Ignoble savage

July 9, 2017 § 361 Comments

J. C. Wright asks (via Malcolm):

Do those who yearn for inequality wish to be placed in the political order above me, to give me orders from an unearned position of authority; or do they wish to be placed below me, to take orders in an undeserved posture of submission?

In rejecting the very idea of nobility, Wright abdicates any natural nobility he might have possessed and chooses his own ranking as that of savage or rebel.

A commoner who accepts nobility stands above the savage, in the natural hierarchy of nobility.

So it is not that Wright’s nobility-friendly interlocutors wish to be placed above him in the natural hierarchy of nobility.  It is that they simply are in fact above him in the hierarchy of nobility, since Wright has chosen for himself the way of the savage.

§ 361 Responses to Ignoble savage

  • The submission to an elected representative, or winning an election, is not the same as being born in service or born into leadership. One is by birth, hence unrelated to merit; the other is based on the ability to persuade voters to vote for you.

    Any position of leadership, or any loss of liberty, is due to the merit or fortunes of the individual, not the history of his race or bloodline.

    I find these also particularly amusing. The only merit that matters is apparently the ability to gather votes; all other aspects of merit are superfluous to a leader, and the ability to get people to vote for you is the only thing which distinguishes the President from the peasants.

    Oh also one may obtain political leadership by good fortune, but only the good fortune that allows you to get more votes. The good fortune that has you being born into a noble family doesn’t count.

  • Zippy says:

    “He who exalts himself shall be humbled; he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

    The commoner humbles himself and is thereby exalted above the savage. The rebel attempts to exalt himself and thereby takes on the ranking of a savage.

  • Zippy says:

    TimFinnegan:

    Another one of his chestnuts is claiming that pointing out an objective moral obligation is a DECLARATION OF WAR!!!

    Even if one thinks that “A is morally obligated to do B” is false, calling it a DECLARATION OF WAR!!! is hyperbolic nonsense.

    In fact, his nobility-friendly interlocutors are his superiors in rank (as I point out in the OP). In fact he has a natural moral obligation to defer to his superiors on matters of rightfully ordered political authority, since he has chosen the way of the savage and made himself their inferior. (He could always repent, of course, and by humbling himself be exalted).

    Observing these facts is no more a ‘declaration of war’ than saying ‘thou shalt not steal’ or ‘there is no such thing as gay marriage’ is a declaration of war.

    Liberals always live in an unreal world of “hatefacts”, where merely mentioning some truth (particularly a morally fraught truth) MEANS WAR!!!

    In Wright’s case we might call them “warfacts”, in keeping with the chest-thumping posturing of his rhetoric.

  • The irony is that in reality “non serviam” when said to someone who actually possesses authority over you is the real declaration of war.

  • […] Source: Zippy Catholic […]

  • wiseguy says:

    He says that, as a voter, he is a member of the sovereign ruling class of Virginia. Truly, that statement comes from the keyboard of a fantasy writer.

  • The Night Wind says:

    It should be noted that Wright is published by Castalia House, an organization run by anti-Christian, anti-Conservative Vox Day. Vox and his followers represent a far-Right cult that teaches White and Male supremacy.

  • @The Night Wind

    As an author published by Castalia, it is in my interest to answer this.

    1) Vox Day does not teach male and white supremacy. I know. I read Vox regularly. He teaches quite a lot of things that I think are not correct, some of which I think harmful; those are not two of them. And no, the pull quotes you throw at me or that one article he wrote that time won’t convince me.

    Though I suppose what he teaches can be considered male supremacy by modern standards.

    2) Vox Day is the editor in chief. He is not the sole decision maker. I’m not even sure he’s the primary decision maker.

    3) Vox Day is not a Trinitarian Christian, but he is not anti-Christian either. Once again, no, the pull quotes you show me won’t convince me.

    4) Most importantly, the idea that John C. Wright and Vox Day are in any way, shape, or form of one mind are laughable. If anything they disagree more than they agree.

  • “Do those who yearn for inequality….”

    Interesting question, especially in an American context, let alone a protestant one. Guilty as charged I suppose, because I do yearn for inequality, for the value of nobility. When we are all equal,no one is more noble than another, so why bother to be noble at all? You have just as much worth and value as a savage or a thug, and all religions become the same, too.

    I second Night Wind’s opinion as to VD. To say something like, “Vox Day is not a Trinitarian Christian, but he is not anti-Christian either,” is basically to say one can be lukewarm, a fence sitter, a little bit pregnant, halfway saved. Total rubbish, you are either IN or you are not.

  • Mike T says:

    I yearn for inequality because I desire a world in which a Harvard grad is held to a much higher standard than a ditch digger from Appalachia.

  • Ha! I yearn for inequality because often a ditch digger from Appalachia will have far more common sense and life wisdom than someone who went to Harvard.

  • Hrodgar says:

    I think there is a difference in the sense in which “anti-Christian” is being used.

    In the strictest sense, every Protestant or other formal heretic, as well as pagans, etc., would be included, whether they are Trinitarian or not. Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

    In the looser sense, it refers to those who willfully and deliberately work to undermine the faith. Vox is, I think, not one of these. True, he wants to have his cake and eat it, too: by his own words he wants to restore Christendom, but also the nation-states that supplanted it, and doesn’t have much use for the Church which cohered it. Similar things, however, could be said of plenty of folks -C.S. Lewis and his “mere Christianity” for one – whom scarcely any one would call anti-Christian in this sense.

  • TomD says:

    I yearn for inequality because I do not deem equality with God something to be grasped at (or try not to, at least).

  • TomD says:

    @Hrodgar – I sometimes wonder if those kind of “allies” aren’t worse than the opposition – the liberals may be trying to tear down the house of God, but at least they’re not claiming it can be build on a foundation of sand.

  • TomD,

    But that is exactly what they are doing. What is liberalism if not a house of sand?

    Hrodgar,

    Yes. The word being used was not “non-Christian”, it was “anti-Christian”. The distinction is notable.

  • The Night Wind says:

    I’m at a loss to find where anybody actually believes Vox preaching Christianity. What he claims to want to restore never existed. It isn’t the same as calling Protestants anti-Christian; Vox preaches something closer to Gnosticism—a doctrine entirely distinct from Christianity.

  • The Night Wind says:

    Here is an interesting article and comment discussion about Castalia House, from people connected with the literary world:

    https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/tfw-somebody-tries-to-insult-you-and-accidentally-makes-you-sound-more-interesting-than-you-actually-are/

  • I don’t wish to go off topic on Zippy’s thread, but anti Christian in the Gospel of John is literally an anti Christ. So if you reject the Trinitarian God, you don’t believe in the church,and you proclaim hatred to be an important virtue, you’re an anti Christ. VD has also publicly proclaimed his desire to willfully and deliberately work to undermine the faith. I remain baffled as to why some seemingly intelligent people cannot see what is so obvious to many of us.

    I wonder if this isn’t related to liberal daddy issues because people are drawn to Vox because of his perceived power and authority, and not because of his faith. That is a dangerous vulnerability within liberalism and one reason why we so often equate it with fascism.

    JC Wright for all his crazy ideas,would still doff his cap to the King of Kings. VD would not.

  • 1) You’re linking to guy who is literally an admitted SJW. I’ve spoken to Camestros Felapton. The man is a joke.

    2)

    I don’t wish to go off topic on Zippy’s thread, but anti Christian in the Gospel of John is literally an anti Christ. So if you reject the Trinitarian God, you don’t believe in the church,and you proclaim hatred to be an important virtue, you’re an anti Christ.

    Well, no, that’s not true. Vox isn’t “anti-Christian”. Vox is not a Christian. The two are different things. If your argument that literally every non-Christian is anti-Christian then whatever, but that tells me very little interesting or new about Vox.

    3) Can I talk about that Camestros link again? “Connected to the literary world”? Camestros Felapton is connected to the literary world in no reasonable way.

    4) Most importantly of all – Why was this EVER relevant?

    It wasn’t.

    Yes, you hate Vox. You have earned your cookie.

  • The Night Wind says:

    According to Vox, the Southern Baptist Convention is ‘SJW Converged’ because they passed a resolution rejecting racism. As Camestros, I don’t agree with his political bent; but he’s illustrative of the problem. People like that rightly condemn Vox’ extremism, but don’t see his hypocrisy and think that his views are representative of ALL Christians and Conservatives. Vox said just recently that the Constitution only applies to white men of Anglo-Saxon descent. He also said in the comments section of one thread that ‘SWJs’ shouldn’t be protected by the First Amendment. In the article InsanityBytes referenced, Vox praised Anders Breivik as a hero.

    Now Camestros didn’t do any more than accuse him of racism, suppressing others’ views, and praising terrorism. It sounds to me like Camestros just takes Vox at his word.

    To my mind, Conservatives don’t gain a thing by becoming like Liberals. Vox and his minions and the Prog Left are only fighting over what flavor of Socialism they want to impose on us.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Ya’ll comin’ to the wrong place for a fight over VD. It’s like coming to a banquet and complaining loudly about this PTA meeting not meeting your desired goals. He’s just completely irrelevant to anything being done here.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: TomD

    I rather think you’re right, for what it’s worth. A near danger is worse than a distant one. But it’s still a useful distinction to make.

  • Zippy says:

    I don’t really read Vox Day enough to know where his political views might fit in here; though my impression is that he isn’t a stereotypical classical liberal. He seems to be more of a moving target pretending to be stationary.

    Wright’s views on the other hand are a classical liberal paint-by-numbers. There isn’t any need to read his stuff except to verify that he is saying exactly what you already know he is going to say.

    My impression of what we now call the “alt right” – not attributing this to VD in particular (already disclaimed) – is that it is modern liberalism having noticed and accepted that racial differences exist, despite the Emperor-has-no-clothes indoctrination of modernity. In typical fashion this gets exaggerated — when the shiny new politically incorrect distinction you have is a hammer, politics looks like a sea of nails.

    But the proposed racial political buckets are horizontal, not a hierarchy of nobles, commoners, and savages: Darkyland for the darkies, Swarthycamelsland for swarthies, Slanteyeland for the yellows, Towelheadland for the dotted foreheads, Angloparidisecity where the grass is green and the girls are pretty for whites, etc. I still see lots of “muh free speech” agitation and the like: that is, the racial divisions and walls and such are supposed to preserve liberalism among the herrenvolk, so racially cuckold “mudsharking” is one of the most grievous taboos. The symbols and beauty of Christendom are to be assimilated and redeployed (this is in fact what the leftist National Socialists did, in the process giving revisionists fodder for the pretense that Nazism and monarchism were somehow close “right wing” cousins).

    But nobody plans on restoring the actual Hapsburgs and bending the knee. The royal houses of Christendom weren’t races. They were actual extended families: noble bloodlines, not biotechtonic plates fashioned from DNA correlations and phenotypic similarities, separating the continents and causing earthquakes where they rub against each other.

  • Zippy says:

    And of course the royal houses of the Christian Church are an actual spiritual bloodline, Apostolic succession conferred through sacramental ordination upon actual bishops and priests. As in the domain of the polis the critical division comes not where abstract ideas are or are not entertained and accepted, but where the authority of the actual successors of the Apostles is acknowledged and accepted.

    Ultimately everyone has to decide if they are going to exalt themselves and thereby become savages, or humble themselves and thereby take on the more exalted state of commoner.

  • CJ says:

    I LOL’d at Zippy’s names for the various ethno-states.

    As for JCW, he sets great store by his status as a Virginian, and by that state’s role in the revolution. He’s such a perfect foil for Zippy’s anti-liberal posts that if he didnt exist, Zippy would have to invent him.

  • Rhetocrates is right. For some weird reason it was deemed relevant to bring up what a terrible guy Vox Day is in a discussion about JCW’s liberalism on the tenuous connection that he is employed by a company Vox is a part of.

    Now, if you are so new to the situation your impression of Felapton is of a guy who is just acknowledging what that Vox Day feller honestly says and all, then yes, you know your soundbites well, but don’t know the situation on the ground.

    You have successfully made it clear how much you dislike Vox in a completely off topic thread. Enjoy your cookie.

  • Terry Morris says:

    All I want to know is whether Vox subscribes to Wonder Woman Theology. If so, I’m in!

  • Well, I hardly think VD is worthy of either hatred or dislike. I find him kind of sad, actually. His relevance to this thread is related to the fact that he and Wright are closely entwined and they both share the same issues with “right” liberalism, the same problems with viewing power and authority as a hierarchy, the same desire to embrace their ignoble savage, unable to perceive authority as anything other than an “unearned position of authority” or an “undeserved posture of submission.”

    Faith, indeed, grace itself demands we accept an undeserved posture of submission. Undeserved in the sense that you can not earn it through your own actions. And the “last shall go first and the first shall go last”, and the “meek shall inherit the earth.”

    If your perception of authority and submission is negative and you fancy yourself at war with everything from women to race to politics, than your dystopian fantasy becomes very fascist and sadistic. It is based on your own misconceptions of authority, your own unwillingness to submit to unmerited favor, your own insistence that those who hold leadership over you are in unearned positions of authority,an idea that often, rather foolishly, extends all the way to God Himself.

  • LarryDickson says:

    I’m late to come to this discussion, and maybe everyone else knows stuff about this J. C. Wright that I don’t. But it seems like Zippy is missing the burden of what he says in this quote. You can’t answer him by just using the ambiguous word “nobility,” still less by dissing him with “savage.” Is every independent pioneer family automatically savage? Do you unconditionally accept the authority of the Supreme Court? They are the closest thing in our polity to what you seem to advocate: placed above us, they can say whatever they want, and whatever they say goes.

    Some members of the nobility (dukes and earls and such) show the virtue of nobility (generous dedication to others’ good) – Otto von Habsburg for example; others show pretty much its opposite (e.g. Henry VIII). Wright’s simplistic approach can be criticized, but word games won’t do it. Try serious analysis of flaws like the misalignment between “inequality” and “give me orders”.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    Wright’s simplistic approach can be criticized, but word games won’t do it.

    Sure. I didn’t copypasta everything, but this is the second part of Wright’s argument (which he repeats numerous times in his own comment thread):

    I say that if it is the second, claiming to be below me, then as the superior, I here and now order and command silence on this point. As an inferior in political rank, political matters are beyond your ken. Without any showing of merit on my part, or any reason given, I am allowed to silence all further argument: you are by birth born obligated to obey me. So shut up.

    I believe one respondent argued that this proposal was unfair, because a highborn man should be highminded enough to listen to wisdom from any source, even from a slave.

    My answer is that this is quite the democratic sentiment coming from a monarchist: but the judgment as to when and where to listen rests with he who has the right to speak, and not with he who lacks that right.

    Wright’s self-chosen rank is that of savage, below the commoner in rank of nobility by his own deliberate choice, as demonstrated in the OP. (In fact savage is below even the rank of slave, which carries the ennobling virtue of obedience). Introducing frontier families or whatever into the discussion is a red herring.

    Wright sets up a false dichotomy wherein the commoner verbally correcting the savage’s savagery is taken as proof that the commoner is the savage’s peer: that merely speaking to the savage at all about his errors is somehow proof of acceptance of democratic peerdom with the savage.

    Now you could argue that this whole thing is a stupid word game on Wright’s part — and you would have a point.

    But as commoners (by nature the savage’s superiors) his interlocutors have to engage with the savage (assuming they choose to do so at all) on a level which the savage has some hope of grasping. If all that the savage understands is stupid word games, as evidenced by his own verbal behavior, then noblesse oblige creates some obligation on the part of his natural superiors to attempt to reach him where he is.

    Being the recipient of noblesse oblige on the part of his superiors (his nobility-friendly commenters) does not, contra Wright’s silly word games, make him their equal. It confirms his inferiority.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Insanitybytes22:

    Well, I hardly think VD is worthy of either hatred or dislike.

    I personally have read next to nothing of what Vox Day has written/writes. That *should* tell you how much stock I personally put in his politics.

    Not that what I personally think of a given writer/writers means much of anything in any case, but just sayin’.

    I still say that if he (Vox) subscribes to Wonder Woman Theology, I am absolutely, totally, unequivicolly “in”! I have four daughters, after all, and my highest aspiration for each one of them, as their father, is that they should each marry a good, emasculated young man who can see their inner Wonder Woman, acknowledge it and obey her!

  • Rhetocrates says:

    I believe you’re wrong in this, Zippy. The true form of noblesse oblige would be gently taking away his keyboard (and probably his college education) and employing him in some useful, ennobling, but non-social occupation – such as a farmhand. Playing silly buggers with someone because it’s all he can fathom isn’t a kindness; you’re still playing silly buggers.

    Unfortunately for him (though probably fortunate for us, who, if by his own posture are more noble, still are not very noble in these latter days), none of us hold the actual temporal authority to work for his good.

  • Zippy says:

    Rhetocrates:

    I concede that your framing of the situation has merit.

  • “I have four daughters, after all, and my highest aspiration for each one of them, as their father, is that they should each marry a good, emasculated young man who can see their inner Wonder Woman, acknowledge it and obey her!”

    So, I gather you’ve neither read Vox, nor Wright, nor have you seen the latest Wonder Woman,nor have you explored the beauty of scripture, nor do you have any understanding of women at all? I think you may have mastered sarcasm however, so there is that.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    I think you may have mastered sarcasm however, so there is that.

    Terry’s online persona[*] is a tolerant cuddly teddy bear, from what I’ve seen. He indulges stupidity long past the point of what largesse requires, and his forbearance in the face of asininity is enviable.

    [*] I don’t know Terry IRL. For all I know he could be an online character written by a teenage girl in Taiwan.

  • LOL! I adore Jack Nicholson.

    If Terry M does have four daughters than we should probably give him the medal of honor for having survived it all, and also forgive him any residual sarcasm. Sorry Terry M, I didn’t intend that comment of mine to come out quite as harshly as it may sound.

  • The point is, the higher the authority, the stricter the judgment. The Catholic Sense tells us not grasp at positions of authority neither to seek its vanities. Whereby the Godman entering the Jerusalem, which is a type of the whole world, and being hailed as king, was calm because the admiration and honors of men are fickle.

    The Catholic Holy Roman civilization thus realized that Providence ought to procivide for a ruler after ‘God’s own heart’. Who is born into royal nobility and rule learns from the first moments of his consciousness to accept this role with everything it entails. This way fallen man’s frailty is moderated on both sides: as those who would first want the royal seat are those who should last be given it and those who ought to be obedient and submissive are moderated in their desire to go around trying to pick the ‘perfect’ leader just like a young boy trying to find the perfect girl to marry, the more he resists the one girl Providence picked for him the more miserable he is.

    And one last point, a position of authority for life and down the bloodline gives societal authority its necessary stability which means even if the current ruler is a mongrel passing his days in adultery, you can still pray for him so that he converts for the betterment of the Empire. By having people pass through office every four five years the Devil has ensured we can never pinpoint with constancy the key soul that leads and decides matters, because it’s always some communist Committee.
    Whoever does evil comes not into the light.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Insanitybytes22:

    I *do* have four daughters (Michelle (25), Rebecca (20), Sarah (17), and Hannah (5); as well as four sons (Jeremy (29), Gabriel (16), Samuel (13), and Joshua (7)). So I have a whole slew of olive plants ’round about my table, provided by my wife (Annette), the fruitful vine. So I figure I know something, at least about this whole child-rearing thing.

    But anyway, I thank you for the apology, and I wholeheartedly accept! And I return it in due humility! Although … I haven’t yet mastered sarcasm; if I had, I wouldn’t be practicing here at Zippy’s. Ha, ha.

  • Zippy says:

    Terry Morris:

    This is the combat arena in which irony sharpens irony.

  • Zippy says:

    CJ:

    I screwed up one of the ethnostate names though, it should have been “Swarthycamelstan” not “Swarthycamelsland”. I forgot that there always have to be “stans” in the ethnostate patchwork.

  • The Night Wind says:

    The reason why Castalia House and Vox Day are relevant is because John Wright has chosen to associate his name with them. It’s entirely relevant if an author publishes under a suspicious company since there is a presumption that there are other agendas behind his thoughts and words. If Wright’s publisher was a company owned by George Soros would anybody think that was irrelevant? Of course not. It is not irrelevant either if the company is owned by a right-wing cult.

  • Patrick says:

    One of Vox Day’s main themes is that some people are ineducable by reason and need to be persuaded by rhetoric, which he attributes to Aristotle. He calls it MPAI (most people are idiots). I doubt he really believes in the horizontal bucket setup, which he calls “omni-nationalism” except as a rhetorical device.

  • The Night Wind says:

    What Wright is essentially arguing here is the Cultural Marxist position but disguising it as Libertarianism. Even Thomas Jefferson spoke of a ‘Natural Aristocracy’. In Jefferson’s ideal—and that of the Founders generally—the ‘Nobility’ was not hereditary but based upon merit. Wright is taking the Leftist position that Merit is a relative concept; hence a savage is as fit to be a leader as an experienced statesman in his mind.

  • TomD says:

    You can associate your name with companies in various ways; Zippy is associated with WordPress and (indirectly) with Amazon/Createspace, but none of that matters except insofar as it says he hasn’t chosen to not associate with them.

    And what it seems Wright is trying to do is use a (bad) argument ad absurdum to prove that True Equality Liberalism™ is the only option.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    To further illustrate the point that this is savagery:

    The unaddressed true response of the superior, in Wright’s scheme, who cannot talk to the inferior on pain of lowering himself, is to go to Wright’s house and beat him with a stick until he stops posting.

  • Mike T says:

    For some weird reason it was deemed relevant to bring up what a terrible guy Vox Day is in a discussion about JCW’s liberalism on the tenuous connection that he is employed by a company Vox is a part of.

    IIRC, IB was banned from Vox’s blogs as unceremoniously as I was banned from W4.

    According to Vox, the Southern Baptist Convention is ‘SJW Converged’ because they passed a resolution rejecting racism.

    Nice try. Even Doug Wilson called out the SBC on this and obliquely called it a chicken#$%^ resolution.

  • Mike T says:

    are only fighting over what flavor of Socialism they want to impose on us.

    *facepalm* Vox Day wants to impose Socialism on us. Next thing you’re going to tell us Stalin secretly wanted to bring the Romanovs back to power and Hitler’s ultimate goal was to rebuild Israel.

  • Hrodgar says:

    re: Night Wind

    What publishing company ISN’T “suspicious” these days?

    And in any case, the post is addressing primarily a specific argument of Mr. Wright’s and not his character – except insofar as his argument reflects it – and the character of his business partners is even less relevant.

  • On understanding nobility by birth through Sacred Scripture and Church Fathers:

    St. Bernardine of Sienna of holy memory;

    ‘St. Joseph accomplished the mission of being the guardian and provider for Mary and Jesus most faithfully, and for this reason the Lord addressed him with those words: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ These words reveal in the great Saint a threefold state.
    The first describes in this holy man the state of nature, in which shines the nobility of his birth. The Lord said ‘good servant’ in reference to the noble nature that He conferred on him. In truth, he was from a patriarchal, royal and princely race. To better understand this, let us consider the natural nobility of the three members of the Family: Wife, Husband and Child.

    The Blessed Virgin was nobler than any creature who had ever existed or ever will exist. St. Matthew, thrice listing the 14 generations from Abraham to Christ, shows that she descends from the 14 Patriarchs, 14 Kings and 14 Princes. St. Luke, also describing her nobility, goes back in his genealogy from Adam and Eve until the birth of Christ God.
    Christ, who has not mother in Heaven nor father on earth, received from the Virgin all His humanity, and consequently the ancestry that makes Him a son of David and gives Him brothers of noble origin. His Most Holy Mother gave Him this. The dignity of Prince, King and Patriarch of the whole Israeli people was established in view of the Most Holy Virgin, to clearly demonstrate that the corporal nobility given to the human genre in Adam was given by God principally to reach, through numerous generations, the Virgin Mary; and through her, to end in Christ, the Most Holy Son of God.

    St. Joseph was born of a patriarchal, royal and princely race in a direct line. St. Matthew establishes the direct line of all the fathers from Abraham to the spouse of the Virgin, clearly demonstrating that all patriarchal, royal and princely dignity came together in him.
    Instead of giving the genealogy of Mary, St. Matthew described that of St. Joseph, which seems to have only an accidental relation to that of Christ, for three reasons:

    First, to follow the custom of the Hebrews and of Holy Scriptures, which never establishes the genealogy through women or mothers, but always through men or fathers.
    Second and principally, because of the kinship, Mary and Joseph belonged to the same tribe, and were relatives.
    Third, he gave the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary to show the excellence of their marriage, during which Christ was born, and wherein their union was so close that Joseph merited being called, and in a certain way he truly was, the father of Jesus Christ.
    Christ was, therefore, a Patriarch, King and Prince for He received from His mother, from whom he received his substance, everything that other men receive from their mothers. For this reason, the Apostle says that He was born of Mary from the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1: 3).

    St. Luke also describes the nobility of Christ … This nobility was prophesized by the Patriarch Jacob when he said: ‘The sons of thy father shall bow down to thee,’ referring to the adoration of the Divinity. And he added: ‘The scepter shall not be taken away from Judah’ (Gen 49:8).
    Thus the Evangelists described the nobility of the Virgin and of Joseph to manifest the nobility of Christ. Joseph was, therefore, so noble that, so to speak, he gave temporal nobility to God in the person of Christ Jesus.’
    *endquote

    St. Peter Julian Eymard;

    ‘When God the Father decided to give His Son to the world, He wanted to do so with honor, since He is worthy of all honor and glory. He thus prepared Him a court and royal service worthy of Him: God desired that His Son should have an honorable and glorious reception on earth, if not in the eyes of the world, at least in His own eyes. The mystery of grace in the Incarnation of the Word was not improvised, and those who were chosen to take part in it had been prepared by Him long in advance. The court of the Son of God made Man was composed of Mary and Joseph; God Himself could not have found more worthy servants for His Son.

    Let us consider particularly St. Joseph. Charged with the formation of the Royal Prince of Heaven and Earth, responsible for directing and serving Him, it was necessary that St. Joseph’s service should be on a par with his Divine Pupil – it would not be fitting for God to be ashamed of His father. Therefore, since He was King, of the line of David, He made St. Joseph to be born of this same royal line. He wanted him to be noble, of an earthly nobility. In the veins of St. Joseph, therefore, flowed the blood of David and Solomon, and of all the noble kings of Judah. If his dynasty had remained on the throne, St. Joseph would have been the heir and would have sat on the throne in his turn.

    Pay no mind to his actual poverty: injustice had expelled his family from the throne to which he had the right. For this he was no less a king, the son of these kings of Judah, the greatest, noblest and richest in the world. Thus in the census records of Bethlehem, St. Joseph was inscribed and recognized by the Roman governor as the heir of David: therein lies his royal title, which is easily identifiable and bears the royal signature.

    But someone might ask, “What is the importance of Joseph’s nobility? Jesus came only to humble Himself.” I answer that the Son of God, who wanted to humble Himself for a time, also wished to unite in His Person all types of grandeur. He also is a King, by right of inheritance, since He is of royal blood. Jesus was noble, and when He chose His Apostles from the common people, He made them nobles. He had that right, given that He was the Son of Abraham and heir to the throne of David. He loves this honor of family. The Church does not judge nobility in terms of democracy. Let us respect, therefore, what she respects. Nobility belongs to God.

    Must one, then, be noble to serve Our Lord? If you were noble, you would give Him further glory, but it is not necessary. He is satisfied with good will and nobility of heart. Albeit, Church annals show us that a large number of Saints, and the more illustrious ones, had a coat of arms, a name, and a distinguished family – some were even of royal blood.

    Our Lord loves to be honored by all that is honorable. St. Joseph received an exquisite formation in the Temple; thus God prepared him to be the noble servant of His Son, the knight of the most noble Prince, the protector of the most august Queen, the Queen of the universe. ‘
    *endquote

    Catholic Magisterium therefore contradicts the popular notion of the protestant sect that the nobility of bearing is not passed through princely lineages. The teaching on Christ’s Bloodline keeps us mindful of the fact that not all bloodlines are equally stained by sin. This is why the non-Catholic sects depict the Holy Family as proletarian, their house as banal and ugly, Mother of God dressed in rags unbecoming of her stature and St. Joseph as a base workman.
    From this also follows the protestant teaching that money is fungible (Zippy taught me a new word) with the idea of nobility which plugs into the ‘errors of Russia’. Catholic nobility (knighthood) is, by nature, a militant class anointed to uphold, defend and spread the Faith, it is a spiritual class not an economic one.

    This poses the question: if the ancient Kingdom of Israel was dissolved by Providence where is the Scepter of Judah? It’s in the Catholic Church which is God’s Zion and the House of Israel. Like the Mother of God the Church therefore holds the Sacred Lineage in the Holy Sanctuary where even the least Catholic soul can go before the Throne. The Church alone has the authority given by God to anoint and anathematize rulers which make not the rule of man but the rule of Christ – absolute.

  • LarryDickson says:

    OK, I’m going to offer a fresh start here because I see what Zippy is getting at but it has essential flaws and the search must continue.

    Zippy says he wants people to be Commoners. OK, but it only works if everyone is a Commoner. As soon as you have a Nobility, it is corrupt to the max – like our Supreme Court. Study early modern Poland, before the partition. The commoners had decent moral fiber, if they weren’t drunk or crushed by usury, but the nobility had all the vices of Hollywood. They created latifundia, set up moneylenders to channel wealth to the State, just so they could preen themselves in their fancy carriages. Their polity, after fine beginnings (Jan Sobieski), crumpled into rot and was partitioned by its neighbors.

    For fair more recent studies, try Smetona (Lithuania) or Salazar (Portugal). Strongman leaders – no “nobility” – they tried to establish Zippy’s system, with fair success. Smetona’s polity was murdered by Stalin so the test was not completed. Salazar’s proved uninspiring to the young and failed tiredly, despite the backing of Our Lady of Fatima. Another similar story was that of pre-Quiet-Revolution Quebec, with Tridentine Mass and nuns – failed tiredly before Vatican II.

    Key bits of wisdom as I remember them: Tolkien on democracy – “it leads not to universal smallness and humility but to universal greatness and pride” VERSUS Churchill “Democracy is the worst political system, except for all the others.” I look to pioneers and to tribalism as a cohesive force – WITH the humility wherein people recognize that tribalism is kind of silly, like cheering your baseball team.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    Zippy says he wants people to be Commoners.

    You have a tendency to read all sorts of things into what people say, that they did not say. (In this you are very much like most people; but that isn’t how we roll around here, which can take some adjustment for those new to the blog).

    The OP isn’t prescriptive, it is descriptive. Some men are in fact savages. Some men are in fact slaves. Some men are in fact commoners. Some men are in fact aristocrats. Some men are in fact kings. Some men are in fact proprietors. Some men are in fact patriarchs. Etc, etc.

    That liberals wish this was not the case doesn’t make it actually not the case.

    It just makes liberal societies sociopathic.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Zippy, that is a bit of an evasion. In your original post, and in your reply to my first post, you make it clear that you posit commonership as a superior alternative to Wrightism. “Some men are in fact savages” is actually heretical – Calvinism – some men may choose to be savages, or may repent and accept God’s authority. God could have given us an adult life of a week or two, like mayflies, but He chose to give us an adult life of many decades – so that any one individual’s status or state can change many times over a lifetime.

    The idea that constitutional politics should be only descriptive, not prescriptive, is Quietism and if taken seriously would be a severe lack of charity. Of course you do not take it seriously, as evinced by the considerable effort you put into this blog!

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    Zippy, that is a bit of an evasion. In your original post, and in your reply to my first post, you make it clear that you posit commonership as a superior alternative to Wrightism.

    No, I posit that there is a difference in fact between commoners and savages, and that Wright has made himself a savage by choice.

    “Some men are in fact savages” is actually heretical – Calvinism – some men may choose to be savages, or may repent and accept God’s authority.

    … which is just to say that savagery can be left behind through repentance, by giving up the lies and behaviors which make the savage a savage (which repeats a point I already made). Certainly. And again this is an observation of fact, not a prescription.

    Slaves can be freed, commoners can marry into aristocratic families, etc — status, in other words, can change. It does not follow that status does not exist, nor does it follow that heredity plays no part in status (which is another one of Wright’s central — and manifestly false — claims about liberal societies).

    Liberal denial of the existence of hereditary status in liberal societies doesn’t make it actually vanish. It just makes liberal societies sociopathic.

    The idea that constitutional politics should be only descriptive, not prescriptive, is Quietism and …

    … is you (again) reading things into the discussion which nobody claimed, followed by skirmishing with your own ideas.

  • Bloodlines are really important in scripture, all those begats and the house of David and the Lion of the tribe of Judah.We ourselves are a royal priesthood, brought in by blood, per scripture. Our Lord was born in manager, had no where to lay His head,and borrowed a tomb, and yet He is the King of Kings. So nobility, royalty, calls us to humble ourselves as commoners.

    Nobility, royalty, these things are truth and beauty, they are what we strive for, they are desirable qualities. To reduce the equation to “unearned authority” and “undeserved submission” is really to miss the whole point.

    America has her kings, we just tend to deny it, to dismiss bloodlines and to instead define royalty as being about wealth, power, and success. We have politicians and movie stars we tragically perceive as royalty and we’ve lost our whole concept of virtue or nobility.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Zippy and Insanitybytes22, we are finally making some progress. We are indeed searching for a constitutional political prescription, not just description. We are considering status via heredity, truth, and beauty as well as wealth, power, and success. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are royalty, and some of their status rubs off on persons such as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. So far so good.

    Please study the literary and historical references I made in my first post of today. How to translate the true status shining down from the divine into an ordering that does not crush and ruin so many of our neighbors is the difficult part.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    How to translate the true status shining down from the divine into an ordering that does not crush and ruin so many of our neighbors is the difficult part.

    That’s a nice sentiment, but it strikes me like a stage four cancer patient going over plans for college and career.

    If it makes you feel good to talk about it that’s fine, but don’t let that chatter get in the way of excising the tumor right now and flooding your body with chemotherapy and radiation to make sure that all of the cancer cells are dead, dead, dead.

  • Hrodgar says:

    This has probably been addressed somewhere around here before, but it occurs to me that Wright’s argument fails on another level: authority is particular.

    Take, for instance, the modern military. A platoon leader can’t order everybody’s platoons around, just his. Also, lower ranks will sometimes possess positional authority, and be able to give orders to higher ranks. Rank still means something, even when they’re not in you’re direct chain of command – if you’re a deck seaman and an air force general tells you to take care of something, you’d best be sure your own boss will back you up before you don’t – but more overall authority or higher overall station doesn’t necessarily translate directly to the authority over particular persons.

    Similarly, for kids, my dad isn’t your dad, and to the degree your dad has authority over me, it is mostly dependent on the degree to which my dad will back him up. And a slave is a slave of a particular master, not whoever happens to give him an order; in fact, there have been times when a slave has been given authority over freemen, without thereby ceasing to be a slave.

    Even if he were right that to think monarchies are fine and democracy and equality aren’t all they’re cracked up to be made his interlocutors slaves, that wouldn’t mean they had to take orders from him, or even couldn’t give him orders; in order to establish that, it would first have to be established WHOSE slaves they were.

  • glosoli says:

    You Catholics ever read the Bible? I know it was out of bounds for 1500 years, the power-mongers keep you from the Truth.

    If you haven’t read it, here’s a snippet from 1 Samuel 8:

    7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

    8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

    9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

    10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

    11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

    12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

    13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

    14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

    15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

    16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

    17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

    18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.’

    Yet here you are today begging for Kings again.
    And you wonder why the world is so messed up?
    Can’t you be happy with the two Popes you have? Bergoglio will be a Saint too one day, Saint Francis of Sodom. Nice.

    Off all the people in the world who seek Jehovah, truly the Catholics have gone furthest astray. It’s very very sad.
    Just read the bible and let Jehovah guide you. Ignore the politicians who captured the church from Roman times.
    Tough to do for most of you, you consider men and yourself as above Jehovah and his Word.

  • Zippy says:

    The funniest thing to me about glosoli’s comment is that there aren’t any actual monarchists in this thread. Where is King Richard?

  • glosoli says:

    Heh, you should grab your reading glasses, as you allow heresies to stand here:

    ‘Nobility, royalty, these things are truth and beauty, they are what we strive for, they are desirable qualities.’

    Nope.

    Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

    Just follow God. Don’t ever hope to find truth and beauty in men. Heresy lives here. Hardly surprising, you talk more about your Saints than about God.

    Deny it Zippy, let me see you deny it.

  • glosoli says:

    I can feel Zippy’s pride emanating from him across the ocean.
    Will he acknowledge the truth and pray here for forgiveness.
    Or will he come up with some smart quip?
    Or will he delete my comment?
    Or will he just ignore it?
    Let us see how the Smartest Catholic On the Planet reacts shall we?
    I love you Zippy, I am praying for you in my prayers tonight, don’t turn away from God to save your own pride.

  • “‘Nobility, royalty, these things are truth and beauty, they are what we strive for, they are desirable qualities.’”

    I’m the one who said that and I’m neither a monarchist nor a Catholic. I’m just a run of the mill, ordinary protestant heretic.

  • “I can feel Zippy’s pride emanating from across the ocean” says the man who presumes to be the arbiter of heresies, who presumes to know how much Zippy (and other Catholics) read the Bible, who presumes to be able to read zippy’s heart (among others) and know that it is prideful, and who presumes to know just how much Zippy (and others) talk about God and the Saints.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Insanitybytes

    Even more amusing, remember the man whose arguments we are critiquing, Mr. Wright, is himself a Catholic. So Glosoli is claiming that something a Protestant said to rebut a position held by a Catholic is a Catholic heresy.

    Reminds of finding out that Foxe’s Book of Martyrs actually included a fair number of Catholics.

  • Terry Morris says:

    “I can feel Zippy’s pride emanating from across the ocean” says the man who presumes to be the arbiter of heresies…

    I doubt he presumes to be that; he probably just presumes to be the arbiter of what the Bible says and doesn’t say about heresies.

    Insanitybytes22:

    Taken in context of your broader comment, I didn’t read the excerpted part in question as being particularly heretical. But of course I’m not the arbiter of heresies either, and I certainly don’t claim to be the arbiter of what the Bible teaches concerning heresies, so you should take my opinion for what it’s worth.

  • Zippy says:

    I often have to book a second hotel room just for my ego.

  • You’re very kind Terry M. I am not really a heretic at all, but accusing one another of heresy is practically a protestant past time, one I find somewhat comical.

  • Patrick says:

    “Just read the bible and let Jehovah guide you.”

    The Bible is unbiblical.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    I love you Zippy, I am praying for you in my prayers tonight, don’t turn away from God to save your own pride.
    It always evokes pity in me the way many sola scriptura Christians place themselves as supreme and authoritative interpreters, dare to speak for God (and command the Holy Spirit to provide them correct interpretation), judge the hearts of their interlocutors, then point fingers at them for their pride. Ugh.

  • Zippy says:

    Hrodgar:

    Your point about the particularity of authority is well made, and worth emphasizing.

  • Scott W. says:

    “I love you Zippy, I am praying for you in my prayers tonight, don’t turn away from God to save your own pride.”

    Translation: I’ll pray for you and the horse you rode in on.

  • glosoli says:

    We have our answer: the smart quip.

    I will pray every day for all Catholics to see the light, and return to worshiping Jehovah, rather than men and women (Mary, Queen of the Universe: who is her King I wonder).

    God bless you all.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Insanitybytes22:

    You’re very kind Terry M. I am not really a heretic at all, but accusing one another of heresy is practically a protestant past time, one I find somewhat comical.

    Well, I should imagine most of us have succumbed, at one time or another during our lives, to the strong temptation to embrace a given heresy or heresies. You know what they say, “if you ain’t screwing up, you ain’t trying very hard.”

    Btw, I should probably let you in on the original source of my little joke you took issue with upthread: In a comment to an online article titled Wonder Woman Might Be The Most Accurate On-Screen Depiction of Biblical Woman, and Here’s Why, commenter Vaughn wrote the following:

    As a father of 5 daughters, all named after comic book characters, I loved your insights. I had a very strong emotional reaction to the scene where Diana faced down the machine guns and insuing town liberation. In that sequence her male companions went from leading her to following her and assisting her. It became the relationship I hope all my daughters find with their male counterparts and companions. Very inspired writing. Thank you!

    I don’t know whether or not Vaughn’s stated aspirations for his daughters (to say nothing of his naming them all after comic book characters) is a heresy, but if it isn’t it ought to be. Lol.

  • Scott W. says:

    We have our answer: the smart quip

    A quip worthy of the tendentious readings and falsehoods you have presented so far.

  • TomD says:

    “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith.”

    So protestants calling each other “heretics” is amusing to me.

    You can’t be a “heretic” without admitting a central authority, and as Zippy has shown; that authority cannot be a body of texts (not even Scripture + Denzinger).

  • TomD says:

    @Scott W – the number of people who try to make points with Christ by denigrating and insulting His Mother scares me.

  • Terry Morris says:

    glosoli:

    I was once in a discussion with a pastor of a (Protestant) church I attended occasionally at the time, over a particular (and foundational) unorthodox point of doctrine he and his congregation held. At one point in the conversation I suggested that he should at least entertain the mere possibility that he *might* be wrong. His answer still gives me chills to think about:

    Terry, let me put it to you this way: so sure am I that I am right on this, that if Jesus himself came down and stood between us at this very moment and told me I am wrong, I couldn’t accept it.

    True story! Give him credit I guess for being perfectly open and honest in his blasphemy. Most aren’t.

  • LOL! Thanks,Terry M. Well, don’t all girls dream of facing down machine guns while the guys hide in a fox hole? Ha! Not so much, it is not even an aspiration really. Overall however, that movie was a pleasant surprise, not because it was so fabulous, but because as a culture we are starved for any portrayal of something healthy, ordinary about relationships between men and women. But the bar is very low right now.

    Hrodgar’s point kind of fits in well here, “authority is particular.” If we know who we are and Whose we are, than everything else just begins to make sense and flow naturally.

  • Patrick says:

    “We have our answer: the smart quip.”

    The royal We and the patronizing retreat. That’s some well-executed protestantism.

  • glosoli says:

    Don’t you guys even feel vaguely disconcerted that Mary is alluded to as ‘Queen of the Universe’ by one of your Saints? You all feel that’s appropriate?

    The woman gets barely a mention in the bible, and yet I had a Catholic try to claim that she was responsible for chivvying Jesus into starting His work on Earth at the wedding, despite the Lords’s clear rebuttal to her in scripture.

    Do none of you even suspect that the same ploy that fooled Eve is being played again, and has been since the Romans co-opted the Christian faith?

    Whenever women are involved, watch out.

    And Zippy, you stated an untruth, you let it stand, and it is flatly contradictory of scripture. You know no humility. Your fanboys ought to be pointing this out to you, as Christian brothers.

    It’s weird how some are so deep in their beliefs and errors are totally unable to see the light. Ironically, by advocating for human authorities over that of Jehovah, you’re progs yourselves. Just read the scripture from 1 Samuel 8 again. The Lord will not hear you, He’s never heard you, as you need men to rule you, you ignore His words.

    I doubt any of you will attempt to invalidate this point, as you didn’t when I posted it yesterday. Because you can’t. Progressives are all the same: incoherent.

  • Wood says:

    glosoli,

    I understand where you are coming from. I grew up in a similar position as you, and I think you are in all likelihood concerned about the souls of us poor Catholics. There have been mountains written across millennia in defense of the Catholic position on saints. Anything I could say has been said before, by others, and better. Combox conversions are rather rare. But odd that you would comment upon Zippys humility in a comment which shows no humility on your own part as to a consideration of Catholic teaching. Your whole argument is based upon what a friend of yours said and what you feel about Jesus. Ok.

    Even stipulating your interpretation of Samuel, the relationship between Old Testament prohibitions and us Easter people isn’t as 1-to-1 as you seem to think (sabbath, food prohibitions, etc).

    Zippys humility is displayed by his publishing your comments. I can assure you his fanboys aren’t so humble though.

  • Patrick says:

    “It’s weird how some are so deep in their beliefs and errors are totally unable to see the light.”

    The Bible isn’t in the Bible. Your fundamental doctrine is self-refuting.

  • Don’t you guys even feel vaguely disconcerted that Mary is alluded to as ‘Queen of the Universe’ by one of your Saints? You all feel that’s appropriate?

    It seems quite appropriate that the mother of the Lord of Heaven and Earth should be considered Queen. This does not mean that she is greater than Him; in fact, it is a heresy to consider her greater than Him. However it is entirely appropriate that she be considered greater than any of us. Apocalypse 12:1 “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

    The woman gets barely a mention in the Bible

    Only if you ignore typology.

    And Zippy, you stated an untruth, you let it stand, and it is flatly contradictory of scripture.

    Is it? Is it not true and beautiful that God made flesh was descended from human beings? And not just any human beings, but the Royal Line of David? Is it not true and Beautiful that our God is a King and as his sons and daughters we share in that royalty and nobility? And is it not true and beautiful that just as our earthly fathers can be signs of our Heavenly Father, so too may our earthly kings be signs of our Heavenly King?

    Ironically, by advocating for human authorities over that of Jehovah, you’re progs yourselves.

    And where, pray tell, did anyone advocate for human authority over the authority of God? That there are human authorities and that we should submit to them is told to us by Christ himself. Matthew 22:17-22:
    “Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar’s. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s. And hearing this, they wondered, and leaving him, went their way.”

  • glosoli says:

    @Wood, yes, that is my sole motivation here, but I won’t hang around flogging a dead horse.

    Generally, in Protestant and and Catholic circles, the wisdom of the Old Testament seems to me (a relatively new Christian) to be largely ignored.

    @TimF, the Greek word was not ‘render’ (which means to return to). It was the Greek for ‘give’. You appear not to grasp quite how clever the Lord was being when He said those words.

    You should consider what on this planet actually belongs to any man. Nothing does, we are all merely temporary custodians of God’s bounty, and Jesus knew that, hence why his listeners were so amazed at His wisdom. Caesar deserved nothing, neither do modern governments.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    A serious and focused question.

    Do you believe that you are ever morally obligated to obey another human being who has authority over you in some particular matter or other? That is, do you believe that any human beings ever legitimately exercise authority over other human beings, however limited that authority may be, and of course always subordinate to God’s authority?

    Example: if you are at someone else’s home and they tell you to leave, is there any circumstance whatsoever in which this makes it morally obligatory for you to leave?

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Glosoli

    Did you come up with that yourself, or is there someone before about this time yesterday historically speaking who thought of that interpretation? After all, “but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” There are good reasons the Church frowns on novelties.

    You might also want to check out Romans 13 and Ephesians 6. It is worth noting that Paul does not seem to feel it necessary to make distinctions in those passages between deserving or undeserving authorities. If you want something from the Old Testament, you might find it helpful to consider the relations of David with Saul. David, eventually, fled from Saul, but never rebelled against him, and executed the man who claimed to have killed him. Saul was hardly a deserving authority, but he was still, in David’s own words, “the Lord’s anointed.”

    Sola Scriptura is an incoherent doctrine for any number of reasons, one of which was alluded to upthread by Patrick, and several of which are addressed in posts elsewhere on this blog. What convinced me (I used to be a Protestant) is the simple fact that the Catholic Church predates the New Testament, and that Protestants use a mutilated and abridged Old Testament. And in the end, Sola Scriptura is contrary to the gospel Paul preached, and anathema.

    For a useful historical perspective, I would recommend Hillaire Belloc’s Europe and the Faith, or at least the second chapter: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8442/pg8442-images.html

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Glosoli

    Did you come up with that idea yourself, or is there someone before about this time yesterday historically speaking who teaches anything even resembling that interpretation? After all, “but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” There are good reasons the Church frowns on novelties.

    You might also want to check out Romans 13 and Ephesians 6. It is worth noting that Paul does not seem to feel it necessary to make distinctions in those passages between deserving or undeserving authorities. If you want something from the Old Testament, you might find it helpful to consider the relations of David with Saul. David, eventually, fled from Saul, but never rebelled against him, and executed the man who claimed to have killed him. Saul was hardly a deserving authority, but he was still, in David’s own words, “the Lord’s anointed.”

    Sola Scriptura is an incoherent doctrine for any number of reasons, one of which was alluded to upthread by Patrick, and several of which are addressed in posts elsewhere on this blog. What convinced me (I used to be a Protestant) is the simple fact that the Catholic Church predates the New Testament, and that Protestants use a mutilated and abridged Old Testament. In the end, Sola Scriptura is ahistorical, is contrary to the gospel Paul preached, and is anathema.

    For a useful historical perspective, I would recommend Hillaire Belloc’s Europe and the Faith, or at least the second chapter: http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8442/pg8442-images.html

  • Scott W. says:

    In the OT the queen is not the wife of the king, but the mother. So,

    Jesus is the King of Heaven
    Mary is the mother of Jesus

    ergo, Mary is the queen of Heaven

    That biblical conclusion can’t be be denied unless one denies one or all of the biblical premises.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    Example: if you are at someone else’s home and they tell you to leave, is there any circumstance whatsoever in which this makes it morally obligatory for you to leave?

    Lol! Now why’d you have to go and ask a tough question like that?!

    I wonder too how he might answer if the example were reversed (glosoli the homeowner, giving the order to leave)?

  • Terry Morris says:

    glosoli:

    …the wisdom of the Old Testament seems to me (a relatively new Christian) to be largely ignored.

    Oh, a neophyte. I Tm. 3:6.

  • […] or merely a functional family, have to first accept the reality of messy, fallible, flawed, particular human authority vested in actual human beings. And if the community isn’t going to be […]

  • I know I am very late to the party and possibly beating a dead horse, but this has professional relevance to me, so:

    1) The point about Soros is great, except that Mr. Wright disagrees with Vox on his most important pet issues.

    2) More importantly, of course, it has *nothing to do with this discussion*.

  • glosoli says:

    Zippy,

    One’s parents (when a child), and the male elders of a Christian tribe would have authority under God, and would govern locally, including establishing laws for property owners. I view all Popes, Kings, Presidents, Mayors etc as representative of a satanic set-up, and God explicitly says we don’t need them.

    @Hrodgar, it’s in scripture that we don’t possess anything on earth, we’re mere stewards, so why do you think Jesus meant otherwise? I guess Papists would interpret it to mean that you have to pay your dues and taxes, but I think you’d be wrong.

    Thanks for the link, I will read it.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    OK. At least we’ve agreed what we are now, and are just haggling over the price.

  • Patrick says:

    ” it’s in scripture that we don’t possess anything on earth”

    I’m still trying to figure out why you give so much credit to the Bible, something the Bible itself doesn’t do. Did you make that up yourself or did some man tell you to?

  • TomD says:

    Pope told him what books were in the bible, and to read it, so he did.

  • glosoli says:

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    Should I rebuke you for your comments?

    I’ll correct you: if you rely on material other than the bible, you are being duped by man, and satan is delighted at that outcome, as it’ll be his foul breath you’re inhaling.

  • glosoli says:

    Patrick, you do require rebuking.

    You stated a false fact about the bible, you denigrated the Word of God.
    God hates those who lie.

    Please consider your motivation, and repent.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    if you rely on material other than the bible, …

    Does your own personal ability to read, interpret, and understand language constitute “material other than the Bible”, or is your personal skill set somehow mystically included in the text of the Bible?

    Follow up question: if your own personal learned skill set is mystically included in the text of the Bible, why do different denominations of sola scriptura Protestants come to so many mutually incompatible conclusions about what the text of the Bible means?

    Additional follow up question: is your personal ability to read, interpret, and understand written text infallible? If so, why yours and nobody else’s?

  • Patrick says:

    Now just find a verse that says that verse is Scripture, and then a verse that says that verse is Scripture and so on. I rilly think you’re on to something.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    Or we could make it more concrete, by asking the question “Is the Book of Tobit in the Bible?” (This isn’t merely theoretical: it is an actual point of contention among different Christian denominations).

    If sola scriptura is true it should be possible to definitively show that Tobit is or is not included in the Bible from explicit statements in the Bible alone, prescinding from appeal to any commentary, tradition, or written history of men.

  • Patrick says:

    Even better. I look forward to his Biblical answer.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    Glosoli.

    Glosoli, you said: “I’ll correct you: if you rely on material other than the bible, you are being duped by man, and satan is delighted at that outcome, as it’ll be his foul breath you’re inhaling.”

    Well, tell us this, Glosili–Where in the Bible does it say that “if you rely on other material other than the bible, you are being duped by man, and satan is delighted at the outcome, as it’ll be his foul breath you’re inhaling.”?

    If you cannot definitively and unambiguously prove through scripture everything contained in your statement, then YOU are a hypocrite who is relying on other material than the bible, and your entire statement is self-refuting.

    Do you truly think to win any hearts, let alone any arguments, by claiming to know God’s mind and telling Patrick that God hates him? After claiming such authority and knowledge over God’s mind, and using that claim to present him as a hateful God, you should be quaking in terror for having done so.

  • TomD says:

    Scripture tells us exactly why God should hate us; and then tells us He loves us despite it all.

  • glosoli says:

    I believe the bible is God-given.
    Nothing else is. If that’s a view that you disagree with, we’re all wasting our time here.

    It’s that simple.

    The Romans captured the politics and perverted the power of the Church very early on, and here we are today, where supposed Christians attack someone for believing the word of God, and attempt to defend other documentation.

    I truly feel sorry for this state of affairs, it seems to me that you all are far away from God, more attracted to other writings. If you are casting doubt on the veracity of the bible itself, can you not see that is satan’s work?

    And at a time when you suffer two living Popes, one of whom was blackmailed into the background, and the other is a literal raving homosexual satanist marxist. Can any of you tell me where in the bible it commands you to confess your sins weekly to a priest and pay penance in some arbitrary form? I doubt it. You’ll all just ignore that point. The invention of purgatory, and the money that changed hands in the middle ages to buy your way to heaven? And yet the thief who was on the cross alongside our Lord was told he’d be with the Father that same night.

    You’re all deluded, your attitude in comments is incredibly prideful, especially when I simply quote some scripture to you.

    No wonder the Reformation happened, and the Word was freed for all to soak up. Another Reformation is long overdue. Perhaps the Catholics will move so far left even those here will smell a rat and jump ship I hope so.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    Try to stay focused: what about the Book of Tobit? Is it part of the Bible and, if so, where does the Bible affirm this?

  • glosoli says:

    @silly interloper:

    ‘Do you truly think to win any hearts, let alone any arguments, by claiming to know God’s mind and telling Patrick that God hates him?’

    I don’t *claim* to know God’s mind, as it is stated very precisely in the bible. I’m sure you know the verse, the things God hates. He hates liars. Patrick lied.

    I ask that you suck that fact up, and accept truth. There is truth, there are lies. God hates liars, me too.

  • If you are casting doubt on the veracity of the bible itself…

    Not at all. What we are casting doubt on is your personal interpretation of the text of the Bible. If you would like to be treated with more respect, maybe you should start by treating the others here with respect rather than assuming they are prideful and heretical right from the get-go

    It is telling that you didn’t answer any of Zippy’s questions (who by the way, did not say anything at all disparaging about the Bible; if you look through this blog, you’ll find that he quotes it quite often). Does your own personal ability to read, interpret, and understand language count as “material other than the Bible? Is the book of Tobit even in the Bible? The answer to these questions is very important.

  • glosoli says:

    Zippy, you have a habit of ignoring any points you don’t like to cover.

    If one agrees with Paul’s teachings on salvation by grace (not almsgiving alone), it’s easy to understand why Tobit is typical of the Pharisees’ focus on the law, whilst moving further away from God. Not what Jesus taught at all. Hence, it’s not in the bible.

    But the Pharisees (and the Catholics) are so alike. Pay your money to the priests, confess your sins, carry on as before, and you’ll be fine (nod and a wink).

    How about you try to answer some of my points now, that’d be a first.

  • TomD says:

    The only person who can interpret the Bible is someone who learned to read from the Bible alone, eh? Gotta sola that scriptura.

  • glosoli says:

    ’16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

    17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

    18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

    19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’

    Any man can grasp the precise meaning of the above. The bible is not difficult to understand, God gave it to us, He wants us to be able to grasp what He says.

    satan on the other hand wants you to think it’s all very complex, so you need one of the Borgias to explain it to you, and you can’t read it yourself, that would be far too dangerous.

    Such an obvious ploy, one would have to be mad to believe it.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    Any man can grasp the precise meaning of the above.

    Can a Chinese man who doesn’t know how to read English understand it? Does translation from English to Mandarin require any use of non-biblical knowledge?

  • glosoli says:

    Sorry Zippy, you are obfuscating. Hence, unless you want to substantively address my points above, I’ll not answer any more of yours.

    You probably won’t address them, and I know why. You’re clearly an intelligent and coherent man, your arguments on most other issues are very enlightening. On the matter of your Catholic faith, you appear to have nothing coherent to offer. Over to you.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    If one agrees with Paul’s teachings on salvation by grace (not almsgiving alone), it’s easy to understand why Tobit is typical of the Pharisees’ focus on the law, whilst moving further away from God. Not what Jesus taught at all. Hence, it’s not in the bible.

    I’m sorry, where again is the actual Biblical verse that tells us in clear terms that Tobit is or is not included in the Bible? Your commentary is just the opinions of a man, not actual Scripture. The fact that you wrote your commentary doesn’t make it part of the Bible itself.

  • glosoli says:

    Does Tobit argue that salvation can come from alms-giving alone or not?

    Yes, it does.

    That’s not what Jesus or Paul said, so…….you want that in the bible eh?

    Why?

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:
    You are still giving us your personal commentary (a work of man, obviously), not an actual Scriptural verse which says that Tobit is not in the Bible.

  • TomD says:

    Why is the Book of Enoch not in the Bible? The New Testament quotes it.

  • Patrick says:

    Also the Gospels aren’t Biblical, because Tobit says you can be saved by almsgiving [granted for the sake of argument].

  • glosoli says:

    No, Zippy, I’m not doing that.

    I note your continued obfuscation, ignoring the statements of Paul and Jesus to defend your precious Catholicism, and its false doctrine.

    Address the words of the Lord next time you post, or do not bother to comment at all.

    In fact, try answering a direct and focused question:

    Was Jesus lying or wrong when he said the only way to the Father was through Him?

    Good luck, I won’t hold my breath though.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I note your continued obfuscation, ignoring the statements of Paul and Jesus …

    The statements I can’t make sense of are your statements. Scripture makes plenty of sense to me. Disagreeing with your commentary on Scripture, and your whole manner of interpretation, isn’t the same thing as disagreement with Scripture.

    If you have read the other posts I linked upthread then you know that I believe Scripture to be without error. That doesn’t mean that your commentary and interpretation of Scripture is without error.

    Address the words of the Lord next time you post, or do not bother to comment at all.

    Spin around three times and do ten jumping jacks, or do not bother to comment at all.

    Was Jesus lying or wrong when he said the only way to the Father was through Him?

    No.

  • GJ says:

    Sola Scriptura is an incoherent doctrine for any number of reasons, one of which was alluded to upthread by Patrick, and several of which are addressed in posts elsewhere on this blog.

    Sola Scriptura, to me, is essentially about the supremacy of the Scriptures as divine Revelation, from which it is easily deduced that it can be in principle used to evaluate other authoritative claims. In practice, the task of evaluation presupposes the hermeneutic task, which in modern and positivistic times has been construed in a positivistic fashion.

    While Zippy does give a most trenchant critique of such positivistic hermeneutics by adherents of Sola Scriptura, it is my view that he errs by confusing such hermeneutics people attach to the doctrine with the doctrine itself, which to my mind does not appear at all self-contradictory or problematic.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    To the extent sola scriptura can be rescued from self contradiction it simply becomes the Catholic doctrine: that is, belief in Scripture’s material (not formal) sufficiency and inerrancy.

  • GJ says:

    I’m having difficulty deciding whether to fire at the Catholics being silly or the Protestant being silly. Let’s start with a Catholic:

    Why is the Book of Enoch not in the Bible? The New Testament quotes it.

    Nebuchadnezzar is quoted in Scripture, but I think it obviously silly that it be therefore suggested that a collected ‘Utterances of Nebuchadnezzar the Great’ should be in Scripture “because of Sola Scriptura”.

  • glosoli says:

    Another direct and focused question for you Zippy:

    If Jesus was not lying or wrong when He said the only way to the Father is through me, why does the Catholic faith still believe otherwise? And why are you a Catholic? (I know that’s two questions, but answer these two and I’ll be gone).

    Thanks.

  • GJ says:

    To the extent sola scriptura can be rescued from self contradiction it simply becomes the Catholic doctrine: that is, belief in Scripture’s material (not formal) sufficiency and inerrancy.

    There is actual essential difference: what is considered supreme authority source. Otherwise, yes, I would think you are right, but that is precisely the point of Sola Scriptura: the idea of ‘divine revelation of supreme authority’ isn’t at all touched: the exclusion of the Pope and Tradition is the essential point.

    Also, what do you mean by material and formal sufficiency?

  • Glosoli:

    Do you believe that unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you shall not have live within you? If so, do you eat His Flesh and drink His blood? If so, where do you get it?

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    Luther, for instance, notes that a good grasp of the relevant languages is a precondition to understanding the Gospels:

    “And let us be sure of this: we shall not long preserve the Gospel without the language…If through our neglect we let the languages go (which may God forbid!), we shall not only lose the Gospel”

    Your critiques are well and good against what has been termed ‘Solo Scriptura’, but hardly touch the Sola.

  • glosoli says:

    ‘And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

    12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

    13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.’

    I may be wrong, but don’t you all call your priests and the Pope ‘father’?
    And you display such pride that you believe you need these *fathers* to explain the bible to you, as you don’t trust that God made His word to be understood by ordinary men?

    Woe unto you, hypocrites.

  • Patrick says:

    Glosoli,
    I think I just realized who you are. If I’m right I’m glad you took my advice and started reading at Zippy’s.

  • Patrick says:

    We also call our fathers father.

  • glosoli says:

    Sorry Patrick, I don’t recall how I found Zippy’s blog.

    Despite him probably thinking me a pain in the butt, I am glad I did, I enjoy his writing. If it was you who pointed me here, thanks.

    I don’t call anyone ‘father’ except in my prayers. My father has always been ‘dad’.

  • Glosoli:

    Do you or do you not eat of the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood? If you do, where do you get it?

  • Patrick says:

    You just called him your father…. I guessed you’re damned like everyone else now if your understanding of Scripture isn’t woefully lacking.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    In other words, the essential idea of Sola Scriptura has been there since Luther, which is distinct from all the different hermeneutical schemes that others have tacked onto it. I’m not in any way effecting a ‘rescue’ of Sola Scriptura by returning to the original idea.

  • glosoli says:

    Patrick, maybe. I feel tricked though.

    @Tim, no, the eating of bread and drinking of wine I do at communion is merely in remembrance of the Lord, there’s no literal flesh or blood involved.

  • So it seems there are two interpretations of the same text of the Bible, and they are incompatible. You believe that eating bread and wine in remembrance of Him is sufficient, and I do not. Is there any text of the Bible that clearly tells us which interpretation is correct?

  • glosoli says:

    Tim, the text is unambiguous, crystal clear.
    As is the text on St Peter’s faith.
    One would have to mad to find a way to read the Papacy and the RC set-up into those verses. Or have an ulterior (evil) motive.

  • Zippy says:

    Unless you are one of those poor souls who can’t read the Bible in the original English.

  • glosoli says:

    I guess Catholics have to fall back on poor translations as a final throw of the dice eh? I mean you guys weren’t even allowed to see the words until Luther and others opened things up.

    Looking forward to reading your response to my last question Zippy.

  • GJ says:

    glosoli:

    Just realised you’re a newbie and that my evaluation of silly was unwarranted.

    Patrick, maybe. I feel tricked though.

    Welcome to the unending Catholic-Protestant feuding. It rarely gets friendlier.

  • Sola Scriptura totally works for me. Of course, that only applies to the KJV because that’s the very version the Apostle Paul himself used. Also, Jesus Christ always signed His name in red.

    Actually, scripture alone only works if you allow the Holy Spirit to read it to you,the Author and Finisher of our faith. The authority does not rest in the flat, two dimensional words on a page. They reside in the Word Himself. The bible really will prove itself, affirm it’s own truth, in ways that can only be said to be Divinely inspired. Men had nothing but scraps of paper, scrolls,translations to work with. The fact that mere men were able to put together and preserve for centuries such a coherent collection of texts, not one contradicting another, is miraculous itself. There is 3 fold cord of authority going on there.

  • The text is unambiguous, crystal clear

    Merely asserting that there is one and only one plausible understanding of the text doesn’t make it so that this is the case. Taking Christ’s words literally isn’t exactly interpretive gymnastics, especially when considered in conjunction with the covenant theology associated with the Passover. The Real Presence has been the dominant belief for most of Christian history, including just after the Ascension of Christ, and was the unanimous belief of the Chirch Fathers so to say that it is clearly the wrong understanding is just assertion without much weight to it.

  • the other is a literal raving homosexual satanist marxist.

    It always amuses me when our Protestant “brothers” criticize the current Pontiff and see his troubled reign as the vindication of Protestantism. We have the most pro-Protestant Pope to ever reign, one who happily commemorates the Protestant Revolt, who genuinely admires Martin Luther a man who would rather read CS Lewis than Aquinas a man who never misses a chance to cavort with Protestants at ecumenical gatherings as “brother bishops” while simultaneously denigrating traditional Catholics. Yet somehow that vindicates Protestantism?

    It is hard to take any of the Protestants here seriously even the ones who try to come off as charitable when they don’t own up to the fact that they have more in common with Catholic modernists than they do traditional Catholics.

    To the extent sola scriptura can be rescued from self contradiction it simply becomes the Catholic doctrine: that is, belief in Scripture’s material (not formal) sufficiency and inerrancy.

    Zippy, Does Sola Scripture even live up to its own claims? The various sects of Protestants make up discreet traditions, traditions created by men that are the ultimate authorities not scripture. If they weren’t how how could the traditions even exist? Reason itself is tradition constitutive it is simply not possible to escape the context of some kind of tradition (granter some traditions are more intricate than others and some traditions like Catholicism are at least forthright about being a tradition). Protestants claim the Bible and classical liberals claimed reason as a basis of their self-interested attacks on the ecclesiastical authorities of the day. Both doctrines were certainly useful rhetorical axes against authority but they seem unable to maintain themselves in a positive fashion.

  • Church Fathers so to say that it is clearly the wrong understanding is just assertion without much weight to it.

    Yes but glosoli is smarter than all the Church fathers you see. He is also an expert historian too.

  • glosoli says:

    I think for myself, and the words are very simple.

    It was one of the many items I noted when I was looking at Catholicism early on in my faith last year, and they all had the same problem, they just didn’t follow scripture.

    If Zippy were to apply the same genuine intellectual rigour to his faith as he does to tearing apart the incoherence of liberalism, I can’t see how he’d remain a Catholic. But a search of ‘Catholic’ for his blog reveals very little indeed.

    @itascripatest,

    Francis is working to the devil’s agenda I believe, a merger of all religions of *the book*, including Judaism and Islam. One world religion for one world order. But your defence of him was weak, if indeed you even attempted one.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: glosoli

    “The text is unambiguous, crystal clear.”

    I agree, John 6 is crystal clear: “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

    Re: Insanitybytes

    How do you know the Holy Spirit is reading it to you? Is every disagreement a sign that at least one of the parties simply isn’t holy enough?

    Furthermore, Scripture Alone is a novel doctrine taught nowhere and by nobody for fifteen centuries. The Church predates the New Testament, and that the Old Testament canon used by the folks who preach Sola Scriptura was used, prior to Luther, only by men who denied Christ, and then only since around AD 100, when they rejected the Septuagint, in part because of its use by the Church. Sola Scriptura runs into one of the same problems that Mormonism has: it presupposes that the Church immediately went wrong, within a generation of the Apostles, if not under the Apostles themselves, and God waited more that a thousand years to fix it.

    Only the Mormons actually have an advantage here; they at least claim a miracle, a vision, a revelation which, if it were true, would trump human judgement. What miracles were wrought by Luther or Calvin or Zwingli or Cranmer or Melancthon, to demonstrate their apparently absurd messages were divine? By what prophesies did they prove their mission? No, the polytheistic Mormons have here a more solid reason for belief than Protestants.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: glosoli

    I don’t think he was attempting to defend him. You will find little disagreement in these parts if you claim that Francis is a bad Pope, and dangerous to souls. The fact that abuse of authority doesn’t automatically mean the loss of it is one of the more common themes of this blog.

    And though her members in this world of sorrows here below often do, by deed and by word, the Church cannot contradict Scripture. For the Church is the body of Christ, and Christ is God, so to say Scripture is the Word of God is as much as to say it is the word of the Church.

    The Scriptures were canonized by the Church not so much because they were the source of her teaching – how could they be, since they came after the teaching? – as because the Church judged them to perfectly set forth her teaching. So, when the Church speaks and says the Scriptures must mean this, or cannot mean that (both rare events), she is speaking with the same authority that anyone has over their own words. For which reason the Church in the Tridentine Creed requires her members to affirm, “I also accept the Holy Scripture according to that sense which holy mother the Church hath held, and doth hold, and to whom it belongeth to judge the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”

  • Silly Interloper says:

    Glosoli, you claim that Patrick is a liar–but to be a liar he must knowingly speak a falsehood, and you did not establish that. To conclude that God hates him through a short exchange on this blog is uncharitable and arrogant.

    But you didn’t answer the main question I posed to you:
    Where in the Bible does it say that “if you rely on other material other than the bible, you are being duped by man, and satan is delighted at the outcome, as it’ll be his foul breath you’re inhaling.”?

    Put up, or be exposed as a hypocrite.

  • I think for myself, and the words are very simple.

    You’re right, the text is simple. John 6:51-58, emphasis mine.

    I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen amen I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.

    We have two different interpretations of this text and both claim that the words are simple to understand. How does the Bible determine which of us is correct?

  • “How do you know the Holy Spirit is reading it to you? Is every disagreement a sign that at least one of the parties simply isn’t holy enough?”

    Once you know the Author,you know His word. It’s not unlike the way one knows a husband after a number of years and if a child were to come to you and say,”my Dad said this,” you would know immediately Dad said no such thing.

    Disagreement is truly rare among genuine believers because we all have our eyes on the same place. Being disagreeable is a whole other matter however,and yes, it pretty much stems from our own will, meaning not Holy enough.

    From what I gleen, glosoli, our self appointed heretic accuser, is a newbie. All in good humor here,but there is nothing quite like a reformed alcoholic or a reformed heretic.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    Disagreement is truly rare among genuine believers …

    LOL!

  • Disagreement is truly rare among genuine believers …”

    I know,right? I find that rather incredible myself. We have to look hard at the difference between the definitions of “disagreement” versus simply “being disagreeable” before that begins to make any sense. As people we are extremely disagreeable, territorial,and forever seeking to establish our own dominance. Cut to the chase however,and you’ll often discover that the disagreement has far more to do with establishing the superiority of one’s own tribe rather than any substantial contradiction of beliefs.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Disagreement is truly rare among genuine believers because we all have our eyes on the same place.

    Which is how glocoli knows he’s the only genuine believer in the room.

  • Wood says:

    IB,

    rather than any substantial contradiction of beliefs.

    But isn’t that precisely what’s at issue? And this gets to the heart of the issues surrounding the formal sufficiency of Scripture.

    What exactly counts as “substantial” or “contradiction” or “belief” for that matter.

  • glosoli

    if indeed you even attempted one

    Glosoli, how are we supposed to take you seriously when you clearly fail comprehend other people’s comments on here?

    Francis is working to the devil’s agenda I believe

    Is he doing this when he praises Martin Luther and the Reformation? When Pope Francis reiterates the SAME point you make above that the Reformation “helped” bring the Bible to the masses and brought many theological “gifts” to Christendom is he doing the devil’s agenda then as well? When he denigrates the Catholicism of the counter reformation is he doing the devil’s work then? How can he be doing the devil’s work when you share so many of the same views?

    Was Luther doing the devil’s work when he praised Muhammad can and actively facilitated the Islamic invasion of Europe?

    I just really want one of Protestant brother and sisters acknowledge that their theology gives aid and comfort to Catholic modernists and that they in fact share more common ground with Catholic modernists than they do with Catholic traditionalists.

  • “Which is how glocoli knows he’s the only genuine believer in the room.”

    Exactly. How do you establish your vast superiority, your dominance? You invent disagreement, which than allows you to dismiss the authority, indeed, even the humanity of your opponents.

    For example, Catholics do not actually worship Mary, in the sense of placing her above God Himself. Neither do protestants. There is no actual substantial disagreement there. There is rumor, innuendo, and accusations, but the theology, the doctrine remains the same. Of course, one must draw lines in the sand,even imaginary ones,in order to attempt to demonstrate one is the only true believer in the room.

  • Hrodgar says:

    So any disagreement on a “substantial” issue is the result of at least one party attempting to establish superiority?

  • “So any disagreement on a “substantial” issue is the result of at least one party attempting to establish superiority?”

    Yes. There are certainly superior arguments worth fighting for. For the most part however, we are simply being disagreeable over status, position, authority,envy,insecurity, fear. Matthew 20:20-28 kind of speaks to this idea.

  • Zippy says:

    So theological differences among Christians follow the narrative of postmodern cultural marxism: it is all just a competition for status and power?

    One noticeable effect of adopting sola scriptura, at least in this thread, seems to be a belief (on the part of defenders of SS) that good faith differences on questions that matter (Apostolic succession, sacraments, the Real Presence, the nature of marriage, Trinitarian theology — the list is as long as two thousand years of disputation) —– that good faith differences on questions that matter are impossible.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Gonna be honest, when I asked if every disagreement was a sign that at least one of the parties simply wasn’t holy enough, I was not expecting an affirmative. I hardly know how to begin.

    Well, for starters, if it is true, to disagree on a substantive issue (who determines what qualifies as substantive, I wonder?) is by implication an accusation of pride. It is no longer possible to say, “I think you are wrong, but can see how you arrived at that conclusion and respect your integrity,” for your opponent, by definition, has no integrity. And there is no longer any point to saying, “I think you are wrong for these reasons,” because your opponent, by definition, is pursuing personal aggrandizement and not the truth. Any theological argument is no longer a test of reason but of virtue, and if your opponent disagrees with what you believe to be true, then he must be arrogant and attempting to dominate you.

    Unless, of course, you are yourself attempting to assert superiority, in which case the proper response is not to raise further objections, but to abandon the argument in favor of prayer, penance, and maybe a bit of introspection.

    In which case, why are we having this conversation? Clearly one (or both) of us is seriously guilty of pride, and to continue only gives us an occasion of sin.

  • “So theological differences among Christians follow the narrative of postmodern cultural marxism: it is all just a competition for status and power?”

    That is a bitter pill to swallow, but it seems to me as if some 90% of all human conflict boils down to nothing more than a competition for status and power. That does not mean absolute truth does not exist.

    Glosoli has no actual theological argument as of yet. There is no “difference” to address. There is no substance to “you’re a heretic” or “you’re a liar.”

    “Good faith differences on questions that matter,” certainly are possible, but that is not the same thing as disagreement or being disagreeable. “Good faith,” is the key phrase,meaning “sincerity of intention.” If our intention is to blast Catholics or protestants, then it is not a “good faith” difference at all.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Hrodgar:

    Well, for starters, if it is true, to disagree on a substantive issue (who determines what qualifies as substantive, I wonder?) is by implication an accusation of pride. It is no longer possible to say, “I think you are wrong, but can see how you arrived at that conclusion and respect your integrity,” for your opponent, by definition, has no integrity.

    Hrodgar, your thoughts reminded me of a passage from Kristor’s Orthosphere post, The Temptation to Improper Reduction, here:

    https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/the-temptation-to-improper-reduction/

    Money quote:

    I was once a libertarian, and before that I was a Marxist, so I know this temptation to improper reduction from the inside. You learn a new thing, and suddenly it’s your hammer, and all the world a nail. Then at some point you read someone saying something that doesn’t quite fit into the categories you’ve found have worked for you so far, and that you therefore cherish, and so you instantly turn to the notion that he is an enemy, and absurd, irrational, and indeed perverse in his determined foolishness.

    It’s a real problem, if only because it halts discourse, separating interlocutors into mutually unintelligible factions, and preventing ideologues of whatever stripe from ever learning.

    And also a passage from Federalist no. 1.

    Snippet:

    …Candor will oblige us to admit that even such men may be actuated by upright intentions; and it cannot be doubted that much of the opposition which has made its appearance, or may hereafter make its appearance, will spring from sources, blameless at least, if not respectable–the honest errors of minds led astray by preconceived jealousies and fears. …

  • Zippy says:

    Hrodgar:

    Gonna be honest, when I asked if every disagreement was a sign that at least one of the parties simply wasn’t holy enough, I was not expecting an affirmative.

    That is right out of Wyclif, the “morning star of the reformation”.

  • Hrodgar says:

    A further absurdity occurs to me. One inescapably substantive disagreement is the Canon of Scripture.

    But consider: Luther and his imitators and successors disagreed with every Christian everywhere and everywhen on the subject. While there was some debate on the subject in the first few centuries, by the time of Luther all the Church, as well as the major schismatical groups, used the Canon of Trent at a MINIMUM (a few included more books, but I am not aware of ANY who included fewer) for a thousand years.

    Were there no true and humble believers led by the Holy Spirit from the second to the sixteenth centuries? If there were, and Luther, etc. disagreed with them, then this disagreement most probably proceeded from arrogance on their part. Ergo, the Protestant canon was most probably determined by arrogance and not the Spirit, and is most probably the wrong canon.

  • “In which case, why are we having this conversation? Clearly one (or both) of us is seriously guilty of pride, and to continue only gives us an occasion of sin.”

    All in good fun here, but I’m not the one who has just tried to declare that 66 books of the same bible you use are “most probably the wrong canon.”

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    that good faith differences on questions that matter (Apostolic succession…) …are impossible

    I suppose many Protestants learnt from history, when Luther and others differed precisely on Apostolic succession in good faith (as far as we can tell), and the subsequent response.

    Hrodgar:

    I just really want one of Protestant brother and sisters acknowledge that their theology gives aid and comfort to Catholic modernists and that they in fact share more common ground with Catholic modernists than they do with Catholic traditionalists.

    A lot of Catholic theology out there gives aid and comfort to Catholic modernists. It’s cute to try to blame us, but I would suggest sorting out your own house first.

  • GJ says:

    Hrodgar:

    the Church cannot contradict Scripture. For the Church is the body of Christ, and Christ is God, so to say Scripture is the Word of God is as much as to say it is the word of the Church.

    You might want to do a little more work on that transitive.

  • GJ says:

    Hrodger:

    The Church predates the New Testament, and that the Old Testament canon used by the folks who preach Sola Scriptura was used, prior to Luther, only by men who denied Christ, and then only since around AD 100, when they rejected the Septuagint, in part because of its use by the Church.

    It is notable that Athanasius (and by implication the Fathers he refers to) excludes from the Canon Wisdom, Sirach, Esther, Judith, and Tobit. The Maccabees are also excluded.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Different possible good faith interpretations of the meaning of the text-in-itself on crucial matters – and different possible boundaries on the content of the Canon itself – exist. This is an observation of fact about what exists, given the way text and meaning work in the world and given the fact that nothing in the Bible itself establishes what texts are and are not in the Bible.

    How different people deal with these facts is as different as people are different. Catholics aren’t always charitable in presenting and affirming these facts, sure — especially when the protestants with whom they are arguing have arrived with mobs to plunder Church property and kill priests and bishops.

    But SS protestantism has to deny that they are facts at all: must assume bad faith even in the absence of armies and plundering mobs, since good faith disagreement is impossible in principle. Can you see the difference?

    I share itascriptaest’s puzzlement over Protestant condemnation of Pope Francis. He is the most Protestant-friendly Pope ever. If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Francis is the first Protestant pope.

  • Zippy says:

    When a sitting Pope says “who am I to judge?”, why would we hear anything but thunderous applause from Protestants?

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Francis is the first Protestant pope.

    I thought he was the first openly Jewish pope.

  • glosoli says:

    Hello all.

    I accept Zippy’s point about good faith disagreements. I do not hold up any man (such as Luther) as being perfect, but I am thankful that the Reformation freed the bible for all to read, as I believe this was God’s intention.

    Would Zippy answer my last direct question though please?

    I can’t see how one could imagine that Jesus would give some bread and wine and claim literally that it was Him. The fact that he asks them to eat and drink ‘in remembrance of Him’ and His sacrifice is the biggest clue that it’s simply a reminder of the broken body and the blood He shed. The fact that a human had to invent some means of transmutation for all future bread and wine used is another giveaway that it’s a human-inspired matter, rather than required by God.

    @Tim, ‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

    Do you believe therefore that taking communion is the way to eternal life? And that’s it? Clearly the Lord is talking about His life and His sacrifice and the way of God, not simply a bit of bread, blessed by a priest. You have to be a tad dull to believe that as a literal statement.

    ‘Disagreement is truly rare among genuine believers …’

    I chose to go the Protestant route last year after first researching Catholicism (I happened to start reading Mark Citadel early on and another Trad Catholic writer). At that point I was literally ignorant of any of the details of the Reformation, in fact, although I’d heard of it, I didn’t really even know what it was. It was only earlier this year, when I read a book on the subject, that I became aware of some of the twisted practices that had crept into the Catholic faith over the centuries.

    When matters degrade to the point that the length of time one would have to spend in purgatory (something invented by a man) is determined entirely by how much money one gives to some *magician* who will then wave his wand and speed you to heaven, one has to stop and consider the whole foundation of that version of the faith. Likewise, my question to Zippy on whether Jesus was wrong or lying about the only way to the Father being through His Son. And the follow up question.

    I aim to be humble and open-minded at all times, and I am still reading about church history. Maybe one day I will conclude that the *original* Catholic church was perfect, but has been captured over the centuries. I would then then attempt to rebuild that, if need be.

    Apologies if I haven’t answered every point raised while I was sleeping.

    @Silly Interloper,

    I didn’t call Patrick a liar, you should read that exchange again. I think Patrick would have been aware of the scripture I quoted though. If he wasn’t, he perhaps shouldn’t have spoken with such apparent confidence on the subject. If not a liar, he was sowing misunderstanding and discord, which is another thing God hates.

    Your other question simply makes no sense. Do you want to argue for the bible as God-given, or for other material which isn’t?

    @Scott W

    ‘In the OT the queen is not the wife of the king, but the mother. So,

    Jesus is the King of Heaven
    Mary is the mother of Jesus

    ergo, Mary is the queen of Heaven’

    The Saint wrote that Mary was ‘Queen of the Universe’ though.
    Actually, Jehovah is King of Heaven, Jesus sits at His right hand side.
    Why do you distort the truth to try to make a weak case?
    Tell me what Mary’s role is up there in Heaven, as Queen, I’m fascinated?

    @Tim, ‘However it is entirely appropriate that she be considered greater than any of us.’

    She was just a woman Tim. Chosen by God to carry His child, that is all she did. In no way makes her greater than anyone else. Jesus had to tell he to shut up at the Canaan wedding, as she displayed her typical womanly nature. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.’

    ‘Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.’

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    I share itascriptaest’s puzzlement over Protestant condemnation of Pope Francis. He is the most Protestant-friendly Pope ever. … When a sitting Pope says “who am I to judge?”, why would we hear anything but thunderous applause from Protestants?

    Well, in this particular context we’re talking about one Protestant – glosoli – who has stated that he believes the Papacy itself is a tool of Satan. That’s probably explanation enough.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I can’t see how one could imagine that Jesus would give some bread and wine and claim literally that it was Him.

    If there is one thing I’ve learned in my own five decades crawling around on this rock it is that there are a great many true things that I wouldn’t, at one point or another, have imagined could be true. There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. The caricature of Catholicism you are attacking comes right from Jack Chick cartoons.

    Do you believe therefore that taking communion is the way to eternal life?

    Yes. The Eucharist is Christ really and truly present: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

    And that’s it?

    Understand that when you ask that question of a Catholic, what we hear is “is Christ Himself really enough?”

    And the answer is “yes, absolutely!”

    Isn’t He astonishingly generous?

    Of course there are all sorts of concomitants to receiving the Sacraments. And the Sacraments are the ordinary means of receiving Christ’s freely offered and unmerited grace: that He has promised the efficacy of the ordinary means does not imply any limits on God, so we also have the concept of extraordinary grace. However, rejecting what He has offered us in the Sacraments and presuming that He will save us through extraordinary grace is the sin of presumption.

    All that said, welcome to Christianity. Two drink minimum.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Glosoli:

    I chose to go the Protestant route last year after first researching Catholicism (I happened to start reading Mark Citadel early on and another Trad Catholic writer).

    Citadel is not RCC.

    At that point I was literally ignorant of any of the details of the Reformation, in fact, although I’d heard of it, I didn’t really even know what it was. It was only earlier this year, when I read a book on the subject, …

    So you do admit, after all, that you have been influenced by writings *other than the bible*. Glad we got that settled.

  • glosoli says:

    Zippy, if that’s what you believe, I wouldn’t criticise you for that belief at all. In the grand scheme of things, as long as we believe Jesus is the way to the Father, we agree.

    Some of the other matters that Catholicism has thrown up over the years (that I mention) are examples of the wrong track being taken.

    I also see most of the Protestant movement is captured by satan in current times too, the attack is on all of us.

    I’m teetotal, but thanks for the welcome.

    @Terry, sigh, you ignored my point entirely to try to make a silly one. Crack on.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    If you want to understand the protestant revolt you have to go back a few centuries before Luther. I’ll give you a brief abstract of my own view of the history. (It is just my own view, there is nothing especially authoritative about it).

    John Wyclif was a priest in England who was counselor to John of Gaunt (a very powerful aristocrat, more powerful than most kings). John of Gaunt’s secretary was none other than Geoffrey Chaucer (yes, that Chaucer).

    Now England is a long way from Rome, and all those Catholic churches and monasteries were sitting on very valuable property. Plus the papacy represented a rival authority, a check on John of Gaunt’s political ambitions. And the papacy was basically a corrupt hot mess, at least from time to time, as it often is and has been. The problem with human authority in general is always the human element, which is part of what makes liberalism’s promise to rule everything via mechanical bureaucratic impersonal machinery so appealing. But I digress.

    Chaucer had traveled widely and knew more than probably any other Englishman about Mohammedan theology. The Mohammedans explicitly treated their holy book – the Koran – as their supreme rule of faith. In effect the Mohammedans had been practicing sola scriptura for half a millennium before any Christian had seriously considered the idea of personal interpretations of Scripture trumping the authority of the Church itself. Indeed the idea of Scripture as something severable from the Church itself was entirely novel.

    Drawing on this, and on the nominalist and other anti-realist philosophies of figures like Peter Abelard and William of Ockham, Wyclif came up with his theory of dominion. Basically he proposed that an insufficiently holy person loses his authority, that the Pope at the time was insufficiently holy, and therefore had no authority. This invalidated the sacraments, etc. So Christians should adopt the Mohammedan model and treat Holy Scripture as a kind of replacement “authority” without any of that messy human element. Conveniently, the Scriptures now meant whatever the aristocrats in England (and later Bohemia) wanted them to mean. (It also meant whatever the liberals who later separated their descendants from their heads wanted it to mean).

    This gave rise to Lollardy in the short term; protestantism in the longer term.

    So protestantism in my view is basically incoherent Mohammedan theology applied to Christianity. For every individual Protestant, Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less.

    That’s my own personal take on things, at any rate, for what it is worth.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    But SS protestantism has to deny that they are facts at all: must assume bad faith even in the absence of armies and plundering mobs, since good faith disagreement is impossible in principle. Can you see the difference?

    I can see the difference you propose. What I can’t see is that ‘SS protestantism’ – does that include my own Sola Scripturaism, I wonder? – has to do it.

    As I’ve already pointed out, Sola Scriptura in essence just is the dissent regarding what is on the top of the ‘divine authority hierarchy’, as it were – what hermeneutics should be attached to it is a separate question.

  • GJ says:

    So protestantism in my view is basically incoherent Mohammedan theology applied to Christianity. For every individual Protestant, Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less.

    This description of a lot of Protestantism – if not almost all of it – is as ridiculous as those Jack Chick output you referred to.

  • Advenedizo says:

    @glosoli

    A couple of comments. I always find a little surprising that some people do not take literally the “this is my body…” part. They take the words of the same Dude who said “Let there be light” and light was made as unable to change a piece of bread into whatever.

    Also, i can not understand protestants that say that the Catholics have added a lot of stuff around and not try to read the writings of the first fathers. I cannot see anybody reading for example Justin Martyr’s apology and not see the Catholic church and mass there. If you want to go to the origins, go to the origins. Read Clemens of Rome, San Ignatius of Antioch, the Didache, Justin Martyr… They are the origins.

    Also this piece of (untrue) propaganda that the reformation brought the Bible to the people is very easy to disprove. The Vulgata Bible of the fourth century was the first translation to bring the Bible to the people. There were many others during the years, including in German before Luther. What popularized the Bible was the printing press and general literacy. Protestantism could not have happened before the printing press.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    I share itascriptaest’s puzzlement over Protestant condemnation of Pope Francis. He is the most Protestant-friendly Pope ever. If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Francis is the first Protestant pope.

    Which only demonstrates how little you understand Protestantism. glosoli put it well: ‘I also see most of the Protestant movement is captured by satan in current times too, the attack is on all of us’.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Only you can say what position you’ve adopted. If your position is not that the text in itself and by itself (“sola”) occupies the highest position of epistemic authority – that rather, the text is co-occupant of that position along with other things – then your position isn’t (or at least isn’t consistently) sola scriptura in a meaningful sense.

    Catholics believe that Scripture does indeed occupy that highest epistemic position. We just don’t believe that it occupies that position on its own.

    (I personally take the further view — which I believe to be demonstrably true and actually demonstrated — that sola scriptura is not merely heresy, but is rationally incoherent).

  • GJ says:

    My position is that the text occupies the highest position of epistemic authority, yes.

    Though how that is incoherent in a way by which the addition of Magisteria + Tradition + Pope + whatever isn’t is something I’ve yet to see cogently demonstrated.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    This description of a lot of Protestantism – if not almost all of it – is as ridiculous as those Jack Chick output you referred to.

    Is it? It is in fact my sincerely held and stated view nonetheless, a view not entirely uninformed by fact.

    In any event, protestantism (like liberalism) has evolved over the centuries into many different things. Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and the like are similar to right liberalism, inasmuch as they propose to preserve or reconstitute the benefits of apostolic succession and the sacramental life without the humiliating step of actually doffing caps to the Pope.

  • GJ says:

    Is it? It is in fact my sincerely held and stated view nonetheless, a view not entirely uninformed by fact.

    You claim that Protestantism ‘is incoherent Mohammedan theology applied to Christianity’, but somehow I’m unaware that of any Mohemedan that believes that ‘for every individual Mohemedan, Islam is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less.’.

    Frankly your position sounds like a parody of a parody of a Catholic trying to put the main root of all the things that are wrong with the world with ‘them Protestants’.

    In any event, protestantism (like liberalism) has evolved over the centuries into many different things.

    Right. So I’ve quoted Luther; I would be interested in seeing where in Luther he writes that ‘for every individual Protestant, Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less.’

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    I would be interested in seeing where in Luther he writes that ‘for every individual Protestant, Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less.’

    Liberals don’t say that about liberalism either, because they don’t see the basic incoherence of their fundamental commitments. It is a consequence of those fundamental commitments nonetheless. Ideas have consequences.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Though how that is incoherent in a way by which the addition of Magisteria + Tradition + Pope + whatever isn’t is something I’ve yet to see cogently demonstrated.

    But that has been shown, many times. Text is not the kind of thing which can occupy a position of highest epistemic authority on its own. Positivism is false.

  • Zippy says:

    Anglicanism is quite similar in the religious domain to America in the political domain. Both are the product of very late stage and therefore more “conservative” revolutions in their respective domains. Jim Kalb has called the American revolution “the most conservative of the liberal revolutions”, and from my perspective Anglicanism fits the same description in the religious domain.

  • GJ says:

    Liberals don’t say that about liberalism either, because they don’t see the basic incoherence of their fundamental commitments. It is a consequence of those fundamental commitments nonetheless. Ideas have consequences.

    That remains to be demonstrated. Meanwhile I just see the claim of a link to Wyclif (which the large majority of Protestants haven’t heard of, but okay, we can listen to this for the sake of argument), another jump to Mohamedans, then a claim that Protestantism is essentially Mohamedanism in the approach towards the respective sacred text, then a claim about protestantism ‘for every individual Protestant, Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less’ that doesn’t have the slightest semblance to Islam.

    But that has been shown, many times. Text is not the kind of thing which can occupy a position of highest epistemic authority on its own. Positivism is false.

    Well, you could just run through your argument here again.

  • Clearly the Lord is talking about His life and His sacrifice and the way of God, not simply a bit of bread, blessed by a priest

    Of course he is talking about His life and Sacrifice. He is the new Paschal Lamb (The wedding at cana, John 6, and the Last Supper all occur at the Passover, and John makes a point of pointing out things like Christ having no bones broken in order to show the parallels between Christ and the sacrificial lamb of the Passover), come to make the final covenant with God’s people. The thing is that with the sacrifice of the Passover, it was required by those participating in the covenant that they eat the lamb. Likewise, we must eat the body of the Paschal Lamb to participate in the covenant God made with us through Christ’s Sacrifice. Scott Hahn’s conversion story has quite a bit to do with this (he was a Presbyterian minister who’s specialty is covenant theology). So yes, as Zippy said, eating Christ wholly present (body, blood, soul, and divinity) in the Eucharist to participate in the covenant made by his sacrifice is absolutely enough.

    The fact that a human had to invent some means of transmutation for all future bread and wine used

    Except it isn’t invented. In fact, the Church believes that the matter and form of the Sacrament were set by the words and actions of Christ in the Scripture and that the Church has no power to change this; so much so in fact that if a priest does not read the words correctly, Transubstantiation does not take place.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    I share itascriptaest’s puzzlement over Protestant condemnation of Pope Francis. He is the most Protestant-friendly Pope ever.

    As regards Francis’ approval, I’d imagine that Protestants don’t give a single damn whether they have it compared to how much traditionalist Catholics want the Pope to approve them.

    What are we Protestants supposed to be rejoicing about? That he’s going to invite us over to the Vatican for tea?

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Meanwhile I just see the claim of a link to Wyclif (which the large majority of Protestants haven’t heard of, …

    Most modern people in general are ignorant of their own history. In the age of hypermedia these basics aren’t exactly hidden under a rock though.

    Me:

    Text is not the kind of thing which can occupy a position of highest epistemic authority on its own. Positivism is false.

    GJ:

    Well, you could just run through your argument here again.

    Or folks could read the old discusssions I already linked upthread.

  • glosoli says:

    Zippy,

    It would perhaps be more accurate to describe myself as ‘biblical’ rather than Protestant.

    Re the islamists, I visit Morocco regularly, and they have a very different view there of what the koran teaches, far more moderate than than the truth. So, even in the book-based set-up you describe, there is disagreement. They are all brainwashed on both sides.

    My conclusion, after mulling these matters all afternoon:

    When God gave His Son to save mankind, Jesus was very vocal in criticising the church authority of His time. The leaders of the church could be compared to the leaders of many churches over time, whether Protestant or Catholic, where their authority eventually usurps God’s and leads them into sin. Whilst you are very critical of Protestantism, you appear to be happy with the Roman Catholic set-up and history. Perhaps neither is the right way?

    I have just started attending last week a very small independent evangelical church near me, and the pastor seems fine. He mentioned Hell in his sermon, a word not uttered once in 6 months at a CoE evangelical church I left.

    I also believe that Jehovah likes small tribes, and therefore small churches. As soon as it gets too big, the tribe tries to build a tower to Heaven, or to make itself above God in other ways. Individual men need to be close to their God, not separated by layer upon layer of authority and ritual and other men (all skimming a nice little cut of the cash).

    Many pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place for me through reading the bible, and I look forward to finishing it, and then starting again.

    May God be with us all through what lies ahead.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    So, even in the book-based set-up you describe, there is disagreement.

    Well, yes. One of the themes I regularly revisit here is the phenomenon of rationally incoherent doctrines and their ‘interpretation’ by various factions of real world communities committed to those doctrines.

    Jesus was very vocal in criticising the church authority of His time.

    As long as we use the term ‘church authority’ as a label to encompass authorities which are not the Church, I suppose. By using words as plastic labels that mean whatever we want them to mean we can formally deduce whatever we want; but only at the cost of rendering our speech meaningless.

    Whilst you are very critical of Protestantism, you appear to be happy with the Roman Catholic set-up and history.

    It is never a matter of what I want or what makes me happy. Ultimately the only good reason to believe something is because you are convinced that it is true.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    Most modern people in general are ignorant of their own history. In the age of hypermedia these basics aren’t exactly hidden under a rock though.

    Interesting reading. I don’t think I see anything there about Islam, or how Protestantism is like Islam as regards the approach towards the sacred text, but not like Islam.

    Or folks could read the old discusssions I already linked upthread.

    Taking the links in order:

    1) What is this supposed to prove as regards Sola Scriptura? That meaning of the text/speech is preceding? So is meaning of the text/speech of the Pope, Tradition, and Magisteria.

    2) Ditto.

    3) There is talk here about how text underdetermines meaning, which I agree with. How that contradicts Sola Scriptura is a mystery.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    I don’t think I see anything [in the Wikipedia page on Wyclif] about Islam, or how Protestantism is like Islam as regards the approach towards the sacred text, but not like Islam.

    Yes, of course. Understanding the history of ideas and religious practice requires studying the history of ideas and religious practice. Or at least being mildly familiar with the basic cast of characters, events, etc.

    I made no pretense that my comment above was more than a very brief abstract of my own views. Someone who wants to actually study the matter is free to use that abstract as a launching point for their own research, to discover what they think themselves once they actually know something about the subject. Or not. I’m confident that the veracity of my view holds up to at least superficial scrutiny, which is clearly more than you’ve given it; but it is, as I said in the comment, merely my own personal (though considered, and at least somewhat informed) view.

    That folks who have never even heard of Wyclif or Gaunt or Hus or Abelard or Ockham might find my views stunning or insulting doesn’t really say much about my views. But it is true that at the end of the day they are just the views of a man, of some guy on the Internet with an interesting collection of old books at home.

    1) What is this supposed to prove as regards Sola Scriptura? That meaning of the text/speech is preceding?

    Yes, exactly: that written text alone isn’t the sort of thing which can occupy a position of epistemic supremacy, ever.

    So is [the] meaning of the [aggregated, written down] text/speech of the Pope, Tradition, and Magisteria.

    Yes, I’ve made this very point myself before, much to the annoyance of some of my own (protestantized) fellow Catholics.

    No aggregation of text can on its own occupy a position of epistemic supremacy, because no aggregation of text on its own means anything at all. The attempt to fill the position of supreme epistemic authority with a fixed text (any fixed text at all) and nothing but that fixed text is rationally incoherent.

  • GJ says:

    I’m confident that the veracity of my view holds up to at least superficial scrutiny, which is clearly more than you’ve given it; but it is, as I said in the comment, merely my own personal (though considered, and at least somewhat informed) view.

    When you say that Protestant’s treatment of text is Islam’s approach, but also that to individual Protestants “Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less”, which is not what happens in Islam, then that doesn’t even pass the smell test, irrespective of whatever interesting claims regarding Islam’s influence on Wyclif.

    Yes, I’ve made this very point myself before, much to the annoyance of some of my own (protestantized) fellow Catholics.

    No aggregation of text can on its own occupy a position of epistemic supremacy,

    I suppose I should have asked you precisely what you meant by ‘epistemic supremacy’ befo, because I am perfectly content to say that ‘Scripture occupies supreme authority with regards to divine revelation’, but it doesn’t in and of itself define the meaning of words, logic, and so forth. That looks like that wouldn’t be ‘epistemic supremacy’ to you, but it is the sort of supremacy that I mean.

    What do you think occupies ‘epistemic supremacy’ for the determination of the meaning of divine revelation, in addition to Scripture, the Magisteria, Tradition, and the Pope? The Oxford Dictionary? Aristotle’s Analytics?

  • Silly Interloper says:

    Glosoli says:
    Your other question simply makes no sense. Do you want to argue for the bible as God-given, or for other material which isn’t?

    The sentence of yours I quoted showed inescapably that you were doing what you are accusing others of doing. You are practicing what you condemn. I’m not arguing for material which isn’t God-given—I am arguing that you are in fact using ideas/material which isn’t God-given and making scathing personal judgments about others with them.

    Again—look at your sentence:
    if you rely on other material other than the bible, you are being duped by man, and satan is delighted at the outcome, as it’ll be his foul breath you’re inhaling.

    Where in the bible does it say that “if you rely upon other material other than the bible, you are being duped by man”?

    If you cannot prove the bible says so, you are using ideas outside the bible, and you are a hypocrite.

    Where in the bible does it say that “if you rely upon other material other than the bible, satan is delighted in the outcome”?

    If you cannot prove the bible says so, you are using ideas outside the bible, and you are a hypocrite.

    Where in the bible does it say that “if you rely upon other material other than the bible, it will be his foul breath you’re inhaling”?

    If you cannot prove the bible says so, you are using ideas outside the bible, and you are a hypocrite.

    If you believe what you are saying—that you can never rely upon anything other than the bible for truth and understanding, and you are *disregarding* everything the Catholics believe based upon their willingness to do so—then you—unless you are a hypocrite—cannot make claims about truth unless you get them directly from the bible.

    Put up—or be exposed as a hypocrite.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    When you say that Protestant’s treatment of text is Islam’s approach, but also that to individual Protestants “Christianity is just what they say it is: nothing more, nothing less”, which is not what happens in Islam, then that doesn’t even pass the smell test, irrespective of whatever interesting claims regarding Islam’s influence on Wyclif.

    To me that reads exactly like a right liberal rejecting my criticism of liberalism.

    What do you think occupies ‘epistemic supremacy’ for the determination of the meaning of divine revelation…

    I don’t have a general theory of meaning, etc.

    And the things that concern protestants (and protestantized Catholics) aren’t the kind of things that I generally find worrying.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    That folks who have never even heard of Wyclif or Gaunt or Hus or Abelard or Ockham might find my views stunning or insulting doesn’t really say much about my views. But it is true that at the end of the day they are just the views of a man, of some guy on the Internet with an interesting collection of old books at home.

    I love old books but they’re sometimes hard to come by, if we even know what to look for. E. Michael Jones’s books – Libido Dominandi; The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and its Impact on World History, etc. – give a good rundown on a bunch of that history most modern Christians are completely oblivious to.

  • Wood says:

    Terry Morris,

    I had been turned off Jones’s writings previously while reading the “Jewish Revolutionary Spirit” book. But this is I think the second time he’s been referenced here so I’m tempted to pick him back up again!

  • Zippy says:

    I think the only Jones book I’ve actually read is Degenerate Moderns, which is a fairly interesting summary/survey of the sexually motivated lies and corruptions of various heroes in the modernist hagiography: Margaret Mead, Picasso, Freud, etc. A decent launching point for some interesting perspective but, as always, do your own due diligence. I think I own another of his books that I never got around to reading.

    I know I’ve read some stuff by Jones online that I thought was a little off, but I really can’t remember what in particular.

  • GJ says:

    To me that reads exactly like a right liberal rejecting my criticism of liberalism.

    To me it reads like you’ve probably had liberalism on the brain a bit too long.

    I had suspicions when I first read on your posts on Protestantism, and all this talk about ‘epistemic supremacy’ only confirms them: you’re approaching Sola Scriptura like a liberal Protestant, assuming that it’s primarily to do with epistemology instead of authority, i.e. they tack on all sorts of assumptions and theories about hermeneutics and how knowledge is gainable from the text.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy, I haven’t read Degenerate Moderns, but I plan to since you mention it – sounds like it contains a lot of the information in Libido Dominandi, but I always try to read a given book through at least twice anyway – once quickly, the second time more slowly and more focused.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    You either assert the sola in sola scriptura, or you don’t.

    If you do assert the sola unequivocally, in a strong enough form to invoke it to reject (or ‘demote’) papal and magisterial authority, the doctrine is incoherent.

    If you don’t assert the sola unequivocally, well, welcome to a basically Catholic view of Scripture; and try to recognize the weaponized ambiguity of the position you’ve adopted.

    …you’re approaching Sola Scriptura like a liberal Protestant…

    The basic problem right liberals have with my criticism of liberalism is that I take liberal principles – and where they in fact lead, since ideas have consequences – seriously.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    Glosoli:
    When God gave His Son to save mankind, Jesus was very vocal in criticising the church authority of His time.

    Jesus criticized the church leaders, but he commanded his followers to obey their authority.

    Matthew 23 says: Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

    (Bold added by me.)

    Christ himself shows us the importance of authority and obedience here, even in light of the horribly flawed leaders. Furthermore, the seat of Peter is known as the continuation of the seat of Moses in Christianity.

  • Patrick says:

    “If you don’t assert the sola unequivocally, well, welcome to a basically Catholic view of Scripture”

    Yeah, exactly. The thing is a protestant litreally can’t address the issue because to do so is to cease to be protestant. Once you get to the point that you can verbalize it youve already answered it internally and at heart are no longer protestant. Which doesn’t mean you’re Catholic or Orthodox or anything, just that you’ve ackowledged protestantism is a lie.

  • GJ says:

    If you do assert the sola unequivocally, in a strong enough form to invoke it to reject papal and magisterial authority, the doctrine is incoherent.

    The Sola reject the supremacy of papal and magisterial authority, it doesn’t in itself reject that they have any authority.

    The basic problem right liberals have with my criticism of liberalism is that I take liberal principles – and where they in fact lead, since ideas have consequences – seriously.

    Seems more like as a liberal modern from birth in a liberal modern society, you’re still retain liberal assumptions in certain areas.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    The Sola reject the supremacy of papal and magisterial authority, it doesn’t in itself reject that they have any authority.

    Yes, I actually modified my comment slightly but apparently too late, in anticipation of this very move.

    If the assertion is unequivocal enough to positively demote tradition and magisterium to a lower degree of authority than the text of Scripture, then the doctrine is incoherent.

    Seems more like as a liberal modern from birth in a liberal modern society, you’re still retain liberal assumptions in certain areas.

    What is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied.

  • Zippy says:

    Protestant approach:

    The text of Scripture alone trumps tradition and magisterium. (This is rationally incoherent).

    Catholic approach:

    Any true and correct interpretation of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium will interpret them as consistent with each other. (Not rationally incoherent).

    Note that even though the schismatic Orthodox reject papal primacy they still adhere to the latter view. So rejecting sola scriptura doesn’t imply papism as matter of logical necessity, if that is any comfort.

  • GJ says:

    If the assertion is unequivocal enough to positively demote tradition and magisterium to a lower degree of authority than the text of Scripture, then the doctrine is incoherent.

    This response should do as well as any: what is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    This response should do as well as any: what is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied.

    Well, as long as you ignore all the writing and arguing I’ve done on this very subject at this very blog over a very long period of time in easily searchable and copiously linked archives.

    Your gratuitous assertion was that – apparently because I reject sola scriptura – I still retain liberal assumptions in certain areas, without so much as mentioning what those assumptions or areas might be.

  • GJ says:

    Well, as long as you ignore all the writing and arguing I’ve done on this very subject at this very blog over a very long period of time in easily searchable and copiously linked archives.

    I’ve read a number of these posts quite some time before this discussion. As far as I can tell, these don’t touch my argument at all. For example, in this post you claim that ‘Sola scriptura also claims that it is, itself, derived from the text of scripture’, which it doesn’t.

    Your gratuitous assertion was that – apparently because I reject sola scriptura – I still retain liberal assumptions in in certain areas, without so much as mentioning what those assumptions or areas might be.
    I was asserting that because you approach Sola Scriptura as a liberal would, the best inference is that you retain liberal assumptions, one of which I described: “assuming that it’s primarily to do with epistemology instead of authority, i.e. they tack on all sorts of assumptions and theories about hermeneutics and how knowledge is gainable from the text”.

  • GJ says:

    And there are other posts attacking hermeneutics oft attached to Sola Scriptura. As I’ve emphasised, those are not part of Sola Scriptura, they’re not the essence of Sola Scriptura.

    Therefore I’m not sure what posts I should be looking at for a refutation.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    I was asserting that because you approach Sola Scriptura as a liberal would …

    You are going to have to do better than that.

    Also, you can’t really distance yourself from the epistemic question, the question of meaning. Even if Scripture were primarily addressing what is true about authority (as in a book of laws), it i remains a question of what the text unequivocally means.

    If rejecting your attempt to deny that your sola scriptura is an epistemic assertion is a form of liberalism, then I’m a donut.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    As I’ve emphasised, those are not part of Sola Scriptura, they’re not the essence of Sola Scriptura.

    What magical key can you give us to unlock the meaning of the doctrine, then, which without begging the question also demotes tradition and the magisterium to an inferior epistemic position?

  • Patrick says:

    “you claim that ‘Sola scriptura also claims that it is, itself, derived from the text of scripture’, which it doesn’t.”

    If it doesn’t it’s stupid to say you believe sola scriptura. You believe in an extra-biblical authority with no authority. “There once was a man who didn’t exist.”

  • GJ says:

    Also, you can’t really distance yourself from the epistemic question, the question of meaning. Even if Scripture were primarily addressing what is true about authority (as in a book of laws), it i remains a question of what the text unequivocally means.

    I have no positivistic theory of how to get from Scriptures to meaning, under Sola Scriptura. Liberals invariably do, or want one.

    And liberals are invariably obsessed with unequivocal meaning, which you are demanding.

    What magical key can you give us to unlock the meaning of the doctrine, then, which without begging the question also demotes tradition and the magisterium to an inferior epistemic position?

    What I perceive as the essence of Sola Scriptura I have stated multiple times. As to what justifies the idea: that is distinct from the question of what Sola Scriptura is in essence.

  • TomD says:

    ITT: disbelief of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

  • GJ says:

    Patrick:

    If it doesn’t it’s stupid to say you believe sola scriptura. You believe in an extra-biblical authority with no authority. “There once was a man who didn’t exist.”

    Hardly. It is not an authority. Rather, it is on the same order of such observational claims: ‘a father has a certain type of authority in this space’, or ‘a king has a certain type of authority in this space’.

    Whether such claims are justified are, of course, distinct questions.

  • Patrick says:

    Which person who isn’t an authority with authority in what space told you Bible Alone, and where did he get the idea since it didnt come from the Bible?

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    As to what justifies the idea: that is distinct from the question of what Sola Scriptura is in essence.

    Whatever words you use, and whatever essence this real thing has – I’ll refer to it as the decoder ring – either it is:

    1) Contained in the text of Scripture, therefore SS is incoherent; or

    2) Is not in the text of Scripture.

    If the latter, you don’t really mean “alone” when you say “Scripture alone”. You are just playing the weaponized ambiguity game.

    And liberals are invariably obsessed with unequivocal meaning, which you are demanding.

    I’d just suggest that it is no accident that you find yourself suddenly in favor of ambiguity.

  • GJ says:

    Patrick:

    Which person who isn’t an authority with authority in what space told you Bible Alone

    Lots of people, pastors, elders, and teachers have taught me about Sola Scriptura. I sense supreme authority in Scripture, and from what little I’ve read of the Magisteria, I don’t see it there.

    Which is, of course, besides the point: Sola Scriptura is a recognition of authority, not an authority itself.

    and where did he get the idea since it didnt come from the Bible?

    How is this relevant?

  • Zippy says:

    It is relevant because if you cop to believing a critical truth of the faith that isn’t in Scripture — sola scriptura plus the decoder ring –, you are just a poser pretending to assert sola scriptura as a weaponized ambiguity strategy.

  • GJ says:

    2) Is not in the text of Scripture.

    If the latter, you don’t really mean “alone” when you say “Scripture alone”. You are just playing the weaponized ambiguity game.

    I think you’re the one playing on the ambiguity of ‘alone’. “Scripture alone” is an abbreviation of ‘Scripture alone is the supreme authority of Divine revelation’; the idea of “Scripture alone” is itself not an authority and so your criticism falls flat.

    I’d just suggest that it is no accident that you find yourself suddenly in favor of ambiguity.

    I’d just suggest that if a liberal demanded a positivistic procedure to get unequivocal meaning from the sum of Tradition, Scripture, and Magisteria, your answer would be on the same lines as mine.

  • GJ says:

    It is relevant because if you cop to believing a critical truth of the faith that isn’t in Scripture — sola scriptura plus the decoder ring –, you are just a poser pretending to assert sola scriptura as a weaponized ambiguity strategy.

    What do you mean by critical?

    Is it what you refer to as ‘doctrine’, something that ‘must be believed’? I’ve never thought that, and would say that you Catholics aren’t ruled out of salvation because of not believing it.

    Though whether the widespread Marian idolatry would rule it out for some is a question I’m not qualified to answer.

  • Zippy says:

    If the idea of Scripture alone isn’t authoritative then why should anyone believe it?

    Nobody is insisting on a positivistic theory of meaning. We are just insisting that you stop equivocating. Someone who has been reading here as long as you have should understand the difference.

  • GJ says:

    If the idea of Scripture alone isn’t authoritative

    To be precise, I said that the idea isn’t an authority. (Nor, incidentally, do I think that it is authoritative0>

    then why should anyone believe it?

    I believe it because I think it true. I don’t particularly think it critical, as may be inferred from the fact that I don’t go around insisting that it must be believed. As far as this discussion goes, I’m just defending it as not incoherent.

  • Zippy says:

    But you have no warrant from Scripture to believe that divinely revealed truths have to have warrant from Scripture?

  • GJ says:

    I don’t believe that Sola Scriptura means that divinely revealed truths must have warrant from Scripture.

    If someone claimed divine revelation to the effect that an angel would appear distinctly to human vision in Times Square tomorrow, I’m not going to tell him ‘that has no warrant in Scripture so you’re wrong!’ Ditto if someone claimed divine revelation that the pet dogs of Christians will be waiting for them in heaven.

    It does, however, appear to me rather plausible that all important truths should be contained or logically deduceable from Scripture so in practice I use that as a litmus test.

  • Zippy says:

    So the position as I now understand it is that “sola scriptura” is (for some meaning of the phrase or other of that string of characters) a rationally coherent optional belief as long as it isn’t taken too seriously. And whatever it does mean, it doesn’t mean that truths of revelation require Scriptural warrant.

  • GJ says:

    So the position as I now understand it is that “sola scriptura” is (for some meaning of the phrase or other of that string of characters) a rationally coherent optional belief

    I don’t recall Luther or the major figures in Protestantism ever saying it was compulsory; as far as I can tell for the large part of protestants throughout time have always thought that Catholics such are still eligible for salvation, though idolatry might just throw a massive spanner in the works

    as it isn’t taken too seriously.

    As long as it isn’t taken too liberally.

    And whatever it does mean, it doesn’t mean that truths of revelation require Scriptural warrant.

    Why should it? See the examples about the angel in Times Square and dogs in heavens above, I find it patently ridiculous that some believe that Sola Scriptura hangs on whether Scripture must be able to decide whether these hypothetical supposed divine revelations are truly revelations.

    To me, the order of ridiculousness is on the scale of ‘why isn’t the Book of Enoch in Scripture since there is a quotation from it in Scripture?’

  • GJ says:

    optional

    I know there are probably some out there who think it’s compulsory, otherwise I’d ask ‘when the **** was it compulsory?’

  • GJ says:

    when the ****

    I guess I lost control there, because I am getting tired of the constant insinuations that I’m backpedalling from an untenable belief that is compulsory, has to be believed, when it is the case that Zippy is in fact trying to force a Jack Chick-level understanding of the doctrine onto the discussion.

    Then I remembered that Catholics mutated and elevated a minor belief (that Mary was a virgin when she conceived the Christ) into some bizarre doctrine that has to be believed. Bless you all.

  • I’m very confused as to what you think sola scriptura is actually claiming.

  • GJ says:

    Otherwise, the question behind ‘when was it compulsory’ stands, barring the inescapable small minority (of nutters) who believe otherwise. None of the protestants here have stated that belief in Sola Scriptura is compulsory or necessary for salvation.

  • GJ says:

    TimFinnegan:

    I’m very confused as to what you think sola scriptura is actually claiming.

    Sola Scriptura is the idea that Scripture is the only supreme authority of divine revelation.

    To use a analogy (dangerous as it probably is), it is on the same order as saying ‘that guy is the head honcho is this place, him and only him’. Which does imply as a corollary that ‘no, the other people who are claimed to be at the top too, they are not’.

  • Wood says:

    GJ,

    The issue was never whether sola scriptura was necessary for salvation – that seems like a change of subject. And thanks for the Mary attacks – always good to remember the stakes involved. (Was invested earlier this am in the brown scapular, btw y’all!)

    My understanding is that the historic, magisterial reformer-type position of SS was that SS was either 1. deduced from scripture itself or 2. a belief given as an illumination of the Holy Spirit.

    I will defer the philosophical discussion to my betters – yourself certainly included – but I don’t understand how 1. escapes the charge of incoherence or 2. escapes the charge of deus ex machina special pleading of that it is historically untenable.

  • Advenedizo says:

    @gj

    An example of sola scriptura incoherence:

    Sola scriptura is the supreme guide of God’s revelation except when deciding what strings of characters form part of the above mentioned scriptura. In that case an only that then x is the guide.

    X being either God, somebody else or yourself. Depending on your answer i will tell you that I do not believe you, that the person who decides what characters form part of the Bible has then more authority than the Bible or that it is very convenient to believe whatever you want.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    You keep glossing over the fact that the sola in sola scriptura means “alone”.

    Rationally coherent: “Bob alone is the supreme authority in Bob-Town”.

    Rationally incoherent: “This text and this text alone is the supreme authority in Bob-Town”.

    The latter is incoherent because of the intrinsic incompleteness of every finite text.

    On the other hand if sola scriptura is just a consistency claim – all true doctrines are consistent with Scripture properly interpreted – then that just is the Catholic understanding, and there is no need for the word “sola” (“alone”).

  • Patrick says:

    “Sola Scriptura is the idea that Scripture is the only supreme authority of divine revelation.”

    You’ve added a clause onto it, though, which says, roughly, that “it’s not something anybody needs to believe, however, and it may or may not be true.”

  • Zippy:

    I would also argue that “this text is the supreme authority” is incoherent because text is not the kind of thing capable of possessing authority. A text is a means of exercising authority (and also recording exercises of authority) but it cannot have authority in and of itself, it only has authority because someone with authority produced the text in the process of exercising authority.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Insanitybytes22, 15July, 11:30pm

    Perhaps I was unclear. I don’t actually think the conversation isn’t worth having. I think that IF you were right about the nature of “some 90% of all human conflict,” then this conversation isn’t worth having. If all substantive disagreement on the truths of the faith proceeds from insufficient holiness and not from errors in reason, then argument is useless at best.

    My follow-up comment was an attempt, apparently a bad one, to give a reductio ad absurdum of your stated principles. A similar point could be made using any number of other accepted by Protestants and rejected by all Christians everywhere prior to them.

    And a canon that is wrong because of what it cuts out is still wrong.

  • TomD says:

    The supreme authority in the USA – is it the Constitution or the Supreme Court?

    And then which would be analogous to Scripture?

  • Zippy says:

    TomD:

    I get the sense that your question is rhetorical. 🙂

    Muh Constitution and Muh Scripture are precisely the same model of “authority” applied to different documents. The difference is that the Constitution actually does explicitly declare itself the supreme law of the land, which makes the in fact actual supreme authority – the court – sociopathic.

  • Terry Morris says:

    the in fact actual supreme authority – the court

    Speaking of ignoble savages.

  • […] the comments of a post at Zippy Catholic, commenter GJ defined the doctrine of sola scriptura […]

  • TomD says:

    God’s better at writing than we are; He doesn’t make that mistake, as Scripture never refers to itself as the supreme authority.

    I just realized that one of the problems with the Constitution is the attempt to rule from beyond the grave, which is worse than your petty “absolute” king would normally try.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Well, technically speaking the supreme *authority* according to the U.S. Constitution is supposed to be “We The PEOPLE” by way of democratic process, or something like that. The Constitution itself is merely the supreme *law*, not the supreme authority.

    But that was then and this is now. And at least several of the founding fathers (Jefferson in particular) understood and spoke to the idea that their generation had no authority to rule it over succeeding generations. On that note, the theory of Constitutional Republicanism was that, in Washington’s words, “the constitution which exists at any time, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory on all.”

    That phrase, “till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people” apparently means whatever the current whim of the SCOTUS is.

  • Terry Morris says:

    That phrase, “till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people” apparently means whatever the current whim of the SCOTUS is.

    Or in winstonscrooge’s estimation, “respect for the rule of law.” Same thing. Lol.

  • GJ says:

    Wood:

    The issue was never whether sola scriptura was necessary for salvation – that seems like a change of subject

    I brought up the point that it is not necessary for salvation, because Zippy seemed to be implying that I was retreating from a strong statement of Sola Scriptura into something that is optional to make it defensible.

    The rejoinder indicated is that it isn’t necessary for salvation, therefore it isn’t compulsory, which is equivalent to saying that it is optional (and always has been!).

    And thanks for the Mary attacks

    Any time.

    My understanding is that the historic, magisterial reformer-type position of SS was that SS was either 1. deduced from scripture itself or 2. a belief given as an illumination of the Holy Spirit.

    How I arrived at believing in SS is through 3. apprehending its truth. It is possible that it is actually option two, that the Spirit illumined me, but I have no evidence for that. I wouldn’t be surprised that others have claimed option two for themselves.

    I will defer the philosophical discussion to my betters – yourself certainly included – but I don’t understand how 1. escapes the charge of incoherence or 2. escapes the charge of deus ex machina special pleading of that it is historically untenable

    All right, I’ll take up the issue of incoherence with Zippy. Up to this point, we’ve been mostly trashing out what is the essence of the idea, and I believe that’s been mostly settled so that we can now proceed on to the issue of whether the idea is incoherent.

    As regards the historical plausibility, I did not set out to defend that here, though I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on that matter.

  • GJ says:

    Advenedizo
    An example of sola scriptura incoherence:

    Sola scriptura is the supreme guide of God’s revelation except when deciding what strings of characters form part of the above mentioned scriptura.

    As I’ve pointed out multiple times in my discussions with Zippy, Sola Scriptura is not a hermeneutic. It isn’t a guide. It isn’t a search engine. So your criticism totally misses.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy
    GJ:

    You keep glossing over the fact that the sola in sola scriptura means “alone”…Rationally incoherent: “This text and this text alone is the supreme authority in Bob-Town”.

    The latter is incoherent because of the intrinsic incompleteness of every finite text.

    You certainly keep asserting that.

  • GJ says:

    Patrick:

    “Sola Scriptura is the idea that Scripture is the only supreme authority of divine revelation.”

    You’ve added a clause onto it, though, which says, roughly, that “it’s not something anybody needs to believe, however, and it may or may not be true.”

    This isn’t even wrong.

    Observing that a belief is optional doesn’t mean that I’m adding a clause to it, rather I’m just observing something about it; we could call it a property.

    And, of course, ‘it may or may not be true’ is a tautology.

  • GJ says:

    TimFinnegan:

    I would also argue that “this text is the supreme authority” is incoherent because text is not the kind of thing capable of possessing authority. A text is a means of exercising authority (and also recording exercises of authority) but it cannot have authority in and of itself, it only has authority because someone with authority produced the text in the process of exercising authority.

    I actually agree with this*; it’s easy to modify the idea to avoid the technical error caused by common language, but I was already having trouble (which might still be ongoing) with people thinking that Sola Scriptura is a hermeneutic, so I didn’t want to go into technical details and have people miss the forest even more for the trees.

    *as my favourite theologian puts it, scripture has authority only “in a delegated or mediated sense”

  • GJ:

    So what is the technical claim of Sola Scriptura then? Is it that Scripture is the only authoritative text produced by God, or is it the claim that there are other authoritative texts produced by God that are nonetheless subordinate to Scripture?

  • GJ says:

    TomD:

    I just realized that one of the problems with the Constitution is the attempt to rule from beyond the grave, which is worse than your petty “absolute” king would normally try.

    I would imagine that many kings attempted to rule from the grave too, such as decreeing that as primary option if possible is for their chosen son to take over (or firstborn by default), followed by his chosen son and so forth.

  • GJ:

    So then what is the claim of sola scriptura? Is it that Scripture is the only authoritative text produced by God or is it that there are others produced by God that are nonetheless subordinate to Scripture?

  • Just double posted: sorry Zippy.

  • GJ says:

    TimFinnegan:

    GJ:

    So what is the technical claim of Sola Scriptura then? Is it that Scripture is the only authoritative text produced by God, or is it the claim that there are other authoritative texts produced by God that are nonetheless subordinate to Scripture?

    If you don’t mind, I’ll write about that on your blog, as I see you’ve made a post about my claims. The discussion here is already rather messy.

  • Patrick says:

    You believe there may be other authorities of divine revelation then? What are some examples?

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    You certainly keep asserting that.

    Yes, and it is clear that you don’t understand the (conclusively proven, pace Godel) limits of written language.

    Whatever else may be the case, it is also pretty clear that you don’t know what the word “alone” means. “Scripture alone” means (under your description) that Scripture alone – but not really alone at all because we have to add on a whole interpretive tradition, framework, and metaphysics – is the supreme authority. So it isn’t really Scripture alone, it is Scripture along with a whole bunch of other question begging stuff: the magic decoder ring. You either mean nothing but Scripture or you don’t mean nothing but Scripture, and if you don’t mean nothing but Scripture you are just playing a meaningless language game.

    If you don’t recognize the parallel to liberalism’s pretense of metaphysical neutrality and weaponized ambiguity you are just being blinded by your own biases on the particular subject matter.

  • GJ says:

    Patrick:

    You believe there may be other authorities of divine revelation then? What are some examples?

    There have been prophets throughout history, whose words inspired by God weren’t recorded in Scripture. You can find some names in Scripture.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    Yes, and it is clear that you don’t understand the (conclusively proven, pace Godel) limits of written language.

    It’s certainly clear that you don’t understand what you’re attacking, sure.

    Whatever else may be the case, it is also pretty clear that you don’t know what the word “alone” means. “Scripture alone” means (under your description) that Scripture alone – but not really alone at all because we have to add on a whole interpretive tradition, framework, and metaphysics – is the supreme authority.

    Here you are being a modernist liberal again.

    Scripture alone is the supreme authority. That is distinct from the fact that to understand Scripture, a hermeneutical framework, language, a philosophical framework and so forth is needed.

    You might equivalently say that it is incoherent to declare that ‘the king/God/etc etc alone is the supreme authority in the land’, because linguistic frameworks etc etc are required to understand the pronouncements of the supreme one, so we need to chuck in ‘linguistic framework, metaphysical framework etc etc’ into the group of supreme authorities. Utter rubbish.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    GJ, just curious – is 2 Peter part of your Bible?

  • TomD says:

    What we’re asking, is when two people disagree on what Scripture says, who do you ask? “Sola Scriptura” says you ask Scripture; Catholics say you ask the Pope and/or Tradition.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Scripture alone is the supreme authority. That is distinct from the fact that to understand Scripture, a hermeneutical framework, language, a philosophical framework and so forth is needed.

    So it is the text of Scripture “alone” but not even really actually alone at all, and it isn’t especially important that it be believed that Scripture is the supreme authority because that isn’t part of what is asserted by the supreme authority, that is, Scripture. Scripture is the supreme authority that most compels belief and negates false belief like all that Mary stuff, but that isn’t one of the things that it is particularly important to believe. And there isn’t any tail chasing question begging logical problem here at all. And I’m a liberal. And a donut.

    You might equivalently say that it is incoherent to declare that ‘the king/God/etc etc alone is the supreme authority in the land’,

    Your failure to grasp that a fixed text isn’t really the same kind of thing at all as a living person doesn’t make your arguments any stronger. Godel’s incompleteness theorems don’t apply to human beings, they apply to languages and fixed texts. You don’t need to add a hermeneutic to Bob in order to get Bob.

    Even granting your own framework for the sake of attempting to communicate with you — which concedes far too much — you have a basic problem. If you don’t understand Bob you can ask him to clarify, and he can keep saying different things to you, and maybe even engage in non-linguistic activity, to try to help you understand. Because Bob has intentions, and possesses meaning in his intellect which he can attempt to communicate to you, another person capable of grasping meaning.

    And if you ask Bob things about himself, like whether he is the supreme authority, he can answer you.

    If you ask a fixed text to clarify it will just feed the same string of characters back to you every time.

    But even all of that already concedes far too much.

    One thing that is clear is that this discussion has long passed its sell-by date.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    And if you ask Bob things about himself, like whether he is the supreme authority, he can answer you.

    You still need physical faculties, mental faculties, metaphysics, language…

    Godel’s incompleteness theorems don’t apply to human beings, they apply to languages and fixed texts.

    That is irrelevant to the fact that to understand supreme authorities, you need logic, mental facilities, frameworks mental and philosophical, and others. Therefore by your premises all these lot needed to be added on the same plane as the supreme authorities.

    Welcome to postmodernism, where the framework is unwarrantedly elevated and madness ensues.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    The reason you ended up at postmodernism is because you started at positivism.

  • GJ says:

    Rhetocrates:

    GJ, just curious – is 2 Peter part of your Bible?

    Yes. Why?

    TomD:

    What we’re asking, is when two people disagree on what Scripture says, who do you ask? “Sola Scriptura” says you ask Scripture; Catholics say you ask the Pope and/or Tradition.

    Sola Scriptura says nothing of the sort; your question about ‘who do you ask’ presumes the existence of a Search Engine that doesn’t exist that will give you the right answer foolproof all the time, if you ask the right question from the right perspective, revealing the modernist mindset.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    As is clearer by the moment, you’re the one (with TimFinnegan) who’ve ended up at postmodernism by starting off with a postivistic approach; according to you both because human mental faculties etc etc are used to apprehend the communication of God, ‘we have to add on faculties etc etc [as] the supreme authority’.

    That’s the postmodernism mess you are in, which would be the case even if I hadn’t joined in this discussion of Sola Scriptura.

  • Patrick says:

    “Scripture alone is the supreme authority.”

    You also said there are prophets not recorded in scripture that are authorities and that you sensed something not in scripture. So aren’t your senses and prophets equal to scripture as authorities? Since no one needs to believe the Bible is the supreme authority and is therefore free to believe something else is the supreme authority. I suppose Mohammad and Joseph Smith can be legitimately believed as prophets in this understanding of sola scriptura.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    You probably never even heard of positivism before you read about it here, did you? Be honest now.

  • Zippy says:

    Lemma:

    Any concept of sola scriptura which is incompatible with Roman Catholicism is rationally incoherent.

    If the doctrine has the epistemic strength to produce a claim that Roman Catholicism is false, it is incoherent.

    If the doctrine doesn’t produce a claim that Roman Catholicism is false, well, welcome to the world of venerating Mary and observing Holy Days of Obligation.

  • Zippy says:

    (That last one was for Patrick).

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: GJ

    The question of “who do you ask” is a question the Church has had to deal with many times over her history. Belloc describes the usual process in the book I referenced above:

    “What you find in these foundational times is not the Catholic Church asserting and defining a thing and then, some time after, the heresiarch denying this definition; no heresy comes within a hundred miles of such a procedure. What happens in the early Church is that some doctrine not yet fully defined is laid down by such and such a man, that his final settlement clashes with the opinion of others, that after debate and counsel, and also authoritative statement on the part of the bishops, this man’s solution is rejected and an orthodox solution is defined. From that moment the heresiarch, if he will not fall into line with defined opinion, ceases to be in communion; and his rejection, no less than his own original insistence upon his doctrine, are in themselves proofs that both he and his judges postulate unity and definition as the two necessary marks of Catholic truth.”

    It is also worth noting a passage from Newman’s history of Arianism:

    “Doctrinal artifice of Acacius: This artifice, which, obvious as it is, is curious, from the place which it holds in the history of Arianism, was that of affecting on principle to limit confessions of faith to scripture terms;”

    So what we see in actual fact happening when such questions arise is a definition being given by the body of bishops. And furthermore, we see a faction of the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ, being the first (at least, the first we have record of that I am aware of) to resist such a declaration on Scriptural grounds.

    Experience trumps theory. What the Church actually is and has actually done and taught from the earliest days takes precedence over what might seem to us should have happened or should have been taught.

    Also, just spitballing here, but it seems solid to me:

    1) If an authority cannot authoritatively decide a dispute, then it does not have the authority to do so, by definition.

    2) A supreme authority should, again, by definition, be able to resolve any dispute.

    3) Ergo, an authority that cannot (not merely does not, but cannot) resolve any dispute cannot be supreme.

    4) Scripture, being a fixed body of texts, cannot by itself resolve any dispute; this includes, at a minimum, disputes about what it itself means.

    5) So Scripture, exalted as it is, cannot be supreme.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    GJ,

    Just that my reading of 2 Peter is an explicit condemnation of sola scriptura, is all.

    By my understanding, sola scriptura means precisely that the body of Scripture is precisely co-terminous with the body of binding apostolic (and therefore Christian) tradition. As a doctrine, therefore, it denies things like the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, etc. as unjustified, because all later revelation or all extra-Scriptural Christian tradition, no matter how venerable, is invalid.

    It does not mean that there is not a body of Biblical scholarship, or a history to the church, or private interpretation of Scripture.

    You tell me if that’s correct, or not.

    Now, the Catholic position is that the deposit of Faith includes both the written word of Scripture and the Apostolic traditions, e.g. the Assumption (a tradition which, while never mentioned in Holy Writ, is so old that it either afflicted the earliest Church with false doctrine or was witnessed by the Apostles), and that no later revelation (e.g. the Immaculate Conception) can in any way contradict the deposit of Faith, either substantially, essentially, or technically, but must rather be manifestly consonant with it.

    (When reading the above, understand that I am a layman. I’m doing my best to present the Church’s position, but I don’t have any sort of authority or technical instruction.)

    The problem with 2 Peter is that it was most probably written after all the Apostles were dead, somewhere between 90-130 AD. This doesn’t prejudice its inspirational character, but unless you want to make the claim that the Apostle Peter came to the scribe in a dream and dictated the Epistle, it does indicate a non-apostolic addition to Holy Writ.

  • Aristokles Contra Mundum says:

    I know I’m jumping quite a ways back in the discussion, but the assertion that it’s a “jump” to connect Wycliffe to the Reformers shows a profound lack of knowledge about the actual history of the Reformation. Such a lack, that I’d really question the ability of anyone unfamiliar with the connection to intelligently discuss the Reformation at all.

    For one thing, the Reformers themselves regularly point to Wycliffe as a forerunner, and evaluating to what extent he can be considered as such is a major part of the historiography of the Reformation period. Heiko Oberman, who is pretty much the gold standard of historians of the Reformation (and himself a protestant theologian), offers perhaps the most excellent treatment of the question in his Forerunners of the Reformation, but I am legitimately unable to call to mind a decent historian of the period who doesn’t at least mention Wycliffe in their discussions of Luther’s antecedents.

    Not understanding the actual debates surrounding the Reformation (which Zippy correctly identifies as predominantly centering around questions of authority, see Susan Shreiner’s Are You Alone Wise?), cripples your ability to seriously discuss the subject. If you truly care about the issue you should, at the very least, read Luther and his immediate critics, Erasmus, Eck, etc.

  • Zippy says:

    Aristokles Contra Mundum:

    You might be amused to learn that, as a self (more or less) educated knuckle dragger on the subject, I learned a great deal once I realized how many different ways there are to spell Wicklif, Mahomet, the Alcoran, and other characters/objects in the historical drama. Without that background you are limited to very recent books only, and just noticing who is making reference to whom or what in old texts can be quite a revelation.

  • Zippy says:

    Kind of the medieval version of learning a lot about people from their graph of Facebook friends and interests.

  • itascriptaest says:

    Protestantism. glosoli put it well: ‘I also see most of the Protestant movement is captured by satan in current times too, the attack is on all of us’.

    The simple fact is that even “traditonal” Protestants share more in common with Catholic Modernists than either shares with traditonal Catholicism. Despite of the melodramatic appeals to “we are all under attack” none of the prodies on here or elsewhere on the tradosphere are honest enough to admit to it. You don’t have to go far to see this in action either, the comment sections of WWwtW and the Orthosphere are also replete with examples of this. On even seemingly mundane issues like clerical celibacy “traditonal” Bible thumpers will almost always align with Catholic modernists. I guess we are supposed to seriously believe that when Pope Francis gives Luther the theological recognition and praise Luther craved and when modern Churchmen implement a vernacular liturgy deliberately made to appeal to Protestants with the direct suggestions of Protestants, all of this is supposed to somehow indict traditonal Catholicism.

    What is even worse is to hear the lectures from our Prodie “brothers and sisters” of the need to band together against secular liberalism when for the last 3 centuries Prodies have consistently supported liberalism against Catholicism!

  • Zippy says:

    itascriptaest:

    What is even worse is to hear the lectures from our Prodie “brothers and sisters” of the need to band together against secular liberalism when for the last 3 centuries Prodies have consistently supported liberalism against Catholicism!

    To be fair though most are probably just ignorant of their own history, or have bought into a historical narrative they’ve been spoon fed by modernism since they were in diapers. You doubtless view them in a similar way that “manosphere” types view “white knights”, what they call “traditional conservatives”, etc. — and there is some merit to that view, I have to admit.

    But a lot of people are just naive. I’ve been there myself, probably still am in some ways — I’m always on the hunt for it in myself. What most human beings need is to be taken to the truth woodshed and thrashed until they cry ‘uncle’ and acknowledge the reality of the paddle. That’s why purgatory is one of those doctrines of God’s mercy that — in addition to being a revealed truth of course — just makes so bloody much sense.

    Who would want to appear before the Almighty in the shape we are in?

  • Who would want to appear before the Almighty in the shape we are in?

    We definitely shouldn’t. And yet, as Catholics, we are required to be in the presence of the Almighty at least once a week. The hope of course is that we should want to improve ourselves as much as we can so as to present ourselves as worthily as worms can before the Almighty that we meet behind a veil.

  • glosoli says:

    I’ve just caught up on the thread.

    As a novice Christian, I happily concede that sola scriptura is false. But I do consider the bible to be the only text to be God-breathed. To the guy that was trying to pin me down up-thread, if that makes me a hypocrite, s be it. I give maximum weight to the bible, and anything outside of it I weigh carefully, as much of it is likely to be anti-God.

    I hadn’t read about the immaculate conception, or the assumption, until today. What a surprise, they’re both about Mary! And over the weekend I read about the Catholic tradition of Mary always remaining a virgin, despite Jesus having brothers. Queen Mary of the Universe, is there a Catholic creed on her hair colour, or how often she slaps our Lord if he forgets his mission? She was a blessed woman, nothing more.

    What amazes me, constantly, is that the Catholics are so hung up on every possible issue concerning Mary. Why? This is why I will never be a Catholic, as it’s simply a satanic diversion, taking our eyes and mind away from Jehovah and Jesus. It’s literally almost comical in its level of ridiculousness. Zippy, how do you cope with all of that stuff? How do you rationalise it? Why on earth would anyone even begin to posit that Mary was conceived in some non-earthly way without straying off the narrow path? I am bemused that it ever happened in the first place, and further bemused that bright Christians would not stop to think: why is this even something that matters one little jot, literally irrelevant.

    And if you’ve been led astray on these matters, and others such as the invention of purgatory (flatly contradicted by Christ himself on the cross); the growing of holiness through deeds versus grace issues; confessing your sins to a man in a cabinet; dozens of evil Popes, Holy Roman Emperors that killed Popes; two Popes for the price of one (today), all of these evils and fictions, yet you attempt to grab the moral high ground somehow?

    Madness in my opinion. I’ll continue to read my bible, listen to my pastor, use online reading for the thoughts of theologians, but ultimately, it’s all focused on the bible, the word of God, not other nonsense added on by politicians or satanists playing God on earth to lead us astray.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    But I do consider the bible to be the only text to be God-breathed.

    That is basically the Catholic view.

    I give maximum weight to the bible, and anything outside of it I weigh carefully, as much of it is likely to be anti-God.

    This too really — at least properly understood. The basic issue isn’t whether or not you trust Scripture. The basic issue is that where more than one good faith interpretation of Scripture is possible, do you trust God’s guidance via the Apostolic Church or do you trust only your own ahistorical uninformed idiosyncratic interpretations?

    For example on the matter of Jesus’ brothers, one tradition is that Joseph was a widower with children when he married Mary. Another is that the term translated as “brothers” often referred to cousins. No pre-reformation tradition however holds that Mary herself gave birth to any children except the Child Jesus.

    It isn’t a question of whether you do or do not trust Scripture itself over something “outside” of Scripture. It is just a question of whose interpretation is correct: your personal, uninformed interpretation or the interpretation of the Apostolic Church informed by sacred tradition.

  • Zippy says:

    Mark Shea’s trilogy of books Mary, Mother of the Son is excellent on the subject of Mary and her place in the scheme of things. She is of course just a human being like the rest of us. She is also the best and most privileged of human beings — she actually got to be the mother of God made man, after all, and greater privilege than that for a mere human being is inconceivable!

    In any case though if you want to reject the Catholic understanding it is better to actually understand it first. Shea’s very readable books on Mary can certainly help there, if Marian doctrines are your particular point of contention.

  • glosoli says:

    It’s not that question.

    I don’t rely solely on my own interpretation, I rely on that of my pastor, mentors, other Christians I speak with, theologians over the ages, the Reformers, many different sources, including your good self.

    I do not trust big Christian institutions full stop, whether Catholic or otherwise, for reasons already stated. The issue of Mary remaining a virgin or not: so what? It makes zero difference to anything. If Church officials were navel-gazing on that issue, that in itself makes me smell a rat. The whole Mary focus is off, way off, what the bible is about. And so we have women in churches everywhere today worshiping themselves.

    Anyone see how they could possibly have got there?

  • glosoli says:

    ‘She is also the best and most privileged of human beings — she actually got to be the mother of God made man, after all, and greater privilege than that for a mere human being is inconceivable!’

    Well Zippy, when I read those words I just sigh.
    How is she the ‘best’? That’s nonsense.
    Abraham, or Joseph, or Israel would have better claim to that than Mary.

    But in honesty, I’m not interested in establishing who is the best human, because every one of us evee to have existed is a huge pile of dog-shit when compared to Jehovah and His Son, Mary included. Barking up the wrong tree with that line of thought entirely.

    True, she was privileged to have her role. I’m never going to venerate her as the ‘best’ human, that’s both debatable, and another wandering off the path into idolatry.

    I grasped the Catholic way as regards Mary early on, I don’t need to read any books on the subject.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I don’t rely solely on my own interpretation, I rely on that of my pastor, mentors, other Christians I speak with, theologians over the ages, the Reformers, many different sources, including your good self.

    Those are all great. Why not discover what the actual Apostolic Church actually believes then? Is there some reason for dismissing it rather than discovering what is truly believed by the Church which traces its descent to the Apostles themselves – as opposed to caricatures? You might find that your incredulity stems from lack of knowledge or understanding.

    You don’t think Mary matters now — and compared to Christ, she doesn’t. Nobody believes otherwise.

    What about compared to you and I though? Isn’t she more important and more exalted than us, objectively speaking?

    As for why that matters: well, the truth always matters. But, more importantly, it sometimes matters in ways that surprise us, ways that we don’t expect.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I grasped the Catholic way as regards Mary early on, I don’t need to read any books on the subject.

    I’m not really seeing that. The Bible tells you that Mary is the mother of Jesus, and that Jesus is God. If you believe the Bible then you believe that Mary is literally the mother of God.

    Mary is the mother of God. This is biblical.

    So why are you rejecting the Bible in favor of your own prejudices, or those of your pastor, or whomever?

  • glosoli says:

    I’d be happy to read some actual Apostolic Church writings once I’ve finished reading the bible itself. I will get back to you.

    You’ve switched from ‘best and most privileged’ to ‘more important and exalted’ now. Sure, she’s more important than me, certainly more exalted. But so what? Barely mentioned in the bible. I’d put some of the Old Testament men ahead of her for many reasons, but ultimately, I’m seeing how God worked through them, what He did for them, what they did for Him, how it relates to modern life for me. Mary adds very little to any of that, if anything at all.

    The truth doesn’t always matter Zippy. It is true that today in my home town there was thunder and lightning all day and into the evening. As a result I could not play golf this evening. All true, but doesn’t matter one jot, not even to me!

  • itascriptaest says:

    And so we have women in churches everywhere today worshiping themselves.

    Yeah having women venerate and admire a being who perfectly embodies virignity, purity and simultaneously motherhood is the problem. If only more women were to emulate Luther – breaking vows, rebelling against legitimate authority and interpreting Scripture to suit their own neuroses. Yes we need more of that in our culture. Protestantism can cure our culture of feminism which directly stems from Mary worship this is proven by the fact that the most devout Mary worshippers are ardent feminists. Wherever Protestantism goes feminism declines.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    The truth doesn’t always matter Zippy.

    Matthew 10:29 (for one).

  • glosoli says:

    I believe she is the mother of God in human form.

    That was her role, as chosen by God.

    All other aspects of her existence are immaterial, she was simply a vessel.

    I have read nothing in the bible to show me otherwise. She had some more children, she was there when Jesus was crucified, as one would expect a mother to be. She tried to tell Jesus to get a move on with His work (like a typical woman), He told her to mind her own business. Just a woman, with one vital task, which God ensured went smoothly. Jesus chose other men to be His disciples and spread the word. If He’d chosen Mary and her girls, maybe I’d be with you. But He didn’t.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    She had some more children, …

    Here you exalt your own interpretation above what the text of the Bible actually says. The Bible never says that Mary gave birth to children other than Christ Jesus.

    Just a woman, with one vital task, …

    Yes: to be the mother of God, after being called specially blessed by an angel.

    Frankly, you don’t seem to know your Scripture all that well. So reading it a few more times before you read anything else is probably not a bad idea.

  • glosoli says:

    @itsathingy,

    I’m not even going to bother.

    @Zippy,

    I think you’re stretching it a bit to be honest. I’m happy that I matter to God and that I found Him last year, but in the grand scheme of things, me missing golf this evening, I don’t think the verse you quote covers that.

  • glosoli says:

    I know it better than you think.
    The Greek word for brother was used, as opposed to the Greek word for cousin.
    It’s a good bet she had more children, but none of us can know for certain, can we? Catholics however have tried to claim she never did, but they don’t know.
    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter either way.
    If you think it matters, you’re off-target.

    Out of interest, why would you think it mattered?

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I think you’re stretching it a bit to be honest.

    That is your personal interpretation, at present. I think the idea of reading the Bible a few more times is a great idea. Be sure to read several different translations: Protestant and Catholic.

  • Zippy says:

    glosoli:

    I know it better than you think.

    If you say so.

    I already recommended Mark Shea’s series, if you really want answers as to why Catholics think the Marian doctrines matter.

  • glosoli says:

    Good idea, what’s the best Catholic version please?

  • Zippy says:

    I prefer the Douay-Rheims myself, but the language may be a bit archaic for some.

  • glosoli says:

    I am using the KIng James, and like the archaic language.
    Once I’ve finished it, I’ll start again with both versions.Thanks.

  • itascriptaest says:

    I’m not even going to bother

    Yep that’s because you can’t answer.

  • I prefer the Douay-Rheims as well, but the RSV is a very good translation as well.

  • glosoli says:

    @itsathingy,

    No, it’s because you’re arguing with yourself. Crack on.

  • glosoli says:

    Heh, you even made a Saint of Mary’s mother I just read. Hilarious.
    What about her grandmother, I bet you did.

  • Aristokles Contra Mundum says:

    I believe she is the mother of God in human form.

    Thus denying the hypostatic union, the fundamental union of man and God in Christ.

    The Greek word for brother was used, as opposed to the Greek word for cousin.

    Have you not gotten around to Genesis 14:14 yet in your Scripture readings?

  • Zippy says:

    There are many canonized saints, glosoli: a whole cloud of witnesses, as it were, a multitude dressed in white.

    You might find phrases like that in a book of our mutual acquaintance.

  • Wood says:

    I really would rather not care. But I was also once an 8th grader version of glosoli – spending summers learning how to witness Catholics out of the whore of Babylon (mea maxima culpa).

    glosoli,

    For my part and please forgive the personal details, after learning the Catholic doctrines regarding Mary I felt I had never known and loved and wanted to worship Jesus Christ so much until then. That – at the most fundamental level – is what the Marian doctrines have meant to me. And that is why I cherish them. But – for the sake of argument – if you accepted the truth of, say, the Assumption of Mary and started to consider what that might mean about Jesus Christ: namely that He loved His mom so very much He couldn’t wait to bring her – body and soul – to heaven its enough to make you want to also be a person that Jesus can’t wait to bring body and soul to heaven. Obviously theres a whole lot a ground to be hoed before you can come to believe the truth of these things, but I at least wanted you to see why some Catholics feel so strongly about these truths. As a Catholic, I believe one of the most awful aspects of protestantism is that the protestant literally can’t imagine what he’s missing out on in the Catholic “fullness of the Faith.”

  • I appreciate your patience in this thread,Zippy. Several comments above you quipped, “This text and this text alone is the supreme authority in Bob-Town”.

    You are right, Sola Scriptura can appear to be incoherent simply because “alone” does not really mean “alone,” as in text sitting alone on a page. Scripture is also “the Word,” as Jesus Christ Himself is sometimes called The Word, so a living, breathing text, the authority stemming from the Holy Spirit.

    Glosoli, it is sad to see you speak so dismissively about Mary.That is neither the Catholic view nor the protestant view,nor is it biblical. Jesus does not tell Mary to mind her own business, he makes wine for the guests. She is “just a vessel,” but only in the way we are all just vessels of God’s grace, of the Holy Spirit. “Woman” in biblical times was actually a term of affection as it still is in many circles today.

  • itascriptaest says:

    No, it’s because you’re arguing with yourself. Crack on
    As an ecumenical gesture I will just chalk up your failure to answer to your general ignorance. Maybe even you can learn something from Zippy instead of spamming “Da Bible Sayz.”

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    As a Catholic, I believe one of the most awful aspects of protestantism is that the protestant literally can’t imagine what he’s missing out on in the Catholic “fullness of the Faith.”

    Most especially the Eucharist: the source, summit, and center of the Christian Faith: Christ truly and fully present, in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity: feeding our pathetic unworthy selves with his own Body and Precious Blood, sacrificed for our redemption, received by us just as he literally commanded in the Gospel and as done consistently by the successors of the Apostles for two thousand years.

    Once one grasps Who the Eucharist truly is, by His own promise and miraculous power, everything else fades to insignificance.

  • itascriptaest says:

    Jesus does not tell Mary to mind her own business, he makes wine for the guests

    So under glosoli’s exegesis Jesus is made to look an irreverant son who still complies with his “nagging” mother’s request. I am sure that the “true meaning” behind this edifying passage.

  • glosoli says:

    Interestingly, the translations of John 2:4 regarding Jesus’ words to Mary vary greatly.

    The Douay-Rheims is the most favourable to Mary, most others are more dismissive of her involvement on the part of Jesus. That was to be expected.

    The Greek words, when searched at Biblehub, are somewhat incomprehensible:

    http://biblehub.com/text/john/2-4.htm

    So that’s cleared up that matter then. He does refer to her as ‘woman’, though, not as ‘my dear mother’.

    Wood, thanks for sharing that. I simply don’t agree with your reasoning at all. And the bread and wine is just in remembrance of Him, but I am sure I will look in more detail into the various translations of that verse in due course.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    Scripture is also “the Word,” as Jesus Christ Himself is sometimes called The Word, so a living, breathing text, the authority stemming from the Holy Spirit.

    A key difference between “Bible protestantism”, if you will, and Catholic theology[1], is where we believe that God is literally and most fully present.

    Protestantism finds God most fully present in the Bible — an idea which originates (as I mentioned upthread) with Wyclif and the Lollards. Wyclif posited this as a replacement for the Real Presence in the Eucharist which he denied — a substitution which conveniently freed the Lollards from making themselves in any way subject to the authority of the Apostolic Church. If you don’t need the Mass you don’t need priests, and if you don’t need priests then you can ignore anyone or anything that you don’t like: it is just you and the Bible. No earthly authority.

    At the risk of offending someone(s) (not for the first time, but as usual I’m just explaining my own thoughts forthrightly), I’ll point out the similarity this has with Islamic theology, with which Geoffrey Chaucer (an associate of Wyclif’s) was quite familiar.

    Islam (as described by Belloc and others) was a confused fusion of Christianity and Judaism, with which Arabic traders were passingly familiar. Mahomet and/or his successors knew of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures — Christians-and-Jews were referred to as a unity by the Moslems, “the People of the Book”. Islam was a new religion which conveniently placed Arabs rather than Jews in the center as the “chosen people”, if you will; and 800 years before Wyclif the Moslems asserted the Real Presence of Allah in the recitation of the Alcoran. To listen to the recitation of the Alcoran is to literally hear the voice of God speaking, in Moslem theology.

    So on this particular point – arguably the most important, central point of all – “Bible Christians” have more in common theologically with Islam than they have with Catholics (and our schismatic friends the Orthodox).

    ——–

    [1] This includes some non-papists like the Eastern Orthodox.

  • Protestantism finds God most fully present in the Bible — an idea which originates (as I mentioned upthread) with Wyclif and the Lollards. Wyclif posited this as a replacement for the Real Presence in the Eucharist which he denied

    This is interesting in that it is the High Lutherans and Anglicans that are the Protestant strains that seem most resistant to the abandonment of key doctrines, and they are (as far as I know) the only Protestants to believe in the Real Presence (albeit through consubstantiation rather than transubstantiation). They don’t even have the Real Presence, they just believe it and it seems it may be giving them an (slight?) edge.

  • Zippy says:

    TimFinnegan:

    Perhaps extraordinary grace tends to look like an especially generous form of ordinary grace.

  • “And the bread and wine is just in remembrance of Him….”

    Glosoli,there are some subtle distinctions between Catholic views and protestant ones,but I assure you, very few protestants perceive communion as “just in remembrance of Him.” Read what Zippy said, “Once one grasps Who the Eucharist truly is, by His own promise and miraculous power, everything else fades to insignificance.”

    Exactly.

    I appreciate your explanations, Zippy, but I assure you, this does not apply to me or many other protestants I know, “Bible Christians” have more in common theologically with Islam than they have with Catholics.”

    Of course, there are both Catholics and protestants we could probably apply that to. Labels are cheap and easily appropriated. Some people seem to believe gravity makes them a Christian,as in they hold a pew down a few times a year and call it good.

  • Silly Interloper says:

    Food for thought, Glosoli.

    The “Hail Mary” is a Catholic prayer, and it is almost completely biblical.

    “Hail, Mary. Full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
    Blessed art though among women,”
    <—Everything to this point is from Luke 1:28, and this second line repeated in Luke 1:42

    “and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” <—This line is in Luke 1:42

    “Holy Mary, mother of God,” <—In Luke 1:43, Elizabeth says: “And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Since we know that the word ‘Lord’ is another word for our God, Jesus Christ, we have Mary essentially called the ‘Mother of God’ in the Bible, and we see here that Elizabeth is showing honor and veneration, disbelieving that she herself is deserving of Mary’s visit. And Elizabeth is her beloved cousin!

    (And, by the way, “God in human form” is still God.)

    In verse 46 (though not part of the Hail Mary) it says: “And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.” This is a person who’s soul magnifies the Lord in ways we can’t imagine, so much so that it’s given special mention here in the Bible.

    Verse 47: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” When we ask Mary to pray for us, we add our rejoicing with that one human being who rejoiced in God our Savior before all others.

    But, after all this, why should we give Mary any special attention? Because the Bible says we will!

    In Luke 1:48 “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

    You have been arguing that Mary has nothing special about her and that she is nothing but a vessel, but the Bible clearly says otherwise in very compelling terms. Who today are calling Mary blessed as it says in the Bible? Well—the Catholics, mostly, and very, very few Protestants. In this way (and many others) the Catholics are far more biblical than you.

    You may choose to interpret these verses differently–but that is just your personal commentary. They clearly serve as a solid biblical testament for our Marian beliefs.

    Glosoli, you clearly have a lot to learn both about what the Bible says and what the Catholic Church teaches, so I recommend you learn the truth about things before making strident claims against your interlocutors and the Churches you don’t understand. (Or at least ask questions first!) I haven’t read the Mary books by Mark Shea, but I own them, and I’ve read other sources of Mark’s about Mary and they are generally very good, so I second Zippy’s recommendation.

    There’s lots to discover. I pulled the above together in about half hour from memory, so it’s just scratching the surface.

    One final thing—you are now saying that you only allow for non-biblical ideas that have been well-considered. That’s true of Catholics, too. You only think things are ill-considered by others because you have formed some very premature and ill-conceived prejudices about things. When you agree they appear well-considered to you, when you disagree they appear ill-considered. In reality, though, the things that you believe that go counter to Catholicism come across to us as having far worse consideration.

    Furthermore, since you now admit that “well-considered” beliefs outside the Bible can be legitimate, and you now have taken a position that relies upon that way of things in order to state your case, so you cannot criticize others for believing things you don’t see in the Bible just because you don’t like it. You will have to find other reasons. (You should also examine your prejudices and learn what the logical fallacy “begging the question” is.)

    If you return to disregarding any belief because it’s not in the Bible, then you return to hypocrisy. That is your choice—drop the false argument that extra-biblical knowledge can be valid, or become a hypocrite again.

    I sincerely hope you can.

  • Zippy:

    I would not be surprised in the least. An especially wonderful surprise on this the 500th year of Luther’s revolt would be to see the Catholic Church offer the High Lutherans what they offered the Anglicans; an opportunity to keep their liturgical traditions if they would come back into communion with Rome. A Lutheran Ordinariate rather than an Anglican one.

  • itascriptaest says:

    @Tim

    Well I don’t think we can expect anything under Pope Francis. Francis disagreed with Benedict’s creation of the Anglican Ordinate. Protestants need not convert to the True Faith!

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    To be fair, according to polls – and I have no reason to disbelieve them – about 80% of Catholics will answer, when asked, that they do not believe in the Real Presence.

    So we are all Moslems now.

  • Insanitybytes:

    I assure you, very few protestants perceive communion as “just in remembrance of Him.”

    Are you Claiming that most protestants (including yourself) believe in the Real Presence?

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    insanitybytes22:

    To be fair, according to polls – and I have no reason to disbelieve them – about 80% of Catholics will answer, when asked, that they do not believe in the Real Presence.

    Because the cool kids don’t really believe any of that bullshit. – Ann Barnhardt

    So we are all Moslems now.

    TIME magazine ought to do a cover story bearing the title.

  • “Are you Claiming that most protestants (including yourself) believe in the Real Presence?”

    Well, as an official statement such things are beyond my pay grade,but as far as I know, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and anyone reformed, believes in the Real Presence.

    What Zippy said here could have been said by the last four protestant pastors I’ve listened to in the past month speaking of such things, “Once one grasps Who the Eucharist truly is, by His own promise and miraculous power, everything else fades to insignificance.”

    I’ve actually never been to a church or heard anyone say communion was just “done in remembrance of me” as a simple ritual or something.

  • Well, as an official statement such things are beyond my pay grade,but as far as I know, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and anyone reformed, believes in the Real Presence.

    If this is true then my understanding of Protestant theology as regards the Eucharist is very very wrong. I wasn’t aware of any Protestants (besides the High Lutherans and Anglicans) who believed that Christ is literally present (body, blood, soul, and divinity) in the Eucharist.

  • Advenedizo says:

    @TimFinnegan

    As far as i know they do kind of believe in a kind of “spiritual real presence”, but they deny that the bread is gone. They basically play modernist in a way, keep the words but mean something completely different. Of course this is my short summary so i am certain they will somewhat disagree.

    In short, they deny transubstantiation.

  • Advenedizo says:

    @glosoli

    Please be a little humble and do not think us catholics to be all retards. I am certain that there are at least a couple catholics in the billion catholics currently alive that know greek, so the bible says that Jesus had brothers so Mary had more children has already been dealt with. Read the defenses before saying anything. Everything you can think of has been answered before.

    Be humble, because I am certain that in the 15 minutes you have been reading the Bible you will not come with an argument against Catholism that has not been found before. I am not even certain you will find an argument that even makes sence. So please, stop.

    It is beter to be quiet and look like a fool, than to talk and confirm it.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Advenedizo:

    Please be a little humble and do not think us catholics to be all retards. I am certain that there are at least a couple catholics in the billion catholics currently alive that know greek,…

    There are probably also, amongst the billion or so now living, at least a handful of Catholic retards who also happen to be madmen. What I find amazing is that they all apparently congregate at this site to form Zippy’s (the baddest Catholic on the planet!) echo chamber.

    Wait! – Zippy’s Echo Chamber – that has a nice ring to it! 😉

  • TomD says:

    The real zinger, if you think about it, is the Catholic Church had fifteen hundred years in total control of Scripture, and never thought to remove the “inconvenient” passages.

    But Luther tried to remove large swaths of it right away.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    insanitybites:

    Well, as an official statement such things are beyond my pay grade,but as far as I know, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, and anyone reformed, believes in the Real Presence.

    To my understanding, the Anglicans deny Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, but accept His presence in the Mass, as He is there corporately – “Wherever three or more are gathered in my name, there am I also” (which is from memory, so treat it as a bad paraphrase. That’s from reading Ronald Knox’s A Spiritual Aeniad, which is an amazingly good book that everyone here should read if you haven’t.

    Methodists also definitely deny His presence in the Eucharist while accepting his corporate presence. To them, the bread and wine is a symbol and a remembrance – a solemn thing, but just bread and wine. Or, often, bread and grape juice. They also don’t offer communion at every ‘service’ – most ‘traditional’ Methodist communities offer communion once a month; many less often than that.

    Also, at least for the Methodists, His corporate presence is more a poetic thing; that is, they do profess it, but what they mean by it is something along the lines of Christ blesses those who come together to worship in His name, rather than that the Real Presence (a la the Eucharist) is well and truly, substantially Present.

    The only time Methodists are in the true Presence of Christ is after death, or during particularly strong religious transports (which are as uncommon as you would suspect).

    I used to be a Methodist. My grandfather was a Methodist minister, and as I’ve always been religiously-minded, it was important to me to learn what the Methodists taught.

    All that said, the ‘purpose’ of Methodism these days – since the United Methodist ‘reformation’ – is more ecumenism than anything else. They like to brand themselves as something like Lewis’ Mere Christianity, though of course different from mere non-denominationality – somehow.

    (Apologies to Zippy if my formatting is terrible. It’s my first time trying it.)

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Advenedizo

    In general, the Reformed traditions, with which I am most familiar, and whose teachings are clearly set forth in documents like the Westminster Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism (this last a binding creed of my own old sect), flatly deny the physical transformation of the elements, claiming the elements are only symbols, but despite this usually allow a “spiritual presence,” and the term “consubstantiation” gets thrown around a lot despite significant differences between Reformed and, say, Lutheran use of the term. Baptists have more variety, but these days will frequently wind up in about the same position, more or less – this may be due to a surge in Calvinism within Baptist groups over the last decade or two – though you will find folks who deny even a spiritual presence.

    Further confusing the matter is that some of them (including some strains of Presbyterianism, at least if I was correctly understanding one of their chaplains a couple years ago) believe an actual transformation of SOME kind occurs, but only DURING communion, and afterwards the elements revert to bread and wine. Rather a democratic view of the matter: the elements are transformed by the “consent of the faithful,” as it were, for as long as such consent is deliberately maintained and no longer.

    Lutheran and Anglican theology on the matter I’m much less familiar with: about as much as I’m willing to say upon VERY superficial examination is that they are much less definite, and seem to include a wide range of opinions all the way from the flat denial of the Heidelberg to basically Catholic. And as for the various “Evangelical” and “Nondenominational” groups and movements popular these days, they really could be anything.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Expanding a bit on Rhetocrates’ post:

    In general, the Reformed traditions, with which I am most familiar, and whose teachings are set forth in documents like the Westminster Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism (this last a binding creed of my own old sect), flatly deny the physical transformation of the elements, claiming the elements are only symbols, but despite this usually allow a “spiritual presence,” and the term “consubstantiation” gets thrown around a lot despite significant differences between Reformed and, say, Lutheran use of the term. Baptists have a bit more variety, but these days will usually seem to wind up in about the same position, more or less, though you will find folks in all these groups who deny even a spiritual presence.

    Further confusing the matter is that at least some strains of Presbyterians, and probably others, believe something like the corporate presence mentioned by Rhetocrates above. Rather a democratic view of the matter, if you ask me: the elements are transformed by the “consent of the faithful,” as it were.

    All this is complicated by the fact that every Protestant has to make up his mind about these things. And the meanings of terms have mutated. Most Reformed folks I’ve talked to, for instance, subscribe to a definition of predestination which is practically Catholic, and assume that Calvin just meant the same thing, when they don’t even mean the same thing among themselves all the time. Even more, when a question comes up, they are more likely to reference , say, C.S. Lewis (or someone similarly popular) than their own creeds or anyone in their own tradition, so there’s been an awful lot of cross-pollination.

    In short, it’s a mess.

  • Zippy says:

    C.S. Lewis is a part of the modern hagiography, and I have great affection for some of the man’s work myself. But – precisely because of his well merited influence – his Mere Christianity may be one of the most damaging written works in history. It is impossible to put into words the tragedy of Christianity gutted of the Eucharist, its very source and summit.

    This includes all of the denominations who think they have “Communion” or whatever but objectively lack Apostolic succession, rendering their “Communion Services” at best a kind of play-act.

  • “In short, it’s a mess.”

    Perhaps, but it’s no more of a mess than then 300 or so local Catholics who just staged an ordination of lady lesbian priests. Of course there is nothing doctrinal or theological about that, nor was it endorsed by the church herself,but it does speak to the heart of what you call “the mess.”

    I’m reminded of the Lord’s steadfast patience and love for His messy church, but also that in the end, the final chapter, there are several churches all going in different directions, indicating to me that divisions are part of His design, His purpose. I wish I could point to a church or a denomination and say here are the “true believers,” but experience has taught me that pointing to labels is not the same thing as pointing to Him.

  • Wood says:

    insanitybytes22,

    Perhaps, but it’s no more of a mess than then 300 or so local Catholics who just staged an ordination of lady lesbian priests.

    I’ll go even further and say that pseudo-Catholic ritual you’re describing is far worse of a mess. It’s worse precisely because of its scandal. Scandal is so awful – Jesus brought up millstones and seas to describe what should happen to scandalizers – not just because the action itself is terrible. But also because the scandalous action has a way of blinding people to the truth and encouraging them in serious error.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    I think that’s a little hard on Lewis. Perhaps one of the most damaging contemporary tracts, but his influence doesn’t seem to me to really hold a candle to Calvin’s Insitutes of the Christian Religion, or Luther, or Knox, or Arian, or Mahomet

  • Zippy says:

    Rhetocrates:

    Perhaps one of the most damaging contemporary tracts …

    Yes that is a fair qualification. Though the scandal is amplified by the quality of his other work, which I think the writers you mention don’t begin to approach.

    We should not downplay the objectively vicious cruelty of making people feel comfortable with grievous errors.

  • itascriptaest says:

    Though the scandal is amplified by the quality of his other work, which I think the writers you mention don’t begin to approach.

    Do you think that it is even more amplified by the fact that he had the opportunity to convert and did not? I think even under the new catechism he couldn’t claim ignorance as a defense.

  • TomD says:

    It’s why Tolkien was annoyed with him, and they grew apart.

    In a way, Lewis was the first of the “alt-right” – trying to preserve what good he found without giving up the things he wanted.

  • Zippy says:

    itascriptaest:

    I think even under the new catechism he couldn’t claim ignorance as a defense.

    Thankfully those particular judgments are above my pay grade. But there is no doubt that – contrary to the usual way he is viewed even among many Catholics – Lewis is a terribly tragic and lost figure, pace Luke 12:48.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: insanitybytes

    Never said Catholics weren’t a mess, too. And I’d agree with Wood that situations of the sort you mention are actually worse when Catholics do them. Though the situation arises in large part precisely because of the Protestantization of many Catholics; if not for that, they would have most likely been excommunicated long ago.

    Re: TomD

    I dunno if I’d call that a uniquely alt-right trait. Lewis was simply following the grand Anglican tradition, reaching all the way back to the original schism. Henry VIII put a lot of effort into trying to be Catholic without having to, y’know, BE Catholic, if that makes any sense.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Advenedizo:

    Be humble, because I am certain that in the 15 minutes you have been reading the Bible…

    Thought you might enjoy this:

    https://babylonbee.com/news/careful-five-minute-long-study-woman-concludes-bible-supports-position/

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    You probably never even heard of positivism before you read about it here, did you? Be honest now.

    I did.

    Seriously? Are you trying to suggest that there’s no likely venue where I’d heard about positivism of the Vienna circle? Of course, I suppose this distraction from my point about your postmodernism will do as any.

  • GJ says:

    Rhetocrates
    By my understanding, sola scriptura means precisely that…*snip*
    You tell me if that’s correct, or not.

    It is not. You should refer to my other comments on what Sola Scriptura actually is.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    I only ask because, based on your level of understanding, I have to assume I’ve done a poor job explaining it.

  • Zippy says:

    Any sola scriptura which can be criticized is No True sola scriptura.

  • GJ says:

    Hrodgar

    I’ll address the main flaw here:

    4) Scripture, being a fixed body of texts, cannot by itself resolve any dispute; this includes, at a minimum, disputes about what it itself means.

    Even a king cannot by himself resolve disputes without resort to frameworks, including linguistic, metaphysical, and logical.

  • GJ says:

    itascriptaest:

    What is even worse is to hear the lectures from our Prodie “brothers and sisters” of the need to band together against secular liberalism

    I’m not sure there’s a need too. Actual trad catholics, it seems, are racked by Papa issues with Francis (and who knows whoelse); it’s not like they’ll make useful allies. To be fair, most of protestants won’t either.

  • GJ says:

    Zippy:

    I only ask because, based on your level of understanding, I have to assume I’ve done a poor job explaining it.

    Oh, no need to worry. I’ve understood enough to perceive some postmodernism lingering in you.

    Any sola scriptura which can be criticized is No True sola scriptura.

    I suppose this will be the closest to an admission that I’ve successfully defended Sola Scriptura from the charge of incoherence.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Raising the same objections repeatedly after they have already been addressed repeatedly may feel satisfying, but it doesn’t actually advance the discussion in any way.

    If you really, truly believe and insist that there is no difference between living active monarchs/institutions/traditions and a fixed text alone (the “sola” in “sola scriptura”), nobody here is going to be able to get through to you. The dwarfs are for the dwarfs.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    I suppose this will be the closest to an admission that I’ve successfully defended Sola Scriptura from the charge of incoherence.

    It is only an “admission” that you are trapped in a circular tautological prison of your own making.

  • GJ says:

    GJ:

    If you really, truly believe and insist that there is no difference between living active monarchs/institutions/traditions and a fixed text alone (the “sola” in “sola scriptura”), nobody here is going to be able to get through to you. The dwarfs are for the dwarfs.

    That’s certainly a nicely burning strawman of the argument that your postmodern approach that elevates frameworks fails with human authorities too.

    It is only an “admission” that you are trapped in a circular tautological prison of your own making.

    Affirmatively you can’t break my argument, so construing it as a prison is a natural construal of it, I suppose. But that’s not at all surprising: having demonstrated in multiple comments that you don’t understand the Sola at all, the chance of you refuting it is the same as a blinded archer hitting a target while aiming at the wrong direction.

  • GJ says:

    Lewis was better when he didn’t try dumbing things down on national radio.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:

    Affirmatively you can’t break my argument, …

    Tautologies can’t be “broken”, sure.

    …having demonstrated in multiple comments that you don’t understand the Sola at all,…

    If you look way back in this discussion (and others), you might notice a little something that unravels your accusatory prattle – though it seems unlikely that you’ll notice, given the track record.

    Sola scriptura is of no use to the Protestant unless it positively invalidates all of that distinctively Catholic stuff about the Pope, Mary, the Eucharist, etc.

    The contention is not (and has never been) that anything anyone might ever unequivocally mean by the phrase “sola scriptura” is rationally incoherent. You can take any string of characters and assign by fiat six coherent meanings to it before breakfast.

    The contention is (and has always been) that any concept of sola scriptura capable of invalidating all of that distinctively Catholic stuff is incoherent.

    If you have a coherent concept what the phrase “sola scriptura” means to you in your mind (stipulated, though not in evidence), well, congratulations. But just having a coherent concept of it in your mind doesn’t address the actual argument. At all.

    Your promiscuous accusations of postmodernism are projection.

  • Zippy says:

    Note again the parallel to liberalism, which we can state thusly: any concept of political freedom capable of invalidating monarchical authority is rationally incoherent.

    There are all sorts of rationally coherent (but not very politically interesting) concepts of freedom in the motte.

  • […] concept of equal rights capable of invalidating inherited privilege is rationally […]

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Let’s try on the most basic argument against the doctrine of sola scriptura.

    Sola scriptura states that the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of Christian faith and practice. I sure hope everyone can agree with that definition, because if you can’t, you’re using sola scriptura in some personally idiosyncratic fashion.

    However, Scripture nowhere states or even implies that it is the sole infallible rule of Christian faith and practice. Therefore, the doctrine that Scripture is the sole infallible rule of Christian faith and practice must either:

    a) come from some other infallible authority, or
    b) come from some other non-infallible authority, which, as non-infallible, is incapable of proclaiming infallibility

    in either case, this invalidates the doctrine of sola scriptura. Now, you may say that it doesn’t invalidate sola scriptura as you’ve defined it, but you aren’t Luther.

  • […] aristocrat, commoner, criminal, slave, proprietor, trespasser, invader, disrespecter of royalty, savage, apostate, and heretic gets what he has coming to […]

  • Actual trad catholics, it seems, are racked by Papa issues with Francis (and who knows whoelse); it’s not like they’ll make useful allies.

    While I am not sure how being vexed at Pope Francis for celebrating Protestantism disqualifies trad Catholics from opposing liberalism (Catholics have consistently been opponents of liberalism in the West, and still are despite Francis) we seem to at least agree that practicing Catholics and Protestants have as much in common as light and darkness.

    By contrast intelligent and traditional Protestants acknowledge and even celebrate Protestantism’s essential role in the foundation of liberalism- https://calvinistinternational.com/2013/01/14/john-lockes-assumptions/

  • Rick Stump says:

    [I am posting this before reading the comments]

    After a few days of correspondence with Mr. Wright concerning authority, canon law, and such I can say that I now firmly understand both why he was a failure as a lawyer and a success in creating fantasy worlds.

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