fredag 30 september 2016

Reading some from a Mormon Church History


Starting to quote and comment as salient passage from their introduction:

Volume 1 Introduction
Antiquity of the Gospel
https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/volume-1-introduction


"The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is also the history of the opening and progress of the Dispensation of the fulness of Times;" - so, yes, it is a Mormon Church History. The passage I find most interesting comes after Biblical warnings against apostasy, false teachers and so on.

I have not given this review of the condition of the Church of Christ in the Apostolic age with the view of establishing the idea that the Church at that time was in a complete state of apostasy: nor have I dwelt upon the weaknesses and sins of the early saints for the purpose of holding them up for contempt. My only purpose has been to dispel, first of all, the extravagant ideas that obtain in many minds concerning the absolute sanctity of the early Christians; and secondly, and mainly, to show that there were elements and tendencies existing in the early Church, even in the days of the Apostles, that would, when unrestrained by Apostolic authority and power, lead to its entire over throw.


Note the key words "when unrestrained by Apostolic authority and power" - it would be better to say "if".

We have no good reason to believe that there occurred any change for the better in the affairs of the Church after the demise of the Apostles, no reason to believe that there were fewer heresies or fewer false teachers, or false prophets to lead away the people with their vain philosophies, their foolish babblings, and opposition of science falsely so called.


Correct.

On the contrary, one is forced to believe the prediction of Paul, viz., that evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; 66 for who, after the Apostles were fallen asleep, would stand up and correct the heresies, that were brought into the Church, rebuke the schismatics, the false teachers and false prophets that arose to draw away disciples after them?


Who? The successors of the Apostles, the successors first and foremost of St Peter - in each diocese, insofar as ordinary bishop over chorepiscopoi mirrors Peter over the other 11 in Jerusalem, in the patriarchal dioceses, chronologically speaking by Petrinity, Jerusalem where he resided first (except continuity was interrupted at Jerusalem, year 70), Antioch, where he resided after Jerusalem, Rome, where he came to oppose Simon Magus and defeat his self divinising magic and where he as well as St Paul died as martyrs, and Alexandria, whither he sent St Mark. Later the parish of Byzantion took over eastern part of Patriarchy of Rome, when it became the Patriarchal Diocese of Constantinople. And of these cities, first and foremost the successors of Peter in Rome. Or, of Rome (Avignon being an undisputed past and Topeka a disputed present exile location for such).

If false teachers insinuated themselves into the Church, brought in damnable heresies by reason of which the way of truth was evil spoken of, and the pure religion of Jesus Christ corrupted even while inspired Apostles were still in the Church, it is not unreasonable to conclude that all these evils would increase and revel unchecked after the death of the Apostles.


If God had not told the Apostles to give themselves and each other successors, that would indeed have followed. But He did. He told them in Matthew 28 He was with them EVERY day until the consummation of all time. That must include their successors. Nor does this apply to all faithful as successors of all faithful at the moment, for He said it to the Eleven, not to all who were His disciples and believed the Resurrection. It does not mean He relinquishes the rest of the disciples and is only with Bishops, it means He is, usually, with the rest of the disciples THROUGH the action, both in providing valid sacraments and in condemning damnable errors, of Bishops, as successors of the Twelve and of Peter among the Twelve.

I cannot, of course, in this introduction, enter into even a brief history of false teachers in the early Christian centuries. That of itself would be matter for a volume.


An easy cop out for avoiding to see that the truth was in fact preserved, and preserved precisely through Bishops, against errors.

I shall therefore content myself with making quotations from reliable authorities that will directly establish the fact of the rapid increase in the number of false teachers, and the Pernicious effects of their doctrines upon the Christian religion.


We'll see which these "reliable authorities" are. In advance, I suspect Mormonism is relying on Protestantism and therefore ascribing error to infallible Catholicism.

It should be said before making these quotations, however, that Protestant writers ...


Ah, so the reliable authorities are in fact Protestant Church Historians?

... that Protestant writers are interested in maintaining that the Christian religion was perpetuated, even through the ages of apostasy, and given back to mankind by the agency of the so-called "Reformation" of the sixteenth century.


This is indeed a paradox in Protestant view of Church History. Mormonism is more logical than Protestantism, just as the most logical Mormonism there is, is Islam, insofar as Islam says we Christians, that is we Catholics, corrupted even the texts. That way THEY don't feel the need to bother about Matthew 28, I suppose. Or some of them at least.

Hence in their writings, when stating the corruptions of the early Church, they are especially guarded, lest too strong a statement would lead to the belief that the Christian religion had been utterly subverted.


Yep, Protestants tend to hedge in all their sayings about Church in Late Antiquity and Middle Ages. On the one hand, they must not approve so much that they or their readers can find it licit to become Catholics, and on the other hand they must not approve so little as to suggest Christianity was lost except for a sole uncomprehended text until Luther and some more started comprehending it.

That is why I don't tend to think of them as great intellectuals on this issue. Oh, they can be excellent when it comes to Hebrew history during Old Testament, or such and such an aspect of Genesis, but Church History? Not. Their. Forte. At. All.

Indeed, it is well known that Milner wrote his Church History—which should be regarded not so much as the history of the Church as the history of piety—to counteract the influence of Mosheim's Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, which work Milner considered too frank in its statements of perversions and abuses of religion. The Protestant writers must need set forth the theory that the Christian religion survived all the abuses and corruptions of it through ages of apostasy, else they would have no logical ground for the sixteenth century "Reformation" to stand upon.


Excellent analysis of why Reformation was wrong in theory as well as bloody and cruel and greedy and sacrilegious in practise.

They seem not oblivious to the fact, though never mentioning it, that if the Christian religion was displaced by a paganized religion—a false religion—as is fully predicted, as we shall see later, in the New Testament prophecies, and of which the works of Protestant writers go far towards proving—then the only possible way in which the true Christian religion and the Church of Christ could be restored would be by re-opening of the heavens, and the giving forth of a new dispensation of the Gospel, together with a renewal of divine authority to preach it, and administer its ordinances of salvation.


Excellent analysis of the claims of Muslims and Mormons.

One little problem with these claims. IF the Christian religion was displaced by a paganized religion, and IF this displacement was overall - no remnant with undisputable continuity beside, like St Nicolas du Chardonnet or Palmar de Troya or Vatican in Exile - I currently adher to Vatican in Exile - beside the Vatican II Counter Church. As there is neither a clear Lutheran nor - obviously - a clear Mormon continuity from Gospel to Reformation or from Gospel to Joseph Smith, their claim would mean there was such a displacement and it was universal.

A GREAT apostasy has been prophecied, but NOT a universal one.

So, they would need to demonstrate there was in fact a Universal apostasy - that the traits which Church history anno 300 or 400 or 500 or 600 show to be universal are traits which are apostatic.

This is a very daring claim - I have not seen one back it up.

Catholics hold that there has been no great apostasy in the Church. Their theory is, that there has been a constant, unbroken, perpetuation of the Christian Church from the days of the Messiah and His Apostles until now; and that the Roman Catholic church is that very Church so perpetuated through the ages. Catholic writers admit that there have been very corrupt periods in the church and many wicked prelates, and some vile popes; yet they hold that the church has persisted, that the Christian religion has been preserved in the earth.


Some Catholics by now hold that meanwhile there has been a very great, though not a universal apostasy. Vatican II is a key word. To some Vatican II is the beginning of apostasy formal, to others Vatican II in the bare texts was fine (have they read Gaudium et Spes?) but the spirit of some Council Fathers prevailed through intrigue beside and after council through a culpable but not apostatic lack of vigilance by some real though bad Popes (that is the position of SSPX), some say election of John XXIII was invalid by usurpation of a papacy belonging to thitherto Cardinal Siri, some say Paul VI was drugged and his public documents partially forged, others say he was a clear Apostate and Antichrist. But all Catholic "Trads" agree that there was also opposition to this even if this opposition has tended to disunity and disorganisation.

Others see in this disunity the sign that Rad Trad Catholicism is mistaken and Vatican II with the most official parts of aftermath are obliging.

And on this some reply that being adherent of Vatican II does not result in unity. Between Paul VI and Benedict XVI there were beside the official four "eucharistic prayers" (one of which is a canon of St Hippolytus, sometimes considered as fragmentary, sometimes also as being from his time as schismatic Antipope, one of which is a shortened version or perversion of Roman Canon, these being II and I, while III is a new production, most common, and IV has been nicknamed "Arian canon") a plethora of half official rites, including the near Protestant ones of the Neocatechumenate. A French priest or deacon told me he considered Polish Catholicism (and I converted before a Polish priest) as "nearly Integrist", that is in English terms, "nearly Rad Trad". Which neatly confirms how Vatican in Exile / Pope Michael considered Catholicism survived behind Iron Curtain where most opposed to Communism, even despite some implementation of Vatican II.

Either way, all agree the "great apostasy" if at all happening, has not been a "universal apostasy". Such as Matthew 28 says cannot happen.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Jerome*
30.IX.2016

* In Bethlehem Judae depositio sancti Hieronymi Presbyteri, Confessoris et Ecclesiae Doctoris, qui, omnium studia litterarum adeptus ac probatorum Monachorum imitator factus, multa haeresum monstra gladio suae doctrinae confodit; demum, cum ad decrepitam usque vixisset aetatem, in pace quievit, sepultusque est ad Praesepe Domini. Ejus corpus, postea Romam delatum, in Basilica sanctae Mariae Majoris conditum fuit.

Molina Revisited : Middle Knowledge and Libertarian Free Will - a Catholic Response to Theopedia


Molinism

"The most famous distinctive in Molinism is its affirmation that God has middle knowledge (scienta media). Molinism holds that God’s knowledge consists of three logical moments. These “moments” of knowledge are not to be thought of as chronological; rather they are to be understood as “logical.” In other words, one moment does not come before another moment in time, rather one moment is logically prior to the other moments. The Molinist differentiates between three different moments of knowledge which are respectively called natural knowledge, middle knowledge and free knowledge."

  • Natural Knowledge – This is God’s knowledge of all necessary and all possible truths. In this “moment” God knows every possible combination of causes and effects. He also knows all the truths of logic and all moral truths.
  • Middle Knowledge – This is God’s knowledge of what any free creature would do in any given circumstance, also known as counterfactual knowledge. It is also sometimes stated as God's knowledge of the truth of subjunctive conditionals.
  • Free Knowledge – This is God’s knowledge of what He freely decided to create. God’s free knowledge is His knowledge of the actual world as it is.


... Postulating a middle knowledge and placing it between God's knowledge of necessary truths and God's creative decree is crucial to the Molinist scheme. By placing middle knowledge (and thus counterfactuals) before the creation decree, God conceivably allows for man's freedom in the libertarian sense. Placing this middle knowledge logically after necessary truths but before the creation decree also allows God to survey all feasible worlds and decide which world to actualize.


Indeed.

Libertarian free will

Libertarian free will means that our choices are free from the determination or constraints of human nature and free from any predetermination by God. All "free will theists" hold that libertarian freedom is essential for moral responsibility, for if our choice is determined or caused by anything, including our own desires, they reason, it cannot properly be called a free choice. Libertarian freedom is, therefore, the freedom to act contrary to one's nature, predisposition and greatest desires. Responsibility, in this view, always means that one could have done otherwise.


As the desert father said to a monk, you are maybe not free to not desire a woman after looking, but you are free not to look. Or as Pope St Pius X said, you are when lying free to either shut up or speak otherwise and tell the truth.

Let us now be clear, acting contrary to one's nature is usually not praiseworthy. Whenever we sin, we wound our nature.

What Adam's sin did to it was not to replace a godly nature with a sin-nature opposed to it, but to degrade a godly nature so as to make it sinful.

It is in the nature of sex to be fruitful. Whenever anyone wanks, uses a condom in heterosexual context or choses a homosexual context, he is acting against his nature, not in accordance with it. It may be "according to the flesh", or "according to the desires of the flesh", but that is like a cancer is according to biology, but not according to normal human anatomy.

We are usually free to analyse habits and at least on most occasions to break bad ones (my recent habit of too much sugar is hard to break due to all the people trying to promote it because they think they are helping me break an old bad habit of too much alcohol, a habit I neither used to have nor have acquired, other than in some myth-lore among certain Puritans)

I do not think libertarian free will means freedom to act against one's greatest desire consistently - there is a freedom to act against it by inconsistency, but if consistently acted against, a desire cannot be or have remained the greatest one.

Now, the article poses objections.

  • Causality — If causes are understood as conditions prior to an effect that guarantee an effect, and all events have causes, then it follows that all events were preceded by conditions that guaranteed those events. But this is the same as saying all events are determined. Since the choices of humans are events, it follows that the choices of humans are determined.

  • Responsibility — Rather than salvage human responsibility, some maintain that libertarian freedom destroys it. If our choices have no causes, in what sense are they our choices? Is it any more agreeable to reason to hold humans responsible for choices they didn't cause than to hold them responsible for choices that were caused and thus determined?

  • God's Freedom — Some have maintained libertarian freedom on the basis that all things done of necessity are not worthy of praise or blame. But what are we to think of God's actions? We believe that God does good, and that God cannot do evil. Does God's moral inability to do evil make His good actions unpraiseworthy? If God must do good, is He then unpraiseworthy? Some have said that God must do good because God's nature determines His choices. God is still free, some say, because God can act in accordance with His choices, but God's choices are determined by His nature. If God's choices are determined, and God is worthy of praise, this is a clear case, some say, of actions that are determined and thus necessary while also being morally praiseworthy.


Now, on the contrary, a choice is primarily a cause. And God gave us free will to impart on us (as well as on angels) the dignity of being causes.

Let's answer the objections.

"If causes are understood as conditions prior to an effect that guarantee an effect, and all events have causes, then it follows that all events were preceded by conditions that guaranteed those events. But this is the same as saying all events are determined. Since the choices of humans are events, it follows that the choices of humans are determined."


This first of all hammers that choices are effect - while they are mainly causes. The first cause for everything else being of course God's choices, but this choice of His allowing us to make choices of our own. You can say that it is kind of a miracle that anything or anyone other than God can be a cause, can truly chose, but we say God has made this miracle, if such it be.

Second, some effects are so of many causes, and some collaborations of events can have more than one effect. And some effects can be causing of their own continuation.

A fire needs three causes : a combustible, oxygen, sufficient heat. As to heat, a fire also produces it, and so perpetuates one of the necessary causes, as long as the other two are provided and the heat effect of fire is not combatted by a cold effect from something else.

A sudoku constraint per se leaves many possibilities left and even a clear number of sudoku constraints can leave one sudoku with double or triple or twelvefold solutions, if it is made that way.

And third, this denies the art of God's providence which is able to divide our labours and desires and occasions for knowledge and remembrance of past such so as to make free choices very possible.

"If our choices have no causes, in what sense are they our choices? Is it any more agreeable to reason to hold humans responsible for choices they didn't cause than to hold them responsible for choices that were caused and thus determined?"


This is a false dichotomy, since our choices are neither completely uncaused causes, like God's choices or goodness, nor simply effects rather than causes.

"God is still free, some say, because God can act in accordance with His choices, but God's choices are determined by His nature. If God's choices are determined, and God is worthy of praise, this is a clear case, some say, of actions that are determined and thus necessary while also being morally praiseworthy."


For one thing, though God cannot commit evil, God can act in contrary manners about one person, as about Job the forty years when the Devil tempted him and about Job after it. So, the capacity of acting in contrary fashion actually does contribute to the praises He gets from us (when saved for eternity in Heaven or when saved in mortal life from a calamity), or we get from Him, if He says "Come, ye blessed of my Father".

Being self determined is not incompatible with freedom. God is self determined in so far as His nature is totally good. But being determined by one's nature is not quite as straightforward with man. Man before the final confirmation of his choices is by nature "capax boni et mali", capable of chosing both good and evil.

This means that man needs to act well according to his nature the occasion for chosing so freely. In Heaven, we shall, when and if we get there, no longer be able to chose evil. In Hell, those there are no longer able to chose good.

So, unlike God, man has a need of a story in which he has occasion to chose.

This story is guaranteed by God to include sufficient freedom for our choices making a difference.

Now, what is Middle Knowledge like? I think being a novelist gives a hint. I think some persons who occur in novels are person God could have created and didn't - and allowed some novelist to create. And that person, in each case, and in each case according to its mode of real or novelistic or dreamt or envisaged about oneself or about other, is a person with free choice, since created in the image of God.

But since novelists cannot confer real consciousness on their characters, they are inferior and God has done more, He has chosen to show He can live in a story as well as being author of it. It is called "Incarnation" and involved certain moments not so comfortable, like 40 days without food in desert or Gethsemane or 3 hours on the Cross. Not to mentions very many provocations from Pharisees who were very annoying, and to show His friendship surviving some friends being annoying too (Luke 24:25, Matthew 6:30, Matthew 8:26, Matthew 16:8).

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Jerome's Burial Day
30.IX.2016

torsdag 22 september 2016

Biblical Inerrancy - Because Catholic (in Answer to Trent Horn)


Though including a reflection related to YEC, this goes beyond and deals with Biblical Inerrancy in general.

Trent Horn* has a thing or two to say:

However, the genealogies in the Bible cannot be used to date the age of the universe because they were not meant to be exact chronicles of history. In some cases generations were omitted in order to make a symbolic point. In other cases the ages themselves may be symbolic and not literal [the chapters not accessible in preview]. The genealogies in Scripture were primarily focused (sic!) on showing how different people were related to each other, not how long ago they lived.

In contrast with Ussher's exactness, the Catholic Church does not teach that either the Earth or the physical universe is of any particular age. The First Vatican Council only requires Catholics to believe that "the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing.


(From kindle edition, no pagination)

Not quite, Trent Horn, not quite.

First of all, the Catholic Church has per its Latin and Byzantine Rites probably at least two official - diverging - dates for how old Earth was when Christ was born.

In the Rite of St Pius V, the Christmas proclamation states "in the year five thousand one hundred ninety nine after the beginning when God created Heaven and Earth". The Byzantine rite, whether in that context or other, whether liturgically or just historically, whether among Uniates or just among Schismatics, says Earth was in fact 5508 years old at the first Christmas.

Only in Modern Rite is this replaced with "unknown ages". This does not even happen at Liturgic Deformation by "Paul VI", it happens even later, in 1994.

Second, you get Biblical usage somewhat wrong.

Yes, in the genealogy of St Matthew, the husband, son and grandson of Athaliah (the one bad woman who was too bad to mention in it) are omitted. The reason can be termed "symbolic", but the reason is not simply making it 14 in order to concur with the Hebrew gematria of David. That would have been cheating. It does become, after omission, 14 generations from king David to Babylonian captivity, but there is another reason for the omission. These generations are passed over by damnatio memoriae.

Precisely as in Hebrew Bible the generations go Sem, Arphaxad, Sale, while in LXX they go Sem, Arphaxad, Kainan, Sale. Hebrews were familiar with the convention of omitting bad people in genealogies. Greeks weren't. Hebrew and Greek LXX version of genealogy in Genesis 11 differ like Matthew and Luke as regards omitting or including sinners (said three generations omitted by St Matthew, said Kainan included by St Luke).

And if an age seems for any reason symbolic (like 365 years for Henoch and 777 years for Lamech, in each case the Sethite, not the Cainite ones), this in no way precludes there is a literal information. God can have arranged events (including lifespans) to concur with symbolic reasons. Indeed, since date for Christmas depends on calculated date for Annunciation, and Annunciation date on Good Friday date, the dating of Christmas in Patristics depends on counting on God regularly doing so in the lives of holy people, namely letting death date coincide with either birth or conception date.

Third, you cited what the Holy Council of the Vatican had to say about Creation (in contrast with Atheism, Pantheism etc), but not what it had to say on authority of the Bible or what Trent had to say on it.

Since your name is Trent, that is somewhat of a drastic oversight.

Vatican first:

Anathema 1:5 is cited correctly:

If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, were produced, according to their whole substance, out of nothing by God; or holds that God did not create by his will free from all necessity, but as necessarily as he necessarily loves himself; or denies that the world was created for the glory of God: let him be anathema.

But how about 2:4?

If anyone does not receive as sacred and canonical the complete books of Sacred Scripture with all their parts, as the holy Council of Trent listed them, or denies that they were divinely inspired : let him be anathema.

Or 4:2, 4:3?

If anyone says that human studies are to be treated with such a degree of liberty that their assertions may be maintained as true even when they are opposed to divine revelation, and that they may not be forbidden by the Church: let him be anathema.

If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.


Or before anathemas, in the explanatory part:

Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, as declared by the sacred Council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the apostles by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us [16].

The complete books of the old and the new Testament with all their parts, as they are listed in the decree of the said Council and as they are found in the old Latin Vulgate edition, are to be received as sacred and canonical.

These books the Church holds to be sacred and canonical not because she subsequently approved them by her authority after they had been composed by unaided human skill, nor simply because they contain revelation without error, but because, being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and were as such committed to the Church.


Or Trent, Session IV - Celebrated on the eighth day of April, 1546 under Pope Paul III:

Following, then, the examples of the orthodox Fathers, it receives and venerates with a feeling of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and New Testaments, since one God is the author of both; also the traditions, whether they relate to faith or to morals, as having been dictated either orally by Christ or by the Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church in unbroken succession.

It has thought it proper, moreover, to insert in this decree a list of the sacred books, lest a doubt might arise in the mind of someone as to which are the books received by this council.


[follows here a list]

If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, let him be anathema.

Will there be a second edition without this blunder?

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Emmeram
22.IX.2016

* Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties Hardcover – June 30, 2016
by Trent Horn (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Sayings-Catholic-Answering-Difficulties/dp/1941663745/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

tisdag 6 september 2016

Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually


1) Makarios · 2) Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually · 3) Protestants - Not - Getting Around Matthew 28 Last Three Verses: John Calvin's Attempt

I was looking at an article from Christian Courier, in which St Onesiphorus is said not to have been prayed for after death for reasons much more spurious than Tradition about when he was martyred.

I was a bit curious, and found another article, wherein Wayne Jackson exposes a perfectly Catholic view of "OSAS" not being true for all Christians individually:

Christian Courier : Take Heed Lest You Fall
https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/845-take-heed-lest-you-fall


Condensing the article to its headings and for each all given Bible references, after intro:

It is possible to fall
Lk. 8:13, Jn. 15:1-6

Some did fall
Acts 1:25, Jn. 17:12, Jn. 6:66, 2 Tim. 2:16-18, Heb. 6:4-6, Eph. 2:8-9; cf. Acts 19:1-7, Rev. 2:4-5; 1:20, 2 Thes. 2:1-12; cf. 1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1ff

It is possible to prevent falling
1 Cor. 10:12; Heb. 3:12; Col. 2:8, 2 Pet. 1:5-11, Jude 20-21

One can be restored from apostasy
Acts 8:20-22, Jas. 5:19-20

Why Saints Depart from the Faith

Some fall because of persecution
Mt. 13:21, Lk. 14:28, 2 Tim. 3:12, Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7

Some fall when they become heir to natural disaster
Gen. 3:16ff; Rom. 5:12; 8:20ff, cf. Acts 27; 2 Cor. 11:25-27

(Texts perhaps and commenting text certainly only about the circumstance there are such)

Many apostatize out of neglect
Heb. 2:3, 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18, Heb. 10:24-25, 1 Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 2:4, 2 Tim. 2:15; Psa. 1:2; 1 Thes. 5:17, Jn. 15:1ff; Rom. 7:4

Cares, riches, and pleasure are the downfall of others
Mt. 13:22; Lk. 8:14, cf. Prov. 30:8, see Mt. 6:25-34, Lk. 12:16-21, 1 Tim. 6:10, Rom. 12:2, 2 Pet. 2:20-22, cf. Philm. 24; Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:10

Some are seduced from the faith by false teaching
1 Jn. 4:1, 1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1ff, Lk 8:18, Acts 17:11, Mt. 22:29, Acts 20:30, 1 Tim. 6:5; cf. 2 Pet. 2:1ff, Eph. 4:4, Col. 1:18

Some have an unrealistic view of conversion
1 Pet. 4:17, 1 Pet. 2:2, 2 Pet. 3:18, cf. Eph. 4:13ff, cf. Mt. 26:70; Rom. 7:15ff; Gal. 2:11-14

Some fall due to the lack of Christian association
Mt. 10:34ff; Phil. 5:7-8, Eph. 5:11, 1 Cor. 15:33,

Some apostatize due to harsh treatment at the hands of crude brethren
Rom. 16:17; Tit. 3:10; 2 Tim. 4:1ff; etc., compare Diotrephes, 3 Jn. 9-10, Gal. 6:1

Some never learn to receive considerate correction
Prov. 17:10, Prov. 3:11-12, Heb. 12:11

Some never learn to deal with church difficulties
Matthew 13, 2 Cor. 11:26

Some fall because of misplaced confidence
Prov. 25:19, Heb. 13:5

Conclusion
1 Cor. 10:12

Reference
Jackson, Wayne. "Take Heed Lest You Fall." ChristianCourier.com. Access date: September 6, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/845-take-heed-lest-you-fall


Now, there are however some Bible verses on which the OSAS doctrine has been ... shall we say, embroidered.

This gives us occasion to look at the introduction:

Both Old and New Testaments speak of potential and actual apostasy among the people of God. To the northern kingdom of Israel, Hosea, on behalf of Jehovah, exclaimed:

“And my people are bent on backsliding from me: though they call them to him that is on high, none at all will exalt him” (Hos. 11:7).

Moses had warned Israel of the possibility of their forgetting the Lord and the wonderful signs He had performed in the wilderness (Dt. 8:11-14; 4:9).

The noble prophet Ezekiel declared:

“When the righteous man turns away from this righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done shall he die” (18:26).

The Old Testament record is literally filled with examples of apostasy on the part of God’s covenant people. In First Corinthians 10, Paul catalogs a number of these instances.


The people of the Old Covenant was not indefectible. But the people of the New Covenant, that is the Catholic Church, is. When I say Wojtyla is Antipope, I am not saying the Catholic Church has, as a whole, apostatised. There must be a remnant up to the consummation of all time (confer Matthew 28!). While the Old Covenant was, with the people of Israel, conditional (Deuteronomy 28), the New is an Eternal and Indefectible Covenant. And therefore the covenant people, the Catholic Church is also ... Once Saved, Always Saved ... as far as the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. As far as it is the people around the successors of the Eleven to whom Christ said:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

19 *Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.


And here are the comments from Haydock Bible Commentary, 1859:

Ver. 18.
All power is given to me.
The Arians object that the power which Christ had, is said to be given him by another. The Catholics answer, that Christ, as man, received this power from God. 2ndly. It may also be said, that the eternal Son, though he be equal, and be the same God with the Father, yet he proceeds and receives all from the Father. (Witham)

See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's Church. He received from his Father, all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John xx. 21.) to teach and disciple, matheteuein, not one, but all nations, and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, (not for three or four hundred years only) but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church go astray? having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. (St. John xiv. 6.) (Challoner)

Some hence infer that Jesus Christ, according to his human nature, was sovereign Lord of the whole world; but more properly this may be taken of his spiritual power, such as regards the salvation of souls. For Jesus Christ says to Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. This spiritual power, Jesus Christ communicated in part to his apostles and their successors in the ministry, as to his vicars: As my Father hath sent me, so I send you. Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven: behold here the power both in heaven and earth. (Estius)

Ver. 19.
Teach all nations. In St. Mark we read, going into the whole world, preach to every creature, that is capable of it; not only to the Jews, but to all nations throughout the whole world, baptizing them, &c. The Anabaptists pretend to shew from this place, that none are to be baptized, unless they be first taught and instructed. This is true, as to persons who are already come to an age, in which they are capable of being instructed before their baptism. But according to the tradition and constant doctrine of the Catholic Church, received also by the pretended Reformed Churches, new born children are to be baptized before they are capable of instruction: nor can they enter into the kingdom of heaven without baptism.

In the name of the Father, &c.
We are made Christians in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: we profess to believe, and hope for our salvation, by believing, hoping, serving, and adoring the same three divine Persons, from whence the Fathers prove the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be one God, and equal in all perfections. (Witham)

Had Christ only said, Lo! I am with you all days; it might, in that case, be limited to the natural lives of the apostles; but as He moreover adds, even to the consummation of the world, it must necessarily be extended to their successors in the ministry, till the end of time. (Estius)

By these words Go, teach,
he gives them the power of teaching not only what relates to faith, but also what is necessarily connected with piety and a holy conversation. For we see added a further explanation, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; which words, beyond all doubt, must be referred to the precepts of a holy life. How egregiously then must those men be deceived, who infer from the words teach all nations, that faith alone will suffice. What follows, baptizing them, shews another part of the pastoral functions, which consists in the administration of the sacraments. Hence also all heretics are refuted, who pretend to affirm that all ecclesiastical ministry consists in barely delivering the word. (Estius, in different location)

Ver. 20.
Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world,
embraces two points necessary for the Church; viz. integrity of doctrine, and sanctity of life; for, if either of these should be wanting to the Church, it might then be justly said, that she had been left and abandoned by Christ, her Spouse. (Estius)

Jesus Christ will make good his promise: 1. by always dwelling in the hearts of the faithful; 2. by his sacramental presence in the holy Eucharist; 3. by his providential care, and constant protection to his holy Catholic Church. These last six lines of St. Matthew's gospel, says the bright luminary of France, Bossuet, most clearly demonstrate the infallibility and indefectibility of the one, holy, Catholic Church, which all are commanded to hear and obey.


These points would sufficiently clarify what the OSAS verses really mean.

And for a fuller understanding of these verses, do look at the

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
A Catholic Bible commentary compiled by the late Rev. Fr. George Leo Haydock, following the Douay-Rheims Bible.
http://haydock1859.tripod.com/index.html


to which I refer you.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Onesiphorus
6.IX.2016

Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?

1) Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus, 2) Answering an Attack Against Prayers for the Dead, 3) Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?, 4) Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

The text provides some kind of circumstantial evidence he might have.

Nevertheless, other evidence suggests he hadn't died yet.

6 Septembris In Palaestina sancti Zachariae Prophetae, qui, de Chaldaea senex in patriam reversus, ibique defunctus, juxta Aggaeum Prophetam conditus jacet.

In Hellesponto sancti Onesiphori, Apostolorum discipuli, cujus meminit sanctus Paulus ad Timotheum scribens. Ipse autem Onesiphorus ibidem, una cum sancto Porphyrio, jussu Hadriani Proconsulis acriter verberatus et a ferocibus raptatus equis, spiritum Deo reddidit. ...


Iussi Hadriani Proconsulis? Does that mean some other Hadrian, or does that mean Emperor Hadrian while he was yet only a proconsul?

In the latter case, Onesiphorus cannot have been dead before Saint Paul. Hadrian (/ˈheɪdriən/; Latin: Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus;[note 1][2][note 2] 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138.

He cannot have been proconsul until he was born, and he was born after Saint Paul.

Catholic Online : St. Onesiphorus
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4910


Facts

Feastday:
September 6

Death:
81

Martyr with Porphyrius. Onesiphorus was mentioned in St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy. According to tradition, they went to Spain in the footsteps of St. Paul and then suffered martyrdom on the Hellespont, under Emperor Domitian. They were tied to wild horses and torn to pieces. Porphyrius was said to be a member of Onesiphorus' household.


On the other hand, an Emperor born in 76 can hardly have been proconsul in 81 either. So, no argument from Hadrian's life.

On the "first hand again"*, 81 is also after St Paul's death. So, when St Paul prayed, St Onesiphorus was not yet dead.

However, he could have been missing, even suspected already dead. And St Paul could have used a prayer which would be equally appropriate if preparing for his Christian death, perhaps even as a martyr - which is what he became.

That said, the argument from II Maccabees is still sufficient even for those not accepting it as canonic. Author was not a Sadducee. And he showed that non-Sadducee Jews were praying for the dead. So did Israelites of North Kingdom - if you read Tobit. There even one deed associated with indulgences for the dead is named, namely offering meals to the poor who pray for the dead (only righteous poor being welcome, in the eyes of the older Tobias).

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Onesiphorus**
6.IX.2016

* How do you say when you counter something you said with "on the other hand"? I have used "on the third hand", but there is no such thing on a human body. One could imagine using "on the OTHER hand" with extra emphasis on other too ...? ** Greeks celebrate him tomorrow - or thirteen days later.

måndag 22 augusti 2016

Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

1) Salute ... the Household of Onesiphorus, 2) Answering an Attack Against Prayers for the Dead, 3) Saint Onesiphorus revisited - did he die before St Paul?, 4) Luther, 2 Maccabees, Purgatory or Prayers for the Dead

It didn't take long before the standard Roman Catholic answer appeared.* According to many Roman Catholics, Luther removed the Apocrypha because it disagreed with his theology. For instance, 2 Maccabees 12:46 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] teaches such things like Purgatory, and since Luther didn't believe in Purgatory, he removed it. The second part of this Roman Catholic argument is that Luther was cornered into rejecting 2 Maccabees while debating John Eck on Purgatory. It has become standard now to mention Gary Michuta's argumentation on this from his book, Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger for historical support on: Eck vs. Luther= remove 2 Maccabees.

That awful Luther just couldn't stand Roman doctrines, so he rejected all the Apocryphal books. But wait a minute... there are a few other Apocryphal books that go along with 2 Maccabees! I don't think I've ever heard a Roman Catholic explain which Roman Catholic doctrines the other books teach and why Luther rejected them.


The fact is, since about 2000 years or more (back then about 1500 years or more) there were two lists of canonic OT books.

It is certain one of them does NOT contain 2 Maccabees. It is somewhat disputed whether the other contains only 2 or even 3 or 4 Maccabees (Roman Catholic OT's end at 2 Macc, Roumanian Orthodox ones at 4 Macc, a k a Josif after Flavius Josephus, considered its author, a k a appendix to OT).

Now, it is also certain that Luther was not SUCH an unprincipled bungler that he would have stayed with the larger list while unilaterally rejecting one item in it. So, if he wanted to keep 2 Maccabees out, he had to stick with the shorter list.

One problem : up to then it was only Jews, rejecting Christ, who were known to have chosen the shorter one.

This was so in editions of Biblia Hebraica, but also so in the Hebrew text from which St Jerome translated the OT books (except certain ones, including 2 Maccabees) in the Vulgate.

Luther's solution was to fiddle with Patristics. St Jerome is known to have expressed a personal preference for including only the Hebrew books, not ones he had to go to LXX for. Hey presto, Luther had Patristic support! Or ... not. St Jerome did express this personal preference, but it should be noted that originally his Vulgate project was mainly there for debate with Jews, who back then used to point out where LXX diverged from their version. St Jerome's expressed preference COULD be read in the light of this purpose. However, even if he had a fleeting thought on 2 Maccabees not being divinely inspired, he did not stick to it, like Luther at Reformation, he rather obeyed the preference of all the bishops - expressed by his correspondent St Augustine.

So, even if no other "Apocryphon" had expressed (indirectly) Purgatory, or Indulgences, if Luther WAS to reject 2 Maccabees, which did so, he had to reject the rest.

In fact, the admonitions of Tobit also do express Indulgences.

The acts of the angel Raphael in Tobit would to many men around 1500 have looked like magic, superstition. And the book had encouraged considering St Raphael as one of the three archangels, with Gabriel and Michael.

In Daniel, chapter 3 is also "an addition" in so far as LXX and Vulgate and other RC versions are longer, including the song of praise of the three young men in the furnace.

Parts of that song would either qualify as "animism" or as "adressing angelic beings". Neither of which were high priorities on the Renaissance based, proto-"Enlightenment" and Humanist side of Reformation. Luther's mentor (who remained Catholic), Erasmus of Rotterdam, had lampooned "that sort of thing" in Epistulae Obscurorum Virirorum. Exactly as with how St Raphael made the exorcism and the healing of the eyes.

OTHER sects have had OTHER reasons to reject the seven books in question.

Judith (as well as a place in Judges) give parallels to "blessed art thou among women" in Luke. If we judge Luke by these two parallels, the angel was declaring the Blessed Virgin had won a major victory for Israel or defeated a major enemy of Israel. Since she had neither killed a man by a pole through his head like Sisera was killed, nor by cutting off his head, like Holophernes was killed, one can understand why She went "what do these words even mean" until they were repeated and she understood the parallel and gave a parallel song of praise - the Magnificat. She had never even once sinned, she had - even before becoming Mother of God - defeated the old serpent. I suppose there were already commentaries on Jael and Judith's victories saying how Holophernes and Sisera embody the serpent and were therefore struck in the head. If so, these would certainly have helped her to realise it was none less than the Devil she had defeated, since her fight was not against flesh and blood (see Ephesians 6:12).

If Luther did not mind this very Mariological implication of Judith, some modern "rejecters of Apocrypha" (which aren't such, the word means sth different and a different set of books, even for OT) very much DO mind this.

Baruch on the other hand, well, for some Renaissance men chapter 3 mentioning giants and God speaking to stars who answer might have been "too much", but to Jews about 1400 years before Luther, the thing which would have been "too much" was rather 3:[36] This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of him. [37] He found out all the way of knowledge, and gave it to Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved. [38] Afterwards he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.

Was seen upon Earth? Conversed with men?

Sounds like Jesus with the Apostles and with others, even if this does not quite fit the past tense. But the rabbis would have been very aware that such a description about events that in Baruch's day were past could also imply a prophecy about what in Baruch's day was still future. I e the days of Christ. I suppose this goes along with diverging interpretations of the three angels hosted by Abraham. To a Christian this could easily be a reference for Baruch 3:38, the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity appearing like angels. To a Jew after rejecting Christ, such thoughts were a no no. The angels were JUST angels, JUST creatures. And if God indeed conversed with Job, Moses, Elijah, they did not see Him on earth.

That would be why Jews chose the shorter list of OT books, while Christians at least of Greek language choose the longer one, in the shape of the LXX. Not sure whether Peschitta has or lacks these books, I think it has them. Or thought. Checked, wrong. At least according to list on http://www.peshitta.org/. It ends - very much like Hebrew Bibles - with 2 Chronicles.

They had their reason, Luther had his, for Peschitta I think it was simply translated from the shorter version, so there was no active choice.

But there is a thing to note here. Even if Luther does reject 2 Maccabees as to divine inspiration, he does not reject its historicity. So, it is certain, historically speaking, even if it were not in the word of God, that a priest did sacrifice for purging dead people of their sins, and it is certain, historically speaking, even if this opinion were not in fact a doctrine in the word of God, that someone (whoever wrote 2 Maccabees) actually approved of this.

This means something like a doctrine of purgatory (some Greeks would prefer "retroactive efficacy of prayer") was around before Jesus came. This in turn means something if nowhere in the New Testament we see Jesus actively rejecting it. And it gives us a clue about the most probable reading of "salute the household of Onesiphoros".

Now we deal with the defense:

Contrary to Michuta's caricature of Luther pre-Leipzig, the reason why Luther could quote Sirach and Tobit is because Luther was heavily schooled with the Glossa ordinaria. When commenting on the apocryphal books, this work prefixes this introduction to them: Here begins the book of Tobit which is not in the canon; here begins the book of Judith which is not in the canon' and so forth for Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and Maccabees etc. The schooling Luther received informed his opinion on the canon. Even the Occamist influence in Luther's life would probably informed him similarly. Michuta himself notes Occam held to the allowance of reading the apocrypha, but that the books were not canonical (p. 218).

It wouldn't be odd to find Luther familiar with or fluent in the apocrypha, but that doesn't mean he believed it was canonical scripture.

...

I consider Luther fundamentally honest on this issue. He denied the authority of 2 Maccabees to establish doctrine because that was simply how he was trained as a theologian, and he followed a tradition which denied the Dueterocanincals authority to establish doctrine. Luther in fact provides detailed opinions of the Deuterocanonical books in his biblical prefaces. I see no reason to grant that his entire opinion suddenly shifted because of Eck at Leipzig. Luther quoted from the Deuterocanonicals throughout his entire career, in a manner consistent with the views expressed in his Biblical prefaces. Michuta's paradigm has no way to account for this.


Well, supposing Luther was himself that honest, at least he missed the point about Jesus not actively rejecting Purgatory or Indulgences, a doctrine PROVEN to have been around among Jews in his time.

And others were less honest. If Luther had been right, these would in the Lutheran community have been outweighed by the honest ones who were right for honest reasons - but since Luther was wrong, Lutheranism is not a "communio sanctorum" and there is no sharing of merits from better to worse Lutherans as there is with Catholics.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL**
Immaculate Heart of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
22.VIII.2016

* Quotes from : Beggars all ... : Why Luther Removed 2 Maccabees from the Bible
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-luther-removed-2-maccabees-from.html


** Yes, they are open after vacation, again!

torsdag 18 augusti 2016

Never Covered in Sunday School?


Here is a quote I like:

Furthermore, there are many things kids need to learn about the Bible that are never covered in most Sunday schools: How were the books in the Bible selected? Why were books left out of the Bible? How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors? How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote? What about the supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible?

All of these questions are favorites for skeptics to weigh in on. But your kids won’t know what to make of their claims if you’ve assumed they’ll learn all this at church. They almost certainly won’t.


The 5 Worst Beliefs a Christian Parent Can Have in an Imploding Society
July 12, 2016 | by Natasha Crain | 19 Comments
http://christianmomthoughts.com/the-5-worst-beliefs-a-christian-parent-can-have-in-an-imploding-society/


How were the books in the Bible selected?
5 of them were so to speak given by the founder of the Jewish Church, Moses. Perhaps also the case with Job. Most of the rest (if you count the Christian way in OT) were added by the Jewish Church over time, presumably by its recognised prophets and its priests. 27 were then added on top of that by the Christian Church. Which, of the competing OT redacvtions, took a longer than the Jewish one.

Why were books left out of the Bible?
Because no one claimed they were inspired by God or because their backing of the claim was insufficient.

Note that this means clearly collective because cumulative works like the four books of Kings were inspired, because written in God's service by priests who knew they were handling prophecy, unless a final redaction of the former two were left to the prophet Samuel. Like that of Genesis to Moses.

It also means a book claimed to be written by an undoubted Saint, Henoch (the Sethite one, not the Cainite one), may have insufficient backing for that claim.

How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors?
Through the Jewish Church of the Old Testament and its heir the Christian Church of the New and Eternal Testament.

How do we know the Bible we have today says what the authors originally wrote?
Through basic procedures of safe copying and the intention of the Church to apply them, but in excluding errors by inadvertence, by Her claiming God helped to do so.

What about the supposed errors and contradictions in the Bible?
Have been debunked and are debunked by apologists.


The last part is so true. I came across LOTS of sceptics at a boarding school, they basically ruined my life in the process, BUT I am thankful for having had to refer to the Christian Church and having had pointed out to me, that means the Roman Catholics, against whom I had one or two prejudices.

I had the choice of getting rid of my faith or my prejudices. Unexpectedly to some, it were the anti-Catholic prejudices which went away.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bibl. Audoux
St Agapitus of Praeneste, Martyr
18.VIII.2016