He also said he learned from his academic study of Jesus' disciples that, many of them experienced horrific deaths "and none even flinched."
"These were 11 guys who went 11 different directions (after the Ascension) and never saw each other again. They all told the same story and refused to deny what they saw. There had to be something to what they believed," he said.
They did stay together a few years as collective episcopacy of the Church in Jerusalem. With St Peter as their head. So, based on merely that, there is a theoretical chance they could have concocted a story, at least they had the time if you go only by that.
- However, the Church started out with a Story told on Pentecost day. If they had been reshaping the story after, they would have lost adherents. So, in fact they did not have more time than 52 days between Crucifixion and Pentecost.
- If they had agreed on it in spite of facts known by them (supposing there had been such as would have invalidated their story) they would not have died unflinching deaths under torture, or, as for St John, faced a naturally inevitable death under boiling oil and then survive miraculously.
Nor been in the mood for the show they did on Pentecost day. And the miracle of Languages would not have happened. God does not make miracles for liars.
- If they had been mad, they would not have been able to agree on a story and would not have been able to guide, in the open, a Church like that.
Even sane people have trouble making homeless shelters agreeable for all concerned, perhaps they do not want to but want people to look for work so as to get away from them - but the Church in Jerusalem was people sacrificing their carreers so as to be able to live together.
The Hippie Camps have tried to rival that recently - and mostly failed. And it started out 5000 men plus women and children. Not just Hippie camp, but Woodstock - and Altamont. As far as scale is concerned. But the Church had no Altamont. And even Altamont was not ran by madmen, it just went wrong anyway.
One more quote from Joel Lampe:
A couple of years later, he said, he began studying the lives of William Tyndale, John Rogers, Thomas Cranmer and John Wycliffe - biblical publishing pioneers who were persecuted or killed for challenging the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
Big trouble number one with that story: the question what happened to the Church between the Apostles (or possibly Saint Jerome) and John Wycliffe.
Bible says the Church cannot fail between Ascension and Return of Our Lord. Our Lord's words, end of Gospel of St Matthew.
Big trouble number two with it: his Father Dr Craig's* solution the Bible teaching was kept pure and alive by a "secret society called the Culdees".
Bible says the Church cannot be a secret society. "A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden". "No man lighteth a candle/lamp so as to place it under a bushel" - and would God who lit the beacon of Light for our souls, whose word is a lantern for our feet put his candle** under a bushel? Or allow it to be put under a bushel by evil men for any longer time?
Even in Russia, 1917-1990, lots of people knew the Gospels because they were known before, from the time of the Czars. And that obscuration was not even reducing the Church to a secret society, since Orthodox and in some parts Catholic priests were openly celebrating Mass and preaching the Resurrection on Easter.
Now, let us therefore look on Craig's story about Wycliff, from The Forbidden Book.
John Wycliff was a product of the chosing of that secret society...
As already stated, the Culdees were not a secret society, they were Monks of the Celtic discipline. Iona was founded by some spiritual grandson or greatgrandson of St Patrick (whose biography I am now reading). By the way, it is not Culdee that means a certain starnger, but Chaldaeus, Chaldean. And St Joseph was not a Chaldean, he was a Hebrew, a Hebraeus. Culdee is not Latin but Irish: "Caol Dé" = "Companion of God". Just as "Socius Jesu" (the Latin for Jesuit) = "Companion of Jesus." But as little as the Jesuits in Spain, as little were the Culdees in the British Isles a Secret Society.
It is possible that certain Culdees after the Norman Conquest ousted the Celtic Church Discipline (and yes, Celtic and Roman Church differred only on discipline) degenerated into a secret society, just as it is possible that Templars after the burning of Jacques Molay in 1313 degenerated into a secret society more than they had become already by then (I mean Jacques Molay was no true and faithful successor of Hugues de Payns, unless he fooled - as I think he did not - the Council of Troyes of 1129, because quite certainly Hugues de Payns was not forcing - and would not have been allowed to start the order if he had been thought to force - new recruits to the order to tread on a Crucifix, as Jacques Molay was condemned for: some say Templars surviving in Scotland became the deplorable Freemasons, by infiltrating what had previously been Lodges of simple builders, and it is just barely possible but not at all likely that such degeneration happened to some Culdees as well).
But it is normally so that the Culdees who were not allowed to continue in their older discipline after Norman Conquests of the Celtic fringes (as well as Monks of Ely after Norman Conquest in England) took the Benedictine or later possibly Cistercian discipline. And on what basis could you say there were exceptions living on as a secret society or that new Benedictines even were secretly disloyal to the new Church discipline but at same time highly organised? Contemporary documents? - Not that I know of.
Wyclef stated he belonged to a secret society? - Would have been dangerous. Not likely.
Secret societies later claimed they continued the Culdees whose man Wyclef was? - That is in my opinion the very likeliest basis, unless it is just hysteria about Catholicism making secret society like behaviour a necessity for true Christians and trying to identify the "secret society Christians", picking Culdees for a reason or another.
Some have stated that the whole Reformation (like Freemasonry, like Bolshevism) is after all the product of people acting sometimes after the fashion of secret societies. These would be Jews, the sect that much earlier had crucified Our Lord. I find it barely likelier Jews by hatred of Christianity (which was offering them a status of second class citizens, after all) would have misunderstood or otherwise attacked the Holy Eucharist, picked out a man who did not shun them too much, talked to him and so on ...
But at least as likely if not likelier that some persecuted Waldensians - for there were times when they were persecuted - approached him.
If we can discount that, we can say he was his own deluder.
Here prepared a little tract called the Wicket, and it was a denial of Transsubstantiation.
That much is nearly sure that he denied Transsubstantiation. Or at least attacked it. Has the tract been preserved or not? Has if there is one its genuine descent from the pen of Wycliff been duly established?
Because the Bible did not support the idea that there is some kind of illusion or som kind of hocus pocus
The "refutation" of Transsubstantiation based thereon was refuted itself by St Thomas Aquinas:***
Summa Theologiae, III P, Q 75
Summa Theologiae, III P, Q 77
From the latter, A 1:
Objection 1. It seems that the accidents do not remain in this sacrament without a subject, because there ought not to be anything disorderly or deceitful in this sacrament of truth. But for accidents to be without a subject is contrary to the order which God established in nature; and furthermore it seems to savor of deceit, since accidents are naturally the signs of the nature of the subject. Therefore the accidents are not without a subject in this sacrament.
Reply to Objection 1. There is nothing to hinder the common law of nature from ordaining a thing, the contrary of which is nevertheless ordained by a special privilege of grace, as is evident in the raising of the dead, and in the restoring of sight to the blind: even thus in human affairs, to some individuals some things are granted by special privilege which are outside the common law. And so, even though it be according to the common law of nature for an accident to be in a subject, still for a special reason, according to the order of grace, the accidents exist in this sacrament without a subject, on account of the reasons given above (75, 5).
In other words, it is the real lightness or whiteness of bread you experience by touch or sight even when there is no real bread there any longer. And because the real whiteness and lightness is still there, same lightness and whiteness as when they were those of bread not yet consecrated, there is no deceit. There is no illusion.
And they would serve the elements in a Cannibalistic way.
Not at all. Cannibalism means eating the body of a man dead, or possibly dying from the cannibalism, unless it is very limited as in modern perversions of ritual Vampyrism. It means taking away pieces or drops to eat by one man what would otherwise have been the life of another one.
But Christ is risen, and His Body and Blood are not there under their own dimensions. Each communicant takes into his mouth and swallows, under the dimensions of bread and wine, not a piece of Christ's body but all of it, not a drop of Christ's blood but all of it. It is not blood as being spilled, it is blood as running in the veins of the Risen Body. Communion is not Cannibalism, it is offering up one's body to be a place where Christ is in His Body and Blood. Cannibalism is eating someone else's death. Communion is eating God's life. Cannibalism is eating someone weaker than oneself, since already dead. Communion is eating someone stronger than oneself, since already risen and since the very Person of God the Son, of God Almighty.
However, if Wycliff himself made the charge - I am right now searching Wikipedia for "The Wicket Wycliffe Lollards" and I get: "Did you mean: The Cricket Wycliffe Lollards" because Wicket is also a term in the Cricket game - then he was basically agreeing with Jewish anti-Christian and earlier Roman Pagan anti-Christian polemics. The "Cannibal" charge against Christians was made due to the Holy Eucharist. The Cannibal charge made by Celsus.
While on search for The Wicket, I get to an Old Paths Publications where Wycliff is said to have "defended property rights against Rome." He did not, he attacked voluntary poverty, the state in which the Church of Jerusalem lived. He called people having sold all their property and given it to the poor and living as beggars "thieves" precisely as the Pharisees and Sadducees might have called the Church in Jerusalem.
Between St Jerome and the time of Wycliff, the Faith delivered to and through the Apostles was not kept alive by a secret society of Culdees emanating into Wycliff, but by the established Church - including the time when it condemned Wycliff.
Château d'Eau Library
St John of Matha, O. SS. Trin.
* As per mail I received Craig Lampe is Ph. D. I am neither claiming nor denying it, he is claiming it. As to what University or what subject, I do not know. It is not Lund University's Faculty for History, nor for Classical Studies. I know a Historian there, I studied Latin there, such ignorance as his about the Latin Middle Ages is inconceivable there. At least if you are promoted to Ph.D. - as I was not but do not claim to have been.
** Probable reference not to the kind of candles or tapers of wax you seen in Church, but to oil lamps. These had wicks like candles, and I am quoting from memory.
*** His Summa Theologiae is available online, both Latin and English translation. It has five parts, of which he did the first four in context. Prima Pars (I P) is about God as Creator and about Creation in General. Secunda Pars is really two parts, it is about Human Actions and their principles and that means it is there you find definitions of Sin and Grace. Prima Secundae (I-II) deals with basic principles of human actions, there you find freewill and passions, law and grace and the charismata. Secunda Secundae (II-II) deals with diverse virtues and sins. There you can find definition of Faith, Hope and Charity - as well as of diverse sins against these. Tertia Pars (III P) deals with Incarnation, Redemption, Church and Sacraments. But III P is only the part he completed himself. It includes Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, but the general outline of the work is followed up by his disciples in Tertiae Partis Supplementum (III Suppl.), which takes the rest of the Sacraments, and in context with Penance deals also with Indulgences. After the Sacraments it goes on to Eschatology. Its words are his, but taken together from earlier works done on other plans, basically. Each of these five parts - I, I-II, II-II, III, (III) Suppl - is divided into sections not marked in citation but these are subdivided into Quaestiones that are numbered all through such a part. After one quaestio dealing with Theology and Holy Writ you continue counting the Quaestiones about God, as such, as Trinity, as Creator, and after that the numbering continues unbroken for the Quaestiones about Creation (Q 70 is about "The Work of Fourth Day of Creation" for instance), and each Quaestio is subdivided into closely related aspects, known as Articles. Each Article begins with the "Objections" against truth, continues one authority for truth known as "Sed Contra", then comes St Thomas' explanation of the main point in the "In corpore" and then his answers to objections in the final parts known as "Ad 1, ad 2 ..." enumerating the responses to each of the objections in same order.