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  #1  
Old Sep 22, '13, 8:37 am
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CrossofChrist CrossofChrist is offline
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Talking Some shocking excerpts!

"I myself wasted and lost much time on Gregory, Cyprian, Augustine, Origen. For the Fathers, in their time, had a remarkable attraction to and liking for allegories; they used them constantly, and their books are full of them. . . . The reason is this, that they all followed their own conceit, mind and opinion, as they thought right, and not St. Paul, who wanted to let the Holy Spirit act there from within." - Martin Luther

Most likely a hyperbole, and what Luther really means is that compared to reading Scripture, the Church Fathers aren't too valuable.

Anyway, here is what one commentator said about this:

In many respects, a decision about the role of the Fathers seems, in fact, to have been reached today. But, since it is more unfavorable than favorable to a greater reliance upon them, it does nothing to lead us out of our present aporia. For, in the debate about what constitutes greater fidelity to the Church of the Fathers, Luther’s historical insight is clearly proving itself right. We are fairly certain today that, while the Fathers were not Roman Catholic as the thirteenth or nineteenth century would have understood the term, they were, nonetheless, "Catholic", and their Catholicism extended to the very canon of the New Testament itself. With this assessment, paradoxically, the Fathers have lost ground on both side of the argument because, in the controversy about the fundamental basis for understanding Scripture, there is nothing more to be proved or disproved by reference to them. But neither have they become totally unimportant in the domain, for, even after the relativization they have suffered in the process we have described, the differences between the Catholicism of an Augustine and a Thomas Aquinas, or even between that of a Cardinal Manning and a Cyprian, still opens a broad field of theological investigation. Granted, only one side can consider them its own Fathers, and the proof of continuity, which once led directly back to them, seems no longer worth the effort for a concept of history and faith that sees continuity as made possible and communicated in terms of discontinuity.

Guess who said that?

Cardinal Ratzinger.




My thoughts on this:

While the Church Fathers are still important and are useful for growing in Faith and deepening our understanding of theology, they shouldn't be made into the decisive factor in dialogue for what makes Catholics/Protestants "right". It's clear that they are definitely Catholic in their essence, but it's too easy for either side to cherry pick from them to suit their own liking (one of Luther's criticisms). In dialogue between Lutherans/Protestants and Catholics, it's best to go straight to the Scriptures, especially St. Paul.

What do you guys think?
__________________


"Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more."

- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!

Last edited by CrossofChrist; Sep 22, '13 at 8:48 am.
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  #2  
Old Sep 22, '13, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

May God grant Christendom more Benedicts!
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  #3  
Old Sep 22, '13, 10:00 am
JonNC JonNC is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossofChrist View Post
"I myself wasted and lost much time on Gregory, Cyprian, Augustine, Origen. For the Fathers, in their time, had a remarkable attraction to and liking for allegories; they used them constantly, and their books are full of them. . . . The reason is this, that they all followed their own conceit, mind and opinion, as they thought right, and not St. Paul, who wanted to let the Holy Spirit act there from within." - Martin Luther

Most likely a hyperbole, and what Luther really means is that compared to reading Scripture, the Church Fathers aren't too valuable.

Anyway, here is what one commentator said about this:

In many respects, a decision about the role of the Fathers seems, in fact, to have been reached today. But, since it is more unfavorable than favorable to a greater reliance upon them, it does nothing to lead us out of our present aporia. For, in the debate about what constitutes greater fidelity to the Church of the Fathers, Luther’s historical insight is clearly proving itself right. We are fairly certain today that, while the Fathers were not Roman Catholic as the thirteenth or nineteenth century would have understood the term, they were, nonetheless, "Catholic", and their Catholicism extended to the very canon of the New Testament itself. With this assessment, paradoxically, the Fathers have lost ground on both side of the argument because, in the controversy about the fundamental basis for understanding Scripture, there is nothing more to be proved or disproved by reference to them. But neither have they become totally unimportant in the domain, for, even after the relativization they have suffered in the process we have described, the differences between the Catholicism of an Augustine and a Thomas Aquinas, or even between that of a Cardinal Manning and a Cyprian, still opens a broad field of theological investigation. Granted, only one side can consider them its own Fathers, and the proof of continuity, which once led directly back to them, seems no longer worth the effort for a concept of history and faith that sees continuity as made possible and communicated in terms of discontinuity.

Guess who said that?

Cardinal Ratzinger.




My thoughts on this:

While the Church Fathers are still important and are useful for growing in Faith and deepening our understanding of theology, they shouldn't be made into the decisive factor in dialogue for what makes Catholics/Protestants "right". It's clear that they are definitely Catholic in their essence, but it's too easy for either side to cherry pick from them to suit their own liking (one of Luther's criticisms). In dialogue between Lutherans/Protestants and Catholics, it's best to go straight to the Scriptures, especially St. Paul.

What do you guys think?
I think Cardinal Ratzinger, and you here, are right. I will, however, reference Martin Chemnitz, the second generation Reformer who said, "We also gratefully and reverently use the labors of the fathers who by their commentaries have profitably clarified many passages of the Scripture. And we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church in the true and sound understanding of the Scripture."

So, while using the Fathers for debate points seems useless, using the Fathers to better understand scripture and the faith is invaluable.

Jon
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“This also is certain, that no one should rely on his own wisdom in the interpretation of the Scripture, not even in the clear passages, for it is clearly written in 2 Peter 1:20: ‘The Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation.’
"The best reader of the Scripture, according to Hilary, is one who does not bring the understanding of what is said to the Scripture but who carries it away from the Scripture. "
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  #4  
Old Sep 22, '13, 10:53 am
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Isaiah45_9 Isaiah45_9 is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

I think we need the full version of the quote, or at least what follows part of this "quote".

Is it from the Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger?

Quote:
The dichotomy just discovered within reformational thinking exists, indeed, even to the present time. Nor is it removed when Benoit, following the direction indicated by Melanchthon, seeks to define the Father no longer – in the manner of Catholic theology – as ecclesial, because of their significance for the Church, but rather as scriptural, because of their position with regard to Scripture, and describes them as those Christian authors “who, consciously or not, sought to express and interpret the revelation of God in Jesus Christ as it is retold in the Scriptures”74. But this does not solve the basic problem of whether the Fathers as a way, a byway or a false way to the Scriptures, except that for the Fathers themselves, their scriptural way was not distinguishable from their ecclesial way, and to separate them is to open an unhistorical perspective. And in precisely this bond lies the ultimate question that concerns us.
74 – A. Benoit, 50 Cf. all of chap. 2: “Les Peres de I’eglise: Esai de definition”, 31-52.
Bold mine.

The message is pretty clear:

The emphasis of keeping Scriptural interpretation with Ecclesial Tradition should not be severed. And I think it emphasizes on the biggest stumbling block: Sola Scriptura (See my 2nd bold).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really difficult to quote from. While he concedes to points of view from our separated brethren, he also draws a line on things that are not negotiable - most times in the same breath.
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"If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or by the teaching of the Law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema" Council of Trent; Session 6; canon 1.
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  #5  
Old Sep 22, '13, 11:07 am
JonNC JonNC is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaiah45_9 View Post
I think we need the full version of the quote, or at least what follows part of this "quote".

Is it from the Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger?


Bold mine.

The message is pretty clear:

The emphasis of keeping Scriptural interpretation with Ecclesial Tradition should not be severed. And I think it emphasizes on the biggest stumbling block: Sola Scriptura (See my 2nd bold).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really difficult to quote from. While he concedes to points of view from our separated brethren, he also draws a line on things that are not negotiable - most times in the same breath.
I actually think this is why Lutherans, generally, are fond of him. He recognizes and doesn't under-emphasize where we agree, and he states without overemphasizing where we disagree. There's no fluff, and there's no polemic. There's no relativism, and there's no Father O'Hare.

Jon
__________________
“This also is certain, that no one should rely on his own wisdom in the interpretation of the Scripture, not even in the clear passages, for it is clearly written in 2 Peter 1:20: ‘The Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation.’
"The best reader of the Scripture, according to Hilary, is one who does not bring the understanding of what is said to the Scripture but who carries it away from the Scripture. "
Chemnitz
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  #6  
Old Sep 22, '13, 11:25 am
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Isaiah45_9 Isaiah45_9 is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonNC View Post
I actually think this is why Lutherans, generally, are fond of him. He recognizes and doesn't under-emphasize where we agree, and he states without overemphasizing where we disagree.
Jon
Yes, he is very respectful in his tone and has a gifted theological mind.

Really hard to understand at times. I'm in the habit of reading him by separating sentences - parenthesis - comas - and any other interjection he uses ----- all in order to understand him, lol.
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"If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or by the teaching of the Law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema" Council of Trent; Session 6; canon 1.
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  #7  
Old Sep 22, '13, 3:32 pm
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CrossofChrist CrossofChrist is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonNC View Post
So, while using the Fathers for debate points seems useless, using the Fathers to better understand scripture and the faith is invaluable.

Jon
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- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!
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  #8  
Old Sep 22, '13, 3:38 pm
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CrossofChrist CrossofChrist is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaiah45_9 View Post

Is it from the Principles of Catholic Theology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger?
Yes it is.


Quote:
The message is pretty clear:

The emphasis of keeping Scriptural interpretation with Ecclesial Tradition should not be severed. And I think it emphasizes on the biggest stumbling block: Sola Scriptura (See my 2nd bold).
Correct.

Quote:
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really difficult to quote from. While he concedes to points of view from our separated brethren, he also draws a line on things that are not negotiable - most times in the same breath.
He really is the Mozart of theology: what he says at one point doesn't always seem to make sense, but in the end everything is brought together in harmony and makes perfect sense.
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"Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more."

- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!
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  #9  
Old Sep 23, '13, 4:12 pm
concretecamper concretecamper is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossofChrist
"I myself wasted and lost much time on Gregory, Cyprian, Augustine, Origen. For the Fathers, in their time, had a remarkable attraction to and liking for allegories; they used them constantly, and their books are full of them. . . . The reason is this, that they all followed their own conceit, mind and opinion, as they thought right, and not St. Paul, who wanted to let the Holy Spirit act there from within." - Martin Luther

Most likely a hyperbole, and what Luther really means is that compared to reading Scripture, the Church Fathers aren't too valuable.

Anyway, here is what one commentator said about this:

In many respects, a decision about the role of the Fathers seems, in fact, to have been reached today. But, since it is more unfavorable than favorable to a greater reliance upon them, it does nothing to lead us out of our present aporia. For, in the debate about what constitutes greater fidelity to the Church of the Fathers, Luther’s historical insight is clearly proving itself right. We are fairly certain today that, while the Fathers were not Roman Catholic as the thirteenth or nineteenth century would have understood the term, they were, nonetheless, "Catholic", and their Catholicism extended to the very canon of the New Testament itself. With this assessment, paradoxically, the Fathers have lost ground on both side of the argument because, in the controversy about the fundamental basis for understanding Scripture, there is nothing more to be proved or disproved by reference to them. But neither have they become totally unimportant in the domain, for, even after the relativization they have suffered in the process we have described, the differences between the Catholicism of an Augustine and a Thomas Aquinas, or even between that of a Cardinal Manning and a Cyprian, still opens a broad field of theological investigation. Granted, only one side can consider them its own Fathers, and the proof of continuity, which once led directly back to them, seems no longer worth the effort for a concept of history and faith that sees continuity as made possible and communicated in terms of discontinuity.

Guess who said that?

Cardinal Ratzinger.




My thoughts on this:

While the Church Fathers are still important and are useful for growing in Faith and deepening our understanding of theology, they shouldn't be made into the decisive factor in dialogue for what makes Catholics/Protestants "right". It's clear that they are definitely Catholic in their essence, but it's too easy for either side to cherry pick from them to suit their own liking (one of Luther's criticisms). In dialogue between Lutherans/Protestants and Catholics, it's best to go straight to the Scriptures, especially St. Paul.

What do you guys think?
The problem is, your opinion and mine of scripture is based mostly on the great minds that came before us. We study, and research, and often are swayed by our prejudices.

The Father of the Church are human. They all at one time or another held opinions which may or may not have agreed with the Church during the period they lived. This is where the "cherry picking" you describe comes in. The Fathers and Saints are not infallible in matters of faith and morals

Given man's tendency towards relativism, the Church, as a deposit of faith, is absolutely needed. It is beyond imagination that Christ would have not left an instrument to guarantee the Truth of the Gospel be maintained. Are you willing to bet that the instrument was Luther? Calvin? My bet is on the Church.


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  #10  
Old Sep 24, '13, 1:17 pm
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CrossofChrist CrossofChrist is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by concretecamper View Post
Given man's tendency towards relativism, the Church, as a deposit of faith, is absolutely needed... Are you willing to bet that the instrument was Luther? Calvin? My bet is on the Church.

Care to elaborate on that last part? Me=
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- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!
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  #11  
Old Sep 24, '13, 4:19 pm
concretecamper concretecamper is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossofChrist
Quote:

Originally Posted by concretecamper

Given man's tendency towards relativism, the Church, as a deposit of faith, is absolutely needed... Are you willing to bet that the instrument was Luther? Calvin? My bet is on the Church.

Care to elaborate on that last part? Me=
Without the Tradition of the Church (of which the Fathers of the Church as a collective are part of) , interpretation of scripture is bound to cause confusion because of man's relativistic leanings.

Go to scripture is great advice. But going to scripture without the Tradition of the Church is doomed to failure.


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Old Sep 24, '13, 4:39 pm
IgnatianPhilo IgnatianPhilo is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

The problem is if you focus too much on scripture (to or near the point of scripture alone) you are bound to put your own understanding onto the bible. One has to read the fathers and history to get a satisfying grasp on the word unless God has extroadinarily gifted some to read it and that only ever seems to happen rarely.
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Old Sep 24, '13, 6:30 pm
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CrossofChrist CrossofChrist is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by concretecamper View Post
Without the Tradition of the Church (of which the Fathers of the Church as a collective are part of) , interpretation of scripture is bound to cause confusion because of man's relativistic leanings.

Go to scripture is great advice. But going to scripture without the Tradition of the Church is doomed to failure.


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So we agree?
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- St. Ignatius of Loyola

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!
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  #14  
Old Sep 24, '13, 6:37 pm
concretecamper concretecamper is offline
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

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Originally Posted by CrossofChrist View Post
So we agree?
Awesome! God Bless
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  #15  
Old Sep 25, '13, 3:33 am
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Default Re: Some shocking excerpts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IgnatianPhilo View Post
The problem is if you focus too much on scripture (to or near the point of scripture alone) you are bound to put your own understanding onto the bible. One has to read the fathers and history to get a satisfying grasp on the word unless God has extroadinarily gifted some to read it and that only ever seems to happen rarely.

Indeed! Not only this, but the Fathers are the measuring stick as to what is orthodox. Everything we assert and teach must be measured against what came before. The implication that some latter day so called theologians understand God better than say St. Anthony of Egypt or St. Basil is ridiculous. That doesn't mean the Fathers are infallible (they aren't), but I note an unfortunate lack of Patristics in the Western Church....that doesn't mean they aren't studied, but there is this sense that the Western Church has "moved beyond the Fathers."
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