Orthodox Bridge only approves about half of my comments, and the ones they do approve are always approved later and I rarely find the comments to them and it’s just so unwieldy. So I put them here. The paragraphs preceded by asterisks are those responding to me. My comments are in normal formatting.
***I’m interested to know what you are persuaded is the judge of truth?***
Better phrased: what is the *final* judge of truth? Before I answer that we need to get clear on the question. There can be numerous, subordinate, yet legitimate judges of truth (such as history, logic, the church–gasp!) which are not the final judge, which would be God’s Speech.
***I think this is what Robert is getting at when he points out the relative “novelty” of the Reformed tradition. Is this not your “judge of truth?” If it is not, are you the judge of truth? How many hard sciences and proofs need to converge for you to have faith in Christ’s work in the Church?***
I am not Reformed, but to continue with the question: yes, there is a subjective aspect to all of truth-judgments (not to truth itself). Everyone does it. You did it when you subjectively evaluated EO.
***You are right, antiquity IS NOT the only judge. But it seems that you are willing to be the ultimate judge of ANY evidence and .***
I am a subordinate judge of truth, as are we all. Otherwise, why bother?
***pick and choose what you’d like to acknowledge and dismiss based on it’ consistency with your worldview***
You would need to provide evidence.
***Nearly all of us here have been in your shoes. I certainly have. I understand where you are coming from. I used to walk into Orthodox Churches in Bulgaria and mutter under my breath, “pagans.” Then I’d go pick up Institutes and placate my own predilections.***
Please don’t patronize me. trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve spent years looking into this. I’ve lost friends forever because they thought I was leaving Protestantism. Even now, they refuse to talk to me.
***but my point is that many of us (Karen, Robert, me) have wrestled with the same cognitive dissonance you are and have had to challenge our own self will and our own limits to faith***
That is fideism.
***There comes a point when you must realize that the obstacle is not the evidence, but who it is you think is the proper judge of truth. If you reserve that right for yourself…so be it. But do so with full understanding of who and what it is you trust in.***
The mormon apologists I debated told me the same thing. Anyway, you made a decision based on your understanding of the relevant factors to enter EO. That is no different than what I am doing. You just don’t like my conclusions.
Hi John Doe
***Antiquity per se is not a particularly cogent epistemology. ***
Agreed. Otherwise the truth would belong to Hinduism.
***However, the Vincentian Canon is: that which was believed “everywhere, always, by everyone”.*
Vincent also thought the imputation and continuation of Adam’s Guilt was believed by everyone.
***We know that prayers to Mary were widely employed by Christians from India to Iberia in later centuries. That such an early prayer can be found lends credence to the belief that prayers to saints were part of the Apostolic deposit.***
Thank you. This is the classic example of affirming the consequent:
If this, then that.
(THIS IS ORTHODOX APOLOGETICS’ FATAL MOMENT. HERE FALLS THEIR ENTIRE ARGUMENT FROM HISTORY. I HONESTLY FEEL LIKE I CAN CLAIM VICTORY)
***It also shows that the Church that determined the New Testament Canon also believed in petitioning the saints in prayer.***
What exactly are you trying to prove? If you mean that the “church” proximately determined the table of contents page in my Bible and *some* of these same guys also petitioned saints, then I don’t disagree.
If you take that proximate recognition as on the same level as God’s speech-act, and that those later witnesses (valuable fathers that they are) are on the same level as the Scriptural writers who warned not to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, then I demur.
My moniker is that I believe in posting under my name. I’ve seen too many people “go crazy” under the protection of an anonymous avatar. See the Mark Driscoll fiasco.
***Does he who formulates a canon need to be infallible?***
***In such case, how can you accept the Athanasian Canon of the New Testament? Athenasius believed in prayers to the saints, so by your reasoning, these are either licit, or his NT canon is not.***
One of my comments will surprise you. First of all, canonical discussions are far wider than Athanasius. Secondly, I believe the NT *canon*–formulated as canon–is fallible. The table of contents page in my bible is fallible and open to falsification. That has always been the Protestant position (though most Protestants have forgotten it).
David and Erik,
My point RE Adam’s guilt is that Vincent is a two-edged sword. The very guy you guys go to for doctrinal unity taught something you do not believe and he said that was always taught by the church.
“Who ever before his monstrous disciple Cœlestius denied that the whole human race is involved in the guilt of Adam’s sin?”
***Do you seriously believe Robert is arguing that Antiquity is the SOLE judge of Truth?**
No, but it seems like antiquity is being asked to carry a lot of weight.
*** course, there is specific Scriptural verification for Holy Tradition, as I sketched quickly above, also referencing Robert’s excellent blog article above “The Biblical Case for Holy Tradition”.***
I’ve seen it. I believe it commits the affirming the consequent fallacy, but that’s probably not the most germane point at the moment.
**But the Reformed often ask for some confirmation from history for Orthodox practices & Holy Tradition. That’s what you have here. Historic confirma-tion of Holy Tradition. **
Sure, but historic confirmation (like all forms of belief) comes in degrees, and this is not the same thing as a quote from Paul saying burn incense to the Queen of Heaven.
***There are also Ecc. Councils confirming Holy Tradition by hundreds if not thousands of Bishops convocating in counsel with each other to specifically discern what the Holy Spirit has taught the Church in past centuries.***
Sure, but even those decisions do not begin to cover the gamut of doctrine and practice today, as any Old Believer or Old Calendarist will tell you.
***But this is not the case with Prayers to the Saints and Mary for intercession to her Son. You have just the opposite…a consistent pattern, practice and believe throughout the Church which is confirmed by Church Councils.***
Notice I am not disagreeing with you, per se. I am simply examining the belief. Earlier I said that belief comes in degrees (or is strong or weak in varying degrees). The earlier you get the less specific the belief is.
I’m convinced there is nothing humans do that is completely passive. None of us (even from birth) are a tabula rasa on which our experiences just imprint themselves. God installs some hardwiring there first that makes us active processors and decision-makers from the get-go.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm
If I said stuff like that about you, my post wouldn’t be approved.
Yes, I understand how the brain works (interesting that you collapsed mind into brain), but I use “passive” in the sense of how 100.00% of studies on the brain use it.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
*** you are implicitly honoring and “praying to Mary” (and all the Saints) as Orthodox understand this as well.***
that’s begging the question, but otherwise kind of you to say so.
***I’m not convinced if you were to pray to *God* in the sense you understand prayer to Mary, you wouldn’t also be sinning (at least potentially) to be quite honest***
I wouldn’t be, because God attaches a promise to prayers to him, so I can approach him by faith. Since there is no promise attached to prayers to Mary, I cannot approach that with faith–“anything not of faith is sin” and all.
***God is not a divine vending machine, nor a genie to grant our wishes. ***
While that is a straw man, almost all of the prayers in Scripture are petitionary.
***God knows what we need before we ask, so the real purpose of prayer must be to come to know God more fully and in the process come to also more genuinely know ourselves.***
That’s a nice sentiment but not germane to the discussion.
***You cannot worship God rightly in the sense of including everything which goes to make up a fully orthodox Christian corporate liturgy without including prayers to Mary and the Saints.***
Thank you. That finally answered my question.