Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Congratulations, Your Grace


Not York; not London; not Liverpool or Norwich. The CNC's lot has fallen on Durham, and His Grace would just like to congratulate His Grace on his elevation to the See of Canterbury.

Justin Welby is on record as saying that he has 'neither the experience nor the desire' to lead the Church of England and become Primus inter pares of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, but that, of course, makes him ideally suited to the task. He possesses humility and sober judgment, which probably comes of spending 11 years in the oil industry before seeking ordination.

His Grace isn't concerned that Bishop Justin is an Old Etonian: what he did with his education is more important than where he was educated. And Bishop Justin chose to expound the biblical vision for humanity and reflect on the centrality of Christ in a fallen world. He chose to dedicate his life to the enrichment of humanity - not with oil and money, but with Christian witness and the light of spiritual truth. He is clearly capable of preaching 'with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other'.

The future won't be easy - the Church of England is intent on tearing itself apart over utterly peripheral and ephemeral sociological issues. As he walks his new path, Bishop Justin must remember each day that to live is Christ; to die is gain. In accordance with Scripture, he must be blameless - permitting nothing in his private life that others can take hold of to attack the church. He must be the husband of one wife - which he is, of course. But the emphasis is on maintaining the biblical pattern for marriage and the family. He must be temperate, not given to extremes of passion, but reliable and trustworthy.

A church leader must also be sober-minded, which Bishop Justin manifestly is. He can think clearly and express himself with clarity. He must be of good behaviour - orderly, modest, dignified. He must be hospitable, with a home open to both friends and strangers. His Grace looks forward to receiving his invitation to take tea with His Grace.

And he must be able to teach - skilled in biblical exposition, in the pulpit of his cathedral, in Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, and the media. One assumes that he is not given to wine, except for the occasional Rioja or Shiraz. And not violent, either publicly nor privately, but prefers to let God fight his cause. It is evident that he is not greedy for money ('filthy lucre'), for he turned his back on the oil business for a life of ministry.

And he must be gentle (he looks it), and not quarrelsome or covetous. He must rule his own house well (His Grace will be checking with both son and daughter via Twitter): neither seems to have rebelled.

And a leader must not be a novice. Certainly, +Durham is not as experienced as (say) ++York or +London, but he is clearly no spiritual child: he has deep roots, and isn't prone to the sin of pride.

And finally, he must be a man of good testimony: his qualifications for the task and suitability for the role must be evident to all, even and especially to non-believers.

We must pray for those in authority - political and spiritual - for they are all appointed by God, whether in the White House or Lambeth Palace. As today the world focuses on the re-election of President Obama, let us remember with humility that we tend to get the leaders we deserve.

230 Comments:

Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

How does Your Grace know? All the MSM is reporting is that the Prime Minister has been handed the piece of paper.

Does YG still have an inside track on these matters?

7 November 2012 09:31  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Emlyn Uwch Cych,

His Grace is probably taking his cue from the betting shops, who have stopped taking odds on Welby to be the next ABC.

7 November 2012 09:37  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

If this is correct it is a good appointment, reminiscent of ++Carey's appointment as a dark horse with little experience as a bishop.
But I will wait for official confirmation before commenting further.

7 November 2012 09:40  
Blogger IanCad said...

If YG had foreknowledge of this then I hope you coffers were boosted by a little flutter.
As I have stated before: Nothing wrong with a bit of insider trading.

7 November 2012 09:49  
Blogger bluedog said...

++ Welby sounds like a safe pair of hands, Your Grace. Does the ABC get dragged to his throne like the Speaker in the House of Commons?

Perhaps he should.

In any event, prayers and best wishes.

7 November 2012 09:57  
Blogger James said...

And Bishop Justin chose to expound the biblical vision for humanity and reflect on the centrality of Christ in a fallen world

...but only after he'd made a mint in the City.

Shades of St Augustine's "make me clean, but not yet"...

7 November 2012 10:24  
Blogger David B said...

"We must pray for those in authority - political and spiritual - for they are all appointed by God..."

Ayatollah Khomeini appointed by God?

Pol Pot?

Some might think HG is talking of a pretty odd sort of God.

David B

7 November 2012 10:27  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I think Rowan Atkinson would suit
the position.I wonder if he would be allowed to drive his rare Aston Martin if he accepted the position.

7 November 2012 10:45  
Blogger David B said...

I find myself further wondering whether HG would endorse the view of unsuccessful Republican candidate Richard Mourdock that pregnancy from rape is something that God intended to happen.

David B

7 November 2012 10:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

He may well be the Prime Minister's nominee but don't the Bishops have to gather in Westminster Abbey, pray together and await guidance from the Holy Spirit before any appointment is made?

"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip", as the American election should have reminded our gracious host.

7 November 2012 11:17  
Blogger Chris Hill said...

Not at all sure why working in the oil industry would give him humility. Mastery of weasel words and devious politics perhaps, but never humility.

7 November 2012 11:18  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

The Church of England is intent on tearing itself apart over utterly peripheral and ephemeral sociological issues.

Kind of like the Catholic experiment with liberalism post Vatican II. Fortunately, under Benedict, we're waking up and going back to our roots, and getting stronger because of it. Unfortunately, (for the Church of England as an organization, anyway), getting back to your roots means coming back into the Church. All roads lead to Rome.

7 November 2012 11:19  
Blogger John Chater said...

An indelicate point perhaps Corrigan, but one I never tire of hearing!

7 November 2012 11:25  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

It will be a difficult transition for +Justin to make - to give up a relatively peaceful Prince Bishopric for the somewhat troublous See of Canterbury ...

7 November 2012 11:32  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

David B

Never mind His Grace, I can't help but think that the one person giving thanks to God for the demented Richard Mourdock is Claire McCaskill.

People like Mourdock (and, on this side of the pond, the truly ghastly Nadine Dorries) do so much for the pro-choice movement than one wonders if they are on the payroll.

7 November 2012 11:38  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Corrigan:

No. Getting back to our "roots" would mean having a stronger English Church, which has almost always been in tension with Rome, even prior to the Reformation.

Indeed, I rather thought that the unprecedented Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham was a concession from Rome that English patrimony is distinctive and established enough to require special recognition rather than wholesale conversion to Roman rites.

In order to even dream of advancing in Anglican circles, Rome had to become more Anglican, Corrigan, not Anglicans more Roman.

7 November 2012 11:49  
Blogger TJ McMahon said...

Finding nothing in my morning e-post to either confirm or deny Your Grace's headline, I will pray it is somewhat more accurate than the previous prediction that Dewey would defeat Truman.
TJ

7 November 2012 12:29  
Blogger Richard Brown said...

In view of yesterday's prediction, your Grace, think it possible that you might have go it wrong...

7 November 2012 13:46  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Richard, very true.

Considering His Grace's form when it comes to picking winners the new ABC could well be St Peter of Tatchell...

7 November 2012 13:48  
Blogger Galant said...

"Back to one's roots", is it not arrogant to suggest that such is either England or Rome?

The Bible is quite clear that the rootstock has been, is, and always will be Jesus Christ.

Rome and England will only ever be one's roots in so much as they reflect and point to Jesus Christ.

7 November 2012 14:17  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I think you misunderstand Rome's nature, AIB. It has no interest in 'advancing in Anglican circles', and rightly so. The Ordinariate was set up merely to accomodate former Anglicans; Rome has done similar things in the past with regard to the Eastern Churches (which are considerably more autonomous than the Ordinariate). Essentially, it isn't all that different to an order of the Catholic Church, such as the Carmelites or the Jesuits, in that it answers directly to Rome, rather than the English bishops.

7 November 2012 14:20  
Blogger Tony B said...

Well lets hope this prediction is more accurate than the last..

7 November 2012 14:43  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Corrigan:

Walsingham is unprecedented in form, not least because it recognises by its existence as a secondary pseudo-diocesan structure within England and Wales the de facto legitimacy of the "Anglican Tradition". The reality is that it allows Anglicans who choose to cross over to remain more substantially Anglican than if they just made a straight switch. Which is of course the whole point of the Oxford Movement (which the Ordinariate is explicitly linked with): to defend Anglican Tradition as a legitimate expression of Catholicism that is nevertheless different in non-schismatic ways from post-Trent Roman Catholicism.

Priests have been crossing the Tiber from the CofE for a long time. If all those priests just wanted to go "home" to Rome there is nothing stopping them from doing so; the very existence of the Ordinarte is a testimony to the limit of that approach, and is design to be more enticing to such people than the straight road to the Tiber is. In fact, it seems to have been quite popular with Anglo-Catholics in America, Canada, and Australia who suddenly saw much the same potential to be in unity with Rome but not fully Roman.

The comparison with Eastern Rite is therefore apt, as is one with Orthodox Christianity - but consider, though Rome will swear blind on paper that the communion is full, in reality these Churches differ in varying degrees on substantial matters of theology and ecclesial practice, and operate with a considerable degree of autonomy from Rome. I suspect that the Ordinariate was calculated to curtail such a development in England and Wales - and I imagine the long-term aim will be to quietly weather the present generation of largely Anglo rather than Roman converts (not to mention all those married Catholic Priests with kids) with future generations becoming more directly Romanized. Converts, on the other hand, are no doubt hoping that the Anglican part will only expand, and that we'll all be enjoying Old Sarum instead of the monstrosity that the CDF pumped out a couple of years ago. Time will tell which will win out.

7 November 2012 16:26  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

When praying for those in authority put in a special word regarding the peado ring

The things God sends to try us

7 November 2012 17:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



And the Lord said unto his followers. “Verily I tell you. It has been foretold that some men and women of the church will make a small killing off the bookies using information gained from the illicit tree of knowledge. I’m telling you now, their reward will not be the kingdom of heaven, for they art cursed by the betting industry. Better for ye that thy be an ignorant mug punter and liveth out thy lives in penury”




7 November 2012 18:41  
Blogger len said...

Christ is Christianity. If all you have is' a denomination' you have missed the point of Christianity...entirely.

You might think listening to those who promote their own particular denomination that they were pleasing God by doing so...Not so.

I cannot imagine God saying(upon ones arriving at the Gate of Heaven)"What denomination?". I suspect God cares far less about denominations than we do!.

God`s intention is to bring ALL things under Christ`s authority.'Ephesians 1:20-22 "[God] raised [Christ] from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church."

God`s intention is for Christ to have preeminence in ALL things 'And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent..'(1 Colossians 1:18)

7 November 2012 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len.I cannot imagine God saying(upon ones arriving at the Gate of Heaven)"What denomination?".

I don’t know. It used to be the case, though probably died out now (pun intended) that Irish municipal graveyards had Catholic and Protestant plots. You see, when darling Protestantism arrived in Ireland, it came with a travelling companion, persecution. And after a lifetime of that, the very idea of resting in peace with the co-religionists of your oppressor could spin a Taig out of his grave...

7 November 2012 19:23  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

I take it that Cranmer has got this from the horse's mouth.
"But the emphasis is on maintaining the biblical pattern for marriage and the family." Well the new Archbishop will have a tough time then. How soon will he be denounced as a "bigot" and sent for re-education at the public expense?

7 November 2012 19:52  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

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7 November 2012 19:52  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2012 19:53  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2012 19:53  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Christ is Christianity. If all you have is' a denomination' you have missed the point of Christianity

len, I assume you're pointing at Catholicism here. I believe I may have explained this before, but obviously not clearly enough. Possibly, it came across as mere Catholic triumphalism, Corrigan taking the rise out of our resident fundie, however, what I say now should be understood literally and with nothing read into it or to be inferred:

The Catholic Church is not a denomination; it is The Church, and this is why we use the capital letters.

Provocative as this sounds, it is the official position. Anglicanism is a denomination; Methodism is a denomination; Lutherism is a denomination, but Catholicism is The Church - "You are Peter, and on this rock I build my Church". He didn't say that to Henry VIII. He didn't say it to John Wesely and He didn't say it to Martin Luther; He said it to Peter and to nobody else. The rest of you fell away, but The Church remains when you are ready to return.

7 November 2012 19:54  
Blogger len said...

The Catholic Church is a denomination it is definitely not the church Jesus Christ founded.
Jesus Christ IS' the rock'.Peter never was 'the rock' and never claimed to be.

7 November 2012 20:05  
Blogger len said...

The claim that Peter was the rock that they Catholic Church was built on was only invented after the 'Donation of Constantine' (formerly 'the authority' ) of the Catholic Church was found to be a not very cleverly fabricated forgery.

So much for the 'integrity' of the founders of the Catholic religious system!.

7 November 2012 20:11  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

""You are Peter, and on this rock I build my Church""

Which requires us to recognise that:

a) The Catholic Church is the exclusive inheritor of Peter.

b) That Peter's position as confirmed by Christ was intended to be a perpetual one given as an inheritance to his successors.

c) That it is impossible for the Catholic Church to fall away from Peter.

None of these positions have been pre-eminent throughout history from the days of the early Church; none of them are explicitly obvious in Scripture, let alone the passage itself. Orthodox Churches, never mind Protestants, would hotly and flatly dispute all three, and claim that Orthodoxy was "The Church".

I'll give you my definition, which is at once broader and narrower: The Church is found wherever two or three gather in faith in the name of Christ. It is often found where you least expect it, and is sometimes absent where it should be. It enjoys communion with Christ not principally because it is able to articulate or even understand essential doctrine, but because it accepts and adores the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:17, Matthew 18:20). Where the former does not flow from the latter, there is no orthodoxy sound enough to stand before Christ.

7 November 2012 20:21  
Blogger len said...

Let us ask Peter who the 'rock' is because surprisingly we can.......................

' As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”(1 Peter 2)

(If you replace Christ with the Catholic religious system'as your 'foundation' then you have already stumbled.

7 November 2012 20:22  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Back to the new Archbishop ....

He cites Pope Leo XIII's 1891 letter Rerum Novarum as the greatest influence over his moral thinking!

What do you say to that, then?

In this letter, the Pope sets out the job of the state as providing for the benefit of all, not least the most dispossessed. It rejects socialism, the theology it advocates lays out what later came to be called a preferential option for the poor: "The interests of all, whether high or low, are equal. The members of the working classes are citizens by nature and by the same right as the rich; they are real parts, living the life which makes up, through the family, the body of the commonwealth … therefore the public administration must duly and solicitously provide for the welfare and the comfort of the working classes; otherwise, that law of justice will be violated which ordains that each man shall have his due."

Justin believes in the idea of systemic or corporate sin: "I don't believe in good human beings ... but I believe you can have structures that make it easier to make the right choice or the wrong choice."

7 November 2012 21:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. You are a man who is known by many names. Weasel for example. Is one of your names Satan ? The archangel that would split the believers from God, because that is how you appear...

7 November 2012 21:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

AIB said ...

"It enjoys communion with Christ not principally because it is able to articulate or even understand essential doctrine, but because it accepts and adores the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:17, Matthew 18:20)."

If I might be so bold, this is a bit of a flimsy argument.

Every church, congregation, denomination, cult, sect, whatever, claims this.

That's why Jesus conferred authority ogn Peter and the Church.

"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."

What are the "keys to the kingdom" and this authority to loose and bind?

Scripture is clear that Jesus used the analogy of a rock - a play on Peter's name - to confer authority on him and his successors.

Christ is of course the Head of His Body - what Catholic has ever denied this? The Church its leadership was appointed to lead people to the Truth and to spread the Good News until He returns in Glory.

7 November 2012 21:34  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The Universe is change, life is an opinion. (Marcus Aurelius)

Peter is the keeper of the keys, Roman Brahmins known as Flavins had twin keys on their headress, which are said to fit the one box

In a similar way some Jews wear a box on their head, although Avi would be best to know if there is a connection

7 November 2012 21:37  
Blogger William said...

AIB

"The Church is found wherever two or three gather in faith in the name of Christ... It enjoys communion with Christ not principally because it is able to articulate or even understand essential doctrine, but because it accepts and adores the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:17, Matthew 18:20)."

Don't be ridiculous AIB who would take your confession? You'll be saying that it's possible to pray and worship in your own home next. How would you know who's in charge? It'd be anarchy. Anarchy I say.

Also, the Reformation and subsequent Protestant denominations clearly shows that your statement (a) is false and, therefore, if statement (a) is false then statement (c) must also be false. Unless some of our Catholic brothers can demonstrate otherwise. They might also like to demonstrate statement (b) if they can. Preferably without referring to infallibility.

7 November 2012 22:16  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Dodo:

The authority to bind and loose is an important one, and it is given by Christ twice in the Gospel of Matthew - once immediately after his affirmation of Peter, and again, two chapters later following a discussion of forgiveness and repentance:

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”" (Matthew 18:18-20; my emphasis)

And this is really my point - your reading rests upon an acceptance that Matthew 16:18 confers not merely authority but exclusive and hereditary (through apostolic succession) authority. I am happy to accept Peter's "authority", but not on these terms every other person who has followed.

For one thing, because Peter's conduct is directly relevant - Jesus goes on to immediately rebuke him for placing the concerns of the world above those of God, and of course later Peter betrays Christ on the eve of his trial. He is reconciled to Christ, and given charge over the flock. But what are we to make of this? It seems to me that Peter makes an enormous mess of things, and is redeemed not on his own merit but through reconciliation and repentance. He is "bound and loosed" so to speak, before he is any position to do so himself. The authority he possesses is intimately associated with his conduct - something reinforced throughout the pastoral epistles by Paul. This is really about point c) - what happens when the sinner who's inherited the post is not merely unrepentant but a downright villain? There have been saints who've worn the mantle of Peter's successor, but there've also been some pretty feckless and faithless individuals. I make no charge that the Papacy is always occupied by such men, but rather that authority proceeds from conduct and faith, and above all, by His Grace.

Secondly, it doesn't seem to me to be at all clear that Jesus as presented in the Gospel of Matthew is interested in establishing an ecclesiarchy. Several chapters later, He contrasts the pharisees with His own followers:

"“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:8-11)

There have been many Catholic clergy, religious, and laity who have embodied this kind of servant leadership. But its the virtue that is at stake here. That's why I said that there is no orthodoxy which stands before Christ that does not proceed from the Holy Spirit. Catholic teaching has a similar form of logic, but it refuses to see any potential for a gap between its own orthodoxy and the Holy Spirit - the one is the other, just as for the Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodoxy is "The Church".

Insofar as this proves true in the particular, I rejoice. Insofar as it does not, I observe that it is our conduct, our faith, and our willingness to submit to the Holy Spirit that counts. In that sense, I see the affirmation of the Church in Peter as being eternal - present wherever two or three gather in faith. The imperfections in our knowledge of God and our grasp of Truth are a consequence of seeing now unclearly - what we do know is by revelation, what we have received is by faith.

That's all my point is: Peter had authority because of his relationship with Christ. Present day Church leaders stand in the same measure.

7 November 2012 22:27  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

AIB

Surely Jesus knew what lay ahead for His Church and even forewarned us:

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

What is this "church"; this "it"?


Saint Paul has something to say on this:

"Now you are the body of Christ, and members of member.

And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that miracles; then the graces of healing, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"


"And having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us, either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith; or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; he that exhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."

7 November 2012 22:39  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2012 22:55  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Dodo: What are the "keys to the kingdom" and this authority to loose and bind?

The keys are the gospel. It looses people from hell (hence the reference to the gates of hell) by its being preached. Binding and loosing is what you do with keys.

Scripture is clear that Jesus used the analogy of a rock - a play on Peter's name - to confer authority on him and his successors.

Really? Scripture is clear? I thought the whole point was that it wasn't clear, and that's why infallible interpretations were released! If it's clear on that point then why not on other points? And if it's clear on other points, then the principal Roman Catholic argument against sola scriptura has gone.

How you get the successors bit is really beyond me though. Perhaps you can elucidate.

I also don't agree that the play on "Peter" means that he is the rock. Rather, his confession is the rock. And AIB has already brought up the relevant (and in my view, devastating) point that this authority to bind and loose is given to all the apostles in Matt 18. This seems to strongly undermine claims of particular Petrine authority.

7 November 2012 22:55  
Blogger William said...

AIB

"Peter had authority because of his relationship with Christ. Present day Church leaders stand in the same measure."

Nail hit squarely on the head there.

8 November 2012 00:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

tHOMAS

Just where does it say in the New Testament that the written word is definitive and must be the exclusive reference point?

Jesus sent His Apostles to preach the Gospel - The Good News - and to baptise and to teach in His name - and Saint Paul himself refers to tradition.

William

You may be being ironic. However, "It'd be anarchy. Anarchy I say" just about sums up the present situation in Christendom.

Just look around at the variety of options available to a christian today. More choice than on eBay.

The early Christian Church - as the Body of Christ - spent over 300 years formulating key doctrines and has continued doing so to this day.

8 November 2012 00:12  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

" But what are we to make of this"
says Belfast.

Peter, the betrayer seems hardly the person to be chosen as a successor. I agree with you that it shows the power of forgiveness and more importantly that Peter is just a flawed man . It reinforces the fact that the Pope is only Christ's representative on earth and not a deity. There have been a few feckless and faithless ones as you say. Present day Church leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury would fall into that group. ..promoting ssm and women bishops.What relationship with Christ does he have?

Very interesting points made here Belfast. This type of post is the only reason I still slog it out on this blog.

As for the apostolic succession.If you believe that Peter is the rock...and upon this rock I will build my Church and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven...this cannot be a one off situation, otherwise it would have meant that when Peter died the Church would be over.So somehow or another the argument for apostolic succession is engendered in that statement.

One of the powers given to Peter (binding and loosening) as I understand it is the power to excommunicate those who commit heresy ,the entire reformation group (Protestants )who do not recognise Christ's successor, the Pope

I can understand your argument Belfast but it falls down on the notion that there is a gap between orthodoxy and the Holy Spirit. What does that mean exactly?This suggests that Christ was fallible?
Thank you for a very interesting post.I'll think about this one.

8 November 2012 00:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William said...

AIB
"Peter had authority because of his relationship with Christ. Present day Church leaders stand in the same measure."

Nail hit squarely on the head there.


And straight into to Body of Our Lord!

So how do you distinguish between Luther, Knox, Calvin and Arminius and the numerous other prophets, preachers and theiologians in "[protestantism" today?

You judge their 'leadership' and 'theology' by their pecability? They all disagree about the Good News and salvation! How do you know what their relationship with Christ is?

A Church - a Body of believers - was established - not a group of individuals running around making up their own views about the Good News. Church leadership was appointed to be the guardian of Truth - not a particular Pope based on whether he was sinless or not.

Here's the Catholic position:

"By the Magisterium we mean the teaching office of the Church - the Pope and Bishops. Christ promised to protect the teaching of the Church: "He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects your rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10. 16).

"Now of course the promise of Christ cannot fail: hence when the Church presents some doctrine as definitive or final, it comes under this protection, it cannot be in error; in other words, it is infallible. The day to day teaching of the Church throughout the world, when the Bishops are in union with each other and with the Pope, and present something as definitive, this is infallible.

"It was precisely by the use of that authority that Vatican I was able to define that the Pope alone, when speaking as such and making things definitive, is also infallible."


And again:

"The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on [Scripture or Tradition], has been entrusted exclusively to the living Magisterium of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."
(Vatican II)

8 November 2012 01:36  
Blogger len said...

Dodo quoting 'Vatican 2' is meaningless unless you have been brainwashed into believing Catholic Theology (which in many cases opposes the Word of God)

8 November 2012 07:42  
Blogger len said...

Dodo Catholics have been deceived(very cleverly I admit) into standing on a false foundation' a House built on sand 'indeed because..................1 Corinthians 3:11 >>


'For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.'

8 November 2012 07:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Yes len, I am sure you believe this. However, you always fail to address a central problem with protestantism.

One Holy Spirit, one Gospel message, one Spirit of Truth, and yet so many variations and contradictory interpretations within competing theologies and interpretations of God's will that make up the many 'protesting' groups.

From its very foundation its 'leaders' could not agree - and still cannot. Do you really think and believe this is how God wants His flock led?

As I've said before, the term 'protestant' is meaningless apart from a common rejection of Catholicism.

8 November 2012 09:38  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo stated

"Yes len, I am sure you believe this. However, you always fail to address a central problem with protestantism.

One Holy Spirit, one Gospel message, one Spirit of Truth, and yet so many variations and contradictory interpretations within competing theologies and interpretations of God's will that make up the many 'protesting' groups. "

Then you have missed the whole point of the New Testament and what is stated and how the churches lived.

The mere reason the churches are written to is that they were not 'Catholic' as you suggest a continuous procession from (but failed in key areas that needed to be addressed individually by the Apostles doctrinally) but denominationally as 'the believers at'..Do look at their names my boy, Jerusalem The Mother Church from where all the Good News spread from, Antioch Paul's Missionary Church, The Church of Galatia and it's Unstable Churches, Ephesus as the Effective Church, Colosse written to as the Heretical Church, Philippi named the Joyful Church, Thessalonica described by Paul as the Expectant Church in it's Hope, Corinth laid bare as the Worldly Church and Rome expressed as the Renowned Church for all the wrong reasons as detailed by Paul to correct its false premises about Faith and Salvation (Centuries later they still appear to learnt nothing from THEIR Apostle...Have you a letter written to you by Peter in any manner?? He was called the Apostle to the Circumcised for a reason as was Paul called unto the Uncircumcised by express divine command!!!! The reason Paul could not add his name to the Book of Hebrews because he was not their apostle whereas Peter wrote exclusively to The Jews!!))

What about the 7 mention in Revelation??

Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).
Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).
Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).
Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).
Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).
Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

You pronounce nonsense my bird as each specific denomination has its very own doctrines and order of service as Rome has, yet you see yourself as THE rather than The..If age of establishment of the Gentile churches is the priority then the Eastern Orthodox is THE not THEE!

Blofeld

8 November 2012 11:18  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

re Vatican II

We all know that Roman Catholicism asserts that it is the exclusive authority on interpreting the word of God. However, unless it can answer all three of AIBs statements, it is nothing but a self-certifying, circular argument.

"You may be being ironic. However, "It'd be anarchy. Anarchy I say" just about sums up the present situation in Christendom."

I doubt that God would share your definition of anarchy Dodo. Anyway, I am more interested in the Kingdom of God rather than Christendom (they are not the same). I am sure that the Kingdom of God does indeed look like anarchy to you.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

8 November 2012 11:23  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Of course Ernst is being verbally ironic with you as you appear to miss the perception of a clash between appearance and reality, between seems and is, or between ought and is!

Ernsty Blofeld

8 November 2012 11:28  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

William said...

BRILLIANT, my lad!! (Ernst doffing his flat cap at you, as a sign of respect at your reasoned argument)

Blofeld

8 November 2012 11:31  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo

Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20). The Medieval Church!

This is YOUR Church that Our Saviour was referencing to personally from His own mouth . Read and Learn why I refuse to say Rome is not one of His Churches but in the most direst need to repent or else it WILL go into The Tribulation.

Blofeld

8 November 2012 11:39  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

I apologise for doubting Your Grace's ability to pick a winner.

Any chance you could advance me the numbers for this weekend's lottery?

8 November 2012 12:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

There is an ancient inscription on the Cathedral in Lubeck, Germany, which reads from the german:

Ye call me Master, and obey me not.
Ye call me Light and seek me not. Ye call me Way and walk me not.
Ye call me Wise and follow me not. Ye call me Fair and love me not. Ye call me Rich and ask me not.
Ye call me Eternal and seek me not.
Ye call me Gracious and trust me not.
Ye call me Noble and serve me not.
Ye call me Mighty and honor me not.
Ye call me Just and fear me not.

If I condemn you, blame me not.

Perhaps something we should all bear in mind, from time to time?

E S Blofeld

8 November 2012 14:55  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Just where does it say in the New Testament that the written word is definitive and must be the exclusive reference point?

2 Tim 3:15b-17: “the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

“Able to make you wise for salvation”, “that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” This passage testifies to the formal sufficiency of scripture. If teaching from the scripture is able to make us equipped for every good work, then no other source of teaching is needed.

Jesus sent His Apostles to preach the Gospel - The Good News - and to baptise and to teach in His name - and Saint Paul himself refers to tradition.

I agree with everything you’ve said there. Does not establish Roman Catholicism as opposed to the Reformed faith.

Yes len, I am sure you believe this. However, you always fail to address a central problem with protestantism.

One Holy Spirit, one Gospel message, one Spirit of Truth, and yet so many variations and contradictory interpretations within competing theologies and interpretations of God's will that make up the many 'protesting' groups.


Yes Dodo, I am sure you believe this. However you always fail to address a central problem with Catholicism.

One deposit of Tradition, one Magisterium, One successor of Peter, One Church, and yet so many variations and contradictory interpretations within competing theologies and interpretations of God’s will that make up the many “Catholic” groups.

8 November 2012 16:00  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

(That was all for Dodo by the way.)

8 November 2012 16:01  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Cressida:

I don't think Christ was being fallible when He entrusted His Church to Peter - I think He was putting trust in him. I don't think any of us would deny that our leaders are human, and so fallible. They lead the Church as Christ calls them, frail and imperfect in their own strength, great in the Lord's. What matters more, it seems to me, is their willingness to be led by Christ. How often do we observe with pain and horror how leaders from across Christianity come to rely on their own judgement, and set aside God's, only to secretly nurture sin?

Which really comes down to Dodo's question here:

"You judge their 'leadership' and 'theology' by their pecability? They all disagree about the Good News and salvation! How do you know what their relationship with Christ is?"

My own view on theology is that, like any academic subject, it is endlessly entertaining to debate, but its value to the Church arrives when it is used by the Holy Spirit to spark consciences, ignite people to action, and lead them into deeper faith. It's perhaps a little trite, but I see Christianity as a verb. I don't just mean in a narrow sense of "doing" social justice or evangelism - I mean that faith in Christ flows into every aspect of our lives like an invigorating fountain. So the question about the validity of theology is always for me a strangely personal one: what is the Holy Spirit trying to tell me? And more importantly: what does God think of how this theology is impacting on my spiritual life?

That seems to me to be a very important question. If I might pick up on the issue of anarchy - I think Dodo is right to resist a kind of laissez-faire spirituality where anything goes. Rather than try and pin down dogma definitively and finally - a task which, while laudable, doesn't get to the crux of the very personal nature of faith - I'd orient the issue around how we relate to Christ in the things we encounter and the people we meet. If we simply equate Christ's approval with the things that "feel right" to us - then we're potentially in danger of entering into self-deception. To nick from David Hume, we have a jaundiced spiritual eye - the things that may feel right to us may not be pleasing to God.

Our relationship with God, then, has to be lived as though God really does consititute right Truth, and is really capable of revealing the Truth to us. We talk so often of the Living God - it is simply a case of living as if we believe in the Living God. That's why I'm uncomfortable setting boundaries as to the methods that God may use or the people He may call on - it's His perogative whether He speaks through a Burning Bush or an article in Time Magazine. The question of how we know that it is Him speaking is determined by how we relate to Him.

When I first became a Christian, I used to wonder at my vicar's insistence on the model of the Lord's Prayer. "Always start by praising God". At the time, I thought this was an unnecessary adherence to form, and also didn't understand why, when I more urgently felt the need to beg forgiveness, I should stop at adoration first. Surely, I thought, adoration comes after when I've sought forgiveness! I now realise that placing God's sovereignty above all else is the most central component of our faith. By saying: Lord, you are Holy and above all else, we're submitting to His judgement everything else that comes. That impacts on what we ask for, it impacts on our awareness of our sins. Instead of praying to a list of our own inventions, we put God first.

It's a kind of pragmatism centred on saying: Speak Lord, I'm listening. Augustine would have said that charity must drive theology. I'd say the same of how we relate to Tradition and Scripture.

8 November 2012 16:56  
Blogger OldJim said...

There is much confusion here. Yes, Christ is the rock upon which the Church is built. He is King and High Priest. His was the body which was put to death and resurrected for our sake. And yet, we, the Church, are also the Body of Christ. So the question is, is Peter also the Rock on which the church is built in the same way that we are also the Body of Christ? It seems to me apparent that the answer is yes.
First, Jesus changes Simon’s name. God has also changed the names of others before, in the same way. God says “You shall no longer be called Abram, but Abraham, for I shall make you a father of many Nations” God says “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men, and you have prevailed”, In each case, this is the establishment of a new covenant. God says to Abraham, immediately after: “This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.” God says to Jacob, straight after: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”

God says to Simon: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”

Just as Abraham is made Patriarch of the Old Covenant, and those who descend from him have a covenant with God by virtue of this covenant, so Peter is Patriarch of the New Covenant, and there is a spiritual descent from him. Just as Abraham is circumcised first, and then his Household and descendants after and derivatively, so Peter is given the powers of binding and loosing, and the other disciples after and derivatively. Peter is not just one of the disciples. He is the Patriarch. He is Cephas.

8 November 2012 17:48  
Blogger OldJim said...

Now turn your attention to Isaiah 22:15-25: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+22%3A15-25&version=ESV
The office of Steward of the Kingdom of David is described. It is an office: it changes hands, and is not committed to merely one person. The steward exercises the authority of the King. This stewardship is signified by the possession of the keys of the house of David, which give the holder the authority to bind and loose in the affairs of the kingdom. In the New Covenant, Christ is the King and so owns the keys (Revelations 3:7), and his Steward on earth, who is given possession of them, is whoever holds the office of Peter.

There is only one office on the Earth which claims this precise authority

It is as simple and scriptural as that

8 November 2012 17:50  
Blogger Roy said...

Chris Hill said...

Not at all sure why working in the oil industry would give him humility. Mastery of weasel words and devious politics perhaps, but never humility.

What an utterly irrational statement. Why on earth should people working in the oil industry be more sinful than people in many other industries or in vast swathes of the public sector?

8 November 2012 18:29  
Blogger len said...

Old Jim sorry mate but you have got it wrong(8 November 2012 17:48)

The Church is a 'spiritual building'.

The foundation is Christ .

The 'building' is constructed of spiritual stones' Living stones'.

Pater is merely one who had the revelation[ given by God] of the true identity of Christ.All believers have the same authority as Peter.

8 November 2012 18:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

AIB and OldJim

Many thanks for these thoughtful and respectful posts. I think they answer the 3 central questions posed much earlier:

a) The Catholic Church (i.e. the Universal Christian Church) is the exclusive inheritor of Peter.

b) That Peter's position as confirmed by Christ was intended to be a perpetual one given as an inheritance to his successors.

c) That it is impossible for the Catholic Church to fall away from Peter.

A book in the Gospel rarely cited by Christians is Acts of the Apostles. This first history of the Church does, I believe, supportOldJim's position.

AIB, I have great respect for your views and knowledge of theology and Church history.

However, I think you are overlooking the fact that Christ commissioned the Apostles to preach and teach the Good News of salvation throughout the world. In this context the comment ...

"It enjoys communion with Christ not principally because it is able to articulate or even understand essential doctrine, but because it accepts and adores the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:17, Matthew 18:20). Where the former does not flow from the latter, there is no orthodoxy sound enough to stand before Christ."

... is strange. You will know the constructions placed on scripture and personal revelation down the years and the disasterous consequences of disunity - China, for example. Accepting and adoring the Holy Spirit asan individual is fine butmen then tend towant to share their opinions on doctrine.

Faith is not simply personal. It is ccmmunal - rememberthe section on two or more people meeting together in My Name. Not much good if they disagree! And the "Our Father" is the signature prayer. Not only do we praise God and ask for His forgiveness, we also pray for His Kingdom to come and His Will to be done. Again, this requires a common understandingof the essential doctrines. It would mean one thing to a Catholic and an entirely different thing to a Calvinist.

And this too gives paose for further thought ...

"Rather than try and pin down dogma definitively and finally (does the Catholic Church really try do this? - a task which, while laudable, doesn't get to the crux of the very personal nature of faith - I'd orient the issue around how we relate to Christ in the things we encounter and the people we meet. If we simply equate Christ's approval with the things that "feel right" to us - then we're potentially in danger of entering into self-deception. To nick from David Hume, we have a jaundiced spiritual eye - the things that may feel right to us may not be pleasing to God."

The dilemma: - distinguishing between these personal feelings and the Holy Spirit. Which takes us back toSaint Paul and his teaching on the gifts of the Spirit that make up the Body of Christ.

8 November 2012 19:09  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"All believers have the same authority as Peter."

Right on cue ...

See what I mean!

8 November 2012 19:11  
Blogger len said...

In the new covenant, by writing the law on the hearts of his people, God would fulfill the plan laid out in Exodus 19, the plan to establish a kingdom of priests. Peter declares the fulfillment of this plan in chapter 2 of his first letter, beginning in verse 4 (by the way, this passage also shows that Peter understood that he himself was NOT the rock on which the church would be built):
As you come to him, the living Stone-- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," 8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message-- which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Peter tells us in verse 5 that we are being built up as a "spiritual house for a holy priesthood," and then in verse 9 he quotes directly the Greek translation of Ex 19:6: We are (right now! this is not future tense, but present!) We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. God’s plan expressed at Mt Sinai and prophesied through Jeremiah has been fulfilled: Now God has a kingdom of priests.

8 November 2012 19:15  
Blogger len said...

The Catholic Church has built its whole philosophy on one [deliberately] misquoted piece of Scripture.It only did this because its previous 'authority'' the Donation of Constantine' was 'rumbled' as a very badly constructed forgery.
The Church was built on the revelation(By Peter firstly) on the Divinity of Christ revealed by God.

The Church was built on the revelation of the identity of Christ..Only a fool would build a Church 'on Peter'.

8 November 2012 19:29  
Blogger len said...

It may surprise some Catholics to realise that none of the 'Great Church Fathers' saw any connection between Matthew 16:18 and the Pope.

One after another they analyse it Cyprian, Origen, Cyril, Hilary, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine.
For the Fathers it was Peters faith ...or rather the Lord in whom Peter had faith (who is called 'the rock') not Peter.
Not one of the Fathers speaks of a transference of power from Peter to those who succeed him, no hint of an abiding Petrine office.
I would advise Catholics to look through the scriptures and to see who 'the rock' really is!

8 November 2012 19:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len

Did the Holy Spirit reveal all this to you - or was it cut and pasted from one of your favoured websites?

A very clear case of seek (on the internet) and ye shall find (what you're lookng for)!

The Donation of Constantine - what stuff and nonsense!

There is ample evidence the Church Fathers accepted the church of Rome was the central and most authoritative church. They attest to the Church’s reliance on Rome for advice, for mediation of disputes, and for guidance on doctrinal issues.

Antioch said Rome: "holds the presidency" among the other churches, and Irenaeus explained: "because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree" with Rome.

They are also clear on the fact that it is communion with Rome and the bishop of Rome that causes one to be in communion with the Catholic Church. Cyprian of Carthage said: Rome is "the principal church, in which sacerdotal unity has its source."

Early Popes also revealed their understanding of their own authority in the Church, such as when Pope Clement I commanded the church of Corinth to reinstate its leadership. Pope Victor excommunicated the churches of Asia Minor as a group. Other bishops sought to change Victor’s mind but did not challenge his authority to have made the excommunication.

I could continue …. But you’ll have stopped reading by now.

8 November 2012 20:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

" ..Only a fool would build a Church 'on Peter'"

Oh dear! Now you've crossed a line:

"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."

You've suggested this of Our Lord.

8 November 2012 20:10  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Dodo:

I accept your concerns about individual revelation - but that's what I was trying to respond to. My baseline is this: I believe in God as not merely the Creator of the Earth but an active, present, full participant in human life. I believe God draws mankind to Him, both in the kind of macro-spiritual realm of His works of Salvation through the Cross, which we all believe in, but also individually on a pragmatic, day-to-day level. I take as my principle inspiration this passage:

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."" (Isaiah 30:21)

I hold that this, and the prophecy that the law will be written on men's hearts (Jeremiah 31:33) are fulfilled by the presence of the Holy Spirit within all who believe and follow Christ.

In that sense, I would see the kinds of individual revelations that cause division not as a fault of denominational adherence, or even a lack of central authority - it occurs when men cease to seek the Holy Spirit. In fact, much of my thought in this direction has been influenced by churches like those in China - indeed, if you take the time to look at how many of the varying house group movements are trying to build unity with one another, and with global churches, it is uncannily similar to the scenes played out in Acts at the Council of Jerusalem.

What I'm saying, as plainly put as I can muster it, is that unity is something that comes from the Spirit. It is a constant work, and it is something that is not static, but perpetually dynamic: always deepening, always drawing closer to God. To use C.S. Lewis' phrase: it is always further in and deeper, and there is no end to either, but always more. Although I have to use what looks like largely mystical language to explain it - its reality is emminently practical. It isn't a standard or an office, it's relational - because the Truth is revealed to us relationally in the Person of Christ. In that sense, what I'm talking about cannot be anything other than communal faith - but it is a communality that emerges as a consequence of the Spirit within us.

OldJim's defence of the centrality of faith and Christ's promise is not that far removed from what I'm saying. Except in one essential fact: he defends the office. I'm not sure that the Gospel of Matthew can be comfortably read (especially in the context of 23:8-11 as cited above) as being the commission of an office. I don't think that the evidence in Acts reveals the presence of an office. I think that Matthew depicts the commission of the man Peter; I think Acts shows the conduct of that man, and the others around him in securing unity through the way in which they related to one another; and I think the same standards continue to apply. I'll repeat what I said above, because it really does sum up my point:

Peter had authority because of his relationship with Christ. Present day Church leaders stand in the same measure.

8 November 2012 20:14  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Len:

I happen to think that recognising Peter as being the rock on which the Church is built does not need to be derogatory to the authority of Christ. I think that God knew what He was doing calling the right people at the right time, and I think that Peter's willingness to be held to account, his charity, his desire for unity amongst the congregations, and ultimately his death bear out Jesus' wisdom. In that sense, I'd hope that future leaders patterned themselves on his example: because it seems to me that we could do with more leaders who know how the be imperfect servants of the Living God.

8 November 2012 20:19  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Dodo:

One minor point regarding my comments about doctrine - I often have in mind, as I've written before, the exclusivism of certain branches of Protestantism (and also Orthodoxy). I don't view Catholics as anything other than fellow Christians, and so do not start from a position of particular criticism of the Catholic Church, or any other.

8 November 2012 20:23  
Blogger OldJim said...

len, I agree with all of your biblical exposition - where I disagree is when you bring either/or thinking to the text.

Either Jesus is the Rock OR Peter's faith is the Rock, OR Peter is the Rock. Either all Christians are priests by virtue of their baptism OR there is a special charism of priesthood.

You demonstrate that Jesus is the Rock and go on to state that this means that Peter is not the rock. You demonstrate that there is a priesthood of all believers and so deny that there is a charism of priesthood.

But this Either/Or stuff is not the way the bible is written. Christ existed bodily and we are the Body of Christ. Affirming one does not involves denying the other.

If you look at the church fathers properly, you will see that they knew that Jesus, Peter's faith, Peter's office and Peter himself were ALL The Rock.

8 November 2012 20:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

AIB

I'm not a theologian but there are elements of 'wanting your cake and eating it too' in your comments.

Of course God is active, present, and a full participant in human life, operating at all levels.
Biblical

In some sense, the law is already written all on men's hearts. Its fulfillment is by the presence of the Holy Spirit within all who believe and follow Christ - and cooperate with His Spirit.

The devil is in the detail of these biblical princioles and their implementation in different times - the praxis.

Communal faith does not aways result in a communal understanding or a communal expression of this. The Spirit within us operates in different ways - as Saint Paul teaches - and human nature gets in ythe way too.

When communality does not emerge and where division becomes acute and dangerous, the doctors (theologians), the teachers and leaders of the Church are called upon to play their part.

To my mind that's where Mathew 16:18 comes into play. It is, as OldJim says, the establishment of an office.

When the successors of the Apostles agree - fine. The Church will teach this in unison. When they do not and division arises, the Bishops meet, they debate, they pray and they decide. The Pope oversees this process and settles any final points that have not been resolved or he may veto any development he considers unbiblical or outwith tradition.

For my part, I consider the theological presentation and accept the doctrine and dogma of the Church. I also try to understand and obey the Church's teachings on faith and morals as best I can.

It just seems a God given arrangement to me. There have been times when the Papacy and Magisterium has failed in temporal matters. Jesus knew this but promised the Church would stay true to His maeeage and come through.

I'm a Catholic. I believe His words as I read and understand them and guided by those bestowed with the gifts that make up His Body.

8 November 2012 22:56  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The word "rock" refers to Peter himself ie you are a good Jew who will spread and defend my teachings to the rest of the Jews.

9 November 2012 03:58  
Blogger IanCad said...

Good for you Len,

You are not alone; it's just that the sheer repetitiveness of the Papists on this blog wears a man down.

Over the years the same old fallacies have been bandied about but Biblical truth is well able to contend with the claims of Rome.

We are dealing with masters of equivocation and outright deception.
Holding millions in thrall, despite their bloody history, the Roman Church is as strong as ever.

Peter was not appointed to the headship of the church.

If theology isn't enough then chronology should settle it:
The Last Supper took place after Peter was, supposedly, named leader of the church.
The bickering between the disciples over who would be the greatest would not have occurred had he indeed been selected by Christ to be the root of apostolic succession.

9 November 2012 08:55  
Blogger Roy said...

Corrigan1 said...

Unfortunately, (for the Church of England as an organization, anyway), getting back to your roots means coming back into the Church. All roads lead to Rome.

The statement "all roads lead to Rome" may have been an accurate description of political geography in the time of the Roman Empire, at least before its capital was moved to Constantinople.

However for Christians the most important road is the Way and we know Who that is and we also know that the destination is Heaven.

Alternatively, if you do want to use an earthly city to symbolise the destination it is not Rome. It is the New Jerusalem!

9 November 2012 09:53  
Blogger Roy said...

I don't think most fair-minded protestants would quarrel with the assertion that Peter had a special status among the apostles. He acted as a spokesman for them on some critical occasions.

James and John also had a special status since they, along with Peter, were present at the Transfiguration and in Gethsemane. However nobody, as far as I know, has suggested that the "offices" of James and John were passed on to later leaders.

Paul did not regard his own status as an apostle as being inferior to that of any of the original apostles including Peter. Nor was the status of James, the brother of Jesus, in any way inferior to that of Peter and the other 10 original apostles plus Matthias (the replacement for Judas).

Therefore the position of Peter can probably be fairly described as "first among equals."

9 November 2012 10:13  
Blogger Matt A said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 November 2012 10:28  
Blogger Matt A said...

Back to the topic, has anyone here been present at a service led by Bishop Welby?

9 November 2012 10:29  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

OldJim: First, Jesus changes Simon’s name. God has also changed the names of others before, in the same way. God says “You shall no longer be called Abram, but Abraham, for I shall make you a father of many Nations” God says “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men, and you have prevailed”, In each case, this is the establishment of a new covenant. God says to Abraham, immediately after: “This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.” God says to Jacob, straight after: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave unto Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”

No, it is not the establishment of a new covenant in each case. The covenant with Jacob is a continuation of the covenant with Abraham and Isaac. Nothing new here. Also, the onus in on you to establish that his name is changed “in the same way”, not just to assert it. Many people’s names in the OT do not refer to them, so you have to show the case with Peter, not assume it.

Just as Abraham is made Patriarch of the Old Covenant, and those who descend from him have a covenant with God by virtue of this covenant, so Peter is Patriarch of the New Covenant, and there is a spiritual descent from him. Just as Abraham is circumcised first, and then his Household and descendants after and derivatively, so Peter is given the powers of binding and loosing, and the other disciples after and derivatively. Peter is not just one of the disciples. He is the Patriarch. He is Cephas.

Again, no. Abraham is not patriarch of the Old Covenant (i.e. the Mosaic covenant) but of the New Covenant (Galatians 3:7-8, 15-18). We are made heirs to the promise of this patriarch through union with Christ (26-29).

As for the rest of what you claim, you are completely assuming what you need to prove. To say that the other disciples receive the power of binding and loosing derivatively is one thing. To demonstrate it from the text is quite another. Also, the New Covenant corollary of circumcision is baptism, not binding and loosing (pace my Baptist friends).

Now turn your attention to Isaiah 22:15-25: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+22%3A15-25&version=ESV
The office of Steward of the Kingdom of David is described. It is an office: it changes hands, and is not committed to merely one person. The steward exercises the authority of the King. This stewardship is signified by the possession of the keys of the house of David, which give the holder the authority to bind and loose in the affairs of the kingdom. In the New Covenant, Christ is the King and so owns the keys (Revelations 3:7), and his Steward on earth, who is given possession of them, is whoever holds the office of Peter.


Once again, long on assertions, short on argument I'm afraid. For a start, it cannot be an exact parallel to the office of the Pope, because it is God and not King David who confers the office. So in the parallel, Jesus would be God, Peter would be Eliakim and the King would be… who exactly?

Also, you've assumed that the Key of David continues with the office, but there is no justification in the text for that assumption. If his precursor who held the office didn't have it, why should his successor? Furthermore, Peter is not given “the key”, but “the keys”. And David is nowhere mentioned in the passage. So it is not a parallel, as you claim.

9 November 2012 11:21  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Cont: You’ve tried to pre-empt the obvious objection to your point, but unsuccessfully. Revelation 3:7 does not say Christ “owns” the keys; it says he “has” them. Furthermore, the exact parallel language of shutting and opening (rather than binding and loosing) is used in Revelation and not in Matthew. This points to Christ being the one prefigured by Eliakim in this passage. And of course, if we continue onto verse 25, we find that it prefigures Christ’s death! He is the peg, cut off for our sake, being subjected to the shame of the cross.

There is only one office on the Earth which claims this precise authority

So? Why does that mean I should believe it? Also, why should I believe that your Pope is the Pope, and not believe, for example, the sedevacantists? Also, don't I have to accept the Protestant position of the perspicuity of scripture to even get to those conclusions, therefore making your argument self-refuting?

9 November 2012 11:21  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Roy: I don't think most fair-minded protestants would quarrel with the assertion that Peter had a special status among the apostles. He acted as a spokesman for them on some critical occasions.

I’m not sure I agree with that! (Although it may be that I’m not fair-minded… ;) ) It seems to me that Peter acted as a spokesman on some important occasions, as did my namesake Thomas, as did James the brother of Jesus, as did John son of Zebedee as you point out! So where does Peter’s special status come into the picture?

See the following interesting little article (I couldn't see whether we were allowed to post links, but there was no prohibition I could find so...):

http://triablogue.blogspot.com.es/2012/08/51-biblical-proofs-of-pauline-papacy.html

9 November 2012 11:32  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

My Reverence's duty to your Grace.
The Heffalump in the room of your Grace's masterly exposition of Scripture in eulogy of Bishops is, of course, that he must be MALE.
I am told that Justin Welby is a] evangelical; b] pro 'bishopesses' and c] anti gay-marriage.
This appears to be cherry-picking only the bits of scripture that one approves of and ignoring the rest.
I find this strange for one who calls himself 'evangelical' particularly as blessed Paul was much more direct on the gender of the episcopate than he ever was on homosexuality [which is put with a list of other sins [eg adultery] which either seem ignored or even accepted today. They certainly ain't condemned.

9 November 2012 12:43  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

However for Christians the most important road is the Way and we know Who that is and we also know that the destination is Heaven.

Yes, Roy: and the Way goes through Rome.

9 November 2012 13:10  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Dodo:

I'm saying that the quality of a man makes him fit for office, and that it is that quality that makes his decisions sound, not the office he holds. I don't think that's really that revolutionary, to be honest. Certainly it fits with Paul's assessment in Galatians 2, where the measure of the disciples' fitness to judge is their ability to recognise the Gospel given to him, not the estimation they hold as a result of their position - "those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me". You could look at that negatively in two ways: we could say, that had they not recognised the Gospel, then esteem would not have been owing. We could also, without much difficulty, turn and lable Paul someone who listened to his own, personal revelation rather than waiting for it to proceed from the gathered disciples in Jerusalem. Who'd have thought Paul was the original Protestant?

But I think both of these responses would miss the point that Paul had faith that his Gospel was from God, and consequently faith that men who recognised and loved God would be led to recognise and love that Gospel by God. In some senses it must have come as a surprise to the disciples: there they were, commissioned to lead the Church, and suddenly out of nowhere comes word that God has been working powerfully amongst the Gentiles without so much as a word to Peter and James, let alone the assembled twelve. They recognised the Gospel, for the same reasons they recognised Christ: because the Father gave it to them to recognise it. All Truth proceeds from our relationship with the Truth in the Person of Christ. All Unity proceeds from the Spirit.

However, there was an obvious caveat in that it didn't prevent them from being measured to the same standards. When Paul saw Peter's behaviour, he opposed him "because he stood condemned" (Gal 2:11). You asked earlier how we should assess other theologians' relationship with Christ. Why not by their conduct? Isn't that at the crux of Christ's message to all of us: repent and sin no more? Aren't we exhorted to choose as leaders those who are no longer tainted by the practice of sin, who conform to certain standards? Why should this measure cease once the appointment has been made?

One hears the distinct echoes of medieval political theory in this line of defence: "There have been times when the Papacy and Magisterium has failed in temporal matters."

The temporal/spiritual split is an interesting one, as is the division between a ruler's person, and his status as a ruler (the Crown/Individual as we might put it today). The problem is, that both of these concepts owe directly to the secular world. Kings didn't have "two persons" in medieval Europe because they were modelled after the Pope - the Pope came to have "two persons" because his position increasingly claimed the mantle of secular power. Step back a minute, and why should temporal failings not be a measure against a leader? It's rather like the Pope having his sin and wanting to get away with it. Did Jesus so easily divide the temporal from the spiritual when it came to personal accountability?

I know it is not ever your intention to defend sin, nor that you deny that the leaders of the Catholic Church are fallible, but there is a logical disconnect that occurs when it ceases to be the men in office who are considered to be speaking authoritatively, in place of the office itself - not least because an office is always held by a man. The argument that the office cannot fail, is not enormously unlike an argument for Predestination, save that it is invested in an institution rather than a person. All I'm saying, is that God calls leaders on account of their relationship with Him, that He speaks where He wills, and that the measure which matters is not where we sit, but what our relationship is with God.

9 November 2012 13:21  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear Bird

Matthew 14:33
33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Strange is it not that ALL in the boat declared He was the Christ! long before Matthew 16:16.

1.They ALL declared who He was in Matthew 14:33 without prompting by what they had just seen and felt within their hearts!
2. They were asked individually at Christ's prompting from Matthew 16:16 onwards to declare who He was and each in turn acknowledged and were told they therefore had the keys of heaven to loose and bind within the Father's Will and on account of which Christ declared Peter blessed and ascribed his knowledge of him not to flesh and blood but to the revelation of his Father.

Even a very cursory reading of the New Testament scripture will show that the Roman Catholic Church does not have its origin in the teachings of Jesus or His apostles.
In the New Testament, there is not one mention of the papacy, worship/adoration/veneration of Mary (or the immaculate conception of Mary/the perpetual virginity of Mary/the assumption of Mary, or detailing Mary as a co-redemptrix and mediatrix with Christ), petitioning saints in heaven for their prayers and assistance, any apostolic succession in defiance that the only Apostle that wrote to them was Paul and NOT Peter, the ordinances of the church functioning as sacraments, infant baptism, any confession of sins to a priest, the theme of purgatory, indulgences of any kind, or the equal and binding authority of church tradition and Scripture.
So, my bird, if the origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, as recorded in the New Testament why does it keep making such heretical claims for itself unless it was in an heretical position with Jesus Christ, His Apostles and teaching!!! He waits it's repentance but it appears non forthcoming.

Ernst S Blofeld

9 November 2012 13:44  
Blogger bradypus said...

Two days without a word from His Grace, is it something prosaic like illness or holiday or has he been burnt at the stake in some evangelical backlash?

9 November 2012 13:47  
Blogger OldJim said...

Mr Keningley,

You are right. The onus is on me to establish that the name is changed in the same way. God Himself gives names to people in the OT in the following places: Abram becomes Abraham (Genesis 17:5) and Sarai becomes Sarah (Genesis 17:15), Jacob becomes Israel (Genesis 32:28; 35-10), Solomon is named Jedediah ("beloved of the Lord") by God at birth (2 Samuel 12:25), Hosea's three children are named by God: Jezreel, Lo-Ruhamah, and Lo-ammi (Hosea 1:4-). The promise is that Lo-Ruhamah (not pitied) will be Ruhamah (pitied) and Lo-Ammi (not my people) will be Ammi (my people)

Unfortunately, by the nature of this being a text, I cannot insist that anyone interpret the thing as I do. Yet I think that any reasonable and fair observer looking through the exhaustive list of passages cited would see immediately that the cases of Abraham and Israel are like each other and unlike the others. In adulthood, they have an encounter with God Himself (Israel wrestles an "Angel of the Lord" but the name he is given literally means "You have struggled with God", and he names the place Peniel, because he saw the Face of God and was spared)

God changes their names and has a particular syntax for doing so. "No longer will you be called (old name).... but you will be called (new name).... For (explanation of the name's significance)... covenental implications"

In Abraham's case, we can see this pattern perfectly. No longer Abram, He is Abraham, for he will be Father of Many Nations. This is both name and covenant.

In Jacob's case, the pattern is split. In Genesis 32:28, he is told he is no longer Jacob, he is given his new name and its meaning. In Genesis 35-10, he is again given the new name, this time with the covenant. Nonetheless, the pattern holds. Old name, New name, meaning of new name, covenant.

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Again, I cannot make anyone endorse this explanation, but it seems to be that they would have to be haughty indeed to claim that this was "unbiblical" or a "loose reading of the text". It seems to me a much clearer typology than many that both Protestants and Catholics accept.

9 November 2012 13:57  
Blogger OldJim said...

If that pattern is followed, note that Peter must be the Rock referred to. He is named Peter (Cephas, Rock), and the explanation of the name is that "Upon this Rock I will build my Church".

the Abrahamic promise is Genesis 12:2-3: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Paul tells us that "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith"

Likewise, in a very real sense Peter's confession is the Rock upon which the Church is built. For the promise made to him was not made to him through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. "You are the Christ"

9 November 2012 14:11  
Blogger Tony B said...

Justin Welby seems like an excellent chap, and good luck to him.

9 November 2012 14:17  
Blogger OldJim said...

Mr Kenningley, contd:

I quite agree that circumcision is the corollary of baptism, and not of binding and loosing. However, binding and loosing is clearly an authority bound up in the new covenant. Abraham's seed were a nation with a valid priesthood by virtue of their being children of Abraham. I do not think it a stretch to consider that there is significance to the power first being granted to Peter and then later to the disciples generally.

You also claim that the stewardship and papacy cannot be exact parallels, for in the parallel, "Jesus would be God, Peter would be Eliakim and the King would be... who exactly?"

The King is Christ as Man and Mediator. Of Royal David's line and all that. "The Lord said to my Lord.."

To put it a less obscure way, one of the central points of the New Testament is that Jesus is God, High Priest and Sacrificial Victim, all together. So He is both God and King in the analogy. Which is why He doesn't give Peter a Kingship or a High Priesthood. These are His roles. He gives Peter the Stewardship of His Kingdom.

You are right that in Isaiah 22:22 and Revelations 3:7, the reference is to the Key of the House of David, which the bearer can use to open that none will shut, and shut that none will open. In Matthew 16:19, the reference is to the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, with which the bearer can bind in Heaven by binding on Earth and loose in Heaven by loosing on Earth.

I don't see that Eliakim can be a type of Christ. He is merely the Steward of David's house. David is Christ's type.

Eliakim's fall may nonetheless be a type for Christ's death, though.

The question is, if the keys are different, what is Peter's key? What is the distinction between binding and loosing and opening and closing? Isn't the Kingdom of Heaven the fulfilment of the Kingdom of David, and wouldn't you accept a relationship between the two in the text in other places, places where the implications wouldn't be too "Catholic"?

Maybe that's uncharitable, and you just are being very scrupulous in approaching the text, which would be commendable. But a great deal of this sort of stuff is perfectly obvious and non-controversial for Catholics and Protestants alike in verses which support doctrines common to us both, like Trinitarianism. Then we get to verses like this and it is suddenly unclear that the Kingdom of David is the type of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is suddenly unclear that Abram's renaming is any different to Ichabod's naming!

I simply don't see that I am taking liberties with scripture here.

None of this amounts to Papal supremacy. But it does amount to Petrine Primacy and the existence of a Petrine office of Stewardship. And when a Christian concedes that, as many Orthodox do, we have come, more or less, to an admission of Biblical evidence for Papal Primacy.

9 November 2012 14:51  
Blogger OldJim said...

Ernsty,

you said earlier that Peter had authority over the circumcised and Paul the uncircumcised. And this is true, in a way. Paul does have a special mission as "apostle to the gentiles".

However, the Church isn't split in two. In the New Covenant, there is neither Jew nor Greek. Likewise, Paul's mission does not detract from Peter's authority. It is to Peter that the revelation is made that the dietary laws are now adiaphora. It is to Peter that the Holy Spirit sends Cornelius. It is Peter who first preaches to and baptises Gentiles (Acts 10)

As for there being no hierarchy within the disciples, Paul calls himself the least of the apostles, for he persecuted the Church of God (1 Cor 15:9). Peter, James and John are reputed to be Pillars (Gal 2:9). In every list of disciples bar one in the New Testament (Gal 2:9 again), Peter is named first(Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Judas is always named last. Peter is told to feed Jesus' sheep; he is the primary delegated shepherd (Jn 21:15-17). It is Peter who must strengthen his brethren (Lk 22:32). In Mark 16:7, the angel tells the women at the tomb to "Go and tell his disciples (and/including/especially) Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee"

Evidence of a place of primacy for Peter is everywhere in the New Testament. A non-Catholic attempting to deny the Papacy would be much better off denying that there was an office or that the current Bishop of Rome holds that office than denying that Peter had a special position amongst the apostles. He evidently, obviously did.

9 November 2012 15:23  
Blogger OldJim said...

AiB

It is clear in the Bible that people of faith can be grafted onto the vine, that God can work through anyone, that when gentiles do good without the law they are a "law unto themselves"

Nonetheless, regardless of their works or even their faith, God maintains a special relationship with Israel by virtue of His Covenant with them. He sometimes abandons them to teach them something, but never in dereliction of His promises. In other words, there is an institutional vine for people of faith to be grafted onto, which exists not primarily because of the works of Israel or the Faith of Israel but by virtue of God's promise, and to work out the Birth of the Messiah.

A Catholic would likewise say that your emphases on faith and good leadership are great ones, and that we should all aspire to do God's will. We would also agree that God can raise up anyone, especially in this New Covenant. Nonetheless, by virtue of God's promises there is an eschatological institution for those of faith to be grafted onto. And it works primarily not by works or even by faith, although we aspire to be a people set apart by faith, but in virtue of God's promise and as the working out of Christ's body across history.

9 November 2012 15:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

OldJim:

The very fact that many of the individuals you cite are given to be part of the same line of inheritance rather suggests that there is something quite important about the individual nature of the name change. No-one would deny that Jesus changed Peter's name, or that He instituted a specific promise to Peter regarding the care of the Church. The question is whether the words spoken to Peter hold with the same authority and meaning in unbroken succession through the Papacy.

I'd look at other examples - examples where God becomes displeased with men who have "inherited" the covenant. Eli after all, could have claimed precisely the same pedigree through Levitical succession, and insisted that his office was endowed with the same quality of promise that it received at its inception.

Indeed, Samuel kick starts a long line of covenantal positions that swiftly end when the next successor proves unworthy. Eli's line is utterly ended. Samuel's own sons prove unworthy and spark the call for a king. Saul himself, annointed king, falls short, and is replaced by David - who himself endures the displeasure of God only by his repentance and penance.

I'd say that such examples make a strong case that what God wants is an office that is fit as a result of the worth of its incumbent. A Covenant is not just a one-way thing. When we break it, there are consequences, and it stands only so long as we abide by it. God is endlessly faithful - but man is not, especially when he has come to perceive God's faithfulness as something owed to him on account of a promise made to an ancestor. Scripture is absolutely clear on that point, again, and again, and again. What I've been saying, is that there is something fundamental that underpins even Covenants - and it is our relationship with God.

That's really the point: what does Papal Primacy actually mean? Does it mean that the Pope should have primacy because of a promise made to Peter? Or does it mean that the Pope should be worthy of being Peter's successor? These need not be mutually exclusive - but where we award primacy impacts on the logical positions that follow. For the former, it is that the Throne of Peter is infallible, that the office is inviolate, and that the Magisterium, when pronouncing on spiritual matters cannot be wrong. I'm not sure it's at all clear that those things logically proceed from the latter.

9 November 2012 15:42  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Congratulations to Justin Welby.
Hopefully his appointment will bring renewed vigour and savoir faire to the position.The Anglican Church is most fortunate in having a committed Francophile as its leader.

9 November 2012 15:56  
Blogger OldJim said...

AiB

So far in this thread, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, I have chiefly concerned myself with defending the Biblical roots of the Papal doctrine. Asserting that the matter is not as open and shut as some Protestants would have it is important for the prima facie credibility of the Catholic position, as also to the broader demonstration that being Catholic does not involves "ignoring" or "misreading" the scriptures.

When we come at it instead from the question of "How do the scriptures inform us that authority should be dispensed or exercised?" and the question of "What would Christian leadership look like?" we're looking at a very different set of arguments. I would say that my naive view would be much in line with your own, and that I would by both my reason and my disposition have wanted to endorse the latter model you proposed.

But then we come to the question of the Christian Church in history.

The Eastern Churches were in schism from Rome on the following occasions:
The Arian schisms (343-98);
The controversy over St. John Chrysostom (404-415);
The Acacian schism (484-519);
Concerning Monothelitism (640-681);
Concerning Iconoclasm (726-87 and 815-43).

The East attempted to hold an ecumenical council in 449 (the Latroncinium) at which the Papal legates protested. This council asserted monophysitism as the doctrine of the Church.

In total, the East was in schism for 231 out of 500 years, and on each occasion they were on the wrong side of the argument, by the measure of their own present confessions.

Again, the Eastern Orthodox Church presently assents to the positions of Rome on every one of these points, as do the bodies of Protestantism.

Putting aside the question of Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, the Eastern Orthodox Church is currently out of communion with Rome on the matter of the filioque, the orthodoxy of which the Protestant communities uphold.

Aside from the papacy, Protestantism is out of Communion with Rome variously because of: the denial of a sacerdotal priesthood, the denial of the liciety of veneration of saints, the denial of transubstantiation and/or the Real Presence, the denial of aural confession, the denial of purgatory and of the efficacy of prayers for the dead, the denial of the cooperation of man in God's Act of Salvation etc. Eastern Orthodoxy upholds the Orthodoxy of all these, notwithstanding some minor fiddling with concepts and definitions.

In other words, Churches break from Rome not on some common higher standard, but on very different, culturally and geographically isolated issues, and uphold as orthodoxy all that the others decry. They all agree only on the denial of Papal Supremacy, and that is because if Papal Supremacy were true, an institution would exist to check their theology.

In practice, whilst I think that the Bible allows for and provides the seeds of Papal Primacy, I should never by myself have assented to Papal Supremacy as a first principle, or considered it wise, given human nature, to build a Church upon that doctrine.

Nonetheless, I am attached to what I understand to be, from the lenses of history, scripture, tradition and reason, the catholic (small c) doctrines of the Church. And I find that no church or body of believers comes to those doctrines, nor defends those doctrines for any great length of time, except by the constant aid of the institution of the Roman Pontiff.

And wishing to preserve these doctrines, and seeing no scriptural bar to the possibility of the office, and substantial scriptural indications of the possible establishment of that office, I put aside my personal and merely human misgivings, and give my assent.

And having given my assent, I look at the Papacy from inside the Church, and I feel no imposition or heavy-handedness, no tyranny, but only the joy of a good steward and a sound monarch.

9 November 2012 16:42  
Blogger OldJim said...

In summation then

1)Peter's personal primacy amongst the apostles seems uncontroversial, and to be manifest throughout the New Testament.

2)Peter's personal authority over the other apostles appears in Christ's delegation to him of the power of the keys, the significance of which has been shown, and His asking him to strengthen the brethren and feed His sheep, as well as in his authority to admit gentiles to the Church.

3) Peter's primacy as a permanent office within the Church is indicated by the manner in which authority is bestowed upon him: the type of Eliakim as a steward of the Kingdom suggests a perpetual position of stewardship under Christ.

4)Papal supremacy as an extension of Peter's primacy is nowhere in the Bible. It could not be, as we only see one officeholder during the period in which the Bible is written. Nonetheless, many of the Church Fathers give a special role to the Bishop of Rome in matters of faith and morals, by virtue of their holding the Petrine office.

5)The authority of oecumenical councils is amply demonstrated by their creation of the creeds currently assented to by all three major branches of the Christian community. They developed out of the scriptural model of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts. Their power is circumscribed by their ability to err in faith and morals when not under the jurisdiction of the Pope, as it became clear could happen at the Robbers' Council.

6)An oecumenical council, under the authority of the Pope, declared and defined the doctrine of Papal infallibility. This doctrine already existed in seed form from the time that it became clear that it was the office of the Pope alone which distinguished valid councils from invalid.

ergo, Papal infallibility.

No-one suggests that papal infallibility itself is in the bible. The above is the manner in which the doctrine developed, and it is up to the reader who disagrees to decide where the chain from Petrine Primacy to Papal Infallibility is broken.

9 November 2012 17:44  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

OldJim: For the sake of not allowing our answers to expand exponentially, I am not always quoting you in full. I hope to fairly represent what you said nevertheless.

With regards to the examples of names that you give: a) Several of them, not least Hosea’s three children are not directly regarding the children but regarding others. Other notable examples include Isaiah 7:1-8:4, for example, where there are three sons named, all with names which are not directly about them (if you agree that Immanuel had an immediate fulfiller before Christ). b) But we can find numerous other examples if we do not restrict the field to people God names directly, and I see no particular reason for such a restriction.

Yet I think that any reasonable and fair observer [note the well poisoning] looking through the exhaustive list of passages cited would see immediately that the cases of Abraham and Israel are like each other and unlike the others. In adulthood, they have an encounter with God Himself (Israel wrestles an "Angel of the Lord" but the name he is given literally means "You have struggled with God", and he names the place Peniel, because he saw the Face of God and was spared).

a) That does not seem at all obvious to me; firstly, the children of Isaiah and Hosea are named directly by the Lord; whether a theophany accompanied that we are not told, so we cannot say. b) Whilst there are similarities between Abraham and Israel’s examples, there are also differences. One could easily point out places where other examples from the list are analogous and these two are disanalogous, for example in Jacob’s first encounter with God he is not aware that it is God he is wrestling with, whilst Hosea, Isaiah and Abram clearly were aware that they are being addressed by God. c) At the risk of stating the obvious, the place (Peniel) is not the face of God…

God changes their names and has a particular syntax for doing so. "No longer will you be called (old name).... but you will be called (new name).... For (explanation of the name's significance)... covenental implications"

A syntax notably not used by Jesus in Matthew 16.

In Jacob's case, the pattern is split. In Genesis 32:28, he is told he is no longer Jacob, he is given his new name and its meaning. In Genesis 35-10, he is again given the new name, this time with the covenant. Nonetheless, the pattern holds. Old name, New name, meaning of new name, covenant.

You mention the difference as if it is not germane to your argument, but it disrupts your attempted pattern. Also, Israel is not given a new covenant; he is part of the Abrahamic one which God renews to him.

9 November 2012 17:57  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

Again, I cannot make anyone endorse this explanation, but it seems to be that they would have to be haughty indeed to claim that this was "unbiblical" or a "loose reading of the text". It seems to me a much clearer typology than many that both Protestants and Catholics accept.

If that pattern is followed, note that Peter must be the Rock referred to. He is named Peter (Cephas, Rock), and the explanation of the name is that "Upon this Rock I will build my Church".


There is no pattern, and no typology. You have taken two examples from Genesis which have no relevance to this passage and imported their meaning into it, and you have established a pattern which does not even apply uniformly in those two examples. Furthermore, you have to isolate those two from other naming examples in the Bible. The pattern of naming and renaming is: (Old name), name, explanation for that name, not the pattern you gave which is especially different for those examples to isolate them. Peter fits perfectly into this pattern with all other naming examples in the Bible.

In the cases of Israel and Abraham their names clearly refer to them, but in other cases it is clear that the name does not refer to the subject. The important question is whether it does or not in the case of Peter, and as the wording in Matthew is not obviously analogous to Genesis, nor are the patriarchs or Genesis present in the immediate context, it is up to you to either demonstrate the link or to show from the meaning of the words in Matthew 16 that Peter is the/a referent of the Rock.

Likewise, in a very real sense Peter's confession is the Rock upon which the Church is built. For the promise made to him was not made to him through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. "You are the Christ"

A bait and switch. We are not asking how Peter received the promise made to him, but whether he himself was the rock- whether the promise was that the church would be built on that confession, or that it would be built on Peter, or both. And you haven’t established that.

To put it a less obscure way, one of the central points of the New Testament is that Jesus is God, High Priest and Sacrificial Victim, all together. So He is both God and King in the analogy. Which is why He doesn't give Peter a Kingship or a High Priesthood. These are His roles. He gives Peter the Stewardship of His Kingdom.

Two relevant persons in the same passage being collapsed into one by the type? This significantly weakens the force of the supposed parallel (because it does not really end up parallel). Can you give another example of a type doing this?

I don't see that Eliakim can be a type of Christ. He is merely the Steward of David's house. David is Christ's type.

Eliakim's fall may nonetheless be a type for Christ's death, though.


If his fall is a type for Christ’s death, then in what sense is he not a type of Christ? There are people outside the Davidic line who are types of Christ, e.g. Moses, Melchizedek (he might have actually been a Christophany, admittedly), Esther etc. No person, it seems to me, is a type of Christ in themselves, rather they are a type of Christ according to their actions or stations.

9 November 2012 17:58  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

The question is, if the keys are different, what is Peter's key? What is the distinction between binding and loosing and opening and closing? Isn't the Kingdom of Heaven the fulfilment of the Kingdom of David, and wouldn't you accept a relationship between the two in the text in other places, places where the implications wouldn't be too "Catholic"?

The keys in Matthew 16 are presumably the keys to unlock the gates of Hades, i.e. the gospel, with which Peter and the other apostles are entrusted. Careful, the key is the “key of David”, not the key of the kingdom of David, so the kingdom of David/kingdom of Heaven typology is, at best, not obvious.

Moreover, the important aspect here is not detecting some specific definition for either key, but rather to establish whether or not Matthew 16 is making a direct literary allusion to Isaiah 22, which is what you require for the stewardship parallel to come through. Since the key of David does appear in the New Testament in a direct literary allusion, and since this reference is to the keys to the kingdom of heaven, there is no reason to imagine a specific literary allusion, nor to make the connection you do, nor to imagine that even if you were correct the other apostles received the keys in any derivative way and therefore there isn’t some kind of collegiate papacy!

But a great deal of this sort of stuff is perfectly obvious and non-controversial for Catholics and Protestants alike in verses which support doctrines common to us both, like Trinitarianism. Then we get to verses like this and it is suddenly unclear that the Kingdom of David is the type of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it is suddenly unclear that Abram's renaming is any different to Ichabod's naming!

You have to give specific examples rather than speaking in generalities. Furthermore, Abram’s renaming is not different to Ichabod’s naming in an important way to our present discussion- they both follow the pattern of “name, meaning, significance”. Once again, it’s the key of David, not of the kingdom thereof.

None of this amounts to Papal supremacy. But it does amount to Petrine Primacy and the existence of a Petrine office of Stewardship. And when a Christian concedes that, as many Orthodox do, we have come, more or less, to an admission of Biblical evidence for Papal Primacy.

Indeed, you didn’t answer my previous question- why should I not be a sedevacantist? Or one of those Orthodox you mention? Or indeed, a Protestant who accepts Peter as the rock and still rejects Roman Catholicism, as many historically have. You also didn’t answer as to why the key continues in an office- Eliakim could, theoretically, be a type of Peter without generating any need for a Papal office or succession.

And furthermore, if I accepted your argument, as I said, I should have to reject Roman Catholicism, as I would be assuming the perspicuity of scripture, which is rejected by Rome (as far as I am aware; certainly by many of its online apologists, perhaps someone could point me to a doctrinal statement to this effect).

9 November 2012 17:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Shame about the lady bishops guff. Those busy body lady priests will be off to the tailors p.d.q. to design their garb, with pink crozier. And one suspects by the look of him the homo people will get their way in the end too. The current definition of a homophobe is someone who says no to gay demands, no matter how bizarre they be. Those queer types will be all over him, and one wonders if he has the strength of will to tell them to piss off.

What say you Archbishop Cranmer ? Managed decline of your CoE, do you think ?

Of course, it’s well known there is a link between homosexuality and paedophilia. Smoke and fire, as they say. In a few years time, you won’t be able to move for sodomised choirboys in our Cathedrals, what !




9 November 2012 19:38  
Blogger len said...

Inspector you seem somewhat fixated with Himosexuality.

Do try to move on.

9 November 2012 19:54  
Blogger len said...

I think the point here is Jesus had regained the authority(given primarily to Adam and surrendered to satan) and entrusted it to HIS Church of which He is the Head.

This authority is a delegated authority which come directly from God.It is NOT to be used for personal gain, personal promotion or a means of getting wealth or 'holding sway' over others.

9 November 2012 19:59  
Blogger len said...

Dodo I agree my comments about Peter were too harsh.

Peter was well meaning but doing everything in his own strength.He overestimated his own strength and this failed when under extreme stress.
Peter was transformed by coming to the end of his own strength and relying instead on the Spirit of Christ which indwelt him after the resurrection.This is a lesson for all of us.

Any of the disciples could a have started 'a Church' but only with Christ as the Head.


9 November 2012 20:09  
Blogger OldJim said...

Mr Keningley,

That's quite alright, I understand that it would be impolite to everyone else to needlessly take up space with an endless succession of quotes within quotes within quotes. I hope you will understand that it is for this reason that I already have not been quoting you within my replies. I understand that this might give the appearance of addressing your posts selectively according to my own argument's interests, and so, if you feel that this is what I am doing, please feel free to call me up upon it.

It seems that your counter position could be summarised as saying that in much the same way as some children in the OT were named not by virtue of their qualities, but by dint of some promise God was making at the time, so Peter could be renamed by Christ in recognition of his effectively recognising the key to the Gospel. "I am the Christ? Yes. And upon that Rock I will build my Church, and so I name you Peter." Would that be a fair characterisation?

I can see how that claim would work. I'd never really thought about it in that way before. I understood that Protestants would often claim that the confession or Jesus himself were the Rock to the exclusion of Peter or his office, but had always recalled the significance of the Patriarchs' renaming as evidence for an additional signification. The idea of addressing the other God-inspired namings or renamings in the OT is novel to me.

I do not think, however, that the distinction between Abraham and Israel's naming and the others is as arbitrary as you take it to be, though; nor do I think that there isn't any pattern between the two that applies equally to Peter's naming.

The three are adults, addressed directly by God. They are not named, but renamed, and not in signification of some impending chastisement or promise delivered, but in the context of covenant making or covenant renewing(i.e. a promise is not being delivered but made, and it a promise directly connected with the Covenant, and involving the individual named as the human representative of the Covenant).

Thus the renaming of Abraham is directly and immediately connected to the promise to make him the father of many nations. When God renames Jacob he renews this promise. When Jesus renames Peter he immediately endows him with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is Covenental, no matter which way you slice it. I do not feel that these criteria are self-serving and convenient arbitrary links between the three cases, I think they are sufficiently salient to warrant viewing them as a class to themselves. The three are sufficiently alike to one another and sufficiently unlike anything else.

I don't think it is a strong counterargument to say that there are other namings or renamings in the Bible. If these are the only three adults renamed by God in His Presence, and all three are then made covenental promises as individual representatives (and it seems to me they are), and in the first two cases, the name pertains to the Covenant representative given the name, then there is a pressing case for regarding the third representative as also being the referent of their name. Peter would be the Rock.

9 November 2012 21:11  
Blogger OldJim said...

Christ has two types in the God/David/Eliakim, Jesus/Jesus/Peter analogy, sure, but this simply follows from the Hypostatic Union. Christ is both God and Man, Priest and Victim. If you like, we could say it is Christ-as-God/Christ-as-Man/Peter, I just hesitate to divide His Person up that way. You mention Melchizedek and Moses as types of Christ. They could equally be confused by rendering them this way. Who does Moses receive the law from? Who is Melchizedek priest to? Far from being a weakness of the analogy I'm suggesting, this structure is intrinsic to the nature of the Incarnation.

What I was trying to say earlier was that Christ is the heir of David and rightful King, so whilst Eliakim's fall might be a type of Christ, Eliakim's role cannot be a type of Christ. He is steward under the King, and so the analogy to Peter is the one that makes sense.

You are right that the key is only referred to as the "Key of David" - but the steward was the steward of the Royal Household. The connection to the Kingdom is implicit, and so the Kingdom of David/Kingdom of Heaven typology is too. I can understand why you might hesitate to identify the keys as the same. Just seems odd to me to have two sets of keys jangling around, both with a pair of opposites signifying their power, bind/loose and open/close. You can refuse to identify the two sets out of scrupulosity, sure. But I don't see many circumstances of images knocking around with such similar features without having some relation.

9 November 2012 21:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, you do seem obsessed with haranguing those who believe in Christ with wanting to subject them to an unnecessary dip in the nearest canal because, well, you think they need it. You really must appreciate it’s the spirit of Christ that is foremost...

9 November 2012 21:40  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"Dodo I agree my comments about Peter were too harsh."

Actually, it was your words about Jesus I was referring to. Just to remind you, your comment was:

" ..Only a fool would build a Church 'on Peter'"

As I said, you crossed a line.

9 November 2012 21:46  
Blogger OldJim said...

As to the perspicuity of Scripture, the Catholic Church does not require that arguments cannot be made from Scripture or that Scripture does not have a communicable meaning. In a good Red Letter Bible, anything in red has a very clear surface meaning and one we should never cease from stating and applying. Even there, though, questions of secondary meanings become complex.

In short, the Catholic doctrine just means that there may well come a certain point in this argument where we will have to agree to disagree. There is no way you can demonstrate to me that Abram's renaming is not a type of Peter's, and there is no way I can make you assent to the proposition that it is. With goodwill, a common understanding of scripture, a common manner of exegesis and grasp of ancient languages and a common philosophical understanding, we might be able to sort out things that clearly cannot be the case, and maybe concede some minor points to one another.

But there are no rules governing the very bottom of interpretation. If I think there is a type and you think there is not, and there is no manifest hebrew etymology or theological objection to either, what further force can there be?

But if you think that the Bible has one reading, and a suitably informed and intelligent reader can understand it aright, at that point I uphold my reading either out of ignorance or out of some prior interest in the argument rather than its actual rationality and grounding. Either I am stupid, I must be relying on this argument for some other claim, and so interested in maintaining it in spite of evidence to the contrary, or I am malicious.

Whereas if the bible is not perfectly perspicuous, I can understand that you will hold your reading quite sincerely and just as logically, and thank God that I have an authority to govern the limits of Orthodoxy. Because it is one thing to disagree on the typology of naming, it is another to disagree on Christology. This is the use of creeds and tradition and the insistence that no one person can fully grasp the bible, nor can they ensure that their individual wits will not lead them astray.

The Bible is a treasury of wisdom and beauty and edification for each person, and a means to persuade his fellows and to demonstrate insights that his fellows would never have gleaned from reading it alone. This is sane bible use.

But if we ingest the whole and imagine we have not brought preconceptions and our fallen reason to it, if we use it as a weapon against our fellows as though it were all perfectly clear and straightforward to us, we will likely go far astray. Most "Bible Only" groups seem to me to have come to some quite strange and unorthodox conclusions, and often to have a very unwholesome interest in the Book of Revelation. This is insane Bible use. Or so it appears to me.

9 November 2012 21:48  
Blogger OldJim said...

Mr Keningley,

You ask why, if you accepted these arguments, you would be prevented from becoming Orthodox or a Sedevacantist. You wouldn't.

The argument of a merely personal Petrine Primacy does not imply anything more than that. The argument for a special Petrine authority conferred through the Keys and the delegation of duty as shepherd goes no further than itself. The argument for Eliakim as a type of the Petrine Office only goes as far as Papal Primacy, something many Orthodox and all sedevacantists accept.

If you were Orthodox, we would agree on many matters of eccesiology, on Ecumenical councils and the sacerdotal priesthood, on the governance of bishops and the significance of the writings of the Early Church Fathers, perhaps also on Papal Primacy, though not supremacy. I would then have to discuss with you the nature of the Great Schism, of the filioque and the historic understanding of the Roman Pontiff.

If you were sedevacantist, I would have to discuss with you the nature of Popes and Councils, and run through your understanding of Vatican II, the Novus Ordo Mass and the history of the papacy, making some reference in my remarks to Jansenism, which has a relationship to both Vatican II and to sedevacantism which is too often little-understood.

In short, I do not and have not pretended that my small arguments here amount to much. They are just indications of the biblical grounding of the papacy, intended to show that we do not simply ignore our Bibles and that the Bible is not the preserve of Protestantism.

Because the office of Pope was only held by one man during the period to which the Bible is referring, we cannot expect much. What we can expect, that Peter was accorded special station and authority, and that there are some early indications of his role being a permanent one within the Church, are there. Demonstrating this is worth doing in order to show that Catholicism is not so easily dismissed as all that, and that Catholics do interact with Scripture. It is not intended as an ironcast argument to compel assent to the existence of the modern Papacy. That requires a lot more heavy lifting. Most of it well above my pay grade.

9 November 2012 22:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Does anyone know if it is true that Justin Welby's spiritual director is a Catholic Benedictine monk?

Welby has praised "the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration," as well as "the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic church."

9 November 2012 22:19  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

@Dodo - Yes, it is.

9 November 2012 22:27  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Oh, and re len's "only a fool..." comment, coming from his perspective len said nothing against Jesus but merely against humanity, so crossed no line at all.
However, if you want to get offended by an unintended insult then that is your choice to do so.

9 November 2012 22:30  
Blogger OldJim said...

Yeah, len didn't intend to insult Jesus. No use getting het up over it.

len always seems to me to mean well.

9 November 2012 22:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Upon your death, you will be handed over to Satan.

heh heh !

9 November 2012 23:37  
Blogger Marya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 November 2012 23:40  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you for your introduction to His Grace, Your Grace.

One hopes and prays that in fact the Good Lord has given us a better leader than we might expect. We need one who can fortify us and our actions against the multi-culti deconstructionist claptrap that does so 'inform against' His Word, in our home lands.

I see the Bishop will have all kinds of German contacts via his "Reconciliation" work for Coventry; and I, of course, am sad about his frogophilia. But I will pray that his interest in all these foreigners will help him best re-assert our British interests---to the Glory of God. I agree that we must forgive, after all; but I'd believe it foolish to forget the truth of what brought us to this pass.

So then, I'll try to think rather along the lines of Your Grace's approach to the "filthy lucre" part of the situation.

9 November 2012 23:44  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 November 2012 23:48  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

If the new Archbishop will make a stand against the Un-biblical theory of women Priests, gay marriage and proclaim the Christian gospel of salvation and forgiveness for all, whilst emphasising the Book of Common Prayer & working to heal the schisms of the universal church, then I shall be glad of appointment.

9 November 2012 23:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon old fellow, expect disappoint soon

Mouse, you renegade rodent. Christianity isn’t entirely a British thing you know !


10 November 2012 00:01  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 00:08  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 00:12  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Inspector,

Doubtless so and doubtless I should consider going to Rome. However you own would not want me. One of your fellow co-religionists despises converts, cannot stand Anglicans, dislikes Lavendon and is vile, absolutely vile to my homosexual niece, the excuse being for this behaviour is making the odd gaff in respect of Brazilians, that being written in April of the year. You see, an excellent Christian witness is that devout Catholic, so there is no where else for me to be, but the Anglican Church. Here I stand an Anglican, I can do no other.

10 November 2012 00:16  
Blogger OldJim said...

Lavendon,

I am sorry.

10 November 2012 00:30  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Old Jim,

Don't be sorry, for I feel that I should be a better Anglican than a Roman Catholic... although at the end of the day we are ALL Christians and it shall be the Christ who eventually unites us all.

I will say that I hold you in high esteem, for despite the bazookas fired at you, by others here, you have conducted yourself with a dignity and intelligence that reflects Our Lord's intentions.

You know my grand daughter is currently courting a Roman Catholic. Perhaps she will need to convert if things get more serious. And for that I have no problem. I only hope that if this happens, she is not met with the reply 'you must be a convert' line if she says something a Catholic born into the faith disagrees with.

So no, do not be sorry for me, for whilst I witness the destruction of the Church I love, I take comfort from the fact that the Church is greater than the beautiful buildings and that there are many a devout and God-fearing people within the Church who will continue to spread the Gospel of our Lord.

" we being many are one body because we ALL share in the one bread"

In Christ, Lavendon

10 November 2012 00:48  
Blogger non mouse said...

Inspector, if you choose to read me at cross purposes, that is certainly your right. It doesn't make your reading right, however.

Count me out of that game too, then.

10 November 2012 00:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Lord Lavendon
Remember, all the Apostles and disciples were "converts" to Christianity. Many great saints have been too.

OldJim
Thank you for your earlier commentary. You have put into words what I know in my heart to be true but could never express.

10 November 2012 01:29  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Morning Dodo,

It is not me you need to remind on the point regarding converts.

10 November 2012 01:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Inspector:

This is news to me. I thought God was English?

10 November 2012 01:34  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 01:39  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Belfast,

Or perhaps God is really Irish?

I've also read a cracking poem from somewhere else :

"O BAR MAN BAR MAN
Please serve me a British pint of beer
I’ve supped my way through right way round the world
And nothing can compare
Not too warm and not too cold
Standing proud and clear,
A British Pint of Beer!

O bar man barman ,
Please serve me a British pint of beer

When I’ve reached the shores of Britain
I’ve tasted everything
Saki , Coors and lots and lots vin

But when it comes quenching thirst
There is no peer
So forgive me friend if I drink a pint of British beer

If you can face Albion’s enemies without fear
Then you have clearly sat back
and drunk a pint of British beer !"

10 November 2012 01:44  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Just to say, I've gradually read through everyone's comments, and will try to come up with a very very brief reply, if only to acknowledge the effort people have made in defending their positions.

However, for now, I'll simply note that there is more than an undercurrent of something common in many of these comments. I do not discount the differences, nor would I want to deny debating them out a misplaced midcultic avoidance of dispute. But we call God our Lord, and our King. May He be so in every aspect of our faith, awaiting the day we are reunited as the Body of Christ with Christ Himself.

10 November 2012 01:47  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

M'Lud:

"Or perhaps God is really Irish?"

So many members of my family have tried to tell me.

Alas, I am not fond of beer (I shall understand if you must now shun me) - but there is nothing like real English Cider, drunk under a Somerset sun.

10 November 2012 01:49  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

If my bazookas inspired you to be more out there in defence of your faith OJ then that is a good thing.
Good arguments Well done.I agree it is a relief to have a group of experts making the final decision on matters of faith and morals.

PS
No need to apologise and toady to the hypocrite Lavendon.Telling the truth is not one of his strengths . His malicious post was referring to me, is in the hope of keeping unpleasant encounters ongoing.

10 November 2012 01:49  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 01:52  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida,

My, this is strange. How you can a couple of days ago launch an attack upon old Jim and now be, um, as you say 'toady' to him.

Funnily enough everything I have noted above is factually correct; your dislike of Catholic converts, your dislike of homosexuals, your criticisms of the Anglican Church etc etc, although I am sorry if this brings some much needed home truth to you.

Yours in Christ.

10 November 2012 01:57  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Belfast,

Not at all old chap. As you were.

10 November 2012 02:00  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida

I do apologise, I did not finish my monologue, I have a quote from George Washington Caver, which you should take note of :

"Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater".

God bless.
Lavendon

10 November 2012 02:05  
Blogger OldJim said...

Lavendon,

Those are very kind words, and they are gratefully received. I hope all goes well with your granddaughter, and that Bishop Welby proves to be a leader worthy of your faith and trust.

Cressida,

The distinction is that Mr Keningley and I are having a debate over the merits of our respective positions. I hope and trust that he understands that I bear him no personal animosity, that I regard him as a brother in Christ, and that I have every reason to believe that he holds his positions honestly and in accordance to his understanding of his duties to God. I wouldn't dream of accusing him of being opportunistic in his positions, inflammatory in his remarks, or dishonest in his dealings with me.

The sad fact of it is that had I not felt both compromised by the attacks of my co-religionists and bound by duty to distance myself from them and to defend Carl's earnestness and good faith, I should have been quite ready to debate with him upon his contentions in much the same manner as I am now doing here.

That being said, I wish you no ill will, and am quite struck with the obvious zeal and high regard with which you view your Faith. This in itself is no bad thing. It's also fair to say that, having a way with words and with people, I can be glib, and so your accusations of duplicity are sadly sometimes quite close to the mark. I do aspire to be better.

In a spirit of conciliation,
yours,
James

10 November 2012 02:28  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Sorry, hate involves some kind of negative energy which I do not have to expend .
I do have fear of evil though..
perverted folk like yourself who say 'In Christ 'and 'God Bless' simultaneously whilst twisting the knife..Shudder!

10 November 2012 02:30  
Blogger OldJim said...

Dodo,

In formulating my reply to cressida, I almost neglected you. Very sorry. Your remarks, too, were kind, and I value your approval. Thank you.

10 November 2012 02:34  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The above post 2:30 is for LL.

You know James having the good opinion of others and being winner in the popularity stakes is not always a good thing because the means one arrives at this situation often involves a lot of duplicity.It's the nature of the exercise.It is not possible to keep everyone happy. That is politics not ethics.

You say you would have debated carl in the same way without the pressure from co religionists. Well it did not seem like that when you started out...
Anyway what does it matter what I think or say..what matters is how you view youself standing in front of an omniescent God..Crunch time!
PS
You do have a way with words..with people ( not bad) but great scope for improvement. Lashings of continental charm would enhance your appeal:)

10 November 2012 02:53  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

omniscient (correction)

10 November 2012 03:36  
Blogger Preacher said...

Having read some of the postings over the last few days, I would recommend certain people to open their Bibles (if they have them) & read (if they can) 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. Not too long, so don't worry!.
Now read every day for a week & you'll feel much better!.

10 November 2012 10:43  
Blogger len said...

'Gentleman' Jim.

You do your faith credit sir.

There is much positive that can come out of debates between Catholic and Protestants.

It will elevate the debate if some(I include myself)can resist the impulse to let the' flesh' gain mastery over the spirit.

10 November 2012 11:32  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 12:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon, old fellow. One recognises the commentator you describe. It’s rather disingenuous of you to put her behaviour down on this blog as the result of her Catholicism. Better to view her as a soul with personality problems who is clinging to her religion. Can’t you see the comfort she obtains this way, one would have thought it rather obvious...

Is it the prospect of women bishops that has caused to you to consider packing your suitcase ? Of course, they would be a disaster for the CoE. They will eventually compromise the church out of existence. The split they will cause will be enormous, yet the likely candidates are greedily looking to the future now. Not for them the guilt and regret of schism. They are far too proud and ambitious to think of anything other than their own wants and needs.

10 November 2012 14:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

mouse, it was rather a light-hearted comment, old thing. You do seem very anti these days - very ‘protesting’ if one may observe...

10 November 2012 14:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Belfast, it is well known that Christ spent so many years in England, that he is, well, English. He so loved it here that when it was time for him to return to Judea, he didn’t want to go, and had to be trussed up like a chicken and carried to the waiting boat...


10 November 2012 14:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"It will elevate the debate if some(I include myself)can resist the impulse to let the' flesh' gain mastery over the spirit."

So glad you included yourself - even if only in parenthesis.

I look forward to reading your more balanced and positive observations on the Catholic faith.

10 November 2012 14:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Inspector

According to legend, He was in Cornwall, dear man. A Celtic region - not Anglo-Saxon - and but a short hop across the sea to the Blessed Emerald Isle.

10 November 2012 14:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Indeed old bird. Legend has Him miraculously producing Guinness, that well known refreshment of the gods...

10 November 2012 15:17  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 November 2012 16:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Greetings Cressida, one was only thinking of you lately. One trusts he finds you well this fine day ?

10 November 2012 16:57  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Inspector

Whiskey, "uisce beatha" or the "water of life", I'd say - although this is 'tradition' and not recorded in the scripture.

Another little know fact, ommitted from Genesis, is that God made nations for different purposes.

The Italian for their beauty.
The French for fine food.
The Swedes for intelligence.
The Jew for religion.
The British for beligerance.
The Germans for ... well, He alone knows.
And on and on until He looked at what He had created and said:

"This is all very fine but no one is having fun. I guess I'll have to make me an Irishman."

10 November 2012 16:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Dodo, Christ lived in Glastonbury, just off the high street. Arthur and Gweniviere had a holiday cottage opposite.

10 November 2012 17:07  
Blogger William said...

Thank you Old Jim for the painstaking exposition of your position. Your charitable interaction with others has warmed my heart. One feels that you have trod this road once or twice before. Peace be with you.

10 November 2012 17:16  
Blogger non mouse said...

Pax, then, OiG!

10 November 2012 20:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Go in peace that mouse, mighty that thy be....

10 November 2012 20:43  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

I seem to recall legends Jesus went to Cornwall when he was a teenager with Joseph of Arimathea who had business deals with Phoenicians and often sailed with them to Cornwall where tin was mined by the locals and sold to the Phoenecians and others. So Jesus may very well have visited the site of what became Glastonbury Abbey hundreds of years later.

Such a trip would probably have taken 4 - 6 months with the most dangerous part of the journey the possibility of major storms in the Bay of Biscay.

10 November 2012 22:59  
Blogger John Magee said...

Lord Lavendon

When any individual or organization claims to be "middle of the road" this will almost always mean they will be making left turns.

10 November 2012 23:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jim, me old boy

"Ernsty,

you said earlier that Peter had authority over the circumcised and Paul the uncircumcised. And this is true, in a way. (It is fully true and there is no letter, not one, written by Peter to any gentile church or group of gentile believers!, not even one that's gone roam'n *Huge Chuckles*)
Paul does have a special mission as "apostle to the gentiles"(You only have to see all his letters and that the Lord said to Paul via Ananias, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel . . .." Now, since the twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus already occupied the ministry to the sons of Israel, Paul from the beginning must have seen his ministry as focusing on the Gentiles, who were listed first in the heavenly vision to Ananias as recounted by Paul to Luke. Thus Paul, writing in Galatians recounts his version of a meeting with Peter, James and John in Jerusalem that concluded, according to Paul, with the agreement between them that they (Peter, James and John) would focus their ministry on the circumcised, whereas Paul and Barnabus would go to the Gentiles. Paul says of this meeting:

. . . when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7,8).
and "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office" (Romans 11:13

In writing thus, has he not clearly defined his apostleship, with himself being the apostle to the Gentiles, just as Peter and the others of the Twelve are the apostles to the twelve tribes of the circumcision? ).

However, the Church isn't split in two (this is a false co-relation between what is plainly stated by myself and scripture and you going off at a tangent by ASSUMING and you know what assuming leads to). In the New Covenant, there is neither Jew nor Greek ??.(Then what is all the talk of circumcised and uncircumcised at the Jerusalem council. The legalistic standing before Christ is all are sinners and salvation is for all, whether Jew or Gentile is one thing, however being from the 12 tribes of Israel or non jews is crucial at peoples understanding about the Messiah and the message and how it was to be preached to both, one awaiting a promised saviour by having the Law and the Prophets and lineage and that He had been and accomplished His work whilst the other is completely oblivious to righteousness and Hope as not a part of the promise declared and having no contact with Jehovah, hence the church being a mystery withheld by God that they would be full heirs, as the Jews were to be, under Christ)

Likewise, Paul's mission does not detract from Peter's authority (What authority is this..Where is it??). It is to Peter that the revelation is made that the dietary laws are now adiaphora.
(F. F. Bruce writes in The New International Commentary on the New Testament - Commentary on the Book of the Acts, Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Reprinted, June 1984, page 217,

"But Peter must be prepared for the interview as well as Cornelius, and there were scruples to be overcome on Peter's side as there were not on Cornelius's. A God-fearer had no objection to the society of the Jews, but even a moderately orthodox Jew would not willingly enter the dwelling of a Gentile, God-fearer though he were. No doubt some of Peter's inherited prejudices were wearing thin by this time, but a special revelation was necessary to make him consent to visit a Gentile."

Ernst S Blofeld 2b cont'd

11 November 2012 02:56  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The vision had nothing to do with the mission God had given Peter. The vision was only to attract Peter's attention. Peter knew that he was not to kill and eat the animals that were upon the sheet. He knew that God was only testing him. And now he knew, or at least highly suspected that the test was about the salvation of the Gentiles. God was not cleansing unclean animals and making them clean. He was showing Peter that he was about to cleanse the hearts of the people whom the Jews considered to be unclean.

God's timing is always perfect. Just as Peter was wondering about the true meaning of the vision, the Gentiles show up at Simon's home and just in case that Peter or any of the Jews who accompanied him might still have some doubt, the Holy Spirit comfirms that salvation has indeed come to the Gentiles, for He has cleansed them and made them acceptable unto Him, because they believed in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. . )

It is to Peter that the Holy Spirit sends Cornelius. It is Peter who first preaches to and baptises Gentiles (Acts 10) (See above!! Well, Philip was the first to convert and baptise a gentile, being sent by the Holy Spirit Himself..Is he,Philip, greater than Peter, as being first (Acts 8:27)

As for there being no hierarchy within the disciples, Paul calls himself the least of the apostles, for he persecuted the Church of God (1 Cor 15:9) (Indded but it meere;y showed his humbleness and service for THE LOrd but he had never lived walked and slept or ate with Jesus or heard His words or saw miracles performed as Peter did, who denied Jesus 3 times, did he???). Peter, James and John are reputed to be Pillars (Gal 2:9) (Acts states unequivocally that James, the btother of Jesus was the leader of the Church/Apostles and NOT Peter!!!). In every list of disciples bar one in the New Testament (Gal 2:9 again), Peter is named first(Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Judas is always named last. Peter is told to feed Jesus' sheep (3 TIMES, AS A MARK OF JESUS FORGIVING HIM 3 TIMES AS HE DENIED HIM THRICE!!. It's called being re-commisioned after being initially sacked for gross misconduct) he is the primary delegated shepherd (Jn 21:15-17) (Nonsese, nothing in that verse suggests this) . It is Peter who must strengthen his brethren (Lk 22:32). In Mark 16:7, the angel tells the women at the tomb to "Go and tell his disciples (and/including/especially) Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee" (But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." PETER is being included as he had been excluded by his denial and his ommission from being present at the Cross, where only John, the beloved disciple was present)’

Evidence of a place of primacy for Peter is everywhere in the New Testament (CAn you see the Emperors clothes also??). A non-Catholic attempting to deny the Papacy would be much better off denying that there was an office or that the current Bishop of Rome holds that office than denying that Peter had a special position amongst the apostles (All 3 suppositions are FALSE.)

Ernst S Blofeld

11 November 2012 03:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

About 44 C.E., King Herod Agrippa killed the apostle James, the son of Zebedee and one of the original 12 (see Acts 12:1–2).
This James to whom Luke refers in verse 17 of the same chapter, where he records that Peter sent news of his release from prison to someone named James is someone else and not John's brother.

Though as many as seven different people by the same name have been identified in the New Testament, it is James the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19) who is the most likely in this case.
Jesus’ brothers were present with the apostles in Jerusalem as the Church began after Jesus’ departure (Acts 1:14).
This same James appears later in Acts as the LEADER of the church at Jerusalem, so it’s reasonable to suggest that he is also the author of the New Testament book by that name.

As leader in Jerusalem, James spoke with authority to end an internal Church controversy over the circumcision of gentile believers (Acts 15:13–19; see also 21:18).

And according to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, the Jewish religious hierarchy put to death by stoning “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” (Antiquities of the Jews 20.200). This would have been around 62 C.E.

The fact that James was LEADER in Jerusalem is attested by such extra biblical sources as the second-century historian Hegesippus. He wrote that following James’s death, the Church chose another of Jesus’ blood relatives, His cousin Simon or Simeon, to be LEADER—thus implying that up to that time James had held the post.

According to Eusebius, another reference is found in the (now lost) writings of Clement of Alexandria (ca. 153–217 C.E.), who says that Peter and John chose James for his office as LEADER(Books of the Hypotyposes 6).

And writing in the fifth century, your beloved Jerome says that James “ruled the church of Jerusalem thirty years, that is until the seventh year of Nero” as LEADER (Lives of Illustrious Men, chapter 2).). He evidently, obviously did." NOT!!!!

Trust that helps clarify things for you, old sport?

Ernst S Blofeld

11 November 2012 03:07  
Blogger OldJim said...

Very kind words, Len and William.
Peace be with you both, and if you would be kind enough to remember me in your prayers, I will remember you in mine.

Ernst, me ol pal, me ol mucker
I shall write you a very thorough reply tomorrow, as it is late. We shall have a great deal of fun, oh yes we shall.

11 November 2012 03:56  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"So, my bird and Old Jim, if the origin of the Catholic Church is not in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, as recorded in the New Testament why does it keep making such heretical claims for itself unless it was in an heretical position with Jesus Christ, His Apostles and teaching!!! He waits it's repentance but it appears non forthcoming.!

Take it, repentance will come when the Lake of Fire freezes over or those 'keys' are prized out of all the dead popes hands?

Blofeld

ps

After reading this thread it appears the RCC may just have a mew Pope's Ordinariate project, especially for Cranmers non RC bloggers awaiting them? *Humungous guffaws and chortles*

11 November 2012 04:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jim,old Fruit

"We shall have a great deal of fun, oh yes we shall."

Old Ernst looks forward to your RC Jimquisition *huge chuckles*

Ernst

11 November 2012 04:10  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Inspector,

There is a misunderstanding here, my posts were not meant to ascribe behaviour as a result of someone's faith.

11 November 2012 13:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good man Lavendon, the Inspector was hoping that was the case. These are trying times don’t you think, with a deranged woman running amok this site...

Just thought one would check the definition of ‘amok’. OED. “Run about wildly in an uncontrollable violent rage”. Rather says it all, what !

A Malay word, don’t you know. God bless the Empire, and all it has given us.


11 November 2012 13:34  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

What an uneventful life you lead Inspector . A person like you would have derived some real benefit from discipline in the armed forces rather than playing at it with your hobby horse and pop gun.
BOO!
Must be time for some poofta bashin'soon.
Cressida bashin' can't be as much fun!

It is so rare for a thread to be devoted solely to a religious discussion. I wonder if you and your lecherous friend Lavendon could refrain from spoiling and interrupting them... A small consideration that even you two savages should be able to manage.

11 November 2012 14:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida, you mad thing. The Inspector offers you an armistice. You keep him out of your sanity sapping posts, and for his part, he won’t remind the world what a harridan you are...


11 November 2012 15:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Well inspector,..sweet thing made the same offer. I honoured the agreement but she did not.

OK I agree. Let's hope you can last longer than sweet thing and her uncle lech.. They could only manage a week.

Adieu (I hope)

11 November 2012 16:09  
Blogger OldJim said...

Righto, Ernst old chap. If you could just pop yourself onto the rack over there - yes just like that, there's a good chap - we can get started. Now you might feel a slight pain... everywhere... this is a perfectly normal reaction to the operation. You're not to worry. At least, too much

First, you say that no letter of Peter's is addressed to gentile Christians. 1 Peter 2:9-12 will quickly put an end to that. "Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people".

Now look at Romans 9:24-26. Paul says: "Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, explains that God's prophesied re-acceptance of Israel in Hosea foreshadows the admission of gentiles into the New Israel of the Church. The Gentiles were not God's people, they are now God's people.

Again, Peter's words at 1 Peter 4:1-3: "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry."

It sounds to me as though at least some of the people Peter is addressing are gentile converts.

None of this is to deny that Paul had a special mission to the gentiles. As I said before, I understand this to be the manifest word of Scripture.

But that Paul had a special mission to the Gentiles does not mean that Peter has no relationship with them or that he is not an Elder of a unified church - you quoted Galatians earlier, and if you go on a couple of verses, you come to Peter's hypocrisy in Antioch. Here the point is that Peter is eating amongst Gentile Christians - until some in James' party with early Ebionite tendencies come round.

The point is that there is one Church here. And Peter is an Elder to Gentiles and Jews alike. The whole problem with his actions in Galatians is that by separating himself from the Gentiles in order to appease the Ebionite party, Peter is betraying the truth of the Gospel - that the Jewish Law has come to an end and that there is now a unified Church.

If there weren't, Peter could have separated himself from Gentiles without hypicrisy, couldn't he? It would just be because he was an apostle to the circumcised, just as Paul was the uncircumcised...

11 November 2012 17:57  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Cressida,

See you are back to your silly ways. The penny dropped when I read this whole thing about honouring a cease fire, but at least this means without any doubt that you read me and my sister's blog! And there was me thinking you didn't like me, but really you do because you read it. LOL, we could be friends afterall...

11 November 2012 18:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Of course Old Jim is a gentleman and I find his posts quite refreshing and help me understand this Catholicism ( as Carl helps me to understand his Protestant version). Thanks for that.

11 November 2012 18:11  
Blogger OldJim said...

We are also agreed that one reason for different missions within the early Church is precisely because different people are prepared for the Gospel in different ways, and some are unprepared. And so Paul takes special authority for the mission to the Gentiles, and James and Peter do to Jews. Likewise, the Gospel of Matthew would likely be for an Orthodox, Pharisee style Jewish Audience, John for an educated, cosmopolitan Greco-Jewish audience, and Luke perhaps better suited to Gentiles.

This does not mean that the Old Laws still apply to Jews. Nor does it mean that The Old Laws now apply to Gentile converts. That is what the Council of Jerusalem is about. A unified meeting of the Church to deny the heresy of Ebionitism.

I do not think that the Ethiopian Eunuch was a Gentile, he was probably a proselyte. He was on his way to Jerusalem to worship, he was reading the Scriptures. God had not yet made the Revelation of the admission of gentiles to the New Covenant, and it would be strange for Philip to have just decided to baptise someone who was non-Jewish. It is an interesting medium-case though, because the Eunuch's Ritual Impurity does not matter to the Holy Spirit. In this way it foreshadows the revelation to Peter later in Acts - the New Covenant is open to all, and the Jewish Ritual Law is no longer binding.

Next... Petrine Primacy in scripture :)

11 November 2012 18:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 November 2012 18:22  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Avi, Belfast Dodo, Inspector and the other regulars like Jon, Danjo & David B also say some interesting stuff as well (wouldn't want them to feel left out).

11 November 2012 18:26  
Blogger OldJim said...

So first I want to retract the silly implication that Paul was the least of the apostles. You're right, the quote is clearly one of humility, and it was foolish of me to include it.

As to James, yes, indeed, he was the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. We Catholics and Orthodox and High Church Anglicans regard him as Bishop of Jerusalem, in fact.

Note the structure of the Council of Jerusalem. Men from Judea - James' diocese - went on mission to Antioch to teach Ebionitism to the gentile converts. Paul and Barnabas spot this heresy for what it is and so go to Jerusalem - the church that has authority over these missionaries - to sort the thing out.

The Elders gather. They debate. Then Peter stands up and makes a statement of doctrinal orthodoxy. No-one will be saved by the law. After he has spoken, all the assembly falls silent. There will be no more debate. That matter settled, Paul and Barnabas tell them about their mission amongst the gentiles. Finally, James, the Bishop and authority in Jersualem, stands, and gives a verdict about how that orthodoxy will be applied in the Jerusalem church - gentiles are merely to abstain from things polluted from idols, from sexual immorality, from food from animals that have been strangled, and from blood, and not to keep the old law in its entirety.

Again, note that this isn't a statement of orthodoxy but a pragmatic measure - because abstaining from blood is still a part of the old law, and James' decision to keep gentiles bound to it is not necessitated by the New Covenant.

Nonetheless, he has authority to do it, and so a letter bearing his instructions goes out with Paul and Barnabas in the name of the Council, to correct the teaching of the heretical missionaries from James' diocese.

Nothing in there damages Petrine authority. In fact, Petrine authority is on display within the proceedings, as is the fact that already the Church had a structure, including a regional authority - a bishop.

11 November 2012 18:52  
Blogger OldJim said...

Ok, so the next claim is that Jesus' direction for Peter to feed His sheep is a "recommissioning" after Peter was "sacked" for denying Christ three times - and this is why Jesus tells him to feed the Sheep three times.

So if we look at Luke 22:32, Jesus says "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith fail not: and when you have returned, strengthen your brethren."

"when you have returned"!

This is one of the two passages in which Jesus shows foreknowledge of Peter's denials. And he does not say "You are weak, Peter. Your brethren must strengthen you." Or "You are weak Peter. Once you do what you're about to do, best go back to fishing..."

No. He says "You are weak, Peter. But you're going to have to recover, because it's going to be your job to strengthen your brothers."

I wish that I could have a sacking like that one, I must say.

Peter still takes the lead after Jesus' death. In John 20, he and John are running to the empty tomb. John runs ahead of Peter and peeks in, but then, strangely (for you... not for me) waits outside for Peter to go in first.

Again, Peter's clearly long reconciled with the Lord by the time of that meeting recounted in John. We know that after Jesus' resurrection, "he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me." (1 Cor 15:4-7)

Paul is referring to the incident where the two disciples come back to the eleven after the appearance of Christ on the road to Emmaus. "And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

Far from Jesus and Peter needing reconciliation, Jesus appears to Simon first.

So Jesus could be asking Peter is he loves Him three times as a reproach for the denials, but the two seem still to be close long before then, it isn't anywhere clear in the text that Peter was "sacked". The number three appears a lot. Why not say that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times for each member of the Trinity? Or for each night He was buried? Makes as much sense....

The people you have to thank for your not understanding this passage are your buddies, Messrs. Coverdale and Tyndale.

If you look at the text in the Greek, it makes a lot more sense.

..to be continued...

11 November 2012 19:19  
Blogger OldJim said...

There are different words for Love in the Greek. These are all rendered as "Love" in most vernacular translations. Relevant here are Philos, or brotherly love, as you might feel for a dear friend, and Agape, sacrificial, selfless Love, which is the Love indwelling in the Trinity, the Love of Christ for men, and that love which we owe to God as a duty of religion.

1 Corinthians 13 has already been cited in this thread. "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but have not Agape..."

John 15:13 is also important. "Greater Agape has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends".

So now to look at John 21:15-17.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agape) me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love (philo) you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agape) me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love (philo) you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (philo) me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love (philo) me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love (philo) you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."

Peter was grieved because on the third occasion Jesus asks him only if he "philo"s Him, or if he even "philo"s him.

Peter can only answer "Lord, you know all things! You KNOW I Philo you"

But he still feels bad because he is being asked for agape love, and he has not been able to promise it.

Which is why Jesus says what he says next.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Jesus gently consoles Peter. "I know you will Agape Love me. Because you will die for me"

Remember, "Greater Love (Agape) no man can have than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

That is what that section is about.

11 November 2012 19:39  
Blogger OldJim said...

So, my dear Ernst

On balance your arguments have caused me to retract one argument - the silly and foolish claim that Paul was actually the least of the apostles.

On the other hand, they haven't in my estimation damaged any of my other assertions, and on the contrary have allowed me to demonstrate three further occasions in which Peter takes a special place - John hangs back so that Peter can enter the tomb first, Christ's first resurrection appearance is to Peter alone, and it is Peter who ends the debate at the Council of Jerusalem, bringing that part of the proceedings to a close.

So, on balance, I'm afraid I can't in good conscience help you wrest those keys out of the Pope's hand. As I said, you'd be much better off not denying Peter's personal primacy but that this was an office (still a hard claim to make) or that the office was transferable.

This last seems the most manageable to me, because all you have to do is deny the Eliakim typology. Then we're left with questions of apostolic succession in the Bible (the election of Matthias) and whether this is evidence for the possibility of Petrine successionism, and if that isn't either, then there is nothing else in the bible to prove my claim. We then have to look at non-biblical sources for the practice of the early Church.

However, I think that the Eliakim typology is there, and that apostolic succession is there, and Episcopal leadership is there. And with the obvious Petrine Primacy I've demonstrated, this all seems to me to be a strong case.

Nonetheless, I'm sure you have much to teach me about the significance of the twelve disciples. I have only dwelt on the typology between the old and new Israel and the twelve thrones in Revelation, and so I'm sure you have much to show me there.

We can get you out of that contraption now.
Peace and brotherly love,
Old Jim

11 November 2012 19:56  
Blogger OldJim said...

Hannah, if my posts were refreshing to you alone I should still write and write and write.

Peace be with you, and much thanks for your kind words.

11 November 2012 20:07  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Old Jim @ 11 November 2012 17:57

1 Peter 1:18

18 Forasmuch AS YE KNOW that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers (This verse is impossible to be directed at gentiles who believe they could be redeemed by corruptible things but Jewish christians who even their vain tradition said it could not be so);
1 Peter 2:7-9

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner (Who are the builders who rejected the stone..Gentiles or Jews??),

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.(Did the Gentiles stumble at the Word/Jesus?? or was it the disobedient Jews)

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation (Why did Peter not state honest conversation amongst your own people rather than specifically to Gentiles if they are Gentiles already?).

1 Peter 3:5-6

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands (Were gentile women of old Holy women??Who is Peter referring to??):

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (Would Gentiles know of Abraham and Sarah as role models or are these Jews of the Diaspora?).

1 Peter 4:3-4

3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries (They are referred to as opposite the Gentiles, "WE" is Peter a Gentile?, when they walked unrighteously amongst them in times past?!):

4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you (They are referred to as opposite the Gentiles when they walked righteously amongst them NOW, even speaking evil of them?!):

"Now look at Romans 9:24-26. Paul says: "Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God."

Letter to the Romans is to both Jew and Gentile believers whereas 1st Peter is not!

"It sounds to me as though at least some of the people Peter is addressing are gentile converts." (See above..They are not).

Ernst

11 November 2012 20:50  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Further

"The point is that there is one Church here.(INDEED) And Peter is an Elder to Gentiles and Jews alike (INDEED). The whole problem with his actions in Galatians is that by separating himself from the Gentiles in order to appease the Ebionite party, Peter is betraying the truth of the Gospel - that the Jewish Law has come to an end and that there is now a unified Church (WRONG. The hypocrisy is that he expected the Gentiles to accept a burden that the Jews themselves could not bear and why Christ came to make an end of them. Galatians 2:16
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The object of Paul referencing this argument here seems to be to show, that as they had believed in the Lord Jesus, and thus had been justified, there was no necessity of obeying the Law of Moses with any view to justification.

The thing had been fully done without the deeds of the Law, and it was now unreasonable and unnecessary to insist on the observance of the Mosaic rites for Jew or Gentile.
Peter was living as a justified Christian but acting as a Mosaic JEW around Gentiles!!).


Ernst

11 November 2012 20:51  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Inspector,

Do not worry. The misunderstanding will not happen again my Dear Sir.

To address your previous question about women Bishops. In actual fact I realise that I should have gone with women Vicars as women Bishops is the logical conclusion. I have no real issues with women being involved wholeheartedly in the Church, but my response to the likes of Youth Pasta and the other so -Called Anglican 'evangelicals' (and the lunatic charismatic movement of Nicky Gumble and the Alpha Course, when conversion happens as a result of mass hysteria and the 'Toronto Blessings') is, if you can twist tradition and scripture to justify women Vicars etc, then why are you so opposed to gay marriage and gay vicars? For surely if one can twist the word of God and tradition to suit one agenda, then the other can also be done.

Why I did not get out of the C of E in 1992, well, I guess a certain element of tribalism and a stupid belief on my part that those of us who are Orthodox could stem the tide.

Alas we cannot...

Options?

11 November 2012 21:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ebionites? are you for real, old boy.

In Acts 10:9-16 we learn..

"On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray

about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a

trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the

four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts,

and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter

said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again

the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done THRICE: and the vessel was

received up again into heaven."

Jim, old boy, there appears to be quite a lesson to be learned here for people who get frustrated with themselves

because they sometimes forget what it is being righteous and obeying Him only and about certain sins that they've committed in the past, that they need to be prompted about, so they do not recommit it in disobedience.

WE see the same thing happened to Peter when He denied Jesus three times and later was told something to do by the Holy Spirit, disputed the request and the Holy Spirit had to tell Peter three times.

Do you comprehend why The Holy Spirit said this 3 times to Peter until the penny dropped *Clink* ...

However Galatians 2:11 says..

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because HE was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he (Peter) did eat with the Gentiles: but when they (Peter's Peers and friends who believed the law of not eating with Gentiles was still in effect) were come, HE (Peter) withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him (Peter); insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Peter and Paul were friends and yet Paul chose to stand up to Peter to please Jesus Christ rather than his friend and Fellow Apostle.

The outcome was that both Apostles continued to serve the Lord and it was obvious from Peter's fruits that he took God's reminder through his friend Paul's words to heart and served the Lord mightily.

Ernst

11 November 2012 21:15  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 November 2012 21:24  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Regarding John 21:15-19 - I'm not sure that the connection to the three denials is as arbitrary as you make it out to be. Peter is clearly distressed at the repetition (verse 17), which seems a strange thing for Jesus to cause if He's simply ritually pointing to the Trinity, and a strange thing for John to record Peter's emotional state merely as a kind of prefiguring or typological device.

Peter, at least, seems to understand some sort of reproach in Jesus' repetition of the question. Why should Jesus reproach in order to comfort? There's something very anti-naturalistic about the reading. Peter, I think, understands better than anyone the nature of his betrayal of Christ. That's not to say it's all that's happening, but it does seem strange to want to intentionally avoid what seems to be an obvious comparison.

11 November 2012 21:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"So if we look at Luke 22:32, Jesus says "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith fail not: and when you have returned (Into fellowship with me?!), strengthen your brethren."

"I wish that I could have a sacking like that one, I must say."
Hebrews 12:6

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

The Lord must discipline those He loves who are out of fellowship with Him, whosoever they be!!

"Peter still takes the lead after Jesus' death. In John 20, he and John are running to the EMPTY tomb. John runs ahead of Peter and peeks in, but then, strangely (for you... not for me) waits outside for Peter to go in first ?.! Err, ahem, think you will find it's the ladies who take that lead, after passing on a message to your beloved one and others..'Handle me not'!!!!!

The people you have to thank for your not understanding this passage are your buddies, Messrs. Coverdale and Tyndale.(Not Jerome for the latin then..ps rapture theme is from rapturio in latin vulgate?)

If you look at the text in the Greek, it makes a lot more sense (Always, old boy!!).

Ernst

11 November 2012 21:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Lavendon old fellow. The problem with women is that they are natures compromisers. Now, you cannot have a Christian church with these types in control, and if you don’t believe they are going to take control, then you are ignoring the direction of Anglicanism over the last forty years. With them in the hot seat, assisted by their brother gay bishops, you will come to a stage where the mention of God causes unease, lest it cause offence. It’s a very English thing, rather like when someone steps on your foot and you say sorry.

Now, you are an intelligent man, and can see this. It is not too late to die a Catholic, you know...


11 November 2012 22:07  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

OldJim said...

"That is what that section is about." err, it is about more if you know the Greek, Agape is unconditional love. It does appear that Jesus was stretching Peter to move him from 'phileo' love to 'Agape' Unconditional love, which appears to be the problem for all of us. We seeem to have to go through the trials of life until we reach this condition and Peter was not able to state this at this time.

Each of the references to sheep is a compound of added role request upon request by Jesus making clear the full job role of any shepherd of the flock of God. They are
1.to tend
2. care for
3. provide spiritual food for God’s people, from the youngest to the fully grown
This should be a continual action to nourish and care for their souls thereby bringing them into the fullness of spiritual maturity.

The completeness of the role set before Peter, and all shepherds, is made clear by Jesus’ three-fold command and the words He chooses that are their in the Greek text.

Ernst

11 November 2012 22:11  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Inspector :

"It is not too late to die a Catholic, you know..."

I can imagine your equal and opposite number in Calvinist squad saying "it is not too late to die a Calvinist you know"...

So perhaps I should just, ahem, die and be done with it.

11 November 2012 22:41  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"So, my dear Ernst

On balance your arguments have caused me to retract one argument - the silly and foolish claim that Paul was actually the least of the apostles.(Dear fellow, it was mere humility that made him state this as forgiven as old Ernst does on his profile, if you consider the enormity of past sins, presnt and those yet future that He paid for us on the w2ondrous cross..May He give us grace that today's and tomorrow's sins be few!)

On the other hand, they haven't in my estimation damaged any of my other assertions, and on the contrary have allowed me to demonstrate three further occasions in which Peter takes a special place - John hangs back so that Peter can enter the tomb first( John 20:3
So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.
4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 And stooping to look in, he saw jthe linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,
7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.
8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;
There are many questions this asks
1. John outran Peter and got there first and looked in and saw all that Peter saw next but did not enter.
2. Peter went in and saw what John didbut no mention is made that HE BELIEVED what had bee told him by Mary.
3. John now entered and saw everythig that Peter saw and BELIEVED what had been told him!!!), Christ's first resurrection appearance is to Peter alone (Do read the gospels and you will see this inferred but not stated as obviously as Mary's 'Rabboni' moment), and it is Peter who ends the debate at the Council of Jerusalem, bringing that part of the proceedings to a close( All Acts shows is that in the midst of this dispute, Peter, as one of the leading apostles, rose up to make his opinion known on the matter.."Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles." Finally James , the brother of Jesus said 'And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’ Known to God from eternity are all His works. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

"We then have to look at non-biblical sources for the practice of the early Church." Look no further to maybe's or could haves, they are called the Epistles from the Apostles and comprise the masss of the NT!!! *MASSIVE Chortles, old boy"

However, I think that the Eliakim typology is there (There you go assuming?), and that apostolic succession is there, and Episcopal leadership is there. And with the obvious Petrine Primacy I've demonstrated, this all seems to me to be a strong case (Emperors clothes springs to mind!).

We can get you out of that contraption now (Ohh thank goodness for that. Can I go to the lavvie now? ;-)
.
Peace and brotherly love,(Big Cuddle)
Old Jim"

Old Ernst

11 November 2012 22:41  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols..."

Dear old fellow

By James statement, He shows his authority as 'The' leader of the Council by declaring 'I'(In Charge to declare) not 'WE'(Committee Governance 'please all raise your hand..'the ayes have it, the ayes have it' ) at a final definitive statement by the council when arriving at his conclusion and the letter written and sent to all churches!!

I see no petrine succession here nor mention made by historical records stated earlier by me that John and Peter chose James successor after he was killed. Would not Peter and John naturally now decide that Peter should be in charge of all the Churches as Rome declares rather than appoint a successor as second-century historian Hegesippus suggests happened. He wrote that following James’s death, the Church chose another of Jesus’ blood relatives, His cousin Simon or Simeon, to be LEADER—thus implying that up to that time James had held the post.

Ernst

11 November 2012 23:24  

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