VicQRuiz is a friendly “agnostic/deist.” He was interested in making some comments on my 2001 exchange: The “Problem of Good”: Great Dialogue With an Atheist. I consider that old exchange the best dialogue I have ever been engaged in, out of what must be 900-1000 of ’em by now. His words (complete) will be in blue. ***** Hi Dave, thought I would drop in here with the comments I promised a couple of weeks ago. As I have already mentioned, I consider… Read more

Material sufficiency can be proven from Scripture, but Scripture Alone as a principle was not formally sufficient to prevent the Arian crisis from occurring. In other words, the decisive factor in these controversies was the appeal to apostolic succession and apostolic tradition, which showed that the Church had always been trinitarian. The Arians could not appeal to any such tradition because their Christology was a heretical innovation of the 4th century. The Arians [who made Christ a mere creature] thus… Read more

Why establish an office (Peter, in effect, was made the prime minister of the Church by Jesus, as the exegesis of the “keys of the kingdom” establishes, with much Protestant exegetical support), only to have it cease with the death of Peter? That makes no sense. The very nature of an office is to be carried on; to have a succession. One doesn’t start a business, e.g., with a president, and then after the first president dies, the office ceases… Read more

Did St. Athanasius (c. 296-373) believe in sola Scriptura? Hardly. Let us look at some of his statements: ***** But, beyond these sayings, let us look at the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached and the Fathers kept. (To Serapion 1:28) But after him and with him are all inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, but do not hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and… Read more

I wrote this on the Coming Home Network boards [where I moderated from 2007-2010] in response to someone saying that no one could comment on the reputed apparitions at Medjugorje unless they had been there themselves. * * * * * First of all, it’s wrong to say that no one can comment on a thing without firsthand experience. That’s like the pro-aborts saying that men can’t talk about abortion because they are not women. It’s a fallacy. I agree… Read more

The Catholic position on the perspicuity (clearness or clarity) of Scripture, briefly stated, is the following: 1) Scripture, is, by and large, clear, in its treatment of theological doctrines. The truth can be obtained by proper study. I’ve done this myself, many times, in Scripture study on various topics, and my experience has always been the same, for thirty years now. 2) Scripture is materially sufficient: it contains all Christian doctrines, either explicitly, implicitly, or by direct deduction from doctrines… Read more

I. Tradition: Catholic Commentary Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J. Tradition first means all of divine revelation, from the dawn of human history to the end of the apostolic age, as passed on from one generation of believers to the next, and as preserved under divine guidance by the Church established by Christ. Sacred Tradition more technically also means, within this transmitted revelation, that part of God’s revealed word which is not contained in Sacred Scripture. (Pocket Catholic Dictionary, New… Read more

Charlie Kluepfel is a former Catholic, who still believes in God in a somewhat unorthodox, self-described “theistic” fashion. He is, however, quite skeptical of Christianity. I discovered his writing and website [now defunct] while doing a word search on the book Surprised by Truth (ed. Patrick Madrid, San Diego: Basilica Press, 1994): a collection of conversion stories (including my own). He critiqued several of the stories in the book (but alas, not mine, except in a very brief way). * I had… Read more

This is always a fun Catholic-Protestant discussion to have (i.e., if tempers are moderated and ecumenical unity isn’t forgotten!). The words of Dustin Buck Lattimore (Protestant) will be in blue. ***** I’ve called this “the Protestant quest for uncertainty.” Protestants manage to be uncertain about (and to actually glory in being uncertain about) any number of supposedly “secondary” doctrines which the Bible (usually Paul) teaches quite clearly and definitively indeed. And Roman Catholics are quite certain on several doctrines the… Read more

My methodology is not all that different from the Protestant approach, with regard to how biblical texts are used to support one’s position. As I keep pointing out, anyone who does systematic theology at all, does this. If you read Vatican II or papal encyclicals you’ll see Catholics citing many Scriptures in passing (in parentheses) or whole passages, that corroborate the point of view being presented. All Christians do this. As for the principles of exegesis, again I wouldn’t differ… Read more

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