"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Friday, June 18, 2010

Response to the "Tu Quoque"

(The following comment was left here at green baggins blog. I spent so much time responding I felt like I should post it here. ) Ron: Your #174 was not to helpful as far as the tone. Was hard to not get offended at some of it. Maybe im just sensitive. : ) I’ve done worse myself and it takes one to know one, but winsome you are not my friend. Take a cue from TurretinFan as far as a good way to come across. I am trying harder too. The comments about prayer to saints have been interesting to me and I have leaned a little, but you seem to want to go in a direction of discussing church authority/epistemology etc. which I have been discussing and mulling over for months. It is not something I care to spend hours blogging about in this thread which seems a bit of a different topic. That is why I gave the tu quoque link: to save verbage. And from your use of that argument style, I could see you were missing where I was coming from as far as the difference between Protestant and Catholic authority structures. (my lack of clarity no doubt) It is a really common argument used and you should really read that article and see how it is not a valid argument. http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/05/the-tu-quoque/ I myself used the tu quoque when my friend converted to Eastern Orthodoxy last year because of the authority issue. At the time I thought he was equivocating by claiming I was my own authority and he was not. But the difference is not in the ACT of submiting, but WHAT is being submitted to. SCENARIO 0: Inquiry and use of will and intellect are used to come to conclusions about truth claims. SCENARIO 1: The Protestant believes (or used to) that (as Keith Mathison says,) “Scripture is the sole source of revelation; that it is the final authoritative norm of doctrine and practice; that it is to be interpreted in and by the church, and that it is to be interpreted according to the regula fidei.” Protestant confessions are self admittedly the words of men that each Christian must in a sense be a judge of. Protestants can reject or accept any interpretation of divine revelation based on their private judgement. If they are convinced the WCF is in error on some point when compared with Scripture, they side with private judgement over the WCF. Their conscience and private judgement (after being informed by the above description of Sola Scriptura through the church and regula fidei of course) have the FINAL SAY. SCENARIO 2: The Catholic or “Romanist” as you say, submits to a Divinely authorized and sustained interpretive authority that requires the full submission of faith on some doctrines. His consciense and private judgement are to conform to IT where he is in disagreement. Catholics cannot take an “exception” to the 7th ecumenical council like my PCA pastor (and you) can take an exception to it. They believe the Holy Ghost guided the councils and protected them from error, so submission to them is submission to Christ. Conscience and private judgement are conformed to the interpretive authority, not placed as judge of it. Both scenarios 1 and 2 START with scenario 0. Inquiry and use of will and intellect are used by all to come to conclusions about truth claims. But they quickly diverge. The Protestant retains his private judgement as the final say in all matters of the faith, and consistent with his system of belief he can diverge in his opinion from his church and still be considered a faithful Protestant. The Catholic cannot retain his private judgement and remain consistent with his system of belief. i.e., within his system (chosen at scenario 0) he is not his own authority. Within the Protestants system (chosen at scenario 0) he retains the crucial ability to decide what interpretive authority to submit to and this retention is consistent with his system of belief. Because we all do scenario 0 in no way means that scenarios 1 and 2 are the same in respect to retaining authority. In fact they are worlds apart. I hope that clears up where I am coming from. Now I will go say a Hail Mary and ask her if it is OK to pray to saints. te he. David M.

1 comment:

  1. Hello David,

    I see from your profile that you live in Rockford, MN. Having looked that up on a map, I see you're not far from the Twin Cities. I'm curious what PCA congregation you attend(ed)?

    At one time I attended Good Shepherd in Minnetonka. Of course, that was before I became Catholic :-)