Thursday, March 03, 2011

Rome-Colored Glasses?

Another blogger who uses a pseudonym of "TurretinFan" posted an article of little more than invented scenarios which were seeming to impugn the Catholic teaching on the papacy.  Some responses have gone back and forth in the combox on his blog, but my current response is read better as its own article than a combox so I am posting it here (I'm also posting it there in parts, but again it's easier to read it here).  To see what I'm responding to, please visit TurretinFan's blog here:  

TF responds:
> a) There's nothing in the original article that
> suggests that Roman apologists use these
> quotations.

The inference is there when you said, “many of my readers of the Roman communion would draw a similar inference that Athanasius is affirming Roman primacy.”  You have clarified that you did not have any Catholic apologists in mind, I have thanked you for this clarification - and I thank you again.

> I was hoping the problem was that you
> didn't read the article carefully. If you did
> read it carefully, I'm not sure what to
> attribute your question to.

Again, I had no “problem” with the article, per se, other than the invented “what if” scenario seemed deliberately misleading.  Again, you have clarified your position.  I have thanked you, and I thank you again.

> b) You are welcome to disagree, but most
> of the quotations at the links you provided
> don't even come close to being as strong
> statements in favor of Rome or Rome's
> bishop as the statements in favor of
> Alexandria's bishop, or Caesarea's bishop,
> or Carthage's bishop, or Antioch.
>
> Let me take the first quotation from your
> first list:
>> "The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul],
>> having founded and built up the church
>> [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of
>> the episcopate to Linus"
>> (Against Heresies 3:3:3 [A.D. 189]).
>
> Look at it! Even if we leave aside the
> fact that the hacked up quotation has to
> use brackets to put in the most important
> words, and even if we ignore the fact that
> Irenaeus is absolutely guaranteed to be
> wrong (Scripture proves that Paul didn't
> found the church in Rome), still what
> does he say except that Linus was
> made a bishop there by them?  Nothing
> about universal jurisdiction, primacy, or
> succession of investiture of replacement
> of Peter by Linus after Peter's death
> (what are we supposed to believe that
> there were two popes for a while?).

Let us take your objections here in order:
1) The “hacked up quotation” which makes use of brackets does so to insert the CONTEXT of St. Irenaeus’ work!  Just look at 3:2:
by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those who exist everywhere. (emphasis mine)
Yes, the context speaks volumes - and I would encourage any objective readers here to look at the context:  http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm
2) I am not here to argue your disagreement with St. Irenaeus.
3) Saying St. Linus was made a bishop by them, alone, does not prove succession - but it does, when combined with OTHER ECF testimonies, provide further evidence for succession.
4) THEN when we look at the paragraph just prior to the one cited in the list, which you refer to, we DO see things in a much more “Catholic” light.
5) Two popes?  I’m not asking you to believe that - while I would not oppose the concept of a dual governing by Sts. Peter and Paul - St. Peter still has a primacy of office which St. Paul does not have.

> It's lame. It doesn't come close to
> establishing a papacy in the early church.

Well, again, when we look at the context, which again I hope you and both your and my readers do, such an establishment is not hard to see at all.

> It takes oodles of wishful thinking and
> Rome-colored glasses to anachronistically
> impose the papacy on that quotation.

Again, there is no anachronism here.  I feel the need to use a quote from The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo Montoya)

> The first of my quotations says Athanasius
> had the "charge of the whole world" which
> is a lot closer in its sound to a statement of
> universal jurisdiction than Linus simply
> being made a bishop.

Well again, read a bit more context from St. Ireneaus, but be that as it may - the words of praise for St. Athanasius came near the end of his life.  You may recall, it was St. Athanasius, almost alone, who stood firm on behalf of the entire Church in the face of Arianism.  I whole-heartedly uphold the praises lofted upon him in his waining years.

> Yes, I'm free to have a contrary opinion to
> yours, and there's a good reason I do.

Well, while I have empathy for your opinions, I once thought much as you do - I cannot agree that your reasons are good - and I’m certain that where you are now you do not believe my stance is “good” either.

Godspeed to you, TF.

Scott<<<

Addendum:
Turretinfan said...   Friday, March 04, 2011 2:10:00 PM 

Scott:      
a) As far as your response to my analysis of the quotation goes, you abandon the quotation itself for a questionable translation of another item in the context;    

b) But even with that, you are forced to admit "Saying St. Linus was made a bishop by them, alone, does not prove succession";    

c) So you make a vague general appeal to all the ECFs writings and claim "THEN when we look at the paragraph just prior to the one cited in the list, which you refer to, we DO see things in a much more “Catholic” light."    

But of course the problem is that the same methodology is applied to all the quotations. None of them prove the papacy, and it is only by selecting those quotations and viewing them anachronistically that we can conclude that they have anything to do with the papacy (a doctrine unknown in that time).    

-TurretinFan 

I respond:
a) From what I can see, the verbage is identical to what you quoted - so now it's a "questionable translation?"

b) Again, the word "alone" there should be "ALONE" to make the point that this statement ALONE does not PROVE succession - however taken in light of other quotes it ADDS to the evidence of succession as numerous ECFs list St. Linus in the succession of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome.

c) No one is asking you to "view them anachronistically."  LOOK at what is said IN CONTEXT and IN TIME - the words are ALL THERE, but again - only for one who has eyes to see.

Scott<<<

14 comments:

  1. Well, "TurretinFan" was cornered, caught in an error - and as I have been "emphatic" in not changing what I have said - I have been asked not to comment anymore on that thread. Check it out, if you're interested, but if you wish to see further comments from me, post here because I will honor TF's request.

    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2011/03/challenging-your-rome-colored-glasses.html

    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  2. I already said this on Nick's blog, bt I'll say it again. The Protestants use the Church Fathers, but they don't use them rightly. They read the Fathers through their Protestant presuppositions instead of reading the Father's as they themselves would want to be understood. Until they stop using the Reformer's presup's they'll never understand the Holy Scriptures.

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  3. So, I guess you could say they read the Fathers through "Prot-Colored Glasses?" ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. natamllc said...
    It's seems to be no biggie, but, Scott posted on his blog that he got you (TurretinFan) cornered!

    Hmmmm, cornered were you?

    It would be nice if he could come back over here and enlighten us as to just how he did that cause I have been wanting to corner you for a long time now! :)

    If not here, then at least over there on his blog!


    Hello nat, feel free to comment here. TF asked me not to continue commenting in that combox, and I have respected his wishes.

    Clearly TF was cornered and that is why he had to ask me to stop posting in that combox. He could not stand it that I pointed out his ignorance of the context of the quote HE HIMSELF REFERENCED! Just ONE PARAGRAPH EARLIER in the CONTEXT of the quote HE CITED it states the CONTEXTUAL MEANING of the "bracketed" words in the quote, which again HE CITED from one of the lists I provided him! He apparently did not appreciate being corrected and rather than THANK ME for helping him LEARN something, he asked me, nicely, to shut up.

    You are free to comment here, as is TF. So long as you do not resort to profanity, etc. (which I have no reason to suspect you will) then you will not be silenced, nor would he. Let TF explain his way out of his contectual faux pas - which he cannot do, for it is clearly a faux pas on his part. All he could do is humbly admit to his mistake, which WOULD be the Christian thing to do.

    Scott<<<

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  5. Scott, some years back, Country singer John Conley had a hit song called Rose-Colored-Glasses. It spoke of the despair of a man in a doomed relationship, who's desparately trying to numb the pain by seeing everything as rosy. Maybe we can get Conley to sing a parody called Prot-Colored-Glasses, It will tell the sad story of a Protestant apologist who's trying to prove the ECF's were really Prot's, and his glasses make him see only things that look Protestant! LOL!

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  6. Well Scott, here I am, commenting.

    You wrote hereon to me:

    ... "You are free to comment here, as is TF. So long as you do not resort to profanity, etc. (which I have no reason to suspect you will) then you will not be silenced, nor would he. ...".

    You mean profanity like this? My emphasis in bold :::>

    At TF's blog, Scott writes:

    You seem focused on my question which only sought clarity for your invented "what if" scenario. I was not "wrong" in what I "asked" and I, right from the beginning, acknowledged this. You're trying to turn this into a pissing match of who's "right" or "wrong" here.

    Now, to show how you twist another's own words directed towards you I publish these words of TF directed towards you after the exchanges between the two of you:

    TF: Scott:

    I'm trying to see the point to allowing your continued presence in the comment box.

    You don't seem to be adding any value, bur rather repeating yourself more vehemently.

    If you have nothing new to say that's on topic, please leave off commenting.

    -TurretinFan


    Now, let your readers honestly and intellectually judge what TF wrote and you twist reproduced here from your comments above, bold emphasis mine:

    Scott: "Well, "TurretinFan" was cornered, caught in an error - and as I have been "emphatic" in not changing what I have said - I have been asked not to comment anymore on that thread. Check it out, if you're interested, but if you wish to see further comments from me, post here because I will honor TF's request.

    Is this here not the very point of TurretinFan's article that attempts to assist those wearing Rome-colored glasses in receiving pure eye-salve so that they might see more clearly how colored and twisted one becomes when looking with colored glasses and not with clear faith full sight?

    ReplyDelete
  7. nat wrote:
    Well Scott, here I am, commenting.

    Welcome! And I welcome the opportunity to explain myself further. I don't mind you copying my responses to TF's blog, but he may object.

    nat continues: You wrote hereon to me:

    ... "You are free to comment here, as is TF. So long as you do not resort to profanity, etc. (which I have no reason to suspect you will) then you will not be silenced, nor would he. ...".

    You mean profanity like this? My emphasis in bold :::>

    At TF's blog, Scott writes:

    You seem focused on my question which only sought clarity for your invented "what if" scenario. I was not "wrong" in what I "asked" and I, right from the beginning, acknowledged this. You're trying to turn this into a pissing match of who's "right" or "wrong" here.


    Well, I fail to see the "profanity" here - unless you refer to the word "pissing" - and if so I apologize to you if that offended you.

    (to be continued...)

    ReplyDelete
  8. nat continues: Now, to show how you twist another's own words directed towards you I publish these words of TF directed towards you after the exchanges between the two of you:

    TF: Scott:

    I'm trying to see the point to allowing your continued presence in the comment box.

    You don't seem to be adding any value, bur rather repeating yourself more vehemently.

    If you have nothing new to say that's on topic, please leave off commenting.

    -TurretinFan


    Now, let your readers honestly and intellectually judge what TF wrote and you twist reproduced here from your comments above, bold emphasis mine:

    Scott: "Well, "TurretinFan" was cornered, caught in an error - and as I have been "emphatic" in not changing what I have said - I have been asked not to comment anymore on that thread. Check it out, if you're interested, but if you wish to see further comments from me, post here because I will honor TF's request.

    Is this here not the very point of TurretinFan's article that attempts to assist those wearing Rome-colored glasses in receiving pure eye-salve so that they might see more clearly how colored and twisted one becomes when looking with colored glasses and not with clear faith full sight?


    The fact is, he presented some altered facts by converting them to a "what if" scenario. I presented him with some REAL facts, to which he blurted out a rather ignorant response. I showed him the context, which exposed his ignorance - and he asked me not to post anymore if I was not going to add anything new. So, while I was offering new information he accused me of posting nothing of value (like CONTEXT IS NOT VALUE?) and if I had nothing new and on topic to add - to stop commenting. Well again, CLEARLY he saw my NEW and ON TOPIC responses as harmful to his paradigm, so rather than change his paradigm to the TRUTH, he asks the one promoting the TRUTH to be silent. So YES! what you're presenting IS TO THE POINT! However, you've got the wrong color glasses in the analogy! It is TF with his "Prot-colored glasses" who is NOT LOOKING AT THE FACTS and when presented with them, he merely dismissed the translation - even though it was the same translation he cited! So YES, what you're saying IS on track and on topic AND by all means, continue posting! You're making me look good! "It is the responsibility of the guest to make the host look good!" (Rush Limbaugh). I tried to allow TF to "look good" by encouraging a "Christian" response - he chose censorship instead.

    Scott<<<

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  9. scotju said: Maybe we can get Conley to sing a parody called Prot-Colored-Glasses

    To be honest, I believe TF had that song in mind when he posted to his blog. "Rose" and "Rome" form an assonance (that's not profanity, nat) - so I'm sure he had that in mind as he composed his article. Whereas, especially in this case, we have more of a case of "Prot-colored glasses" - so the song would be more accurate from that perspective - the assonance or alliteration would not be quite as good.

    Scott<<<

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  10. nat wrote over on TF's blog: Not knowing whether this will be allowed to stand as my response to Scott's invitation for me to make comments there at Scott's blog...

    I assured you that you could post here, and you have. Your post WAS caught up in the "spam filter" until I got to it, but as soon as I saw it, I released it. You didn't have to post your response on TF's blog with the expressed concern that I may not allow you to post it here. That being said, as I said earlier, I do not mind you posting my responses over on TF's blog, but he may have some objections to such since these do not make him look very good - or Christian. He was caught (cornered) and rather than admit to his faux pas, he asks me not to post anymore to that subject on his blog. I am honoring his request. If he were to withdraw his request, I will continue there. If he would apologize, then I would withdraw any accusations of him acting in an unChristian manner.

    nat, you yourself should slow down and take a deep breath before responding again - and consider objectively what happened on TF's blog. He spouted off in ignorance of the context of the "first quote on the first list" which I presented to him. When I presented him with the context, he didn't seem to appreciate being educated - not by a Catholic anyway, and politely shut me down. Yes, he was polite about it, but if you objectively look at what transpired I believe you'll see he was participating in censorship - but in a nice way.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  11. Constantine (on TF's blog) said: Augustine and all the North African bishops looked to the episcopate as a whole as a source of authority – and not just to Rome.

    Yes Constantine (interesting choice of nickname, btw!) Catholics still have this practice! When necessary an ecumenical council is convened and the canons from such are just as binding as if they were ex cathedra. Likewise, when seeking consensus amongst bishops we turn to groups like the USCCB - we don't always "look just to Rome."

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  12. Scott, I thought anything a council passed had to be seconded by the Holy Father. But you're saying that a council can pronounce something and it's excathedra? Some examples please.

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  13. I did not say council canons are ex cathedra - I said "AS IF" they were ex cathedra. Council canons (from an ecumenical council) are just as binding as an ex cathedra statement (the few that we have) from a pope.

    Yes, in order for an ecumenical council to be so considered it needs the approval of the Bishop of Rome and EVERY ecumenical council has this (although at least one, not immediately).

    Scott<<<

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  14. Thanks for inviting me to comment here. Also, I seem to have gotten my blog back!

    Overall, I agree with your twofold approach to the main post, which corresponded to my own thoughts: (1) the "example quotes" TF gave were based on a mistaken idea that no other bishop can be spoken highly of other than the Pope, and (2) that (incorrectly) this implies speaking highly of Rome cannot ever entail supremacy.

    I also applaud your appeal to Irenaeus as positive proof that the Papacy is true and historical and that no other Bishop is spoken about the way the Pope is. Of course, that quote is so powerful, that some Protestants (e.g. Mathison) have flat out said Irenaeus was wrong/misled. The truth is, the Irenaeus quote does look very Catholic and not at all Protestant.

    The problem of "colored glasses" comes into significant light here, since I think the Catholic reading is much more fair and plain, while Protestants cannot even grant plausibility to the quote - their only option is dogmatically deny it refers to Papacy. The Seeker should weigh such things and determine the plausibility of each side's interpretation, no doubt if he is fair he will side with the Catholic.

    The issue that really isn't sitting well with me is a common Protestant mindset that "it doesn't matter if the ECFs were not Protestant," since this admits as a cornerstone that history ultimately holds little to no sway on the search for the Truth.

    ReplyDelete

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