Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marian prayer-wheels

I'm reposting some comments I left at Green Baggins:

steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 7:31 am

The Marian typology we’ve been subjected to reminds me of a cautionary note by the late Harold Hoehner:

“After reading Hoehner’s arguments on the death of Christ (Friday crucifixion, Nisan 14 or April 3, AD 33), I wrote to him and suggested that another argument that Jesus died on Nisan 14 and that he presented himself to the nation on Nisan 10 was that it fulfilled the typology of Exodus 12:1–6. To my surprise and delight, Hoehner wrote back! And he politely pointed out that my argument could only be brought in as tertiary evidence, for although Jesus did indeed fulfill the typology of the OT, as historians we must look at the evidence that is of a historical nature—that is, evidence that both Christians and non-Christians would embrace—and we must also recognize that typological fulfillment often went in various directions, preventing us from cherry-picking in support of a view. For example, Jesus was not a year old when he died; he was not killed by fire but by crucifixion, etc. In other words, typology can be used in a confirmatory manner for historical study, but not as primary or secondary evidence. It’s what one brings in when discussing the results of one’s investigation.”


steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

Sean said,

“The Unitarians, for example, were not former Catholics whose zeal for Mary went too far; they were the sons and daughters of Calvinists.”

The secularists in modern-day France, Spain and Italy aren’t former Calvinists whose opposition to Mariology went to far; they were sons and daughters of Catholics.

steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

Sean said,

“Secularists are not secularists due to some fault with Catholic theology. However, Unitarians are simply Calvinists taking Calvinism to its logical end. I am not the first to say this.”

I’d be the last person to credit you with originality. In any case, you’re a papist who merely props up his assertion by quoting the opinion of another papist. Thanks for the circular proof.

steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

Sean said,

“Real briefly…consider this….Read the Gospel of John from the beginning till the end of the wedding at Cana. Compare the beginning of John to Genesis. Note how John’s gospel starts with a succession of days. Count the days. The wedding at Cana falls on the 7th day. This mirrors the creation narrative. Mary is introduced at Cana as ‘WOMAN.’”

Yes, I can count to 7. And unlike Sean, I can also count to 6. Eve was made, named, and introduced to Adam all on the 6th day, not the 7th. So if Sean imagines that his Johannine numerology mirrors Gen 2, then he’s looking a broken mirror. I’d suggest he brush up on 1st grade arithmetic before he presents any more numerological proofs for Marian dogma.

steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Sean said,

“steve – you gloss over the point.”

No, I responded to you on your own terms. So, as usual, you have to backpeddle over the cliff. Hope you have your helmet on for the ride down.

Catholic typology usually regards Mary as the New Eve, viz. Eva/Ave and all that good stuff (which works better in Latin than Greek and Hebrew, but oh well).

But to be the numerological “mirror” image, the alleged parallel would have to take the 6th day rather than the 7th day as the frame of reference.

steve hays said,
December 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Needless to say, the basic problem is that Catholics begin with their extrabiblical dogmas, then try to retroengineer these through “Biblical” typology. That’s completely different from *beginning* with Biblical typology.

I’d also add that this is the sort of thing you get from Catholic apologists, not the sort of thing you get from Catholic Bible scholars like John Meier, Luke Timothy Johnson, &c.

And, of course, Scott Hahn is a theological halfbreed who tries to graft the Presbyterian covenant theology he learned in seminary onto the thornbush of traditional Catholic dogma. It’s something you’d only get from an convert to Rome.

steve hays said,
December 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Augustine’s allegorical gloss, as cited by Sean, is classic inkblot exegesis. It mirrors whatever the reader projects, and not what’s actually embedded in the text.

“On the one hand we are told that using typology is ‘dangerous’ or ‘stupid.’ ”

i) Sean just gave us a textbook illustration.

ii) Sean doesn’t even know the difference between allegory and typology.

iii) There’s nothing inherently dangerous about Biblical typology. What is dangerous is extrabiblical typology masquerading as Biblical typology.

For examples of responsible typological exegesis, see the relevant entries in The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Beale & Carson, eds. Scholars like Darrell Bock, E. E. Ellis, R. T. France, and P. T. O’Brien are also good models of how to do it right.

steve hays said,
December 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Bryan is like a wolf pack that preys on a herd of bison. He bides his time. Picks off the weak. The young, the sick, and the aged. The calves. Targets the injured or infirm. Snatches those that fall behind.

He avoids the strong. When the bull bison show up, he beats a hasty retreat.

But he waits, perched on a hill. He returns when the time is opportune. When he sees a straggler. A calf separated from the herd.

steve hays said,
December 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

Sean operates according to the “fake but accurate” rules of evidence. No wonder he’s a papist.

steve hays said,
December 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

Sean said,

“Wait a minute, Bryan engaged Michael Horton? Oh, because I thought that we retreat whenever the ‘Big Elephant’ or whatever animal imagery was used earlier, enters the room?”

Given the word limit in that debate, it’s easy for Bryan to wait out the clock.

steve hays said,
December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Tom Riello said,

“If anyone is interested one of the contributors on Called to Communion, Dr. David Anders will be EWTN Journey Home tonight at 8 est, 7 central. Dr. Anders is a former Presbyterian who came into the Church. If you watch the show, please post a comment over at Called to Communion and let us know what you think.”

Tom, does your invitation mean Called to Communion will suspend its comment moderation and have an open comments policy for those who watch and wish to post a comment there?

steve hays said,
December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm


Why are you apparently dodging my question about the comments policy at CTC? Was your invitation sincere or insincere?

steve hays said,
December 7, 2010 at 8:28 am

AJ said,

“Then, all of these discussions really fall on ‘confident assurance’ principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by ‘confident assurance’ or ‘high probability’ . If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith? If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?”

Sounds like the sort of question that Lucifer first asked himself. “God, I refuse to follow you unless you submit to my stipulations and specifications. You have to do it my way, God. Otherwise, I will turn my back on you and be your sworn enemy!”

I do thank AJ for revealing the cloven foot inside the glass slipper of Roman Catholicism.

By contrast, the faithful live in the assurance of what God promised, and not the the false assurance of what he hasn’t.

steve hays said,
December 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

“Certainty” is not a univocal concept. There are different kinds of certainty. So before we defend or oppose the possibility of certainty, it’s necessary to do some preliminary sorting. It’s important that we confine ourselves to the type(s) of assurance which God has promised, rather than setting the bar at some artificial level. For instance:

There are various kinds of certainty. A belief is psychologically certain when the subject who has it is supremely convinced of its truth. Certainty in this sense is similar to incorrigibility, which is the property a belief has of being such that the subject is incapable of giving it up. But psychological certainty is not the same thing as incorrigibility. A belief can be certain in this sense without being incorrigible; this may happen, for example, when the subject receives a very compelling bit of counterevidence to the (previously) certain belief and gives it up for that reason. Moreover, a belief can be incorrigible without being psychologically certain. For example, a mother may be incapable of giving up the belief that her son did not commit a gruesome murder, and yet, compatible with that inextinguishable belief, she may be tortured by doubt.
A second kind of certainty is epistemic. Roughly characterized, a belief is certain in this sense when it has the highest possible epistemic status. Epistemic certainty is often accompanied by psychological certainty, but it need not be. It is possible that a subject may have a belief that enjoys the highest possible epistemic status and yet be unaware that it does. (More generally, a subject’s being certain that p does not entail that she is certain that she is certain that p; on this point, see Van Cleve 1979, and see Alston 1980 on level confusions in epistemology.) In such a case, the subject may feel less than the full confidence that her epistemic position warrants. I will say more below about the analysis of epistemic certainty and its relation to psychological certainty.
Some philosophers also make use of the notion of moral certainty…Thus characterized, moral certainty appears to be epistemic in nature, though it is a lesser status than epistemic certainty.
There have been many different conceptions of certainty. Each of them captures some central part of our intuitive understanding of certainty, but, as we shall see, none of them is free from problems. Certainty is often explicated in terms of indubitability.
According to a second conception, a subject’s belief is certain just in case it could not have been mistaken—i.e., false (see, e.g., Lewis 1929). Alternatively, the subject’s belief is certain when it is guaranteed to be true.

steve hays said,
December 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm

AJ said,

“Then, all of these discussions really fall on ‘confident assurance’ principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by ‘confident assurance’ or ‘high probability.’”

Of course, any case for Roman Catholicism will have to take recourse to probabilistic arguments.

“This principle goes against the very Scripture: ‘He that HEARS YOU HEARS ME; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me.’ (Luke 10:16). It sounds to me a very strong delegation of a Living Authority – some more (2 Tim 1:13;Mt 11:15; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Thess 3:6b; 1 Cor 11:2b; John 15:26, 16:12)”

i) Notice his reliance on Scripture. How would he establish the same point without recourse to Scripture?

ii) Who is the “you” and “me” in Lk 10:16? In context, the “you” are the seventy (-two) missionaries hand-picked by Jesus, while the “me” is Jesus himself. The “Living Authority” is Jesus.

It’s not a papal conclave picking the next pope. It’s not a Roman bishop consecrating another Roman bishop. Rather, it’s Jesus directly choosing some missionaries, who are also not described as “successors” to anyone.

iii) Protestants don’t deny the notion of delegated authority.

steve hays said,
December 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

Dozie’s attack on Pastor King is hypocritical. A basic duty of a pastor is to protect the sheep from the wolves.

Papists like Bryan Cross come to Green Baggins because it’s a widely-read Protestant blog. They use it to get a hearing for their religion.

Pastor King is simply countering that. He is reaching the Reformed community at large (and other Protestants who happen to frequent Green Baggins). Here’s a perfect illustration of why the church needs marksmen like Pastor King:

Tim Enloe said…

By equal-and-opposite contrast, in your run of the mill Protestant church (not Reformed), the people are also not taught much of anything serious either about the Bible or about anything else. They go through their Christian life thinking that Christianity is all about their private feelings about Jesus, their private views about “the literal interpretation” of the Bible, and “sharing their testimony” with others so that those others, too, can “invite Jesus into their hearts” and “get saved.”
They are never taught anything about basic principles of Bible interpretation, the history of the faith outside of their own denomination, how to think about cultural issues in a biblical fashion, and, most basically, how to have a faith that is just simply not afraid of the world. Most of them don’t read widely (let alone deeply), unless you count the Left Behind novels, Max Lucado devotionals, and the church bulletin’s sermon outline every Sunday as “wide” and “deep” reading.
No wonder people like this fall prey to a no-context citing blowhard like “Taylor Marshall, Westminster Seminary, 2003” or to a “Where’s your authority? In the peace of Christ” blowhard like Bryan Cross, or to any of 1,000 virtually identical mushy-gushy conversion testimonies on EWTN.
No wonder they radically upend their entire religious lives – and sometimes their entire home lives, complete with radical effects on their spouses and children – because some hack on the Internet told them that three citations from Ignatius of Antioch and a tract about how Luther invented sola fide from scratch because he hated authority and thought he was divinely inspired provide unbeatable proof that Roman Catholicism is the one true Church that Christ founded.
Nobody ever helped them prepare to deal with any of this, let alone to deal with the complexities of the world and how to relate their faith to it. A pastoral intern in the PCA church I attended in Dallas once came to me after the service and told me that Bryan Cross was running around several Protestant pastors’ blogs spewing his tripe about “authority,” and the pastors were just blowing him off, despite the fact that their own people, their own sheep whom God gave them to protect from sophists like that, were getting very confused about Scripture and their faith in Christ from reading Cross’ inanity. This intern then asked me if I had any materials he could present to these pastors and people so that they could be innoculated against Cross. I did, and I passed them on, but the whole thing just deeply saddened me and made me realize how, for all our wonderful apologetics ministries, somehow we Protestants are still deeply failing to prepare our people for dealing with the world outside the church walls.
You’re right, John, none of these people, Catholic or Protestant, are necessarily idiots. They’re for the most part just deeply (and often unconsciously) scared, spiritually shallow, improperly shepherded, intellectually unprepared human beings who got all destabilized by some spiritual trauma they endured, and very much like human beings, flailed around until they grabbed whatever life preserver they could find.


steve hays said,
December 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

David H said,

“The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason. There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”

That comment doesn’t reflect well on your integrity, or rather, lack thereof. That comment comes on the heels of detailed explanations to the contrary. But you’re a dishonest man who’s found his home is a dishonest denomination. It’s a perfect fit.

steve hays said,
December 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

David H said,

“If you have not already you really should read this:http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/
Prove yourself teachable.”

I’ll have more to say later, but this certainly illustrates your standards of scholarship, or the lack thereof. Brown claims that “The answers to the Canon Question that I describe here are comprehensive of the Protestant positions, although not exhaustive.”

I suppose that 149 footnotes might create the illusion of comprehensiveness. But if you actually scroll through the footnotes, it’s overwhelmingly the same four books–by Bruce, Calvin, Harris, & Ridderbos.

That’s about as well researched as a junior high school term paper.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 10:07 am

Ron said,

“If there is a relevant distinction you would like to make, then please explain why the church must be infallible in order to receive what God promised? Why can’t God’s promise come to pass through ordinary providence?”

I’d like to expand on Ron’s statement with a concrete illustration. Take the way Abraham finds a wife for Isaac (Gen 24).

There’s nothing especially miraculous about the procedure. To begin with, Abraham sends his servant. His servant offers a prayer, asking for a sign. However, there’s nothing spectacular or unnatural about the sign. The sign would simply be a case of opportune timing.

Indeed, there’s a sense in which Abraham’s servant uses a highly unreliable method to find the right wife for Isaac. Normally, praying for a divine sign, then assuming that whatever happens must be an answer to prayer, is asking for trouble.

Yet in terms of narrative theology, God uses these mundane, fallible means to guide the servant to the right wife.

This is a limiting case of how God can achieve his appointed end through ordinary means.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

David H said,
“The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason. There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”
“Name calling in lieu of an argument. That is all you are offering here, Steve. I have read entire books on the subject from the Reformed perspective and that is how I see it. It is one of the reasons I left sectarianism because the arguments did not stand up. Disagree if you like but please don’t accuse me or the church of dishonesty unless you are ready to offer evidence. Calumny is a sin.”

Notice that in his initial statement, which I quoted, David doesn’t present an argument. He simply makes a string of tendentious assertions.

As for “calumny,” notice the dishonesty of his claim. Observe the blatant false dichotomy:

i) If Protestants reject ecclesiastical infallibility,


ii) Protestants have “absolutely no reason” to accept the 66-book canon. They “take it on faith, independent of reason.”

How does the conclusion even begin to follow from the premise? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Protestants have no infallible grounds for their 66-book canon.

Does it follow that if you lack infallible grounds for what you believe, that you have absolutely no reason for what you believe? If you lack infallible grounds for what you believe, is what you believe something you take on faith, independent of reason?

Is that an honest inference? No. That’s not even close arguing in good faith. It’s pure demagoguery.

Everyday we form beliefs for which we lack infallible grounds. And some of these beliefs are quite momentous. Who should I marry? Should I take quit my job?

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that David’s denomination is infallible. Does it follow that if the Roman church is infallible, then David’s reason for believing the Roman church is likewise infallible?

No. David has fallible reasons for belonging to the church of Rome. Therefore, by David’s own yardstick, he has “absolutely no reason” to be Roman Catholic. His conversion to Rome is “independent of reason.”

For as David as framed the issue, anything short of an “infallible reason” is “no reason” at all.

Once again, let’s suppose (ex hypothesi) that Protestants lack infallible reasons for affirming the 66-book canon. Does this mean their canon has absolutely no basis in reason? How does that follow?

What if Protestants affirm a 66-book canon because the best available evidence points to a 66-book canon? Even if (arguendo) they could be mistaken about the exact composition of the canon, it would by no means follow that their canon is unreasonable. Their canon could be eminently reasonable, given the state of the evidence. Indeed, it would be profoundly irrational to disregard the concrete evidence in favor of a purely hypothetical, best-case scenario.

I’ll have more to say. I’m dealing with one issue at a time.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

David H said,

“No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority?”

If David had a modicum of prudence, he’d first do a preliminary background check to see if I had a paper trail on these issues. If he’d taken that precautionary measure, he could have avoided the embarrassment to his personal reputation.

I’ve repeatedly discussed the canon question. I’ve repeatedly discussed the authority question. I’ve provided reams of argumentation and documentation.

Fact is, I’m pretty well-known in Catholic internet circles.

It would be easy for me to post dozens of links to material I’ve written.

“Did you actually read the article?”

I read it when it first came out.

“Why don’t you take the time to actually read it and then challenge his actual arguments?”

i) To begin with, I’m under no obligation to rebut the arguments of this or that miscellaneous self-appointed lay Catholic epologist when I evaluate the claims of Rome. Tom doesn’t speak for the church of Rome. He has no institutional standing. He’s not the pope. Not the Prefect of the CDF. Not a bishop. Not a priest. Not a Catholic theologian.

It’s hardly incumbent on me to judge Roman Catholicism by a guy who’s not, in any sense, an authorized representative of Roman Catholicism. He belongs to a hierarchical institution, yet he has no position in the command structure.

ii) I reserve the right to pick and choose which lay Catholic epologists to respond to, for the Catholic church gives me that right.

In terms of time management priorities, I often prefer to focus on higher profile epologists. Or epologists with more intellectual heft.

I respond here, not because you or Sean are oh-so distinguished, but because Green Baggins draws a large audience.

iii) Finally, Tom’s treatment is simply irrelevant to my argument, for Tom isn’t dealing with my argument.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

David’s confidence is in direct proportion to his ignorance. He doesn’t betray any direct knowledge of how, in fact, I go about making a case for the canon–although that material is in the public domain, and readily available.

Instead, David operates with a generic caricature of the Protestant position, which he then imputes to each and every Protestant interlocuter.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

David H. said,

“Of course they used reason, but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon.”

Notice how the assertions get louder in the pin-drop silence of the nonexistent supporting arguments.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

David H. said,

“It is hard to take you seriously, when you resort to dismissal in lieu of an actual argument.”

Why shouldn’t I dismiss your bare assertion without argument? I can’t argue down a nonexistent argument. You gave no argument to refute. You contented yourself with a bald-faced claim about “Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John.”

Dismissal is exactly when you deserve when you operate at this level.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ron said,

“When you write to Steve asking ‘how’ the books ended up in the canon, are you asking how (i.e. what criteria) was used? If so, it’s irrelevant. Even if the church flipped coins or drew straws, they could not have erred since God intended the church to get it right.”

I’d like to expand on Ron’s illustration. In Lk 1 we read the following incident:

“5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

“Chosen by lot” is a deliberately randomizing device. It’s a paradigm case of “chance.”

The odds are astronomical that Zechariah would just so happen be at the right time and place as the angel Gabriel, when Gabriel makes his momentous announcement to the priest.

But, of course, the reader is supposed to see in this “coincidence” a miraculous coordination of apparently random factors. What seems on the surface to be a highly improbable chance encounter was meticulously orchestrated behind-the scenes by the hidden hand of providence.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

David H. said,

“Then why waste your time on a shlub like me?”

I already explained that to you. What makes it important is the forum, not the disputant. GB is an important forum. That automatically elevates the significance of the exchange.

“I am not embarrassed but you should be as you somehow act as if your similar educational background to many of the CtC guys makes you their intellectual better.”

I didn’t say anything one way or the other about my educational background. And I didn’t say whether or not I’m their intellectual better.

“I would love to see you go over their and engage them.”

The truth of the matter is demonstrably backwards. Bryan typically avoids direct engagement with me. The GB thread is a current example. He offered a token response to me, then reverted to radio silence. I’m not the one who’s ducking out of the debate–he is.

In addition, I post running commentaries on Michael Liccione’s arguments over at my own blog. He and Bryan are the two major players at CTC. The rest are bubble wrap.

Of course, at CTC, all comments are moderated. They dictate if you get to comment, what you get to say, and how you get to say it. So, no, I’m not going to play against a cardsharp.

“And with all due respect – that you are a prolific intenet apologist who has written a lot is not an argument. I can find you many atheists and mormons who are equally wordy with impressive vocabularies. Voluminous wiritngs are no gaurantee of a good argument or the sign of a clear thinker.”

A perfect illustration of your studied duplicity. On the one hand you feign dissatisfaction because I allegedly don’t argue my position.

On the other hand, when I point out that I have, in fact, argued my position in exhaustive detail, you do an about-face. You don’t have the slightest inclination to actually study (much less engage) my supporting material and my supporting arguments. So your initial complaint was spoken with two faces rather than a straight face.

And, of course, you then try to cover for your prevarication with the routine preemptive strike.

“Given your self professed street cred you are pretty ignorant of Catholic teaching if you think the Church forbids the non credentialed from defending their faith or making a true argument.”

Burning a straw man. Did I say it was forbidden? No. But what a lay Catholic says has no official weight. It’s just his private opinion.

And that distinction is hardly incidental. Catholic epologists constantly resort to that distinction to protect the infallibility of their denomination. “The pope wasn’t speaking ex cathedra…Joseph Fitzmyer is only giving his private opinion,” &c.

“Seems more like blow off to me.”

I blow you off when you make unargued claims, like your assertion about Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John.

“It is becoming clear you simply don’t have a response and would rather avoid the implications.”

It’s becoming clear that you speak with a forked tongue. I have extensive argumentation for my position on the canon. You demand supporting arguments, then defiantly ignore the supporting arguments, which are just a mouse click away.

This corroborates my initial observation that your conversion to Rome represents a perfect marriage between two equally mendacious parties.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

For the record, I’ve responded to a number of the CTC crew over the years. So it won’t do so say I’m ignoring them. But with the proliferation of Catholic epologists, we make time management choices.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Before it slips by, notice David’s modus operandi today. He made the allegation that unless Protestants have an infallible church, they have “absolutely no reason” to believe in their canon. That would be an act of faith “independent of reason.”

When I demonstrated that this was transparently a false dichotomy, what did he do? Why, he moved the goal post. That is arguing in bad faith.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

David H. said,

“How is quoting scripture and then drawing a very tenuous parallel about the canon a demonstration of a false dichotomy?”

Go back to comment #457.

“But really, you never directly addressed the issues I brought up.”

Go back to comment #457.

"Lengthy reponses that miss the point…”

You say they miss the point, but you don’t show they miss the point. That’s what we call an assertion, David. Learn the difference between an argument and an assertion.

“…appeals to things you wrote elsewhere.”

Explain what is wrong with that appeal, exactly? Remember that GB is not my blog. So why wouldn’t I refer you to something on my blog? Did you think I was going to fill Lane’s combox with hundreds of pages of material from my own blog?

“…the old ‘assertion!’ argument stopper…”

The fact that you and truth have never been formally introduced doesn’t make that charge is misplaced. It is not my statement about your bare assertions that’s the argument stopper. It’s your assertions that constitute the argument stopper.

When you make a statements like “Of course they used reason, but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon”–then, yes, David, that’s nothing more than pure assertion on your part. That begs the question And that’s an argument stopper.

Don’t fault me for your intellectual iniquities.

“…and side bar insults…”

Some people find the truth insulting, but it’s not possible to have a productive discussion with an opponent like you (for reasons I’ve given).

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm

David H. said,

“We are engaging each other here, int this combox, not elsewhere. Do I really need to do a google search on other things you wrote to not be seen as duplicitous in your book?”

When you accuse me of not arguing for the Protestant canon, or not addressing Catholic objections to the Protestant canon, or not engaging the contributors at CTC, even though I’m a prominent blogger who’s been doing that for years, and you even admit that my reputation precedes me (“and yes I do know who you are”), then it evinces a complete disregard for the truth when you make sweeping charges about my alleged negligence in these areas.

“You are now doing things you accuse me of in your very same post.”

Demonstrate the alleged inconsistency.

“Shouldn’t I assume, given your previous mentioned exhaustive study of the subject of the canon, that you are familiar with the controversy around some or all of these books – not only on the early centuries of the Church but with Luther as well? Are you genuinely serious that you have never heard that these books had controversy around them and pose a problem for some Protestant arguments?”

Once again, when you lose the game, you move the goal post.

i) To begin with, notice David’s oscillation: “the controversy around some or all of these books.”

Well, David, which is it? “Some” or “all”?

ii) By what process of valid inference do you go from “controversy” in the early church and/or Luther to “but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon.”

Not to mention your additional claim that “No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority?”

Well, I’m not the reincarnation of Luther, so Luther’s misgivings are hardly transferable to me. By what process of valid inference do you go from Luther to “no one has answered the authority question,” &c.?

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

David H. said,

“You are wrong. St. Paul, in scripture says very clearly that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).”

It’s nice to see that you still affirm the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals. Unfortunately, that’s not de fide in modern Catholicism.

And Catholic commentators like Msgr. Quinn and Luke Timothy Johnson don’t share your interpretation which–like so much else of what you say–you merely assert to be the case sans the supporting argument.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm

David H. said,

“That they are scripture is de fide. Are you trying to suggest to your audience that the Church therefore does not believe St. Paul to be the author? If so that is a deceptive ploy.”

What makes you think it’s the least bit deceptive to suggest the contemporary church of Rome doesn’t officially affirm the Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy?

“It also not ‘de fide’ in much of Protestantism. Does that disprove the Reformation.”

You were the one who attributed the letter to Paul. I’m merely noting the discrepancy between your own position and mainstream Catholic scholarship.

“Shall I now start to quote liberal Protestants who have Borg-like views of scripture to show that you are merely asserting something? This is a ridiculous and misleading form of argumentation. Are you now going to start quoting Kung as if he were considered Catholic orthodoxy? This is such a cynical ploy.”

i) What evidence do you have that Luke Timothy Johnson or the late Mnsr. Quinn were dissidents?

ii) What’s the point of mentioning liberal Protestants. Have you settled for parity rather than the superiority of Rome?

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm

David H. said,

“All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told.”

Really? You know for a fact that Bruce Metzger, F. F. Bruce, E. E. Ellis, John Sailhamer, Roger Beckwith, and C. E. Hill (to name a few) take the Protestant canon on faith because that is what they were told. They haven’t conducted any independent investigations of their own.

“The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.”

What about Catholic converts to Protestantism like Tom Schreiner?

“I don’t think you thought about what you wrote before you wrote it. It is exactly the opposite. Those 66 books are a part of the canon – that Luther deleted 7 books because he was forced to come up with a reason to get rid of Macabees because it injured his no prayers for the dead argument.”

You act as if there was a settled canon in Luther’s time. But, of course, that was an intramural debate within Catholicism. Consider the dissension among the Tridentine Fathers. The decree on the canon wasn’t unanimous. It didn’t even garner a majority vote. Just a plurality.

“So based on the mythical council of Jamnia…”

Does Roger Beckwith (to take one example) pin his case on Jamnia?

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

David H. said,

“All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told. The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.”

Objections based on social conditioning have an unpleasant tendency to ricochet or backfire. Thanks for admitting that all cradle Catholics take it on faith because that’s what they were told. It’s what they inherited. Their tradition.

Next time you cite social conditioning, be sure to don a helmet and flak jacket to minimize friendly fire fatalities in the process.

“If only Luther lived to see the Dead Sea Scrolls with Hebrew version of those books appear a few centuries later.”

Of course, it’s not as if the Tridentine Fathers had access to modern archeology either. Are you now saying the Roman Catholic canon is provisional? Subject to revision pending new archeological discoveries?

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Sean said,

“I would suggest that the reason people have left the conversation has more to do with constantly being insulted and so cavalierly judged.”

Couldn’t be they left after they ran out of pat answers which were summarily shot down.

steve hays said,
December 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Ron said,

“I can only wonder what Called to Popery would pay to have a Steve Hays, Turretin Fan, or David King type give a Roman ‘conversion’ testimony over the airwaves. Instant ‘sainthood’ I’m sure. Maybe even a trip to the Vatican.”

I doubt CTC has the resources to make a sufficiently tempting proposal. Any offer in exchange for my conversion to popery would have to come direct from the Holy See. Being a humble man, I guess I could settle for the patriarchate of Venice, a candlelight dinner with Sophia Loren, and a Bugatti Veyron. Oh, I’d also demand transactional immunity so that when Mephistopheles came for my soul, I’d have my get-out-of-inferno card.

steve hays said,
December 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

Sean said,

“Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists and/or telling us that our children are going to be awful people and/or mocking Bryan and saying that he is our ‘idol’ does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended. It merely tells us that some people are extremely childish and unable to act with civility.”

Yes, Bryan is far to civil to compare Protestants to Muslims. Instead, Bryan compares Protestants to Gnostics, Deists, and Docetists.

Thanks, Sean, for once again demonstrating your moral consistency.

Like a streaker at a football game, Bryan has a knack for getting attention, but by the same token, he doesn’t like to get caught, so he makes his escape before the security guards can cuff him and put him in the paddy wagon.

steve hays said,
December 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

Three Hail Marys. It’s like Buddhist prayer-wheels. They even have digital prayer-wheels these days. Why not digital Hail Marys?

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