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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Preaching the gospel to Roman Catholics
Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
The other question Ingo, and the one that really worries me, and it's the whole imputed/imparted thingy, is "How can I be right with God?". My answer is not yours.

I don't think I've said anything specifically about that yet? I'm not clear as to what precisely the problem is supposed to be and I have not spend enough time thinking through what has been said above by other people
I would love it if you did. This happens to be my obsession in the conversations I have with Roman Catholic friends.

quote:
originally posted by IngoB:
I try

That is why you fail.

[Biased]

[ 25. February 2006, 13:03: Message edited by: Gordon Cheng ]

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rosamundi

Ship's lacemaker
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
(By the way, you are one of the people that I am trying to deliberately offend. Unfortunately, I seem to have failed completely at every step of the way. Perhaps you are hiding your hurt. [Biased] )

Gordon, if you are deliberately trying to offend some of us, why should we engage with anything you say?

Deborah
[spelling].

[ 25. February 2006, 13:45: Message edited by: rosamundi ]

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the_raptor
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quote:
Originally posted by Fauja:
Y'know, I wonder if half the problem with ship-mates in purgatory is that they too often confuse their own finite reason and rationality with that of the Holy Spirit's.

Scuse the interruption (one r or two?).

Which is why one generally regards people who claim divine inspiration as nutters. Some of them are probably speaking truely, but the other 99.99% arent.

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Mal: Ain't we just?
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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
(By the way, you are one of the people that I am trying to deliberately offend. Unfortunately, I seem to have failed completely at every step of the way. Perhaps you are hiding your hurt. [Biased] )

Gordon, if you are deliberately trying to offend some of us, why should we engage with anything you say?

Deborah
[spelling].

rosamundi, I am most definitely not trying to offend you. It was a jocular comment taking advantage of the fact that Ingo appears to be a good-humoured, thick-skinned genius.

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rosamundi

Ship's lacemaker
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
rosamundi, I am most definitely not trying to offend you. It was a jocular comment taking advantage of the fact that Ingo appears to be a good-humoured, thick-skinned genius.

Is this a game of "Who is Gordon Cheng Trying to Offend This Week?" then?

The question remains - why should we engage with anything you say, given you have admitted being out to offend "some" of us? Your lack of respect does not, I'm afraid, bode well for your evangelistic efforts - why should anyone engage with someone who doesn't respect them enough to avoid offending them?

Deborah

Deborah

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Dinghy Sailor

Ship's Jibsheet
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Rosamundi, I think the clue is given by the description of his post as a "jocular comment". This means that it shouldn't be taken entirely seriously, as he was trying to crack some sort of joke with Ingo. You may not find it funny, but surely you can recognise this sort of stuff by now?

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rosamundi

Ship's lacemaker
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quote:
Originally posted by dinghy sailor:
Rosamundi, I think the clue is given by the description of his post as a "jocular comment". This means that it shouldn't be taken entirely seriously, as he was trying to crack some sort of joke with Ingo. You may not find it funny, but surely you can recognise this sort of stuff by now?

From this post on page 11, we get this:

quote:
I seem to get up some people's noses. Sometimes it's deliberate...
with no indication that it is a joke. He has also described IngoB as "one of" the people he's trying to deliberately offend, which implies that he is one of many.

Deborah

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
Originally posted by dinghy sailor:
Rosamundi, I think the clue is given by the description of his post as a "jocular comment". This means that it shouldn't be taken entirely seriously, as he was trying to crack some sort of joke with Ingo. You may not find it funny, but surely you can recognise this sort of stuff by now?

From this post on page 11, we get this:

quote:
I seem to get up some people's noses. Sometimes it's deliberate...
with no indication that it is a joke. He has also described IngoB as "one of" the people he's trying to deliberately offend, which implies that he is one of many.

Deborah

No, only 3.

We're a bit off thread though aren't we? A new thread might be, "Who are you allowed to offend, and why?" You seem to be suggesting that we can't offend people deliberately, which is not my view.

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
quote:
Originally posted by rosamundi:
quote:
I seem to get up some people's noses. Sometimes it's deliberate...
with no indication that it is a joke. He has also described IngoB as "one of" the people he's trying to deliberately offend, which implies that he is one of many.

Deborah

No, only 3.
Who are the other two? And why are you trying to be offensive in Purgatory?

[ 26. February 2006, 12:56: Message edited by: Justinian ]

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AdamPater
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# 4431

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
<snip> The other question Ingo, and the one that really worries me, and it's the whole imputed/imparted thingy, is "How can I be right with God?". My answer is not yours.

<snip>

This happens to be my obsession in the conversations I have with Roman Catholic friends.

Have I correctly snipped the post above for clarity?

It seems to me that "How can I be right with God?" is a loaded question; indeed it is a trick question, because any reasonable answer will lead to Gordon's response of "Ha! You can't, and you can't even try to do what God wants you to do!"

There are other questions that are equally, or more, reasonable bases for a faithful and justified life.

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Dinghy Sailor

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Why is that a trick question? Surely it just shows that Gordon believes he knows the answer to it, which is that getting right with God is beyond us, so we need to ask God to do it for us.

quote:
There are other questions that are equally, or more, reasonable bases for a faithful and justified life.
Like? (I'm not meaning to sound harsh, but I want to know!)

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
I would love it if you did. This happens to be my obsession in the conversations I have with Roman Catholic friends.

First, I think in practical terms little difference can be found. Clearly, deeply religious people exist among both Protestants and Catholics. Just because some Protestants would rather swallow their tongue than say a Hail Mary doesn't mean their worship isn't genuine. I think whatever difference we may find in the doctrine about "being right with God", concerning practical spirituality it influences more what is weak or corrupted, not so much what is wholesome or holy, for both sides.

Second, concerning the doctrine itself I'm sincerely worried about saying too much or too little. I'm reminded of a question my wife sometimes likes to ask: "Why do you love me?" The right answer to that question is neither a purely emotional appeal ("Because you are my sweetheart..."), nor a highly detailed list of precise facts ("Because you are loving, intelligent, a good cook, ..."), nor a physical act (big kiss) but rather some inspired combination of all three. And the better the combination, the less it matters what is precisely being said, because it's more of a sign pointing towards a mystery, my love for my wife. For in the final analysis I have no final analysis of that. I think what we are discussing here is along the lines of "Why does God love me?" And I feel one should sing poetry about that, not plod throught precise theology. Only if we could specify much more precisely what our problem is, then we could expect a good answer from theology.

To not entirely beg the question: I like to think of our relation to God in terms of a marriage. Let us say that that the OT represents the falling in love and engagement of God and humanity, and that Christ's crucifixion and resurrection represents the culmination in the wedding vows. Now, we know that one side - God - of that marriage is utterly and perfectly faithful and loving. The other side - humanity - not so much... But these wedding vows are ultimately binding, since death will not part us from God.

So in the Protestant sense we can say that there's the perfect assurance of God eternally keeping his solemn loving vow to us. In that sense everything is done and nothing remains to be said. But a marriage has two partners, and that's where the Catholic picture comes in. For the truth is that most of us have forgotten entirely that we are so married. We wander the world and jump into bed with every pretty face, but don't waste a thought on our lawful "husband", God. And even those of us who at least try to be faithful, often stumble. And those who manage to be faithful, are far from being a nice "wife": cranky, demanding, bitching - that's us, mostly.

For a Catholic, that marriage is instated in our individual lives by the ring ceremony (baptism) and a steamy wedding night (confirmation). But then married life only begins. It is strongly suggested that we spend at least once a year actual face-to-face time with our husband (Eucharist), rather than just calling him up on the mobile when we feel like talking (prayer). When we make a major life decision, dedicating us fully to a specific quest (marriage & ordination), we should be asking our husband's blessing. And if we run in serious marriage trouble, we should engage a marriage counselor to help us back on track (confession), for it's always us, not our husband, who stumble. And finally, after some time of mostly making a terrible mess of our marriage, our husband will ask us (death) to either become a good wife (heaven) or accept not divorce, which is impossible, but final separation (hell). At this point the marriage counselor may give us his last advice (annointing of the sick). And then we either live happily ever after, or not...

Let us not get side-tracked into Semi-Pelagian accusations here, the above is to be understood as all coming from God. So it's the husband who gently suggests to us that we may need to see the marriage counselor, etc. I think the key difference is that Catholics like to stress the status viatoris, our pilgrimage on earth, the married life itself. Whereas Protestants like to stress how absolutely God is keeping up his end and that all is done, that the marriage vows have been said already. Now, a Catholic doesn't deny that, neither does he deny that we basically make terrible brides. It's just that he believes that God, the husband, has in his goodness set up face time, marriage counseling, etc. so that when we are finally asked whether we want a happy marriage or separation forever, we have a better chance to pick the former.

I think we should also be very careful to read declarations like those of Trent not as individual and present condemnation of all Protestants. These are statements of the past saying clearly where people were going wrong back then, people who should have known better. Warning signs for the faithful were put up. In that sense they still hold. But this does not mean that you, Gordon, stand necessarily condemned in the eyes of the RCC today. It doesn't mean that the RCC says you cannot be saved. For example, perfect contrition absolves mortal sin. For a Catholic, perfect contrition would naturally lead to the desire for the sacrament of confession. For a Protestant, this natural desire might be blocked for "historical" reasons. This does not mean that the Protestant cannot escape mortal sin, from a RCC point of view it's just that his perfect contrition cannot express itself fully. That the denial of the sacrament of confession is anathemized does thus not condemn all those who deny it today...

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AdamPater
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# 4431

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quote:
Originally posted by dinghy sailor:
Why is that a trick question? Surely it just shows that Gordon believes he knows the answer to it, which is that getting right with God is beyond us, so we need to ask God to do it for us.

You've answered yourself: the question is a rhetorical device that Gordon uses to direct the conversation along his own agenda. It implicitly assumes that one is consumed with anxiety and working hard to be right with God by one's own effort.

quote:
quote:
There are other questions that are equally, or more, reasonable bases for a faithful and justified life.
Like? (I'm not meaning to sound harsh, but I want to know!)
One which resonates much more with my life would be:

"Given this Gospel that we've heard, that God is in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, how can I get with the program and be part of what God is doing in the world?"

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Duo Seraphim
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
I think we should also be very careful to read declarations like those of Trent not as individual and present condemnation of all Protestants. These are statements of the past saying clearly where people were going wrong back then, people who should have known better. Warning signs for the faithful were put up. In that sense they still hold. But this does not mean that you, Gordon, stand necessarily condemned in the eyes of the RCC today. It doesn't mean that the RCC says you cannot be saved. For example, perfect contrition absolves mortal sin. For a Catholic, perfect contrition would naturally lead to the desire for the sacrament of confession. For a Protestant, this natural desire might be blocked for "historical" reasons. This does not mean that the Protestant cannot escape mortal sin, from a RCC point of view it's just that his perfect contrition cannot express itself fully. That the denial of the sacrament of confession is anathemized does thus not condemn all those who deny it today...

I agree - but I would say "his perfect contrition cannot be expressed in the sacrament of confession ie reconciliation, but may be expressed in some other way that is between God and him. For God is ever merciful, as he was to the Good Thief. In the end the sacraments, being an expression of God's grace, are his."

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The Messiah, Peace be upon him, said to his Apostles: 'Verily, this world is merely a bridge, so cross over it, and do not make it your abode.' (Bihar al-anwar xiv, 319)

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Niënna

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You know the end of the world must be near at hand when you start reading posts from lovely Roman Catholics like Duo Seraphim who are proclaiming the wonders of the grace of God and, in contrast, it is the Calvinists who are obsessed with trying to earn their salvation and are obsessed with works.

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Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
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Nunc Dimittis
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No kidding.

IngoB, I loved your analogy.

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Robert Armin

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Me too. This was particularly good:
quote:
I think what we are discussing here is along the lines of "Why does God love me?" And I feel one should sing poetry about that, not plod throught precise theology.


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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Leprechaun

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
This does not mean that the Protestant cannot escape mortal sin, from a RCC point of view it's just that his perfect contrition cannot express itself fully. That the denial of the sacrament of confession is anathemized does thus not condemn all those who deny it today...

IngoB that was very helpful, thank you.

It really helps me understand RC thinking, but if I may just point out where I think that diverges from evangelical thinking. The issue is that, much as you have parsed it very pleasantly, the RC church does anathemise all who don't accept its' sacraments. And you'll note that from your brilliant marriage analogy, it is not God who is in control of all of the "methods" of continuing and developing our "marriage" with him - it is the church, and not just any church but THE church.

And if you don't accept God's movement towards you throught this channel that is controlled by people, administered by people and anathemises those who don't accept it - well you certainly don't have a "proper" marriage with God, if, indeed, you have one at all. (which, we, being the True Church, very much doubt)

Can you see how easily (some might say inevitably) this leads to - say confession (or as in the case of the very well meaning priest I chatted to who taught in an RC theological college) get baptised, or you will go to hell?

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He hath loved us, He hath loved us, because he would love

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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Ingo,

Your marriage analogy works.

The next step is to test it against Scripture.

Again, it works, mainly because the Bible says so notably in Ephesians 5:32, but if it says it in one place of course it says it everywhere.

You assume of course that we're willing brides, but this is undercut by Hosea 1-2. ISTM that this is saying we are by nature runaway prostitutes, and once a prostitute, always a prostitute. Wouldn't you say?

Which is a problem for the way you've worked the analogy, because you've portrayed us as willing partners in our salvation. Hosea says we're not. Do you believe him?

I notice, TW. that Hosea makes his point poetically, which seems sufficient to answer any objection that theological thinking is not poetic.

[ 27. February 2006, 10:50: Message edited by: Gordon Cheng ]

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Matt Black

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Except even the most-hardcore monergist Calvinist will acknowledge that, once we are saved, we are no longer prostitutes. How does that square with Hosea?

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
ISTM that this is saying we are by nature runaway prostitutes, and once a prostitute, always a prostitute. Wouldn't you say?

Well, I wouldn't, unless I felt like facing a feminist lynch-mob*.

Where does the text imply "once a prostitute, always a prostitute"?

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* No disrespect to feminists intended. I mostly agree with them.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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Not so much that. Rather, that, in the story, the prostitute continues to behave as such, and that we are compared to the prostitute. So it's we who haven't changed.

I will acknowledge that "we" in this case is Israel.

But I would also say that "Israel" is us.

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
The issue is that, much as you have parsed it very pleasantly, the RC church does anathemise all who don't accept its' sacraments.

Well, of course by not accepting its' sacraments, you are in effect anathemizing the RCC. For what else does that say other than that the RCC is getting an essential piece of its theology and a fundamental building block of its spirituality and pastoral care wrong? So frankly, I think that is fair enough. But the RCC also officially accepts the possibility, even likelihood, of the salvation of its Protestant brethren. Is that mutual as well? You be the judge...

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
And you'll note that from your brilliant marriage analogy, it is not God who is in control of all of the "methods" of continuing and developing our "marriage" with him - it is the church, and not just any church but THE church.

Every analogy has its limits, otherwise it would be a perfect image or even the real thing itself. If you read closely, I did indicate above that God is both the author of the system ("God, the husband, has in his goodness set up face time, marriage counseling, etc.") and of any positive participation of us in it ("So it's the husband who gently suggests to us that we may need to see the marriage counselor, etc."). But yes, your conclusion is basically correct. The RC faith is a web of interlocking beliefs and hence if one is strictly honest, they basically all stand or fall together. If the RCC (plus more or less Orthodoxy) is indeed the church, instituted by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, then your problem simply disappears. The church is then simply the instrument - the body - of Christ, acting out in this world through fallible means the infallible will of God.

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
Can you see how easily (some might say inevitably) this leads to - say confession (or as in the case of the very well meaning priest I chatted to who taught in an RC theological college) get baptised, or you will go to hell?

If you take out the confession bit, then "get baptised, or you will go to hell" sounds to my ears a lot more like what I hear from certain Protestant circles these days. Although admittedly the more sensible official and pastoral RC statements became dominant (once more!) only with Vatican II. It's hard to fight for what you see as God's truth without forgetting that God's truth is always bigger than what you see. But the RCC has IMHO made great strides forward in the last few decades. So naturally I prefer to look at the present and into the future, without denying a sometimes glorious and sometimes ugly past...

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
You assume of course that we're willing brides, but this is undercut by Hosea 1-2. ISTM that this is saying we are by nature runaway prostitutes, and once a prostitute, always a prostitute. Wouldn't you say?

Sorry Gordon, I don't quite follow you here. There's nothing in Hosea 1-2 that suggests to me that the prostitute objected to becoming Hosea's wife? And my analogy did not rely on us being model wives, quite to the contrary. I said "For the truth is that most of us have forgotten entirely that we are so married. We wander the world and jump into bed with every pretty face, but don't waste a thought on our lawful "husband", God. And even those of us who at least try to be faithful, often stumble. And those who manage to be faithful, are far from being a nice "wife": cranky, demanding, bitching - that's us, mostly." If it were otherwise, if we all were perfectly good and faithful wifes, then the sacraments of the church would make no sense. There would be no use for them, it would be at least like with Adam and Eve prior to the fall, if not like heaven. But it is not so, unfortunately.

In one sense though the analogy indeed fails. I have a choice whether and whom I marry, but by being a creature, by being a rational animal, I'm automatically "married" to God (really, a child of God, but then my analogy would get hopelessly confused... [Biased] ).

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Again, it works, mainly because the Bible says so notably in Ephesians 5:32, but if it says it in one place of course it says it everywhere.

!

quote:
You assume of course that we're willing brides, but this is undercut by Hosea 1-2. ISTM that this is saying we are by nature runaway prostitutes, and once a prostitute, always a prostitute. Wouldn't you say?
I'd no more say that than I'd say "Once a mechanic, always a mechanic". Were someone with sufficient to say of me "once a prostitute, always a prostitute", the phrase "Self-fulfiling prophecy" comes to mind.

If we are by nature always prostitutes, then I guess it's because God likes it that way.

quote:
Which is a problem for the way you've worked the analogy, because you've portrayed us as willing partners in our salvation. Hosea says we're not. Do you believe him?
To be honest, I consider Hosea to be someone who effectively comitted child abuse in the naming of his kids to make a political point. I also read that text as speaking specifically about Israel in the time of Hosea. I am not a Jew and now is not then.

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Leprechaun

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# 5408

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
The issue is that, much as you have parsed it very pleasantly, the RC church does anathemise all who don't accept its' sacraments.

Well, of course by not accepting its' sacraments, you are in effect anathemizing the RCC. For what else does that say other than that the RCC is getting an essential piece of its theology and a fundamental building block of its spirituality and pastoral care wrong? So frankly, I think that is fair enough. But the RCC also officially accepts the possibility, even likelihood, of the salvation of its Protestant brethren. Is that mutual as well? You be the judge...
That, ISTM, is rather a manipulative argument. "We anathemise you, and if you don't accept that and fall into line then you are the anathemiser!"

I couldn't speak for other Protestants, unlike your church we don't have a monolithic pronouncement on doctrine. I'm quite happy to acknowledge what you suggest.

quote:
But yes, your conclusion is basically correct. The RC faith is a web of interlocking beliefs and hence if one is strictly honest, they basically all stand or fall together. If the RCC (plus more or less Orthodoxy) is indeed the church, instituted by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, then your problem simply disappears. The church is then simply the instrument - the body - of Christ, acting out in this world through fallible means the infallible will of God.
Then here's the rub. At the heart of Protestant ecclesiology is that the church does not mediate between us and God. My problem doesn't disappear!

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
You assume of course that we're willing brides, but this is undercut by Hosea 1-2. ISTM that this is saying we are by nature runaway prostitutes, and once a prostitute, always a prostitute. Wouldn't you say?

I didn't post this.

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
That, ISTM, is rather a manipulative argument. "We anathemise you, and if you don't accept that and fall into line then you are the anathemiser!"

Well, no, that's not right. It's "You are saying that we are fundamentally wrong about the Christian faith, therefore we anathemize you." Let's not get the historical order wrong here, first the protest (hence Protest-ant), then the anathema. Almost all doctrinal pronouncement of the RCC occur this way, as a response to a significant challenge.

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
Then here's the rub. At the heart of Protestant ecclesiology is that the church does not mediate between us and God. My problem doesn't disappear!

It does. Since the church is the body of Christ, and Christ its head is inspiring it with the Holy Spirit, any "mediation" by the church is in effect a mediation by Christ. Jesus did not incarnate as invincible superman. Just as his historical body wasn't perfect, was human, so his current ecclesiastical body isn't perfect, is human.

I think the true difficulty is this: Protestants are suspicious of any non-mental realization of our communication with God, whereas Catholics revel in it. The glitz of the mass, the rosaries and Saints' medals, and of course most prominently, the priest as stand-in for Christ who offers sacraments that are efficient in themselves (ex opere operato), the real presence of Christ in bread and wine... - all these embody our spiritual life in actual objects and persons. It's a truly incarnational view of the spiritual life. Now, personally I have a more "Protestant" aesthetics, so I'm not much into the church bling. But I think the incarnation is of prime importance not only concerning its theological consequences, but also concerning spiritual life and pastoral care. We can meet God as humans now, body and spirit. Sometimes I think the Protestant extreme emphasis on "loving your neighbour" as proof of the Christian life, which results in the ironical situation that Protestants are generally very concerned whether they are doing enough good works, stems from this. As good Christians they know that spirit alone isn't enough. But since they have stripped the love of God, worship, of incarnational aspects, they now transfer this instinct all the more on the love of neighbour.

quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I didn't post this.

Sorry, sloppy header editing. That was Gordon.

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Leprechaun

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
It does. Since the church is the body of Christ, and Christ its head is inspiring it with the Holy Spirit, any "mediation" by the church is in effect a mediation by Christ. Jesus did not incarnate as invincible superman. Just as his historical body wasn't perfect, was human, so his current ecclesiastical body isn't perfect, is human.

Except my church is mediating something quite different to yours. Now my response to that is to say that the church doesn't necessarily mediate Christ, His Spirit does through His word. It seems that your denomination's only response to that is to say that mine isn't a church, or at least isn't a proper church, and hence mediates improperly.

quote:

I think the true difficulty is this: Protestants are suspicious of any non-mental realization of our communication with God, whereas Catholics revel in it.

I think this is probably reformed evangelicalism rather than all Protestantism, but yes, I grant you.

quote:

The glitz of the mass, the rosaries and Saints' medals, and of course most prominently, the priest as stand-in for Christ who offers sacraments that are efficient in themselves (ex opere operato), the real presence of Christ in bread and wine... - all these embody our spiritual life in actual objects and persons. It's a truly incarnational view of the spiritual life.

Woah there sailor. Incarnational in one sense yes - that you believe the incarnation, in one sense, continues through the sacraments. Not incarnational at all in another sense, in that this view, in my Protestant mind devalues the uniqueness of Christ's bodily incarnation and the finished work that went with it. I would argue that it is precisely because Protestants have a high view of the (actual) incarnation that they reject the ideas you suggest.
quote:

But I think the incarnation is of prime importance not only concerning its theological consequences, but also concerning spiritual life and pastoral care.

Again, with you here.

quote:

We can meet God as humans now, body and spirit. Sometimes I think the Protestant extreme emphasis on "loving your neighbour" as proof of the Christian life, which results in the ironical situation that Protestants are generally very concerned whether they are doing enough good works, stems from this. As good Christians they know that spirit alone isn't enough. But since they have stripped the love of God, worship, of incarnational aspects, they now transfer this instinct all the more on the love of neighbour.

But is precisely the incarnational imperative that makes us see loving our neighbour as important! Incarnation means getting down into the dirt and loving our neighbour in the mess they are in. I find your equating incarnational Christianity with church-centred aesthetic worship to actually be counter-incarnational - a truly incarnational Christianity will be far less concerned about the aesthetics of a gathered meeting, than the day to day living in and loving of the world.

One of the great truths Luther sought to bless the church with was that the church is important but NOT as a bridge between us and God. He, rightly IMO, saw this as an abuse of power over people, when the Gospel promises all they need is Christ to mediate between them and God. ISTM, and I am more than happy to be corrected here if wrong, that there is a fundamental difference here in how we think God is to be approached. And if one does believe the Proestant position gives great freedom from man made structures in one's relationship with God -well, ISTM, there is every reason to share it.

[ 27. February 2006, 21:59: Message edited by: Leprechaun ]

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Duo Seraphim
Ubi caritas et amor
# 256

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Leprechaun, I think you may be falling into another trap here - namely that of seeing the Catholic Church as a mediator between the faithful and Christ. That simply isn't the real position - Christ is the Head of the Church and the Church is his Body. The Body cannot mediate for itself with the Head. Christ is our one Mediator.

In another of the Vatican II documents Lumen Gentium, Chapter 1 paragrpah 6 the Second Vatican Council sets out all the Biblical metaphors for the Church, - as the sheepfold of which Christ is the door, as the village of God, as the building of God, our mother, the spotless spouse of the Lamb, sanctified and bound to God by unbreakable promises, but on earth journeying as an exile.

The critical paragaph is paragraph 7 of Chapter 1 which I quote in part:
quote:
In the human nature united to Himself the Son of God, by overcoming death through His own death and resurrection, redeemed man and re-molded him into a new creation.(50) By communicating His Spirit, Christ made His brothers, called together from all nations, mystically the components of His own Body.

In that Body the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and was glorified.(6*) Through Baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ: "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body"(51). In this sacred rite a oneness with Christ's death and resurrection is both symbolized and brought about: "For we were buried with Him by means of Baptism into death"; and if "we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be so in the likeness of His resurrection also"(52) Really partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. "Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread".(53) In this way all of us are made members of His Body,(54) "but severally members one of another".(55)

As all the members of the human body, though they are many, form one body, so also are the faithful in Christ.(56) Also, in the building up of Christ's Body various members and functions have their part to play. There is only one Spirit who, according to His own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives His different gifts for the welfare of the Church.(57) What has a special place among these gifts is the grace of the apostles to whose authority the Spirit Himself subjected even those who were endowed with charisms.(58) Giving the body unity through Himself and through His power and inner joining of the members, this same Spirit produces and urges love among the believers. From all this it follows that if one member endures anything, all the members co-endure it, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.(59)

The Head of this Body is Christ. He is the image of the invisible God and in Him all things came into being. He is before all creatures and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the Body which is the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the first place.(60) By the greatness of His power He rules the things in heaven and the things on earth, and with His all-surpassing perfection and way of acting He fills the whole body with the riches of His glory

All the members ought to be molded in the likeness of Him, until Christ be formed in them.(62) For this reason we, who have been made to conform with Him, who have died with Him and risen with Him, are taken up into the mysteries of His life, until we will reign together with Him.(63) On earth, still as pilgrims in a strange land, tracing in trial and in oppression the paths He trod, we are made one with His sufferings like the body is one with the Head, suffering with Him, that with Him we may be glorified.(64)

The relevant citations are
quote:
Cf Gal. 6, 15; 2 Cor. 5,17.

51 Cor. 12, 13.

52 Rom. 6, 15.

53 1 Cor. 10, 17.

54 Cf 1 Cor 12, 27.

55 Rom. 12, 5.

56 Cf. 1 Cor. 12, 12.

57 Cf. 1 Cor. 12, 1-11.

58 Cf. 1 Cor. 14.

59 Cf. l Cor. 12, 26.

60 Cf. Col. 1, 15-18.

61 Cf. Eph. 1, 18-23.

62 Cf. Gal. 4, 19.

63 Cf. Phil. 3, 21, 2 Tim. 2, 11; Eph. 2, 6; Col. 2, 12 etc.

64 Cf. Rom. 8, 17.

As we are part of Christ's Body, so we should be conformed to him. In becoming like him we must reach out in love to our neighbours. Again from paragraph 8 Ch 1Lumen Gentium:
quote:
Just as Christ carried out the work of redemption in poverty and persecution, so the Church is called to follow the same route that it might communicate the fruits of salvation to men. Christ Jesus, "though He was by nature God . . . emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave",(Phil. 2, 6) and "being rich, became poor"(2 Cor. 8, 9) for our sakes. Thus, the Church, although it needs human resources to carry out its mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory, but to proclaim, even by its own example, humility and selfsacrifice. Christ was sent by the Father "to bring good news to the poor, to heal the contrite of heart",(Lk. 4, 18) "to seek and to save what was lost".(Lk. 19, 1O) Similarly, the Church encompasses with love all who are afflicted with human suffering and in the poor and afflicted sees the image of its poor and suffering Founder. It does all it can to relieve their need and in them it strives to serve Christ.

IngoB, slightly tongue in cheek, has quoted his love of the glitz. But don't be mistaken, don't be mislead. We love our signs because they are signs of the grace of God at work in his Body the Church. The point he is making is that the Catholic Church is a Church of the Word where the Word is also embodied in signs. The sacraments and the Mass are profoundly incarnational, absolutely centrered on the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ.

It was once said to me, that the Catholic Church takes a very long world view over centuries and that it may take a century for the full impact of Vatican II to be digested and worked through. But in such documents as the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans discussed above, the the progress made with the Orthodox Churches on the filioque issue and in encyclicals such as Ut Unum Sint I think you'll find that the Catholic Church has listened to its critics and learnt from them.
[code]

[ 28. February 2006, 00:10: Message edited by: Duo Seraphim ]

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Embrace the serious whack. It's the Catholic thing to do. IngoB
The Messiah, Peace be upon him, said to his Apostles: 'Verily, this world is merely a bridge, so cross over it, and do not make it your abode.' (Bihar al-anwar xiv, 319)

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nitch
Apprentice
# 11093

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What's to preach? I used to have a friend who became a Catholic in adulthood after a Methodist childhood. She liked to come to the Methodist church now and again for old times sake. The priest said this was OK as the Methodists didn't believe anything Catholics didn't, just the Catholics believed some extra bits. Seems a fair summary to me.
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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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No, that's a particularly bad summary, nitch, and shows more about your own preconceptions than anything else.

Another possibility is that you've been sucked in by the smartness of Duo and Ingo, which is easily done but unwise.

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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I'm still interested in the bit where Ingo, Duo or Trisagion point us in the direction of where the Roman church has decisively repudiated the anathemas pronounced at the Council of Trent in 1547.

Until then the rest of what they say about believing fairly much the same stuff as other Christians is either inaccurate, or the stuff of smoke and mirrors.

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Uncle Pete

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
I'm still interested in the bit where Ingo, Duo or Trisagion point us in the direction of where the Roman church has decisively repudiated the anathemas pronounced at the Council of Trent in 1547.

Until then the rest of what they say about believing fairly much the same stuff as other Christians is either inaccurate, or the stuff of smoke and mirrors.

And I'm interested in the bit where Gordon Cheng will explain why Catholics are not Christian and need to be evangelised by other Christians.

One small post will do.

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AdamPater
Sacristan of the LavaLamp
# 4431

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Another possibility is that you've been sucked in by the smartness of Duo and Ingo, which is easily done but unwise.

Absolutely. Their explication of scripture has been absolutely the most unreasonable thing going, except for the alternative presented.

quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
I'm still interested in the bit where Ingo, Duo or Trisagion point us in the direction of where the Roman church has decisively repudiated the anathemas pronounced at the Council of Trent in 1547.

The last really memorable posts on the Council of Trent were when Duo demonstrated that they made much more sense in their context than when ripped therefrom by you, Gordon. I don't think you ever got beyond saying "I'll get back to you on that one."

Until you do, then the rest of what you try to say about understanding what other Christians believe is the stuff of smoke and mirrors.

[ 01. March 2006, 10:50: Message edited by: AdamPater ]

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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quote:
Originally posted by PeteCanada:
I'm interested in the bit where Gordon Cheng will explain why Catholics are not Christian and need to be evangelised by other Christians.

One small post will do.

As for Catholics not being Christians, you'll need to point me to where I said that. I know I've said the opposite further up this page, but.

As for "needing to be evangelised", is there anyone who doesn't need that? Jesus is Lord of all, he died to take the penalty I deserved for my sin. If I were to be woken every 25 minutes in the middle of a much needed night of sleep to hear this news again, I would whisper "Thank you, Lord" and roll over.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
As for "needing to be evangelised", is there anyone who doesn't need that?

Yes, at least a couple of billion know the Good News already. They might need to be reminded of it, or need advice or direction in what consequences it has for their lives, but they don't need to be given news that they already know.

quote:
Jesus is Lord of all, he died to take the penalty I deserved for my sin.
I think it's time we had another one of those threads. I would have said the Good News was redemption and resurrection, not penal substitutionary atonement.

quote:
If I were to be woken every 25 minutes in the middle of a much needed night of sleep to hear this news again, I would whisper "Thank you, Lord" and roll over.
That would be a proper response to our Lord if he chose to give you insomnia, but I rather suspect if it was me doing it, at some point you would tell me to bugger off because you knew that already and getting some sleep would be more use to you.
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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:

quote:
Jesus is Lord of all, he died to take the penalty I deserved for my sin.
I think it's time we had another one of those threads. I would have said the Good News was redemption and resurrection, not penal substitutionary atonement.
Typical liberal narrowness, GreyFace. I affirm what you affirm, and I affirm what you deny.

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Typical liberal narrowness, GreyFace. I affirm what you affirm, and I affirm what you deny.

Liberal? [Killing me] [Paranoid]
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Gordon Cheng

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Anyway, the question again. Given that I am mildly ignorant of a lot of roman catholicism, I'm still waiting to hear where the anathemas of the Council of Trent were repudiated.

All the things that were specifically condemned there concerning justification by faith alone are what I believe. And do you know, I even believe them in their 16th century context, as the Bible itself teaches these things.

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GreyFace
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Have you considered the possibility that you might be a heretic then, Gordon?

[Two face]

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Gordon Cheng

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I've always assumed that I am, GreyFace according to Roman Catholicism.

Part of me is hugely entertained by people such as Duo and Ingo trying to find new ways of avoiding saying this whilst still upholding the traditional teaching of their own denominationl.

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the_raptor
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Im liberal, I even don't believe in predestination!

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Fuzzipeg
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I can't make head or tale of you Gordon. You are an Anglican priest but you do not "uphold the traditional teachings of your denomination".

You have studied theology but it obviously is nothing like the theology that most Anglicans study.

The RCC seems to be a great source of irritation to you, probably because there are rather a lot of Catholics about and they obviously don't conform to your version of the Good News and seem happy to remain ignorant of it.

I eventually decided to add my twopennyworth but not to argue with you because when you claim knowledge it is usually experiencial and subjective and when challenged you resort to semantics. When you claim ignorance of the RCC that's what you have most to say about. maybe the contemplative life is what you are looking for.

[ 01. March 2006, 12:37: Message edited by: Fuzzipeg ]

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Matt Black

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Gordon, have you even read the JDDJ - that puts the anathemata of both Trent and the Augsburg Confession and affirms that the former are not directed against Lutherans and the latter not directed against Catholics. None of the anathemata of Trent were pronounced against Luther - you try and find his name in any of them - and the RCC has acknowledged that they don't apply to Lutherans in the JDDJ to which I referred above.

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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I have read it, and also commented on it a few pages back, Matt. As I said back there, it is a masterpiece of ambiguity and the negotiators deserve top marks. Also, as I said back there, the distinction between imputed and imparted righteousness is thoroughly fudged. Once the two are confused the gospel is lost, but at least we can reach agreement.

Trent in 1547 had the disadvantage of highlighting disagreement, but at least it was clear. It anathematizes what I believe to be the unique saving gospel, so I'm not too keen on that, but at least it makes sense! JDDJ is sneaky.

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AdamPater
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# 4431

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
...the distinction between imputed and imparted righteousness is thoroughly fudged. Once the two are confused the gospel is lost, but at least we can reach agreement.

Trent ... anathematizes what I believe to be the unique saving gospel...

There is that confusing shift in the foundations I remarked on a while back: it is God who saves, not the Gospel. The Gospel is the Good News that God is saving. Otherwise, who is Pelagian now?

"Infused" or "imparted"... it's only a model, and one that exists in our heads. It is God who is saving, not some ideas our heads, or even words on a page.

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Demas
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Is evangelism something that is only done to non-Christians?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Duo Seraphim
Ubi caritas et amor
# 256

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Anyway, the question again. Given that I am mildly ignorant of a lot of roman catholicism, I'm still waiting to hear where the anathemas of the Council of Trent were repudiated.

All the things that were specifically condemned there concerning justification by faith alone are what I believe. And do you know, I even believe them in their 16th century context, as the Bible itself teaches these things.

Gordon your position simply doesn't make sense.

IngoB has already explained the nature of the "anathema" issue and I commented on it too. We have both commented at great length on the question of the teachings of the Catholic Church on grace, justification and Christian holiness - and we've even cited the Bible in doing it. [Biased] I've commented on your understanding of the Council of Trent and separately on the meaning of Tradition.

What really surprises me is that you refuse to engage with the statements in the Catechism and the Vatican II documents. Beyond commenting on the JDDJ as "sneaky" with an air of diappointment, you haven't engaged with that either. That is basically because you cannot accept that part of a living Tradition is that our understanding of God's message to us has deepened over time. That's one message for sure - but we have learned more and more about it and deepened in our understanding of it as a result.

Which is why in criticising the Catholic Church now in 2006 it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to ignore the much more recent pronouncements on the Magisterium.

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Embrace the serious whack. It's the Catholic thing to do. IngoB
The Messiah, Peace be upon him, said to his Apostles: 'Verily, this world is merely a bridge, so cross over it, and do not make it your abode.' (Bihar al-anwar xiv, 319)

Posts: 7952 | From: Sydney Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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quote:
Originally posted by Duo Seraphim:
. That is basically because you cannot accept that part of a living Tradition is that our understanding of God's message to us has deepened over time. That's one message for sure - but we have learned more and more about it and deepened in our understanding of it as a result.

This is precisely where we find the fudge and squish that allows you tricksy canon lawyer types to retreat from the plain meaning of words.

Within this "deepening" and livingness of tradition, is there even a microbe of recantation of past errors? Something along the lines of "Yes, er, we did say that in 1547 and we meant it too, but we now realize we were wrong."

Now I don't mind if the answer is "You'll get no recantation, 'cause we were right and you were wrong, and you still are". That is a straightforward view which someone like me, ossified as I am in my 16th century categories, can live with and respect.

(And by the way, I don't really hold a candle for the 16th century, I just happen to think that the Protestants then were thinking more biblically than they are these days)

But this "deepening of living tradition" jargon — what does it actually mean? Is it the Roman Catholic view that the church is somehow more spiritual in 2006 than it was in 1006? Where is the evidence for this? Do we meet any expectation in Scripture that the apostles thought there would be a "deepening" of tradition? Passages like 2 Tim 4:3-4 rather suggest that the opposite will be the case.

quote:
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
And there is plenty of evidence that churches have wandered into superstition and myth over the centuries.

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Latest on blog: those were the days...; throwing up; clerical abuse; biddulph on child care

Posts: 4392 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Passages like 2 Tim 4:3-4 rather suggest that the opposite will be the case.
quote:
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
And there is plenty of evidence that churches have wandered into superstition and myth over the centuries.
Yeah, clearly that's a prophesy with regards to Calvin et al. [Razz]

Look Gordon, I think the one and only reason why you are so terribly keen to be anathemized and declared a heretic is that you need that to justify your own actions. If the RCC is treating you that badly, so your (not particularly other cheek turning) logic goes, then you can slag them to your heart's content. And you can collect your 30 pieces of silver from Matthias Media for a sheep-stealing tract and feel all righteous about it, for you'll be saving souls. For if we were able to convince you otherwise, wouldn't you have to give up that project? You cannot serve God and mammon.

The one thing a perpetual reformation needs, which wants to stay static and stuck in the 16the century, is of course that the big bad enemy no. 1 loudly protested against also remains static and stuck in the 16th century. But the RCC is rapidly becoming wise as serpents and harmless as doves, so instead of striking your Achilles heel it would rather peck out the eye that causes your sin. Too bad the RCC is a moving target, you will need to update the old rhetorics...

Nevertheless, and you are quite right, Trent stands as it is. And if you read Trent in the same way that would render Pi=3 according to 1 Kings 7:23, then indeed Gordon Cheng is anathema. And since you clearly need some authority to smack you down: For the good cause of supporting your lovely daughters, I hereby solemnly declare with the Divine power not particularly vested in me that Gordon Cheng is an arch-heretic! I hope that helps. [Cool]

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

Posts: 12010 | From: Gone fishing | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Duo Seraphim
Ubi caritas et amor
# 256

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
quote:
Originally posted by Duo Seraphim:
. That is basically because you cannot accept that part of a living Tradition is that our understanding of God's message to us has deepened over time. That's one message for sure - but we have learned more and more about it and deepened in our understanding of it as a result.

This is precisely where we find the fudge and squish that allows you tricksy canon lawyer types to retreat from the plain meaning of words.

Within this "deepening" and livingness of tradition, is there even a microbe of recantation of past errors? Something along the lines of "Yes, er, we did say that in 1547 and we meant it too, but we now realize we were wrong."

Now I don't mind if the answer is "You'll get no recantation, 'cause we were right and you were wrong, and you still are". That is a straightforward view which someone like me, ossified as I am in my 16th century categories, can live with and respect.

(And by the way, I don't really hold a candle for the 16th century, I just happen to think that the Protestants then were thinking more biblically than they are these days)

But this "deepening of living tradition" jargon — what does it actually mean? Is it the Roman Catholic view that the church is somehow more spiritual in 2006 than it was in 1006? Where is the evidence for this? Do we meet any expectation in Scripture that the apostles thought there would be a "deepening" of tradition?

The Catholic Church is no more or less spiritual now in 2006 than in 1006. But can we improve our understanding both individually and as the Body of Christ of what God meant, what the deposit of faith is about and how to apply it in our lives - of course we can. I think this is what St Paul is talking about here, in terms of the deepening of our understanding through the working of the Holy Spirit:
quote:
9:But as it is written: "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,"
10 this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
11 Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
13 And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
14 Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.
15 The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
16For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Cor 2 9-16

Or Romans 12:2, come to think of it, which also talks of discerning the will of God, through a renewal of mind:
quote:
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
St Paul correctly warns against false teaching in passages such as 2 Tim 4:3-4. The ultimate warning comes from Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14,21-27, of course.

But given Jesus' own references to the Spirit as our teacher and comforter once he had returned to his Father, that is a warning against falling into error from false teachings, not against the process of deepening a valid understanding of God's will as communicated by the Word.

Will it comfort you to hear this?
quote:
"You'll get no recantation, 'cause we were right and you were wrong, and you still are".
I hope so. You are certainly wrong in your view of what the Catholic Church teaches.
[typo]

[ 02. March 2006, 01:41: Message edited by: Duo Seraphim ]

--------------------
Embrace the serious whack. It's the Catholic thing to do. IngoB
The Messiah, Peace be upon him, said to his Apostles: 'Verily, this world is merely a bridge, so cross over it, and do not make it your abode.' (Bihar al-anwar xiv, 319)

Posts: 7952 | From: Sydney Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged



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