Thursday, January 21, 2010

Common Ground: An Exciting Ecumenical Venture (DVD and Book) I'm Privileged to Have Been Part Of

[CommonGround.jpg]


[originally posted on 6-3-07]

Update of 1-21-10

The book that is drawn from the DVD, has now been released as well (see the amazon page). The Nineveh's Crossing website has several information pages: for the book, the DVD, user comments, and background story. I wrote the initial draft of the Study Guide (later edited by Stan & Pam Williams). The Study Guide is also available by itself in paper ($7.10) or as a free download.

* * * * *

It all came about out of the blue, with a phone call from a friend of mine and fellow Catholic convert, Stan Williams, who is a filmmaker. He oversees a Catholic media and distribution apostolate called
Nineveh's Crossing. Stan told me about an undertaking between a pastor and a priest, recorded onto a DVD, and called Common Ground: What Protestants and Catholics Can Learn From Each Other. See also the amazon page; it offers the following brief description:
. . . a revealing and candid conversation between the leaders of two large churches in Troy Michigan, just North of Detroit: Father John Riccardo of St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, and Pastor Steve Andrews of Kensington Community Church. Seeking common ground, "the priest and the pastor" respectfully examine the similarities between the two great traditions they represent. Regardless of your religious background, you'll be intrigued by their open discussion about: * Salvation * Holy Eucharist * The Virgin Mary * Confession * The Saints * Prayer & Worship * Evangelism * Christian Unity.
The image “http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/images/CGJohnWeb.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School and Senior Editor of Christianity Today, exclaimed about the film:
Here is an honest conversation between two deeply committed men of faith, an Evangelical pastor and a Catholic priest, about their shared faith in Jesus Christ. I recommend this resource to all who are interested in Christian unity, in keeping with a prayer of Jesus himself that his disciples be one as he and the Father are one, so that the world may believe.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things magazine, praised it also:
An astonishingly honest, lucid, and winsome conversation about what unites and divides Catholics and Protestants. Father Riccardo and Pastor Andrews exemplify the kind of encounter made possible and necessary by the fact that we are, in the words of "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," 'brothers and sisters in Christ.'
The image “http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/images/CGSteveWeb.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

As Stan told me about what was going on with these two congregations: Protestant and Catholic, I became very excited, as I have been intensely interested in ecumenism for years: especially between evangelical Protestants and Catholics. He sent me the DVD, and when my wife and I watched it last weekend, we were deeply moved and impressed. I wrote to Stan:
It's very well done. Kudos to all involved! You feel like you are sitting right there with these two real, genuine human beings. . . . You couldn't have found a better representative of a Catholic priest, . . . Pastor Steve comes off as tolerant, friendly, genuinely interested in Catholicism and in actually listening to Catholics, and in basic decency and fairness towards others; an impressive Protestant Christian man. Great job! I'm excited to have any involvement at all in this amazing endeavor.
The video was made entirely by Kensington Community Church. I wrote in another letter a few days later: "I think Common Ground is an amazing, extremely impressive piece of work: almost 'inspired'. This is a very special project indeed, and I am honored to have any part in it at all." I also wrote to Stan in another e-mail:
The sad thing about the good thing is that these sorts of projects are so rare (especially so well done as this) that it becomes extraordinary when they happen. That was behind some of my reaction, I'm sure. The extraordinary ought to be routine and ordinary, but of course it isn't, so everyone is amazed when Christians manage to rise to the level of rudimentary obedience to the Bible for the goal of ecumenical unity as much as possible. The divisions of the 16th century (and I mean emotional and irrational elements; beyond the theology) are still very much with us.
But the story may have only just begun. The video has been shown on TBN in prime time. Also, there is talk of a possible article about it in Christianity Today.

The image “http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/images/CGCoverWeb12.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Stan thought that I could be of some assistance, and asked me to write a Study Guide for the DVD. I was happy to do so, and finished the project yesterday. I often cite some of the words of Fr. John and Pastor Steve to kick off the discussion and the Guide almost serves as a "catechism for Protestants who seek a basic understanding of Catholic doctrines and reasons why Catholics hold them." I either focused on issues or doctrines or practices where both sides agree (per the title of the DVD), or on gently presenting the biblical basis for Catholic teaching with (I hope!) no material that might be considered "polemical".

It is suited to its purpose: an ecumenical undertaking of better understanding each other, and is as ecumenical in emphasis as it is apologetic, which makes it a bit different from my usual work (and exciting to me). I'm usually (not by my choice but by necessity and "apologetic duty") writing to those who are either hostile or vigorously opposed (whether in amiable terms or not) to Catholic teaching, and at times (after ten years of online debating) that gets old and wearisome, so this is a refreshing change. As always, I am not directly trying to pressure anyone into "becoming a Catholic." I simply explain and defend Catholic teachings.



59 comments:

Annette said...

All my family saw this program and saved it on our recorder, we are catholic and christian and some in left field and we all admired and were so filled.It was a blessing.


Annette Garcia
310 Via Vista
Montebello, Ca 90640

Dave Armstrong said...

Excellent, Annette. Rarely have I seen a program that was so obviously filled with the Spirit. It was amazing.

Stan Williams said...

Thanks for the re-review, Dave. The Study Guide you wrote is the bulk of this book 2/3ths, if you hadn't noticed. One ironic correction to your earlier post which you re-post above. EWTN refused (after much consideration) to air Common Ground. Although they approved it theologically (and it was approved by the Detroit Archdiocese censor Dr. Robert Fastiggi) EWTN decided that since it was produced by Protestants that airing it would rile some of their contributors. That is still their excuse. Meanwhile other Catholic networks and Protestants continue to air the project, and we ship the DVD, Study Guide, and book around the world.

Ken said...

John Riccardo, Catholic priest:
“The church would say that somehow God sees it fitting to hide Himself in material things [the Eucharist, bread, wine; does he include relics and statues of Mary in this idea?] . . . so that man can be healed of his slavery.”

Interesting explanation.

Where is the Scripture on this?

Why is not enough that the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us and was resurrected in the same flesh, and went to heaven ( which all Biblical Protestants believe – we are not Gnostics, as you and other RCs sometimes say.), and that the Lord’s supper is a memorial of His once for all death, which it clearly says in Scripture – “Do this in remembrance of Me” ?? If we confess our sins before we partake, and reconcile with people (I Cor. 11) and we are trusting in His once for all sacrifice to forgive us; why is it necessary to believe in this transubstantiation stuff?

Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away; If I do not go away, the Spirit (Counselor, Helper) will not come to you.” John 16:7 – 15

The role of the Holy Spirit is to give us that connection with God while Jesus is away physically.

The whole RC transubstantiation just seems like man’s attempt to “feel” something tangible because of the complete lack of Scripture on it. Same with relics and statues to Mary and beads and kissing feet of Popes and statues of Jesus, etc.

Understanding the RCC doctrine and each other is one thing; but your emphasis seems to persuade Protestants to come to Rome and submit to the Pope. Most of your stuff is highly polemical and aggressive.

I wonder if this series talks about how the RCC anathematized the Protestants and justification by faith for present peace; apart from works; and explains that if anyone disagreed with the priest’s explanation of the Eucharist, in official documents, he is anathema. (eternally cursed, according to the meaning of the word in Galatians 1:8-9)

Dave Armstrong said...

"The church would say that somehow God sees it fitting to hide Himself in material things so that man can be healed of his slavery."

Where is the Scripture on this?

John 6:50-51 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. [51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

John 6:53-58 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;
[54] he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. [56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. [57] As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. [58] This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

Blogahon said...

Dave do you have any work related to this question:

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/01/meaning-of-papal-descriptions.html

Randy said...

Interesting explanation.

Where is the Scripture on this?



Maybe John 6? You are the ones ignoring scripture. The last supper accounts in Matthew, Mark and Luke. I Corinthians. All you have to do is stop pretending everything the bible says about the Eucharist is in some strange code and just read it.

Why is not enough that the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us and was resurrected in the same flesh, and went to heaven

Because we need to apply that sacrifice to our sins. So I need to cross time and space and come to the cross and offer the one and only acceptable sacrifce for my own sins.

If we confess our sins before we partake, and reconcile with people (I Cor. 11) and we are trusting in His once for all sacrifice to forgive us; why is it necessary to believe in this transubstantiation stuff?

Why were the Isrealites told to sacrifice real animals? What if they just said they would trust God and skip all those messy sacrifice rituals? What if on the first passover people decided to spiritually put blood on their doors but not actually kill a real lamb and eat it and place real blood on real doorposts?

The whole RC transubstantiation just seems like man’s attempt to “feel” something tangible because of the complete lack of Scripture on it. Same with relics and statues to Mary and beads and kissing feet of Popes and statues of Jesus, etc.

This is where you seem gnostic. You assume that because something is physical that it must not involve God. That somehow the physical is beneath God and He only cares about the spiritual. That is not in scripture. That is a bias you bring to scripture.

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Blogahaon,

The only things that would be related to that would be these papers:

Biblical Support for the Terms "Holy Father" and "Vicar of Christ", as Applied to Popes

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/09/biblical-support-for-terms-holy-father.html

Heretic Popes and Pope as "God on Earth" vs. Luther as God's Man of the Hour and Quasi-Prophet (vs. Tim Enloe)

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/12/heretic-popes-and-pope-as-god-on-earth.html

Ken said...

This is where you seem gnostic.

Why do you say that? We fully believe in Christ's incarnation and resurrection and every miracle in the Bible that speaks about Jesus touching people and the handerchiefs in Acts, etc.

It is the RCC view of Matthew 1:18 and 1:25 and Luke 1-2 that seems Gnostic.

You really have no basis for that statement.

We fully believe John 6 - your RCC trans. is not there. nada

It is the same kind of metaphor as "I am the true vine" and "I am the door".

We actually eat bread and drink wine (some churches, grape juice) to commemorate Christ's death - it a symbol, an action verb of faith - taking Christ in. there is no change - it is not Gnostic, but rather logic, reason, Scripture, and following the rules of non-contradiction.


You assume that because something is physical that it must not involve God.

No; not at all; that is not what the issue is. Nowhere does Jesus say "later, this means the Eucharist/Lord's supper and it will mean a substance change, but you won't be able to tell, just believe the future NT priests and Popes, centuries later, "when they say white, but to your eyes, it is black", then you must believe it is white.", etc.

That somehow the physical is beneath God and He only cares about the spiritual.

That is not true either. You guys think Mary and Joseph having a normal marriage after Jesus is born is "beneath" God and dirty and that Perpetual virginity doctrine gives the impression that sex is bad.

That is not in scripture.

It is the transubstantiation doctrine that is not in Scipture - it is not in John 6.

That is a bias you bring to scripture.

it is your church (RCC) that started teaching that around 800 AD and made it dogma in 1215 and so now you read back into John 6 and other passages and it is you who bring bias onto the text.

Ken said...

John 6:50-58 do not say at all what the Catholic priest said.

Jesus merely says He is the true bread, the living bread, and He came from heaven (the incarnation) and to eat Him (believe in Him; behold Him, come to Him, be drawn by the Father) will bring eternal life.

The Catholic priest said something totally different.

Randy said...

John 6:50-58 do not say at all what the Catholic priest said.

Jesus merely says He is the true bread, the living bread, and He came from heaven (the incarnation) and to eat Him (believe in Him; behold Him, come to Him, be drawn by the Father) will bring eternal life.

The Catholic priest said something totally different.


The Catholic priest simply says what John 6 says. You are the one that needs to declare that Jesus does not mean what He says. So our choice is to believe Jesus or to believe you. You are a nice guy but I am going to go with Jesus.

Carmelite said...

Ken your church did not even exist in 1215. No members, no leaders, no church buildings, nothing.

I still wondering where in the Bible is the doctrine of sola scrtipura is and all of those nebulous definition what they want sola scriptura to be ,base on a assumption not scripture.

Ken said...

Ken your church did not even exist in 1215. No members, no leaders, no church buildings, nothing.

Hi Carmelite,
Yes, I know that. The churches at that time were Roman Catholic in the west and Eastern Orthodox in the east. The RCC and EO had anathematized each other in 1054.

The Crusades (1095-1299 AD) were going on in the Muslim world -and Monophysite churches were in Syria and Egypt and Nestorian in western Persia. (small because Islam and Mongols were wiping them out)

So? The churches for the most part had left their first love - Revelation 2:4-5 long ago. Adding transubstantiation and Marian unbiblical doctrines and practices and indulgences and to inspire the Crusades was wrong.

The Reformation later was a recovery of light and getting back to the Scriptures and sound doctrine.

Athanasius said, "they (the Arian heretics) have the places and buildings, but you (the believers) have the faith." (paraphrase of Festal Letter 29)

the full reference below:

"I know moreover that not only this thing saddens you, but also the fact that while others have obtained the churches by violence, you are meanwhile cast out from your places. For they hold the places, but you the Apostolic Faith. They are, it is true, in the places, but outside of the true Faith; while you are outside the places indeed, but the Faith, within you. Let us consider whether is the greater, the place or the Faith. Clearly the true Faith. Who then has lost more, or who possesses more? He who holds the place, or he who holds the Faith? Good indeed is the place, when the Apostolic Faith is preached there, holy is it if the Holy One dwell there....But ye are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, and frequently has accursed envy wished to unsettle it, but has not been able. On the contrary, they have rather been cut off by their attempts to do so. For this is it that is written, 'Thou art the Son of the Living God,' Peter confessing it by revelation of the Father, and being told, 'Blessed art thou Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee,' but 'My Father Who is in heaven,' and the rest. No one therefore will ever prevail against your Faith, most beloved brethren. For if ever God shall give back the churches (for we think He will) yet without such restoration of the churches the Faith is sufficient for us. And lest, speaking without the Scriptures, I should seem to speak too strongly, it is well to bring you to the testimony of Scriptures, for recollect that the Temple indeed was at Jerusalem; the Temple was not deserted, aliens had invaded it, whence also the Temple being at Jerusalem, those exiles went down to Babylon by the judgment of God, who was proving, or rather correcting them; while manifesting to them in their ignorance punishment by means of blood-thirsty enemies. And aliens indeed had held the Place, but knew not the Lord of the Place, while in that He neither gave answer nor spoke, they were deserted by the truth. What profit then is the Place to them? For behold they that hold the Place are charged by them that love God with making it a den of thieves, and with madly making the Holy Place a house of merchandise, and a house of judicial business for themselves to whom it was unlawful to enter there. For this and worse than this is what we have heard, most beloved, from those who are come from thence. However really, then, they seem to hold the church, so much the more truly are they cast out. And they think themselves to be within the truth, but are exiled, and in captivity, and gain no advantage by the church alone. For the truth of things is judged" (Festal Letter 29)

Adomnan said...

Athanasuis wrote: "For (the faith) has come down to you from Apostolic tradition, and frequently has accursed envy wished to unsettle it, but has not been able."

Athanasius's faith followed the Apostolic tradition, not any "scripture alone" interpreted as they pleased by heretics. The Arians were the sola scripturists of Athanasius's day.

Athanasius would have kicked you out of his church, Ken, or anyone insane enough to profess the blasphemies of the Reformation, in particular the doctrine of demons that claims that God the Father murdered His Son to "satisfy" a mad and misdirected anger. However, I hasten to add that it was impossible for anyone to believe anything so absurd in Athanasius's day. Only degenerate moderns are capable of such madness. The ancients had more sense. Arianism was wrong, but it wasn't nutty.

Ken said...

Apostolic tradition was the same content as Scripture; so they were the same in doctrine and principles.

If it is not in Scripture, it is not apostolic. (Penance, Indulgences, treasury of Merit, prayers to dead saints, relics, Purgatory, Transubstantiation (1215), PVM (6th Century onward), IC (1854), BAM (1950), IP (1870). Since none of these are taught in Scripture, none of them are apostolic at all.

You are just dead wrong about the Arians following Sola Scriptura, and you are wrong about Athanasius - Athanasius used Scripture to battle the Arians.

The Arians did not believe in Scriptural authority, namely John 1:1; nor John 10:30; nor any other passage that clearly teaches the eternality of the Word / Son and the full Deity of Christ.

They couldn't handle "homo-ousias", but it is a Biblical concept. Athanasius even says,

“Vainly then do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point, there are the proceedings of the Fathers, for the Nicene Bishops did not neglect this matter, but stated the doctrine so exactly, that persons reading their words honestly, cannot but be reminded by them of the religion towards Christ announced in divine Scripture.” (De Synodis 6 / “On the Councils” 6)

Ken said...

Here are some other early church writer/fathers:

Another father (Alexander, Athanasius’ bishop before him)wrote of the Arians:

The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame, nor did the consentient doctrine of our colleagues concerning Christ keep in check their audacity against Him.

Alexander of Alexandria, Epistle 1 (to Alexander of Constantinople), Section 10

Alexander of Alexandria (d. 328), the spiritual mentor of Athanasius, testified of the Arian heretics in a letter to Alexander of Constantinople: They are not ashamed to oppose the godly clearness of the ancient scriptures . NPNF2: Vol. III, Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History, Book 1, Chapter 3, or the translation of this phrase as the letter is preserved in ANF: Vol. VI, Epistle to Alexander, Bishop of the City of Constantinople, §10, “The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame . . .” Greek text: Οὐ κατήδεσεν αὐτοὺς ἡ τῶν ἀρχαίων Γραφῶν φιλόθεος σαφήνεια . . . Theodoreti Ecclesiasticae Historiae, Liber I, Caput III, PG 82:904.

Augustine says “homo-ousias” is based on the Scriptures, John 10:30.

Augustine (354-430): In opposition also to the impiety of Arian heretics, they coined the new term, Patris Homoousios; but there was nothing new signified by such a name; for what is called Homoousios is just this: “I and my Father are one,” to wit, of one and the same substance. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 97, §4.

Augustine (354-430): What does “homoousios” mean, I ask, but The Father and I are one (Jn. 10:30)? I should not, however, introduce the Council of Nicea to prejudice the case in my favor, nor should you introduce the Council of Ariminum that way. I am not bound by the authority of Ariminum, and you are not bound by that of Nicea. By the authority of the scriptures that are not the property of anyone, but the common witness for both of us, let position do battle with position, case with case, reason with reason. See WSA, Answer to Maximinus, Part I, Vol. 18, ed. John Rotelle, O.S.A., trans. Roland J. Teske, S.J. (New York: New City Press, 1995), p. 282.

Carmelite said...

Ken trying to prove Catholic Church is wrong is trying to prove Christianity is wrong. Since you agree that your church did not exist then its over for you,,,,case close.
There was no the great apostasy then in the Reformation there was a recovery of light and getting back to the Scriptures and sound doctrine started by Catholic monk.

Whats funny you quote St.Athanasuis a Catholic. Ken we have hundreds of Catholics Churches around the world name after St.Athanasius how many do you have? You see the Catholic Church has the Fathers intertwine in the Church so we take them very serious, that why we have Churches name after Fathers like St.Augustine, St.Ignatius ,St.Irenaeus, St. Jerome, St.Ambrose, St.Cyril of Alexandria to name a few.
Remember the Catholic Church in Rome ""Vatican: The Holy See"" is built on the tomb of St.Peter the Apostle.

Carmelite said...

Ken why are you quoting Catholics? You get a better picture on the Fathers when you read what they say on every issue not quote mining the them.
We all know deep down inside you don't really care what the Fathers say. When you really care what they say then you honor them like the Catholic Church has in a large scale around the world with it one billion Catholic's on 4 corners of this Earth.

Ken said...

Athanasius also taught the just wrath of God was laid upon Christ in His death for us; and to pas the debt owed by man was the special cause of the incarnation.

“For man, being in Him, was quickened: for this was why the Word was united to man, namely, that against man the curse might no longer prevail. This is the reason why they record the request made on behalf of mankind in the seventy-first Psalm: ‘Give the King Thy judgment, O God’ (Psalm 72:1): asking that both the judgment of death which hung over us may be delivered to the Son, and that He may then, by dying for us, abolish it for us in Himself. This was what He signified, saying Himself, in the eighty-seventh Psalm: ‘Thine indignation [wrath, anger] lieth hard upon me’( Psalm 88:7). For He bore the indignation [wrath, anger] which lay upon us, as also He says in the hundred and thirty-seventh: ‘Lord, Thou shalt do vengeance for me’ (Psalm 138:8, LXX.).”

Athanasius, On Luke 10:22
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xi.ii.ii.html?scrBook=Ps&scrCh=88&scrV=7#xi.ii.ii-p3.8

“But since it was necessary also that the debt owing from all should be paid again: for, as I have already said, it was owing that all should die, for which especial cause, indeed, He came among us: to this intent, after the proofs of His Godhead from His works, He next offered up His sacrifice also on behalf of all, yielding His Temple to death in the stead of all, in order firstly to make men quit and free of their old trespass, and further to shew Himself more powerful even than death, displaying His own body incorruptible, as first-fruits of the resurrection of all.” (On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 20; p. 47)

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.xx.html

So, you are wrong about that issue also.

Ken said...

Ken why are you quoting Catholics?

Because when they base things on Scripture, they add extra weight to our position.

We Protestants are "catholic" also; meaning "Universal" and early church (rejecting the later accretions, additions, corruptions, exaggerations of the RCC.)

The Reformation had no intention of rejecting everything they said and wrote. When they are Biblical, they are right and holy and it is appropriate for us to use them for godly purposes.

Adomnan said...

Ken:(Penance, Indulgences, treasury of Merit, prayers to dead saints, relics, Purgatory, Transubstantiation (1215), PVM (6th Century onward), IC (1854), BAM (1950), IP (1870).

Adomnan: Athanasius believed in penance, indulgences, the treasury of merit, prayers to the dead, saints, relics, purgatory and transubstantiation.

Ken: Since none of these are taught in Scripture, none of them are apostolic at all.

Adomnan: Athanasius either thought they were in scripture, or didn't care if they were or not. It was enough for him that they were in the apostolic tradition, as he said. If apostolic tradition meant "scripture interpreted by heretics," he would have called it that instead of calling it "tradition."

Ken: The Arians did not believe in Scriptural authority, namely John 1:1; nor John 10:30; nor any other passage that clearly teaches the eternality of the Word / Son and the full Deity of Christ.

Adomnan: Sure they did. They just interpreted scripture differently. For example, "the Word was God" was interpreted as "the Word was a God," which is possible in Greek.

Or, given that YOU interpret "faith was imputed as righteousness" to mean "faith was NOT imputed as righteousness," why can't the Arians interpret "the Word was God" as "the Word was NOT God"? Why can't the Arians use your method of "interpretation"?

Ken, quoting Athanasius: “Vainly then do they run about with the pretext that they have demanded Councils for the faith’s sake; for divine Scripture is sufficient above all things; but if a Council be needed on the point,..."

Adomnan: I'd have to see the Greek original of this rather oddly translated passage. For example, what does it mean to say something is "sufficient above all things." Mere sufficiency is never "above all things." This is some sort of quirky translation.

But, aside from that, Athanasius appears to be saying simply that he believes that the testimony of scripture favors his view on the particular point under consideration. So what? I reject "scripture alone," but it's still obvious that scripture alone is enough to prove that there are no such things as penal substitution or the imputed righteousness of Christ.

Adomnan said...

Ken: Another father (Alexander, Athanasius’ bishop before him)wrote of the Arians:

The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame, nor did the consentient doctrine of our colleagues concerning Christ keep in check their audacity against Him.

Adomnan: The perspicuity of the ancient scriptures that faith, not Christ's righteousness, is imputed as our righteousness causes YOU no shame.

Of course, Alexander's reference to "the consentient doctrine of our colleagues concerning Christ" refers to the apostolic tradition. "Our colleagues" are the bishops, and not just current bishops but the apostolic succession of bishops.

So, Alexander, like all the sources you quote, are testifying to the Catholic channels of revelation, namely scripture AND tradition.

Adomnan said...

Ken: Athanasius also taught the just wrath of God was laid upon Christ in His death for us;

Adomnan: You can't even read.

Athanasius writes: "‘Give the King Thy judgment, O God’ (Psalm 72:1): asking that both the judgment of death which hung over us may be delivered to the Son, and that He may then, by dying for us, abolish it for us in Himself."

Evidently, this means that Christ judges and condemns death, not that God the Father condemns Christ by killing Him. He condemns death by dying for us, abolishing death by rising from the dead.

Not a hint of your "penal substitution," which is an insult to God.

Athanasius: "This was what He signified, saying Himself, in the eighty-seventh Psalm: ‘Thine indignation [wrath, anger] lieth hard upon me’( Psalm 88:7). For He bore the indignation [wrath, anger] which lay upon us, as also He says in the hundred and thirty-seventh: ‘Lord, Thou shalt do vengeance for me’ (Psalm 138:8, LXX.).”

Adomnan: There's obviously something wrong with this translation because, on the face of it, "Thine indignation lieth hard upon me" and "Lord, Thou shalt do vengeance for me" have opposite meanings. Penal substitution would require "Lord, Thou shalt take vengence on me."

Athanasius: “But since it was necessary also that the debt owing from all should be paid again:"

Adomnan: The debt owed is death. Jesus died. Athanasius never says the debt was owed to the Father, just that is was "owed." After all, Paul writes that sin pays out the wages of death, not that God pays out the wages of death, unless you think that sin and God are the same thing. Do you?

John Salmon said...

The back and forth here shows how pointless so much of the ecumenical experiment is. I'm not sure what Catholics can learn from proponents of Christianity Lite, in all honesty.

These aren't "equally good, just different" approaches to Christ. We have the full truth.

Dave Armstrong said...

Yes, we have the whole truth, but there is plenty we can learn from Protestants by way of emphases and strengths that they have. The average Protestant, for example, knows the Bible ten times better than the average Catholic. Yet the Bible is a thoroughly Catholic book.

John Salmon said...

Yes, many (but hardly all) Protestants know more of the text of the Bible, but, as the comments here show (which are typical), they don't understand it particualarly well. So what's gained?

Christianity is an apostolic faith, not a "biblical" one. Promoting the Protestant ahistorical approach is hardly useful. This may well do more harm than good.

Dave Armstrong said...

Christianity is an apostolic faith, not a "biblical" one. Promoting the Protestant ahistorical approach is hardly useful. This may well do more harm than good.

It's both. You play the either/or game which is itself typical of Protestant thought. To not know that it is both is to not grasp what historic Christianity (Catholicism) is. Who is promoting an ahistorical approach, pray tell?

Ken said...

If it is not biblical, it is not apostolic. We know what the apostles taught because they wrote it down. Everything necessary for us for knowing God and salvation and life and godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3) was written down in the Scriptures.

As Augustine says --

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430) commenting on Psalm 145:13:

The Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his deeds. We might well have believed him if he had chosen only to speak to us, but he wanted us to have his scriptures to hold onto; it is like promising something to a friend and saying to him, “Don’t rely on word of mouth; I’ll put it in writing for you.” It was necessary for God’s written guarantee to endure as each generation comes and goes, as the centuries roll by and mortals give way to their successors. God’s own handwriting would be there for all the passers-by to read, so that they would keep the way of his promise.

- Augustine, Expositions of the Psalms, Psalms 121-150, Exposition of Psalm 144.17 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2004), pp. 393-394.

Adomnan said...

Dave: The average Protestant, for example, knows the Bible ten times better than the average Catholic.

Adomnan: I have to agree with John Salmon on this.

I have read a number of excellent Protestant commentaries on scripture. The works of the exponents of the New Perspective on Paul come immediately to mind.
However, the "average Protestant," if this refers to mainstream Protestants in so-called "liberal" denominations, is probably no more familiar with the Bible than the average Catholic. And many Evangelicals would no doubt also score very poorly on a scripture test, given the low level of knowledge the general public displays about most things (as far as one can tell from surveys).

If you are referring to more fervent and obsessive evangelical or fundamentalist Protestants like Ken, they lack real knowledge of the Bible as well, because they twist and distort everything they read in the scriptures to fit their preconceived heresies. The "knowledge" of these heretics is worse than ignorance.

A person who brings false notions to his reading of, say, Paul, while refusing correction, will learn nothing from Paul.

If they really knew the Bible "ten times better than the average Catholic," then they would be Catholic, as your own blog "Biblical Evidence for Catholicism" proves over and over.

John Salmon said...
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John Salmon said...

Obviously truly apostolic faith is thoroughly biblical. Dave's response to my comment is unnecessarily argumentative.

Of course I'm arguing for a both/and approach. What I'm saying is that we Catholics shouldn't treat Protestant either/or, ahistorical thinking as a "just as good, but different" approach to Christianity.

Dave Armstrong said...

I meant "know the Bible" in the most basic sense: a broad familiarity with the books and the contents: at least of the NT. Obviously, interpretation issues are something else. But one has to be familiar with a thing before setting out to understand it. I have to meet my wife before getting married to her and knowing a million things about her . . .

I also was referring (as I habitually do) primarily to evangelicals or Protestants who actually have some beliefs. I rarely have theological liberals in mind when discussing anything, because they are not a serious category, as far as I am concerned (which is why I rarely deal with them in my papers and books).

Obviously truly apostolic faith is thoroughly biblical. Dave's response to my comment is unnecessarily argumentative.

I must have misunderstood, then. It sounded like you were pitting one thing against the other, when you stated: "Christianity is an apostolic faith, not a 'biblical' one." Surely you can understand how that expression did not communicate what you are clarifying now. It appeared to downgrade the Bible.

Of course I'm arguing for a both/and approach. What I'm saying is that we Catholics shouldn't treat Protestant either/or, ahistorical thinking as a "just as good, but different" approach to Christianity.

I agree. It's a mixed bag with Protestantism. I think that is the key consideration. Protestantism is a mixture of heresy and solid Catholic thinking: to more or less degrees, according to denomination. In this particular video and book (look at its title), the two clergymen were exploring mostly what we have in common. There is a time for that and there is a time to argue over differences. I do both on this site. I can rejoice in common ground, while at the same time, decry serious Protestant errors.

I can have respect for, e.g., a serious evangelical or traditional Anglican or Lutheran or Reformed Protestant (esp. as people committed to leading a Christian life), while disagreeing vehemently with elements of their belief system that I believe are false.

Everyone has some error in their theology, or sin in their life, if they have all their doctrines correct. I would say that hypocrisy and sin and refusal to live out the truth, despite knowing it, is far worse than sincere error, or ignorance. So to the extent that we Catholics possess the fullness of truth, yet fail in a thousand ways to live up to it and live by it (or, many times, even know what it is), then arguably we are far more blameworthy than Protestants, acc. to the principle, "to whom much is given, much is required," and by analogy to Jesus' condemnations of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. We need to get our own house in order as well.

And no one can accuse me of not contending against Protestant error, so if anyone can make this "self-criticism" of Catholics and our own shortcomings and blind spots, I'm able to do so as well.

Relative scriptural ignorance is clearly an area where many many Catholics need to vastly improve, and where, yes, we can learn a lot from Protestants, minus the theological errors they espouse.

Frank said...

I want to get my hands on this Dave. Congrats, you work hard on your writing and must be proud. I agree with what you are saying concerning protestants knowing their Bibles better on average. They seem to promote a personal relationship with God better than the Catholic Church. This is something I have never understood. From the outside looking in, the Catholic Church comes across as colder... a little more rigid... where other denominations offer a closer community and a more emotional relationship with God. In this regard, my opinion would be that the protestant church emulates the apostolically church more closely then the Catholic Church, which is a shame because you have done so well with preserving the traditions etc...

Any thoughts concerning the philosophy behind this?

Frank said...

"apostolically" was the wrong word there, but you know what i mean

Dave Armstrong said...

Protestants stress the "personal relationship" aspect of faith, but this is by no means unknown in Catholicism. See my paper:

"Personal Relationship With Jesus": Completely Foreign Notion to Catholics?

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/06/personal-relationship-with-jesus.html

Maroun said...

Ken said . If it is not biblical, it is not apostolic. We know what the apostles taught because they wrote it down. Everything necessary for us for knowing God and salvation and life and godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3) was written down in the Scriptures.

As Augustine says --

Augustine (about A.D. 354-430) commenting on Psalm 145:13:

The Lord is faithful in all his words, and holy in all his deeds. We might well have believed him if he had chosen only to speak to us, but he wanted us to have his scriptures to hold onto; it is like promising something to a friend and saying to him, “Don’t rely on word of mouth; I’ll put it in writing for you.” It was necessary for God’s written guarantee to endure as each generation comes and goes, as the centuries roll by and mortals give way to their successors. God’s own handwriting would be there for all the passers-by to read, so that they would keep the way of his promise.

- Augustine, Expositions of the Psalms, Psalms 121-150, Exposition of Psalm 144.17 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2004), pp. 393-394.

Hey Ken,why do you quote saint Augustine,but then refuse what saint Augustine himself considered as scripture.In fact in his "De Doctrinâ Christianâ" he enumerates the components of the complete Old Testament. The Synod of Hippo (393) and the three of Carthage (393, 397, and 419), in which, doubtless, Augustine was the leading spirit, found it necessary to deal explicitly with the question of the Canon, and drew up identical lists from which no sacred books are excluded. These councils base their canon on tradition and liturgical usage.

So Ken,why do you refuse to accept the books which saint Augustine and the church considered as canonical,and then pretend to be in agreement with him?
Do you accet 1 and 2 Maccabees as he did?do you accept Tobit as he did,or judith or Esther or Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch?if not,then why do you quote him?
Is it not funny,how some people quote only the parts and things which they like and agree with,but then ignore and never mention from the same source the things which they dont like or accept?
So Ken,again,veru humbly , i ask you to stop insisting on falsehood,i mean saint Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit appointed some to be teachers.So if as you protestants claim that each and every believer could and should read the bible and the Holy Spirit will explain the scriptures to him or her,then why did the Holy Spirit appoint some to be teachers?
And if each and everyone of us could read and understand the truth with the help of the Spirit,then why do all the protestants disagree among themselves just about everything?

Maroun said...

Hi Ken again . to prove to you what i have just told you,i am going to quote some verses from Eph 4:11-14 ,
11 And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; 14 That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive.
Does verse 14 ring any bells to you?arent you aware yet , that sola scriptura which according to you is the truth the cause of verse 14????
think about it plz

Ben M said...
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John Salmon said...

You're right Dave, there's a time for agreeing and a time for disagreeing. A time for everything under the sun, as it were.

Frank said...

Hey Dave,
found a quote I am pretty sure you will like:

"Belief cannot argue with unbelief, it can only preach to it."
- Karl Barth

Dave Armstrong said...

It's usually true, yep; though the unbeliever will always insist on argument rather than preaching.

Stan Williams said...

The discussion above seems to have gotten off the track from the original discussion about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Let me weigh in with a few comments. As a convert to Catholicism after 50 years as an Evangelical and Bible teacher myself, one of the attractions of Catholicism is its Biblical understanding of how Christianity must necessarily embrace both the spiritual realm and the physical realm. (My undergraduate degree is in physics and my latter graduate work in part dealt with natural law in communications. Thus, I've been intrigued by the connections between science and theology -- and how they BOTH attempt to articulate and communicate God's Will and Word.) To exclude one is to reject part of reality and creation. (Where reality expands beyond the 3D-0T of the sensory creation, e.g. eternity). The best example of this is God (a spirit) becoming man (a physical being) in the person (both spiritual and physical) of Jesus Christ. We too are made in his image, this commingling of spiritual and physical. Thus, everything in Christianity must mirror the existence of Christ, as we are called to be like him, et al. Thus the sacraments of the RCC (and Orthodox) fulfill this aspect of reality and marry, fuse, imbue the physical and spiritual. This understanding of reality being BOTH physical and spiritual (and probably a few other things we don't understand) is exampled by St. John in a couple of key stories in the first half of John 6, as precursors to the most significant part of John 6, the last half, where Christ says more than a dozen times that his body is real food, and the first protesters left him for this commingling of the physical and spiritual was too much to embrace, especially as it seemed to conflict with Jewish rules about eating food saturated with blood. (John 6:66). I do not intent to take the discussion away from Dave's blog, but here is a link to my essay on John 6 that explains how St. John immerses his reader into the Catholic understanding of reality, and how ALL of John 6 points to the real presence of Christ in the Catholic Eucharist... something that does not happen in Protestant communion. http://www.stanwilliams.com/catholic/John6.html

Ken said...

Hey Ken,why do you quote saint Augustine,but then refuse what saint Augustine himself considered as scripture.

Because he can be right about one principle or truth on Psalm 145; and then wrong (or inconsistent) about another issue or principle.

The early church writers/fathers were not infallible.

Augustine admitted he did not know Hebrew and did not even like Greek. Jerome was superior on the languages and showed the Hebrew evidence behind the doubts about the Apocrypha books.

The Provincial councils of Hippo and Carthage were local to that area and did not bind all the churches everywhere.

Jerome:
"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two Volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church."

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vii.iii.x.html
(In the Preface to Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, 393 AD)]

Athanasius (on the OT, did not include Esther, did include Baruch; but considered Macabees, Tobit, and Judith and Wisdom as "ecclesiatical books for good reading, but not canonical), Origen, Melito of Sardis - agreed more closely with the Protestant canon.

Gregory bishop of Rome ( 601) said that Maccabees was not canonical, Cardinal Cajatan, all agreed with Jerome's scholarly work on the Hebrew and the Apocrypha books.

Cardinal Cajetan ( Papal legate and Luther's opponent in 1520-1521:

"For the words as well as of councils and of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome." (Cajetan, Commentary on All the Historical Books of the Old Testament; cited in William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture (Cambridge University Press, 1849), p. 48."

Ken said...

Stan Williams wrote:

The discussion above seems to have gotten off the track from the original discussion about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Let me weigh in with a few comments. As a convert to Catholicism after 50 years as an Evangelical and Bible teacher myself, one of the attractions of Catholicism is its Biblical understanding of how Christianity must necessarily embrace both the spiritual realm and the physical realm. (My undergraduate degree is in physics and my latter graduate work in part dealt with natural law in communications. Thus, I've been intrigued by the connections between science and theology -- and how they BOTH attempt to articulate and communicate God's Will and Word.)

To exclude one is to reject part of reality and creation.

To imply that Protestants exclude the physical realm, only because we reject the transubstantiation doctrine of the Lord’s Supper [and other physical emphasis of the RCC – sacerdotal ex opera operato words; and the power of visiting graves, saints, rubbing, looking at, kissing relics to give grace; etc. This implication of using creation and the incarnation and image of God in man; is not a fair treatment of the Protestant position. We fully believe in the goodness of creation (earth, water, our bodies, sex, food, sleep, work, etc.) and that God created it.

These are the aspects of RCC that are the most repelling, genuflecting before the consecrated host in the Mass/Eucharist; the emphasis on things about Mary that are not in the Bible (PVM, IC - 1854, BA-1950, Advocate, co-mediator, co-Redemptrix) and statues and bowing down and talking to/ praying to icons and statues; because they seem to violate the first 2 commands of the Ten Commandments and John 4:23-24.

Ken said...

(Where reality expands beyond the 3D-0T of the sensory creation, e.g. eternity). The best example of this is God (a spirit) becoming man (a physical being) in the person (both spiritual and physical) of Jesus Christ.

Yes, we believe that; that does not prove the transubstantiation idea; in fact, the one unique incarnation of Christ entering into flesh and time and history actually speaks against the transubstantiation doctrine, because the body of Christ cannot be manifested thousands of times over again all over the world. It is almost like millions of other incarnations.

We too are made in his image, this commingling of spiritual and physical.

Yes, that is clear from Genesis 1-2; we have spirits/souls; but it in no way proves the RCC transubstantiation idea.

Ken said...

Stan Williams wrote (I had to cut it because of the space limitation set by the Blogger)

". . . is exampled by St. John in a couple of key stories in the first half of John 6, as precursors to the most significant part of John 6, the last half, where Christ says more than a dozen times that his body is real food, and the first protesters left him for this commingling of the physical and spiritual was too much to embrace, especially as it seemed to conflict with Jewish rules about eating food saturated with blood. (John 6:66).

“For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.” John 6:55 This is the same idea as when Jesus said, “I am the true vine” in John 15:1 and “I am the door” in John 10:9 and “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12. He is saying, just like He did to the woman at the well, “I have living water”; and “he who drinks physical water will thirst again” (John 4); He is saying He is the true spiritual source for eternal life and relationship with God. The people were coming to Him because they were being fed physically– John 6:1-28. Jesus then says, “this is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” It is the work of God in your heart that you believe in Christ; you are dead in your sins. The Spirit of God must come in you and regenerate you and give you life so that you are able to believe in Christ. “The Spirit gives life” (John 6:63) = the Holy Spirit is the only one who can cause new birth on the inside ( John 3:3-8) so that you trust Christ to save you from your sins. Jesus is saying He is true bread that came out of heaven, not temporary like the physical bread of the Manna in the wilderness. He is talking about His incarnation, not the Lord’s Supper. ( John 6:31-58) In that context, Jesus says
“he who comes to Me” (v. 35)
“he who believes in Me” (v. 35)
“all that the Father gives to Me” (v. 37)
“everyone who beholds the Son” (v. 40)
Being “drawn by the Father” (v. 44; 65)

So, when He says “you must eat My flesh and drink my blood” He is talking about trusting in Him as the incarnation of God and trusting in His work on the cross to save them from sins – “I give for the life of the world” (v. 51)

Those who were not awakened and drawn by the Father and the work of the Spirit (v. 44, 63, 65) were still dead in the sins (Ephesians 2:1-3) and could not see and could only hear the physical words of Jesus, which they thought was literal Canabalism. (v. 52, 60-61)

But Jesus never says that this is about the future Lord’s Supper; rather He says, “What then if you see the Son of May ascending to where He was before” (v. 62) – meaning the ascension after the cross and resurrection – showing that He will be in bodily form in heaven and not on earth – will you still trust Me then? “It is the Spirit who gives life” – the Holy Spirit causes regeneration so that a dead sinner can be made alive and then trust Christ – “Where else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” ( John 6:63-71) “But there are some of you who don’t believe” (v. 64)

V. 66 – “As a result of this . . . “ means that they left because they were not drawn by the Father (v. 44) and they did not have the Spirit (v. 63), nor life (v. 53, 63) and the Father had not granted them to come to Jesus (v. 65) “For this reason” (v. 65) The reason they could not accept nor see the meaning of Jesus’ words was because God did not draw them and change them on the inside.

Peter and the other disciples understood that it was about eternal life and the Spirit and the words of eternal life; that Jesus was the source; and it was about believing and knowing that Jesus is the Holy One of God. (v. 68-69) He doesn’t say, “we understand you to mean the future Lord’s Supper/Eucharist that will eventually be defined in 1215 AD as an actual changing of substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus [even though Jesus is in heaven (v. 62)] at that time.

Ken said...

I do not intent to take the discussion away from Dave's blog, but here is a link to my essay on John 6 that explains how St. John immerses his reader into the Catholic understanding of reality, and how ALL of John 6 points to the real presence of Christ in the Catholic Eucharist... something that does not happen in Protestant communion. http://www.stanwilliams.com/catholic/John6.html

It honestly seems to be reading things that come centuries later back into the text - historical theology and the development of the transubstantiation doctrine of 800 -1215 AD (Radbertus – Aquinas) back into John 6.

Maroun said...

Ken said , the church fathers were not infallible.Well and do you think you are?
Show us plz which of the church fathers denied the real presence?or which one of them didnt speak aboyt morality or obedience otherwise that person wont inherit God`s kingdom.
The funny thing with people like you ken,is that you think that you are infallible...
Listen to me,and i hope that this is the last time i will ever tell you anything,because i have noticed that it`s useless,because you never even answer any of the questions...
Do you think that what sola scriptura has caused among the christians,and i specifically mean the divisions and confusions,is something correct?For once in your life try not just to open your eyes but also to see...
God is against divisions in the church,and your sola scriptura causes just that,divisions and confusion,and your sola fides is not anything new,it is a heresy from the first century called antinomianism,and if the church is not infallible,then your bible also could be fallible.
And if the church is not infallible,then no one ever could correct another,and again the result is confusion and division,because each person will be convinced with what he or she thinks is right.
So Ken,stop avoiding these subjects,and plz demonstrate to everyone in here that i am wrong,plz just answer these subjects.
GBU

Adomnan said...

Ken: So, when He says “you must eat My flesh and drink my blood” He is talking about trusting in Him as the incarnation of God and trusting in His work on the cross to save them from sins – “I give for the life of the world” (v. 51)

Adomnan: There you go again, Ken, inserting "trust" into the New Testament where it isn't mentioned. Christian belief, as I pointed out before, is chiefly a matter of assent to what God has revealed, not "trust." If there is an element of trust in NT faith, it is quite ancillary. The closest thing to what you call trust is what the writers of the NT call "hope," not faith.

Besides, Protestant trust is not biblical at all. It is what the Council of Trent called "the vain confidence of the heretics," the sin of presumption, which actually deprives people of true tust and hope in God, by fooling them into thinking that we don't have to rely on God daily and pray to Him for persevering grace.

But leaving aside your gratuitous insertion of "trust" into a passage where it doesn't occur, your interpretation of Christ's words are odd and repellent. Where has "eating my body and drinking my blood" ever meant "trust" in any analogy ever? No one would use such bizarre and offputting language to say something as simple as "trust me." Would a father say to his child, for example, "eat my body and drink my blood," if he just wanted to say "trust me"? Your interpretation would turn Jesus into a kook or trickster who spoke in ugly and absurd riddles.

This is no "analogy." The only way that Jesus words can make sense is if they describe a reality, a mysterious reality, but a substantial reality. That's why some of Christ's disciples found His assertion "a hard saying." If it were understood as "symbolic" and referring to trust, Christ's saying would be inept, but not hard to accept (aside from its ineptitude).

In any event, you interpret Jesus's words one way; we Catholics interpret them in another. We're at least as entitled to our interpretation as you are to yours. Your arguments for a symbolic interpretation are hardly persuasive. So give it up and move on to something else. This terrain has been covered innumerable times, all to no avail.

Ben M said...
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Ken said...

There you go again, Ken, inserting "trust" into the New Testament where it isn't mentioned.

Adomnan, I did not insert the word into the text, but it is the main meaning of pisteuw with the phrase "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" - believing into (eis) or in (ev, or with various dative forms) are indeed trusting in the person and work of Christ Himself.

It is much deeper that just "assent to revealed truth" - that is what the demons do in James 2:19. you have "demon-faith" which is mere intellectual assent to some facts. If so, your faith is bankrupt; and it is not Biblical faith at all.

Dave even demolished your idea in his posts on trust.

You ignored the whole argument and it is clear in the context of John 6 that Jesus is talking about "coming to Him", "believing in Him", "hungering for Him", "thirsting for Him", "beholding Him", "being drawn by the Father" and "the Spirit giving life"

The Spirit gave life for the Disciples to see beyond the literal words and realize that it is not cannibalism as those that left thought.

Peter said, "you have the words of eternal life"

Ken said...

Maroun wrote:
The funny thing with people like you ken,is that you think that you are infallible...

I do not. Why do you make such a ridiculous charge?

Ken said...

Ben,
Most of what you wrote had nothing to do with the issues.

The url connection to p. 298 of Luther's works does not give enough context for me to be able to understand it. It basically only shows "page 298".

I wasted a lot of time trying to find that stuff.

Adomnan said...

Ken: Adomnan, I did not insert the word into the text, but it is the main meaning of pisteuw with the phrase "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" - believing into (eis) or in (ev, or with various dative forms) are indeed trusting in the person and work of Christ Himself.

Adomnan: You're wrong. "Pisteuo eis" means "believe in," not "trust in." "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ" means "believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He died for our sins and was raised for our justification" i.e., acknowledge that this is true, that God has revealed Himself in Christ.

Trust is only required when there is some doubt, when we entertain the possibility that something hoped for may not be accomplished. Thus, we might "trust" God to help us get a job, but that's only because God has not revealed that He will get a job and so the appropriate attitude is to trust, or hope, that His providence will provide what we are seeking.

But trust is not appropriate when God has revealed something. Then, the only appropriate response is faith; i.e., assent to what God has revealed. Protestants "trust" what they should believe in, as if they doubt God.

Ken: It is much deeper that just "assent to revealed truth" - that is what the demons do in James 2:19.

Adomnan: Once again, Ken, you show your inability to understand what is right in front of your eyes. This is your spiritual blindness. When James says that the demons believe, he is clearly saying that they have faith (pisteuo, pistis). Thus, he is saying that one can have belief or faith, but still not trust or hope in God, which evidently proves that belief or faith is NOT the same as trust, but is, rather, simply asent to what God has revealed (which the demons have). That's the whole point James is making, and yet you miss it.

Thus James defines faith in the same way as I do.

And, yes, there can be "demon faith," which is why one cannot be justified by faith alone, as James says, but only by "faith working through love" as Paul writes in Galatians.

Ken: If so, your faith is bankrupt; and it is not Biblical faith at all.

Adomnan: James uses "believe, have faith" of demons, and so "demon faith" is biblical, if James is biblical. Of course, it doesn't justify, and so it's not justifying faith.

What makes you think that you can deny faith is assent to what God has revealed by citing a passage in James where it is precisely defined as assent, and not as trust, even if not justifying?

Ken: Dave even demolished your idea in his posts on trust.

Adomnan: As I read him, Dave agreed with me in the end that Christian "hope" corresponds more closely to "trust," as used in the Old Testament, than to New Testament faith. In any event, I'm not denying any element of trust in NT faith. I'm simply saying that it is generally to be understood as the response of assent to what God has revealed, and not as a mere trusting attitude. Paul and the other NT writers did not have to "trust" that God had revealed certain truths, because they didn't doubt Him. Do you think that Paul "trusted" that Christ had risen from the dead, after seeing Him? Or did he "trust" that God existed? What would it even mean to "trust" that God existed or to trust that when He revealed something He was telling the truth?

As for me, I don't have to trust that Christ died for my sins and rose for my justification, because I believe it. I must, however, fulfill the conditions that Christ laid down. The promise is not unconditional.

Adomnan said...

Ken: The Spirit gave life for the Disciples to see beyond the literal words and realize that it is not cannibalism as those that left thought.

Adomnan: Cannibalism is the eating of dead human flesh. The eucharist flesh and blood of Christ are living, and so there is no cannibalism.

Besides, it's the substance of the body and blood of Christ that are eaten, not their atoms, molecules or chemical components. After all, a 60-year-old man can say he has the same body as his two-month-old self, even if his current body doesn't share a single atom with his infantile body. It is the substance that persists, not the physical make-up. Thus, the eucharist can be the body of Christ even if all its molecules and chemical compounds are those of bread.

In other words, transubstantiation simply means that we eat Christ's body and drink His blood under the forms of bread and wine.

Again, no "cannibalism."

Adomnan said...

Ken: Ben,
Most of what you wrote had nothing to do with the issues.

Adomnan: So what are the issues?

Maroun said...

Adomnan said .: So what are the issues?
The issues are that Ken wants to be right even when he is wrong.He wants to change also the words in the bible to convince himself that he is right.He adds words and he also takes away words from the bible for the same reason.He like Luther before him says that faith alone saves,and the bible tells us very clearly that faith alone without works is dead,but again,that was James.Probably Ken will argue that James was catholic lol.
Our Lord Jesus also in John 6 ,was comparing the eating of the manna with the eating of His body,now not one single person ever said that the Jews didnt literaly eat manna,in fact did they truly eat the manna,or not?and they all answer yes they did.Now we know that the manna was a symbol of the Eucharist,in fact that is why our Lord mentioned the manna and compared eating the manna with eating his body.But people like Ken would rather accept the symbol as 100%truth and the truth as 100% symbol,and change and ignore the words eat and chew and instead uses trust,and say that Jesus didnt actualy asked us to eat his body and he even accepted that many disciples misunderstood him and left and didnt even try to tell them,i didnt mean literaly to eat but just a symbol...And he also caused and accepted that all the christians for 1500 years commited the same error and believed that he truly meant it...
Well Ken,keep on denying the truth and keep insisting that you are correct....

Ben M said...
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theruteger said...

Holy scripture says: "a tale out of season is as music in mourning." [Sirach 22:6]—St Jerome Letter 118 Section 1, Paragraph 2 To Julian

http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/chapter2.html many example of where Jerome calls the deuterocanonicals holy Scripture.