Twice in comment #312 you claimed that the reception of revelation is not something God has left to chance. So in comment #324 I pointed out that no one is claiming that propagation of the apostolic deposit has been left to chance. Then in #328 you replied:
JB said: Perhaps you can be more consistent in the way you bring up “ecclesial deism”, especially with respect to the Reformed doctrine of the church.
Whether I am or am not inconsistent in the way I bring up ecclesial deism does not mean that the Catholic position leaves the reception of revelation up to chance. Implying that the Catholic position leaves the reception of revelation to chance is setting up a straw man of the Catholic position, because in no way does the Catholic position claim or entail that the reception of revelation is left up to chance. Moreover, if you think I am inconsistent in the way I bring up ecclesial deism, please point out the inconsistency. (Hand-waving criticisms are unhelpful.)
Then first of all, Bryan, perhaps you need to read more carefully. My reply in 312 was in response to Michael Liccione, who earlier had chided me for not responding to his “philosophical issue”. His challenge to me:
So it is incumbent on anyone debating said question to argue, on grounds independent of the particular biblical interpretations he adopts, that his IP has a principled distinction between divine revelation and human theological opinion, so that by deploying it, he at least has an argument that his particular interpretations are reliable expressions of divine revelation, not just opinions. But if you deny that you or anybody else enjoys the gift of infallibility, and thus admit that you could be wrong, you have no way of making that argument.
For several years now, I’ve been waiting for you to engage the essentially philosophical issue I’ve posed for you. If and when you do, our discussions might move forward.
Note here, that I am addressing him and his comment that the Protestant paradigm does not leave one with “a reliable expression of divine revelation”. I infer that this is Mike’s way of saying further, God does not give the Protestant a way of knowing reliably that he is “receiving” “divine revelation” compared with something that is “just opinion”.
My point is that God … has given man the capacity to be a direct receptor of that revelation. This is not something that God has left to chance [in the Protestant IP], although, your model assumes that God can only mediate his revelation through the Roman Catholic Church. That is false.
So, perhaps you ought to read a little more carefully before you accuse me of “setting up a straw man of the Catholic position”.
And likewise, my comment to you that “perhaps you can be more consistent in the way you bring up ‘ecclesial deism’ with respect to the Reformed doctrine of the church, is a reflection of a straw man (which you seem to be so attuned to, that you posit straw men where there are none), is a caution to you of setting up straw men of your own – in this case it is a straw man because the Reformed hold that God, in his sovereignty, cannot possibly have stepped away in a deistic fashion, leaving later church developments to chance.
This site is populated by individuals with PhDs, who are quite vocal in some instances about their superior education (see Michael Liccione’s comment in 293, “I teach logic and critical thinking; I know what a circular argument is and is not.”).
The two of you rather have demonstrated the truth of Chesterton’s comment about the dangers of taking educated people seriously.