Friday, July 10, 2009

William Webster: How Rome Defines Saving faith

We've been having a discussion here about whether Rome teaches salvation by works (merit) and while I take a break for the weekend before investigating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I wanted to give people the opportunity to read these two articles by William Webster. The first is his testimony called Did I Really Leave the Holy Catholic Church?
The second is his article called Saving Faith: How Does Rome Define It?

As these articles will show, IF the catechism does NOT teach justification by works (which I have not admitted, and I believe it has been shown before that it does)then there are other ways in which the Roman Catholic Church adds works to salvation, and subverts the true gospel of Christ, namely, by adding dogmas which must be believed for salvation, but which were never taught in scripture or believed by the early church.

213 comments:

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Elena said...

i didn't read the article but a quick thought... if the Catholic church was first how is it that their definition is "redefining?" Wouldn't the new kid (The Reformation) be the ones doing the "redefining."

Jennie said...

No Elena. Please read the article. I think he addresses that. I know somebody I just read did.
The Catholic Church redefined salvation as their doctrines changed over time. The reformation was a return to the biblical gospel.

Elena said...

There was no "biblical gospel" to return to. The Bible didn't exist at the time of the apostles. And if the printing press hadn't sprung into existence close to the time of the Reformation we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Why don't you do something unique - read CATHOLIC sources to learn about Catholicism.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Apostles teaching(oral and written)=N.T.scripture=biblical gospel

Elena said...

We call apostolic teaching Sacred Tradition.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Excuse me if I may, but this is just a re-hash of old arguments. Can we discuss something else? Can we not move on actual doctrinal topics?

Moonshadow said...

I skimmed the two articles by Webster.

I have the book that the first article appears in and have read McGrath's and Horton's contribution to that book on the advice of a Protestant friend. I didn't care for the tone of those articles so I didn't read anymore in the book. I wonder why Webster felt necessary to make his article available online, independent of the book. Is it because his article is tucked away at the end of the book and he felt that no one was reading it?

Now these two online articles have all the tone of someone who is disillusioned and scandalized. Webster sounds like Bart Ehrman - someone who just discovered that the thing he had been told was perfect (the Church, the Bible) was actually not perfect.

Every human goes through this realization, usually as regards their own father and mother. It's a natural part of growing up and it matters how one reacts. One can "take it like a man" or suffer a nervous breakdown. Webster seems to have gone the latter route.

Paul said...

Moonshadow said:

"Now these two online articles have all the tone of someone who is disillusioned and scandalized. Webster sounds like Bart Ehrman - someone who just discovered that the thing he had been told was perfect (the Church, the Bible) was actually not perfect."

Moonshadow,
were you able to endure Websters "tone" long enough to grasp his assessment of Roman Catholicism? Were you able to acknowledge his actual disagreement "like a man" or did you also have a "nervous breakdown"?

Elena said...

Why should Moonshadow have to acknowledge his actual disagreement "like a man" when SHE is an articulate and intelligent woman?

Moonshadow said...

I skimmed Webster as I said. And I learned fairly quickly that, as neither a convert to Catholicism nor an evangelical considering conversion to the Catholic Church, I am not the intended audience for Webster's piece. Perhaps for that reason, his information didn't intrigue me: he wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. But I do agree that converts or potential converts ought to be aware of these things. I suspect that, occasionally, they are not.

Lucky for Webster he could find another church that suited him for if he had had Ehrman's problem - well, there's only one Bible - he'd be on the street.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
If you already know all the things he said, then you should see that the RCC based it's present teachings(the ones which the reformers objected to and others which have been added since then) on the idea that all these dogmas and practices were supported by the unanimous consent of the Fathers and practiced by the Apostles and the early church. Webster has shown this to be false. The apostles did not teach these things in scripture, the fathers did not teach them, and sometimes even anathematized them.
Second, in Webster's 2nd article about RCC teachings on salvation, he shows that these fallacious teachings which were already shown to be not accepted by the early church, are made a requirement for entrance into the church and for salvation, because they must be believed in order to be in the Church.
If you can still accept all those teachings, and think the RCC is the one true church, then you are knowingly believing false teachings, and are fooling yourself as well.

Jennie said...

Elena,
We call apostolic teaching Sacred Tradition.
Are not the scriptures Apostolic teaching?
'Sacred Tradition' is mainly in conflict with those.

Moonshadow said...

If you already know all the things he said,

Alright, twist my arm ... :-)

Just a couple of problems with his first article, to begin with:

He says that, "It places under anathema — that is, it condemns to hell, unless there is repentance — all who disagree with her teachings, anathemas that, it is important to add, have never been repudiated."

Jimmy Akin points out that a notable omission from the 1983 Code of Canon Law is "anathema" and besides, the penalty was never incurred automatically.

You can also look at the Catholic catechism, paragraphs 817 - 822.

Webster says that: "Scripture was the ultimate authority for Jesus' personal life and ministry. "

But in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said things like, "You have heard it said, but I say to you ..." For Webster to be correct that Jesus was bound by Scripture, it would mean that Jesus was not the Word made flesh, not the Inaugurator of the New Covenant, not the Man behind the New Testament, not God. Maybe Webster does believe this, but I'm shocked at his suggestion that Jesus thought the Hebrew Scriptures were the ultimate authority on His life. Please tell me where I have misunderstood him.

Webster talks about "tradition(s)," from 2 Thess. 2:15. "paradosis," according to Thayler's Lexicon is "a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence."

are fooling yourself as well.

That's about the only thing I'm sure of, Jennie. :-) Kyrie eleison.

Peace of Christ.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
For Webster to be correct that Jesus was bound by Scripture, it would mean that Jesus was not the Word made flesh, not the Inaugurator of the New Covenant, not the Man behind the New Testament, not God. Maybe Webster does believe this, but I'm shocked at his suggestion that Jesus thought the Hebrew Scriptures were the ultimate authority on His life. Please tell me where I have misunderstood him.
I certainly didn't understand it the way you thought. I think he is only saying that Jesus Himself showed us that scripture is the ultimate authority by basing everything He said and did and taught in scripture. He always quoted scripture to show and teach things, and He showed that He Himself is the fulfillment of scripture. Jesus is not bound by scripture; He is revealed in it; it is His own words to us.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
"paradosis," according to Thayler's Lexicon is "a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence."
The ritual which Moses taught to the Israelites was given to him by the direct word of God. The Apostles were given the direct word of God by Jesus and later by the Spirit, and they passed on everything first orally and then in written form, and then their written words were passed down IN THE FORM OF SCRIPTURE. The oral teachings were the same in content as the written, because the fathers taught nothing else until later. Ecclesiastical traditions developed gradually and regionally and were not considered on a par with scripture.

Kelly said...

See, I think we had this conversation on VTC once. I've actually read quite a lot of the fathers of the church and Webster is in the wrong.

I remember recommending some sources for you to read the Fathers on your own.

Moonshadow said...

Well, it's new to me, Kelly, and I'm ego-centric enough to believe myself the patient.

Two things, Jennie: thank you for disabling the music and aren't you taking a break?! :-)

When He refers to the 'Word of God', His reference is always to recorded Scripture.

When does Jesus refer to the “Word of God”?

If I search the Gospels for the phrase "word of God," the instance in Matthew 15:6 is really "commandment" in the Gk. (and in the venerable KJV).

The other instances in the Synoptics, "logos," is a spoken word, the prophetic voice. A reminder that theirs was the charismatic time ours is not.

And "recorded Scripture" is redundant, as graphe means "writing(s)."

Therefore, Luke 4:4 is especially interesting, as Jesus says, "It is written (graphe)," followed by the quotation of Deut. 8:3 which in the LXX reads stomatos ("mouth") of God, but Jesus says rhema - "breath, utterance" - of God.

We can talk about inspiration and the Bible being the living word of God, but not sola Scriptura, as those written words need to be intoned, spoken, proclaimed. The Scripture needs the Church, as much as the Church needs the Scripture.

I wonder whether paradosis might be akin to the Talmud and/or the Mishna.

Peace of the Lord to you.

Paul said...

The Biblical term "paradosis" which is translated "tradition" in the New Testament is used in (noun) form some 13 times. The first 8 are used by Jesus n Matt. 15 and Mark 7 to denounce the Pharisees for transgressing the law Of God in order to keep their traditions. Matthew 15:3 (ESV) He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Mark 7:9 (ESV) And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!

Jesus charged them with "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" Matthew 15:9 (ESV) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "

The Lord Jesus had nothing good to say about tradition. When he spoke of it, he repeatedly cast it in a negative light.

In indicting the Pharisees with invalidating Scripture with their traditions, it is clear that our Lord viewed Scripture as the ultimate judge in evaluating true and false tradition. Scripture is not to be judged by tradition because Scripture and not tradition, is God-Breathed (theopnuestos).
source: David T. King Holy Scripture Vol I p.111.

Moonshadow said...

The Lord Jesus had nothing good to say about tradition.

Jesus' objection is very specific in Matthew 15: the writing-off of one's obligation to parents. Mark 7 is the parallel, same deal.

To deduce a sweeping generalization from an isolated episode would ... be ... a ... tradition.

Sue Bee said...

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura does NOT abandon tradition and does NOT mean the individual decides what Scripture means. It is NOT "me, my Bible & the Holy Spirit". It is NOT "everyone is a church unto himself".

These teachings come for 19th-20th century American Evangelical movement whose roots are in Arminianism and do NOT come from the reformation doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

A correct definition of Sola Scriptura is as follows (from Keith Mathison, Wikipedia):

1.It is the sole source of revelation. This means that the scriptures are perfect and complete, inerrant and infallible, and sufficient as our sole source of revelation.

2. It is the sole infallible authority and norm. The Scriptures are inspired and are the very words of God, and therefore they are without error (inerrant) and incapable of being in error (infallible). They are also authoritative, meaning that they are binding on us as the Word of God.

3. It is interpreted in and by the Church. The Scripture is truth, but the church is the custodian and pillar of truth. Because the church is the body of Christ, and is a spiritual entity, the church has the authority to interpret correctly the spiritual word of God. The church is given authority by Christ to teach and preach the Scriptures, and has authority to set normative doctrinal boundaries for the Scriptures and its members.

4. It is interpreted in the context of the regula fidei, or the rule of faith. The regula fidei is a summary of the apostolic doctrines and provides the hermeneutical context for the Church to interpret Scripture. This tradition is incorporated in the creeds and confessions of the Church, which serve as a written summary of what the Church believes the Scriptures to say.

Jennie said...

Hi all,
One main difference in the historical doctrine of Sola Scriptura, as Sue Bee stated it, and the Roman Catholic view on scripture, is that the protestant view does not say that the church is the INFALLIBLE interpreter of scripture.
The first difference though is that we view scripture as the 'sole source' of revelation.

Moonshadow said...

It is NOT "me, my Bible & the Holy Spirit".

I would think not.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
Now these two online articles have all the tone of someone who is disillusioned and scandalized. Webster sounds like Bart Ehrman - someone who just discovered that the thing he had been told was perfect (the Church, the Bible) was actually not perfect.

Every human goes through this realization, usually as regards their own father and mother. It's a natural part of growing up and it matters how one reacts. One can "take it like a man" or suffer a nervous breakdown. Webster seems to have gone the latter route.


I think it's more like someone who got kidnapped as a baby and then was rescued by his true parent (God) and wants to help those who are still in captivity to escape by showing them the truth and how to get out.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

According to the Bible, Sola scriptura means, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the WILL OF MAN but holy men of God spake as they were moved BY THE HOLY GHOST" (1 Peter 1: 20-21).

I think this is saying scripture is not based upon the theories or opinions of men.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, THOUROUGHLY FURNISHED unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).

Scripture is sufficent for our perfection. It needs no improvement.

Here is what the Bible says about those who try to make scripture fit in their ideas. The reference here is referring to the epistles of Paul.

"As also all his epistles, speaking in them of these things in which are some things hard to be understood, which they which are unlearned and unstable do wrest, as they do other scriptures, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION (2 Peter 3:16).

Jennie said...

thanks Hillary,
everyone please notice in the last verse Hillary quoted, that Paul's epistles are already called scriptures, since Peter compares them to the 'other scriptures.'

Paul said...

Moonshadow said:

"Webster talks about "tradition(s)," from 2 Thess. 2:15. "paradosis," according to Thayler's Lexicon is "a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence."

More on "paradosis".....

Paul said...

In Galatians 1:14, Paul makes reference to 'the traditions of my fathers' and in Colossians 2:8, 'the tradition of men'. Charles Hodge notes that Galatians 1:14 and Colossians 2:8 are references 'to what is human and untrustworthy...and frequently in the gospels of the elders.'

Only in the remaining three instances (1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thess. 2:15, 3:6), where the noun (paradosis) appears, do we find binding Christian tradition in the New Testament. In each of these, the apostle makes reference to authoritative apostolic tradition which he had 'delivered' (1 Cor. 11:2), 'taught' (2 Thess. 2:15), or 'commanded' (2 Thess. 3:6).

In all three cases, the tradition(s) to which he referred could be objectively identified by his readers.

These traditions were not something awaiting the future development of a living voice because, firstly, they had already been 'delivered' to the Corinthians who were 'keeping' them (1 Cor. 11:2), and secondly, they had already been 'taught' to the Thessalonians who were commanded to 'stand fast' in them and 'hold them' (2 Thess. 2:15). Thirdly, they were commanded to 'walk' according to them, clearly indicating that the Thessalonians were already acquainted with them (2 Thess. 3:6).

This being the case, not one of these texts supports the modern Roman view that 'tradition' in the New Testament can refer to a future unfolding of doctrinal development, or unidentified dogma awaiting future definition.

Why? Because the Church was already in possession of these traditions. They were already 'keeping' them, 'holding' them, and 'walking' in them.

The verbs used to describe the relationship of these traditions to Christian observance make no sense unless they had already been identified and defined. Every reference to 'tradition' in these passages has to do with doctrinal or moral rules already delivered.
source: David T. King Holy Scripture Vol.I p. 112

Paul said...

Speaking of a "Living Voice"

Here is another article by David T. King:

Gnosticism and Romanism

Oscar Cullmann: Despite the deep gulf between them in other respects, is it not true to say that the Catholic Church, Gnosticism, and ancient and modern sects which claim a superior enlightenment, are at one in denying that scripture is a superior norm for the testing of the genuine activity of the Holy Spirit? The Church will examine every later revelation, individual or collective, but will always take as criterion this norm (scripture) of the apostolic witness. The Church will therefore not be a superior tribunal able to decree what must be added to this norm. Oscar Cullmann, The Early Church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, trans. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1956), p. 83.

One wonders how many times Irenaeus’ own testimony must be brought forward to dispel the notion that he viewed the essence of apostolic tradition to be anything other than the substance of that which was deposited in Holy Scripture. Indeed, it was the very notion of an extrabiblical body of oral tradition that Irenaeus charges was first objected to the Church’s witness by certain Gnostic heretics. Refusing to be bound to the testimony of Scripture alone, the Gnostics, appealed to a living tradition. The similarities between the ancient heresy of the Gnostics and the claims of Roman Catholicism are brought into sharp focus in the following quotation from Irenaeus:

Paul said...

Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200): When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce: ANF: Vol. I, Book 3:2:1. See Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), Vol 1 (Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1971), pp. 92-93, 115, where he discusses this passage from Irenaeus. See also the explanation of Martin Chemnitz on this passage from Irenaeus in his Examination of the Council of Trent, Part 1, pp. 233-234. Frances Turretin, likewise, drew attention to this similarity between the charges of Roman Catholic controversialists in his day and the Gnostic heretics of whom Irenaeus speaks in this passage. See his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison, Jr., Vol. 1, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1992), pp. 85-86, (II.vi.1).

Paul said...

Commenting on the same foregoing passage from Irenaeus, G. W. H. Lampe concurs that “According to Irenaeus the Valentinians (a Gnostic sect) claimed that the truth in Scripture cannot be discovered by those who are ignorant of tradition.” Coupled with this observation, the same writer then proceeds to make the same striking connection:

G. W. H. Lampe: In Gnosticism, therefore, we encounter for the first time the idea of unwritten tradition as an authority for doctrine. Unlike orthodox tradition, it is neither the raw material, as it were, of what is to become Scripture, nor the explication of what is contained in Scripture. It is wholly independent of Scripture and is even superior to it, since only in the light of the tradition can Scripture be understood. Doctrine and practice alike are founded upon it. It claims to be apostolic tradition, handed down in succession from the apostles. The Gnostic theory was reasonable enough, given the doctrinal principles of the movement. Having denied the historical basis of the gospel, the Gnostics seek to reinterpret it in alien terms with the aid of a spurious tradition. A similar theory of tradition, however, adopted from different motives, is by no means unknown today. Quoted from his essay in F. W. Dillistone, ed. Scripture and Tradition (London: Lutterworth Press, 1955), p. 41.
Quoted from his essay in F. W. Dillistone, ed. Scripture and Tradition (London: Lutterworth Press, 1955), p. 40.

Paul said...

Gerhard Maier: To summarize: enscripturated revelation maintains that it is accessible and sufficiently clear for every person to understand. True, it links comprehensive understanding and existential transformation to the gift of the Holy Spirit. But philological understanding and the essential content lie open to every person. The Christian community itself requires no special class of people “in the know” who alone are competent to open up Scripture’s meaning to the rest. Therefore, we abide by the principle of the perspicuity of Scripture in the double sense alluded to above.
The protest against the perspicuity of Scripture has traditionally come from three quarters: from Gnosticism, from the champions of the Catholic teaching office, and from historical-critical theologians. Gerhard Maier, Biblical Hermeneutics, trans. Robert W. Yarbrough (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1994), p. 183.

E. Flesseman-Van Leer: For Irenaeus, the church doctrine is certainly never purely traditional; on the contrary, the thought that there could be some truth, transmitted exclusively viva voce, is a Gnostic line of thought. E. Flesseman-Van Leer, Tradition and Scripture in the Early Church (Assen, 1954), pp. 133.

Flesseman-Van Leer wrote concerning both Irenaeus and Tertullian: “They deny most decidedly the existence of extrascriptural tradition. To appeal exclusively to revelatory truth apart from Scripture is heretical gnosticism.” E. Flesseman-Van Leer, Tradition and Scripture in the Early Church, p. 191.

Paul said...

Vittorio Subilia: It would not be difficult to detect in the Roman concept of the charisma veritatis a threefold Gnostic idea at work. In the first place the notion that truth is known only to the hierarchy introduces into the Church the esoteric idea of there being ‘initiates who possess the gnosis, and non-initiates who do not possess it, but can receive it from the hierarchy’. Thus the gospel notion of truth is substituted by one which seems not unconnected with Gnostic ideas.
Secondly, there is the idea of the ‘living voice of the magisterium’ and the idea of truth committed by Christ directly to the apostles and passed on by word of mouth without ever being fixed in written form, constituting thus the secret key for interpreting the written traditions in the true sense intended by the Master. Here we cannot but think of that tradition so favoured by the Gnostics, that set the greatest store on that period between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, which cannot be historically verified and in which he is alleged not only to have communicated to certain favoured disciples the secret knowledge necessary for the understanding of the words he had spoken during his public ministry, but also to have given them a series of special revelation reserved for the ‘perfect’.
In the third place one might note a Gnostic, as well as Jewish, influence, in the way of interpreting the apostolic succession as a succession both of doctrine and of persons from the apostles down, a chain of transmission through history, intended to guarantee the apostolicity both of the content and the origins of the message and of its interpretation. This seems to have been a device, used by both the Gnostic and Christian sides, to counter each other’s propaganda attacks, from Irenaeus, perhaps even from Hegesippus on. This concept is closely bound up with that of oral tradition, and it is to be recalled that the most ancient document known to us in which we first find the phrases ‘apostolic tradition’ and ‘succession’ is not a document of the Church, but a Gnostic one of Valentinian tendencies, the Epistle of Ptolomy to ‘sister’ Flora. Vittorio Subilia, The Problem of Catholicism, trans. Reginald Kissack (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1964), pp. 130-131.

Paul said...

Finally

Peter Toon: Later in the history of the Church a need was felt to supplement Scripture by teaching from Tradition and this is the ‘supplementary view’. Gnostics adopted this position in the second century and it was the commonly held view in Roman Catholicism from the sixteeth to the nineteeth century. Peter Toon, Evangelical Theology 1833-1856: A Response to Tractarianism (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1979), p. 138.

J. N. D. Kelly: Not only did the Gnostics exploit Scripture to their own ends, but one of their techniques was to appeal, in support of their speculations, to an alleged secret apostolic tradition to which they claimed to have access. J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine, 4th edition (London: Adam & Charles Black, reprinted 1968), p. 36.

J. N. D. Kelly: Did Irenaeus then subordinate Scripture to unwritten tradition? This inference has been commonly drawn, but it issues from a somewhat misleading antithesis. Its plausibility depends on such considerations as (a) that, in controversy with the Gnostics, tradition rather than Scripture seemed to be his final court of appeal, and (b) that he apparently relied upon tradition to establish the true exegesis of Scripture. But a careful analysis of his Adverus haereses reveals that, while the Gnostics’ appeal to their supposed secret tradition forced him to stress the superiority of the Church’s public tradition, his real defence of orthodoxy was founded on Scripture. Indeed, tradition itself, on his view, was confirmed by Scripture, which was ‘the foundation and pillar of our faith.’ J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine, 4th edition (London: Adam & Charles Black, reprinted 1968), pp. 38-39. Here Kelly directs the reader to Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, 2:35:4, “But that I may not be thought to avoid that series of proofs which may be derived from the Scriptures of the Lord (since, indeed, these Scriptures do much more evidently and clearly proclaim this very point), I shall, for the benefit of those at least who do not bring a depraved mind to bear upon them, devote a special book to the Scriptures referred to, which shall fairly follow them out [and explain them], and I shall plainly set forth from these divine Scriptures proofs to [satisfy] all the lovers of truth.” Kelly also cites 3:5:1, where we read, “Since, therefore, the tradition from the apostles does thus exist in the Church, and is permanent among us, let us revert to the Scriptural proof furnished by those apostles who did also write the Gospel, in which they recorded the doctrine regarding God, pointing out that our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, and that no lie is in Him.”

Moonshadow said...

I thought we were talking about Jesus’ attitude towards tradition. Well, whatever.

Yes, Hillary's point is well-made and readily agreed to. I appreciate it.

Now, one needn't go any further than the titles Pelikan has chosen for his set to grasp the nature of Christianity: The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Didn't Paul say in a previous post that the word "trinity" doesn't appear in Scripture? Development of doctrine.

Paul's many posts - which seem to come from White's apologetics site (don't we want original thoughts here?) - boil down to Catholics are Gnostics: "It would not be difficult to detect in the Roman concept of the charisma veritatis a threefold Gnostic idea at work."

I admit that this is a new one on me. If I were vain, I might be flattered that he thinks we're "in the know." But on the contrary, Catholics are not Gnostics. Catholics have fought against ... and prevailed against Gnostics from the beginning.

Now I have a personal question, since Jesus took issue with how Pharisees neglected their obligation to their parents, and since we just observed the Lord's Day yesterday ... how do you "keep holy the Sabbath day?" Yes, I'm interested in whether you have set aside God's commandments for the sake of your tradition whatever it may be. Thank you and peace of Christ to you.

Elena said...

since Peter compares them to the 'other scriptures

Jennie, it's so nice change to see you deferring to Peter!

Moonshadow said...

of a living voice ...Speaking of a "Living Voice" ... there is the idea of the ‘living voice of the magisterium’

So, I take it that you have a problem with how logos functions in the Gospels, as I already asserted that ours is not a charismatic time.

Paul said...

Moonshadow said:
"of a living voice ...Speaking of a "Living Voice" ... there is the idea of the ‘living voice of the magisterium’
So, I take it that you have a problem with how logos functions in the Gospels, as I already asserted that ours is not a charismatic time. "
----------------
I have no problem with how logos functioned during the time of enscripturation. My problem is with how the Gnostics and eventually the Roman Catholic Church have presumed to have a secret unwritten tradition that is infallible.

Living Tradition (Viva Voce - Whatever We Say)

A Repudiation of the Patristic Concept of Tradition
William Webster

http://www.the-highway.com/tradition_Webster.html

Daughter of Wisdom said...

You know guys, personally, I see nothing sinful or wrong in tradition, just as long as the tradition is not in conflict with God. For example, Christmas is not a mandated holy feast in the Bible, but as Christians we traditionally use that time of year to celebrate the birth of Christ. We run into trouble when we start to make a religion out of it, by condemning others who do not observe it as a holy day, when it is not a day commanded in scripture to keep. I enjoy the pageants, the gift giving, the season of good will etc. I do not think I am sinning. What would be a sin if I started to worship the pagan gods historically associated with that day, or use it as a time to worship Santa as our benefactor instead of Christ.

Moonshadow said...

I have no problem with how logos functioned during the time of enscripturation.

That was how I used it, and you took that as an invitation to post, over and over again, the same ridiculous charge that Catholicism is Gnosticism.

Elena said...

My problem is with how the Gnostics and eventually the Roman Catholic Church have presumed to have a secret unwritten tradition that is infallible.

Catholics don't have an unwritten tradition. For crying out loud we even have a library! But for under $10 bucks you can read about Sacred Tradition with your handy dandy Catechism of the Catholic church.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
I have heard the argument that Paul was showing with the quotes, that there is more than one aspect of gnosticism, and that one of the aspects was eventually incorporated into Catholicism; namely, the idea that secret knowledge has been passed down orally in an unbroken succession. The other aspect that is normally thought of as gnosticism is not associated with catholicism, that spirit is good and flesh is evil, etc.
Paul, please keep your posts a bit shorter, because I think more than one of us is trying to read these and post between changing diapers, cooking dinner, and/or shuttling kids around:) I don't know your situation, but I think I speak for several of us.
Elena,
and why should I not 'defer to Peter'? He is one of the Apostles.
How come there aren't twelve popes, anyway? Forget I said that; I don't want to start everybody off on another rabbit trail:)

Hillary is right; protestants don't have a problem with tradition; we just don't as a rule put it on a par with God's word.

Teresa,
You asked
Now I have a personal question, since Jesus took issue with how Pharisees neglected their obligation to their parents, and since we just observed the Lord's Day yesterday ... how do you "keep holy the Sabbath day?" Yes, I'm interested in whether you have set aside God's commandments for the sake of your tradition whatever it may be.
Did you see my new post and consider it yet? Maybe I didn't give enough info to hint at what I'm trying to show, but I have a part two coming up that speaks more about keeping the Sabbath. So I won't answer your question yet, but let's move that part of the conversation to the new post.

Paul said...

Jennie said:
"Paul, please keep your posts a bit shorter, because I think more than one of us is trying to read these and post between changing diapers, cooking dinner, and/or shuttling kids around:) I don't know your situation, but I think I speak for several of us."

Sorry Jennie,
I would have just posted a link to David King's article but it is not yet published and is not on a weblink.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Paul. Elena and Kelly probably think this is funny, because I posted some really long comments on their blog when I first started reading it.

Turretinfan said...

Elena wrote: "Catholics don't have an unwritten tradition."

But CCC 1160 quotes the following (with approval): "We declare that we preserve intact all the written and unwritten traditions of the Church which have been entrusted to us."

Who are you going to believe? Elena or the CCC?

Oh, and the CCC claims to be quoting from the 7th Ecumenical Council (citation is: "Council of Nicaea II (787): COD 111.")

Turretinfan said...

After all, we're just following Elena's exhortation: "Why don't you do something unique - read CATHOLIC sources to learn about Catholicism." (assuming by "Catholic" she actually means the writings of her sect, which we call "Romanism" not as an insult, but to distinguish it from the one holy Catholic and Apostolic church)

Elena said...

LOL ! Well Turretinfan they wrote in the catechism that they have unwritten traditions didn't they? In fact for stuff that's "unwritten" there's reams of stuff written about it!


Oh and FYI, "Romanism" is a derogatory term. Catholics do not like the term "Romanism." I suppose "Papists" is even worse!

Turretinfan said...

Well, it is a critical term and some folks cannot take criticism of their views, but Romanism is not the faith of the apostles and therefore doesn't deserve to be called "catholic."

So, anyway, I'm not sure why you don't just acknowledge that the religion of Romanism does claim unwritten traditions. Why are you arguing? Are you trying to say that the CCC misrepresents Rome on this issue?

Elena said...

It's an ad hominem and respectful people usually defer to the preferences of the people they are communicating with. I would at the very least expect that a gentleman would defer to a lady's wishes in such matters.

The Catholic church does claim unwritten traditions- and they write extensively about it!

Turretinfan said...

"It's an ad hominem and respectful people usually defer to the preferences of the people they are communicating with. I would at the very least expect that a gentleman would defer to a lady's wishes in such matters. "

a) Calling the system of doctrines "Romanism" is not an ad hominem any more than calling a system of doctrines "Calvinism" or "Augustinianism" or the like is an ad hominem. If I simply called it "Roman Silliness" that wouldn't be an ad hominem, though that would be obviously deroggatory. For something to be ad hominem there has to be some sort of argument based on the person. An ad hominem argument against Romanism is that Benedict XVI was in the Hitler youth, so Romanism must be bad. That argues "to the person" of the Roman pontiff, rather than addressing the views of Romanism.

b) It's also not a personal attack, unless one irrationally insists on taking criticisms of one's church personally. It is a criticism of Romanism to insist on not calling it "catholic" but it is not a personal attack on each person who has pledged to obey the pontifex maximus, so-called.

c) No, it's not disrespectful to insist on avoiding a misleading label. If I asked you to refer to me as "God" from now on, you'd (I would hope) decline - even if you were a gentleman, and I a lady. While this particular situation is not as extreme, the same principle is at issue: you want a label that is totally inappropriate, and you won't get it from me.

Leo said...

Turretinfan,

Did it ever occur to you that unwritten simply means 'not written in Scripture'? It does not necessarily mean that these Traditions are not written about.

Elena said...

Well said Leo! and no, it never occurred to him. He is still trying to figure out how he can square the use of derogatory terms and come off looking like a gentleman and a scholar - failing miserably at both.

Turretinfan said...

Elena:

Leaving aside your personal attacks, are you willing to concede that you were wrong before when you claimed: "Catholics don't have an unwritten tradition"?

Leo:

Yes, the term is broad enough to include traditions that were allegedly handed down for a time orally but have since been committed to writings that are not part of Scripture. It's also broad enough to include alleged oral traditions that remain unwritten today. Since you seem to recognize the former, you must also recognize the latter.

Elena said...

Leaving aside your personal attacks, are you willing to concede that you were wrong before when you claimed: "Catholics don't have an unwritten tradition"?

Ah.. I see the problem. I left out a word. Catholics don't have a SECRET unwritten tradition.

My bad

Leo said...

Turretinfan,

You wrote "b) It's also not a personal attack, unless one irrationally insists on taking criticisms of one's church personally."

I find it interesting that you display a need to call a person irrational for taking a criticism of their church personally, right after you finished disparaging it.

This is the definition of Romanism from Dictionary.com.

Ro⋅man⋅ism  /ˈroʊməˌnɪzəm/ –noun Often Disparaging and Offensive. Roman Catholicism.

May we then in the same spirit begin referring to you as a self-papist since you are, in essence, your own authority on Scripture? I think not.

Your comparison of this to calling you 'God' was simply a red herring. The Catholic Church simply means that it is the universal Church, the light on a hill which can never be hidden. And, neither you nor the gates of hell will prevail against it.

And yes, I will come to Elena's defense as I will to our Church...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turretinfan said...

"The Catholic Church simply means that it is the universal Church, the light on a hill which can never be hidden."

Since it is not that church, the name is totally inappropriate. Hence the need for another name for you sect, no matter how hautily Rome or her servants may attempt to promote Rome as the catholic church.

The "self-papist" canard is a red herring. I don't claim universal jurisdiction (either as to discipline or dogma). You know that, I hope.

So why the problem?

Presumably you view the pope as your "final authority." Well, we view the Bible, not ourselves, that way.

Of course, personal judgment must be used to understand what the Bible says, just as personal judgment must be used to understand what the pope says.

Also, of course, personal judgment must be used to accept the Bible as such, just as personal judgment must be used to accept the pope as opposed to some other human leader such as the Ecumenical Patriarch or Joseph Smith.

So, no - if you want to call us "Biblicists" in response to our label "papists" so be it. We will accept that recognition of our adherence to Scripture as much as we would expect you to accept our recognition of your adherence to your popes.

No need for people to act all upset about labels that are not intended as insults.

Turretinfan said...

"Catholics don't have a SECRET unwritten tradition."

Where was the doctrine of papal infallibity for the first 500 years after Christ? Was it publicly handed down? If so, why is there no record left of this important doctrine?

While Romanism may not acknowledge that its claims regarding unwritten tradition amount to claims of secret unwritten tradition, when Rome promulgates dogmas like the immaculate conception, the bodily assumption of Mary, and papal infallibility, without being able to document them in the Bible or the ante-Nicean fathers, Rome's claims to preserving the depositum fidei (deposit of the faith) sound like claims to have access to secret not public unwritten tradition.

Elena said...

It's interesting to me that you equate "secret" with "unwritten." They are not synonymous. Catholics don't see it that way. I also think you are confused with unwritten and formalized. There are doctrines that were not formally proclaimed until the church felt there was a necessity to clarify something. Papal infallibility and the immaculate conception are examples of those. But they werent' big secrets that were just sprung out of no where on the unsuspecting church faithful.

As for your insults. Whether you intend for something to be insulting or not, you have been told that the terms are indeed insulting. So I can only gather if you intend to keep using them is that you want to be insulting.

Elena said...

And yes, I will come to Elena's defense as I will to our Church

Chivalry is not dead! Thanks Leo!

Leo said...

Turretinfan wrote
"If so, why is there no record left of this important doctrine?
While Romanism may not acknowledge that its claims regarding unwritten tradition amount to claims of secret unwritten tradition, when Rome promulgates dogmas like the immaculate conception, the bodily assumption of Mary, and papal infallibility, without being able to document them in the Bible or the ante-Nicean fathers, Rome's claims to preserving the depositum fidei (deposit of the faith) sound like claims to have access to secret not public unwritten tradition.

First of all, please respect Elena's wishes and stop using disparaging language, which can only be interpreted as a feeble attempt at self-aggrandizement on your part. I showed you from an independent non-Catholic dictionary source that your description was, in fact, viewed as disparaging. Of course, it is far from surprising, since you seem to have a penchant for being a self-proclaimed authority on what the Church teaches. Even words in the English language apparently mean what you want them to mean.

By your behavior, you are displaying either a lack of sensitivity or a purposeful arrogance...neither of which, I might add, were gifts of the Holy Spirit the last time I checked. (Perhaps your church secretly added them). By the way, this IS all tongue-in-cheek...except for asking you to respect Elena's request.

Regarding the first 500 years, there was limited internet access and the only printing presses were in the basement of the Vatican.(switch tongue to the other cheek).

Actually, the residents of the Holy Land know where all of the holy places and sites are from the time of the Lord. We know where the bodies of the various saints are because this was important to the faithful and miracles often happened by touching their bones, much as when they walked in Peter's shadow, etc. There is also no tomb for Mary nor was her body ever found, just for the record...

As far as the Immaculate Conception, I can show you inferences from Scripture and show you Mary's role in salvation history. However, for the sake of brevity, the pope defined this teaching only because he received a petition with an excess of 1 million signatures of the faithful requesting that he do so.

The Church, like Christ, only tends to proclaim official doctrine when the Faith is challenged. Jesus never taught on abortion because everyone knew and believed that it was wrong. He corrected errors.

This is why the Apostles' Creed was further developed and we now use the Nicene Creed. It was needed to address heresies that arose in the 4th century within the Church, regarding Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Mary's sinlessness, like her perpetual virginity, were believed from the beginning. Show me from Scripture where Mary was DEFINITIVELY not sinless. You can't.

Turretinfan said...

"It's interesting to me that you equate "secret" with "unwritten." They are not synonymous. Catholics don't see it that way."

You should read more carefully. I did not say they are synonymous. I hope this misrepresentation was unintentional.

"I also think you are confused with unwritten and formalized."

Again, you are mistaken - one hopes that this is unintentional.

"There are doctrines that were not formally proclaimed until the church felt there was a necessity to clarify something."

That certainly is the claim. But "formally proclaiming" is one thing, and teaching something that wasn't publicly taught in the first 300 years of the church is quite another thing. It's possibly to formally proclaim something that wasa taught since the time of the apostles in some "informal" way. It's also possible to formally proclaim something that was never a public teaching of the church. It is doctrines/dogmas that fall in the latter category that demonstrate a functional secrecy to certain parts of unwritten tradition and the deposit of the faith in Romanism.

"Papal infallibility and the immaculate conception are examples of those."

They are examples of the second kind of proclamation: the kind that is not found in the public teachings of the early church. If it came from the apostles, it must have come secretly.

"But they werent' big secrets that were just sprung out of no where on the unsuspecting church faithful."

We're quite sure that "nowhere" isn't where they came from. But they didn't come from the apostles either.

"As for your insults. Whether you intend for something to be insulting or not, you have been told that the terms are indeed insulting. So I can only gather if you intend to keep using them is that you want to be insulting."

Every time you choose to ignore what my explanation of my words is, I get the impression that you are doing so for your own reasons.

Algo said...

Leo said
"I showed you from an independent non-Catholic dictionary source that your description was, in fact, viewed as disparaging"

Here's another one that provides Turretinfan's definition:
romanism
the practices and doctrines of Roman Catholicism. — romanist, n. — romanistic, adj.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/romanism

The Squirrel said...

"Mary's sinlessness, like her perpetual virginity, were believed from the beginning. Show me from Scripture where Mary was DEFINITIVELY not sinless. You can't."

Mary said, "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." (Luke 1:47 NASB)From what did God save her, if not from sin? Did he save her from the need to work nights at Pizza Hut?

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS"; "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:9-18, 23 NASB)

Only Jesus is said to be free from sin (He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB))

No where do the Scriptures say that Mary was in anyway free from sin.

~Squirrel

Elena said...

Mary said, "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." (Luke 1:47 NASB)From what did God save her, if not from sin? Did he save her from the need to work nights at Pizza Hut

He saved her from ever committing a sin, which is just as much being "saved from sin" as it is for the rest of us who have actually committed sin.

The Squirrel said...

"He saved her from ever committing a sin, which is just as much being "saved from sin" as it is for the rest of us who have actually committed sin.
"

And your Scriptural support for this is found where, Elena?

I would again quote Romans 3:10, "as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;" "Not even one" would include Mary.

~Squirrel

Jennie said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am just checking in as I am out of town for the day, and I would like to respectfully request that everyone steer their comments back to the subject of William Webster's articles which are speaking of 'How Rome defines saving faith.' Also, we were discussing Sacred Tradition, as the RCC teaches it is equal to scripture.
Please refrain from insulting each other and then going back and forth trying to explain why it wasn't an insult.
Thank you.

Jennie said...

and please no more about Mary. I had enough of that subject when I posted about it in May. Please go back there and read those posts and add your comments there if you like.

Leo said...

Algo,

I copied and pasted your link and this was also on the same page, above your copy and paste, and in larger print. I'm surprised you missed it.

Ro·man·ism (rm-nzm)
n. Offensive
Roman Catholicism.

This one is from Webster's:

Romanism: Roman Catholicism-often taken to be offensive.

It is clear from the posts that Elena was offended and, her viewing "Romanism" as a pejorative term does not seem to indicate a novel interpretation on her part.

The point is that the normative term is "Catholicism" and Turretin is only trying to justify his use of a deprecatory term. Note that there was no apology of any sorts.

I also found it interesting that you not only missed the obvious definition on the page, but then you only copied the secondary definition below. This actually illustrates how many people approach the Faith. They come up with a preconceived notion of what they want to prove or disprove, and they dilligently seek supporting arguments. Allow me to explain.

Someone who wants to disprove the divinity of Jesus uses Judas as their proof. Someone who wants to disprove God, uses suffering and evil to prove that He does not exist. People do the same to disprove the inerrancy of Scripture. They find apparent contradictions and eagerly accept 'scholarly' sources that show Jesus didn't really say many of the things that are in the bible for sufficient proof of their position. Someone who believes Scripture is the word of God, however, perseveres knowing that there is a logical explanation and 'seeming' contradictions begin to dipel like the morning fog.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the approach many take in researching the Catholic Church. They are seeking to disprove it rather than to really see if it is true. These individuals are no more than today's scribes and Pharisees who try to trip the Church up as their predecessors once tried to trip Jesus up. Reflect honestly on this and you will see the truth in this.

You cannot find Truth unless we earnestly seek it above all things.

Elena said...

And your Scriptural support for this is found where, Elena?

I don't need scriptural support. I am not a sola scriptura Christian because Sola scriptura is unsupportable. :)

Paul said...

Jennie said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am just checking in as I am out of town for the day, and I would like to respectfully request that everyone steer their comments back to the subject of William Webster's articles which are speaking of 'How Rome defines saving faith.' Also, we were discussing Sacred Tradition, as the RCC teaches it is equal to scripture.
Please refrain from insulting each other and then going back and forth trying to explain why it wasn't an insult.
Thank you.
---------------
Jennie,
Great idea. I think that all my post's were related to either William Webster's articles above or were regarding "Sacred Tradition".

Jennie said...

Elena said
The Catholic church does claim unwritten traditions- and they write extensively about it!
I guess if you guys can call tradition that was once unwritten and is now written 'unwritten tradition' then can you admit that it's ok for us to call the doctrine of God's supreme word that was not written but was later written down 'Sola Scriptura'?

Paul said...

From the recently closed forum:
http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/07/two-false-gospels-daughters-of.html

Leo said...

Paul,

Here's one quick example...

Webster wrote...
"Vatican I states that it is necessary for salvation that men and women not only believe all that is revealed in scripture but also everything which is defined and proposed by the Church as having been divinely revealed. To reject anything taught by the Roman Church is to reject saving faith and to forfeit justification and eternal life:

Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed. And since, without faith, it is impossible to please God, and to attain to the fellowship of his children, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will any one obtain eternal life unless he shall have persevered in faith unto the end (Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, On Faith, Chapter III. Found in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (New York:Harper, 1877), Volume II, pp. 244-245).

He goes on to quote "theologians" in depth, but I will spare you. There is no such thing as a theologian by Protestant understanding in the Catholic Church. There have been no new revelations since the death of the last apostle and there can never be any change in any teaching on Faith and Morals, once defined. It can be further clarified or explained, but never contradicted. Truth is truth and never changes. If something is immoral today, it remains so for eternity. For example, when Pope John Paul II officially declared that the priesthood can never be open to women, he made it plain that neither he nor any pope has the authority to change that which has been believed from the time of Christ.

The simple fact is that the teaching he quoted applies to Catholics. First, you must come to believe that the Church is truly what she says she is. We are obliged to form our conscience properly and then to follow it. If a Jew is seeking God and studies and believes in his heart that Christianity is gravely mistaken, then it would be a mortal sin for him to go against what he believes in his heart of hearts...assuming he is seeking Truth above all things. That is why the Catholic Church has never condemned a single person and officially said they were in hell...not even Judas Iscariot. This surprises many but is why we cannot judge the condition of any person's soul--not even our own. Only God knows the hearts of men. We can and should judge actions, however.

This does not mean that we live in terror. We work out our salvation in fear and trembling, just as St. Paul did. Conversion is not a one time deal...it is a lifelong process. We must recommit ourselves daily to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and allow ourselves to be transformed by His grace to be perfected and made truly pure. The Eucharist is given to us to supernaturally empower us to do so.
11:41 AM, July 12, 2009
---------------
Leo,
Thank you for your response.
I am trying to address your post above.
Is your "one quick example" your disagreement :
"There is no such thing as a theologian by Protestant understanding in the Catholic Church." or is it...
"..there can never be any change in any teaching on Faith and Morals, once defined. It can be further clarified or explained, but never contradicted." Or both?

Moonshadow said...

Paul, in other words: "Great idea, 'cuz I'm innocent."

Whew.

But it is a great idea.

And, so, after picking apart Webster's article, it's no wonder to me why McGrath (I almost typed 'McAlister'!) hid Webster's first piece away at the end of the book.

Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, Paul was telling us why we're all Gnostics.

Paul said...

Moonshadow said:

"And, so, after picking apart Webster's article, it's no wonder to me why McGrath (I almost typed 'McAlister'!) hid Webster's first piece away at the end of the book."

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you mistaking McGrath for John Armstrong? Armstrong was the General Editor and it is his Chapter that is last in the book.
Now where did I say that you were a Gnostic?

Leo said...

Paul, you asked:"Is your "one quick example" your disagreement :
"There is no such thing as a theologian by Protestant understanding in the Catholic Church." or is it...
"..there can never be any change in any teaching on Faith and Morals, once defined. It can be further clarified or explained, but never contradicted." Or both?

Actually, neither...I apparently did not make my point very well. Webster was simply using statements out of context. Church teachings must always be read in the context of both the teaching and the overall deposit of Faith. It's really not any different than Scripture itself in that sense. You can say that Jesus is only the Son of Man, you can say that He is only the Son of God, or you can say that He is God in the flesh, depending on the context level used. There have been ongoing heresies such as Arianism that denied the divinity of Christ. A modern offshoot of that is the Jehovah's Witnesses. They also took Scripture out of context, as does anyone when they attempt to diprove the Church by using the book of the Church.

Leo said...

Jennie said, "and please no more about Mary. I had enough of that subject when I posted about it in May. Please go back there and read those posts and add your comments there if you like."

Spoken like a true ex-Catholic...

Paul said...

Leo said:

"Actually, neither...I apparently did not make my point very well. Webster was simply using statements out of context. Church teachings must always be read in the context of both the teaching and the overall deposit of Faith."

-------------
Thanks Leo,
Can you give an example where "Webster was simply using statements out of context" from Webster's article?

Leo said...

The squirrel wrote and Elana responded,"Mary said, "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." (Luke 1:47 NASB)From what did God save her, if not from sin? Did he save her from the need to work nights at Pizza Hut

He saved her from ever committing a sin, which is just as much being "saved from sin" as it is for the rest of us who have actually committed sin.

Perhaps a parable would help here. A man is walking down a dark path in the middle of a pitch-black night and falls into a pit of slime. Another man comes to his rescue and pulls him out of the pit, thereby saving him.

A short while later, a fair young maiden comes walking down the same narrow path, toward the same pit. This time, the savior jumps between the maiden and the pit, thus saving her from falling in.
Did she need to be saved just as much as the first man who actually fell in? Yes, she needed a savior as much as he did, yet she was never stained by falling into the pit of sin...

Turretinfan said...

Leo,

I lack interest either in your personal attacks or the moral advice (as to what words I use to describe your sect) on which you premise your personal attacks.

"Regarding the first 500 years, there was limited internet access and the only printing presses were in the basement of the Vatican.(switch tongue to the other cheek)."

Yet, amazingly, Christians copied and translated the Bible like crazy. Many even were willing to die to prevent persecuting governments from obtaining those precious manuscripts of the Bible. Not only did they do that, but they read the Bible in church so that even the poorest and most illiterate person could hear.

"Actually, the residents of the Holy Land know where all of the holy places and sites are from the time of the Lord."

You may say so ... but history suggests that a lot of their claims are questionable at best.

"We know where the bodies of the various saints are because this was important to the faithful and miracles often happened by touching their bones, much as when they walked in Peter's shadow, etc."

Another questionable historical claim. Peter's shadow yes: the bones of the saints in general, not so much.

"There is also no tomb for Mary nor was her body ever found, just for the record..."

She wasn't nearly as important in the early church as she is to Romanism. The early church was aware of the teaching that whoever is a diciple of Christ is his mother and brethren.

"As far as the Immaculate Conception, I can show you inferences from Scripture and show you Mary's role in salvation history."

Perhaps you can show verses into which you attempt to read the immaculate conception. Scripture nowehere teaches that doctrine, as some of the wiser advocates of your religion have recognized.

"However, for the sake of brevity, the pope defined this teaching only because he received a petition with an excess of 1 million signatures of the faithful requesting that he do so."

That was certainly a motive, though the "co-redemptrix" petition has a lot more signatures than that, and still no definition. But I fail to see how we should be especially impressed that the pope just did what 1/1000th of his church requested.

"The Church, like Christ, only tends to proclaim official doctrine when the Faith is challenged."

a) I'm curious what makes you think that is "like Christ."

b) The question isn't "why didn't they define these things sooner" but why didn't anyone teach them publicly during the early church period.

"Jesus never taught on abortion because everyone knew and believed that it was wrong. He corrected errors."

a) Jesus did teach that murder is wrong and that children are people.

b) There are plenty of better reasons for no specific teaching by Jesus on that particular sin than some idea that everyone already knew it.

[End of Part 1]

Turretinfan said...

[Being Part 2]

"This is why the Apostles' Creed was further developed and we now use the Nicene Creed."

The Apostle's creed is memory aid for Scriptural doctrine, not a doctrinal definition. The Nicene creed likewise summarizes Scriptural doctrine - it doesn't define some doctrine not clearly taught in Scripture.

"It was needed to address heresies that arose in the 4th century within the Church, regarding Jesus and the Holy Spirit."

The doctrines were already previously clearly taught in Scripture, as the Nicaean fathers declared.

"Mary's sinlessness, like her perpetual virginity, were believed from the beginning."

Nope. The perpetual virginity position became popular before the sinlessness position, but neither was from the beginning.

"Show me from Scripture where Mary was DEFINITIVELY not sinless. You can't."

a) The person claiming that a believe WAS from the beginning needs to demonstrate that, not ask his opponent to prove it wasn't.

b) "All have sinned" is, as the fathers taught, a statement that no one aside from Christ is without sin.

c) The first documented teaching that Mary was absolutely sinless was Pelagius, the heretic condemned by the Council of Orange.

d) The earliest documented teaching of the perpetual virginity is from heretical literature, such as the Gnostic literature.

Leo said...

The squirrel said,"as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;" "Not even one" would include Mary."

The squirrel also wrote, "Only Jesus is said to be free from sin ".

So, there is at least one exception to the first statement, since Jesus was fully human. Hmmm...what about infants? Are they not free from sin? How about the mentally handicapped? Are they not also free from sin? So that means that there are exceptions to your Scripture quotes. Even where it says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God", it must not really have meant everyone.

The squirrel wrote again,"No where do the Scriptures say that Mary was in anyway free from sin."

Nowhere does it either say that Mary in any way sinned. That is a seriously flawed assumption on your part.

There is also evidence to the contrary. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he did not use her given name. Rather, he said "Hail, you who are full of grace." In the Greek, it is actually a clever play on words as well, since hail is "Ave". The Church has seen Mary as the second Eve just as Christ is the second Adam. This was picked up by the early Church fathers. The interesting play on words is that Eve in Greek is "Eva" and "Ave" is a reversal of that, indicating that just as sin entered into the world through Eve when she said "No" to God, salvation entered the world through Mary when she said "Yes" to God.

Anyway, to be "full of grace",indicates complete purity, since grace is the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity. Mary actually became the spouse of the Holy Spirit as a result of her yes to God. It also makes sense because we know that children inherit sinful tendencies from their parents. This desire is known as concupiscence. If Jesus were to receive all of his human nature from Mary, it is logical that she would need to be free from the stain of any sin, so as to receive unblemished humanity.

Going further, science has proven that some cells of the child become part of the mother through the process of pregnancy. In other words, part of Jesus always remained in Mary. Since He was fully divine as well as fully human, part of His divine self remained within her. We know that Jesus is present within all believers, but He was clearly also physically present within His mother.

Finally, imagine that you had the chance to create your own mother. Would you not make her perfect?

Jennie, I know that you don't want to hear about Mary, but I read your May posts and they only touched Scripturally upon her in the most rudimentary way. You did not even scratch the surface of what the Word has said about His Mother.

Moonshadow said...

I don't want to get off-topic as I tried to keep my nose clean but just last week I heard something very specific on this point I'd share with you, regarding Holy Land sites:

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P. has lived and taught in Jerusalem for 40 years and said last week during a lecture that Holy Sepulcher Church is accurate and that Gethsemane (where the Church of All Nations stands) is also very accurate.

As Father Jerry is rather a skeptic on so many other matters, this acknowledgement is significant.

Moonshadow said...

Armstrong was the General Editor

You are right, thank you for correcting me. Because McGrath's name appears on the front cover first, I thought he was the editor. I actually thought McGrath did that sort of thing - editing - as a profession.

And I'm relieved to know you haven't equated Catholicism with Gnosticism. That close identification seemed to be a recurring theme in your many posts above.

Leo said...

Turretinfan wrote:

a) The person claiming that a believe WAS from the beginning needs to demonstrate that, not ask his opponent to prove it wasn't.

Actually, my only mission is to witness to the Truth. It is up to the hearer to either accept or reject it. I am not out to prove anything.

b) "All have sinned" is, as the fathers taught, a statement that no one aside from Christ is without sin.

Again, do infants sin? There are exceptions...

c) The first documented teaching that Mary was absolutely sinless was Pelagius, the heretic condemned by the Council of Orange.

Wrong... The angel Gabriel greeted Mary, "Hail full of grace"(Kecharitomene) Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates a perfection of grace that is both intensive and extensive. This means that the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit, and was not only as "full" or strong or complete as possible at any given time, but it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence to have been called "full of grace."


d) The earliest documented teaching of the perpetual virginity is from heretical literature, such as the Gnostic literature.

The earliest document of perpetual virginity was The Protoevangelium of James, circa 120 A.D. It was written mainly to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, during and after the birth of Jesus.

The Squirrel said...

Leo said: "Hmmm...what about infants? Are they not free from sin? How about the mentally handicapped? Are they not also free from sin?"

And where did I say, or more importantly, where does the Bible say, that infants and/or the mentally handicapped are sin free? I hold absolutely to the doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.

Regarding Gabriel's greeting to Mary, I know that that is the common interpretation of the Church of Rome, but I think now, and have thought so since I first read this interpretation, that Rome is reading an awful lot into what is, essentially, a polite and honorable greeting.

The word κεχαριτωμενη, translated "favored one" by the ESV & the NASB, "highly favoured" by the KJV, and "freely beloued" by the Geneva Bible of 1587, is used only one other place in the New Testament, Ephesians 1:6 (to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.), where it is translated "freely bestowed."

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, in their classic Bible commentary, say, regarding Luke 1:28, "The mistake of the Vulgate’s rendering, “full of grace,” has been taken abundant advantage of by the Romish Church. As the mother of our Lord, she was the most “blessed among women” in external distinction; but let them listen to the Lord’s own words. “Nay, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” (See on Luk_11:27)."

(Luke 11:27-28 reads, "While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.")

~Squirrel

Elena said...

And where did I say, or more importantly, where does the Bible say, that infants and/or the mentally handicapped are sin free? I hold absolutely to the doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.

How can infants or the mentally handicapped sin? Can you give an example of a sin that a baby or a mentally retarded person with no knowledge of right or wrong could commit?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

You know, Squirrel is right about the total depravity of man. We are all born with a sin problem/nature.
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5).

"Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similutude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come" (Romans 5:14).

Infants are born with a sin nature, but are INNOCENT OF SIN, because of inability to commit sin.

The mentality handicapped are capable of committing sin, but the constraining power of the conscience may be lacking, that prevents them from distinguishing between right and wrong.

The curse of sin has been passed on to ALL MEN, but thank God for Jesus who removed the curse of sin with His sacrifice.

"15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (NIV).

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Oops typo. I meant to say "mentally" handicapped instead of "mentality" handicapped. Too many long hours on the computer! Good night all. :-)

The Squirrel said...

"How can infants or the mentally handicapped sin? Can you give an example of a sin that a baby or a mentally retarded person with no knowledge of right or wrong could commit?"

Elena,

The sin nature is indemic in all of us, and the best evidence, outside of scripture, is the fact that no child must be taught to lie, to be selfish, to want his own way, to rebel against authority. These things they do automatically, because it is in their (our) nature from conception.

We all, again naturally, downgrade our own sinfullness. But John Bunyon hit the nail on the head, when he said, "There is enough sin in the best prayer I ever prayed to damn me for all eternity."

Which is just a more modern way of saying what Isaiah said in Isaiah 64:6, "all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment" (Literally "used menstrual cloths") If that is the worth of our righteousness, our good deeds, what does that say of the bad that we all are guilty of?

Again I say, we all struggle to face and accept our own sinfulness, and the sinfulness of all around us.

~Squirrel

Sue Bee said...

Elena asked, "How can infants or the mentally handicapped sin? Can you give an example of a sin that a baby or a mentally retarded person with no knowledge of right or wrong could commit?"

Anger.

Elena said...

Is anger always a sin? Even our Lord showed anger.


The sin nature is indemic in all of us, and the best evidence, outside of scripture, is the fact that no child must be taught to lie, to be selfish, to want his own way, to rebel against authority. These things they do automatically, because it is in their (our) nature from conception.

I agree. Nonetheless can you give an example of a young baby or a mentally disabled person committing an actual sin?

Sue Bee said...

Daughter of Wisdom said: "Infants are born with a sin nature, but are INNOCENT OF SIN, because of inability to commit sin."

No where in the Bible does it say infants are innocent of sin. They are born with original sin (flesh gives birth to flesh), and without faith (the only mortal sin). They are in need of new birth (regeneration) through the waters of baptism.

Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Luke 18:15-17 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

The Squirrel said...

"I agree. Nonetheless can you give an example of a young baby or a mentally disabled person committing an actual sin?"

All of their thoughts and actions are motovated by extreme self-centeredness, not God-centeredness, and are, therefore, sinfull. Anything not done for the glory of God is sinful.

~Squirrel

Jennie said...

I'm glad this is off of Mary, because I was about to start clicking on the little trash cans.
I'm very interested to see where this topic of infants and mentally handicapped goes. Baptists generally believe in an age of accountability, and don't baptize anyone who can't profess Christ. Am I mistaken in thinking the bible is silent on the issue of child baptism? I don't believe it is spoken of, though it just occured to me that the Israelites were commanded to circumcise their male infants. I believe that God is merciful to those who can't understand, whether it is an infant or a mentally handicapped person.

Elena said...


All of their thoughts and actions are motovated by extreme self-centeredness, not God-centeredness, and are, therefore, sinfull


That, of course, is ridiculous. You can't find blame in people who are only capable of one level of thought and existence for not being able to have a higher level of thought and existence.

I propose then that the "all have sinned" statement is not to be interpreted literally, because clearly NOT ALL HAVE COMMITTED ACTUAL SIN, as this discussion has so amply demonstrated.

Turretinfan said...
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Turretinfan said...
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Sue Bee said...

Elena asked: "Is anger always a sin? Even our Lord showed anger."

God's anger is righteous. Ours is not.

Isn't anger one of the 7 deadlys in the RCC tradition?

Unfortunatly I must go to work and miss this out on this discussion.

:-(

The Squirrel said...

"That, of course, is ridiculous. You can't find blame in people who are only capable of one level of thought and existence for not being able to have a higher level of thought and existence."

That is a clear denial of the teachings of Scritpure and a denial of man's total depravity. (A doctrine which, of course, Rome denies anyway...)

~Squirrel

Elena said...

Squirrel It's only a clear denial of your silly interpretation of Scripture, which is not even close to being the same thing.

The Catholic Church teaches original sin, which everyone is born with.

Sue- There are examples of anger in the bible that is not sinful. Paul and Moses come to mind. So clearly anger is not always sinful - nice try though.

Elena said...

What's your proposed non-literal interpretation of it?

Easy. Paul is simply trying to illustrate the idea that both Jews and Gentiles are sinners before God.

The Squirrel said...

Psalms 51:5 NASB - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalms 58:3 NASB - The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth. [Note: “ from the womb ”: “ from birth

Ephesians 2:3 NASB - Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. [Note: “by nature”]

~Squirrel

Leo said...

Paul asked, "Can you give an example where "Webster was simply using statements out of context" from Webster's article?"

I appreciate your calm perssistence Paul, since it reflects a true search for understanding. Unfortunately, Webster is nothing more than a carpet bomber of erroneous information. My issue is time, so I have to make my selection from a candy store of choices. The issue is that he uses sources which are in error. Note just the following. And, by the way, I would be happy to correspond with you or anyone by e-mail at TRALFAZJ@aol.com.

Here goes: Webster says
"the unanimous consent of the Fathers opposes the Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16...Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matt 16:18, John 21:17), not a single one applies them to the Roman bishops as Peter's successors. How many Fathers have busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose commentaries we possess-Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whose interpretations are collected in ca tenas-has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Rome is the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter!... Beginning in the fourth century we find a papal interpretation promoted by the bishops of Rome...The Church of Rome claims that papal primacy can be validated by the facts of history in that it was the universal practice of the church from the very beginning."

RESPONSE:
Letter to the Corinthians from St. Clement of Rome, Pope written ca. A.D.80:
(Address)"The Church of God which sojourns in Rome to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth, to those who are called and sanctified by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace from almighty God be multiplied unto you through Jesus Christ. Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed.

44:1 Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have aleady been mentioned, and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should to their ministry. As for these, then, who were appointed by them, or who were afterward appointed by other illustrious men with the consent of the whole Church, and who have mninistered to the flock of Christ without blame, humbly, peaceably, and with dignity, and who have for many years received the commendations of all, we consider it unjust that they be removed from the ministry... For we see that in spite of their good service you have removed them from the ministry in which they served without blame."

47:6 "Shameful, beloved, extremely shameful, and unworthy of your training in Christ, is the report that on account of one or two persons the well-established and ancient Church of the Corinthians is in revolt against the presbyters...

57:1 "You, therefore, who laid the foundation of the rebellion, submit to the presbyters and be chastened to repentance, bending your knees in the spirit of humility."

58:2 "Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret."

59:1 "If anyone disobeys the things which have been said by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger."

63:2 "You will afford us joy and gladness if, being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy, in accord with the plea for peace and concord which we have made in this letter."

I will continue per your request to show you the Truth in further posts.

Elena said...

These who speak lies go astray from birth

I haven't met any infants who can speak anything from birth - astray or otherwise. Give it a rest Squirrel - it's not working for you.

Paul said...

Exodus 12:29 (ESV) At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

Numbers 31:17 (ESV) Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.

Deut.33 (ESV) And the Lord our God gave him over to us, and we defeated him and his sons and all his people.
34 And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction every city, men, women, and children. We left no survivors.

Deuteronomy 3:2-3 (ESV)Dt 3:2 (ESV) But the Lord said to me, 'Do not fear him, for I have given him and all his people and his land into your hand. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.' 3 So the Lord our God gave into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people, and we struck him down until he had no survivor left.

etc. etc.

Leo said...

To Paul continued:

St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Ephesians ca A.D. 110

(Address): Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church at Ephesus in Asia, which is worthy of all felicitation, blessed as it is with greatness by the fullness of God the Father, predestined from eternity for a glory that is lasting and unchanging,united and chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God: abundant greeting in Jesus Christ and in blameless joy."

3:2 "For Jesus Christ, our inseperable life, is the will of the Father, just as the bishops, who have been appointed throughout the world, are the will of Jesus Christ."

4:1 "It is fitting, therefore, that you should live in harmony with the will of the bishop -- as, indeed, you do."

5:3 "Let us be careful, then, if we should be submissive to God, not ot oppose the bishop."

You will note the instructions, much as Jesus commanded His apostles to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees told them because they sat on the seat of Moses.

Turretinfan said...
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Moonshadow said...

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

And, so, why can't one see in Mary God's sovereign grace, his unconditional election of Mary, his irresistible grace towards her as evidenced by her confession in Luke 1:47, and God's granting her saintly perseverance?

To my mind, if any creature made Calvinism so plausible, it's the life and death of the BVM. She simply wasn't numbered among the wicked (Jer. 1:5)

Leo said...

To Paul again:

By the way, Ignatius of Antioch was a pope but I neglected to mention it as well.

St. Ignatius Letter to the Magnesians ca A.D. 110

6:1 "Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God adn with the presbyters in the place of the council of the Apostles, and with the deacons, who are most dear to me, entrusted with the business of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father from the beginning and is at last made manifest."

St. Ignatius Letter to the Romans ca A.D. 110

(Address): Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the greatness of the Most High Father and in Jesus Christ, His only Son; to the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ,our God, by the will of Himd that was willed everything which is; to the Church which also holds the presidency in the place of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency of love, named after Christ and named after the Father: her therefore do I salute int the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father."

4:1 "I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg of you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God..."

He was martyred (fed to the beasts) shortly after sending out letters to all of the Churches, only a few of which I listed.

I can show you tons more, but I need to manually transribe all of these. Does this adequately show you that Webster is way off base?

Believe me, when I tell you I could go on and on.

Leo

Jennie said...

Turretinfan,
Since you have completely disregarded my request as the blog owner to desist from commenting about Mary on this thread, I have deleted your last comments, as I said I would in a comment this morning. If you persist, I will ask you to leave.

Turretinfan said...

"Is anger always a sin? Even our Lord showed anger."

Somehow I don't think children's anger is the same as the Lord's anger.

Young children seem not to have much lust or pride, but they do sometimes indulge in gluttony, sloth, wrath, and Envy.

"I haven't met any infants who can speak anything from birth - astray or otherwise"

Tell that to the Psalmist.

Leo:

Sorry but Clement's letter doesn't interpret Matthew 16. Nor does it teach papal primacy. Nor do the writings of Ignatius. So, it's not much of a response to quote them "against" Webster.

Turretinfan said...

"Since you have completely disregarded my request as the blog owner to desist from commenting about Mary on this thread, I have deleted your last comments, as I said I would in a comment this morning. If you persist, I will ask you to leave."

Yes, I didn't notice that comment of yours till afterward. Sorry that you're not interested in the Mary topic.

Paul said...

Leo said:
"Here goes: Webster says
"the unanimous consent of the Fathers opposes the Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16...Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages in the Gospels (Matt 16:18, John 21:17), not a single one applies them to the Roman bishops as Peter's successors. How many Fathers have busied themselves with these texts, yet not one of them whose commentaries we possess-Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whose interpretations are collected in ca tenas-has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Rome is the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter!... Beginning in the fourth century we find a papal interpretation promoted by the bishops of Rome...The Church of Rome claims that papal primacy can be validated by the facts of history in that it was the universal practice of the church from the very beginning."
------------
Leo
Nothing in your citations from Clement or from Ignatius addresses Webster's claim. Where in the two citations do they connect Matt. 16:18 or John 21:17 to Papal Primacy and successors? The context of Webster's claim is the very decree from Vatican Council I.

Paul said...

Jennie said:

"and please no more about Mary. I had enough of that subject when I posted about it in May. Please go back there and read those posts and add your comments there if you like."

Here is the link back to the May post.

http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/05/mary-as-ark-of-covenant.html

Paul said...

Leo,
I am sorry to have been redundant in my last post to you. I did not notice Turretinfan's post pointing out the same thing.
However,

"I can show you tons more, but I need to manually transribe all of these. Does this adequately show you that Webster is way off base?

Believe me, when I tell you I could go on and on."

Regarding the transcribing, can't you just copy/paste some of Steve Ray's material?
And please do go on and on, William Webster is a very careful researcher and I expect that it will take some time and effort to prove he has taken anything out of context.

Elena said...

"I haven't met any infants who can speak anything from birth - astray or otherwise"

Tell that to the Psalmist.


I'm afraid that the Psalmist would likely agree with me. Psalms are also a form of literature that are not to be taken literally.

And as the mother of 6 children, I assure you that none of them could speak from birth, although the girls certainly gave it a good try!

Lockheed said...

"although the girls certainly gave it a good try!"

Yes, and as the Psalmist explains their first words would most likely have been a result of their sinfulness.

Seriously, if the Psalms aren't to be taken literally, does that mean David wasn't repentant in Psalm 51, that God doesn't hate the wicked (Psalm 5), that God is not all powerful (read numerous songs). You seem to paint with a very, very broad brush and give no sound reasoning for the choice of color!

Just because you don't like what a psalm says, it is no reason to paint it with the 'not literal' title, plus you'll have no consistent basis on which to deny the claims of the liberal who thinks likewise of much of Scripture.

The Squirrel said...

Elena, as the mother of 6 children, did you have to teach any of them to lie, cheat, or steal? To be selfish? To demand their own way? It is not the acts themselves that make us sinners, but it is because we are sinners that we commit sinful acts. Indeed, every act of the sinner is sinful.

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. -
Matthew 15:18-19 (NASB)

because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:7-8 (NASB)

~Squirrel

Elena said...

Elena, as the mother of 6 children, did you have to teach any of them to lie, cheat, or steal?

None of my infants under the age of 12 months or so were capable of lying, cheating or stealing.

Just give up man...you're getting ridiculous.

Elena said...

Lockheed, the psalms are a form of poetry. Poetry is not written for literal interpretation.

Check out Psalm 6:7

"I am wearied with sighing; all night long tears drench my bed; my couch is soaked with weeping."

Can one really "drench" a bed with tears or "soak" a couch with weeping? No. It is a literary artful way of saying "I cried a lot."

But if you continue to insist I'm sure I can find some equally interesting verses to see if you take them "literally.

Turretinfan said...

"And as the mother of 6 children, I assure you that none of them could speak from birth, although the girls certainly gave it a good try!"

As a mother of six, you should know that children begin communicating without words.

Turretinfan said...

"Psalms are also a form of literature that are not to be taken literally."

Sweet - now you can safely ignore this verse, which must have been nagging you:

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

After all, since Psalms aren't to be taken literally, any argument based on the Psalms must be bunk.

Odd then, that Jesus and the Apostles relied on the Psalms, but that inconvenient truth will have to be ignored as well (perhaps the gospels and Paul's epistles are not to be taken literally either?).

Elena said...

As a mother of six, you should know that children begin communicating without words.

However, the mere act of communication is not a sin.

Odd then, that Jesus and the Apostles relied on the Psalms, but that inconvenient truth will have to be ignored as well.

Strawman logical fallacies abound. I never said that the Psalms were to be ignored. I said that they are a form of poetry and their words and images are not to be taken literally.

Your attempt reminds me a bit of Obama's ceremonial pitch yesterday - slow and short of home plate. (Which FYI is sarcasm also using a figurative analogy not to be taken literally.)

Leo said...

Paul,

Let me try again. I will recopy a quote from Webster. "The Church of Rome claims that papal primacy can be validated by the facts of history in that it was the universal practice of the church from the very beginning."

For my sake, please reread the Letter from Clement to the Corinthians. Can you honestly tell me that it is not clear to you that the Church in Corinth turned to the Bishop of Rome to settle a dispute. Granted, I only copied small sections, but the meaning is pretty clear. It is disingenuous to deny that the Pope exercised his authority from the beginning.

By the way, I was not using Steve Ray's material although I am quite familiar with him. I was going back to the documents of the early Church.

Leo

Leo said...

Paul,

These are Webster's unanimous Fathers

CYPRIAN:"The Lord says to Peter: "I say to you," he says, "that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it" [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).

AMBROSE:"They [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven [by the sacrament of confession] even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter: "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heave" [Matt. 16:19]" (Penance 1:7:33 [A.D. 388]).

AUGUSTINE:"
If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today? (Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]).

If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, "Upon this rock I will build my church . . ." [Matt. 16:18]. Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement, Clement by Anacletus, Anacletus by Evaristus. . . . (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).

Part 1

Leo said...

Paul,

Part 2

JEROME:"Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says "with Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the book of life," the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle (Lives of Illustrious Men 15 [A.D. 396]).

Since the East, shattered as it is by the long-standing feuds, subsisting between its peoples, is bit by bit tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord . . . I think it my duty to consult the chair of Peter, and to turn to a church [Rome] whose faith has been praised by Paul [Rom. 1:8]. I appeal for spiritual food to the church whence I have received the garb of Christ. . . . Evil children have squandered their patrimony; you alone keep your heritage intact (Letters 15:1 [A.D. 396]).

I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails (ibid., 15:2).

POPE DAMASUS I:"Likewise it is decreed: . . . We have considered that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall have bound on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall have loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven" [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see [today], therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).

Paul, Webster's carpet bombing is comprised of fabricated nonsense. Can you now acknowledge that the Church PERHAPS believed this all along? The problem may be his sources, as Satan has done everything in his power to confuse people about the Church and to lead them away. Stop going to heretics and apostates to learn about the Church and try going to the Saints for once.

Paul said...

Leo said:
"For my sake, please reread the Letter from Clement to the Corinthians. Can you honestly tell me that it is not clear to you that the Church in Corinth turned to the Bishop of Rome to settle a dispute. Granted, I only copied small sections, but the meaning is pretty clear. It is disingenuous to deny that the Pope exercised his authority from the beginning."
----------------
Leo, I did read your excerpt from Clement as well as the entire letter.
Clement does not identify himself as "The Bishop Of Rome".
" Roman Catholic scholar Joseph F. Kelly wrote in The Concise Dictionary of Early Christianity (1992, p. 2), "The word 'pope' was not used exclusively of the bishop of Rome until the ninth century, and it is likely that in the earliest Roman community a college of presbyters rather than a single bishop provided the leadership." This is echoed by Protestant church historian J.N.D. Kelly who wrote:
In the late 2nd or early 3rd cent. the tradition identified Peter as the first bishop of Rome. This was a natural development once the monarchical episcopate, i.e., government of the local church by a single bishop as distinct from a group of presbyter-bishops, finally emerged in Rome in the mid-2nd cent. (p. 6).
When speaking of Linus, Anacletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Telesphorus, and Hyginus (to A.D. 142), Kelly consistently notes the same thing: there was no monarchical episcopate in Rome at this time.
When we combine this fact with a fair reading of the anonymous epistle traditionally attributed to "Clement" we certainly discover that the churches at Rome and Corinth did indeed have a plurality of elders, not a monarchical episcopate. The fact that Rome could write to Corinth and consistently use the plural of "elders" and never once speak in the singular name of the "bishop of Rome" at the time shows this clearly. At the same time, Ignatius' epistles plainly present the monarchical idea existing at the very same period of time, primarily in the Eastern churches."
source:
http://vintage.aomin.org/Presbyters.html

Paul said...

Leo said:

"These are Webster's unanimous Fathers
CYPRIAN:"The Lord says to Peter: "I say to you," he says, "that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it" [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church? (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).
-----------
Alternate reading from New Advent:
4. If any one consider and examine these things, there is no need for lengthened discussion and arguments. There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, "I say unto you, that you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, "Feed my sheep." And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, "As the Father has sent me, even so send I you: Receive the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins you remit, they shall be remitted unto him; and whose soever sins you retain, they shall be retained; " John 20:21 yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honour and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity. Which one Church, also, the Holy Spirit in the Song of Songs designated in the person of our Lord, and says, "My dove, my spotless one, is but one. She is the only one of her mother, elect of her that bare her." Song of Songs 6:9 Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church trust that he is in the Church, when moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, "There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God? " Ephesians 4:4
source:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050701.htm
Leo, I am not sure where you got that citation. It may be that someone has conflated a portion of another quote from Cyprian. I can't find any mention of Rome or the Bishop of Rome having primacy over the other Bishops in that entire treatise.

Turretinfan said...

"However, the mere act of communication is not a sin."

Ok. The point is that inability to speak does not prevent a child from lying, since communication can proceed without speech.

Will you at least grant that?

Elena said...

Sure Turretinfan, I can grant that. Definitely an older child can lie without speech. In fact omitting certain information was one of my favorite forms of deceit as a youngster.

However, I have yet to see an infant figure out such intricate deception. So this doesn't exactly make your case.

Moonshadow said...

the psalms are a form of poetry. Poetry is not written for literal interpretation.

And, as such, they are not dispassionate.

Inspired? Sure.

A basis for a system of theology?

Well, put it this way, I'd want "two or three witnesses" as confirmation before betting my salvation on an unmeasured sentiment from King David!

Jennie said...

Here's something by R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Daniel L. Akin of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
http://www.covenantnews.com/mohler050117.htm

One biblical text is particularly helpful at this point. After the children of Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness, God sentenced that generation to die in the wilderness after forty years of wandering. "Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers."(4) But this was not all. God specifically exempted young children and infants from this sentence, and even explained why He did so: "Moreover, your little ones who you said would become prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good and evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it."(5) The key issue here is that God specifically exempted from the judgment those who "have no knowledge of good or evil" because of their age. These "little ones" would inherit the Promised Land, and would not be judged on the basis of their fathers’ sins.

We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.


John Newton, the great minister who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace was certain of this truth. He wrote to close friends who had lost a young child: "I hope you are both well reconciled to the death of your child. I cannot be sorry for the death of infants. How many storms do they escape! Nor can I doubt, in my private judgment, that they are included in the election of grace."(6) The great Princeton theologians Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield held the same position.

One of the most eloquent and powerful expressions of this understanding of infant salvation came from the heart of Charles Spurgeon. Preaching to his own congregation, Spurgeon consoled grieving parents: "Now, let every mother and father here present know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God hath taken it away from you in its infant days."(7) Spurgeon turned this conviction into an evangelistic call. "Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there, too? He continued: "Mother, unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, look down upon you now, and the lips which scarcely learned to call you father, ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still small voice, saying to you this morning, ‘Father, must we be forever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass?’ Doth not nature itself put a sort of longing in your soul that you may be bound in the bundle of life with your own children?"

Jesus instructed his disciples that they should "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these."(8) We believe that our Lord graciously and freely received all those who die in infancy – not on the basis of their innocence or worthiness – but by his grace, made theirs through the atonement He purchased on the cross.

I agree with these. I think some are taking Calvinism too far with this doctrine.

Turretinfan said...

"Strawman logical fallacies abound. I never said that the Psalms were to be ignored. I said that they are a form of poetry and their words and images are not to be taken literally."

How would one take the passage figuratively? This isn't like a situation where one understands "bread" to refer to "flesh" and the contents of the "cup" to refer to "blood."

You're not providing what you think the meaning of the text is, just brushing it off because it falls in the Psalms. That makes it look like an excuse to avoid dealing with text.

"However, I have yet to see an infant figure out such intricate deception. So this doesn't exactly make your case."

Well, surely you recognize that a child's cry conveys information. So, hopefully you also recognize that a child's cry can convey misinformation (even if no words, as such, are used).

Jennie said...

I'm beginning to think I'm invisible, at least to certain people here...

Turretinfan said...

"Well, put it this way, I'd want "two or three witnesses" as confirmation before betting my salvation on an unmeasured sentiment from King David!"

God only has to say something once for me to believe it. But if you think His Holy Word requires further confirmation ...

Turretinfan said...

"I'm beginning to think I'm invisible, at least to certain people here..."

:(

I'm sorry if my earlier oversight of your comments has contributed to this.

Jennie said...

Yes it has. Did you read my comment?
I think it's best when there are questions like this, about the salvation of infants who die, etc. to remember the passages that teach God's mercy, not only the ones that say how rotten we all are from birth. Do you know Him, or do you just know about Him?

Moonshadow said...

that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin

That's a very nice thought that I'd never considered before.

I also felt invisible but no biggie as this isn't my blog. :-)

Oops, just found a way to get noticed with the Scripture police: say something WRONG.

The "wicked" are a class of people, are they not? Nominal Israelites. cf. Jer. 1:5 - "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

"All generations shall call me ..."

I'm actually so sympathetic to your view that I'd suggest there are other verses to support it but I won't find them for you. And I wouldn't look in the Psalms on principle.

Elena said...

Just to be clear Turretinfan, we are now referring to this psalm right?

Psalms 58:3 NASB - The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth. ”

So figuratively it means wickedness and lies from an early age. From the womb and birth are figurative terms to make that point very clear. But it doesn't mean literally from the womb or from birth.



You're not providing what you think the meaning of the text is,

Yes I certainly did earlier in the thread. Just today in fact.

Jennie said...

Turretinfan,
I'm sorry; I shouldn't have made that last comment. I have no right to question your relationship to God. Please forgive me.
Rats; I forgot how mad it makes me to talk to Calvinists sometimes.

Turretinfan said...

"I think it's best when there are questions like this, about the salvation of infants who die, etc. to remember the passages that teach God's mercy, not only the ones that say how rotten we all are from birth. Do you know Him, or do you just know about Him?"

A) I know God and consequently I love to know about God.

B) A knowledge of God's holiness leads us to a recognition of our unworthiness, which leads us to trust in Christ's righteousness rather than our own.

C) Whether God saves infants or not is up to Him. God can give an infant faith, if He chooses, and He is also free not to do so, if that's what He wants. I leave the salvation of infants squarely in God's hands: except one thing - I confess with Scripture that there is not one righteous, no not one.

Turretinfan said...

Jennie,

No problem. I understand that these conversations can get quite intense. If we love God, we are naturally passionate about theology: the study of God.

Jennie said...

Thanks, Turretinfan.

The Squirrel said...

"I think some are taking Calvinism too far with this doctrine."

Jennie: The question I was dealing with was "Are newborn infants sinful?" and not, "Are children damned?" Do all children go to heaven? I do not believe that that can be proved one way or the other from the scriptures.

What I do believe is this: that God is sovereign over who is saved and who is damned, and that He will do right. But "right" is based on God's nature, and not our emotions.

~Squirrel

Turretinfan said...

"So figuratively it means wickedness and lies from an early age. From the womb and birth are figurative terms to make that point very clear. But it doesn't mean literally from the womb or from birth."

First the verse:

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Well, you are partly right. In fact, this is poetic literature, and in fact a literary device is being employed. The device is what we call Hebraic parallelism. The same concept is stated twice in two slightly different ways to convey a single shared concept.

In this case the two halves of the parallel are:

1) The wicked are estranged from the womb

2) they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies

The concepts match up thus:

"the wicked" || "they"
"are estranged" || "go astray ... speaking lies"
"from the womb" || as soon as they be born

Those last two expressions are expressions not just of "early age" but of the "earliest age." We might say, "from the get-go" or in Latin "ab initio." The point is that the wicked were always like this ... they didn't get this way over time.

The focus is not on the "speaking lies" aspect, of course, but on the sin aspect - they are "estranged" and "go astray" with "speaking lies" simply being emphatic of the straying.

That's why Scripture declares, for example:

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

-TurretinFan

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Jennie and Elena are on the right track with the interpretation of Psalm 58:3.

We have just witnessed the confusion that can result when one interprets scripture in a vacuum. Scripture must be compared with scripture to get the full story and to arrive at Truth.

Moonshadow said...

The point is that the wicked were always like this ...

And always will be.


Do you see why this doesn't square? That this verse can't fairly be applied to everyone? Must I quote Jer. 1:5 again?

No, rather let's look at Gal. 1:15 - But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

Jennie said...

Squirrel,
Jennie: The question I was dealing with was "Are newborn infants sinful?" and not, "Are children damned?" Do all children go to heaven? I do not believe that that can be proved one way or the other from the scriptures.

Okay; I see what you mean. I jumped to a conclusion that, since you all were insisting on infants being sinful, that you were also questioning whether they go to heaven; I think the mention of infant baptism by Sue Bee earlier threw me off. I'm sorry to you too, Squirrel.

The Squirrel said...

No problem, Jennie. :o)

I've been disagreed with much more disagreably then I have been here!

~Squirrel

Sue Bee said...

Elena said: "Sue- There are examples of anger in the bible that is not sinful. Paul and Moses come to mind. So clearly anger is not always sinful - nice try though."

Paul & Moses are sinners, just like everyone else.

Elena - If the RCs believe infants are given a free pass on sin, why do you baptize them? (The short answer please - not half the catechism!).

Jennie, In the verses from Luke (you & I both quoted) it says "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them."

When Jesus touches someone by His Grace miracles occur, don't they? The sick become well; the unclean, clean; the dead, alive.

We believe that Jesus still calls us to bring our children to Him for His touch, but now His means of Grace are water and Word (baptism).

Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I just finished watching the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor into space. Breathtaking to watch as they flew into the 2nd heaven!

Jennie said...

Ok. I agree with you that we are born in sin. But I don't believe infants need to be baptized in order to be saved if they were to die,as I think Sue Bee was inferring. I think God has mercy on them.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Since Jesus is our ultimate authority on scripture, what did He have to say about little children?


Matthew 19:14 (New International Version)

14Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Mark 9:35-37, New King James Version
35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Matthew 18:10 (New Living Translation)

10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father."

Elena said...


Paul & Moses are sinners, just like everyone else.


Not the point of course. What is it with you people and your red herrings and strawmen? Anger is not always sinful and to say it is is as ridiculous as saying little babies and mentally retarded people have sinned.

Elena - If the RCs believe infants are given a free pass on sin, why do you baptize them? (The short answer please - not half the catechism!).

OK short answer- baptism is an initiation.

Jennie said...

The scriptures aren't clear on whether to baptize infants and young children, and I also think it's contrary to scripture to say that an infant's salvation depends on anything that man can do, including baptism. Faith is the first step in salvation, and babies are not capable of this, so is baptism, which is done after regeneration by faith, necessary? Or are they saved by God's mercy alone, because Christ has died for them, and they are truly helpless?

Moonshadow said...

I just finished watching the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor into space.

Funny ... us too here! :-)

And I hardly ever watch TV. :-)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

A terrible thing just came over the news on CNN. The parents of a family of 16 children has been murdered in Pensacola, Florida.

Moonshadow said...

baptism is an initiation.

Into Christ's death, you mean?

Then the hope of resurrection.

Faith is the first step in salvation,

I'd say remission of sins is. Mark 1:15 - Repent and believe the good news!"

And John's precursory baptism was one of repentance. Acts 19:4.

So baptism to wash away the sins of an infant so that it may grow in faith is absolutely fitting.

Jennie said...

That's terrible, Hillary, about the family in Florida. Father in Heaven, be with those children. Are the children alive?

Moonshadow said...

Are the children alive?

Yes. My guess is the one who ran to the neighbors saved the whole bunch of them, as that probably scared off the intruders. Thank God for that.

Jennie said...

Here's a link to an article about the murders:http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/14/florida.couple.slain/index.html
Apparently a home invasion robbery by several people. Most of the children were adopted special needs children.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa,

What sins are being washed away in the infant? I am now sounding like Elena, but, what sins has an infant committed to be washed away? If you are talking about the sin nature, I must respectfully point out that the sin nature is not washed away in baptism. Even baptized adults still struggle with the sin nature after baptism. Even the apostle Paul still struggled with the sin nature after baptism!(Romans 3:12-25).

Baptism is an act of faith, believing that God has washed away our sins. We demonstrate this faith symbolically through baptism. It is an object lesson of faith.

Moonshadow said...

Hillary,

what sins has an infant committed to be washed away?

Adam's sin.

Sacramental theology is not my strong suit but I already admitted to being sympathetic to Turretinfan's view.

The difference could be that some readers project their personal experience of conversion upon Scripture. From their perspective, maybe by reading Scripture, they first believe who Christ is and then, by comparison, recognize themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness.

But the reality of sin is there even before we recognize it. Of course. Even more so. And therefore, a systematic theology, with the benefit of hindsight, would put it all in the proper order.

Even baptized adults still struggle with the sin nature after baptism.

Something from Augustine called concupiscence. Whatever one calls it, the tendency to sin remains.

But does "repentant sinner" sound contradictory to anyone?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Yes. The Bible does teach that because of Adam's sin, the curse of sin, which is death, has passed to all men, and that includes even innocent babies (see Romans 5: 12-14).

The Bible also teaches that Christ's sacrifice has removed the curse of sin from Adam's race, i.e. us humans, so that we can have eternal life. His love, grace, and mercy not only extends to those who have sinned and have been forgiven, but to those who have never had the opportunity to sin (innocent babies). God's grace and mercy is for the whole human race, not just for adults (see Romans 5: 15-21).

Sue Bee said...

Yes, baptism gives us forgiveness from original sin and regeneration (new birth). It is not an action of man (a work, seen) but an action of the Holy Spirit within and upon us (unseen).

Just for clarification, Lutherans teach that baptism is necessary, but not absolutely necessary. Salvation is always dependent on God's Grace.

Moonshadow said, "But does "repentant sinner" sound contradictory to anyone?"

Not contradictory at all! Luther's term for it is simul justus et peccator. (Romans 7:15-20)

Paul said...

quote:

"Moonshadow said, "But does "repentant sinner" sound contradictory to anyone?"

Not contradictory at all! Luther's term for it is simul justus et peccator. (Romans 7:15-20)"
----------------------
It's interesting that Fr. Peter Stravinskas affirmed this in the Intro. to his debate with James White on Purgatory.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=DrOakley1689&view=videos&query=stravinskas

Paul said...

Leo,
William Webster addresses the use of some of these ECF's (Early Church Fathers) in another article he wrote pertaining to this.

"Roman apologists historically have often resorted to the use of selected statements of major Church fathers, interpreting them as supportive of papal primacy. An example of this type of argumentation can be seen in the following references to the writings of Cyprian, Ambrose and Augustine by a Roman Catholic apologist:

St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258 A.D.) in his letter to Cornelius of Rome (c. 251 A.D.) speaks of the Church of Rome as the ‘chair of Peter (cathedra Petri)’ and ‘the principle Church in which sacerdotal unity has its source’ (Ep. 59, 14). St Ambrose (d. 397 A.D.) states that ‘where Peter is, there is the Church’ (Commen.. on the Psalms 40, 30)...St. Augustine’s recognition of the authority of the Pope is manifested by the famous words with which he welcomes the decision made by the Pope: Roma locuta est; causa finita est—Rome has spoken the case is concluded (Sermon 131, 6:10). Why does Augustine believe the Bishop of Rome has the final word? The answer is because the Pope is the successor of St. Peter—a fact clearly recognized by Augustine in his Letter to Generosus (c. 400 A.D.) in which he names all 34 of the bishops of Rome from Peter to Anastasius (Letter 53, 1,2).

The above arguments are very common. They are precisely the same citations found in The Faith of the Early Fathers by the Roman Catholic patristics scholar William Jurgens as proof for the purported belief in papal primacy in the early Church. And Karl Keating uses the same reference to Augustine in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism. But do the statements of these fathers actually support the claims of papal primacy? Is this what they meant by these statements? The facts do not support this contention. These statements are given completely out of context of the rest of the writings of these fathers thereby distorting the true meaning of their words. And in the case of Augustine, as we will see, his words are actually misquoted. All too frequently statements from the fathers are isolated and quoted without any proper interpretation, often giving the impression that a father taught a particular point of view when, in fact, he did not. But for those unfamiliar with the writings of the Church fathers such arguments can seem fairly convincing. An example of this kind of methodology is seen in a recent Roman Catholic work entitled Jesus, Peter and the Keys. This work is being touted by Roman Catholics as providing definitive evidence of the teaching of the Church fathers on the meaning of the rock of Matthew 16 and of Peter’s role. But the actual references from the fathers cited in this work are very selective, often omitting important citations of their overall works that demonstrate a view contrary to that which is being proposed. What we will discover, if we give the statements of the fathers in context and in correlation with their overall writings, is that their actual perspective is often the opposite of that claimed by Vatican I and these Roman apologists."

http://www.christiantruth.com/mt16.html

Paul said...

Leo said:
http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2009/07/two-false-gospels-daughters-of.html

"He goes on to quote "theologians" in depth, but I will spare you. There is no such thing as a theologian by Protestant understanding in the Catholic Church....The simple fact is that the teaching he quoted applies to Catholics. First, you must come to believe that the Church is truly what she says she is. We are obliged to form our conscience properly and then to follow it.

---------------
"Catholicism since the late Middle Ages has taught that submission to the bishop of Rome is necessary for one's salvation. This teaching was given dogmatic expression by Pope Boniface VIII in an ex cathedra statement in his bull Unam Sanctam (A.D. 1302) and was later reaffirmed by subsequent popes and councils such as Vatican I. His decree states:
Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff
(20. Cited in Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford Univ., 1963), 116. Vatican I, after affirming that the bishops of Rome are the rightful rulers over the church to whom all Christians must submit in matters of faith and morals and discipline states, 'This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation'; cited by Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (New York: Harper, 1877),11:263.)

Paul said...

Leo said:
"There have been no new revelations since the death of the last apostle and there can never be any change in any teaching on Faith and Morals, once defined.

"Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sue Bee,

Hi. You said that baptism gives forgivenss for original sin. Do you have any documented proof where that is stated or implied in the Bible? I am just curious, and want to learn.

Sue Bee said...

Hi Daugher of Wisdom, I'm pressed for time so I'm going to cut & paste an answer from the LCMS website. I think it covers your question, but I can talk more about it later.

Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Baptism, we believe, is one of the miraculous means of grace (together with God's written and spoken Word) through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person's heart (see Matt. 28:18-20; Act. 2:38; John 3:5-7; Act. 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5-6; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13).

Although we do not claim to understand how this happens or how it is possible, we believe (because of what the Bible says about baptism) that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. This faith cannot yet, of course, be expressed or articulated, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., 1 Peter 2:21; Acts 2:38-39; Titus 3:5-6; Matt. 18:6; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:13). This faith needs to be fed and nurtured by God's Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die. Those who have been baptized, but who no longer believe, will not be saved. (By the same token, those who truly believe and yet have not had opportunity to be baptized [like, for example, the thief on the cross] will be saved.)

Paul said...

DaughterOfWisdom said:

"Hi. You said that baptism gives forgivenss for original sin. Do you have any documented proof where that is stated or implied in the Bible? I am just curious, and want to learn."

Daughter,
Here is a very brief clip of Spurgeon's view on Regeneration (Biblically).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsbbGQdpMOU&feature=channel_page

Leo said...

Paul said,""Furthermore we declare, state, define, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

This is the problem of taking individual statements/teachings out of context. Remember I said that the Church has never, ever officially condemned any individual. Peter recognized that anyone who fears God and acts uprightly is pleasing to Him.

God desires for ALL to be saved and there will never be a single person who can claim that God missed them. Everyone receives sufficient grace to be saved. We all receive it differently, however, and will be judged accordingly. Our love for God can actually be measured by our love for neighbor. This is why the example of the Good Samaritan.

The concept that all salvation is through Jesus is often misunderstood. While it is true that none shall get to the Father but by Him, it is He who decides who gets to the Father. He looks to the heart and simply wants those who earnestly seek Him and seek to do His will. Those outside of the Faith for no fault of their own, are not simply cast aside.

As far as the submission to the pope is concerned, he does indeed have spiritual authority over the world whether you recognize it or not. These are simply the keys to the kingdom of heaven which were given to Peter. This is actually a good thing, since he offers up prayers for everyone on earth. In essence, he is interceding on your behalf despite what you may think of him. If you were excluded from his petitions, it would not be for your eternal betterment.

In order to be clear, however, anyone who recognizes and understands his authority but refuses to submit to it, i.e. a Catholic, jeopardizes their salvation. When more is given, more is expected.

Leo said...

My dear Protestant brothers and sisters,

It is clear from these blogs that there is a huge misunderstanding regarding the Catholic Faith and the Church itself. You claim Sola Scriptura and yet many of you regularly quote from virulent anti-Catholics, nominal anti-Catholics, and apostate ex-Catholics, far more than you do from Scripture. A number of you also use sources that misquote the Church Fathers or take them out of context. You know, there is a rule of thumb that before you trust any published scientific study, always check to see who funded it because ulterior motives are likely to abound. And, yes, I am a scientist by training.

Yet, when we Catholics quote from the Church Fathers, you dismiss the validity of our sources and claim that we have taken them out of context. It would be patently absurd for the Church to teach directly contrary to the unanimous consent of the Church Fathers, as Paul quoted from and stood by Webster. I would think a more reasonable approach would be ask why so many respected, devout, intelligent Protestant theologians and pastors have decided to become Catholic. The virtually unanimous reason is because they truly studied the Church Fathers. The common saying is, "To study the early Church Fathers is to cease being Protestant."

Before you dismiss this out of hand, realize the tremendous sacrifices these individuals made to leave their churches. They lost their livelihoods and their friends for the sake of the kingdom.

The comments on this post remind me of what Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees," You diligently study the Scriptures, thinking that by them you possess eternal life. Yet these same Scriptures testify about me and you refuse to come to me to have this life."

Allow me to use a parable. You diligently study various writings of the Church Fathers, thinking that by them you possess the Truth. Yet these same writings testify to the Church and you refuse to come to her to receive this Truth.

I have humble request. Please allow me to BRIEFLY walk you through salvation history from a rich Catholic perspective, but using Scripture. In deference to you, Jennie, I will post on your out-of-the-way Mary page because I intend to give a perspective on Mary and her role that probably none of you have ever heard before.

That brash statement, in itself, should pique your curiosities, since so many of you are so well read to begin with.

Jennie said...

Leo,
1 Corinthians 11:3 (New King James Version)
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

God's word, the bible, does not teach that everyone put themselves under the authority of a central church authority. We are to submit to our own church pastors for discipline and teaching of the Word, but other than that our Head is Christ, as the head of each family is the husband.
The RCC claims to be the Bride, but she has usurped the place of her husband and called a man the head of the church; also she has made her word the equal to her 'husband' who is Christ, by saying that her traditions are also God's word, though these traditions are not inspired by the Spirit and are not in accordance with His word.
In effect, this has placed her word above His, because she has claimed sole infallible interpretive power, and because her traditions subvert His pure word.

The fact that the RCC believes muslims, who also teach works salvation, are saved in this way is telling. We are saved by faith in Christ's finished work on the cross, apart from any works of our own. Eph. 2
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Jennie said...

and many muslims have discovered the true gospel and have paid with their lives.

Jennie said...

Leo, you are welcome to post under the Mary threads.

Leo said...

Paul,

Here is another simple example of how Webster simply misrepresents the Catholic Faith.

"Therefore, it is important to understand that, according to the Church of Rome, apart from an embracing of its doctrines there is no salvation...To reject anything taught by the Roman Church is to reject saving faith and to forfeit justification and eternal life:"

The easiest way to do this is to demonstrate actual practice. There was an American priest who, in the mid-1900's, began to teach what Webster said to his congregation. He said that you could not be saved unless you were a member of the Catholic Church. His bishop intervened and asked him to cease and desist since the Church never taught any such thing. When he persisted in disobedience, the bishop asked the Holy Father to step in. When he disobeyed even the Holy Father, he was excommunicated. He was told that he was being excluded from membership in the very Church that he erroneously claimed membership was necessary in for salvation.

Now, it is true that if a person knows in their heart that the Catholic Church is the true Church and that membership is mandatory, yet they of their free will refuse to join, then they are placing their eternal life in grave jeopardy.

Leo said...

Jennie said,"The RCC claims to be the Bride, but she has usurped the place of her husband and called a man the head of the church; also she has made her word the equal to her 'husband' who is Christ, by saying that her traditions are also God's word, though these traditions are not inspired by the Spirit and are not in accordance with His word.

In effect, this has placed her word above His, because she has claimed sole infallible interpretive power, and because her traditions subvert His pure word."

Jennie, the Church IS the light on the hill that is visible to all. Try to think of the Church as the BODY of Christ, not the Soul. She is plain, physical and visible to all. She in no way usurps Christ who IS the head of the Church. The pope is merely the vicar of Christ, or His earthly representative. You probably know that the Greek language of Scripture,unlike the English language, has two different words for you singular and you plural. When Jesus spoke to Peter, He said, "...I give you(alone)the keys to the kingdom of heaven..." Unlike when He breathed on the Apostles and gave them the power to forgive sins. Then He said, "I give you(all)the power to forgive sins..." You can find the keys mentioned in Isaiah 22, I believe.

These keys were given by the king to the Prime Minister to give him authority over the kingdom while the king was away. These keys were also known to have a successionary practice if the PM died.

Saying her word subverts His is heretical in itself. It's like saying that the writers of Scripture subvert God's word because humans wrote it. Then you should only accept the 10 Commandments because those are the only words actually written by the finger of God.

Regarding the Traditions(it is only those teachings handed down, unlike traditions)like Baptism, the Trinity, Sunday worship, Papal Infallibility, etc, cannot subvert Christ, since they came from Him. I know you find this difficult to believe or understand, but the Holy Spirit prevents the Church from teaching error in Faith and Morals and Scriptural interpretation in the exact same way that He prevented the Scripture writers from writing error.
I will try to explain in your Mary post. Please read it with an open mind in its entirety before looking for ways to disprove it.

Leo said...

Jennie said, "The fact that the RCC believes muslims, who also teach works salvation, are saved in this way is telling."

The fact that you state this as fact proves my point. This is a clear misinterpretation of Church teaching. We acknowledge that Judaism and Islam are monotheistic and, in that regard, worship the true God -- albeit one which they do not know. A devout Muslim who is seeking God, fears God, and tries to follow his will, may in fact be saved. We simply do not know. It is up to Jesus Christ. Of course, they are not our brothers and sisters in Christ. They rely on God's mercy.

Moonshadow said...

Saying her word subverts His is heretical in itself.

Now the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, Wheaton/TEDS-educated evangelical Mark Noll attempted to explain to Protestants how Romanists understand the Church.

You can read his description here. Noll nails it.

Turretinfan said...

Leo states: "A devout Muslim who is seeking God, fears God, and tries to follow his will, may in fact be saved. We simply do not know."

Vatican II state: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; "

Sounds like Vatican II knows, whether or not Leo knows.

Moonshadow said...

The plan of salvation also includes ...

What's the objection?

You'd prefer God's plan of salvation to exclude entire people groups?

Are Muslims the reprobate?

Turretinfan said...

"Muslim" is a religion, not a people group in any other sense.

And yes - God's true plan of salvation (as opposed to Vatican II's distortion) is specific to Christians. You have to give up your old religion if you want to be saved.

Moonshadow said...

You have to give up your old religion if you want to be saved.

I buy that, but Vatican II may be saying the old religion is somewhat capable of making that clear to its adherents.

IOW, the old religion isn't a total waste - as in "lost years" - for those who eventually become Christians.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

"841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with a pastor about this very thing, which is, the salvation of non-Christians. He was under the impression that the Bible teaches that only Christians will be saved. This teaching is based upon John 14:6, where Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Fortunately for us, we do not have to look far the Bible to see how God dealt with persons of other religions, and how He saved them.
Paul speaks about how God is known to both Jews and Gentiles alike (remember before Christianity many Gentiles were non Jews and non Christians).


Romans 1:16-20 (New International Version)

"16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

From the above verses it is apparent that people can come to a knowledge of God outside of Judaism and Christianity, because we can learn about God from the natural world! In addition, people have a sense of right or wrong because the law of God is written in the heart of every person, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 2:14-16). Hence, since the law of God is written in our hearts, we can be convicted by our conscience of right or wrong, which can lead someone to repentance, whether they have read a Bible or not. So it is possible for God to reach someone, who is ignorant of His ways and plan of salvation because they do not have a Bible, or are of a different religion, who only have a basic knowledge of God, derived from the natural world and the conscience.

When Paul was dealing with the Greeks, who were polytheistic, he commended some who made a genuine search for the true God, while still in their old religion. You can read Paul's commendation and admonishment in Acts 17:22-34. Paul told those Athenians that God made it so that men of all backgrounds "would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us" (Acts 17:27). He also stated that God will overlook the ignorance of persons who really do not know Him but who seek after Him; but, when they come to Knowledge, they need to repent of their shortcomings (vs. 30).

Thus it seems possible for people outside of the Christian faith to be saved, if they are repentant before God of their sins. They may be ignorant of the fact that Jesus died for their sins,and paid the penalty, but His sacrifice will still cover them because He paid the penalty for their sins too. They may have difficulty living a saved life because of lack of knowledge of the ways of God, but if they endure in faith, God will work with them to uphold their faith in Him.

Turretinfan said...

Leo:

"In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life."

I added some emphasis. The "also can attain salvation" is "also" in addition to the Muslims. So, in context, the idea is that Muslims worship the true God and are part of the plan of salvation as Muslims.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

To Sue Bee and Paul:

Thanks for the references. I will examine them.

Moonshadow said...

That paragraph reads fine, Turretinfan.

that Muslims worship the true God

Do you doubt this?

Leo said...

Turretinfan said,"So, in context, the idea is that Muslims worship the true God and are part of the plan of salvation as Muslims."

With all due respect, not quite...they do worship monotheistically and, in a sense, are descendants of Ishmael. The Jews also worship the God of Abraham, but they are not in the fullness of Truth.

The point is that they are closer to the Truth about God than, say, are Buddhists or those in the Hindu religion, or those who may now nothing formally about God at all through no fault of their own. Actually, Daughter of Wisdom said it quite well.
Take an Eastern monk, for example...he may well be reaching out to God in prayer and come in contact with Him since he is seeking God and trying to do his will. He may simply not know that it is Jesus Christ that he is worshipping. Our job as Christians is to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ to him and to share what we know about Him and His plan for salvation.

Moonshadow said...

Take an Eastern monk, for example...he may well be reaching out to God in prayer and come in contact with Him since he is seeking God and trying to do his will. He may simply not know that it is Jesus Christ that he is worshipping.

But I'd take the position that this is a rare occurrence.

I've long considered this problem as Lewis does in Mere Christianity: "Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ's body, the organism through which He works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. Cutting off a man's fingers would be an odd way of getting him to do more work."

Turretinfan said...

"The point is that they are closer to the Truth about God "

No, the words "Those also can attain to salvation" show that the phrase "plan of salvation" doesn't mean that the Muslims are outside of the realm of salvation (but close) but that they are within the realm of salvation.

To be sure, part of the point is that they don't have the fullness, but another also important part of the point is that you don't (according to Vatican II) need the fullness.

Turretinfan said...

Moonshadow wrote: "'that Muslims worship the true God' Do you doubt this?"

It is certainly false. Those who reject the Son, reject the Trinity. The Bible is quite clear about that. So too, the Jews who reject the Son do not worship the God of Abraham. Vatican II was plainly wrong.

Sue Bee said...

Romans 11:17-21
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.


Do you think any Muslim would accept being "grafted" on to the Jews? Is that even in the realm of possibility?

I'm guessing not.

Leo said...

Turretinfan wrote:""Muslim" is a religion, not a people group in any other sense.

No, Islam is a religion. A Muslim is an adherent of the Islamic faith.

Leo said...

Jennie,

I tried to post in the Mary section in May as per your request and it was locked out. I will try again to continue tomorrow.

Leo

Jennie said...

Leo,
I forgot I have it set so new comments on older posts have to be moderated. I'll check and see if I can change it on the Mary threads. Which one do you want to post in?

Jennie said...

I published your comment, Leo. You should be able to comment now without me having to moderate.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

The above passage of Romans 11:17-21 is not talking about the nation of Israel in a literal sense. It is referring to spiritual Israel which consists of believing Jews and Gentiles. Natural born Jews who refused God's plan of salvation (under the Old or New Covenant) were broken off from spiritual Israel, even though as Jews they were entitled to those promises under the Old Covenant. In the new Covenant, Gentiles are accepted into spiritual Israel although we were not entitled to the promises before now. Muslims and Christians who are not grafted in, are not for the reason - unbelief.

In saying this, we need also to recognize that Gentiles who lived around the time of the Old Covenant, outside of the commonwealth of Israel, could make it into God's eternal kingdom, if they truly, and honestly sought after God to know Him. A good example of this is king Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king, who found God (or maybe God found him) outside of the commonwealth of Israel (see Daniel 4).

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I meant to say, Muslims and Christians who are not grafted in, are not in, for the same reason - unbelief.

(Unbelief is what keeps us out of God's kingdom). I just don't want anyone to misunderstand my words.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Thanks!

Leo

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