October 25, 2018

The fully developed theory of infallibility cannot be “proven” — it is a matter of faith. But the principles behind it can be. I deal with various facets of infallibility on my Papacy web page. As usual, it is an accumulation of many individual evidences and indications that make it compelling.  All the evidence taken together make it exceedingly “probable” (from a standpoint of human reason alone. I think Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine remains the best treatment… Read more

October 25, 2018

It is incorrect to say that the pope does not possess the gift of infallibility in and of himself when (in proper circumstances) he exercises that gift, and this is contrary to the proclamations of Vatican I and Vatican II. Though the pope in fact almost always acts in concert with the bishops, it is not intrinsically required that he do so, and they are always subject to his supreme authority. A clear example of this is Humanae Vitae: an infallible document that… Read more

October 24, 2018

1. The Church’s Developing Understanding of Infallibility A. Papal Primacy and the Universal Church (Catholic Statement)  “We believe that the New Testament is given to us not as a finished body of doctrine but as an expression of the developing faith and institutionalization of the church in the first century. “In many respects the New Testament and the doctrines it contains are complemented by subsequent developments in the faith and life of the church. For example, the statements of faith in the… Read more

October 24, 2018

The notion of popes possibly being heretics (and what to do in that eventuality) is nothing new or alarming. For example, John Chapman, a prominent Catholic writer and defender of the papacy, writing in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article “Pope Honorius I” — though he denies that Honorius violated papal infallibility because he did not make an erroneous ex cathedra proclamation –, states outright (my emphasis): Hefele, with many others before and after him, held that Leo II by the same words explained the sense in… Read more

October 23, 2018

1. Christians don’t sin? 2. Universalism? 3. “Tomb evangelism”. 4. Can human beings see God or not? Atheist and anti-theist Bob Seidensticker, who was “raised Presbyterian”, runs the influential Cross Examined blog. He asked me there, on 8-11-18: “I’ve got 1000+ posts here attacking your worldview. You just going to let that stand? Or could you present a helpful new perspective that I’ve ignored on one or two of those posts?” He also made a general statement on 6-22-17: “Christians’ arguments are easy to refute . . . I’ve heard… Read more

October 23, 2018

“CPA” attends the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS). He is a Professor of Mongolian Studies. His words will be in blue. * * * * * Dave, you’ve misunderstood my project and failed to draw a number of key distinctions (ones drawn by both the Apology of the Augsburg Confession AND post-Tridentine scholastics). What I am trying to do is NOT to “dispute” that “sacrifice was indeed a prominent motif in the fathers”. Instead I accept that fact, but argue… Read more

October 23, 2018

“CPA” was an adult convert; he was baptized on Easter 1994 and attends the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS). He is a Professor of Mongolian Studies. His words will be in blue. * * * * * [You rely] on crucial ambiguities as to what “Transubstantiation” as a doctrine actually is.  You presuppose that I am always referring to transubstantiation, when I am not necessarily doing so. At some points, you use it simply as 1) a synonym for “Real Presence”… Read more

October 22, 2018

. . . Especially St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s Theology of the Eucharist My two dialogue opponents are Reformed Protestant (Calvinist). Dr. Joel Garver’s words will be in blue; Kevin Johnson’s in green. See the related paper, from five days earlier: John Calvin and St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Comparative Eucharistic Theology. Reference is made to it below. ***** I would like to particularly thank Joel for replying (though also Kevin, of course); I know he must be a very busy man (like all academics)… Read more

October 22, 2018

Does the Phrase “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers” Allow Any Exceptions? The term “unanimous consent” — as used in an ecclesiological / patristic context –, does not mean “absolutely every” — as it is commonly used today in general usage, but rather, “consensus of the vast majority” in line with the magisterium of the Church. See a short paper by Catholic apologist Steve Ray that explains this. Many critics of the Catholic Church question this meaning, and think we are playing games and special… Read more

October 19, 2018

(including St. Irenaeus’ View on the Rule of Faith) Rev. Dr. Eric G. Phillips (LCMS) replied to my post, Lutheran Chemnitz Wrong Re Fathers & Sola Scriptura (mostly dealing with St. Irenaeus and Tertullian) on my public Facebook page. We discussed St. Irenaeus’ views and the alleged biblical support for sola Scriptura (which I contend is non-existent). His words will be in blue. ***** Response to the first third of that, because I don’t have time to read (let alone respond… Read more

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