Friday, April 19, 2013

Apostolic Succession and Infallibility


sw: Since Ron is insistent upon distracting from sola v. solo scriptura, and I cannot add a new topic to the GB Blog, I am responding here under the heading of Ron’s subject matter which is apostolic succession coupled with infallibility.

199 Ron said,  April 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm

sw: As Jesus was sent, so also He sent His Apostles – which means that they too were to continue to “send out” others, just as they had been sent by Jesus. … And where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?
Scott,
Again, please provide the syllogism. Don’t just give me fragmented premises and don’t argue fallaciously from silence as you have. I want to know how you get from “send out others” to an infallible magisterium? Given that there is no biblical precedent for a perpetual apostolate, the burden of proof for your argument from silence falls squarely upon you to show that Scripture teaches that there would be such an office. I’m sorry but incredible claims require credible proofs. So again, please provide syllogisms for these incredible claims of yours.


sw: Well, I believe I have done this already, but will do so again especially since I am posting this to my blog, where many may not have read my previous replies.  I reject the allegation that I have argued from silence, if that were true the thread this came from would not be one of the most prolific on Green Baggins.  Granted, it is not the most prolific and I was not part of the earlier discussions, but with over 200 replies it is one of the most in recent weeks/months.  I joined in at comment #77.  A syllogism, for those who do not know, is “a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion” (Merriam-Webster) so I will construct my response in precisely that format.


sw: Formal argument:  As the Father sent Jesus, He sent out the Apostles - thus as they were sent out, they too send others out - or else they were not doing as Jesus commanded them to do.  Jesus enabled the Apostles with the charism of infallibility and this charism is passed down to their successors.
sw: Major premise:  Jesus established the bishoprick (called this in Acts 1:20 KJV/DRB), which is the “office” held by the Apostles.  Clearly that office was to have a successor, as we see in Acts 1:20, and clearly history demonstrates that this “office” is demonstrated throughout the history of the Church all the way to the current day.  The word for bishop or “overseer” is used many times throughout the New Testament.  God’s Word lays the solid foundation of the office of the bishop.  That this office was meant to be passed down is also clear, not only from Acts 1:20, but also where Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you” (John 20:21).  Jesus sent them out as Apostles, in fact that is what the word “apostle” means, “to send” (Merriam-Webster especially see etymology).  Now, if they were “sent” the same way Jesus was “sent,” then they too must “send” others just as they were “sent.”  To fail to send others the same way they were sent would have been to fail at the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).  If they failed here, then Jesus failed to build His Church, as He promised (Matthew 16:18).  This brings us to the next section.
sw: Minor premise:  The Apostles were enabled with the charism of infallibility.  We see this explicitly expressed in Matthew 16:19 to St. Peter, alone; and to the Apostles as a group in Matthew 18:18.
Matthew 16:19 - And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 - Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
Note, in Matthew 16:19, Jesus is speaking directly to, and only to, St. Peter.  In Matthew 18:18 Jesus isn’t speaking to any one individual, but to the whole group of them assembled there.  Of equal note, in 18:18 the Apostles are the only ones there.  This is not a charism given to everyone in the Church, but only to our first bishops, the Apostles.  How is this infallibility, you might ask?  Simply stated, if something is bound or loosed in heaven, then it must be infallibly bound for no error could possibly be bound or loosed in heaven.  Some argue (as Turretinfan does in comment 211) that this charism only applies to the forgiveness of sins - but there is no such limitation in these passages!  If fact, the passages explicitly deny any limitation with the use of the word “whatsoever.”  They don’t say “whatsoever sins you shall bind/loose...” but simply “whatsoever you shall bind/loose...”  To limit these passages to the forgiveness (or retention) of sins is to import a word to the text which is not there.  Besides, this authority to forgive or retain sins is also explicitly granted to the Apostles in John 20:23.  To say that Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 are limited to the forgiveness of sins is pure eisegesis.
sw: Conclusion:  Our first bishops, the Apostles, were sent out exactly as Jesus commanded them - and just as the Son was sent, so too they were sent.  Part of Jesus’ commission of being sent out was to send others (the Apostles) out.  Likewise part of the Apostles commission is to send out others to lead, just as they lead.  Jesus gave to the Apostles the charism of infallibility and likewise the Apostles give to those whom they send out this same charism.  Again, to do anything less would be a failure of their apostleship.  I have documented several valid apostolic successions which begin with an Apostle and continue to this day.
sw: This essentially answers all of Ron’s points from his posting, but I will go through the entire post...
sw:  Yet again, no where does Scripture say that Scripture alone is what the Church is built upon. Scripture, in fact, says the Church is built upon St. Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) and upon The Twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14), but never says the Church is built upon a book which did not even exist as such for some 400 years, certainly not even close to the form/format we call “The Bible” today.
You want to assume something for “Peter” and the “Twelve” that is neither Peter nor the Twelve. Accordingly, your own proof-texts betray you. In other words, you appeal to Peter and the Twelve but you want to make Peter and the Twelve out to be something other than Peter and the Twelve, like a perpetual line of Roman Catholic pontiffs.
You have a wild card you haven’t thrown and we all know what it is. It’s the unproven assumption your entire system is built upon, which has no redemptive-historical precedence. Now of course, we know that Scripture is authoritative. Yet if the apostles are no longer with us, then all we have is Scripture. Scripture is the de facto position we might say. The “alone” part comes because no syllogism from Scripture can be provided that would necessitate another ultimate authority to stand alongside Scripture.

sw: The syllogism I provided above (and have provided previously, but not in such a formal format) demonstrates that I am assuming nothing, but accepting and believing God’s Word.  I have presented the foundation of Apostolic succession and then provided a link to several actual and valid successions from several of the Apostles.  There is no “unproven assumption” here, and no hidden “wild card” - but plain and simple facts for those who have eyes to see.  So, that men have been given infallible authority - Scripture itself testifies to “another ultimate authority to stand alongside Scripture.

sw: Actually, Jesus – several times – broke with “what was written” to demonstrate their fallacy of adhering so firmly to “The Law” saying, “you say ‘it is written, but I say…’” Do you need me to list out those examples to you?
I think your exegesis is flawed because it leads you to pit the law against Jesus. Jesus’ issue was with any perversion of the law. Or are you saying that Jesus “broke with” the true meaning of his own law? If not, then your point is a non-issue.

sw: You are most certainly entitled to think as you wish, but the fact is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law and six times He used this precise format in Matthew 5:
Matthew 5:21-22 - You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.  But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:27-28 - You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery.  But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:31-32 - And it hath been said, Whoseoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.  But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
Matthew 5:33-34 - Again you have heard that it was said to them of old, Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord.  But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God.
Matthew 5:38-39 - You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.  But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other.
Matthew 5:43:44 - You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.
sw: So Ron, I have said nothing that wasn’t said already by Jesus Christ, Himself.

sw: It is, yet another, pure anachronism to attempt to apply sola scriptura to Adam and Eve!
In other words, it’s off limits for me to appeal to OT precedent in order to establish burden of proof. Yet precedence determines burden of proof. Consequently, I’m not permitted to reason according to the only philosophical basis upon which an argument from silence may be deemed fallacious.
Scott, I will hand you this. You went for the jugular like a good Roman Catholic. You realize that your argument is based upon sola-silence. So, rather than try to overcome the objection to your argument from silence, namely the lack of biblical precedence for your position, you made the most unusual appeal to “anachronism.” Very innovative but no cigar.

sw: Actually, Ron, the reason it is anachronism is quite simple, and I don’t think it’s innovative, but if you wish to give me that, sobeit.  The reason it is an anachronism is because there was no Scripture for Adam and Eve, so how could we apply a concept of
sola scriptura to them?


AMDG,
Scott<<<

12 comments:

  1. I reject the allegation that I have argued from silence, if that were true the thread this came from would not be one of the most prolific on Green Baggins. Granted, it is not the most prolific and I was not part of the earlier discussions, but with over 200 replies it is one of the most in recent weeks/months.

    You have just argued: “If thread is popular, then I didn’t argue from silence.” Obviously that is fallacious. You would need to establish another premise lest you beg the question. That premise is, “popular threads imply no arguments from silence. But wait, it gets worse. You write things like: “As the Father sent Jesus, He sent out the Apostles - thus as they were sent out, they too send others out - or else they were not doing as Jesus commanded them to do. Jesus enabled the Apostles with the charism of infallibility and this charism is passed down to their successors.

    What’s in bold above is the premise you continue to beg. You assume it but don’t prove it. You haven’t proved perpetual infallibility and charism by indexing a Scripture passage. Moreover, you don’t prove it by stating that the passage “clearly” teaches what you are to prove.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have just argued: “If thread is popular, then I didn’t argue from silence.” Obviously that is fallacious. You would need to establish another premise lest you beg the question. That premise is, “popular threads imply no arguments from silence.

    Well, 1) that wasn't my argument. 2) Those weren't my words, which you have quoted. 3) You left out parts of what I did say on this point, namely I stated that I joined the discussion at post 77. The conversation had all but died before I joined and now it has well over 200 comments, why? Not because I have been silent! Yes, I do understand the premise of an argument from silence - many people say many things without really saying anything, but throughout my postings on GB I have (as I typically do) included many quotes and citations. That is generally speaking, but Ron (is that you "Reformed Apologist?") is speaking directly to my statement of "As Jesus was sent, so also He sent His Apostles - which means they too were to continue to "send out" others, just as they had been sent by Jesus." This is not an argument from silence! It is precisely what Scripture tells us! Initially I did not cite the chapter and verse, but I did so in this posting.

    Now Ron never answered the question I asked of him, "Where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?"

    But wait, it gets worse. You write things like: “As the Father sent Jesus, He sent out the Apostles - thus as they were sent out, they too send others out - or else they were not doing as Jesus commanded them to do. Jesus enabled the Apostles with the charism of infallibility and this charism is passed down to their successors.”

    What’s in bold above is the premise you continue to beg. You assume it but don’t prove it. You haven’t proved perpetual infallibility and charism by indexing a Scripture passage. Moreover, you don’t prove it by stating that the passage “clearly” teaches what you are to prove.


    If you (or Ron, if you are not Ron) would take the time to answer my question "Can error be bound or loosed in heaven?" Then you would see that the question is not begged. It is quite obvious to the Christian reader that error cannot be bound in heaven, so the question is a bit rhetorical, so the point is well beyond begging. They were given this charism of infallibility AND they were sent out to do the same as Jesus did when He sent them (the first bishops) out. There is no begging of the question here for the objective reader, and/or the reader who is paying attention to what is written.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  3. I guess if I just clicked on the link to your name, I would have seen that "Ron" is "Reformed Apologist."

    ReplyDelete
  4. I apologize for posting. I had forgotten I had said on GB that I didn't want to take up your time.

    Best wishes,

    Ron / Reformed Apologist

    ReplyDelete
  5. As I said on GB, I'm not asking you not to reply, only to be patient in waiting for my replies at times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ron,
    I asked a couple direct questions of you - are you using this "I didn't want to take up your time" as an excuse to not answer them?

    1) Where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?

    2) Can error be bound or loosed in heaven?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can’t speak for Ron but I can only guess that he’s not interacting with you so you can spend time with your family or whatever you do whenever you are not promoting paganism / heresy / witchcraft/ voodoo…. I actually find it comical that you would think that anyone needs an "excuse" not to answer your lame questions... Your understanding of logic is funny... Not to shame you unnecessarily but you’re not taken seriously by anyone I know! You wrote: “Where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?” Hah, ridiculous!!! You are like the "little boy" that wants to try to show from the Bible that unicorns actually exist. You base your argument on the fact that there is no argument against unicorns in the NT! Understand now? Even stupid Roman Catholics get the mistake in that sort of logic... Why should we believe in the POPES or unicorns!!! because the Bible does not think to refute popes and unicorns?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, talk about disrespectful. Do you believe that such rudeness is an example of Christian behavior or charity? If you really DO believe that Scott promotes "paganism/heresy/witchcraft/voodoo" (which he certainly does not, by the way, nor does your rant prove such) wouldn't he be EXACTLY who Christ would want you to talk to in Christian charity? I don't understand what Protestants think they'll accomplish with such a condescending and insulting manner. All you've accomplished here is portraying yourself as a stubborn prig. Scott has used biblical and historic sources to support his points. You've shown here that you not only cannot refute his point but aren't interested in arriving at truth. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. The Catholic Church IS Jesus' Body, but you're not interested in a unified body, or even Christian unity. Your only interest seems to be insulting fellow Christians. Mission accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  9. First off, thank you for the support cathmom5.

    I'll be breaking this into two parts...

    Now, to deal with Jon, and I will do so charitably (maybe Jon will learn a lesson from this?)

    Jon said: I can’t speak for Ron but I can only guess that he’s not interacting with you so you can spend time with your family or whatever you do whenever you are not promoting paganism / heresy / witchcraft/ voodoo….

    sw: I do not support any of these things. You're losing any respect of the objective reader here when you use such hyperbole.

    Jon continues: I actually find it comical that you would think that anyone needs an "excuse" not to answer your lame questions...

    sw: Ron is the one offering excuses, perhaps you intend to direct your comical comment toward him?

    Jon continues: Your understanding of logic is funny...

    sw: And you make an unsupported allegation here. You do not define "logic" nor "funny," so your statement here is "logically" meaningless.

    Jon continues: Not to shame you unnecessarily but you’re not taken seriously by anyone I know!

    sw: Well, perhaps you should run in bigger circles then? If you think I would be "shamed" in the least by a semi-anonymous comment posted to the blog, then you severely underestimate me - and overestimate the rhetoric you are using.

    (I) wrote: “Where does Scripture tell you that the apostolic office (bishop) would cease with the death of the last Apostle?”

    Jon responds: Hah, ridiculous!!! You are like the "little boy" that wants to try to show from the Bible that unicorns actually exist.

    sw: Actually, I can show you unicorns in the Bible! Do you like the KJV?

    Numbers 23:22 “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.”

    Numbers 24:8 “God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.”

    Job 39:9 “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?”

    Job 39:10 “Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”

    Psalms 29:6 “He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.”

    Psalms 92:10 “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”

    Deuteronomy 33:17 “His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

    Psalms 22:21 “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”

    Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”

    sw: Yes, other translations do not use the word "unicorn" - but the version used by quite a few Protestants does! That being said, I remind the reader, I did not bring up the subject of unicorns here.

    End of part 1

    ReplyDelete
  10. Part 2:
    Jon continues: You base your argument on the fact that there is no argument against unicorns in the NT! Understand now?

    sw: I understand that I never said anything about unicorns in the New Testament, or the Old Testament, nor did I ask Ron about popes.

    Jon concludes: Even stupid Roman Catholics get the mistake in that sort of logic... Why should we believe in the POPES or unicorns!!! because the Bible does not think to refute popes and unicorns?

    sw: And even the semi-objective reader can go back and look at what I asked of Ron. I did not ask about "popes" - I asked about "bishops." So, if you would like to discuss the actual topic Ron and I were discussing, and do so respectfully - then I invite you to continue. Otherwise, if you're going to continue with your uncharitable, un-Christian behavior, then I recommend you just move along to be a bully to someone else - we're not bullied here.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just went to the "GB blog" and skimmed through the discussion at the point you joined in. I didn't read all the protestant rhetoric--I don't have that kind of time--but I read most of your responses. I admire that fact that you can take so many uncharitable, unfair, anti-Catholic attacks and still keep your composure and Christian charity. I admire your efforts. I admit that I haven't been involved in too many debates lately because I don't have the time nor the will to do it right now. It is so tiring to have the same arguments over and over and still be told you don't know what you're talking about. I, for one, am tired of the bullying.

    ReplyDelete
  12. cathmom5, do not worry about engaging in many debates - we know you're here! :-) I've also invited others, like Nathan and Adrian to participate (so far Adrian has not, but Nathan has been posting some nice articles/responses!). Anyway, we all get busy, me too. I've slowed down quite a bit, especially as I approach the end of this semester in school (taking some computer classes for work).

    I just posted another response, this one to "TurretinFan" over on the GB blog, and I have three other comments I've copied to my Google Drive to respond to as I get time. With CDF picking up some steam right now too, I'm fairly well stretched - but semester ends next week, so hopefully time will become more available soon.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete

Keep in mind while posting:
1) Please respond ON TOPIC to the article at hand.
2) Posts more than 4 weeks old are set to automatically save new comments for moderation - so your comment may not show up immediately if you're responding to an older post.
3) The "Spam Filter" is on - and randomly messages get caught in that filter. I have no control over which messages get caught in the spam filter and those that do must wait for me to mark them as "not spam." A message caught by the spam filter may show up for a moment, making you think it posted, and then disappear. Do not assume I have deleted your comment, it's probably just the spam filter and it will show up.