Funny how the scriptures don't err but Christ's Church can. Double standard for the power of God to suit men in their quest to reconfigure what God made on this earth. That's what liberals/progressives/scholastics do all the time. Nobody could possibly be smarter than them so the liberals need to make everything better.

Now where does scripture say it cannot err??????

John W said...

Anon,
Just wondering if you have ever heard a sermon on the bread of life discourse in John 6. I've been attending "evangelical" churches for many years and not once has it been brought up, other than a curious reference to "my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink" just prior to communion, which kind of baffled the congregation.

That is because it makes no sense nor has any practical application for Protestants. All you can do is say that it doesn't mean what Catholics (and Orthodox) think and raise points of objection - cannibalism, Jesus's flesh is of no avail (really?), prohibitions against consuming blood, He just meant metaphorically to believe in Him, etc....

Then when it comes to trying to make sense of what the overall point is and why Jesus chose to use such a method to say "believe in me" while scandalizing Jews, having all of His followers leave Him (the only time in scripture)and being the point at which Judas turned solidly against Him.

All of this because they really didn't want to believe in Him?

Did He wake up on the wrong side of the bed and decide to get rid of the hoard of followers and come up with a deceptive scheme to do so. Try to force Jews, who knew His family to do something that they had no choice, but to vehemently reject? Yet he allows them to be scandalized and never clears it up? Even the apostles are left not understanding, yet don't no where else to go.

Maybe Calvinists can say this was a spiritual message about believing in Him so everyone can see in retrospect who were the true elect and the sheep that hear his voice and those the Father gave to Him which was whittled down to eleven men who did not yet have the indwelling of the Spirit?

Until a Protestant can give a plausible positive explanation and application of this discourse, instead of just claiming what it doesn't mean, I will continue to take their protests (which have all been refuted rather convincingly) with a grain of salt.

Restless Pilgrim said...

Restless Pilgrim is feeling ignored...

Anonymous said...

Restless,
God forbid you should be ignored.
1- It is a fact that most of what RC's believe have not been infallibly defined. This is from one of your own apologists.

2-Where is the official interpretation of the documents of Trent? You can give me your interpretation of them and another RC will give hers. If they disagree with each other who should I believe is interpreting correctly? This kind of thing has been my experience with RC's on various issues. No 2 are identical.

3- There were different opinions on the meaning of the Lord's supper in history. That is a fact. If it wasn't, then there would be no quotes like the ones I showed.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

John,
My church would not use John 6 prior to the taking of the Lord’s supper because its not about the Lord’s supper. The supper is not even mentioned in John 6 nor does Jesus in any gospel refer back to it.

Secondly, John 6 speaks of eating as a metaphor for belief. It is belief in Christ that leads to eternal life. None of the supper accounts mention that eating the bread or drinking the wine gains one eternal life.

Third, John 6 has the provision of food in the wilderness for the ancient Jews as the background. In the supper accounts the background is the Passover. 2 different events, 2 different emphasizes.


Fourth, Jesus is constantly being misunderstood. People walking away from Him without Jesus pursuing them is not unusual. Many times He does not correct them. Only those who stay (and thereby prove to be a true disciple) does He explain things. In those cases where there is no record of Him explaining things to them, they are to trust Him as Peter did in John 6:68-69

Barbara said...

Anonymous
Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:06 AM
You Said

My church would not use John 6 prior to the taking of the Lord’s supper because its not about the Lord’s supper. The supper is not even mentioned in John 6 nor does Jesus in any gospel refer back to it.

================================
Now when did Jesus speak these words in the bread of life discourse, in John 6:4 we read around the time of the Passover Jesus proceed to multiply the loaves and give the bread of life discourse and he speaks of how they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. In other words a year or two before his crucifixion at Passover time Jesus the Lamb of God speaks how we must eat his flesh and drink his blood. It is significant it was a Passover when Jesus speaks this way. Because the Passover represent the beginning of his sacrifice just as Calvary represent the end of the Passover
-------------------------
you said

Secondly, John 6 speaks of eating as a metaphor for belief. It is belief in Christ that leads to eternal life. None of the supper accounts mention that eating the bread or drinking the wine gains one eternal life.

==================================
Among the Jews of Jesus’ time, the phrase ‘eat the flesh’ was a metaphor for a grievous injury. It is obvious that our Lord did not use the phrase in this sense (which would have been nonsensical), Jesus didn't have the intention to gravely insult the Jews to communicate truth about believing in him. Would you thing a greatest teacher in human history would do anything like that and how his message would get crossed . So it is altogether reasonable to conclude that he intended a literal meaning.
Let me ask you, does your pastor ask you to commit adultery or any grievous sin "figuratively" in order to communicate teaching about marriage sanctity???
When Protestants claim that Jesus meant only to “believe” in him, or to “accept” him spiritually and symbolically by faith, they are violating their own hermeneutical tenet of interpreting Scripture according to the Jewish customs, idioms, and usages of the time. The Protestant metaphorical interpretation dates back only to the 16th c. The early church understood the Eucharist as it is now in the Catholic and the Orthodox Church , the Body Blood Soul and Divinity and it is clear in the writing of the early church fathers in the first second century
to be continue >>>>>>

Barbara said...

<<<<< continue
you said
Third, John 6 has the provision of food in the wilderness for the ancient Jews as the background. In the supper accounts the background is the Passover. 2 different events, 2 different emphasizes.
==================================
Paul and the other Christian through their Judaism understood the mystery of the real present of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. They are three key ideas The first Christians who are Jewish Christians understood that the Eucharist is
1. A new Passover
2. New manna from heaven
3. The Eucharist is the new bread of the presence
The Jewish Christians knew the Old Testament and the prophecy of the Old Testament which would be fulfilled in Christ and in the Eucharist. one of the reasons that many people today do not believe in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is that they are not familiar with the prophecy of the old testament so they cannot see the fulfillment that Christ brings in the Eucharist. if we start to think a little more like the first century jaws then we would have a little deeper and better understanding of the Eucharist

recommend reading {Jesus and the Jewish Root of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre)
----------------------------------
you said
Fourth, Jesus is constantly being misunderstood. People walking away from Him without Jesus pursuing them is not unusual. Many times He does not correct them. Only those who stay (and thereby prove to be a true disciple) does He explain things. In those cases where there is no record of Him explaining things to them, they are to trust Him as Peter did in John 6:68-69
=================================

did he explain to the Apostles after everyone leaves? The fact He did not offer an explanation to his apostles though he knew they took Him literary and his shooing teaching to Jewish mind teaching left them befuddled instead He challenge them.
Jesus used a lot of material objects to describe Himself--He said, "I am the Light." "I am the Door." "I am the Shepherd."

But He never said, "That light is Me." "That door is Me." "That shepherd is Me."

However, He did say, "That Bread is Me. That Wine is Me."

cwdlaw223 said...

Total crap. People don't walk away from metaphors! You are fighting every church father with your bad exegesis and 1,900 years on consistent history. It's very unusual that Jesus would let a follower walk away over a metaphor. That's why your position makes no sense. You are just like the followers walking away from this hard teaching and it's obvious you have no idea how a Jew would have interpreted those words being spoken. I guess Christ was just joking around. Or even better, scripture erred! It doesn't claim to be infallible.

Imagine how a Catholic feels when there is no official Protestant church to even engage in questioning.

cwdlaw223 said...

1,500 years for man to come up with a new interpretation of scripture. I'm shocked it wasn't sooner given the sifnulness and pride lurking in man's heart.

Every scholastic thinks that everyone in history was stupid or just not educated enough like man.

There is no dispute about the real presence in the Eucharist until the Reformers come on the scene and re-form a new church off the back of Rome. TRADITIONS OF MEN AT WORK.

Anonymous said...

Barbara,
Just because it was the time of the Passover does not mean what Jesus was saying had anything to do with the Passover. Clearly it did not given that He makes no reference to it.
You wrote: "one of the reasons that many people today do not believe in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is that they are not familiar with the prophecy of the old testament so they cannot see the fulfillment that Christ brings in the Eucharist". Where in the OT did it say that the Messiah would be in the Eucharist?

If Jesus said the bread and wine is Him, then the disciples would have been cannibals. This is what the logical conclusion is to a literal interpretation leads to. It is far better to understand Him to be speaking figuratively as He did with the door, light and shepherd. He was not literally these things.

Daniel said...

What quotes? I've lost them in the shuffle.

Daniel said...

Anon, is the Eucharist symbolic of cannibalism?

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

If you are thinking about the Eucharist in the realm of cannibalism then you're thinking about it correctly. There's a reason the first Christians were deemed atheists and cannibals! However, Catholics aren't eating the PHYSICAL FLESH AND BLOOD CHRIST WHICH WOULD BE CANNIBALISM.

That's why a Jew in the First Century would have been repulsed about what Jesus was speaking of in John 6 and walked away. There's a reason it was a hard saying in John 6 and not because it was a metaphor.

cwdlaw223 said...

Great summary about this issue:

http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/what-catholics-believe-about-john-6

The words don't make sense unless the Eucharist is real.

John W said...

Anon,
I appreciate your attempt to explain this, but I don't recall an instance where Jesus did not explain his parables to the apostles when they did not understand. The Jews certainly did understand when parables were directed at them which infuriated them.
Please furnish one example where he simply left them to figure it out on their own and any example where the followers left him.

I maintain that this is the only place in scripture where he lets his disciples leave, yet does so over a misunderstanding?
I'm sorry, but to say that if you don't eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you were a metaphor, it would have to take on a new meaning as compared to how it was used in the OT or in that culture. Eating one’s flesh was a metaphor for committing calumny, to revile, attack or insult someone unjustly. Thus, you would have Jesus is saying to have eternal life you must revile or insult Him? Really?
It's just a coincidence that the only other places in the New Testament where Jesus says to eat His body and drink His blood is in reference to the Last Supper? A coincidence? Really?
That you could be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord for partaking in a symbolic remembrance unworthily?
It's a coincidence that Jesus changed the usage of eat from a possible metaphorical use (phago) to a word for eat (trogo) that is never used metaphorically? It's just concidence that this was right after the Jews understood him to be speaking literally (“How can he give us His flesh to eat”)? Jesus ramped up the language and repeated it over and over again for what purpose?
The use of verily, verily (amen, amen) means a metaphor is to follow?
"My flesh is food indeed, my blood is drink indeed" - metaphor?
"The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" - a double metaphor? - making what was on the cross something other than His real body? A metaphor of Jesus on the cross? Really? This is one I really want you to respond to.
I contend that your exegesis relies on interpretations that are based on nearly impossible odds. There is nothing that I can say is a reasonable possibility given the whole passage. I contend that there is nothing else Jesus could have said to convince you that he meant what He said.
Again, if he just meant believe, did He have to use a very uncharitible form of deception to get such a message across that no Jew could possibly accept?
You are also betting on an interpretation that was never formulated before Zwingli in the 16th century and developed over the last 500 years. Most Protestants still do not divorce John 6 from the Last Supper.
The pastor that I referred to (Non-Denominational – Evangelical Baptist) clearly connected the two, whether by accident or because he had a different theory of how to dispose of John 6.

Anonymous said...

John,
Here is an example where Jesus did not explain from Luke 8:10--And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand." Even in John 6 Jesus does not give a detailed explanation what He meant to His disciples.

Let's take the literal view of John 6. What you are left with is cannibalism.
At the supper they had real bread before them and told to eat it. Eating here is to be understood literally. In John 6 it would not be understood that way. If it was, then we are back to cannibalism.

The eating and drinking in John 6 is best understood in a spiritual-metaphorical sense. Just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in His sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. The eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus’ cross work.

We are guilty of the body and blood of Christ when we are treating lightly the gracious sacrifice of Christ for us. It is necessary to set all sin before the Lord (v. 28), then partake, so as not to mock the sacrifice for sin, by holding on to it.

Was the flesh of Christ literal bread? Did Jesus literally have the characteristics of bread? These are the kinds of questions that show us the RC view to be absurd.

Keep in mind that just because something has been believed for a long time means that its true. It is the exegesis of Scripture that will tell us the truth.

cwdlaw223 said...

Do you even read anonymous? The link for the article i posted demolishes the cannibalism claim, but at least you're thinking about it in the right context.

Your reference to Luke is ridiculous. Metaphors are hard sayings? It's only hard if it's real. Not sure the Apostles were confused at all, but certain followers were.

Let me guess you're right and history is wrong. Typical progressive trying to change the obvious to suit his make believe Christianity.

How about you explain the existence of the Didache in 70 AD which contradicts your tortured interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I read the article. I didn't understand what Tim meant by "spirit" in John 6. What did Jesus mean by "spirit" in verse 63?

BTW- he is reading into John 6 the doctrine of the eucharist. There is nothing about it in this chapter. 2ndly,

cwdlaw223 said...

If you read the article you should now know that the Eucharist isn't cannibalism in the physical sense on this earth.

If you can't see the Eucharist in John 6 there isn't much hope for you. Will you at least admit that all of the early church fathers were wrong as well as the Didache?

cwdlaw223 said...

John 6:63 made easy:

John 6:63 is the one verse singled out by Protestant apologists to counter much of what we have asserted thus far. After seeing the Jews and the disciples struggling with the radical nature of his words, our Lord says to the disciples and to us all: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Protestants claim Jesus here lets us know he was speaking symbolically or “spiritually” when he said “the spirit gives life, the flesh is of no avail.” See? He is not giving us his flesh to eat because he says “the flesh is of no avail.” How do we respond? We can in several ways.

1) If Jesus was clearing up the point, he would have to be considered a poor teacher: Many of the disciples left him immediately thereafter because they still believed the words of our Lord to mean what they said.

2) Most importantly, Jesus did not say, “My flesh is of no avail.” He said, “The flesh is of no avail.” There is a rather large difference between the two. No one, it is safe to say, would have believed he meant my flesh avails nothing because he just spent a good portion of this same discourse telling us that his flesh would be “given for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51, cf. 50-58). So to what was he referring? The flesh is a New Testament term often used to describe human nature apart from God’s grace.

3) On another level very closely related to our last point, Christ said, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail,” because he wills to eliminate any possibility of a sort of crass literalism that would reduce his words to a cannibalistic understanding. It is the Holy Spirit that will accomplish the miracle of Christ being able to ascend into heaven bodily while being able simultaneously to distribute his body and blood in the Eucharist for the life of the world. A human body, even a perfect one, apart from the power of the Spirit could not accomplish this.

4) That which is spiritual does not necessarily equate to that which has no material substance. It often means that which is dominated or controlled by the Spirit.

Does your metaphorical view of John 6 have support in history. If so, who was the second human to assert John 6 was meant to be metaphorical?

Anonymous said...

Here is a metaphorical understanding of the Lord's supper:
"“But we are God-taught, and glory in the name of Christ. How then are we not to regard the apostle as attaching this sense to the milk of the babes? And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock?… Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.” Clement’s Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6

"They thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, It is the spirit that quickens; and then added, The flesh profits nothing — meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. In a like sense He had previously said: He that hears my words, and believes in Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life. Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, We ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (On the Resurrection of the Flesh 37) Tertullian

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

If your position is so clear, why don't we find believers like you in history?

I can easily point to the following believers in the Real Presence:

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html

Can you provide a list of early Christians who denied the real presence like you do? Or better yet, a group of early Christians who denied the real presence and lasted until today?

I'm not aware that any such group exists. I also don't believe that modern man can somehow exegete scripture better in English than the original Greek.

Restless Pilgrim said...

>1- It is a fact that most of what RC's believe have not been infallibly defined.

...using the extraordinary Magisterium of the Church, that is correct, but this was never disputed so you haven't really answered my question for (1). The issue was that earlier you presented this situation as some kind of problem.

In response to your assertion, I pointed to the the Divinity of Christ. Did Catholics believe that Christ was fully divine prior to Nicaea? Of course they did! So why was it brought up at Nicaea? It was because the presbyter Arius was teaching differently (basing his case on Scripture, I might add), trying to demote Jesus some some kind of lesser deity. In response to this, the Church called a Council and spelt out Jesus' divinity in unambiguous terms ("homoousios"). This is often how the Church responds to heresy, a pattern that can be seen for 2,000 years. You've said you've studied history, so I hope you know this to be true.

Another example I gave was the Trinity. Did Catholics believe in the Trinity prior to its explicit definition and articulation? Of course! And the Virgin Birth? Absolutely! It's clearly present in Scripture, wasn't called into question and therefore requires no specific declaration.

I'm spelling out my explanation here because you've raised this objection more than once. Each time you've been given thorough, well articulated replies which have, unfortunately, received no further response from you.

This leaves us dealing with the unknown. Are we to conclude that you've changed your mind and realized that actually Catholics don't need everything explicitly declared ex cathedra? Or do you still disagree, but unable to articulate as to why?

Restless Pilgrim said...

>2-Where is the official interpretation of the documents of Trent?

Trent is to be interpreted through the entire body of the Catholic Church teaching, the Rule of Faith, the Councils, in light of Scripture and Tradition.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses the decrees of Trent in simpler language if that helps. The Baltimore Catechism does the same but, as you've seen, you have to make sure you read it (a) in context and (b) without cherry picking!

I foresee one possible future pitfall. I'm afraid that your current line of thinking will result with an infinite regress i.e. "Well, what's the official interpretation of the Catechism then?!" etc. If you were to adopt this philosophy, then ultimately all documents would become meaningless and subjective since you would always require another text to interpret the current text.

But is interpreting Trent really that hard? Just don't project words into the document that aren't there (such as "re-Sacrifice") and you should do fine.


...You can give me your interpretation of them and another RC will give hers.

No, what you're describing here is Protestantism, applying a Sola Scriptura methodology to Church documents. That just won't do. You need to clear that paradigm from your mind. This is why Jesus established an authoritative Church, a Magisterium, to teach and clarify things which aren't immediately clear.



...If they disagree with each other who should I believe is interpreting correctly?

You should believe the one who is faithful to the Magisterium and who doesn't just cherry pick quotations from Church documents. For example, the subject of homosexuality is addressed clearly in the Catechism (#2357-2359).

If some people want to try to ignore such paragraphs or violate the meaning of the words in a Clinton-esque style ("Well, it depends what you mean by the word 'Sin'…"), then they're free to do so, but they will be departing from the Catholic Faith...

(I'd be interested in hearing how you would suggest the Protestant version of this dilemma is solved: two godly-living pastors with PhDs, fluent in Greek and Hebrew, after study and prayer reaching mutually exclusive interpretations of Scripture over some critical issue…but that's another question for another time)


> This kind of thing has been my experience with RC's on various issues. No 2 are identical.

I find that rather hard to believe, but I guess you must have just met a lot of Catholics who don't know their faith. On some issues there can legitimately be diversity of opinion, but homosexuality isn't one of them.

So...with that said, you still haven't really answered question (2). I asked you if it makes sense to listen to Catholics (the Magisterium in particular) when it comes to the interpretation of Catholic documents. Are we granted the privilege of explaining our own documents? Or can this be discarded and replaced with your own opinion?

Restless Pilgrim said...

3- There were different opinions on the meaning of the Lord's supper in history.

Oh boy, this is disappointing…


… That is a fact.

No, this is a re-statement of your previous assertion with no evidence or explanation. Don't just re-assert it, demonstrate it! Show us where we're wrong - that's the courtesy we granted to you…


… If it wasn't, then there would be no quotes like the ones I showed.

Well, I'm kinda dumbfounded. C'mon Meyu, you can do better than this. Did you actually read the responses to your quotations? They were pretty thorough! You do us a great injustice in simply ignoring the responses which we wrote for your benefit.

My own return to Catholicism was greatly aided by people who were willing to interact with my arguments and not simply restate their position. If it is your hope to win any converts here then you're going to fail if don't engage with the logic and evidence we present.

Take, for example, the quotation I gave from Augustine, the man you previously described as "brilliant". What is your explanation? It sounds an awful lot like he believed in the Real Presence. Was he just having an "off day" when he wrote that? Or was he a theologically schizophrenic?

Or what about my hypothetical scenario of trying to build a theology of Justification without reading St. Paul? Do you think it makes sense to build your theology of Justification from James alone ("Sola Jacobi" if you like)? Does it not make sense to read writings in their entirety rather than cherry picking?

Anonymous said...

Restless,

If I'm cherry picking then so are you. The problem that RC's have is that they don't have any support from their church on interpreting the Scripture. All you have are private interpretations.

The mere fact I presented different understandings of the Lord's supper by various fathers is proof that their was not one understanding of it.

You must not talk to many RC's about church their understanding of Scripture and church teachings. If you did, you would find a broad range of beliefs and understandings among RC's. This would also include priests whom I know personally.

I would listen to the Magesterium on their interpretation of Scripture but I have yet to see any infallible-official interpretation of verses of Scripture. I'm not talking about doctrines but the meaning of verses and passages in context. Where is this work to be found? Its not the catechism. So please tell me where I can see specifically how your church has officially-infallibly interpreted the verses of Scripture. If you can't produce such a work then you are left with your own private interpretation.

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

Can you provide a list of early Christians who denied the real presence like you? Give us some names.

The quotes you mention do not show these people denied the real presence or there was "proof" there was not one understanding of it. Even if they did, which is denied, where are the body of believers associated with these anti-real presence people in history?

I can easily point to the following believers in the Real Presence and here's my proof:

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html

Give me your list! Should be easy for you given your certainty about history.

Where's your anti-Didache?

Everyone can have their own interpretation, but not everyone gets to speak on behalf of the Magesterium. Huge difference which you're missing because in your Protestant world everyone gets a voice whether they're right or not.

You would never listen to someone other than yourself. Be honest. You don't want to submit to the Church unless you can create it on your own terms. What you want is a recipe which nobody is going to give you, not even scripture.

You are deluding yourself if you think your quotes are proof there was disagreement about the real presence in the Eucharist. You can do more than that.

List some names of people that officially rejected the real presence like you do! Should be easy if scripture is on your side.



cwdlaw223 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cwdlaw223 said...

Unlike your Protestant worldview, there is no one person that has absolute authority in the Church. Not even the Pope can rule on certain matters. However, in your world, everyone has absolute authority because there is nobody who can say you're wrong in your interpretation. Scripture can't speak to you or correct you.

There are plenty of bad priests (and maybe even some Bishops/Cardinals/Popes) in history that do not know Rome's official position on every topic.

You dig yourself a hole when you imply that one person could exegete all of scripture perfectly. That's why Christ built a Church on this earth and it's filled with the Holy Spirit so that it won't err on matters of faith and morals.



Anonymous said...

Cwdlaw,
Here is what I found in the Didache on the eucharist:

"Chapter Nine

Concerning the Eucharist (communion) give thanks like this:

First for the cup:

We give thanks to You, our Father, for Your holy vine of David, Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus, Your Servant. Glory to You forever.

Concerning the broken bread:

We give thanks to You, our Father, for the life and knowledge that You made known to us through Jesus, Your Servant. Glory to You forever. As this broken bread was scattered over the hills and was brought together becoming one, so gather Your Church from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom, for You have all power and glory forever through Jesus Christ.

Do not let anyone eat or drink of your Eucharist meal except the ones who have been baptized into the name of the Lord. For the Lord said concerning this: "do not give that which is holy to the dogs."

Where is the mass here? Where is the real presence i.e. that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. mentioned or even allude to in this?

Do you or Restless "speak on behalf of the Magesterium"? If so, who gave you this authority?

Anonymous said...

Restless,
How many RC's do you think have read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church or all the documents from Trent? Have you?

Restless Pilgrim said...

Anon, am I missing something? You don't appear to have answered (1), (2) or (3). Where have you interacted with any of my argumentation?

Restless Pilgrim said...

Anon, I'm going to answer you questions (since it would be impolite to simply ignore them), but I'd like to have (1), (2) and (3) answered before moving any further.

I couldn't speak for the entirety of the Catholic world, but I know a good handful of my friends who have read the Catechism from cover to cover, probably about the same number of people at my former Protestant congregation who had read the Bible from cover-to-cover.

I haven't read the Catechism from cover-to-cover myself, although I'm currently working through the Compendium, which is a shortened form of the Catechism.

Anonymous said...

Restless,
You are missing something. Where did I call Augustine brilliant? 2badly, no one refuted my quotes that show a different view on the supper than the Roman Catholic view.
I did address point 2 by demonstrating the different views that Roman Catholics have on homosexuality. It's true your church is against it officially but many of its members are for it.

You make it sound like the early Christians of the first few centuries were Roman Catholics. That is not the case at all. They did not believe in the Marian dogmas, purgatory, celibate leadership etc. Many Roman Catholics think the early church was structured like their church is today. The facts just don't support this view and try to make every thing in the past to be Roman Catholic. This is why I think you and the others struggle with the real presence not being the only view in church history.

Restless Pilgrim said...

I'm going to reply to your last "response", but since it didn't really respond to my last post or answer (1), (2) or (3), I'm going to keep this brief.


>If I'm cherry picking then so are you.

No. You googled for some support, found a quotation that looked like Augustine viewed the Eucharist as only symbolic and concluded that he denied the Real Presence. I'm giving your a fuller picture of the Early Church Fathers. I can incorporate both sets of quotations into my theology. Can you?


>The problem that RC's have is that they don't have any support from their church on interpreting the Scripture. All you have are private interpretations.

This is not a topic under discussion for (1), (2) or (3). On the subject of interpretation, I asked you about interpretation of Church documents such as the Council of Trent.


>The mere fact I presented different understandings of the Lord's supper by various fathers is proof that their was not one understanding of it.

This is just a re-statement of your belief. You have offered no new evidence or argumentation, nor have you responded to the earlier rebuttals.


> You must not talk to many RC's about church their understanding of Scripture and church teachings...

I would love it get into this (after all, who is going to know more Catholics - a Protestant or a Catholic who has lived in major cities in England and the US?), but it is tangential to our discussion.


>I would listen to the Magesterium on their interpretation of Scripture but I have yet to see any infallible-official interpretation of verses of Scripture...

Again, this was not the subject under discussion, but the problem is that you're trying to approach the Catholic Church like a Sola Scriptura Protestant. Why are you surprised to find that it doesn't operate that way?

Anonymous said...

Restless,
There was not a uniform understanding of the Lord's supper in the church in the early centuries. You refuse to acknowledge even when I have given a number of quotes from various fathers that demonstrate this.

What will you do with those fathers that contradict the RC view? If you are going to give a "fuller view" then you must incorporate this into this fuller view. Anything less will only demonstrate your desire to have the church be only Roman Catholic which it was not.

How am I to know your interpretations of Trent are the correct ones?

Who refuted those quotes that I gave on the supper?

Restless Pilgrim said...

> You are missing something.

You responded to (1), (2) and (3)? Let's take a look...


>Where did I call Augustine brilliant?

Here


2badly, no one refuted my quotes that show a different view on the supper than the Roman Catholic view.

Erm...I'm pretty sure that several people wrote responses to you... You can't just assert that these didn't refute your position, you have to demonstrate it.


>I did address point 2 by demonstrating the different views that Roman Catholics have on homosexuality. It's true your church is against it officially but many of its members are for it.

I have two issues with what you've just said here:

(1) What is this exactly meant to prove? As far as I can see you've proved two things:

(a) ...that a Protestant such as yourself can clearly understand that the Catholicism teaches that homosexual activity is sinful

(b) ...that some people choose to disobey the Church and yet retain the name "Catholic".

...and this proves what exactly?


(2) You haven't actually answered the question I asked! Allow me to repeat: " I asked you if it makes sense to listen to Catholics (the Magisterium in particular) when it comes to the interpretation of Catholic documents. Are we granted the privilege of explaining our own documents? Or can this be discarded and replaced with your own opinion?"


>You make it sound like the early Christians of the first few centuries were Roman Catholics.That is not the case at all. They did not believe in the Marian dogmas, purgatory, ...

How is any of this relevant?! Stay on topic!


So...in conclusion
...have you answered (1)? Not even mentioned.
...have you answered (2)? You mentioned it but...no
...have you answered (3)? No

Can you understand my frustration when answers aren't given? (bonus question)

Restless Pilgrim said...

There was not a uniform understanding of the Lord's supper in the church in the early centuries.

...yes, I understand you keep asserting this.


You refuse to acknowledge even when I have given a number of quotes from various fathers that demonstrate this

...which were refuted.


> What will you do with those fathers that contradict the RC view?

...and which do that? The Consensus Patrum speaks very clearly to the doctrine of the Real Presence.


> If you are going to give a "fuller view" then you must incorporate this into this fuller view.

I already have said that I do:

* The Eucharist is a symbol.
* We are saved by faith.

It may surprise you, but I believe and affirm both of these statements. However, taken in isolation and read with a Protestant mindset these statements may be misunderstood. The Eucharist is a symbol...it's just not only a symbol. We are saved by faith, just not faith alone. I have no problem incorporating those patristic quotations you gave into my theology. The question is: can you incorporate the other ones given to you?


>How am I to know your interpretations of Trent are the correct ones?

Okay, I'm not answering this until you answer my questions (1, 2 & 3). I've asked them often enough. I draw the line in the sand here.


Who refuted those quotes that I gave on the supper?

Daniel, John W and <a href="http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/2013/05/protestants-are-1-they-cant-be-2.html?showComment=1367686916892#c6459056587598505537>me</a>

Restless Pilgrim said...

Daniel, John W and me

Anonymous said...

What the differing views among Roman Catholics on homosexuality shows that you can't always trust a Roman Catholics understanding of what their church teaches. I suspect most Roman Catholics are unaware of your church's teaching against homosexuality and how strong it is.

Who is the official interpreter of Trent? Do I go by your interpretations of Trent or someone else's?

Anonymous said...

Get serious. John and Daniel did not refute the fact there were different views of the supper and what it meant.

Actually you are trying to interpret church history with a Roman Catholic mind set. You can't accept the fact that the New Testament church and the early church of the first few centuries was not Roman Catholic.

Restless Pilgrim said...

> What the differing views among Roman Catholics on homosexuality shows that you can't always trust a Roman Catholics understanding of what their church teaches. I suspect most Roman Catholics are unaware of your church's teaching against homosexuality and how strong it is.

No, it proves that some people don't know their faith and still call themselves Catholic. I recall hearing that President Bush once saying that Job was his favourite book of the New Testament but that he didn't like the way it ended...


> Who is the official interpreter of Trent?

The Magisterium.


> Do I go by your interpretations of Trent or someone else's?

If you like, I'll give it to you in simpler language so you don't project words into the document that aren't there.

Okay, I'm going to give you one more chance to directly answer the questions posed...then I think I'm done.

Restless Pilgrim said...

> Get serious. John and Daniel did not refute the fact there were different views of the supper and what it meant.

Did not!
Did too!
Did not!
Did too..


> Actually you are trying to interpret church history with a Roman Catholic mind set. You can't accept the fact that the New Testament church and the early church of the first few centuries was not Roman Catholic.

Am not!
Are too!
Am not!
Are too!

I'm tired of saying it: engage the questions and interact the arguments. You'll convince nobody until you do so.

Anonymous said...

If I want to know what the meaning of the various documents of Trent who in the magisterium would I talk to? Do you have some names?

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

"If I want to know what the meaning of the various documents of Trent who in the magisterium would I talk to? Do you have some names?"

That depends upon where you live. Unlike Protestants, the local Bishop is in charge of the flock in his diocese and Priest in your Church. You could ask the Priest for the Catholic Church assigned to your neighborhood Thereafter, the Bishop, the Arch-Bishop and Pope.

The Magesterium isn't one person acting alone.

cwdlaw223 said...

Don't give up Restless! Just force him back in history to prove his position. We do it all the time. He can't. I used to make similar arguments and eventually caved from the weight of history, logic and reason for the Catholic position.

Pride is his downfall as with most men.

Just keep him to one question at a time and go slow.

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

You said this:

"You make it sound like the early Christians of the first few centuries were Roman Catholics. That is not the case at all. They did not believe in the Marian dogmas, purgatory, celibate leadership etc. Many Roman Catholics think the early church was structured like their church is today. The facts just don't support this view and try to make every thing in the past to be Roman Catholic. This is why I think you and the others struggle with the real presence not being the only view in church history."

Why do you limit being Catholic to everything that is refined today?

WHERE DO YOU FIND ANY PROTESTANT LIKE INDIVIDUALS IN THE EARLY CHURCH FROM 150 AD TO 500 AD? Very few people were literate. Nobody could afford a bible. And most importantly, the Mass was the center of worship for early Christians.

Where is your HISTORICAL evidence for your version of the early Church? I can give you thousands and thousands of citations that point directly to Rome and a sacerdotal form of worship. My position flows from scripture and evidenced in history. Yours flow from your interpretation and has no historical support. The fact that you do not have historical support is substantial evidence that your position was not believed and did not exist.

Those early Christians you speak of would recognize that God himself uses his Church to teach faith and morals with the deposit of faith in his Church and therefore, if there was a dogma it would be believed! You require Jesus himself to come down from Heaven and tell you what he meant and even then, you probably would claim he's fake if you didn't believe what he said.

cwdlaw223 said...

Early Church Fathers on the Eucharist:

http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2010/11/early-church-fathers-on-eucharist.html

Enough said!

The Didache makes no sense with a symbolic Eucharist.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw,
The problem you have is that you assume the church was always correct. We know there were errors it believed for a long time. Even today your church promotes error by claiming to worship the same god as the Muslim.
Muslims deny the Trinity and yet you and them worship the same god. Go figure.

cwdlaw223 said...

Part II (http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/01/early-church-fathers-on-eucharist-c-200.html)

and Part III (http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/01/early-church-fathers-on-eucharist-c-300.html)

So why aren't there early church fathers who believe the Eucharist is merely SYMBOLIC? Let me guess, you believe the quotes you found show two that didn't believe in the real presence.

This is like telling Nancy Pelosi that the economic law of supply and demand exists and she says it doesn't. Pure Progressivism! BTW - Nancy isn't a Catholic. She's excommunicated herself with her Protestant like actions and beliefs.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw,
Here is a defintion of the real presence from the Catholic Answers--"The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine."

Can you give me a couple of quotes from the fathers that say that Jesus is "literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine"? What fathers said this?

Restless Pilgrim said...

Congratulations Meyu, you have exhausted my patience. I'm done.

I'll simply invite you to look back over our exchange and see who it was who answered questions and who it was who did not, who interacted with the other's arguments and who did not.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw,
Have you talked to your bishop about how you have interpreted the Scripture on this blog to be sure you are not misrepresenting the interpretation of the magesterium? Who is your bishop anyway?

John W said...

The crux of the problem is this Ralph:
If we are all just throwing our opinions around, then there is no way to assent to any doctrine with divine faith. Your interpretive paradigm is just that - it relies on human opinion and puts the greatest emphasis on the opinions of "well-educated".
So why don’t you just admit that Jesus left us no mechanism to know what the truth really is. Even if we can be 99.99% certain by human reason alone, that is not good enough to assent to with divine faith.
So either there is somewhere that I can go to be assured of the truth, or Jesus did leave us orphans and is leading us to a partial list of degrees of truth and not to all truth as He said.
Not only does the bible say that private interpretation is forbidden, but that prophecy came through the Spirit and therefore, must be discerned and taught through the Spirit. Just prior to Peter saying this, he emphasizes his authority to teach the truth by having been an eyewitness of Christ.
You recently said something to the affect that doctrine was done through good sound exegesis or similar. So at least it seems that you both believe that your personal interpretations are valid and that they can be backed up by reason. The latter is laudable, but not enough to arrive at divine truth.
Of course I know you will say that you do rely on the Holy Spirit, but so does every Protestant denomination and you can find every teaching under the sun with a claim of divine inspiration.

continued...........

John W. said...

BTW, I did refute your quote mining of the Father's by listing five other quotes of Tertullian that said the opposite of what you claimed. I could also give you a dozen clear quotes from Augustine and another clear quote from Clement on John 6 that indisputably promotes the literal sense. But since you are only referencing some of your favorite apologists, you would never know of these other quotes.

I also gave you as a reference, two of the most respected, even handed Protestant Historians (JND Kelly and Darwell Stone) who refute every claim you make specifically. They claimed and stated in great detail that the church belief in the real presence of Christ, and that it was understood to be a sacrifice was ubiquitous in the early church. That means in every era and every known part of the Christian world and by everyone. With the first controversies being seen in the 9th and then 11th centuries. The reason you know about these controversies is because of the ubiquity of the orthodox doctrine.

Even your last attempt to mine a couple of quotes on John 6 pit Clement of Alexandria against Himself. Kelly and Stone independently also address this very issue concluding that there was no problem in looking at John 6 in an analogical sense while maintaining the stark realism that they held to. To conclude otherwise would be to call them double minded at best.

Here are some statements by the Historians on Tertullian:

J.N.D. Kelly:
"yet we should be cautious about interpreting such expressions in a modern fashion. According to ancient modes of thought a mysterious relationship existed between the thing symbolized and its symbol, figure or type; the symbol in some sense WAS the thing symbolized. Again, the verb -repraesentare-, in Tertullian's vocabulary [Cf. ibid 4,22; de monog. 10], retained its original significance of 'to make present.'

Darwell Stone:
"Another kind of phraseology is found most markedly in Tertullian... Tertullian more than once uses like language with explicit reference to the Eucharist. He asserts our Lord's intention to have been to show that bread was 'the figure (figura) of His body' : he explains the words 'This is My body' as meaning 'This is the figure (figura) of My body'; he interprets the words of institution as placing our Lord's body under the head of, or in the category of, bread (corpus eius in pane censetur) [Adv Marc iii,19; iv,40; De Orat 6]. He says also that our Lord by the use of bread 'makes present (repraesentat) His very body' [Adv Marc i,14].

"The consideration of this type of phraseology must include some discussion of (a) the meaning of the words 'symbol' [in Clement of Alexandria] and 'figure' (figura) [in Tertullian]; (b) the meaning of the word translated 'makes present' (repraesentat); (c) the relation of the passages here quoted to other statements of the same writers." (Stone, volume 1, page 29)

John W said...

I'm done after this as well.
I really can't muster up the time to answer another 100 questions, especially from an interlocutor who gives no dime on anything.

In short, the church isn't prohibited from summarizing her understanding on the Eucharist as in the CA quote. The doctrine has been around for nearly 2000 years and every word of the summary can be unpacked with scripture and historical writings. It is a summary of what we believe about the Eucharist.

Blessings Ralph.

cwdlaw223 said...

I have no Bishop right now. He just died.

I gave you a list of the Church fathers who believed in the real presence. You keep asking for recipes but they don't exist (although Augustine is on point for your latest recipe request).

Daniel said...

I'm still game if and only if you scroll back through and answer my questions.

Now, I have already addressed Tertullian by quoting Kelly.

Now Clement of Alexandria:

"For the blood of the grape--that is, the Word--desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both--of the water and of the Word--is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul." --Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
The RC's here keep asserting the real presence with all the fathers.
Here is a definition of it from Catholic Answers: "The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine."

Apply this to your quote on Clement. Where does he say anything about Jesus being "literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine"?

Secondly, is Clement mean by "to drink the blood of Jesus" he means that literally? Is he saying there is really blood in the cup?

Daniel said...

We know what Clement means when he says the Logos is in the Eucharist because we know what he means when he says the Logos was in the flesh at the Incarnation.

Unless YOU take him to mean that HE means the Logos isn't actually present in the Incarnation any more than the Logos is present in the Eucharist.

No really, please assert that. Your aggrevating debate style of not responding to our assertions, to our objections to your assertions, and cherry picking quotes from the Fathers that you haven't read has gotten everyone heated.

So please say to us that Clement of Alexandria believed the Logos was present in the Incarnation as little as the Logos is present in a soley symbolic Eucharist. We could all use a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
People are heated because church history is not what they think it is. Its not RC. I have shown that its not and everyone is mad at me.

You claim to understand Clement. Tell me what he means by "Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both--of the water and of the Word--is called Eucharist,.."????

Why didn't he mention the bread?

Daniel said...

Because it's not mixed with water, as the Spirit [is] with man. The main idea in that sentence is the Spirit not the Eucharist. One aspect of the Eucharist is used to make a point about the Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Not sure I'm understanding this. Where in the supper accounts does it mention the Spirit?

BTW- how much of the fathers have you read?

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

How about you name one person after 150 AD until the Reformation who believed in justification by faith alone as a legal doctrine and did not participate in the Mass?

Just one name. You have yet to provide any evidence other than your own exegesis.

You are very quick to claim everyone else is wrong, how about you come forward with some evidence that your position is not a legal novum and was in effect in the early church.

Anonymous said...

Paul and Peter did. See Rom 3:24, 5:1, 9.

No mention of the mass in the NT. No priest offering up the bread-wine as Christ.

cwdlaw223 said...

You didn't answer my question. I asked for one person AFTER 150 AD who stated justification by faith alone and used the term justified in the legal context and was not celebrating the Mass. This should be easy for you since scripture is so clear on this issue.

My question is designed to stop you from trying to (incorrectly) assert a Roman Catholic states this heresy. This forces you to look outside of Rome (and after Peter and Paul were dead) for historical support for your position. If such a person existed, it would give creedance to your position on justification.

I suspect you can't name one non-Roman Catholic who even comes close to your definition of the word justification until 1400-1500. If you can't, that's substantial historical evidence that people believed in the Roman Catholic understanding of the word justification (and Eastern Orthodox since they certainly understood Greek).

Daniel said...

Anon,

Is the following true:

Those who are truly saved will do good works?
Those who do not do good works are not truly saved?

Sometimes I misunderstand you, so if you could answer with a straight yes or no, and elaborate in a seperate paragraph it would greatly help me.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
How would I go about answering your question given that we don't know how many churches were in existence after 150? It is said there must have been millions of Christians in the early centuries. We also don't have much written documentation from these churches.

The fact is that you don't know either since we don't have much documentation to work with to answer your question. Assuming something does not make it so.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
Yes the truly saved will do good works. Goods works are works done for the glory of God.

Yes, those that are not truly saved cannot do good works for the glory of God. They do works for other reasons.

cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...
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cwdlaw223 said...

Unlike yourself, Catholics have oral tradition which is what was used in antiquity. You impose a scholastic view upon history that everything must be documented. That was physically and economically impossible at times.

cwdlaw223 said...

Ralph -

Pick a date after 150 AD (I didn't say before 150 AD) and name some believers who believed in the Protestant view of justification by faith alone and were not part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant view of justification by faith alone is antithetical to Rome's theology so one can't be a Catholic and at the same time hold the Protestant view that justification by faith alone is some legal/forensic view.

Certainly you can find a body of believers AFTER 150 AD that believe like you and were not Roman Catholics. It's so obvious in scripture and therefore should be so obvious in history.

You get to pick the first date when the Protestant view was accepted by a body of believers AFTER 150 AD. What were the names of these people? Where were they located? What time did this forensic view of justification start with these body of believers AFTER 150 AD? 500 AD? 1,000 AD?

I'm forcing you into history to prove you point instead of relying upon your interpretation of scripture. Paul might have been the first Protestant in your world, but Jesus was the first Catholic in ours!

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw223,
What oral tradition are you referring to? Please give me some specific examples of it so I know exactly what it was.

If there were no Christians who did did not believe in justification by faith alone in Christ alone then what you have are people believing in false doctrine.

What records to do what from 150 that tells us what the entire church believed on the Lord's supper? You need to prove your points that all the churches believed that the bishop of Rome was the leader of the entire church. Believed in the Marian dogmas. Believed in indulgences and purgatory. Believed that the leaders of the church had to be celibate.

Once you have proved these points then you can truly claim that the early church was Roman Catholic.

cwdlaw223 said...

Why can't you provide me the names of a group of believers in society after 150 AD who believed in a forensic view of justification and weren't Roman Catholics?

Assume that Catholics got the Eucharist completely wrong and are a heretical group all throughout history. Now its your burden to prove your position from history. Assume the Catholics are no different than the Mormons (which you sound very close to but don't realize it).

Why is there nobody in history from 150 AD until the Reformation that supports your forensic view and was outside of Rome? The Church was silent and allowed millions to adopt a heretical view for over 1,350 years? Man couldn't figure out scripture for 1,350 years?

cwdlaw223 said...

I'm not trying to prove Rome is correct at this point, only that your view is devoid of historical support (which it is) and yet you claim that forensic justification was so obvious. If it was so obvious, there should be millions and millions of believers in history outside of Rome after 150 AD that believed in a forensic view of justification. The problem is you can't point to one group of non-Catholic believers after 150 AD until the Reformation that believed in a forensic view of justification which indicates your view was a legal novum during the Reformation.

Anonymous said...

You can't say that "nobody in history from 150 AD until the Reformation that supports your forensic view and was outside of Rome". You have no proof of what all the churches were teaching at this time.

Remember: an assertion is not a fact. All you have is an opinion about it.

cwdlaw223 said...

Didn't you just admit nobody knows what happened from Pentecost until 150 AD?

Assume Rome is wrong, GIVE ME YOUR FACTS!

Pick any time period you want after the Apostles all died.

What are the names of believers in forensic justification and outside of Rome?

I say outside of Rome to stop some ridiculous comment that Aquinas or Augustine believed in such nonsense. You act like you have no burden of proof. Is all you have opinion?

Anonymous said...

You are the one that is assuming things. You assume that entire church believed in the real presence or not in justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

I don't know what the entire church believed on these things. What documents would tell us? Church fathers do not speak for the entire church. So what document do you have in 150 that tells you what the entire church believed?

Daniel said...

Wait wait wait. I'm throwing up the bullshit flag on this one.

We know an extensive amount of writings written by Catholic writers and received by the Catholic Church as being fully orthodox.

We also have extensive writings of people who for all practical purposes are heretics:

Gnostics, Ebionites, Sabellians, Arians, Montanists, Donatists, and so on and on...

https://www.google.com/search?redir_esc=&redir_esc=&hl=en-US&client=ms-android-verizon&source=android-browser-type&v=210020311&qsubts=1368033880095&action=devloc&q=List%20of%20early%20church%20heresy#itp=open0

But you are asserting that either one of the groups named WEREN'T heretical or that you know of an unnamed group of people you believe preserved the faith, or there was an invisible community of true believers that left no mark whatsoever on human history any way attributible to them.

Which is it? What is the name of that group?

cwdlaw223 said...

Anonymous -

I'm looking for a group of believers outside of Rome. Or do you now believe there was no other believers (I didn't say church) outside of Rome?

There is positively no Roman Catholic that believed and stated that justification was a forensic event. Not Aquinas and definitely not Augustine. Now you are outright lying about what is known about Catholicism so you don't have to face the music that your position is a legal novum and created out of thin air by a bunch of progressives who never, ever wanted to submit to any authority but themselves.

Let me guess, you can't even know that scripture is infallible because scripture isn't self authenticating, doesn't contain an index and certainly doesn't claim to be infallible.

You bear the burden of proof to prove your position in history. Are you incapable of research? How do you not know someone outside of Rome that supports your position. It's obvious that Rome was a theological mess by 350-500AD according to your standards. Thus, men should have rejected Rome sacerdotal worship.

cwdlaw223 said...

Please admit that you don't know who believed like yourself in history until the Reformation. That's the conclusion from you agnostic like statements above. You can figure out justification is forensic from scripture but you can't research and find someone who believed like you did in history?

How could you possibly understand all of scripture if you are incapable of research?

Double epistemological standards abound in your world.

Daniel said...

For the record when I was a Protestant (7 point Calvinist) I assumed that the early church was governed by a synod of presbyters that put out calvinist doctrines like the Council of Orange or Augustine's Concerning the Predestination of the Saints.

I assumed they believed in forensic justification, the protestant canon, faith alone in the strict sense, that they only had 2 sacraments, and had informal house churches, and believed in an invisible corporate body of believers.

None of those assumptions held true when I started to read the Fathers.

cwdlaw223 said...

Daniel -

Amen! History is a bitch to an intellectually honest Protestant.

This guy claims to know nothing, but he sure knows how to exegete scripture without any historical support. Joseph Smith like if you ask me. There will always be guys like this, Joseph Smith, Ellen White, etc. because the only authority their minds will accept is themselves.

I changed my ways and when judgment day comes I will not stand before God and tell him that I thought I could figure it all out on my own and ignored the first 1,500 years of Christendom.

Pride was the downfall of Adam just as it is unfolding on this site.

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
What did the church fathers say was the canon of Scripture?

What did the fathers write about justification?

What did they write about the 7 sacraments of the church in the 2nd-3rd centuries?

If you have read the fathers these should be easy questions to answer.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw,
You didn't answer these questions:

What documents would tell us that entire church believed in the real presence or not in justification by faith alone in Christ alone around 150?

Remember: church fathers do not speak for the entire church.

cwdlaw223 said...

No documents were needed or exist to prove the real presence. Part of holy tradition. How do I know this? Through oral tradition and practice passed down. What document shows us what pieces of scripture each church was using? Doesn't exist.

There is no oral tradition of justification as forensic because that's not what the Greek meant as has been shown to you on this site. There is no history of such practice and your interpretation has been proven wrong.

Now please tell me who believed in justification by faith alone as a forensic event outside of scripture and these people weren't Roman Catholics! Give me a name and date! No proto-Protestant, a real honest to goodness person asserting justification is forensic.

Anonymous said...

Lets focus on this "oral tradition" that was passed on. Whose oral tradition and how do you know if there is an oral tradition since there no documentation to support it?

It is the Scripture that teaches justification by faith alone as a forensic event. See Rom 3:24.
If any church at any time was not teaching this then they were not teaching the gospel of Christ but another gospel.

cwdlaw223 said...

No. Tell us who and when in history believed that justification was a forensic event.

You keep changing subjects instead of putting forth evidence of your position. Tell us one person outside of scripture and Rome.

You are redefining the word justification as a forensic event. This has been proven several times. You are wrong and don't want to admit you're wrong because of pride. The same reason you won't give a name and date when your heresy started.

"Any church not teaching this..." Great! What church was teaching this and when? You already admitted that you don't know what was happening from Pentecost to 150 AD. So when thereafter?

cwdlaw223 said...

It was not until the 1500′s that “justification” became strictly a change in a man’s status before God, and NOT a change in a man’s nature. It was not until the 1500′s that “justification” became strictly a “legal declaration” and NOT a process. This alteration in the doctrine of justification was “a genuine theological novum” (Alister E. McGrath, Iustitia Dei, pages 184, 186-187). In regard to this change, there were no “forerunners of the Reformation” (ibid., 185). As McGrath sums it up: It was thus in the Reformation that “a fundamental discontinuity was introduced into the western theological tradition where none had ever existed, or ever been contemplated, before” (ibid., 184, 186).

The above was written by a Protestant. So everyone was wrong for 1,500 years? Just admit they were so we can move on and recognize ignorance.

Anonymous said...

cwdlaw,
Clement believed in justification by faith alone:

"So all of them received honor and greatness, not through themselves or their own deeds or the right things they did, but through his will. And we, therefore, who by his will have been called in Jesus Christ, are not justified of ourselves or by our wisdom or insight of religious devotion or the holy deeds we have done from the heart, but by that faith by which almighty God has justified all men from the very beginning. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Clement, Clement's First Letter, 32.3-4)

Anonymous said...

Yes. Everyone who taught that justification is not by faith alone in Christ and is a forensic event would be teaching error. They would be teaching error because Scripture does teach that justification is by faith alone in Christ alone and is a forensic event.

You should not be surprised at this given that there have been many false teachers in church history. We determine truth by what the Scripture teaches and then see if its taught in church history. Where it is not, then its a false teaching even if the entire church teaches it.

cwdlaw223 said...

Where does he state that justification is forensic? Not in the above. You don't understand that the word justification changed meanings out of thin air by the progressives known as the Reformers.

You didn't answer my question. Please answer.

Let me give you an example of how language changes so that you aren't confused. Take the word "honey." When this word was used in the OT a Jew would recognize that honey was incredible, stupendous and out of this world in taste. Why? Because sugar wasn't wildly available like it is today. Ask the average person what the word honey means and they (ex. you) wouldn't think anything of the word. But when this word is used in scripture if you use the context of honey today you wouldn't comprehend what God was communicating to his people in reference to this word.

So where does Clement state that justification was forensic? I don't want some wishy washy proto-protestant. I want to use your own standards against you.

Who and when?

cwdlaw223 said...

1,500 years of false teachers?

You are wrong that justification means forensic. Absolutely, positively wrong and you teach a false gospel as evidenced by the fact that nobody believed the word justification was forensic in history.

You change the meaning of words more than Obama.!

cwdlaw223 said...

I didn't ask for justification by faith alone (those words aren't together by Clement so you failed with this person). Furthermore, I asked where someone stated justification was forensic?

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