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Source: (consider it) Thread: Our Lady's marriage
mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Frankly I suspect the Protestant critique of Mary's perpetual virginity is based to some degree on their hostility to monasticism.

But does that work, given that nobody was more hostile to monasticism than the Reformers, and yet they did not kick at this particular goad?

If I had to Bulverize on this, I would guess it has to do with the glorification of sex in our culture. We've already seen on this thread how God asking Mary to take a vow of celibacy would be "cruel". That's twisted shit right there. That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I am uncomfortable comparing Mary to vessels and temples. She is not an inanimate object, but a human person which is why I am not impressed by RC typologies of Ark of the Covenant, etc.

Jesus too was human but he and various writers of Scripture did not shirk from comparing him to bread, doors, vines, stars, rocks, and doubtless many other metaphors that aren't coming to mind. Not to mention chickens but those at least have an animal soul.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Caissa
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There is not one ounce of viable scriptural evidence to support a doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary. This doctrine is constructed of whole cloth like many others such as the Immaculate Conception.
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Frankly I suspect the Protestant critique of Mary's perpetual virginity is based to some degree on their hostility to monasticism.

But does that work, given that nobody was more hostile to monasticism than the Reformers, and yet they did not kick at this particular goad?

If I had to Bulverize on this, I would guess it has to do with the glorification of sex in our culture. We've already seen on this thread how God asking Mary to take a vow of celibacy would be "cruel". That's twisted shit right there. That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

Why would the God we know in Christ ask such a thing? That's twisted shit.

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Love wins

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Anyuta:
Personally, I don't care about Mary's virginity, either perpetual, or even with regard to Jesus's conception. I accept it, but it doesn't factor into my faith at all (were it proven to be not true, it wouldn't change my view of Jesus one bit). But the arguments about brothers seem pretty empty to me, given the above points. while it's true they MAY be Mary's children, alternative explanations are not hard to find.

Ditto-100%

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
There is not one ounce of viable scriptural evidence to support a doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary. This doctrine is constructed of whole cloth like many others such as the Immaculate Conception.

Yet there is loads of "viable scriptural" evidence for things which you lot explain away.
The Bible takes interpretation and how one interprets it is variable. As much as many hate to admit this.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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PaulTH*
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quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
There is not one ounce of viable scriptural evidence to support a doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary. This doctrine is constructed of whole cloth like many others such as the Immaculate Conception

That argument would only apply for a Sola Sciptura Protestant, a view rejected by all of Christianity
prior to the 16th century, and by the majority of Christendom today. It has been pointed out that even Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and Wesley believed in the perpetual virginity. The new theology of the 16th century was the breach with historical Christianity.

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Yours in Christ
Paul

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Martin60
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As was the new tradition from the second century.

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Love wins

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
There is not one ounce of viable scriptural evidence to support a doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary. This doctrine is constructed of whole cloth like many others such as the Immaculate Conception.

Neither of those doctrines were constructed of whole cloth, and it betrays a gross ignorance of history to claim so. While I do not believe the doctrine of the I.C., nor the existence of the problem it was designed to solve, I know its history, and the soul searching and wrangling that went into its adoption, and I know that it was not created out of whole cloth. May I suggest reading some church history? The church did not wink out of existence at the Edict of Toleration and back into existence at the Wittenberg Door.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gamaliel
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Sure, I can understand your exasperation, Mousethief but I do wonder whether you've toppled over into impugning the motives of those who believe that Mary and Joseph had further offspring in the normal way after the birth of Christ?

Rather than doing so because they want to put a high premium on sex, might it not simply be that they simply interpret the scriptures that way?

Sure, we none of us read and interpret the scriptures in isolation and it apparently didn't occur to the Reformers to re-interpret the scriptures referring to Christ's siblings / relatives in the way that later Protestants did.

Had they lived in the 16th century I doubt that Kaplan, Mudfrog or any of the evangelical posters here would have questioned the PVM even if they'd expressed misgivings about monasticism.

But I don't see how it follows that those who have absorbed the current prevailing Protestant view do so because they have an issue with sexual abstinence in some way.

Rightly or wrongly, they do so because they believe that's what the Bible teaches - that Jesus had brothers and sisters therefore Mary and Joseph must have consummated their marriage and had kids.

Undoubtedly that wasn't the view for the first 1600 or 1700 years of the Christian Church - and there must be a reason for that. It can't be because nobody had noticed those verses before.

I think it is the case though, that some of the Fathers and certainly the Medieval Schoolmen, had rather odd views about sex, gender roles and so on. I don't doubt that the Reformation was, in part, a reaction against that and that, if not in first few generations, it led to the reinterpretation of verses that had been understood differently in previous generations.

It depends how far you take it. Some see the Reformation as bearing the seeds of atheism and indifference ...

It depends on where we draw the line.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Protestants are under no more pressure to believe in the PVM because some Reformers did, than they are to believe in anti-Semitism and the burning of heretics because some Reformers did.

Nobody said they were.

The point I was making was that many Protestants, particularly those of the more literal 6-Day Creation variety or who wave the 'solas' around as if they're some kind of badge of superiority, would be surprised to learn that some of those they revere as pioneers and champions did believe in the PVM ...


And...?

It sounds less than a significant point, and more of an opportunity to take yet another gratuitous shot at evangelicals.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, I can understand your exasperation, Mousethief but I do wonder whether you've toppled over into impugning the motives of those who believe that Mary and Joseph had further offspring in the normal way after the birth of Christ?

No, I don't doubt what you say -- it's mostly likely the 1-2 punch of (a) it's what everybody else in one's church/denomination believes, and (b) ignorant wooden literalism on the word "brother." (Which isn't even supported by the Bible itself -- Lot is not Abraham's brother in the woodenly literal sense, but he is called by that word.) Point 2 involves a healthy dose of reading modern understandings back into 1st century Palestinian culture. But there you have it.

None of this has any bearing on the actual truth or falsity of the doctrine however. It stands or falls whatever hypothetical stories we tell about each others' motives or pathways to current beliefs.

But I stand by my statement (based on not insignificant first-hand experience, and the reports of others) that far too many Protestants at least in the US really have a huge ignorance gap of what happened in the Church between 90 AD and 1500 AD.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

Tangent and DH admittedly, but fascinatingly that is precisely the attitude of those who disagree with the restriction of sex to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

Tangent and DH admittedly, but fascinatingly that is precisely the attitude of those who disagree with the restriction of sex to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
Well, except that usually those people want social or even legal pressure brought to bear against those who desire sex outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

If we were simply talking about a church asking its members to restrict sex to certain types of arrangements, but allowing them the free option of saying "Nah, I'm too much of a horn dog for that" and then quitting the faith without repercussions, there likely wouldn't be much controversy about that.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

Tangent and DH admittedly, but fascinatingly that is precisely the attitude of those who disagree with the restriction of sex to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
Bullshit. It is about being treated equally.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
But I stand by my statement (based on not insignificant first-hand experience, and the reports of others) that far too many Protestants at least in the US really have a huge ignorance gap of what happened in the Church between 90 AD and 1500 AD.

And that point is, I'm afraid, very well taken.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
That's beyond anti-monasticism and into the fetishization of the sex act. Life without sex is so bleak, so meaningless, so horrid, so unthinkable that asking someone to commit to it is cruel.

Tangent and DH admittedly, but fascinatingly that is precisely the attitude of those who disagree with the restriction of sex to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
Well of course. Because it's the near-universal attitude in our culture, and those people are part of our culture.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is about being treated equally.

Not exclusively, by any means.
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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Well, except that usually those people want social or even legal pressure brought to bear against those who desire sex outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

That boat has long since sailed.

It is not only possible but common to believe on religious grounds in the restriction of sex to monogamous heterosexual marriage, while supporting the legalisation of SSM and decriminalisation of fornication, adultery, polyamory, homosexuality etc on liberal democratic pluralist grounds.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is about being treated equally.

Not exclusively, by any means.
You'll need to unpack this. Otherwise, it doesn't make any sense.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is about being treated equally.

Not exclusively, by any means.
You'll need to unpack this. Otherwise, it doesn't make any sense.
OK

There is more than one possible reason why people might disagree with the proposition that sex should only occur in a momogamous, heterosexual marriage.

Alleged inequality is one, particularly as regards SSM.

A belief that it is every human being's birthright to experience sexual fulfilment is another.

Anti-religious prejudice is another.

A genuine belief that religious texts and former traditional beliefs can be legitimately reformulated in the light of changing circumstances and perceptions is another.

A belief that marriage is inherently patriarchal and therefore unjust is another.

A belief that no couple, or few couples, can maintain a meaningful relationship for the decades that modern Western longevity provides, is another.

There are no doubt others.

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mr cheesy
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To me this is one of those unanswerable questions which are impossible to resolve. To me it makes most sense to believe that Mary had other children, but I can understand how the text can be read differently.

And I can see something about a life set aside for something special. That's quite a nice idea, I've no idea whether it is actually what happened.

I suppose for me the real question is how this changes anything; on the one hand if Mary had a virgin birth and then had an extraordinary life post the crucifixion, would she not have become a leadership figure in the church as a person with special authority? Would she not have become a figure herself associated with the incarnation - to the extent, perhaps, of people believing she was somehow divine?

To me it is easier to believe that she was just a Jewish mother with an unbelievable role in human history. Who later died in obscurity.

As to her legal status, I wonder the extent to which the whole "virginity" thing was common knowledge in the community. Because, fairly obviously, it would have been assumed that the marriage had been consumated given that she gave birth to a child.

Personally, I suspect that the virginity thing is a later myth.

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arse

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, I can understand your exasperation, Mousethief but I do wonder whether you've toppled over into impugning the motives of those who believe that Mary and Joseph had further offspring in the normal way after the birth of Christ?

No, I don't doubt what you say -- it's mostly likely the 1-2 punch of (a) it's what everybody else in one's church/denomination believes, and (b) ignorant wooden literalism on the word "brother." (Which isn't even supported by the Bible itself -- Lot is not Abraham's brother in the woodenly literal sense, but he is called by that word.) Point 2 involves a healthy dose of reading modern understandings back into 1st century Palestinian culture. But there you have it.

None of this has any bearing on the actual truth or falsity of the doctrine however. It stands or falls whatever hypothetical stories we tell about each others' motives or pathways to current beliefs.

But I stand by my statement (based on not insignificant first-hand experience, and the reports of others) that far too many Protestants at least in the US really have a huge ignorance gap of what happened in the Church between 90 AD and 1500 AD.

It's only ignorant wooden literalism to insist that brother and sister only ever means sibling. How did ancient Jews refer to cousins by the way? Was Elizabeth Mary's sister?

I like the proposition that Joseph was a widower, he probably was, and had a large number of children from previous marriage, a yet lesser probability by an order of magnitude.

The probability of PV is again similarly less and Greco-Roman tradition maps to that randomly.

Nothing Protestant about that.

[ 28. June 2017, 09:20: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Eirenist
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But why does any of this matter? Or, to put it another way, why should we think any of this matters? Except, of course, as a peg to hang an argument on - my great-uncle kept a notebook in which he wrote down a list of 'Subjects on which to start and argument' at his working-men's club.

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'I think I think, therefore I think I am'

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Martin60
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It matters to justify ones fears, ones identity.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Protestants are under no more pressure to believe in the PVM because some Reformers did, than they are to believe in anti-Semitism and the burning of heretics because some Reformers did.

Nobody said they were.

The point I was making was that many Protestants, particularly those of the more literal 6-Day Creation variety or who wave the 'solas' around as if they're some kind of badge of superiority, would be surprised to learn that some of those they revere as pioneers and champions did believe in the PVM ...


And...?

It sounds less than a significant point, and more of an opportunity to take yet another gratuitous shot at evangelicals.

No it isn't. If you read my post properly you'd see that I was singling out particular types of evangelical not issuing a blanket condemnation.

Notice my use of the word 'particularly'.

I said, 'particularly those who ...

If you are one of those then the cap fits.

Otherwise, feel free not to wear it.

The more serious point I'm making is that whoever we are and whenever we live our reading/interpretation of the scriptures is conditioned and influenced by that.

This applies to you and I as 21st century Protestant Christians just as much as it did to 16th, 17th or 18th, 19th and 20th century ones ... or to RCs, Orthodox or any other Christian tradition.

Sure, that's a truism but the point I'm making is similar to the one Nick Tamen has made - that many contemporary evangelicals, particularly those influenced by forms of US evangelicalism, I have to say - are blithely ignorant of church history or even the context for some of their own beliefs.

Sure, the same will apply to plenty of RCs in the pews or Orthodox people too.

That doesn't make it any more excusable in any of these set-ups.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


This applies to you and I as 21st century Protestant Christians just as much as it did to 16th, 17th or 18th, 19th and 20th century ones ... or to RCs, Orthodox or any other Christian tradition.

Sure, that's a truism but the point I'm making is similar to the one Nick Tamen has made - that many contemporary evangelicals, particularly those influenced by forms of US evangelicalism, I have to say - are blithely ignorant of church history or even the context for some of their own beliefs.

Sure, the same will apply to plenty of RCs in the pews or Orthodox people too.

That doesn't make it any more excusable in any of these set-ups.

Yes, it is a truism. But constantly repeating it doesn't actually help conversation very much. And it is a way to close down discussion except within the narrow boundaries within which you want to discuss the issues.

The plain fact of the matter is that Evangelicals almost by definition are not bound by Tradition and therefore are not obliged to accept things just because there are thousands of years of tradition or because Calvin or Luther or whoever believed them.

Now it is obviously true that the RCC and Orthodox have theological reasons for believing things about Mary. But is is also pretty obvious that the RC Mariology in some sense requires various steps to hold the thing together.

Evangelicals in contrast have just said "well, if it doesn't say in these things in the New Testament, we don't have to believe it, and those things seem like a stretch to us."

It is a different mindset, I accept. But it doesn't help any to keep wheeling out the same stock phrases like "ah yes, but everyone is the same, blahdiblah" when there are actually clear differences in approach. It isn't simply that Evangelicals are rooted in one tradition and the RCC in another.

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arse

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Gamaliel
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Ok, fair enough, mr cheesy. I get that.

What I was responding to, though, was Kaplan's charge that I was simply taking a gratuitous swipe at evangelicals. I didn't think I was.

And yes, the whole Marian edifice needs a fair bit of structure and scaffolding to maintain it - and, at the risk of doing what you're charging me with doing - 'blah-de blah, we are all the same' - so does a sola scriptura position and particularly a literalist 6-Day Creation, scriptural inerrancy type approach ...

That doesn't mean that I'm necessarily lumping all such things together and making them 'equivalent' ...

But I can see why I might be open to that charge.

It's a bit like those occasions when I may have bemoaned some aspect or other of deficient catechesis within evangelicalism and Kaplan responds by saying, 'Well, look at the RCs, look at the Orthodox ...' as if I'm suggesting that because catechesis is deficient in some evangelical circles I'm suggesting that it's a lot better in other traditions / Traditions - when I'm doing nothing of the kind.

If I were RC or Orthodox I'd be posting here bemoaning inadequate catechesis there or highlighting this, that or the other deficiency - and RCs and Orthodox can list those better than I can.

But when I point out some fault or foible within aspects of evangelicalism I'm accused of taking a 'gratuitous' swipe at it ...

All I can do is gripe about - or praise - liberal Protestants, RCs, Orthodox or anyone else in equal measure and then I won't face those sort of accusations.

I don't gripe about Lutherans or make any comments about them whatsoever, whether good, bad or indifferent because I've not been exposed to Lutheranism.

I don't comment on the Swedenborgians either, for the same reason.

I get what you are trying to say but I don't think I'm trying to 'close things down.'

If anything, I'm trying to open them up.

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mr cheesy
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Shipmates like Mousethief hold you to account for the daft things you say about Orthodoxy.

The weird thing is that you get all up-tight when people tell you that you're talking shite about Evangelicalism but not when you are talking crap about Orthodoxy.

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Gamaliel
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Interesting observation.

If that is true, then it might be because I've not been Orthodox but have been evangelical.

But I'm not sure it is the case. Besides, whereas I may have occasionally talked shite about Orthodoxy and been put right by Mousethief, I don't believe I am talking shite about evangelicalism.

I haven't said anything here about evangelicalism that can't be backed up by observation or my own personal experience.

Not only that, even if I were talking shite about evangelicalism, what makes evangelicalism so sacrosanct that I can't talk shite about it?

I'll happily hold up my hand when I've spoken shite about something.

In this instance I don't think I've spoken shite but spoken fact.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Interesting observation.

If that is true, then it might be because I've not been Orthodox but have been evangelical.

Not sure that has anything to do with anything.

quote:
But I'm not sure it is the case. Besides, whereas I may have occasionally talked shite about Orthodoxy and been put right by Mousethief, I don't believe I am talking shite about evangelicalism.
I don't know enough about Orthodoxy to know how much crap you are talking about it; however I do think that your wild generalisations might apply to some Evangelicals but in no sense are helpful when talking about the massive diversity of views within Evangelicalism.

quote:
I haven't said anything here about evangelicalism that can't be backed up by observation or my own personal experience.

Not only that, even if I were talking shite about evangelicalism, what makes evangelicalism so sacrosanct that I can't talk shite about it?

It's just tedious, to be quite honest. You're picking on individuals or individual Evangelical situations and then extrapolating to suggest that this is somehow a wide phenomena.

quote:
I'll happily hold up my hand when I've spoken shite about something.

In this instance I don't think I've spoken shite but spoken fact.

At best what you've spoken is a situation you've experienced in a very specific context. And is likely irrelevant.

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Gamaliel
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I'll point out to you what I pointed out to Kaplan, a small word, 'particularly' ...

Read the small print.

I can be annoying, I can be a total prat at times, but in this instance I haven't said anything about evangelicalism that cannot be demonstrably verified from my own or other people's experience.

If that's irrelevant then fine, so be it.

What I can't see is how is how it's any less relevant than anything you might say drawing on your own experience of whatever Christian traditions you've been involved with ...

But this is a tangent, so I'll drop it there.

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Gamaliel
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Actually, sorry to double-post, but I'll say one more thing on the evangelical issue ...

The irony here is that I've been defending evangelicalism against Mousethief's charge that an insistence on the view that Mary and Joseph had sex following their marriage represents a kind of sex-obsession and a denial of the value of abstinence ...

I've suggested that it is nothing of the kind and simply an issue of evangelicals interpreting scripture in a different way ie. outside of Big T Tradition.

I don't see anything controversial about that assertion.

So, far from taking 'gratuitous' side-swipes at evangelicalism as Kaplan claims or talking crap about evangelicalism as mr cheesy claims I'd maintain that I am doing neither.

What I have done is endeavoured to strike a balance. In doing so, of course, I set myself up for being shot by both sides.

https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=you+tube%2Bshot+by+both+sides#id=3&vid=8de89caa26cdf4e4f341fb57d9d b69c4&action=click

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Actually, sorry to double-post, but I'll say one more thing on the evangelical issue ...

The irony here is that I've been defending evangelicalism against Mousethief's charge that an insistence on the view that Mary and Joseph had sex following their marriage represents a kind of sex-obsession and a denial of the value of abstinence ...

I've suggested that it is nothing of the kind and simply an issue of evangelicals interpreting scripture in a different way ie. outside of Big T Tradition.

I don't see anything controversial about that assertion.

So, far from taking 'gratuitous' side-swipes at evangelicalism as Kaplan claims or talking crap about evangelicalism as mr cheesy claims I'd maintain that I am doing neither.

What I have done is endeavoured to strike a balance. In doing so, of course, I set myself up for being shot by both sides.


Before you get too carried away with being a martyr to your fence-sitting habits, I'll remind you of the thing that Kaplan and I objected to:

quote:
you said:

Nobody said they were.

The point I was making was that many Protestants, particularly those of the more literal 6-Day Creation variety or who wave the 'solas' around as if they're some kind of badge of superiority, would be surprised to learn that some of those they revere as pioneers and champions did believe in the PVM ...

This is a wide generalisation and is clearly a knowing swipe at evangelicals.

And it likely has no substance to it anyway: whilst many Evangelicals have "imbibed" a theology which has been strongly influenced by Luther and Calvin (and these other Reformers), in my view it is only a minority who would actually have much knowledge of them or their wider theological views.

Of those who are actually more interested in Calvin or Luther (say), a very small number would be particularly interested in - or even aware of - their views of the perpeptual virginity of Mary. Of those that are, I doubt that very many would be too bothered to learn that these individuals had "non-standard" Evangelical views on the topic.

Because Protestantism in general and Evangelicalism as a subset thereof just isn't the kind of thing whereby any subsequent generation has to in any sense take wholesale advice from previous leaders. Calvin can be both highly influential on predestination whilst at the same time as irrelevant on the BVM. There is no contradiction there.

And it isn't simply about the notion of an alternative tradition that the Protestants have been carving for themselves to replace the one that was offered by the RCC - although that is clearly part of the package.

It is more that Evangelicalism - and really Protestantism as a thing - is a system of thought processes which take as prerequisite beliefs things that are different to those understood by the RCC as prerequisites and operates within a mental space which (in some senses) wider than the one within which RCC doctrine resides.

It is like the RCC offered a box of mixed chocolates and the Reformers decided that they didn't like the selection and set about (in increasingly complex ways over time) fashioning their own chocolates.

Where we are today is that there are a multitude of available chocolates available in a multitude of different combinations.

It isn't just that today's Evangelicals are fixated with Quality Street whereas the RCC only allow Dairy Milk, it is much more that Evangelicalism as a thing is the process of finding out which chocolates you like for yourself.

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arse

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The plain fact of the matter is that Evangelicals almost by definition are not bound by Tradition

This is just crap. Evangelical tradition is different from RC or EOC tradition. And sometimes Evangelicals manage to change their tradition from within. But this whole idea of "you have tradition, we have the Bible" is, and always has been, pure unadulterated bullshit.

Evangelicals believe in the Trinity. In the Incarnation. In the Virgin Birth. These things are part of their Tradition. Can they be derived from Scripture? Sure. However adoptionism and Arianism can also be derived from Scripture. Which one you derive depends on your Tradition. Further, deriving things from Scripture is part of their Tradition, as are the solas, especially sola scriptura.

One of the newer but very tightly held parts of their Tradition is the ultimate evility of abortion.

Perhaps your point is contained in the word "bound" -- Protestants are free to cast off these traditions if they please. They have definitely done so with divorce. But Tradition is a river, not an ice sculpture. RC and EOC Traditions change as well, albeit glacially in the latter case. That doesn't make them not Traditions.

I can't let this bullcrap stand. Evangelicalism is not Tradition-free. That's an absurd and impossible claim. People just don't work that way.

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Gamaliel
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Yes, I get that and it's well put.

I don't see how it is that much at odds or variance with what I've been posting though.

I will accept that my comment about 6-Day Creationist style evangelicals and those who wave the solas around 'as a badge of superiority' was certainly barbed and a side-swipe, but I was careful to couch it in terms that implied that not all evangelicals do that ...

But hey ...

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Gamaliel
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I cross-posted with Mousethief ...

I didn't understand mr cheesy to be saying that evangelicals are Tradition-free, simply that they are operating outside the hermeneutical boundaries of Tradition as understood within an RC or an Orthodox context.

[Confused]

Nor did I understand him to be saying, 'You have Tradition, we have the Bible ...' which is the crude and crass way some evangelicals couch these things.

I've crossed swords with mr cheesy to some extent here but I rather suspect you may have misunderstood what he was saying.

Just sayin' ...

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
This is just crap. Evangelical tradition is different from RC or EOC tradition. And sometimes Evangelicals manage to change their tradition from within. But this whole idea of "you have tradition, we have the Bible" is, and always has been, pure unadulterated bullshit.

Well it is clearly crap when you put it like that. And I'm not disagreeing that Evangelicals somehow haven't inherited beliefs from traditions that they might not fully recognise or acknowledge.

But at the same time it isn't crap, in the sense that Evangelicals are not "bound" by tradition because the very nature of being an Evangelical is to choose ones own beliefs in the light of the bible.

quote:
Evangelicals believe in the Trinity. In the Incarnation. In the Virgin Birth. These things are part of their Tradition. Can they be derived from Scripture? Sure. However adoptionism and Arianism can also be derived from Scripture. Which one you derive depends on your Tradition. Further, deriving things from Scripture is part of their Tradition, as are the solas, especially sola scriptura.
Quite so.

I'm struggling to explain how I'm disagreeing with you, but I still think I am.

I think the best explanation is that Evangelicals have a wider pool of acceptable theological ideas from which to dip but that these are still bound by the walls of Trinitarian belief.

But I still wouldn't say that Evangelicalism is a tradition as such. For sure some of their beliefs are clearly "traditional" - ie derived and inherited from an ancient tradition - but somehow, somewhere along the way some traditions have been accepted and others rejected in a way that (perhaps) there would be less leeway to do in a quote unquote big-T tradition. They've picked and chosen the ones they accept and those they reject.

quote:
One of the newer but very tightly held parts of their Tradition is the ultimate evility of abortion.
Well again, the problem is that there isn't really a central term of reference for Evangelicalism, so it is very hard to point to anything as being a defining feature of "their Tradition". It is absolutely true that for many Evangelicals abortion is a very strongly held belief, I agree. But I don't see that makes it a tradition (even for those Evangelicals who characterise themselves as being against abortion).

Again, I apologise, I'm struggling to find the words to use to describe the contrast between Evangelicalism and (for example) Orthodoxy.

quote:
Perhaps your point is contained in the word "bound" -- Protestants are free to cast off these traditions if they please. They have definitely done so with divorce. But Tradition is a river, not an ice sculpture. RC and EOC Traditions change as well, albeit glacially in the latter case. That doesn't make them not Traditions.
No, I think I agree with this. I think a
"tradition" needs a centre of gravity and an agreed term of reference. Evangelicalism almost by definition doesn't have those things.

quote:
I can't let this bullcrap stand. Evangelicalism is not Tradition-free. That's an absurd and impossible claim. People just don't work that way.
I think there are Traditions and traditions. And by saying that some of the Traditions are wrong and can be rejected, the Protestants and Evangelicals were rejecting the notion of a Tradition. But at the same time they were in some sense setting up a (much less formal in many cases) system of tradition.

But again I'm getting tied up in words so I'll stop before I make any more of a mess.

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mr cheesy
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I'm sorry, that's even more confusing when I tried re-reading it.

Maybe it is easier with an illustration.

Country A has a long established set of laws and a constitution.

Country B recently established a constitution.

Some of B's laws look remarkably like A's laws but some are different (althought clearly both believe in "the rule of law" otherwise why have a constitution?). B has clearly in some way derived from A, but at the same time B might honestly say that they've taken the "good bits" and rejected the "bad bits" because they're under no obligation to take everything from A and they believe they have some other way to determine good and bad laws other than referencing A's constitution and laws.

B's constitution and laws are later copied and modified by others.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not disagreeing that Evangelicals somehow haven't inherited beliefs from traditions that they might not fully recognise or acknowledge.

It's not that they inherited beliefs from other traditions. It's that those beliefs have then become part of THEIR tradition. The beliefs handed on from generation to generation. Just as is the Bible (and the list of books that defines it).

quote:
But at the same time it isn't crap, in the sense that Evangelicals are not "bound" by tradition because the very nature of being an Evangelical is to choose ones own beliefs in the light of the bible.
Except if someone chooses the "wrong" beliefs then they are excoriated and vilified, e.g. Rachel Held Evans. The Evangelical world has its own equivalent of excommunication, even.

quote:
I think the best explanation is that Evangelicals have a wider pool of acceptable theological ideas from which to dip but that these are still bound by the walls of Trinitarian belief.
So you have a fat tradition and we have a narrow. Sort of almost. I'd have to chew on that.

quote:
But I still wouldn't say that Evangelicalism is a tradition as such. For sure some of their beliefs are clearly "traditional" - ie derived and inherited from an ancient tradition - but somehow, somewhere along the way some traditions have been accepted and others rejected in a way that (perhaps) there would be less leeway to do in a quote unquote big-T tradition.
A looser tradition is still a tradition.

quote:
They've picked and chosen the ones they accept and those they reject.
I think Evangelicals are far less insular than you might wish. They all go to the Bible to decide what to believe, and magically come away believing very much the same things. Whereas people from other traditions do the same thing and come away with a different set of beliefs. There's Tradition at work for you.

quote:
It is absolutely true that for many Evangelicals abortion is a very strongly held belief, I agree. But I don't see that makes it a tradition (even for those Evangelicals who characterise themselves as being against abortion).
I think we may be foundering on the definition of Tradition. You appear to think of it as an unchanging, plenary monolith that imposes its stamp upon everything a Catholic or Orthodox does or thinks. And of course there is no such thing in Evangelicalism, but put that way there is no such thing in Catholicism or Orthodoxy either. I suspect that until we come to an agreed-upon definition of "tradition" we will disagree about whether Evangelicalism is a tradition not because we see different qualities in Evangelicalism, but because we are comparing those qualities to a different wall-chart, so to speak.

quote:
No, I think I agree with this. I think a "tradition" needs a centre of gravity and an agreed term of reference. Evangelicalism almost by definition doesn't have those things.
Isn't the centre of gravity for Evanglicalism the Bible? By which of course I mean (and they practice) a certain way of reading the Bible. A lot of it goes unspoken so it seems like it's not there at all. Which is what allows some people to say absurd things like "You have tradition, I have the Bible." Because some ways of reading the Bible just aren't Evangelical.

quote:
I think there are Traditions and traditions. And by saying that some of the Traditions are wrong and can be rejected, the Protestants and Evangelicals were rejecting the notion of a Tradition. But at the same time they were in some sense setting up a (much less formal in many cases) system of tradition.
Yes, this is close to what I am trying to say. I think historically it requires a lot more unpacking. Maybe in the context of the ship a whole new thread.

quote:
But again I'm getting tied up in words so I'll stop before I make any more of a mess.
Nah, not messy in that sense, I don't think, any more than the whole subject is a messy one. Thank you for your answers.

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mousethief

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B's constitution *IS* its tradition at first, and then all of the case law that is decided under it is added to the tradition, and on it flows.

Of course to complete the figure, Country B broke off from Country A, and now sits on territory that used to be part of Country A. All of its judges and magistrates at the time of its founding are former judges and magistrates from Country A. And it goes without saying that all of its citizens used to be citizens in Country A.

There is nothing new under the sun.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
B's constitution *IS* its tradition at first, and then all of the case law that is decided under it is added to the tradition, and on it flows.

I suppose the difference I'm groping to try to get to is if A's constitution was arrived at via centuries of thought and discussion to the extent that they look aghast at B "ripping it off". If A only operates by carefully considering changes within the light of their centuries of jurispudence whereas B isn't constrained by the idea of lopping bits off that no longer have a use or even screwing the whole thing up and starting again - then I think we're somewhere into the discussion of the difference between Tradition and tradition.

quote:
Of course to complete the figure, Country B broke off from Country A, and now sits on territory that used to be part of Country A. All of its judges and magistrates at the time of its founding are former judges and magistrates from Country A. And it goes without saying that all of its citizens used to be citizens in Country A.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Mmm. I suppose I'm trying to say that there is a real difference in practice between A and B which isn't really established without an understanding of the difference between Tradition and tradition.

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lilBuddha
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It is all bullshit. Not belief, but this irregular noun rubbish to differentiate in just how one chooses to believe what particular things.

EVERYONE in EVERY codified religion makes choices that are subjective. Pretending they are not might well be part of the reason for the increasing agnosticism and atheism that some of you decry so whingingly.

BTW, disliking and/or disagreeing with particular thoughts/practices within a religion or sect does not therefore imply a dislike of the group entire. It is a cheap and easy defence that allows one to ignore people and ideas.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

EVERYONE in EVERY codified religion makes choices that are subjective.

Yes.. but also no. Religions are arranged differently with different tolerances for a range of acceptable beliefs.

And also not everyone understands religion as being a purely personal thing. Whilst I might make subjective choices about the individual things that I disagree with the church (however I'm defining that), there is also something about belonging to a body of belief which is bigger than the individual which is very attractive and might go beyond one's personal subjective choices.

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mousethief

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But Evangelicals are NOT going to start again. They can't. They won't. That's wishful thinking about how "non-Traditional" you really are. If some Evangelicals threw out some of the central tenets of Evangelicalism, the rest would toss them overboard and the HMS Evangelical would sail on without them.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
And also not everyone understands religion as being a purely personal thing. Whilst I might make subjective choices about the individual things that I disagree with the church (however I'm defining that), there is also something about belonging to a body of belief which is bigger than the individual which is very attractive and might go beyond one's personal subjective choices.

You have made a perfect 180. First you are defending your concept of Evangelicalism as everybody making their own decisions.

quote:
the very nature of being an Evangelical is to choose ones own beliefs in the light of the bible.
(emphasis mine)

"[B]elonging to a body of belief which is bigger than the individual" -- that's a pretty decent definition of Tradition.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
But Evangelicals are NOT going to start again. They can't. They won't. That's wishful thinking about how "non-Traditional" you really are. If some Evangelicals threw out some of the central tenets of Evangelicalism, the rest would toss them overboard and the HMS Evangelical would sail on without them.

I'm not clear who you think is going to do the tossing - given that there are a wide range of Evangelical groupings and denominations. Plenty of churches have been tossed out of one group and have set up within another or on their own.

Given that there exist Evangelicals who believe equal and opposite things to each other, it is hard to understand how being tossed out by anyone somehow then makes a group non-evangelical. Or what that can even mean.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:


"[B]elonging to a body of belief which is bigger than the individual" -- that's a pretty decent definition of Tradition.

I don't think I was specifically talking about Evangelicals in that response. I was thinking about RCC believers whilst I was writing it and reflecting that there might be reasons for belonging to a religious group which are outwith of simple personal subjective beliefs which lilBuddha claimed everyone makes.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
You have made a perfect 180. First you are defending your concept of Evangelicalism as everybody making their own decisions.

Also on this: I'm trying to suggest that there is a difference between a Christian group which has central structures and a belief in Tradition and the notion of Evangelicalism as a thing whereby people think that they can pick and choose their own doctrines and beliefs without reference to that (your) Tradition.

That isn't to say that I am an Evangelical nor that I think their claims to derive ideas from the bible make any sense.

I'm just - inexpertly and lacking the proper terms - suggesting that I think there is a real difference in approach between those denominations which operate within the paradigm of thousands of years of Tradition and the Evangelicals.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Also on this: I'm trying to suggest that there is a difference between a Christian group which has central structures and a belief in Tradition and the notion of Evangelicalism as a thing whereby people think that they can pick and choose their own doctrines and beliefs without reference to that (your) Tradition.

This is a "no shit" though. There are people in other traditions who don't feel the need to reference mine. Ayup. Nor do the Catholics; nor do the Copts.

quote:
I'm just - inexpertly and lacking the proper terms - suggesting that I think there is a real difference in approach between those denominations which operate within the paradigm of thousands of years of Tradition and the Evangelicals.
Yes, their Tradition is far younger. But it's still a Tradition for a' that. Unless you define "Evangelical" as "anybody who calls himself an Evangelical," there are certain things that define Evangelicals. Sure there may be a penumbra of people who have rejected some of Evangelicalism's central doctrines. But if somebody rejects the final authority of the Bible in defining doctrine and settling disputes therein, are they an Evangelical? That is one of their Traditions. And so forth.

Sure there are any number of parts of RC or EOC tradition that Evangelicals have rejected. But if that means Evangelicals don't have a tradition, then you would appear to be arguing in a circle.

Evangelicals reject Catholic Tradition
Therefore Evangelicals don't have Tradition.

It's an enthymeme with the missing premise "only Catholic Tradition is Tradition."

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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