Catholic Circular reasoning?


Ok, we use Tradition, Scripture and Church for our teachings. If Augustine believes in the real prescence and says he got that from John the Apostle (just an example) the Church will accept it as part of the oral Tradition right?

What if Augustine believes in double predestination…the Church rejects it. But what if he says he got that teaching from John? Why would the Church reject a teaching that could have come from an Apostle according to St. Augustine?

I only ask cause I am listening to a debate between Sungenis and White and a caller makes a point that Augustine believed in purgatory, but White countered with “Augustine also believes in a lot of things the Church denys like double predestination, and so it is ultimately sola ecclesia that the Catholics depend on, not Scripture and Tradition.” (paraphrased)


What is “double predestination”?


Well single predestination is essentially the notion that God knows who amongst the people of the world are saved even before they are born (and by implication who are not).

Double predestination tends to stress the idea that God specifically created some to be saved and some to be condemned.



We don’t depend only on the Church. Scripture and Tradition must go hand in hand. Ultimately, though we need to remember that the Church, as a whole and guided by the Holy Spirit, is the proper interpreter of Scripture and Tradition.

Augustine obviously could not have gotten his idea of double predestination directly from St. John the Apostle as St. John died hundreds of years prior to St. Augustine’s birth. Therefore, any knowledge he had must have come through either scripture or Tradition. Ultimately though, as an individual, he can speculate about the meaning, but only the Church can properly interpret it.



Circularity cannot be avoided entirely when speaking meaningfully of God, mysteries, etc.

Faith + Reason

Hold every human including ourselves to the bar of logic and see what a folly we are or what a folly it is to measure humans exclusively in that manner.


The church fathers are not inspired as the scripture is. We do not accept every pronouncement of theirs as the Word of God. We look to them for Tradition, but to them as a whole, not to one individual. We also look to the development of doctrine as it must begin with the apostles and be an organic development from the original teaching. Holding to all that was original and refining our understanding of it. Never denying what was taught. But allowing new insights render more visible the nature of God and His relationship with Man.


So we look to what the majority of the ECF’s held? And the Church, through the Spirit chooses the which Traditions are sacred?

That seems like the Church is the sole rule of Faith, since she chooses what is sacred Tradition or not.

“What is Tradition? Whatever the Church says it is. What does this verse mean? Whatever the Church says it means.”- I can see that being said to me in the future at some point? So if we are to explain our “triple threat” system for knowing the truth, how can we explain it is indeed not all up to the Church as it could cleary seem to be?


Looking into *Not by Scripture Alone *and ther is an arguement that if the authority figure (Church) does indeed have the authority it claims to have, then it is not circular.

Example the book states: God says "thou shalt not use a Mac."
You ask why not. God says “Because I say so!”

That make sense? Would that cut it for a hardcore evangelical/protestant?


It really comes down to “who do you believe can accurately interpret Scripture?” Protestants contend that Sola Scriptura means that Scripture is the sole infallible authority for the Christian. How does one interpret it, though? Well, the Holy Spirit will speak to you. That; however, is not practical because for every Christian, we literally have a different interpretation. Who is able to interpret it accurately? Well, why do you think it was that only bishops convened in councils to declare dogma? Why not all Christians? Besides the fact that bringing all Christians together in one council is impossible, the bishops were the original transmitters of Sacred Tradition. The Apostles convened at the Council of Jerusalem in much the same manner. The bishops are the guardians and maintainers of the teachings of the Apostles. It just makes sense…Of course, in order to legitimized differing views against those of the ancient and Apostolic Church, one must appeal to Scripture as they know that Tradition is against them. Sctipture, on the other hand, has been appealed to by every heresiarch as it needs interpretation.

Prayers and petitions,


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