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Victor Joseph
07-08-02, 01:50 PM
Hi Kermie

quote: kermie

"Below is a story of a saint executed by the cult of roman catholicism...

WEYNKEN, A WIDOW, DAUGHTER OF CLAES, OF MONICKENDAM, BURNT TO DEATH IN THE HAGUE, THE 20TH NOVEMBER, A, D. 1527. . . . " etc.

Ran accros this in a previous post. . . perhaps you can tell us why you think this example is 'proof' that the Catholic Church is a cult. Would you deny that there were atrocities in 'both' the Catholic and protestant ranks? (Salem comes to mind. . .) Seems you're just trying to get some sort of mileage out of this.

Peace and joy in Jesus. V.J.

Victor Joseph
07-10-02, 06:16 PM
disciple: the following is a running discussion between a Catholic and an Orthodox Christian. (His words are proceeded by "O")

APOSTLES CAN BECOME BISHOPS (APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION)


O The office of Apostle was unique. Apostles did not become bishops

Wrong. I need only bring Eusebius to the stand to refute this assertion:

All that time most of the apostles and disciples, including James himself, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, known as the Lord's brother, were still alive . . .

(History of the Church, 7:19, tr. G.A. Williamson, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1965, p. 118)
James is called an Apostle by St. Paul in Gal 1:19 and 1 Cor 15:7. That James was the sole, "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem is fairly apparent from Scripture also (Acts 12:17, 15:13,19, 21:18, Galatians 1:19, 2:12).

O -- they appointed them to oversee the churches they had established. The episcopate is not an 'apostolic college'. 'Apostolic succession' is not a perpetuation of the Apostles. The Apostolic Age ended with the death of the Apostle and Evangelist Saint John the Theologian.

Of course we agree with this.

O 'Apostolic succession' refers to the overseers -- episkopos -- the office established by the Apostles to be their successors (but not their equals!) thereby ensuring the preservation of the Holy Catholic and Orthodox Faith -- 'the faith which was once delivered unto the saints' [Jude 1:3].

Well, as shown, bishops since the Apostles are obviously not Apostles, but on the other hand, Apostles may become bishops, as James and Peter did.

O Since there is no perpetuation of the Apostles, 'the role of Peter' is not 'a part of the succeeding "college"'.

It is Church government by analogy. Jesus set His Church up a certain way, and we have a clear record of that. St. Peter was at the very least foremost of the disciples, or held a primacy of honor. Do Orthodox not want to follow the biblical model (not to mention that of the historical early Church)? Many Orthodox accept Petrine primacy (not supremacy, of course). Assuming that, who, then, is the analogous "foremost among equals" amongst Orthodox today? Or is that a matter of competing opinion also?

The following is an excerpt from my Treatise on the Church:

In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), episkopos is used for overseer in various senses, for example: officers (Judges 9:28, Isaiah 60:17), supervisors of funds (2 Chronicles 34:12,17), overseers of priests and Levites (Nehemiah 11:9, 2 Kings 11:18), and of temple and tabernacle functions (Numbers 4:16). God is called episkopos at Job 20:29, referring to His role as Judge, and Christ is an episkopos in 1 Peter 2:25 (RSV: Shepherd and Guardian of your souls). The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29) bears witness to a definite hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church. St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presided and issued the authoritative pronouncement (15:7-11). Then James, bishop of Jerusalem (kind of like the host-mayor of a conference) gives a concurring (Acts 15:14), concluding statement (15:13-29) . . .

Much historical and patristic evidence also exists for the bishopric of St. Peter at Rome. No one disputes the fact that St. Clement (d.c.101) was the sole bishop of Rome a little later, or that St. Ignatius (d.c.110) was the bishop at Antioch, starting around 69 A.D. Thus, the "monarchical" bishop is both a biblical concept and an unarguable fact of the early Church. By the time we get to the mid-second century, virtually all historians hold that single bishops led each Christian community. This was to be the case in all Christendom, east and west, until Luther transferred this power to the secular princes in the 16th century, and the Anabaptist tradition eschewed ecclesiastical office either altogether or in large part. Today many denominations have no bishops whatsoever.

One may concede all the foregoing as true, yet deny apostolic succession, whereby these offices are passed down, or handed down, through the generations and centuries, much like Sacred Tradition. But this belief of the Catholic Church (along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism) is also grounded in Scripture: St. Paul teaches us (Ephesians 2:20) that the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles, whom Christ Himself chose (John 6:70, Acts 1:2,13; cf. Matthew 16:18). In Mark 6:30 the twelve original disciples of Jesus are called apostles, and Matthew 10:1-5 and Revelation 21:14 speak of the twelve apostles. After Judas defected, the remaining eleven Apostles appointed his successor, Matthias (Acts 1:20-26). Since Judas is called a bishop (episkopos) in this passage (1:20), then by logical extension all the Apostles can be considered bishops (albeit of an extraordinary sort). If the Apostles are bishops, and one of them was replaced by another, after the death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, then we have an explicit example of apostolic succession in the Bible, taking place before 35 A.D. In like fashion, St. Paul appears to be passing on his office to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-6), shortly before his death, around 65 A.D. This succession shows an authoritative equivalency between Apostles and bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles. As a corollary, we are also informed in Scripture that the Church itself is perpetual, infallible, and indefectible (Matthew 16:18, John 14:26, 16:18). Why should the early Church be set up in one form and the later Church in another? All of this biblical data is harmonious with the ecclesiological views of the Catholic Church. There has been some development over the centuries, but in all essentials, the biblical Church and clergy and the Catholic Church and clergy are one and the same.


Main Index & Search | Church Index

Compiled from public list dialogues in 1997 by Dave Armstrong.

Perhaps this explanation will help clear things up disciple my brother. . .?

In the Lord . . . Come Holy Spirit! V.J.

disciple
07-18-02, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29) bears witness to a definite hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church. St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presided and issued the authoritative pronouncement (15:7-11). Then James, bishop of Jerusalem (kind of like the host-mayor of a conference) gives a concurring (Acts 15:14), concluding statement (15:13-29) . . .

...Thus, the "monarchical" bishop is both a biblical concept and an unarguable fact of the early Church. By the time we get to the mid-second century, virtually all historians hold that single bishops led each Christian community. This was to be the case in all Christendom, east and west, until Luther transferred this power to the secular princes in the 16th century, and the Anabaptist tradition eschewed ecclesiastical office either altogether or in large part. Today many denominations have no bishops whatsoever.
once again your interpretation of the biblical text has later history read back into it. the Scriptural model is clearly plurality of leadership and not "monarchical." the term monarchical is a term completely foreign to Scripture when discussing leadership (notice the plural forms with singular):

Acts 14:23, (NAS), When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 15:2, (NAS), And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

Acts 15:4, (NAS), When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.

Acts 15:6, (NAS), The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.

Acts 15:22, (NAS), Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,

Acts 15:23, (NAS), and they sent this letter by them, "The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.

Acts 16:4, (NAS), Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe.

Acts 20:17, (NAS), From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders (presbuteros) of the church...28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (episkopos), to shepherd (poimaino) the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Titus 1:5, (NAS), For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,

Jas 5:14, (NAS), Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

1 Pet 5:1, (NAS), Therefore, I exhort the elders (presbuteros) among you (one church in view here), as your fellow elder (presbuteros) [/b] and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd (poimaino) the flock of God among you (that which you are serving in), exercising oversight (episkopos)[/u] not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, [b]but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

also the church loosely followed the model of the synagogue (and other assemblies of the day) and they also had multiple leadership. rabbinical writings and history show that there were at least 3 leaders or rulers of the synagogue:

Mk 5:22, (NAS), One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet

as we see the only time monarchy is even touched on is when peter talked about Christ, the Chief Shepherd. and notice that peter doesn't arrogate himself above the rest but refers to himself simply as a fellow elder. also notice that shepherd (poimen), elder (presbuteros), and overseer (episkopos - bishop) are used interchangably as they are all referring to the same person (s). here are the meaning of the terms that are applied to church leadership:

presbuteros (elder) - a term of rank or office; of those who in separate cities managed public affairs and administered justice; among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or churches) The NT uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably

poimen (shepherd); poimaino (to shepherd) - to feed, to tend a flock; to rule, govern; to furnish pasture for food; to nourish

episkopos (overseer); episkopeo (to oversee) - to look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, care for; of the care of the church which rested upon the elders to look carefully, beware

monarchical leadership is just another later addition as one cannot find this teaching within the pages of Scripture.

Victor Joseph
07-18-02, 06:47 PM
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29) bears witness to a definite hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church. St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presided and issued the authoritative pronouncement (15:7-11). Then James, bishop of Jerusalem (kind of like the host-mayor of a conference) gives a concurring (Acts 15:14), concluding statement (15:13-29) . . .

...Thus, the "monarchical" bishop is both a biblical concept and an unarguable fact of the early Church. By the time we get to the mid-second century, virtually all historians hold that single bishops led each Christian community. This was to be the case in all Christendom, east and west, until Luther transferred this power to the secular princes in the 16th century, and the Anabaptist tradition eschewed ecclesiastical office either altogether or in large part. Today many denominations have no bishops whatsoever.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote disciple "once again your interpretation of the biblical text has later history read back into it. the Scriptural model is clearly plurality of leadership and not "monarchical." the term monarchical is a term completely foreign to Scripture when discussing leadership (notice the plural forms with singular):

Acts 14:23, (NAS), When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 15:2, (NAS), And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

Acts 15:4, (NAS), When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. " etc. etc. etc.

I don't know about this reading later history into the Scriptural text. . . We all read different things into the texts . . . AND THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM!

As for these quotes. . . I say AMEN brother disciple. That's Catholic Truth. We see plurality of leadership today in the Catholic Church. . . The Bishops have authority. . . what's new. . . Those apostles and elders had authority. What is your point? This doesn't negate any Catholic teaching . . . and certainly doesn't prove the Catholic Church to be a 'cult' in the negative sense. . .

God love you disciple. V.J.

disciple
07-19-02, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
I don't know about this reading later history into the Scriptural text. . . We all read different things into the texts . . . AND THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM!

As for these quotes. . . I say AMEN brother disciple. That's Catholic Truth. We see plurality of leadership today in the Catholic Church. . . The Bishops have authority. . . what's new. . . Those apostles and elders had authority. What is your point? This doesn't negate any Catholic teaching . . . and certainly doesn't prove the Catholic Church to be a 'cult' in the negative sense. . .

God love you disciple. V.J.
i was responding to your comment


the "monarchical" bishop is both a biblical concept and an unarguable fact of the early Church. By the time we get to the mid-second century, virtually all historians hold that single bishops led each Christian community

monarchical leadership or bishop is not found in Scripture. if you have Scripture to discuss then bring it to the table. unfortunately, later historical evidence won't do and should not/cannot be read back into Scripture. the Scriptures speak to plurality of leadership (who are elders, overseers, and shepherd all rolled into single individuals) and not monarchical leadership. you have not shown that Scripture teaches monarchical leadership as you claimed "the 'monarchical' bishop is both a biblical concept ." perhaps you can show that it is "an unarguable fact of the early Church" but this does not make it Scriptural. and if you read the verses you'd see that a plurality of leadership (elders plural) was appointed to each church (singular) and not one bishop for each parish as the RC heirarchy has set up. and i'm also not using this as an argument to prove that the RC church is a cult. i never made that claim...i'm just challenging your bold assertions that Scripture teaches something when it clearly does not. do you at least understand this?

Victor Joseph
07-19-02, 11:59 AM
Peace disciple.

quote: disciple
"monarchical leadership or bishop is not found in Scripture. if you have Scripture to discuss then bring it to the table. unfortunately, later historical evidence won't do and should not/cannot be read back into Scripture. the Scriptures speak to plurality of leadership (who are elders, overseers, and shepherd all rolled into single individuals) and not monarchical leadership. you have not shown that Scripture teaches monarchical leadership as you claimed "the 'monarchical' bishop is both a biblical concept ." perhaps you can show that it is "an unarguable fact of the early Church" but this does not make it Scriptural. and if you read the verses you'd see that a plurality of leadership. . ."

I would say monarchical leadership is Scriptural and the following tract on Apostolic Succession attempts to demonstrate this. . . but I somehow doubt this will convince you in any way as you demand, once again, the man made doctrine of sola scriptura and discount the early Church Fathers even though they speak clearly to this. . . this is too bad. . . once again a 'plurality of leadership' shown from Scripture . . . in no way negates Apostolic Succession or that Apostles can become Bishops. . . It's also interesting and quite 'telling' that you attempt to round up quotes from the Fathers when you believe they are making you point. . . but disallow them here. Anyway. . .

APOSTLES CAN BECOME BISHOPS (APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION)

I had the following exchange with an Orthodox member of my e-mail discussion list. His words are designated wit an "O)"

O) The office of Apostle was unique. Apostles did not become bishops

Wrong. I need only bring Eusebius to the stand to refute this assertion:

All that time most of the apostles and disciples, including James himself, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, known as the Lord's brother, were still alive . . .

(History of the Church, 7:19, tr. G.A. Williamson, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1965, p. 118)
James is called an Apostle by St. Paul in Gal 1:19 and 1 Cor 15:7. That James was the sole, "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem is fairly apparent from Scripture also (Acts 12:17, 15:13,19, 21:18, Galatians 1:19, 2:12).

O) -- they appointed them to oversee the churches they had established. The episcopate is not an 'apostolic college'. 'Apostolic succession' is not a perpetuation of the Apostles. The Apostolic Age ended with the death of the Apostle and Evangelist Saint John the Theologian.

Of course we agree with this.

O) 'Apostolic succession' refers to the overseers -- episkopos -- the office established by the Apostles to be their successors (but not their equals!) thereby ensuring the preservation of the Holy Catholic and Orthodox Faith -- 'the faith which was once delivered unto the saints' [Jude 1:3].

Well, as shown, bishops since the Apostles are obviously not Apostles, but on the other hand, Apostles may become bishops, as James and Peter did.

O) Since there is no perpetuation of the Apostles, 'the role of Peter' is not 'a part of the succeeding "college"'.

It is Church government by analogy. Jesus set His Church up a certain way, and we have a clear record of that. St. Peter was at the very least foremost of the disciples, or held a primacy of honor. Do Orthodox not want to follow the biblical model (not to mention that of the historical early Church)? Many Orthodox accept Petrine primacy (not supremacy, of course). Assuming that, who, then, is the analogous "foremost among equals" amongst Orthodox today? Or is that a matter of competing opinion also?

The following is an excerpt from my Treatise on the Church:
http://ic.net/~erasmus/raz60.htm

In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), episkopos is used for overseer in various senses, for example: officers (Judges 9:28, Isaiah 60:17), supervisors of funds (2 Chronicles 34:12,17), overseers of priests and Levites (Nehemiah 11:9, 2 Kings 11:18), and of temple and tabernacle functions (Numbers 4:16). God is called episkopos at Job 20:29, referring to His role as Judge, and Christ is an episkopos in 1 Peter 2:25 (RSV: Shepherd and Guardian of your souls). The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29) bears witness to a definite hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church. St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presided and issued the authoritative pronouncement (15:7-11). Then James, bishop of Jerusalem (kind of like the host-mayor of a conference) gives a concurring (Acts 15:14), concluding statement (15:13-29) . . .

Much historical and patristic evidence also exists for the bishopric of St. Peter at Rome. No one disputes the fact that St. Clement (d.c.101) was the sole bishop of Rome a little later, or that St. Ignatius (d.c.110) was the bishop at Antioch, starting around 69 A.D. Thus, the "monarchical" bishop is both a biblical concept and an unarguable fact of the early Church. By the time we get to the mid-second century, virtually all historians hold that single bishops led each Christian community. This was to be the case in all Christendom, east and west, until Luther transferred this power to the secular princes in the 16th century, and the Anabaptist tradition eschewed ecclesiastical office either altogether or in large part. Today many denominations have no bishops whatsoever.

One may concede all the foregoing as true, yet deny apostolic succession, whereby these offices are passed down, or handed down, through the generations and centuries, much like Sacred Tradition. But this belief of the Catholic Church (along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism) is also grounded in Scripture: St. Paul teaches us (Ephesians 2:20) that the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles, whom Christ Himself chose (John 6:70, Acts 1:2,13; cf. Matthew 16:18). In Mark 6:30 the twelve original disciples of Jesus are called apostles, and Matthew 10:1-5 and Revelation 21:14 speak of the twelve apostles. After Judas defected, the remaining eleven Apostles appointed his successor, Matthias (Acts 1:20-26). Since Judas is called a bishop (episkopos) in this passage (1:20), then by logical extension all the Apostles can be considered bishops (albeit of an extraordinary sort). If the Apostles are bishops, and one of them was replaced by another, after the death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ, then we have an explicit example of apostolic succession in the Bible, taking place before 35 A.D. In like fashion, St. Paul appears to be passing on his office to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-6), shortly before his death, around 65 A.D. This succession shows an authoritative equivalency between Apostles and bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles. As a corollary, we are also informed in Scripture that the Church itself is perpetual, infallible, and indefectible (Matthew 16:18, John 14:26, 16:18). Why should the early Church be set up in one form and the later Church in another? All of this biblical data is harmonious with the ecclesiological views of the Catholic Church. There has been some development over the centuries, but in all essentials, the biblical Church and clergy and the Catholic Church and clergy are one and the same.



Main Index & Search | Church Index

Compiled from public list dialogues in 1997 by Dave Armstrong.

Hope this helps. . . God Bless. V.J.

disciple
07-19-02, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
James is called an Apostle by St. Paul in Gal 1:19 and 1 Cor 15:7. That James was the sole, "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem is fairly apparent from Scripture also (Acts 12:17, 15:13,19, 21:18, Galatians 1:19, 2:12).

let's take a closer look at the verses to see if they actually teach that James was the sole "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem.

Acts 12:17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place.
i don't deny that there were leaders above the rest and that the apostles held higher rank and importance than the elders that were appointed. i mean Scripture clearly says, "James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (gal 2:9)" but James (and peter and john) was an apostle. of course he would be separated out from the rest. where do you exegete (i.e., draw the meaning out) of the text that he was the sole, "monarchical" bishop from this?

Acts 15:13 After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me...19 “Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles,
this really doesn't teach anything about a "monarchical" bishop or even "monarchical" leadership. James was here speaking just as Peter was speaking earlier (Acts 15:7ff). we cannot surmise that because someone was talking that they were the sole "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem. besides this whole argument throws the primacy of St. Peter and the papacy argument out. if James (and Paul in Gal) as mere bishops of lower regions is making decisions outside of the Pope's and Rome's then how do we have the doctrine of the authority of the Pope (as the bishop of bishops) over all the other bishops here? you can't have your cake and eat it too ya know!

Acts 21:18 And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
again, see the comment after acts 12:17. i'm surprised that one can exegete that James was the sole "monarchical" bishop with such little information.

Gal 1:19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
where do we see that James is the sole "monarchical" bishop of Jerusalem here? i just don't see it. nor do i think it is possible to exegete it from the text. there is just not enough information here to do such a thing.

Gal 2:12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
the whole context of this exchange militates against a "monarchical" bishop view. James, as an apostle, sends some people from jerusalem (perhaps missionaries) to galatia and peter (and even barnabas) seems to forget all that he had learned about Gentiles being fellow citizens, heirs, members, and partakers of the promises along with the Jews. i'm not sure how you exegete that James is the sole "monarchical" bishop from this. i agree he had much authority as an apostle but to get sole "monarchical" bishop from this is a stretch to put it mildly.


The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-29) bears witness to a definite hierarchical, episcopal structure of government in the early Church. St. Peter, the chief elder (the office of pope) of the entire Church (1 Peter 5:1; cf. John 21:15-17), presided and issued the authoritative pronouncement (15:7-11). Then James, bishop of Jerusalem (kind of like the host-mayor of a conference) gives a concurring (Acts 15:14), concluding statement (15:13-29) . . .
again, with the limited information we have i don't think we can read some sort of formal heirarchy from acts 15. can you honestly say you can exegete that from the text? and how do you get that James is the host-mayor of the conference. and 1 pe 5:21 and john 21:15ff do not teach that peter is any such chief elder and pope. in fact, if you would go to one of the texts you'd see that Peter referred to himself as a fellow elder (who would oversee and shepherd; cf. 2) and did not take the time to teach them of his primacy and supreme authority on earth as the vicar of Christ. while this is an argument from silence it is a deafening argument as this place as well as acts 15 would be where we would see this doctrine most clearly if it were Scriptural.


For neither did Peter, whom first the Lord chose, and upon whom He built His Church, when Paul disputed with him afterwards about circumcision, claim anything to himself insolently, nor arrogantly assume anything; so as to say that he held the primacy, and that he ought rather to be obeyed by novices and those lately come. Nor did he despise Paul because he had previously been a persecutor of the Church, but admitted the counsel of truth, and easily yielded to the lawful reason which Paul asserted, furnishing thus an illustration to us both of concord and of patience, that we should not obstinately love our own opinions, but should rather adopt as our own those which at any time are usefully and wholesomely suggested by our brethren and colleagues, if they be true and lawful. Paul, moreover, looking forward to this, and consulting faithfully for concord and peace, has laid down in his epistle this rule: "Moreover, let the prophets speak two or three, and let the rest judge. But if anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace."
Cyprian To Quintus, Concerning the Baptism of Heretics.
finally taking up the quote of dispute, this screams against the RC assertion of Peter being the vicar of Christ and the supreme authority of the church on earth. cyprian's whole argument is that even though peter had much to boast about (e.g., that he was chosen first and the church was built upon him) he accepted the instruction of others and testifies to the fact of plurality of leadership and mutual accountability to one another in a fashion of equality (in fact he references 1 Co 14 to prove his case). there is no sense in this text for the doctrine of Peter as the vicar of Christ and the supreme authority on earth for the church. also, cyprian was from the east and would definitely not have subscribed to the doctrine of Peter (and his seat) as the vicar of Christ. perhaps an Orthodox person could comment on this (Aletheo or GreekPrincess). this passage is not as convincing as you might understand it to be.

aletheo
07-24-02, 02:14 AM
The Primacy of Peter, John Meyendorff, Editor.
Published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 0-88141-125-6
"Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church"

disciple
07-24-02, 10:10 AM
A search for that book brought up this link (good read)...

http://www.christiantruth.com/mt16.html

also see http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=990

Victor Joseph
07-25-02, 11:55 AM
disciple. . .

read that christiantruth site on the Fathers. . . however, I can't say I found it a fare appraisal of the Catholic position on this matter. I did however learn something of the Protestant view. Thank you.

Is there another christiantruth site that goes into depth on the subject of the refutation of the "Real Presence" of Jesus in the Eucharist?

In Jesus. . . V.J.

disciple
07-25-02, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
read that christiantruth site on the Fathers. . . however, I can't say I found it a fare appraisal of the Catholic position on this matter.
where, in particular, to you find it inaccurate or unfair? what falsehoods does it contain? and what about the clarity with which the Fathers spoke on this matter? it is clear from the article that the Fathers did not believe what the Roman Catholic church teaches. can you comment on this?


I did however learn something of the Protestant view. Thank you.
you're welcome. i hope you also learned something about the truth of the matter and what was truly taught by the Fathers.


Is there another christiantruth site that goes into depth on the subject of the refutation of the "Real Presence" of Jesus in the Eucharist?
i don't know look here http://www.christiantruth.com/articles.html i didn't see anything on it but there's a lot of good stuff there. there are a few articles on Sola Scriptura. perhaps you should read those too: http://www.christiantruth.com/solascriptura.html http://www.christiantruth.com/bahnsen.html

disciple
07-25-02, 01:28 PM
Here's an interesting question from an excerpt of http://www.christiantruth.com/solascriptura.html:


The Roman Catholic Church states that it possesses an oral Apostolic Tradition which is independent of Scripture and which is binding upon men. It appeals to Paul's statement in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 for the justification for such a claim, where Paul states that he handed on traditions or teachings to this Chruch in both oral and written form. Rome asserts that, based on Paul's teaching in this passage, the teaching of sola Scriptura is false, since he handed on teachings to the Thessalonians in both oral and written form. But what is interesting in such an appeal is that Roman apologists never document the specific doctrines that Paul is referring to which they claim they possess and which are binding upon men. In all the writings of apologists from the Reformation to the present day no one has been able to list the doctrines that comprise this supposed Apostolic Oral Tradition. From Francis De Sales to the writings of Karl Keating and Robert Sungenis there is this conspicuous absence. Sungenis is editor of a work recently released on a defense of the Roman Catholic teaching of Tradition entitled Not By Scripture Alone. It is touted as a definitive refutation of the Protestant teaching of sola Scriptura. It is 627 pages in length. But not once in the entire 627 pages does any author define the doctrinal content of this supposed Apostolic Tradition that is binding on all men. All we are told is that it exists, that the Roman Catholic Church possesses it, and that we are bound therefore to submit to this Church which alone possesses the fulness of God's revelation from the Apostles. But they can't tell us what it is. And the reason is because it doesn't exist. If they are of such importance why did Cyril of Jerusalem not mention them in his Catechetical Lectures? I defy anyone to list the doctrines Paul is referring to in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 which he says he committed orally to the Thessalonians.

Victor Joseph
07-27-02, 11:24 AM
Peace to you disciple.

In all humility. . . I must ask. . . who is Mr. Webster and what is his authority?

Certainly he is a good persuasive apologist for your position and I'm sure his writings get lots of attention and perhaps some converts to protestant Christianity.

But did you know that there is an 'in-depth rebutal' to his essays. . .?

http://www.catholic-convert.com/webster/gallagos.html

Here's an exerpt. . .

Chrysostom, Peter, and the Primacy: A Partial Response to Webster's Second Attempt

I wrote a book on Peter and the Papacy entitled Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church. It appears that Bill took umbrage with the footnotes in my book which referred to him and his books. It appears that Bill did not read my book before critiquing it since he zoomed in on the eight footnotes referencing him and his books in the index but failed to comment on the other two footnotes referring to him. It seems that he missed those final two footnotes because the "indexer" (which is out of my control as the author) failed to add these two references to Bill Webster in the index. Bill would have avoided several, if not many pitfalls had he read my whole book - I still hope he does some day.

Bill wrote a forty page "refutation" to my book (dealing only with the footnotes where his name appeared) which can be found at his website (http://www.christiantruth.com/stephenray.html). The full text of his "refutation" is included in my 215-page response.

This current paper is a partial response to Bill Webster’s "The Papacy: A Third Response to Stephen Ray" which appears on his website at http://www.christiantruth.com/ray3index.html. He has begun his latest "rebuttal" (link provided above) and I am answering each "rebuttal" as he posts them, though I now have very limited time. Is all this confusing? Yeah, but really good reading if you are interested in the Peter and the Papacy and very happy information if you are a Catholic. A Catholic has nothing to fear and the deeper one digs, the more confident the Catholic becomes - as you will see here!

I don’t want these exchanges to become mean-spirited or continue for the sake of getting the last word. As I’ve said earlier, I think Bill is probably a nice guy and I would enjoy having lunch with him. I don’t want to argue with him unnecessarily. I don’t have a big ego, I don’t think, so having the last word is not important to me, but truth is.

In my first response, I answered Bill line-by-line, but since our discussion on St. John Chrysostom and Peter (and the other issues) has started to repeat itself. There are many little things Bill says in his latest "Chrysostom rebuttal" that I could go into great detail on, and I may add to this present paper as time goes on, but I have decided to simplify this response and organize my reply into three key topics rather than a line-by-line rebuttal. The three topics are: (1) Peter, "this rock", and Matthew 16:18; (2) the primacy of St. Peter; and (3) the primacy of the bishop of Rome. I am not going to respond to many of the personal and smaller issues, but to stick to the these three areas.

I am also not going to provide numerous quotations from other authors in this paper. I have added only very few. We will look at what St. John Chrysostom says., try to keep it simple, and make observations on his words.

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347- 407) was given the descriptive name "Chrysostom" years after his death. It meant "golden-mouthed" and referred to the eloquence of his preaching. For the sake of brevity in this paper I will refer to St. John Chrysostom simply as Chrysostom - I beg his indulgence, and that of Bill Webster. Bill spends a good bit of time majoring on a minor issue regarding the name of St. John Chrysostom. He is right that many refer to St. John Chrysostom as simply "Chrysostom" and I was just having a bit of fun in the "trial scene". I will accept Bill’s comments here and even for the sake of simplicity in this paper - with it clearly understood what St. John’s actual name was and the history behind it - refer to him here as Chrysostom. How’s that Bill? Are we friends on this point again?

The works referenced and the abbreviations used are listed at the end of this paper on the Bibliography and Abbreviations page.

So, let’s get right to work!

PETER, "THIS ROCK", AND MATTHEW 16:18

Does Webster equate "this rock" in Matthew 16:18 with Peter himself? According to Webster, who or what is the foundation of the Church? Webster’s position on this passage in Matthew 16 is somewhat unclear. Webster writes:

"He did not interpret the rock of Matthew 16 to be the person of Peter, but his confession of faith, pointing to Christ himself as the rock and only foundation of the Church" (Webster, A Refutation; Webster, The Church Fathers).

"Chrysostom argues that the rock is not Peter but Peter’s confession of faith in Christ as the Son of God" (Webster, A Refutation; Webster, The Church Fathers).

"It is Peter’s confession that is the foundation of the Church. Peter is not the foundation. According to Chrysostom that position belongs to Christ alone." (Webster, A Refutation; Webster, The Church Fathers).

"First of all, Chrysostom denies that Peter is the rock in Matthew 16. He states that the rock is Peter’s confession of faith. Therefore, since he is not the rock, the Church is not built upon him but upon his faith or confession. He, personally, is not the foundation." (Webster, The Papacy).

"Chrysostom argues that the rock is not the person of Peter, but Peter’s confession of faith in Christ to be the Son of God." (Webster, The Church of Rome, 51).

"The church is built, therefore, not on Peter personally ... but on Peter’s confession of faith ... Augustine ... is typical of the Fathers in this interpretation of Matthew 16:18 ... John Chrysostom ... echoes Augustine in his interpretation" (Webster, Did I Leave 278-279).

Webster clearly denies that Peter is the rock of Matthew 16:18. However, Webster ideas on Chrysostom are not altogether clear. In the quotes above, he asserts that the rock is Peter’s confession, Peter’s faith, and Christ himself. Well, is the rock Peter’s faith, Christ (the object of Peter’s confession), Peter’s confession, or all three? If all three, then what is the relationship between the two rocks.

For the most part is seems that Webster believes that the rock is Peter’s confession of faith. However, Webster asserts that Christ is the only foundation of the Church, while elsewhere he asserts that Peter’s confession is the foundation of the Church. Again, who or what is the foundation of the Church for Webster? Is it Peter’s confession, Peter’s faith, or Christ (the object of Peter’s faith)? Since Webster has not completely synthesized the writings of Chrysostom, he has failed to provide a balanced and unambiguous exposition on Chrysostom and Matthew 16:18. I will show below that Chrysostom not only equated the rock with Peter’s faith and confession, but he considered Peter the rock as well. In fact, Peter the person and his faith are intertwined. Likewise, I will show that Chrysostom considered both Christ and Peter himself as foundations of the Church. Christ is the ultimate foundation, whereas Peter is a secondary foundation totally dependent on Christ. No problem here.

Victor Joseph
07-27-02, 11:27 AM
Webster equates Peter’s confession, not his person, with "this rock" in Matthew 16. In support of his novel understanding, Webster cites several examples from Chrysostom:

" ‘And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’; that is, on the faith of his confession. Hereby He signifies that many were on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd ... For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven" (Homily 54 on Matthew,NPNF1 X:332-334).

"He speaks from this time lowly things, on his way to His passion, that He might show His humanity. For He that hath built His church upon Peter’s confession, and has so fortified it, that ten thousand dangers and deaths are not to prevail over it ..." (Homily 82 on Matthew, NPNF1 X:494).

In these two passages, Chrysostom states that Peter’s faith is the rock and the foundation on which the Church is built.

Webster continues citing Chrysostom:

" ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ I say, no man can lay it so long as he is a master-builder; but if he lay it ... he ceases to be a master-builder. See how even from men’s common notions he proves the whole of his proposition. His meaning is this: ‘I have preached Christ, I have delivered unto you the foundation. Take heed how you build thereon, lest haply it be in vainglory, lest haply so as to draw away the disciples unto men.’ Let us not then give heed unto the heresies. ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid.’ Upon this then let us build, and as a foundation let us cleave to it, as a branch to a vine; and let there be no interval between us and Christ ... For the branch by its adherence draws in the fatness, and the building stands because it is cemented together. Since, if it stand apart it perishes, having nothing whereon to support itself. Let us not then merely keep hold of Christ, but let us be cemented to Him, for if we stand apart, we perish ... And accordingly, there are many images whereby He brings us into union. Thus, if you mark it, He is the ‘Head’, we are ‘the body’: can there be any empty interval between the head and the body? He is a ‘Foundation’, we are a ‘building’: He a ‘Vine’, we ‘branches’: He the ‘Bridegroom’, we the ‘bride’: He is the ‘Shepherd’, we the ‘sheep’: He is the ‘Way’, we ‘they who walk therein.’ Again, we are a ‘temple,’ He the ‘Indweller’: He the ‘First-Begotten,’ we the ‘brethren’: He the ‘Heir,’ we the ‘heirs together with Him’: He the ‘Life,’ we the ‘living’: He the ‘Resurrection,’ we ‘those who rise again’: He the ‘Light,’ we the ‘enlightened.’ All these things indicate unity; and they allow no void interval, not even the smallest" (8th Homily on 1 Corinthians, NPNF1 XII:47).

Here, Chrysostom provides the Catholic understanding of 1 Cor 3:11 (‘For no other foundation can any one lay other that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus’ [RSV]). Chrysostom affirms that Christ is the ultimate foundation of the Church. No Catholic would deny this; in fact, Catholic teaching has always affirmed it in the strongest terms. Webster writes, "Peter is not the foundation. According to Chrysostom that position belongs to Christ alone"(Webster, A Refutation; Webster, The Church Fathers). Does Webster assert there are no secondary foundations of the Church? Does he deny the apostolic foundation of the Church? Doesn’t Webster consider the apostles as secondary foundations dependent on Christ (Eph 2:20)?

Following these three citations from Chrysostom, Webster concludes that ‘the rock is not Peter but Peter’s confession in Christ as the Son of God’ (Webster, A Refutation). Webster writes as if Chrysostom intended to completely eliminate Peter himself as the object of "this rock". Chrysostom nowhere implies that Peter the person is ever eliminated as part of the rock equation. Chrysostom is simply emphasizing Peter’s faith without eliminating Peter himself.

There are no watertight compartments in Chrysostom’s thinking between Peter’s faith and Peter the person. Chrysostom uses this indirect approach in his writings in order to emphasize the deity of Jesus Christ. One must remember that the See of Antioch was racked with schism and the Arian heresy. During Chrysostom’s stay in Antioch, many of the Patriarchs and clergy of Antioch were Arian heretics. It is no surprise that Chrysostom’s preaching and teaching would emphasize passages that emphasize the deity of Christ to highlight the deity of Christ and expose the Arian heresy. Notice carefully, Chrysostom writes, "I intended to preach before on the existence of God, but have always postponed it, because I saw that many of those [i.e., the Arians] who suffer from this illness, like to attend our sermons" (Incomprehensible Nature of God, Homily 1:6-7). Extending Matthew 16:18 to Peter’s faith and confession was a common tool of the Fathers of Church in combating the Arian heresy - confessing Jesus as the unique Son of God.

For example Chrysostom writes:

"For He that has built His church upon Peter’s confession" (Homily 82 on Matthew, NPNF1 X:494).

"[H]aving promised to lay the foundation of the Church upon his [Peter’s] confession"(Chapter 1 on Galatians, NPNF1 X111:1).

Chrysostom extends the meaning of Matthew 16:18 to Peter’s faith by his use of such words as built, foundation, and rock.

However, this did not prevent Chrysostom from directly equating Peter the person with the rock. Chrysostom provides us with these equally forceful passages:

"[H]e [Peter] became a foundation of the Church"(Homily 3 on Matthew, NPNF1 X:19).

"[T]o exhibit a man that is a fisher more solid than any rock, while all the world is at war with him..."(Homily 54 on Matthew, NPNF1 X:334).

"Peter ... the foundation of the faith" (Hom. de decem mille talentis, Chapman 74).

"Peter, that the head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received the revelation not from man but from the Father ... this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean the unbroken rock, the unshaken foundation, the great apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey" (Almsgiving 3:4, Chapman 74).

Here, Chrysostom equates Peter himself with the rock of Matthew 16:18. Notice that he applies the same phrases and words to Peter’s faith as he does with Peter himself. According to Chrysostom, Peter and his faith are inseparable. Chapman is correct in his study of Chrysostom:

"He has no idea of the two notions, ‘Peter is the Rock’ and ‘his faith is the Rock’ being mutually exclusive, as, in fact, they are not"(Chapman 79).

Orthodox scholars, Veselin Kesich and John Meyendorff (an author Webster likes to quote when he agrees with him), echo the same theme:

"We may conclude that the early church Fathers and Christian writers recognized Peter’s position of honor and preeminence in the New Testament period ... Their interpretations of Jesus’ promise to Peter - ‘You are Petros, and on this petra I will build my church’ - converge with those modern exegetes: the rock is Peter. But they also interpreted the rock as Peter’s confession. The Church is built on Peter, or the church is built upon the rock, which is Peter’s confession. We cannot find two distinct groups of exegetes, one with whom states that ‘the rock is Peter,’ while the other concludes that ‘the rock is Peter’s confession.’ In the writings of any given author, one can find both interpretations simultaneously (Kesich).... [T]he great Cappadocians, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Augustine all concur in affirming that the faith of Simon made it possible for him to become the Rock on which the Church is founded" (Meyendorff 65,70).

Webster assertion that Chrysostom equated the rock of Matthew 16:18 with only Peter’s faith apart from Peter the person is one based, it seems, more on anti-Catholic zeal than scholarship. This passage above was offered to show that non-Catholic scholars, who have no bias towards the Catholic faith, assert that Peter, not his faith, is the rock of Matthew 16:18.

Webster writes, "Chrysostom followed the teaching of Origen that the rock is to be interpreted as Peter’s confession..." (Webster, The Church of Rome, 51). This statement is a partial truth. It is true that Origen provided the groundwork and foundation for Antiochean theology. However, Webster is incorrect when he asserts that Origen equated rock only with Peter’s confession in his 12th book on Matthew. In Origen’s 12th book on Matthew, cited by Webster, we find Origen extending Matthew 16:18 to every disciple of Christ. He applies the name ‘rock’ to everyone who confesses Christ, and not just Peter’s confession of faith. The first disciple and rock to benefit from this is Simon. Additionally, Origen writes:

"See what is said by the Lord to [Peter], that great foundation of the Church, and most solid rock, upon which Christ founded the Church" (Alnatt 15,16). (To say that Origen really didn’t mean that Peter is the Rock and that he later denied it by using another metaphor is quite disingenuous, as is explained in great detail in my first response.)

Therefore, it is no surprise that Chrysostom equates Peter with the rock, since Origen handed down the same tradition 100 years before Chrysostom’s birth.

Webster not only contradicts Chrysostom and Origen, but he contradicts a passage he cited in one of his early criticisms of the papacy. Webster cites the following passage from John Meyendorff, an Orthodox scholar:

"The same interpretation implicitly prevails in all the patristic texts dealing with Peter: the great Cappadocians, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Augustine all concur in affirming that the faith of Simon made it possible for him to become the Rock on which the Church is founded and in a certain sense all those who share the same faith are his successors" (Webster, A Reply 41).

Perhaps Webster should take to heart the efforts of John Meyendorff and seriously engage with his writings. Instead, Webster has chosen to cull the writings of Catholic and Orthodox scholars in helter-skelter, willy-nilly fashion looking for proof texts that will suite his personal agenda.

When we bring forth all of Chrysostom’s writings on this subject, we are able to understand how he interpreted "this rock" in Matthew 16:18 and used it for a variety of applications. According to Chrysostom, the Church is founded on the Rock of Rocks, Jesus Christ. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter ("Rock") and founded the Church upon Peter, because of Peter’s faith and confession. Peter is the rock from the Rock and the foundation of the Church dependent on the cornerstone, Jesus Christ.

I have mentioned to Webster before, as I explained also in my book, that even the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) refers to the Rock of the Church being Christ (CCC 756), the faith of Peter (CCC 424; Upon this Rock, 193), and Peter himself (CCC 552; Upon this Rock, 202). The Catechism, like Chrysostom, realizes that one does not negate the other. This is not an either/or proposition. Bill knows this because it’s been said many times. The Catechism and Chrysostom can apply Matthew 16 in various ways but no matter how they apply it, it is always assumed that Peter is the Rock. It seems that only Webster can’t comprehend this simple truth - he has too much to lose if he acknowledges it. His whole "papal denial" based on his misunderstanding of the Fathers and Matthew 16 would come crashing down and the premise of his book The Matthew 16 Controversy would be undermined. He can not afford to see this truth.


Victor Joseph
07-27-02, 11:37 AM
THE PRIMACY OF ST. PETER

Now let’s take a look at the second issue: did Chrysostom believe and teach that Peter received a special primacy from Christ?

Webster concludes that Peter is equal in status to any one of the apostles. According to Webster, Chrysostom believed that Peter enjoyed no increase in authority, jurisdiction, or responsibility amongst the apostles. Webster writes:

"He [Steve Ray] takes issue with my statements that in Chrysostom’s mind all of the apostles are equal in status. My reason for drawing these conclusions is derived from the fact that the titles attributed to Peter are likewise also attributed to the other apostles" (Webster, The Papacy).

"He places the apostles on an equal footing relative to authority" (Webster, The Papacy).

"However in the passage [Homily 88 on John] cited above Chrysostom speaks of the apostle John as also receiving the charge of the whole world and the keys equally with Peter" (Webster, The Papacy).

"He goes on to speak [Hom 32 on Romans] of Paul as being on an equal footing with Peter" (Webster, The Papacy).

"This quote [Inscr. Act.] clearly states that all the apostles are on an equal footing with one another. They are entrusted with the world ‘in common’ and they are all rulers, rulers in common" (Webster, The Papacy).

"Obviously, Chrysostom is saying [Homily 33 on Acts] that James is the one in high authority, even over Peter. He has the chief rule" (Webster, The Papacy).

Webster goes so far as to fire a salvo at patristic and papal scholar, Dom John Chapman:

"In his book Studies in the Early Papacy, the Roman Catholic apologist, Dom Chapman, has referenced approximately ninety citations from Chrysostom’s writings which he claims as proof of a clear and unambiguous affirmation of a Petrine and thereby a papal primacy. But Dom Chapman has committed a primary error of historiography--that of reading back into the writings of a previous age the presuppositions and conclusions of a later age. He assumes that because a particular father makes certain statements about Peter that he must have a primacy of jurisdiction in mind and that this applies in his thinking to the bishop of Rome in an exclusive sense as well" (Webster, A Refutation).

As we will see, this charge is simply off target and attempts to impugn and dismiss Chapman’s work in a single paragraph. Instead of engaging in Chapman’s entire work, Webster simply discounts it in a few sentences. Considering the erudition of Dom Chapman, decide for yourself who has the greater credentials to analyze the teachings of Chrysostom: Webster or Chapman. In contrast to Webster’s blast, we read in Dom John Chapman’s biography:

"This side that stands out most conspicuous was his great learning, prodigious in its range and versatility. All his life he was a hard student and a voracious reader. His acquisition of knowledge began at Oxford, where he got a First in Greats ... reading and thinking himself into Aristotelianism of the great Scholastics. No doubt at Cuddesdon and at Maredsous he read extensively, but it was during the seventeen years at Erdington that he laid by his great store of knowledge of the Fathers. He was the one of the few who read Greek as easily as Latin, and it may be truly said that he read the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers of the first six centuries, Latin and Greek, and knew them through and through with a mastery that won for him from an Anglican Scholar of repute the not undeserved name of ‘greatest English patristic scholar of today.’ " (Butler, Abbot Chapman 3)



Therefore, I refer everyone to Chapman’s brilliant and scholarly work on the papacy: Studies of the Early Papacy. I encourage you to read the book and not just dismiss such an outstanding scholar with a wave of the hand and a scoff.

No Eastern Father speaks so frequently, highly, and eloquently on the primacy of Peter as Chrysostom. Chrysostom provides us with an almost endless list of titles describing the primacy of St. Peter. According to Chrysostom, Peter is ‘the first of the apostles’, ‘the foundation of the Church’, ‘the leader of the choir of the apostles’, ‘the base’, ‘the pillar’, ‘the head of the apostles’, ‘the first in the Church’, ‘the foundation of the faith’, ‘the fisherman of the world’, ‘the unshaken foundation’, ‘the great apostle’, ‘the first of the disciples’, ‘the mouth of the disciples’, and ‘the unbroken Rock’! Has any other man or apostle gained such notoriety and praise in the writings of Chrysostom?

Webster’s primary argument is based on a select few titles shared between Peter and a select number of apostles (James, John, Andrew, and Paul). Webster concludes that since some of these titles are applied to these other apostles, than Peter enjoys no increase in authority, jurisdiction, or responsibility; instead, all of the apostles are equal in authority. Webster’s argument fails miserably. Webster fails abysmally to engage the context in which Chrysostom applies these titles and those passages where Chrysostom contrasts Peter with the other apostles. This egalitarian view of the apostles transforms Chrysostom’s writings into nonsense and clearly demonstrates Webster’s agenda. Let me provide a few examples. We will first look at Peter and James, then Peter and John, and lastly Peter and Paul.

First, Peter and James

Webster cites the following examples from Chrysostom to show that James possesses the same authority as Peter:

"He took the coryphaei and led them up into a high mountain apart ... Why does He take these three alone? Because they excelled the others. Peter showed his excellence by his great love of Him, John by being greatly loved, James by the answer... ‘We are able to drink the chalice’" (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume X, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 56.2; p. 345) (Webster, The Papacy)

Actually this citation is taken John Chapman’s Studies (75, note 5) not from Prevost’s translation found in either the Oxford or Edinburgh series of the Church Fathers. Here, Christ’s inner ring of apostles (Peter, James, and John) are collectively called leaders (coryphaei). In light of Chrysostom’s 88th homily on John, where the jurisdiction of Jerusalem (James’ chair) is contrasted with the world (Peter’s domain), I don’t see how this passage from Chrysostom’s homily on Matthew supports Webster’s egalitarian notion. The title ‘leaders’ is used here by Chrysostom simply to contrast Jesus’ inner circle with the rest of the apostles. In contrast, Webster attempts to put words of hay and stubble into the golden mouth of John of Antioch by concluding that Chrysostom intended to show that James, Peter and John possess equal authority on the basis of the word ‘leaders.’ In fact, Chrysostom provides Webster the reason in the very passage which he cites, "Because they excelled the others."

Victor Joseph
07-27-02, 11:39 AM
Next, Webster cites:

"Do you not see that the headship was in the hands of these three, especially of Peter and James? This was the chief cause of their condemnation by Herod (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XI, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily XXVI, p. 169) (Webster, The Papacy).

Again, Webster misappropriates the citation. This citation is from John Chapman’s Studies (75, note 5). Likewise, Webster offers nothing new here to support his novel claim. Chrysostom is using the word ‘headship’ to set apart Jesus’ inner ring of Peter, James, and John from the rest of the apostles. Note carefully here, if Chrysostom intended to teach that Peter, James, and John were equal in authority on the basis of the word ‘headship’, what does Chrysostom mean by, ‘especially of Peter and James?’. Chrysostom’s words become nonsense if we apply Webster’s egalitarian view of the apostles.

Webster continues to cite passages which involve James:

"And if any should say ‘How then did James receive the chair at Jerusalem?’ I would make this reply, that He appointed Peter teacher not of the chair, but of the world ... And this He did to withdraw them (Peter and John) from their unseasonable sympathy for each other; for since they were about to receive the charge of the world, it was necessary that they should no longer be closely associated together (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XIV, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homily 88.1-2, pp. 331-332) (Webster, The Papacy).

Obviously, this passage was cited by Webster to show that Peter and John were equal in authority; however, I can’t imagine how this assists Webster’s cause with respect to James. This passage alone destroys any notion that James had equal authority with Peter. In fact, Chrysostom says that Peter had greater authority, jurisdiction, and responsibility than James. James’ jurisdiction was Jerusalem, whereas Peter’s domain was the world. Let’s take a deeper look at Chrysostom’s 88th homily on John. From the beginning of this homily Chrysostom writes:

" ‘He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.’ And why, having passed by the others, doth He speak with Peter on these matters? He was the chosen one of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, the leader of the band; on this account also Paul went up upon a time to enquire of him rather than the others. And at the same time to show him that he must now be of good cheer, since the denial was done away, Jesus putteth into his hands the chief authority among the brethren; and He bringeth not forward the denial, nor reproacheth him with what had taken place, but saith, "If thou lovest Me, preside over thy brethren, and the warm love which thou didst ever manifest, and in which thou didst rejoice, show thou now; and the life which thou saidst thou wouldest lay down for Me, now give for My sheep" (Homily 88 on John, NPNF1,XIV:331).

Chrysostom could not have made it any clearer. According to Chrysostom, Peter had authority over the other apostles, or in Chrysostom’s words Peter had , ‘the chief authority among the brethren.’ Peter not James nor any other apostle had this increase in authority. Webster counters this unambiguous passage by citing passages describing the other apostles with phrases such as, ‘chosen one of the Apostles,’ ‘mouth of the disciples,’ and ‘leader of the band’ in order to obfuscate the truth. Chrysostom anticipated Webster reply when he writes a few lines later:

"And if any should say, ‘How then did James receive the chair at Jerusalem?’ I would make this reply, that He [Jesus] appointed Peter , not of the chair [in Jerusalem], but of the world" (Homily 88 on John, NPNF1,XIV:332).

In one fell swoop, Chrysostom destroys Webster’s novel notion that James was equal in authority to Peter.

The passage continues with these golden words:

" ‘Then Peter turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; who also leaned on His breast at supper; and saith, Lord, and what shall this man do?’ Wherefore hath he reminded us of that reclining? Not without cause or in a chance way, but to show us what boldness Peter had after the denial. For he who then did not dare to question Jesus, but committed the office to another, was even entrusted with the chief authority over the brethren, and not only doth not commit to another what relates to himself, but himself now puts a question to his Master concerning another. John is silent, but Peter speaks" (Homily 88 on John, NPNF1,XIV:332).

Again, Peter, not James, nor any other disciple had authority over the apostles.

As if the point wasn’t clear enough, Chrysostom hammers home the point:

"When therefore Christ had foretold great things to him, and committed the world to him [Peter], and spake beforehand of his martyrdom ..." (Homily 88 on John, NPNF1,XIV:332).

Again, Chrysostom destroys any attempts by Webster of downplaying the force of the words ‘committed to world to him [Peter]’. John the apostle clearly understood that Peter, not himself, was entrusted with the world, for Chrysostom writes:

"...and testified that his love was greater than that of the others, desiring to have John also to share with him, he said, ‘And what shall this man do?’ ‘Shall he not come the same way with us?’ And as at that other time not being able himself to ask, he puts John forward, so now desiring to make him a return, and supposing that he would desire to ask about the matters pertaining to himself, but had not courage, he himself undertook the questioning. What then saith Christ?" (Homily 88 on John, NPNF1,XIV:332).

Lastly, Webster brings forth this passage from Chrysostom:

"This (James) was bishop, as they say, and therefore he speaks last ... There was no arrogance in the Church. After Peter Paul speaks, and none silences him: James waits patiently; not starts up (for the next word). No word speaks John here, no word the other Apostles, but held their peace, for James was invested with the chief rule, and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume XI, Saint Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 33, pp. 205, 207) (Webster, The Papacy).

Here, Webster concludes, "Chrysostom speaks of James, and not Peter, as possessing the chief rule and authority in Jerusalem and over the Jerusalem Council" (Webster, The Papacy). Unbelievably, Webster continues his wayward logic and concludes:

"Obviously, Chrysostom is saying that James is the one in high authority, even over Peter. He has the chief rule" (Webster, The Papacy).

Webster has transformed John’s golden-words into leaden-novelties. Again, it seems Webster is simply blinded by his anti-Catholic zeal. The only way one can maintain this novelty is to ignore the rest of Chrysostom writings and to base it on this single passage from the 33rd homily of Acts. The idea that James has authority over Peter is preposterous. First, Webster assertion that James possesses an authority ‘even over Peter’ contradicts his own assertion that all the apostles are equal in authority. Second, James was the bishop of Jerusalem; hence, his authority extended only within his diocese including those believing Pharisees that initiated the discussion. To infer from the words ‘chief rule’ that James had authority even over Peter, one has to ignore Chrysostom’s assertions that Peter was ‘entrusted with the chief authority over the brethren [including James]’ and was the ‘teacher, not of the chair [of Jerusalem], but of the world.’ Another passage where Peter is contrasted with James is in his 3rd homily on Acts. Here, Chrysostom discusses the appointment of an apostle to replace Judas.

" ‘And in those days,’ it says, ‘Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said. ‘Both as being ardent, and as having been put in trust by Christ with the flock, and as having precedence in honor, he always begins the discourse. (The number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty.) ‘Men and brethren,’ he says, ‘this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake before,’ [etc.] Why did he not ask Christ to give him some one in the room of Judas? It is better as it is. For in the first place, they were engaged in other things; secondly, of Christ’s presence with them, the greatest proof that could be given was this: as He had chosen when He was among them, so did He now being absent. Now this was no small matter for their consolation. But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing imperiously. And he does not speak thus without a meaning. But observe how he consoles them concerning what had passed. In fact, what had happened had caused them no small consternation. For if there are many now who canvass this circumstance, what may we suppose they had to say then?" (Homily 3 on Acts, NPNF1,XI:18).

Chrysostom wonders why Peter, who is the leader of the apostles, did not ask Christ to appoint a replacement for Judas. Chrysostom answers:

"It is better as it is. For in the first place, they were engaged in other things; secondly, of Christ’s presence with them, the greatest proof that could be given was this: as He had chosen when He was among them, so did He now being absent. Now this was no small matter for their consolation. But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing imperiously. And he does not speak thus without a meaning. But observe how he consoles them concerning what had passed. In fact, what had happened had caused them no small consternation...’ ?" (Homily 3 on Acts, NPNF1,XI:18). . .

When Bill abandoned the Tradition of the Church he accepted the Fundamentalist Protestant tradition in its place and has a new novel and modern filter through which he sees history and reads the Fathers, and also, through which he reads the Bible. . . .Webster has read Chrysostom writings but he has not understood them. . . .He tries to force the wording of Vatican I on Chrysostom. . . and if Chrysostom does not use Vatican I terminology, per se, then he assumes Chrysostom knew nothing of Petrine or Papal primacy. . . . .

I close with the sober writings of the Angelic Doctor:

"Chapter 32: That the Roman Pontiff is the first and greatest among all bishops ... This moreover, accords well with Sacred Scripture, which both in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. Matt 16:18; John 21:17; Acts 1:15-6,2:14;15:7) assigns first place among the Apostles to Peter. Hence, Chrysostom commenting on the text of Matthew 18:1: The disciples came to Jesus and asked, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven says, ‘For they had created in their minds a human stumbling block, which they could no longer keep to themselves; nor did they control their hearts’ pride, because they saw that Peter was preferred to them and was given a more honorable place" (St. Thomas Aquinas "Contra errores Graecorum" [ad 1264]).

. . . and there's much more if you check out the site above.

So. . . disciple. . . if you would, pray about this. It seems to make more sense to me. . . than Mr. Webster. V.J.

disciple
07-29-02, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Peace to you disciple.

In all humility. . . I must ask. . . who is Mr. Webster and what is his authority?

Certainly he is a good persuasive apologist for your position and I'm sure his writings get lots of attention and perhaps some converts to protestant Christianity.

But did you know that there is an 'in-depth rebutal' to his essays. . .?

http://www.catholic-convert.com/webster/gallagos.html
does it matter what mr. webster's authority is? you probably wouldn't accept it no matter how convincing since it didn't come from the RC church. and all he does is deal with the actual quotes from the father's themselves. i don't even know who the guy is. i did a search on the internet and whammo his article came up. and it was quite cogent and a very rational and well thought out treatment of the fathers interpretation and application of Mt 16:18.

besides, there is a rebuttal for everything under the sun. does that mean that the rebuttal is always more valid and more convincing? does the final response always win? i skimmed over the article before you ever posted it and i found it quite wanting and did not even address mr. websters actual thesis (which was not that peter's confession is the rock but that he sought out to give a fair treatment on what the fathers actually meant in the context of their references to Mt 16:18). and stephen ray (what authority does he have? do i care? not really. let's try not to get into ad hominem and instead stick to the actual arguments and objective proof brought into the discussion) didn't even deal with that (as far as i could tell from my cursory reading; i'll read it more in depth when i get more time) but seemed to focus on the fact that peter was "the rock" upon which the church was built. mr. webster wouldn't argue with that but as in his article would focus on how the fathers understood that, how they interpreted what it meant, and how they applied it. as is very evident and crystal clear from the quotes from the fathers (in context) they did not understand that he was rock in the RC sense. they did not see him (i.e., his chair in Rome) as the bishop of bishops and the vicar of Christ with supreme authority for the church on earth. they did not see him as infallible when he spoke ex cathedra and they did not see him as any more of an authority than any of the other apostles. here's an example (i posted some quotes also in http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=990):


From http://www.christiantruth.com/mt16.html
Roman apologists historically have often resorted to the use of selected statements of major Church fathers, interpreting them as supportive of papal primacy. An example of this type of argumentation can be seen in the following references to the writings of Cyprian, Ambrose and Augustine by a Roman Catholic apologist:

St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258 A.D.) in his letter to Cornelius of Rome (c. 251 A.D.) speaks of the Church of Rome as the ‘chair of Peter (cathedra Petri)’ and ‘the principle Church in which sacerdotal unity has its source’ (Ep. 59, 14). St Ambrose (d. 397 A.D.) states that ‘where Peter is, there is the Church’ (Commen.. on the Psalms 40, 30)...St. Augustine’s recognition of the authority of the Pope is manifested by the famous words with which he welcomes the decision made by the Pope: Roma locuta est; causa finita est—Rome has spoken the case is concluded (Sermon 131, 6:10). Why does Augustine believe the Bishop of Rome has the final word? The answer is because the Pope is the successor of St. Peter—a fact clearly recognized by Augustine in his Letter to Generosus (c. 400 A.D.) in which he names all 34 of the bishops of Rome from Peter to Anastasius (Letter 53, 1,2).

The above arguments are very common. They are precisely the same citations found in The Faith of the Early Fathers by the Roman Catholic patristics scholar William Jurgens as proof for the purported belief in papal primacy in the early Church. And Karl Keating uses the same reference to Augustine in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism. But do the statements of these fathers actually support the claims of papal primacy? Is this what they meant by these statements? The facts do not support this contention. These statements are given completely out of context of the rest of the writings of these fathers thereby distorting the true meaning of their words. And in the case of Augustine, as we will see, his words are actually misquoted. All too frequently statements from the fathers are isolated and quoted without any proper interpretation, often giving the impression that a father taught a particular point of view when, in fact, he did not...But the actual references from the fathers cited in this work are very selective, often omitting important citations of their overall works that demonstrate a view contrary to that which is being proposed. What we will discover, if we give the statements of the fathers in context and in correlation with their overall writings, is that their actual perspective is often the opposite of that claimed by Vatican I and these Roman apologists.

In his book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating states that the reformers had invented a novel exegesis of Matthew 16 in order to aid them in their rebellion against the papacy. This is a complete misrepresentation. As historian Oscar Cullmann points out, the view of the Reformers was not a novel interpretation invented by them but hearkened back to the patristic tradition: ‘We thus see that the exegesis that the Reformers gave...was not first invented for their struggle against the papacy; it rests upon an older patristic tradition’ (Oscar Cullmann, Peter:Disciple–Apostle–Martyr (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1953), p. 162).

This particular article is strictly historical in nature. Its purpose is to document the patristic interpretation of the rock of Matthew 16:18. And the evidence will demonstrate that the Protestant and Orthodox understanding of the text is rooted in this patristic consensus. [Thesis] From a strictly scriptural point of view, the Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 is divorced from its proper biblical context. The Roman Church states that Matthew 16 teaches that the Church is built upon Peter and therefore upon the bishops of Rome in an exclusive sense [emphasis mine]. What is seldom ever mentioned is the fact that Ephesians 2:20 uses precisely the same language as that found in Matthew 16 when it says the Church is built upon the apostles and prophets with Christ as the cornerstone. The same greek word for build upon in Matthew 16 is employed in Ephesians 2:20. This demonstrates that from a biblical perspective, even if we were to interpret the rock of Matthew 16 to be the person of Peter, the New Testament does not view the apostle Peter to be unique in this role. Christ is the foundation and the Church is built upon all the apostles and prophets in the sense of being built upon their teaching. And in addition, the Roman Catholic interpretation imports a meaning into the Matthew 16 text that is completely absent. This text says absolutely nothing about infallibility or about successors.

***
[continued...]

disciple
07-29-02, 09:45 AM
[continued...]

TERTULLIAN (A.D. 155/160—240/250)

Tertullian was born in Carthage in North Africa and practiced law before his conversion to Christianity ca. A.D. 193. As a Christian he was a prolific writer and has been called the ‘Father of Latin Christianity’. He was most likely a layman and his writings were widely read. He had a great influence upon the Church fathers of subsequent generations, especially Cyprian. He is the first of the Western fathers to comment on Matthew 16. In one of his writings Tertullian identifies the rock with the person of Peter on which the Church would be built:

Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called the ‘rock on which the church should be built’ who also obtained ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and earth? (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Volume III, Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics 22).

Though Tertullian states that Peter is the rock he does not mean it in a pro–papal sense. We know this because of other comments he has made. But if we isolate this one passage it would be easy to read a pro–Roman interpretation into it. However, in other comments on Matthew 16:18–19, Tertullian explains what he means when he says that Peter is the rock on which the Church would be built:

If, because the Lord has said to Peter, ‘Upon this rock I will build My Church,’ ‘to thee have I given the keys of the heavenly kingdom;’ or, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt have bound or loosed in earth, shall be bound or loosed in the heavens,’ you therefore presume that the power of binding and loosing has derived to you, that is, to every Church akin to Peter, what sort of man are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest intention of the Lord, conferring (as that intention did) this (gift) personally upon Peter? ‘On thee,’ He says, ‘will I build My church;’ and, ‘I will give thee the keys’...and, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt have loosed or bound’...In (Peter) himself the Church was reared; that is, through (Peter) himself; (Peter) himself essayed the key; you see what key: ‘Men of Israel, let what I say sink into your ears: Jesus the Nazarene, a man destined by God for you,’ and so forth. (Peter) himself, therefore, was the first to unbar, in Christ’s baptism, the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, in which kingdom are ‘loosed’ the sins that were beforetime ‘bound;’ and those which have not been ‘loosed’ are ‘bound,’ in accordance with true salvation...(Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Volume IV, Tertullian, On Modesty 21, p. 99).

When Tertullian says that Peter is the rock and the Church is built upon him he means that the Church is built through him as he preaches the gospel. This preaching is how Tertullian explains the meaning of the keys. They are the declarative authority for the offer of forgiveness of sins through the preaching of the gospel. If men respond to the message they are loosed from their sins. If they reject it they remain bound in their sins. In the words just preceding this quote Tertullian explicitly denies that this promise can apply to anyone but Peter and therefore he does not in any way see a Petrine primacy in this verse with successors in the bishops of Rome. The patristic scholar, Karlfried Froehlich, states that even though Tertullian teaches that Peter is the rock he does not mean this in the same sense as the Roman Catholic Church:

‘Tertullian regarded the Peter of Matthew 16:18–19 as the representative of the entire church or at least its ‘spiritual’ members.’ (Karlfried Froehlich, Saint Peter, Papal Primacy, and Exegetical Tradition, 1150-1300, pp. 13. Taken from The Religious Roles of the Papacy: Ideals and Realities, 1150-1300, ed. Christopher Ryan, Papers in Medieval Studies 8 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1989)

It is a common practice of Roman Catholic apologists to omit part of the quotation given above by Tertullian in order to make it appear that he is a proponent of papal primacy. A prime example off this is found in a recently released Roman Catholic defense of the papacy entitled Jesus, Peter and the Keys. The authors give the following partial citation from Tertullian:

I now inquire into your opinion, to see whence you usurp this right for the Church. Do you presume, because the Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven’ [Matt. 16:1819a] or ‘whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:19b] that the power of binding and loosing has thereby been handed on to you, that is, to every church akin to Peter? What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when he conferred this personally upon Peter? On you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church; and whatever you shall have bound or you shall have loosed, not what they shall have bound or they shall have loosed (Scott Butler, Norman Dahlgren, David Hess, Jesus, Peter and the Keys (Santa Barbara: Queenship, 1996), pp. 216-217).

When comparing this citation with the one given above it is clear that these authors have left out the last half of the quotation. The part of the quotation that is omitted defines what Tertullian means by the statement that Christ built his Church on Peter and invested him with authroity. Again, what he means by these words is that Christ built his church on Peter by building it through him as he preached the gospel. This is a meaning that is clearly contrary to the Roman Catholic perspective. To omit this is to distort the teaching of Tertullian and to give the impression that he taught something he did not teach. So, though Tertullian states that Peter is the rock, he does not mean this in the same way the Roman Catholic Church does. Peter is the rock because he is the one given the privilege of being the first to open the kingdom of God to men. This is similar to the view expressed by Maximus of Tours when he says: ‘For he is called a rock because he was the first to lay the foundations of the faith among the nations' (Ancient Christian Writers (New York: Newman, 1989), The Sermons of St. Maximus of Turin, Sermon 77.1, p. 187).

Not only do we see a clear denial of any belief in a papal primacy in Tertullian’s exegesis of Matthew 16, but such a denial is also seen from his practice. In his later years Tertullian separated himself from the Catholic Church to become a Montanist. He clearly did not hold to the view espoused by Vatican I that communion with the Bishop of Rome was the ultimate criterion of orthodoxy and of inclusiveness in the Church of God.
***

and there's much, much more just like the above in each treatment of each father down through the ages (e.g., origen, cyprian, eusebius, augustine, ambrose, chrysostom, theodoret of cyr, cyril of alexandria, hilary of poitiers, jerome, epiphanius, basil of seleucia, paul of emesa, john of damascus).


Originally posted by Victor Joseph
So. . . disciple. . . if you would, pray about this. It seems to make more sense to me. . . than Mr. Webster
i have thought about it much and prayed about it. i'm not sure how mr. stephen's rebuttal makes more sense because it doesn't even address mr. webster's main premise and his whole thesis. it's almost like he really isn't even rebutting. but it seems that no matter what evidence is presented if it's not from rome it's not authoritative and therefore not to be believed. until you break out of the shackles of that understanding you'll never see anything other than what rome has to say. this is one of the characteristics of cultic thinking. perhaps it might do you some good to be a bit more skeptical. i'll continue to pray for you.

Victor Joseph
07-29-02, 12:31 PM
Hi disciple.

Re: Webster


quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Victor Joseph
Peace to you disciple.

In all humility. . . I must ask. . . who is Mr. Webster and what is his authority?

Certainly he is a good persuasive apologist for your position and I'm sure his writings get lots of attention and perhaps some converts to protestant Christianity.

But did you know that there is an 'in-depth rebutal' to his essays. . .?

http://www.catholic-convert.com/webster/gallagos.html
------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote: disciple
"does it matter what mr. webster's authority is?"

To put it simply. Yes. . . One must always take into account the source from which you get information. Would you look to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) for accurate info on the 'Pro-life issue'. Of course not. And of course this is extreme. . . and I don't mean to put protestants in a negative light. . . I am exagerating for the sake of effect. . . nor do I disrespect your position. . . I just makes no sense to me.

I am taking the role of 'informer'. . . I am convinced that the Catholic Church conforms much more closely to all of the biblical data, offers the only coherent view of the history of Christianity (ie. Christian, apostolic Tradition), and possesses the most profound and sublime Christian morality, spirituality, social ethic, and philosophy.

You are convinced otherwise. . . I can do nothing to convince you. . . all I can do is try to share what I know and find. . . conversion is the work of the Spirit.

More later.

Peace and joy in the Person of Jesus Christ. V.J.

Victor Joseph
08-02-02, 04:10 PM
Re: http://www.catholic-convert.com/webster/gallagos.html
------------------------------------------------------------------------
quote: disciple
"does it matter what mr. webster's authority is? you probably wouldn't accept it no matter how convincing since it didn't come from the RC church."

hello disciple. I'm sorry you're not finding much of what I say convincing. . .
(F.Y.I. [. . .] I often . . . out of habit. . . put these dots in . . . not to indicate something is missing. . . but to make it 'read better' or to set it apart visually on my posts) sorry for any confussion. . .

re: the above quote and the 'assumption' that I wouldn't accept anything that didn't come from the mouth of Rome. I too have provided many reliable and fact filled responses to your prodings. It is quite unfare and predjuduce on your part and assumes that anyone who is Catholic is a blind and mindless automaton. I am merely giving info from a Catholic(s) perspective in hopes of restoring the 'unity' our Lord prayed for.

And I would hope that Mr. webster means well but from where I sit I can see his view frought with the faulty premises (sola scriptura, traditions of men with the personal visions of Luther and Calvin etc.) discussed at length in earlier posts.

God's Grace to all. V.J.