Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Non-Catholic Religions
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #346  
Old Jun 20, '12, 6:15 pm
PRmerger's Avatar
PRmerger PRmerger is offline
Forum Elder
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Posts: 26,931
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post
No it does not. It was written after the apostolic area
Who declared that for something to be inspired it had to be written during the apostolic era?

Quote:
and contains doctrinal errors in it.
Ah, so here's another testament to your belief in Sacred Tradition.

You are proclaiming the Catholic position here that the kerygma came first, the Apostles received it, proclaimed it to their successors, and then those writings which did not conform to the Oral Tradition were rejected.

Quote:
No not exactly. It contains errors within it. It appears to have a slightly defective view on the Trinity if I remember correctly.
But don't you get your understanding of the Trinity from the Scriptures?

So how can you say that something is NOT inspired because it contains a defective view on the Trinity, when the only way you know what the Trinity is is from the Scriptures?

Quote:
Something that you would agree with me on. It is not apostolic. Hemas is not directly connected to the apostles or a delegate of an apostle. My main concern is it's errors and it being outside the time of the apostles.
And you know that the letter to Hebrews is apostolic, how? Since you do not know who wrote it?
__________________
@DailyKeller: "If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself. ~Tim Keller.


25 Random Things About Me

Visit my blog: 3 Minute Apologetics
  #347  
Old Jun 20, '12, 6:22 pm
PRmerger's Avatar
PRmerger PRmerger is offline
Forum Elder
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Posts: 26,931
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post
When will you answer the questions that I had asked you ?
Heh.

You asked the question at 6:14 pm.

I answered at 8pm.

Compare that to my posing this question to you on June 13. And again on June 18. And AGAIN today.

Finally you answered.

So, if you could give me the same allowance you give yourself, before asking, "when are you going to answer my question", that would be the nice thing to do.
__________________
@DailyKeller: "If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself. ~Tim Keller.


25 Random Things About Me

Visit my blog: 3 Minute Apologetics
  #348  
Old Jun 20, '12, 6:22 pm
Zosimus41's Avatar
Zosimus41 Zosimus41 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2012
Posts: 396
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarflemike View Post
Don't know how helpful this will be, but when I first recovered my belief in God (was granted the grace to recover it, I should say) I had to decide where God's Church was to be found. Logically it was clear to me that if Catholicism was false, everything that sprang from it was also false, so it was either Catholicism or Judaism. And between those two, the choice was clearly Catholicism.
You make a very good point. As Jesus said satan cannot cast out satan. So why imitate something that you perceive to be evil as a lot or prots do and/or taught about the RCC.

For example when they came out with so called christian rock my thoughts were if you think its evil to begin with why would you want to "church it up" or imitate it? Brings to mind this church used to hand out little cartoon books to explain the evils of rock n roll etc...

The first red flag should be why is King James written on the cover of my bible? Its like one of those bad office copies you come across from time to time.

Last edited by Zosimus41; Jun 20, '12 at 6:40 pm.
  #349  
Old Jun 20, '12, 6:54 pm
stewstew03's Avatar
stewstew03 stewstew03 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 30, 2011
Posts: 2,175
Religion: Catholic
Post Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post
The question there is a logical fallacy. It is asking me to prove a universal negative. Look up logical fallacy arguments. The positive aspect of my belief is the fact of the nature and divine quality of Scripture which stands as the basis of Sola Scriptura.
Respectfully, I believe you are confused Chafer. You are the one claiming a universal negative by saying that nothing else (except the bible) is inspired. No one is saying "Chafer, prove that there are no other inspired sources." That, of course, would be asking you to prove a universal negative.

Aside from your confusion you are dodging the question. You are claiming that Jesus taught sola scriptura, and yet you cannot show that Jesus taught sola scriptura. Surely our Lord and Savior would not leave us with a doctrine (SS) that cannot be proven from the text of the one and only inspired source available to mankind...
__________________
"Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly." --Evelyn Waugh, writer, Catholic convert (1930)
  #350  
Old Jun 20, '12, 7:05 pm
Zosimus41's Avatar
Zosimus41 Zosimus41 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2012
Posts: 396
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewstew03 View Post
Respectfully, I believe you are confused Chafer. You are the one claiming a universal negative by saying that nothing else (except the bible) is inspired. No one is saying "Chafer, prove that there are no other inspired sources." That, of course, would be asking you to prove a universal negative.

Aside from your confusion you are dodging the question. You are claiming that Jesus taught sola scriptura, and yet you cannot show that Jesus taught sola scriptura. Surely our Lord and Savior would not leave us with a doctrine (SS) that cannot be proven from the text of the one and only inspired source available to mankind...
Hey there Stew!

Do you go to St James? I was a member there since 1984.


As St John said

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written!
  #351  
Old Jun 20, '12, 7:08 pm
stewstew03's Avatar
stewstew03 stewstew03 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 30, 2011
Posts: 2,175
Religion: Catholic
Post Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zosimus41 View Post
Hey there Stew!

Do you go to St James? I was a member there since 1984.


As St John said

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written!
Hi Zosimus - no, St Ignatius-Loyola.
__________________
"Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly." --Evelyn Waugh, writer, Catholic convert (1930)
  #352  
Old Jun 20, '12, 7:22 pm
Zosimus41's Avatar
Zosimus41 Zosimus41 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2012
Posts: 396
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewstew03 View Post
Hi Zosimus - no, St Ignatius-Loyola.
May the peace of Christ and his blessings be upon you and your family
  #353  
Old Jun 20, '12, 7:54 pm
Chafer DTS's Avatar
Chafer DTS Chafer DTS is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 103
Religion: I hold to essential Protestantism / Five Solas
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Aside from your confusion you are dodging the question. You are claiming that Jesus taught sola scriptura, and yet you cannot show that Jesus taught sola scriptura. Surely our Lord and Savior would not leave us with a doctrine (SS) that cannot be proven from the text of the one and only inspired source available to mankind...
I already faced and answered the question. Just because you reject what is found in passages such as 2 Tim 3:15-18 does not make it is false. I can go exegetically with those verse by verse In none of my post did I ever claimed that Jesus taught Sola Scriptura. You are putting forth a claim I never stated in any of my post. Speaking of Jesus , He did condemn claimed unwritten doctrinal oral traditions that some claimed to have been passed down from Moses and a succession lineage which contradicted or went againist the Old Testament. Jesus did set forth the principle of the supremacy of Scripture over claimed teaching authories and also the right of private judgement in searching the Scripture.

Quote:
Respectfully, I believe you are confused Chafer. You are the one claiming a universal negative by saying that nothing else (except the bible) is inspired. No one is saying "Chafer, prove that there are no other inspired sources." That, of course, would be asking you to prove a universal negative.
You did in fact demand I prove a universal negative. I have shown the inspiration of Scripture as being inspired by God. It carries therefore God's authority. The burden of proof for Roman Catholicism is for them to put forth evidence that it's church is infallible in teaching. I do not find anything of an infallible visible universal church. The folly of the question asked was the fact each church was a local church in the book of Acts. We do not find concepts such as the 5 Sees as existing during apostolic times. This is another reason why the question is itself being incorrectly asked. There are no claimed prophets or apostles today in which claimed inspired oral doctrinal teachings will come forth from. The only infallible record today of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles is Scripture. Roman Catholicism sure has not dogmatically and infallibly told us of anything Jesus and the apostles taught that are not presently found in Scripture.
  #354  
Old Jun 20, '12, 7:58 pm
Chafer DTS's Avatar
Chafer DTS Chafer DTS is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 103
Religion: I hold to essential Protestantism / Five Solas
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRmerger View Post
Heh.

You asked the question at 6:14 pm.

I answered at 8pm.

Compare that to my posing this question to you on June 13. And again on June 18. And AGAIN today.

Finally you answered.

So, if you could give me the same allowance you give yourself, before asking, "when are you going to answer my question", that would be the nice thing to do.
I have no problems at all giving people time to reply. I had too many post for me to reply to and in some cases I actually missed post made to me. For each post I made there was several different people making post to me on that post. I donot know about you but I have a hard time keeping up like that.
  #355  
Old Jun 20, '12, 8:28 pm
PRmerger's Avatar
PRmerger PRmerger is offline
Forum Elder
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Posts: 26,931
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post
I have no problems at all giving people time to reply. I had too many post for me to reply to and in some cases I actually missed post made to me. For each post I made there was several different people making post to me on that post. I donot know about you but I have a hard time keeping up like that.
Oh, I certainly give you kudos for being the minority here, and for maintaining dialogue.

I just found it amusing that I actually responded in record time, and the irony of your request, given your relatively great response time.
__________________
@DailyKeller: "If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself. ~Tim Keller.


25 Random Things About Me

Visit my blog: 3 Minute Apologetics
  #356  
Old Jun 21, '12, 7:14 am
stewstew03's Avatar
stewstew03 stewstew03 is offline
Regular Member
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: March 30, 2011
Posts: 2,175
Religion: Catholic
Post Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post

Summary:

Nicea325: Where does the Bible say it is supreme over the church?
Chafer DTS: That's a universal negative.
Chafer, it is not a universal negative, and the response is absurd - it's a straw man.

You are making an affirmative proposition - "The bible teaches sola scriptura" or "the bible does not teach Tradition (with a capital 'T')." Nicea's question (and mine) is: Where does the Bible say that the only norm of faith is Scripture?

And as PRmerger has shown - YOU rely on a norm other than scripture to prove the inspiration of scripture, namely, the Church. And you cite documents written by fallible men (the thirty-nine articles, and other reformed confessions) to support this "infallible" tradition of sola scriptura. So, at the risk of repeating myself, I'll state it again:

Prove this affirmative proposition: The bible teaches sola scriptura.

Thank you.
__________________
"Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly." --Evelyn Waugh, writer, Catholic convert (1930)

Last edited by stewstew03; Jun 21, '12 at 7:26 am.
  #357  
Old Jun 21, '12, 7:52 am
CopticChristian CopticChristian is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 10,218
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chafer DTS View Post
I already faced and answered the question. Just because you reject what is found in passages such as 2 Tim 3:15-18 does not make it is false. I can go exegetically with those verse by verse In none of my post did I ever claimed that Jesus taught Sola Scriptura. You are putting forth a claim I never stated in any of my post. Speaking of Jesus , He did condemn claimed unwritten doctrinal oral traditions that some claimed to have been passed down from Moses and a succession lineage which contradicted or went againist the Old Testament. Jesus did set forth the principle of the supremacy of Scripture over claimed teaching authories and also the right of private judgement in searching the Scripture.



You did in fact demand I prove a universal negative. I have shown the inspiration of Scripture as being inspired by God. It carries therefore God's authority. The burden of proof for Roman Catholicism is for them to put forth evidence that it's church is infallible in teaching. I do not find anything of an infallible visible universal church. The folly of the question asked was the fact each church was a local church in the book of Acts. We do not find concepts such as the 5 Sees as existing during apostolic times. This is another reason why the question is itself being incorrectly asked. There are no claimed prophets or apostles today in which claimed inspired oral doctrinal teachings will come forth from. The only infallible record today of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles is Scripture. Roman Catholicism sure has not dogmatically and infallibly told us of anything Jesus and the apostles taught that are not presently found in Scripture.
Chafer,

Everything you say makes sense. I have one Problem. I keep thinking this.

The OT is Scripture and that is all that 2Timothy 3:16 validates. Beyond that we are left with problems questions confusion.

Paul was a Jew from the Tribe of Benjamin. Yes/No?

Paul was blinded and went to straight street. Yes/No?

Paul had scales fall from his eyes. Yes/No?

Some one say Paul was converted. Yes/No?

I say Paul was not converted, he was able to see in the OT things that others were blinded by and that is why he preached and quoted the OT so much as seen in Romans...in fact the letter to the Romans is filled with OT quotations

Here is a Protestant Source...

http://www.biblewheel.com/wheel/CitationsInRomans.asp

Here is a Catholic Source concerning the NT

http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/...ions-NT-OT.htm

and Richard Hays has written "Echoes of Scripture in the writings of Paul"

http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Scriptu.../dp/0300054297

So the least you can do is concede that others have recognized that the NT is filled with OT quotes...Yes...

So if you agree that Paul when preaching was quoting the OT and Interpreting in a way that the Jews of the time never heard before and that is why he was hunted to be killed....it suggests that the same Scripture, OT, read by Jews/Paul meant two different things and those differences were first preached and then written...the entire NT when using OT quotes is nothing more than a compilation of "oral tradition"......so on whose authority did Paul do this...

The same process was continued by the OHCAC and incorportated in writing in Church Documents by the magesterium to guide the faithful...not changing the meaning but giving the meaning to things like the Trinity, Jesus/God/Man...etc...Oral Tradition that becam written for our understanding...This Oral Tradition is not contradictory but rather complimentary...this is done with the same authority as the Apostles did not leave the Church to languish with a book...the oral teachings continued and were practiced.

If cooking was nothing more than reading a book, why do we need culinary schools, junior chefs, senior chefs, etc...why does the teaching go on in the kitchen orally and practically...?

When you propose a different meaning or any one else proposes a different meaning in conflict...the question has to be asked...on whose authority do you do this...?

When I was learning Protestant thought, one of the schools of thought is Creation Science. As a scientist this is no science. I attended a class where for an hour I was to be taught how to counter an evolutionist based on Creation Science teaching. I spent an hour listening to the propaganda and every now and again I was asked to repeat over and over again this response " Were you there"...so that when an evolutionist says that at some time in the past, the atoms came together and did this..I was to say..were you there? If the evolutionist said well the animals were like this and evolved into this...I was to ask "were you there"...that was the teaching...

So when you proposes any such notion about the early Church I would ask....were you there?
  #358  
Old Jun 21, '12, 9:30 am
Taestron Taestron is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 2012
Posts: 292
Religion: Protestant: Nazarene
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewstew03 View Post
And as PRmerger has shown - YOU rely on a norm other than scripture to prove the inspiration of scripture, namely, the Church. And you cite documents written by fallible men (the thirty-nine articles, and other reformed confessions) to support this "infallible" tradition of sola scriptura. So, at the risk of repeating myself, I'll state it again:

Prove this affirmative proposition: The bible teaches sola scriptura.

Thank you.
I don't think we need to prove that the Bible teaches sola scriptura. As has been said before, there are other authorities besides the Bible. This is a weakness of the name sola scriptura which could be seen to imply otherwise; perhaps it should be renamed. However, if I have time, this weekend I'll go on a sola scriptura scripture hunt to see what I can come up with for you. How does that sound?

Let me ask you something? Do you think you can prove infallibility (of anything) based on fallible evidence? I think you should be able. Let us take the spiral argument. Historical research is fallible (I assume there are no arguments here). Yet some Catholics use it to determine the reliability of the Matthew for determining Jesus' words. They then use the conclusion, "Matthew is reliable" to say that Jesus found an infallible Church etc. etc. Now, this is a perfectly legitimate piece of evidence for the infallibility of the Church. However, this only works because of faith in the results of fallible (but reliable) processes. If you accept this type of argument, then it is necessary to recognize the validity of the Protestant type of argument that we can prove sola scriptura through the use of fallible sources (including tradition, 39 articles, etc.). BTW, I know most Protestant act as if sola scirptura is de facto infallible, but I know very few which would claim that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CopticChristian View Post
The OT is Scripture and that is all that 2Timothy 3:16 validates. Beyond that we are left with problems questions confusion.
True, in the original context, this verse was only talking about the Septuagint (which is why I agree with the inclusion of the 7 "deutero-canonical" books). However, given that the NT has been determined to be Scripture, can this verse be expanded to include the NT as well?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopticChristian View Post
I say Paul was not converted, he was able to see in the OT things that others were blinded by and that is why he preached and quoted the OT so much as seen in Romans...in fact the letter to the Romans is filled with OT quotations
Side Questions: I have heard this theory before, but I was always confused as to its purpose. Does it really matter if we say Paul was or was not converted? There was certainly a change in any case. And for some clarification, if we say Paul was not converted what about the 3000 at Pentecost or Jews who become believers today; are (were) they not-converted as well? Anyway, back to the discussion at hand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopticChristian View Post
So if you agree that Paul when preaching was quoting the OT and Interpreting in a way that the Jews of the time never heard before and that is why he was hunted to be killed....it suggests that the same Scripture, OT, read by Jews/Paul meant two different things and those differences were first preached and then written...the entire NT when using OT quotes is nothing more than a compilation of "oral tradition"......so on whose authority did Paul do this...
Ah, but there is an important distinction between oral tradition and quotations in the NT. Others could interpret the OT, but Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit in (certain?) of his writings. Now, I am not exactly sure what the Catholic model of inspiration is, but I take this to mean that either Paul wrote something and the Holy Spirit put a stamp of approval on it or Paul was somehow led by the Holy Spirit to write his own words and the very words of God (I lean toward the latter). This is important because I believe that the same Spirit who inspired Scripture, is at work within each Christian, enabling her/him to recognize and interpret Scripture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CopticChristian View Post
The same process was continued by the OHCAC and incorportated in writing in Church Documents by the magesterium to guide the faithful...not changing the meaning but giving the meaning to things like the Trinity, Jesus/God/Man...etc...Oral Tradition that becam written for our understanding...This Oral Tradition is not contradictory but rather complimentary...this is done with the same authority as the Apostles did not leave the Church to languish with a book...the oral teachings continued and were practiced.
I actually found myself agreeing with most of this paragraph. However, I would question the bolded statement. If we believe that Tradition did in fact get something wrong, or if they added something that was contradictory to Scripture (I said if), then a judgment must be made. It is clear to those of us who hold sola scriptura that Scripture will always be the winner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopticChristian View Post
When you propose a different meaning or any one else proposes a different meaning in conflict...the question has to be asked...on whose authority do you do this...?

snip..

So when you proposes any such notion about the early Church I would ask....were you there?
Experts do give us evidence for our views. The problem is experts disagree, but we still have to make a decision. This should always be done in humility if we ourselves are not experts (and do not have the OHCAC to back us up). But there are experts. And every Christian has the Holy Spirit, an authority which should not be underestimated.
__________________
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
  #359  
Old Jun 21, '12, 10:01 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: June 4, 2004
Posts: 16,428
Religion: Christian (seeking admission to the Catholic Church)
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical View Post
So, if apostolic succession was part of the original “rule of faith”, then how did it tie into the formation of the canon… so that one can see its influence on what went in and what stayed out? ….and so one can see the connection that would call for the acceptance of both upon the acceptance of one. Was the Didache excluded b/c it seemed to describe a Jewish synagogue practice of the congregation appointing for itself qualified leaders (as opposed to a more Roman hierarchical approach)? Why wasn’t 1 Clement (which at least describes a form of succession) or an epistle from Ignatius (which claims a form of authority for the bishop) put into the canon if the doctrinal framework (that included apostolic succession) was so decisive. It seems that there is little to no indication that the doctrine of apostolic succession played any part in the formation of the canon.
I'm a bit baffled by your argument here. Apostolic succession played a role because the canon we have is the canon determined by that community whose leaders claimed apostolic succession, as opposed to the many other early communities claiming to be Christian, which had different canons for the most part. You seem to be saying that one must find some connection between the content of the books accepted or rejected and the supposed cultural biases that led to apostolic succession--you then show that there is no such connection. But this tells against, not for, your argument. In fact you've made my point better than I have done.

If apostolic succession were what you claim--simply a cultural construct shaped by Roman ideas of order and hierarchy--then you'd expect the early "Catholic" community, led by bishops claiming apostolic succession. to accept books that confirmed those biases (like 1 Clement) and reject books that didn't (like the Didache and Hermas). But in fact all three of these books were considered for inclusion and mentioned in some lists, and all three were ultimately rejected. Probably the one of the three that was most often accepted as canonical was Hermas, which you don't mention but which in fact is the most opposed of the "almost canonical books" to the kind of "Roman" approach to Christianity that you find in 1 Clement.

You choose to interpret this to mean that the Spirit was guiding the early Christian community with regard to canon inclusion but not necessarily in other ways. But that's a rather awkward interpretation that makes sense to you only because of your Protestant presuppositions. The far more reasonable interpretation, I think, is the one offered by Irenaeus--the discernment of books and the preservation of the rule of faith are two forms of the same thing, and both were reliably carried out by the leaders to whom the apostles entrusted the churches, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


Quote:
The conservative Catholic states: I believe that God acted to ensure that the Church possessed the gift of infallibility so that when the Church set the canon, only the right books made it into the canon.
As I've said before, I think the word "infallibility" causes more problems than it solves in many ways. It can mean a lot of things and is often used misguidedly by modern Catholics with epistemological connotations. I wish we could just bracket it in these discussions. It's a way of describing the Catholic conclusion about the way in which the Spirit has guided the Church. But we can discuss the issue without bringing the word into it. The question I want to consider is whether or not it's reasonable to accept the basic patristic presuppositions, in the first place, and the general conclusions and principles of Catholicism and Orthodoxy (as opposed to Protestantism) as a continuation and development of those presuppositions, in the second place. If the answer is "yes," as I think it is, then I think it's reasonable to use the word "infallibility" to describe how the Spirit has helped the tradition get things basically right over the centuries. At that point, positing infallibility doesn't violate Occam's razor at all. It's the simplest explanation. The Protestant position, which refuses to ascribe Spirit-guided infallibility to the Church (even with regard to canon formation, in most cases), is left with saying that the Church somehow just "happened" to get a fairly complicated thing like the NT canon exactly right (along with, in most cases, other complex issues like the divinity of Jesus), when your presuppositions about the cultural "contamination" of early Christianity by Roman ideas would naturally lead to other conclusions. That violates Occam's razor, because it posits a very complex set of "just right" conclusions by the early Church with no unifying principle to explain why all those conclusions came out right.

The argument I'm making, in keeping with the title of the OP, is that if Protestantism is true, then not only are modern Catholicism and Orthodoxy seriously mistaken on a number of points in their interpretation of the original apostolic "tradition," but the very early Christian community to which we owe the discernment of the NT canon was also seriously mistaken on a number of points of basic principle. And that, I argue, violates Occam's razor unless it is obviously a necessary conclusion. Protestantism thus faces an extremely high burden of proof. It's not, as a lot of RC apologists claim, that Protestantism should simply be dismissed, but rather that the basic Protestant claims had better be as Scripturally obvious as Protestants claim they are, and furthermore that our reasons for believing in Christianity in the first place need to be a lot stronger than they need to be if Catholicism or Orthodoxy are correct (because at that point, Occam's razor would point toward the conclusion that the whole thing was a big mistake in the first place). For me personally, the combination of these two requirements is practically impossible to meet. If I were convinced that Protestantism were true, I don't think I could reasonably go on being a Christian. But I understand why others might see this differently.

Quote:
that last bit sounds like a very subjective process
It depends on what you mean by "subjective." I don't think there is an Archimedean point of objectivity from which one can discern these things. We all stand somewhere, in what Kuhn would call a "paradigm" and MacIntyre would call a "tradition." I'm happy to lowercase the "t" for the purpose of this discussion if the capital letter gives you the willies.

Rephrasing my statement then: we all stand within some tradition. I have been "converted" from a tradition shaped radically by 19th-century American democracy and before that by early modern European presuppositions to one that reasonably claims greater continuity with the presuppositions of early Christianity (I was "converted" in this way--however imperfectly from an RC or EO perspective--because I discovered that the presuppositions of my tradition clashed radically with those of older forms of Christianity, and I found the latter more persuasive on multiple levels). I have been shaped by that more continuity-focused form of Christianity for about 14 years now (the spring of 1998 was both when I became Episcopalian and when--shortly after that in fact--I decided that where Catholicism and Orthodoxy agreed over against Protestantism, I was unable to follow Protestantism), plus several more years before that when I was struggling with the basic choice between Protestantism and the more "catholic" forms of Christianity.

Quote:
why? It seems that the Pharisees were able to recognize scripture sufficiently so that Jesus used the same books as them, yet they sure got other things wrong.
What major doctrinal things did they get wrong? The distinctive Pharisee doctrinal claims appear to have been
1. The dead will be raised;
2. Angels and demons exist

Both of these beliefs are accepted by historic Christianity; in fact the first and more controversial of the two is absolutely central to Christianity (as Paul pointed out when on trial before the Sanhedrin).

So this example, again, is a very strong one on my side of the argument. If Jesus and the early Christians had accepted the same canon as the Pharisees while disagreeing with them on these basic doctrinal points, then you'd have a case. But exactly the opposite is true--and surprisingly true given the tone of hostility toward the Pharisees in much of the NT.
Quote:
there is a lot more required to establish the claimed apostolic succession than the existence of a strong hierarchy that might have been started with leaders appointed by the apostles.
Indeed. What is required is trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Church. One can't prove that such trust is justified, any more than one can prove that Scripture is divinely inspired. All I'm saying is that it makes sense to trust that the same Spirit who inspired the NT and guided the Church to discern the NT canon rightly also guided the Church to interpret it rightly on major doctrinal points. To say that the first happened and not the second assumes a late medieval/early modern privileging of the fixed, written text that is at least as culture-bound as any early Christian presupposition you might wish to criticize.
  #360  
Old Jun 21, '12, 10:02 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: June 4, 2004
Posts: 16,428
Religion: Christian (seeking admission to the Catholic Church)
Default Re: If Protestantism Is True

Quote:
not sure what you mean by nuances
I mean, for instance, that "apostolic succession" may well have been shared by several presbyters at times, or that the "senior presbyter" may not have been uniquely labeled "bishop" in all cities and may be pretty hard to distinguish in the sources from the other presbyters, and so on.

Quote:
and it isn’t as if a bias doesn’t exist for proponents of the doctrine
Certainly. But the bias of "proponents" is toward agreeing with the tradition we've been handed, within which the acceptance of the NT canon makes sense.

Furthermore, my point about bias was simply that since contemporary scholars tend to be biased against apostolic succession, they often read the evidence as counting rather strongly against it, beyond what a fair assessment warrants. Of course Catholic/Orthodox apologists, and sometimes also scholars, often overstate the evidence for it. No dispute there.

Quote:
The NT doesn’t claim it for the Church. The pastoral epistles probably come closest to providing any support for apostolic succession, but even they present problems. Titus teaches that an overseer must hold firmly to the message that he was taught.….and not that:

a) upon appointment, he will be given the gift of infallibility in conjunction with the other overseers of the church so that they won’t be able to stray from the message

b) He should develop the message that he was taught (using his gift of infallibility in conjunction with the other overseers of the church)

The message is preserved b/c that is what the appointee has demonstrated that he will do….before he gains office and not b/c of some special gift.
Again, I think you're mistaking how much I claim for the evidence. All I'm saying is that the claim that local church leaders were appointed originally by the apostles is borne out by the Pastoral Epistles.

You will find modern Catholics and Orthodox similarly concerned that bishops preserve the faith--there is no guarantee that any individual bishop will do so.

The conviction that the bishops throughout the world will be guided by the Spirit to preserve the faith is a conclusion drawn from the promises given by Jesus to the Church, not specifically from the Pastoral Epistles.

The concept of "development" is certainly itself a development--it's the only reasonable way to explain such things as the doctrine of the Trinity. But it wasn't clearly articulated until relatively modern times, in the light of modern historical consciousness. That's one of the disadvantages under which both sides labored in the Reformation, for instance--each tried to claim faithfulness to an unchanged, essentially undeveloped deposit of faith, when we can see looking back that this claim is absurd for both sides.

Quote:
Ignatius claims an authority for the bishop (singular in his part of the empire), but doesn’t base that authority on apostolic succession. The bishop got his authority directly from God.
That's your assumption, based on the broader assumption that whatever Ignatius doesn't mention in relatively short letters wasn't believed. He might well be assuming that everyone knew the apostolic origin of his office, given the short time that had elapsed between himself and the apostles. The point he's establishing is that the bishop has a unique authority within the Church.

Quote:
Clement mentions succession, but it isn’t a succession of monarchical bishops…it is a succession of groups of presbyters.
He does not clearly distinguish between the two, certainly.

Irenaeus puts the two ideas together explicitly for the first time.

Quote:
The Didache has the congregation appointing its own leaders and apostles serving a missionary function.
Right. Though as I pointed out before, everyone agrees that congregations elected their leaders in the early Church. That's entirely compatible with the idea of apostolic succession. The authority comes from the apostles, but the congregation chooses who will exercise that authority at any given time. That may or may not be the implicit idea in the Didache--the Didache is certainly odd in some respects by the standards of the second-century "Catholic" writers.

Quote:
By the time that Irenaeus comes along, accurate information about how the leadership in Rome started and developed seems to be lost.
Seems to be lost if you start with skeptical presuppositions. Certainly Irenaeus seems to be shoehorning what may have been a more complex pattern of leadership in Rome into a "monarchical" pattern. But I think there are good reasons to believe that his list of Roman leaders is substantially accurate--it agrees with other, independent lists in substance, with the major difference being that some names occur in different orders. That is best explained by the hypothesis of concurrent leadership. So what was "lost" (or perhaps just downplayed by Irenaeus) was the fact that leadership was exercised by several at once--that doesn't affect his basic point.

Quote:
For something that is supposed to have been divinely instituted from the get go, it is rather confused.
I think you start with the assumption, again, that God works in very clear-cut ways. I see no reason to accept this assumption.

Quote:
the ‘benefit of the doubt” should only go so far…and not very far at that. From their works do we see that the ECFs only reported history with accuracy? Do we see that they refrained from adding the product of their pious imaginations to the body of faith? If not, then their entitlement to a benefit of the doubt is very limited.
Pious imagination is not a bad thing--your statement, I think, once again starts from Protestant presuppositions as to which bits are "pious imagination" and as to how valuable such imagination is.

But once again, you miss my point, which is not that we should trust the ECF's implicitly but that we should start by giving them the benefit of the doubt because we have to give that benefit to someone. We have to start with some cultural assumptions: either those which allow for continuity between us and the Fathers or those that don't. And if we do the latter, then we must choose further between assumptions in continuity with those of the Reformers or a radically critical hermeneutic shaped by modern scholarship and/or American populist democracy and individualism.

I'm saying that the most reasonable approach in general is to start with a hermeneutic of basic continuity and see where it takes us. When I started doing that in my 20s, I found that the faith I had received from my family made a lot more sense, not less.

Furthermore, I'm saying that if you want to adopt a hermeneutic of discontinuity, you face a further burden of proof in explaining why you exempt from that hermeneutic one particular aspect of the patristic heritage (the NT canon). That makes sense if you're starting with the early modern hermeneutic of the Reformers, which in itself seems a very odd place to start.

Edwin
Closed Thread

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Non-Catholic Religions

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8481Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: SueZee
5153CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3864SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3763Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3334Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3288Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3227Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3118For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: SueZee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 8:13 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.