Friday, August 22, 2008

Aerobic exercise for gerbils


“Yes they had a bible which taught things contrary to Christianity. Like the necessity for following the law. I'm yet to hear how it helps you to point to the existence of a body of scriptures teaching contrary to your religion.”

Christianity includes the NT reverence for the OT. It’s “helpful” for a Christian to take his cue from Jesus and the Apostles. I’m merely following their example in terms of how they preach the gospel from the OT Scriptures. That’s good enough for me.

“If the apostles keenly wrote down all their teachings, then they could at least follow sola scriptura other than during the actual process of enscripturation. However they didn't do that. And more problematic for you.”

i) That’s not problematic for me since you’re attacking a straw man version of sola Scriptura. As Turretin explains, “the question is not whether the Scriptures contain all those things which were said or done by Christ and the saints or have any connection whatever with religion…The question relates only to things necessary to salvation—whether they belong to faith or to practice: whether all these things are so contained in the Scriptures that they can be a total and adequate rule of faith and practice.” Institutes 1:135.

ii) An inspired individual doesn’t need to write down what he knows for his own benefit. It’s only for the benefit of others.

“_1) That doesn't tell you what "this month" is in Ex 12.__2) Harvest times do not tell you what "this month" is.__3) Harvest times are not month based.__4) Are they solar or lunar months? (Many people think they are lunar months).”

i) That’s all irrelevant to the doctrine of sola scriptura.

ii) Apropos (i), what calendar they use is a matter of indifference. Custom can set these adiaphoral logistics.

iii) Does the time of day when you observe Mass depend on oral apostolic tradition? Did the apostles, via oral tradition, tell you how many times a day you are allowed to celebrate Mass, when Mass must begin and end, &c.?

“The priesthood is not instituted until Exodus 28, and after this time every biblical indication is that sacrifices are the exclusive job of the priests.”

You’re confusing a literary sequence with a historical sequence.

“I'm sure if you'd been living at the time you'd be the first to object if every man and his dog was doing the sacrifices.”

No, I’d take Exod 24:5 into account.

“Your idea of what an emergency is, is entirely arbitrary.”

I don’t have to come up with some rule of thumb to justify the exception. I’m citing a Biblical example, sanctioned by Jesus Christ himself.

David wasn’t following an oral law. He action was based on exigent circumstances.

In the nature of the case, what constitutes an emergency situation is a judgment call.

You are constantly at war with the Bible because it doesn’t slip through your preconceived filter.

“They could hardly teach it in principle when they were simultaneously promulgating unwritten dogma.”

Inscripturation is for the benefit of *posterity*. That’s why the Bible lays such emphasis on a written record.

That doesn’t mean a prophet or apostle must only communicate with his *contemporaries* through the written word. Try not to be such a dunce.

“If they were teaching important things without them being written, then they were contradicting sola scriptura.”

You keep flailing away at your straw man version of sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura isn’t operative during a period of public revelation. The whole notion of inscripturation is concerned with having an inspired record for posterity. Sola Scriptura operates in-between or after a period of public revelation.

“Since most apostles were writing nothing, they were very clearly teaching without scriptural backing.”

They always taught with scriptural backing. Consider all of the OT prooftexting which is a fixture of the apostolic kerygma.

“You can't teach sola scriptura in principle, and then fail to provide the tools to make it work.”

i) They did provide the “tools.” Before they died, they left us a written record of their representative teaching.

ii) And they constantly point their audience to Scripture. They reason from the scriptures. They use Scriptural prooftexts (e.g. Messianic prophecies) to ground their arguments.

“No, you're not honest, because you're not acknowledging that the apostles taught for decades without scriptural backing, and you can't teach a sola scripture principle when your disciples have no scriptures to support the teachings.”

To the contrary, their teaching often took a written form. There’s a little thing called the NT. You might want to read it some time.

“Except that you've forgotten that this wasn't an argument against authorities, it was an argument against the claim that you can't define what scripture is and what it means, and yet be subject to it.”

Which I’ve responded to, both on my grounds and your grounds.

“I'll take this as a concession that this favourite one liner has been refuted.”

Answering an opponent on his own grounds is not a concession. You need to bone up on the basic principles of argumentation.

“Neatly avoiding the actual question of whether it is epistemologically superior.”

If something is true, that makes it epistemologically superior to something that’s false. That’s the actual question.

“You've clearly shown an unwillingness to address the real issues.”

I’m unwilling to let you dictate the terms of the debate.

“It is far more objectively defensible that the Church is in a unique position to promulgate a correct canon.”

To judge by your own conduct, it’s not objectively defensible since you never objectively defend it. You only *say* it’s objectively defensible.

“Than that STEVE and every man and his dog are.”

This isn’t a question of people. It’s a question of evidence.

“(Especially since there is so much disagreement).”

Invoking disagreement is a doubled edged sword. Catholicism is an object of disagreement. Many professing believers disagree with Catholicism. Disagreement is not an argument for Catholicism when Catholicism is, itself, a source of disagreement.

“As soon as I quoted one church father, I'm no longer acting as an individual.”

i) You’re acting as one individual quoting another individual. Run as fast as you like, but you’re still running in circles.

ii) And the fact that you quote a church father rather than Arius or Valentinus reflects your selective and subjective value-judgment on who’s worth quoting.

“Still waiting for an answer for why you need a rule of faith for the church, and not merely a rule of faith. Your unwillingness to answer demonstrates the two-faced nature of your position.”

The word of God is not merely a standard for the church. It’s a standard for the world.

God’s word is the means by which he holds humanity accountable to himself according to their revealed duty to him and their fellow man.

All men, whether believers or unbelievers, are obligated to believe his word and conform their lives to its precepts. And his word is a standard of judgment for those who defy his word.

“And what chaos there was wasn't caused by "your rule of faith", whatever it is you are referring to.”

Yes, the chaos was caused by your rule of faith. By the extraordinary Magisterium (in this case, ecumenical councils).

“What Pope Benedict is talking about, and the formal notion of ecclesiastical unity are not the same thing.”

Of course, what you’ve done here is to begin with your preconceived theory of ecclesial unity, then harmonize any historical outcome consistent with your theory. So your notion of ecclesial “unity” is vacuous since it’s consistent with any outcome. You will always add enough escape clauses so that no outcome can ever count against your theory.

And yet the Catholic article I quoted from was very insistent on the point that ecclesial unity should be empirically verifiable:

“The marks of the Church are certain unmistakeable signs, or distinctive characteristics which render the Church easily recognizable to all, and clearly distinguish it from every other religious society, especially from those which claim to be Christian in doctrine and origin…The Catholic conception of the mark of unity, which must characterize the one Church founded by Christ, is far more exacting. Not only must the true Church be one by an internal and spiritual union, but this union must also be external and visible, consisting in and growing out of a unity of faith, worship, and government.”

“Unmistakable signs” of unity, “easily recognizable to all,” “clearly distinguishing” it from “every other religious society”; this union must also be “external and visible,” “consisting in” and growing “out of” a unity of “faith,” “worship,” and “government.”

Is that what we see on display in the aftermath of Nicaea or Vatican II?

“I said that what is Catholic is objective. Whether it is based on what is objective introduces an entirely different argument. Try to keep up with the actual line of argument.”

No, what you said is: “the catholic understanding is an objective reality.”

Understanding of what? Understanding requires an object. Try to keep up with your own statements.

“Being Catholic reduces the extent of my subjectiveness.”

In your subjective opinion, being Catholic reduces the extent of your subjectivity.

“I don't have to decide if the bible teaches infant baptism, because that Catholicism teaches it is less subjective.”

Because you rendered a subjective value-judgment on the teaching authority of your denomination.

You’re still a gerbil on your exercise wheel. Must get be fatiguing.

“Objectivity is a necessary, but not sufficient criterion. Try to avoid the most obvious logical errors please?”

Look, you twit…you’re the one who’s harping on the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity. It’s incumbent on your to explain if and how you qualify your own categories.

“It's not entirely subjective since agreement is a scriptural command.”

And does that represent a Magisterial interpretation of the scriptural command, or your private interpretation?

“You made the same judgement when you chose not to start from "I think therefore I am".”

I’m not the one who has a problem with subjectivity, you do.

“Exactly, revelation trumps supposition. Which is why an identifiable source of canon trumps making up your own canon.”

i) For that conclusion to follow, you would have to equate the Council of Trent with divine revelation. Do you believe in continuous revelation? According to Catholic theology, the age of public revelation ended with the apostles.

ii) You also disregard the internal evidence for the canon, where one revelation identifies another revelation (e.g. intertextuality).

“All of which would have to worship at the one temple to be truly Jews. While there were differences of opinion, there were boundaries.”

i) You’re such an ignoramus. They didn’t all worship at the Temple. Some Jewish groups of the 2nd Temple period regarded the official priesthood as hopelessly compromised due to their affiliation with the Romans.

ii) And worshipping at the same Temple is not the only criterion of unity.

“Try and read more carefully. What was handed down was workable AND true.”

Try and reason more carefully. Both must follow for either to follow (even on your own suppositions).

“If there was a book which was true, but they didn't find how to make it work, you would not possess it today. The only reason you possess books is because the church figured out how to apply it. Otherwise they would have thrown it out.”

So, according to you, the church threw out true books. If a book was true, but unworkable, the church threw it out.

BTW, what true, but unworkable, books did the church throw out?

And in what sense can something be true, but unworkable?

“Right, because the others are traditions of men.”

According to your subjective value-judgment.

“I don't have to make such black and white statements about the fathers as to be inspired or not inspired. They are witnesses to the Catholic tradition.”

Are they fallible or infallible witnesses to the Catholic tradition?

“Which subsists throughout time right up to today.”

Assuming what you need to prove.

“One church father more or less doesn't matter.”

What’s the cut-off? How few are too few?

“Even someone unsure on an historical basis about the authorship of 1 Timothy, can say confidently that the Catholic church is an organisation existing continuously since the apostles until now. There may never have existed a witness for the former fact, but the latter fact has thousands of witnesses in history.”

i) When an institution changes hands from one generation to the next, it can depart widely from the vision of the original founders. It can become the antithesis of what it used to be.

ii) Early witnesses aren’t witnessing to a later phase, and later witnesses aren’t witnessing to an earlier phase.

iii) Since the present is the effect of the past, historical continuity applies to any outcome. You can trace any outcome through a seamless series of intervening events. Continuity doesn’t prove identity.

“If the question is inspiration, then the Christian position has always been that the link to Christ forms the basis for inspiration.”

Does this mean the OT is uninspired? Or do you forge a retroactive link?

“The Church is objectively linked to Christ, therefore it is inspired.”

Judas is objectively linked to Christ, therefore Judas is inspired.

“You can't deny this supposition entirely and be left with even the remains of a canon, since Christ wrote no scripture directly.”

And where does the OT fit into this framework?

“The protestant argument is that scripture is "sufficient for every good work" (2 Tim 3). If unity is a goal, it is a good work. Empirically, sola scriptura is not leading to unity, even between protestants who like each other. So clearly addition of the "sola" to the scriptura has made the scriptura non-functional.”

i) First of all, that doesn’t salvage your own position. You say a rule of faith must be “workable,” and you define feasibility in terms of maintaining unity. You then cite a passage from Paul as your prooftext for ecclesial unity.

But you didn’t bother to consider the context. The Pauline injunction is set in the context of ecclesial disunity. Therefore, you can’t make actual unity a mark of the church. Therefore, you can’t make actual unity a necessary condition for a rule of faith.

ii) Scripture is a sufficient standard. Whether everyone obeys the standard is irrelevant to the validity of the standard.

iii) If some people disobey the standard, that also serves the purpose of the standard since one purpose of Scripture is to function as a standard of judgment.

“Without working towards the unity of mind, they'd be in danger of becoming formally disunified, which would make them false churches.”

i) You’re being evasive. Was the church of Corinth a false church at the time Paul issued his injunction?

ii) Also, where in 1 Cor 1:10ff. does Paul define unity in terms of “formal” unity? Remember, this is your prooftext. So you need to exegete the condition of formal unity from your own prooftext.

iii) By the way, I’m still waiting for you to supply me with the Magisterial interpretation of 1 Cor 1:10ff.

“A Protestant cannot interpret contrary to Paul. The point is?”

Try not to be senile. We’ve been over this ground many times before. The Magisterium isn’t answerable to the authority of Scripture since the Magisterium presumes to offer the authoritative interpretation of Scripture. Therefore, a Catholic can’t challenge a Magisterial interpretation.

The Protestant situation is not comparable. A Protestant interpretation isn’t an argument from authority. A Protestant interpretation can be challenged if it rests on poor exegesis of the text.

“Protestant arguments about the canon are always outcome based - to justify their current list. We need Mark to be inspired as an outcome, therefore we will assume that if he knew Peter that is sufficient basis for inspiration.”

i) Once again, in your lazy, evasive fashion, you fall back on a tu quoque maneuver rather than defending your own position. So are you admitting that you operate with an outcome-based criterion? If so, then even if a Protestant did the same, you couldn’t very well fault a Protestant from sharing your own methodology.

If not, then you need to refute the charge.

ii) The Protestant doctrine of inspiration isn’t based on what we need, but on the self-witness of Scripture.

“We've yet to be told where the bible mentions rules of faith for the church.”

Once again, you talk like a Jehovah’s Witness. If we can’t find the word “Trinity” in Scripture, we can’t find the Trinity in Scripture.

The concept can be present with or without the terminology. The words of Moses and the prophets and apostles *function* as a rule of faith.

“The protestant sola scriptura definition is outcome based. That's why nobody thought of it for 1500 years. Luther needed a way out, he needed a particular outcome.”

We simply take our cue from Jesus, the apostles, and other NT writers, when they constantly refer their audience to the Scriptures—and not hoary traditions or bishops—to establish a point.

“Great, but true/false minus the objectivity is called Las Vegas.”

That’s an assertion, not an argument.

“No, you don't want to actually admit enough to get pinned down, when it comes right down to it.”

I don’t need to defend sola Scriptura by defending perspicuity. I don’t need to justify sola Scriptura by offering a pragmatic rationale. The warrant for sola Scriptura turns on the fact that God has chosen to make his word the primatial source and standard of knowledge for the church and the world. I don’t need to justify God’s choice by appeal to perspicuity. That was Bryan’s framework, not mine.

“Which is a side issue, the real issue being that you can't be sure if the bits you believe are the reprobational bits, leading to Orwellian perspicuity.”

Several problems:

i) You’re imposing an internalist constraint on knowledge. In so doing you fail to distinguish between first-order knowledge (knowing x) and second-order knowledge (knowing how you know x).

A person can know something without being able to prove it. Newman’s illative sense. It depends on the source or type of knowledge.

ii) If you’re going to play the internalist card, then that will undercut your own position. You can’t be sure your church is the true church. You can’t prove apostolic succession. And what if your church suppressed evidence to the contrary? You can’t be sure a pope is not an antipope. You can’t be sure what parts of an ecumenical council are fallible, and what parts are infallible. You can’t be sure a Cartesian demon didn’t trick you into believing Catholicism.

“1) Even something garbled is useful if you recognise its limitations. A detective can make use of a garbled message.__2) Even scripture is garbled to some degree by the work of scribes.__3) By looking at multiple garbled messages one can construct the original message.”

This is all consistent with Protestant theology. It doesn’t plot a path to Rome.

“So you claim, but I'll take that as a concession of the principle being valid. That means the epistemological superior position stands, even if you disagree about the facts.”

What position? Not the position of Rome. Appealing to fallible probabilities doesn’t establish the epistemological superiority of Rome. Rome claims to be superior because it offers more than that.

“Just like the agreement of interviewing 1000 people, or agreement of the manuscripts is a "way to distinguish", so the catholicity of the belief is a way to distinguish what was taught everywhere by the apostles.”

i) If catholicity is your criterion, then catholicity falsifies Catholicism since modern Catholicism doesn’t pretend to base all its dogmas on universal Christian belief. It has resorted to the doctrine of development.

ii) And it’s not just a discrepancy between now and then. Where was the catholicity in the aftermath of Nicaea?

You invent a nice sounding criterion which, if we did apply it to your cause, would instantly falsify your cause.

This is the problem with Catholic apriorism. Not only is there no evidence for the a priori, but actual evidence runs counter to the a priori.

“That's because you've forgotten what I was responding to. The question posed was: "How is fallible authority an improvement over sola scriptura or private judgment? "

That’s no improvement over private judgment since collective judgment is reducible to private judgment.

“But Catholics believe that the interpretation is part of the testimony. We pass down not only the facts, but also what it means.”

You can add that to your hypothetical (“100 people comparing notes”) if you like. You can improve your hypothetical to any degree of hypothetical excellence. You can tell a just-so story about a hypothetical church with hypothetical apostolic succession, hypothetical infallibility, hypothetical evidence, hypothetical certainty, and so on and so forth. That’s not an argument for Roman Catholicism.

“I'm willing to submit my interpretation to the Fathers.”

How are you going to do that? Do you have a patristic ouija board?

And it’s not as if the church fathers all speak with one voice one every issue. So which interpretation of which church father are you willing to submit to? Will you flip a coin?

“The historical church.”

Such as what? The Church Expectant? The Church Triumphant? Does Purgatory have email? What about heaven?

“And the Magisterium.”

Do you have the pope’s cellphone number?

“Should anyone care to dispute it and bring some further facts to the table.”

Are you going to hold a séance?

“That's called humility.”

Humility? No, that's called arrogance. It’s arrogant of you to reject the sufficiency of God’s word.

And there’s nothing humble about your faith in the Magisterium. That’s an individual value-judgment on your part.

You have no right to contact out your religious duties to a second party. You are personally accountable to God for what you think and do.

“Will you guarantee the same?”

I can’t guarantee that Thomas Aquinas will appear at your séance to dispute your interpretation of Thomism.

And I don’t need to issue guarantees. I content myself with whatever assurance God offers his people.

“You are the one claiming he needs to be a convert for your interpretation to fly. You need the verse to mean something that it doesn't on its face mean.”

i) Try not to make such a fool of yourself. My interpretation is no different than Fitzmyer’s.

ii) And I don’t need this verse to prove my position. It was your prooftext, not mine.

iii) Once again, why should anyone care what *you* think it means. Where is the Magisterial interpretation of your prooftext for the Magisterium?

For someone who repudiates the right of private judgment, you become oddly irate if someone else dares to question your private interpretation.

“Why should I answer a hypothetical? The Ethiopian was sent on his way in the knowledge that scripture was not enough.”

i) You’re equivocating. Scripture was not enough because he didn’t have enough Scripture? Would Scripture not be enough to point him to the identity of Jesus even if he read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans…?

ii) And how is that hypothetical? You yourself are quoting from the Book of Acts. You’re not citing an oral tradition about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. You think the Book of Acts is sufficient to make your point. So you reply on the sufficiency of Scripture even when you try to disprove the sufficiency of Scripture.

“Let's take the story in context shall we?”

By all means. What is the context? Scripture. The Book of Acts. The Lucan record of this event.

“Are you going to ignore your pastor because he doesn't quite measure up to your standard of measures?”

Not *my* standards. *Pauline* standards. And, yes, I’d hold a pastor to Biblical standards of church office. Will you do the same for the papacy and the episcopate?

“The analogy is so obvious as to need no defence. God set up an authority structure for his OT people AND for his NT people. The freedoms individuals would have to disregard the OT authorities is very relevant for here and now. If you want to claim it is all different, the onus is on you to claim something changed.”

i) You’re only citing one half of the analogy. The onus likes squarely on your wobbly shoulders to show us that the Roman Catholic church supplies the NT analogue. Is the church of Rome the corresponding authority-structure? Where’s the argument? Where’s the evidence? “Obvious” doesn’t cut it.

You keep exposing the utter hollowness of your position.

ii) And quite a lot has changed from the 1C church of Rome to the 21C church of Rome.

“There is no expiration for the Church apart from the 2nd coming.”


“I wouldn't fault a protestant interpretation if it was almost certainly true. The problem is protestant interpretations which are highly debatable.”

And how do you insulate your own interpretations of Magisterial teaching, as a lowly Catholic layman, from the same strictures?

“Yes someone must vouch, otherwise it is Las Vegas.”

Once again, you’re tumbling down the bottomless pit of an infinite regress. I hope you don’t suffer from vertigo.

If an authority-figure must vouch for the truth, then another-authority figure must vouch for the authority of the first authority-figure, and so on and so forth.

“No, I'm talking about dogma. Paul didn't just leave a group of people with discipline but no beliefs.”

He left them with letters, and—in the case of those who heard him—memories.

“That's great, but the church didn't hang out the "No Vacancy" sign as soon as Paul moved to the next city.”

Irrelevant to my point.

“Sure I have things guaranteed to be correct.”

You’d be a real sucker for a used car salesman. You’re unable to distinguish between a truth and a truth-claim. Gullibility is a sorry substitute for knowledge or well-informed opinion.

“So individuals are not affected by the power trip of infallibility.”

I agree with you that papal infallibility is a power trip. Same thing with conciliar infallibility. Now you can become a Protestant.

“You're assuming that the correct interpretation can't be part of the oral tradition.”

It could be, but you need to verify that. You never verify anything. You’re just a credulous Catholic.

“Lots of protestants have. If you don't want to say it, your canon could be not merely wrong, but utterly wrong.”

i) There’s no appreciable difference between merely wrong and utterly wrong.

ii) Something doesn’t have to be widely known to be canonical. Most of the NT letters were addressed to one local church or one locality.

“You at least accept the Catholic NT canon. Not the Ethiopian, Syriac or Marcion canons.”

Even on church historical grounds, the church of Rome didn’t produce the NT canon. Try not to be such a chauvinist.

“Uh, we have a Magisterium. It's not just about what individuals want to count as councils or traditions.”

Uh, you need to *argue* for the Magisterium.

“As I have a right to, when the foundation of your rule of faith is an individual's interpretation of history.”

The foundation of your faith in Roman Catholicism was laid by your individual interpretation of church history. Try not to be such a klutz.

“There can be no end to the questions when that is the sand on which you built your house.”

i) If so, then that would apply to the sandy foundation of your individual interpretation of church history.

ii) If an interpretation is true, that ends the regress.

What generates the regress is the insistence that, over and above a true interpretation, an authority-source much vouch for the veracity of the interpretation.

“No I don't. Again, this is like saying you need Paul to validate everything you say about Genesis.”

i) You aren’t entitled to that comparison. That comparison implicitly grants the right of private judgment—which Catholicism repudiates.

If you’re going to frame the issue in terms of an authoritative interpretation, rather than a merely true interpretation, then you need an authority to validate every step of the process. But that, in turn, generates the need to authorize your authority source.

ii) How do you distinguish between Catholic and non-Catholic traditions? Using the Magisterium.

But you also appeal to various traditions to attest the Magisterium. So your procedure is viciously circular.

“I'm addressing whatever supposed counterevidence is raised here. The historical continuity of the Catholic church from the apostles is well known. I think the onus is on you to raise something specific as an objection.”

i) You see how useless it is to debate someone like JJ. He can never see around his own position.

ii) Let’s go back to apostolic succession. How do you know this is true? To know it’s true, you’d have to:

a) Verify every link in the chain. Apostolic succession cannot afford a single broken link. In this case, the chain is allegedly 2000 years old. Where’s your positive evidence?

b) You also need to deal with evidence of where the chain broke down. Rigged papal elections. The Great Schism.

c) You also need to eliminate the possibility of ecclesiastical impediments to valid ordination.

Sometimes you can take a shortcut on questions like this if you have a sufficient authority source. But, in this case, the authority-source is the very point at issue. You need to verify the Magisterium before the Magisterium can verify anything else.

“Your response was to point to the inspiration of Paul as equivilent to Genesis. Then I pointed out that is the point of dispute that the Magisterium is inspired. Or in other words, your defense was to assume what you want to prove.”

Your chronic inability to follow the argument. I said the Magisterium isn’t answerable to Scripture. Your parallel reinforces my charge.

“Since scripture never touches on the subject, that would be a neat trick for sola scriptura.”

i) This illustrates the self-reinforcing ignorance of the average Catholic. Because he depends on Mother Church to breastfeed him everything he believes, he doesn’t bother to study the Bible.

If, for example, he bothered to read someone like Warfield, he would realize the connection between apostolicity and inspiration.

ii) Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Scripture never touches on the connection between apostolicity and inspiration, this cuts the ground out from under apostolic succession—for apostolic succession (as Rome defines it) would only ground the indefectibility of the church if the apostles were infallible by virtue of their office, and this is transferred to their successors.

iii) And JJ can’t treat the connection as an extrascriptural Magisterial teaching, for the teaching authority of the Magisterium is contingent on this connection.

“One obscure document could refute your supposition. To refute Catholic claims need a rewrite of history. A much tougher and more unlikely standard.”

i) One rigged papal election will throw a monkey wrench into the machinery of apostolic succession. And, in fact, that can already be documented on multiple occasions.

ii) Moreover, “history” is the history of visible events. But apostolic succession also depends on invisible events (i.e. valid ordination). That’s something which is indetectible even in principle. It wouldn’t change the outward history. It would destroy it from within.

“Let's hear the protestant OT canon argument that never mentions what the Jews say.”

i) You’re terminally dense to the bitter end. Let’s try one more time. Protestant theological method doesn’t have a problem with fallible historical evidence. It’s *your* position which affects an epistemically superior source. Tu quoque is no response.

ii) And the case for the OT canon doesn’t depend on external attestation alone. There is also internal evidence (e.g. intertextuality).

I realize that, due to your self-reinforcing ignorance, that passes right over your head. You’ve never studied the subject.

“I know you've quoted Jews speaking of their traditions, so consider yourself refuted.”

See above.

“How so, we aren't told.”

As usual, you can’t follow your own stupid argument. This is what you said:

“If I asked you to prove the OT canon, you'd start talking about what such and such a Jew had to say. That's an appeal to tradition. That's an appeal that assumes a recognisable body of Jews existed who held a unified tradition, and that the person quoted was a member of said group. In short, you'd be forced to fall back to a tradition-based canon.”

So you’re suggesting an analogy between Jewish tradition for the OT canon and Sacred Tradition in Catholicism. But, in Catholicism, Sacred Tradition would rank higher than fallible Jewish traditions regarding the scope of the OT canon.

“It's not unknown to them. They know that the apostles founded the church of Rome, just like historians do.”

i) Another bait-and-switch. There’s much more to Roman primacy and papal primacy than your minimalistic claim.

ii) And historians don’t grant that apostles founded the church of Rome—much less that Peter founded the church of Rome. Some apostles may have paid a visit to Rome. That’s quite different from founding the church of Rome.

In fact, the church of Rome was probably founded by Messianic Jewish missionaries like Pricilla and Aquila.

“It's only a problem when conversing with someone who wants to deny the sky is blue, and other obvious facts.”

This is what passes for argumentation by JJ.

“What he might or might not do is beside the point.”

It’s very much to the point when you quote him as a prooftext for Roman Catholicism.

“I notice you didn't object that the 5C church was the church founded by the apostles.”

See above.

I have better things to do with my time than debate a hidebound Catholic fideist. You’ve performed a useful, if unwitting, service for the Protestant cause by demonstrating, once again, that Catholicism is indefensible.

But now that you’ve completed your tour of duty, don’t bother to come back. Debating you may be a good aerobic exercise for gerbils, but I’m not a gerbil.

1 comment:

  1. Much of what Roman Catholicism teaches was absent for a long time or widely contradicted among the church fathers. See here.