Scott said: <<As for providing examples of "obvious disunity," I did so in my posting to Wonky, with whom I have had the pleasure of dialoging with for quite some time now. I cited baptism and holy communion as examples in that posting. I also notice that you've reduced the scope of my statement, I said "Protestantism" and you're reducing it to "Evangelicalism." Nice ploy, but it doesn't invalidate what I said. >>The only article directly mentioning "epistemology" was one by Tim Enloe that was a response to John Pacheco of Catholic Apologetics International, and on the subject, primarily, of sola scriptura. After skimming through several of the other articles, I am not sure which one(s) Eric intended for me, so for now I will respond to his "Catholic Challenge."
Eric responded: Finish my statement. I asked, What "obvious disunity" do Evangelicals have that RC don't have? You (in typical RC fashion) provided a list of doctrine you think disunifies Protestants (I use the term "Evangelicals" because, contrary to your oversimplification, not all that glitters is gold. Not all Jews are Jews, according to Paul. And not all Protestants are true Protestants; read Evangelical). Baptism and communion is the best you can do? Let's just compare that to the RC disunity in just who can be saved, whether the Scriptures are fully inspired, whether the creation account is to be read literally or as myth, whether God engaged in special creation of Adam and Eve or whether man evolved from apes, whether Vatican II is to be considered an infallible council or whether it is in error and will one day be overturned, whether Mary is to be considered Co-Redemptress and Co-Mediatrix or not, whether the current pope is valid, on and on and on.
Scott said: << What "false comparison" have you already refuted? I have not read every single message on this board, nor could I even possibly do so. I am following a couple threads that I have become involved in. If I have overlooked something, I have no problem being shown the oversight.>>
Eric responded: You may start with my Roman Catholic Challenge (http://www.ntrmin.org/rcchallenge.htm), and then read the relevant epistemological articles in the Roman Catholic Corner (http://www.ntrmin.org/rccorner-epistemology.htm). After that you may state your case against it.
First: Scripture plus an Infallible Interpreter.
Well, that's close, but we've got one absolute: "Scripture" and one specific, but general "an Infallible Interpreter." To be consistent with the absolute of "Scripture" we'd have to use another absolute, like "The Catholic Magisterium" in place of "Infallible Interpreter." Otherwise, Eric can point "Infallible Interpreter" to not only the Catholic Magisterium, but also the Council of Prophets, as in Mormonism - then boast, "See, there's no unity between Mormons and Catholics, so they can't point to differences in Protestantism that adhere to sola scriptura." Well, Eric makes an invalid comparison if he does this. Now, if we restrict the premise to "those who adhere to sola scriptura vs. those that adhere to the Catholic Magisterium" then we have a valid comparison, and those that adhere to the Catholic Magisterium are clearly more united than those that adhere to Scripture Alone.
There is nothing beyond superficial unity in groups that where the name "Baptist" in them, to prove that point. There are "Free Will Baptists," "Reformed Baptists," "American Baptists," "Southern Baptists," and a whole host of "Independent Baptists." They all claim to believe in the same Jesus and the same Bible, yet we have extremes in "Baptist Ideology" from staunch Calvinist views to more liberal "Free Will" views. Can both extremes be correct? Are those "in the middle" more correct? Free Will vs. Calvinism is a very fundamental difference in "ecclesial systems" yet Eric claims there's more, or as much, unity among those that adhere to sola scriptura than those that adhere to the Magisterium of Catholicism. The contrast is quite stark, and we've only named "Baptists" thus far! What if we start including other "ecclesial systems" that adhere to sola scriptura? Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, etc. all make the claim of sola scriptura yet the disunity in fundamental ecclesiology gets more obvious with each denomination we name!
OK, above we've taken a more strict approach to Eric's terminology, what if we go with a more liberal approach?
If we're going to use a generic statement of "an Infallible Interpretor" (so as to include Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons), then we must be more generic than "Scripture" and refer only to "A Holy Book" or "Set of Holy Books." So to be more consistent with this view we'd have to say, "A Set of Holy Books plus An Infallible Interpretor vs. A Set of Holy Books" (keeping in mind, though we have "The Bible" in book form, it is actually a compilation of Holy Books assembled under one cover - and that "one cover" wasn't even agreed upon until nearly 400 years of Christendom had passed).
Let's illustrate both ways of presenting Eric's challenge here and see which is more unified:
|Scripture + Catholic Magisterium
etc., etc., etc.
|Set of Holy Books + An Infallible Interpreter
|Set of Holy Books Alone
I'm sure we've left out some here and there, but the above illustration clearly shows
there is more unity among Catholics than among those who adhere purely to sola
Redaction criticism of the gospels developed after WW2 as the inevitable sequel to form criticism, which arose after WW1. While form critics focus on distinguishing small elements of oral tradition from their current gospel contexts, redaction critics focus on patterns that are typical of a particular work by contrasting it with others.St. Pius X's encyclical was written prior to WWI (in 1908) so how could Pascendi Dominici Gregis be addressing forms of criticism that had not yet even arose? A bit anachronistic of Mr. Svendsen here.
Recently we advertised that we would pay $100,000.00 to any Roman Catholic who could pin down the official Roman teaching about certain issues.Now, does Eric's challenge/offer still exist, or has he pulled it? I believe that he's made it a "no win" situation, since he's asking for "official Roman teaching" on several items that have NO OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHING! Safe bet, eh Eric? Can you say "smoke and mirrors?" (Making note too that he asks for "Roman" teaching, not "Catholic" and since the "Roman Empire" does not exist anymore, he's also given himself an "out." He, I'm sure, means "Catholic teaching" but has so much bitterness to the Church to which he once belonged, that he must use "Roman teaching" even though he's aware that such is a bit of a slur).
Now, one of Eric's charges is that Catholics are in as much disunity as Protestants. Well, I am submitting this file to several Catholic apologists prior to making it public. Each one that signs on with me and what is said here will split the $100,000.00 that Mr. Svendsen has promised to "any Roman Catholic who could pin down the official Roman teaching about certain issues." I've laid out the issues, provided responses and here's a list of those that agree (and perhaps a short comment if they added one):
Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.
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