Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A response to Triablogue

Over on Triablogue Gene Bridges has written a response to my blog posting In the Combox... He writes inTriablogue: The Need For An Infallible Interpreter a very good response, I will answer his points below:

Hmmm, and why is this a convincing argument? Let's take a quick look at it:
The plain fact is that an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile.
1. So, the Jews labored for centuries with Scripture but no infallible interpreter.This was futile. Okay.
No, the Jews had infallible interpreters. God sent them prophets. These prophets spoke the Word of God. It was only when God ceased sending prophets did the Jews fracture into different sects.

2. How do we ascertain - infallibly - who the infallible interpreter is in the New Covenant era?
Logic and Faith. Jesus left his church. A church which is the "pillar and foundation" and is led to "all truth".
Infallibility never gets from the printed page to the one place where it is needed: the mind of the reader.
This would, of course, apply equally as well to the Roman Catholic if true. Even if the interpreter is "infallible" (the Church and its teachers, who convey its teaching) it's infallibility would never get from the printed page or the audible words to where it is needed, the mind of the interpreter.

Every interpreter is a reader/hearer too, and vice versa. So, the problem isn't related to the necessity of an infallible interpreter (teaching office), it's the necessity of an infallible hearer/reader (person in the pew, reader, etc.).
Using this logic, then the Bible cannot be infallible either. Because it was written down by men. And since men cannot be infallible even under the protection of the Holy Spirit, we must assume the Scriptures are not infallible.

This is the slippery slope that begins to develop when one sets out to discredit the church. See, the Church believes infallibility is possible with the protection of the Holy Spirit. So, the Bishops' arguments do not apply to the church.

The Roman Catholic solution only puts the question back one step or more. So, it's on epistemic par with the Protestant rule of faith, which is precisely our argument - and the very argument you provided here has proven it for us. Moreover, since you apparently agree with it, you have done our work for us. That's a real timesaver.
But the ultimate question is: "Is infallibility possible?" The Catholic says "Yes", the Protestant says "No".

The myriad divisions within Protestantism offer ample evidence of the proof of this statement.
Of course, this is a non-sequitur. The divisions within the receivers of teaching say nothing about the fallibility or infallibility of the teaching itself or the text itself. That's a category error.
No, his point with this statement was that the divisions among Protestantism demonstrate the futility of the doctrine of "Scripture Alone". Because if it were a valid system, there would be unity in Protestantism instead of division.

He was illustrating the flaw in the logic of Protestants who claim the Bible is infallible but they are not.
And it does a miserable job of illustrating it, for if valid, it applies equally to the Roman Catholic.
Everything must be read in context, I only offered one paragraph of his work, I suggest you read the entire chapter.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another trip..

Yesterday, we decided to visit one of the famous "Painted Churches of Texas" This one is St. Mary's Church in Praha, Texas.

And here is some video:

This is one of the most fantastic Churches I have ever seen.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the combox...

over at Beggars All, dtking said in response to my statement that the Catholic Church does not prohibit personal interpretation of the Bible:

I beg your pardon...John A. O’Brien: The plain fact is that an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile. (Italics are his for emphasis) See John A. O’Brien, The Faith of Millions, rev. ed. (Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974), p. 117.

It's clear that he doesn't think God is able to communicate clearly with His own God-breathed words.
Well, thank God for Google Books, I went there and they happened to have this book and so I looked it up in context, and this is what it said;

"If you do not claim to be infallibly certain that your interpretation of the whole Bible is correct, then of what value is it to have an infallible Bible without an infallible interpreter? In either case, your statement crumbles (this is a statement to a Protestant who said that the Bible is the only infallible interpreter he needs). The plain fact is that an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile. Infallibility never gets from the printed page to the one place where it is needed: the mind of the reader. The myriad divisions within Protestantism offer ample evidence of the proof of this statement."
Notice that Fr. O'Brian is not even discussing personal interpretation. He is discussing infallibility. Context is everything. Of course the Catholic is allowed personal interpretation of the scriptures. CCC #109:

109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.
Hope this helps.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A response to: Tiber Swim Book Club #1

Over at Beggars All James Swan has written an article called the "Tiber swim book club". In it, he is begging potential Catholic converts to be "fair and dilligent" in their studies, stating that they "owe it to themselves and their families". He then tells them they should get a 150 year old venomously anti-catholic book called "A Treatise on the right use of the Fathers"

"fair and dilligent"? Well, I looked at the book and this jumped out on the first page:

When the avarice and ambition of the Romish clergy had, by working with the superstition and ignorance of the people, erected what they call their hierarchy, and digested an ecclesiastical policy on the ruins of gospel liberty, for the administration of it they found nothing of such use for the support of this lordly system, as the making the authority of the Fathers sacred and decisive.

Yeah, this books seems very fair. Page one and the propaganda starts. If it cannot speak the truth about what Catholics believe and has such an obvious agenda, why should I believe what it says about the fathers?

Here's an idea, get a copy of the writings of the ECF's and just read them for yourself and make up your own mind?

Welcome to America

I would like to welcome His Holiness Pope Bededict XVI to the United States!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Screwy blog tests.

All over the web, you can find sites that rate your blog on any number of things, so I thought I would take a few of these and post them here:

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou


Do you talk too much in your blog?
Created by OnePlusYou

A visit to the missions.

Yesterday, my family and I went to check out some of the Missions here in San Antonio. In the mid to late 18th Century the Spanish established 5 missions along the San Antonio river. They are Espada, San Juan, San Jose, Conception, and San Antonio de Valero (more famously known as the Alamo).

San Juan is the mission we visited, it was founded in 1690 as San José de los Nazonis. We wandered the grounds for about an hour:

The Park Ranger informed us we were in time to attend Mass in the Mission. I really enjoy attending mass in small churches like this. We were among only about 20 people present. A short Baptism was performed at the start of the ceremony. It is always a joy when a new Christian is brought into the church.

If anyone is visiting San Antonio or lives here, you cannot beat forgoing your local modern church, to take in the history in one of the original San Antonio churches.