Friday, October 11, 2013

Validity - Part 2

Well, I posted a couple more responses to Triablogue, but since the original message is more than 5 days old now, new responses go into moderation.  The last messages which went into moderation there were never posted - so, rather than wait, I am posting here.  This is related to the earlier post on "Validity" in response to John Bugay.  Steve Hays added his input and here are my responses to Mr. Hays.  The first message below did show up on Triablogue, but as of this posting - the second two have not...

>> sw: "Steve, Thank you for providing the rationalization
>> which validates my point."
> sh: I presented a detailed argument. If you were either
> unable or unwilling to argue in good faith by presenting
> a counterargument, then don't waste our time by posting
> comments here.

sw: And why would I "counter" an argument which supports my own?  Well, I'll respond in more detail...

>> sw: "And we've never heard the Calvinist say, 'he wasn't
>> really saved' when someone leaves Calvinism for any
>> number of alternatives, including Catholicism? So, the
>> 'improperly catechized' is not something only Catholics
>> use."
> sh: Scott, you need to learn how to reason.

sw: I used sufficient reason, you supplied a bit more "detail."

> sw: i) To begin with, if someone leaves Calvinism, the
> comparison wouldn't be "he wasn't really saved," but
> "he wasn't really a Calvinist."

sw: OK, I accept the distinction, but it is really one without difference to the point I made.  You have just affirmed that point!  So reword my initial statement to say, "he wasn't really a Calvinist," and my point not only stands - but you have supported it!  I accept the correction and stand by my point.

> sh: Moreover, there are cases in which that's true.

sw: And you affirm it again. 

> sh: On the other hand, you have some individuals who
> were well "catechized" in Calvinism, and knowingly
> reject it. In their case, they really were Calvinists.
> Arminius is a paradigmatic example.

sw: And I have not denied that there may be some who may have known the truth and have left in in Catholicism - for whatever reason.  Some, I know of, leave the faith because they are divorced and remarried without an annulment and rather than get their life straight - they will be like King Henry VIII and leave the faith - in fact, he is a prime example of just that.

> sh: ii) In addition, we wouldn't say someone wasn't really
> saved just because he's an ex-Calvinist. It depends on his
> adopted alternative. We wouldn't say a former Calvinist
> who becomes a confessional Lutheran (to take one example)
> wasn't really saved. We wouldn't say Arminius wasn't really
> saved.
> If, on the other hand, someone leaves Calvinism for
> Mormonism (to take one example), then he's behaving as
> though he wasn't never really saved. Even in that case,
> he might be a backslider rather than a full-blown
> apostate. Time will tell.

sw: And I agreed with your distinction without a difference (to my point) so I accept what you're saying here.

>> sw: "However, in the case of Mr. Dreher, he left for
>> personal reasons, HE wasn't being challenged, etc.
>> He didn't leave (at least according to his testimony)
>> because the Truth was not there."
> sh: He says that all he heard on a regular basis was
> antinomianism. So he was hearing falsehood rather than
> truth.

sw: The word "antinomianism" is not used in that article even once.  I cannot answer to unsupported evidence.  Your point is invalid insofar as this discussion is concerned.


Next message:

Steve wrote on 10/06/2013 11:31 AM

>> sw: "And why would I 'counter' an argument which
>> supports my own?"
> sh: It doesn't support your position.

sw: Well, it does.  I have shown how it does - your simple denial is not a valid argument. 

>> sw: "I used sufficient reason, you supplied a bit more
>> 'detail' which I accepted."
> sh: To accept my details would be using my reason rather
> than yours. Try to keep that straight.

sw: The reasons are laid out perfectly straight.  I fully
understand that you do not wish to be seen as agreeing
with me - but you did, and I thank you.

>> sw: "OK, I accept the distinction, but it is really
>> one without difference to the point I made. You have
>> just affirmed that point! So reword my initial
>> statement to say, "he wasn't really a Calvinist,"
>> and my point not only stands - but you have supported
>> it! I accept the correction and stand by my point."
> sh: Since, by your own admission, I corrected your
> initial claim, I'm hardly affirming your point. I'm
> not affirming your claim; rather, you're affirming
> my claim. You have your wires crossed.

sw: Steve, you made a distinction without a difference to my original argument.  I agree with you, "he wasn't really a Calvinist to begin with" is a better comparison in this arena than "he wasn't really a Christian to
begin with."  The point of my argument is in countering John's statement regarding the "improperly catechized."  When I said, "he wasn't really Christian," in the context of Calvinism - I should have said, "he wasn't really Calvinist" and THEN the arguments are in perfect logical agreement.

>> sw: "And you affirm it again."
> sh: I see that arithmetic is not your forte.

sw: I see that you cannot resist ad hominem attacks.

> sh: To allege that I "affirm it again" implies that
> this is the second time I affirmed your point,
> when–in fact–this isn't even the first time.

sw: Again, your statement was a distinction without a difference - do you understand that concept, Steve?  Your distinction did not change my point, it only clarified it - and I accepted your distinction - and I still do.  Whether or not you're admitting to it in public or not is irrelevant.  We are in agreement.

> sh: You made a blanket statement. I made a qualified
> statement. My qualified statement doesn't affirm your
> blanket statement.

sw: Again, your qualified statement did not change my point.  Calvinists use the statement "he wasn't really a Calvinist to begin with" when someone leaves the Calvinist camp.  Not all Calvinists use this argument, but you cannot deny that some/many do/have.

> sh: You need to learn how to think. You also need
> to (learn) how to count.

(I didn't "save" the notepad file I used after this point after I copied and pasted my responses to Triablogue, so I am re-creating what I wrote last night.  What I posted last night to Triablogue still has not been posted there, so I am posting this re-creation to the CathApol Blog).

sw: My thinking and math are fine.  Your qualified statement fit precisely with my original point, not the ultra-literalist spin you put upon it.  You put all the focus on the word "Christian" but THE POINT was that Calvinists use the same argument - THAT point remains the same, AND you AGREED with it!  You just qualified that the Calvinist would say, "he was never really a Calvinist."  The argument is THE SAME!

>> sw: "And I have not denied that there may be some
>> who may have known the truth and have left in in 

>> Catholicism - for whatever reason."
> sh: So you're backtracking on your original claim.

sw: My original claim had nothing to do with whether or not some Catholics have left the Catholic Faith with full knowledge of the Catholic Faith.  I presented King Henry VIII as a prime example of one whom I believe did just that!  Just a few years prior to his departure from the Faith, he was called "Guardian of the Catholic Faith" by the Pope who was lauding his work in opposition to Martin Luther.  He could not get a "divorce" from his wife, who could not bear him a son, so he took matters into his own hands and declared himself (or had Parlaiment do it) "Head of the Church of England."  I'm quite certain many have left for similar reasons - but AGAIN - that was NOT the point of my argument, so there is no backtracking - not in the least.

>> sw: "Again, I was not saying there are other
>> alternatives only that the Calvinist will make
>> the same sort of argument when someone leaves
>> Calvinism."
> sh: Which is a overstatement, as I explained,
> and you conceded. You need to learn how to think.

sw: The "overstatement" was when I said, "not a Christian," to which you said (and I agreed) that the Calvinist would say "he was not really a Calvinist."  If you wish to brand my agreement with you as "concession" - fine, I concede that "he was not really a Calvinist" would more likely be the phrase - now, how about dealing with the REAL POINT instead of your constant attempt to distract from that REAL POINT?

>> sw: "And I agreed with your distinction without
>> a difference (to my point) so I accept what
>> you're saying here."
> sh: Since your point was a hasty generalization,
> my distinction is substantially different from your 

> original claim. You need to learn how to think.

sw: You really need to stop being so pompous.  The original claim was the ARGUMENT, not the precise wording.  To say "he was not really a Calvinist" fits with my original point, PRECISELY. 

>> sw: "The word 'antinomianism' is not used in that
>> article even once. I cannot answer to unsupported 

>> evidence. Your point is invalid insofar as this
>> discussion is concerned."
> sh: Your response is invalidated by your resort to
> the word-concept fallacy.

sw:  Really?  I would (and I sincerely mean this) like to see a valid argument of how Mr. Dreher's article even implies antinomianism (ironically, a trait applied to some Calvinists!).  I stand by my statement - antinomianism is not mentioned in Dreher's article - and not even alluded to.

>> sw: "I believe that would be a valid comparison."
>> (That "Jews attack Christianity as a theological
>> innovation" is validly compared to Catholics
>> attacking the Protestant innovation).
> sh: So, just as you reject Calvinism because it's
> (allegedly) a theological innovation, then by
> parity of argument, you must think we should
> reject Christianity because that's a theological
> innovation in relation to Judaism.

sw: Steve, that's a complete non sequitur!  Let's see, the Jews did not realize that their Messiah had truly come to them.  The Jews expected an earthly king, not God Almighty offering Himself up in our place to atone for our sins.  So, since the Jews did not recognize this, they attack Christianity as a theological innovation.  Well, I've got news for you, Mr. Hays, Christianity IS a theological innovation!  Jesus Christ did NOT come to continue the Jewish religion!  Jesus came to build His Church and promised He would do so (Matthew 16:18).  What Jesus built was VERY different from the Jewish religion.  Now, are there some similarities and carry-overs from Judaism into Catholicism?  Certainly!  It's still the Chosen People of God and our belief in the One, True God did not change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.  To posit that Christianity was NOT a theological innovation to Judaism is a bit ludicrous.  Christianity (specifically Catholicism) is the COMPLETION of the Jewish Faith.

sw: Now - does that change the FACT that there is no history of Calvinism more than 500 years (or less) ago?  No, it does not!  Can there even BE a "Calvinist" before John Calvin left the Catholic Church for his heresy?  No, there cannot be.

> sh: I take it that if you were a member of the
> Sanhedrin, you'd condemn Jesus to death.

sw: You would take it wrong.



Steve Hays wrote on 10/06/2013 5:09 PM

> sh:Scott
>> sw: "You have no validity to anything Calvinist,
>> no Eucharist"
> sh: i) We have the Eucharist which Christ instituted.

sw: You have SYMBOLS, but Jesus didn't say the Eucharist was symbolic of His body and blood, no, He said it IS His body and blood (Luke 22:19-20).

>> sw: "no history beyond or even a bit less
>> than 500 years"
> sh: i) On the one hand, no serious Catholic
> historian imagines that Calvinism popped in out
> of the blue.

sw: Not out of the blue, but certainly not before John Calvin!  I realize that Calvinists try to rationalize their way into a pre-Calvin history - but said rationalizations are just that, rationalizations.

> sh: ii) On the other hand, modern Catholicism
> has plenty of theological innovations, where it's
> broken with the past.

sw: More attempts to distract!  I'm actually currently working on another article on "projection," this may interest Mr. Hays.

>> sw: "no apostolic succession"
> sh: i) Calvinism has no need of apostolic
> succession to validate it.

sw: Well, at least you're not artificially trying to claim some sort of apostolic succession.  The fact is, succession has always been one of the "Four Marks" of the Church (One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) as testified to in the earliest of Christian creeds.

> sh: It only needs revelation.
> Truth is self-validating.

sw: Actually, revelation is not self-validating.  The revelation you speak of operates from a presumption of faith in God AND that Scripture is God's Word (revelation) and since God IS truth then His Word is truth and thus is validated.  Now, be objective for a moment - that's a circular argument.  If you have a better way of demonstrating "Truth is self-validating," then I would be very interested in it.

> sh: But let's play along with Scott's
> criterion. Does his own denomination measure up?
> How does Scott propose to verify every link in
> the chain?

sw:  Yes, I do believe Mr. Hays will find the article on "projection" to be interesting.

> sh: i) Since valid administration of holy orders
> requires right intention on the part of the ordinand 

> and the officiate alike, how does Scott verify the
> presence of right intent? He has no direct access to
> the mental states of the concerned parties.

sw: I understand Mr. Hay's attempt to "turn the tables" here - it's a common debate tactic, but again, we are looking at "projection" here.

> sh: ii) Who was the true successor to Gregory XI?
> Was it Urban VI? Clement VII? Or Alexander V?

sw: It was Urban VI, if you think it really matters.

> sh: iii) Can Scott point me to an infallible list
> of the true popes and antipopes?

sw: Ah, "the request" for that "infallible list!"  Why do so many Protestants THINK that is a valid question?!  We have the list, no pope or council has declared it infallibly - so no, there is no such a list, and we don't need it!  The FACT is God's Church has existed throughout history from the time of the Apostles through to the current episcopate.  Jesus, like it or not, selected the office of bishop to be the leaders of His Church in His absence.  These bishops will continue to be His leaders until He comes back again in glory.  I reiterate my point (which Mr. Hays seems to be attempting to divert us from) that Calvinism did not exist 500 years ago.

> sh: iv) According to the Annuario Pontificio,
> "At this point [i.e. Pope Leo VIII], as again in the
> mid-11th century, we come across elections in 

> which problems of harmonising historical criteria
> and those of theologyand canon law make it
> impossible to decide clearly which side possessed
> the legitimacy whose factual existence guarantees 

> the unbroken lawful succession of the successors of
> Saint Peter. The uncertainty that in some cases 

> results has made it advisable to abandon the
> assignation of successive numbers in the list of the 

> popes," p12.
> sh: In light of that admission, how does Scott
> verify every link in the chain?

sw:  It seems like more than a few have tried to "make hay" over this quote.  The fact of the matter is popes do not elect their successors and there can be, and has been, a period of "sede vacante" (empty seat) with the death of every pope.  Even with Pope Benedict XVI, he stepped down prior to the election of Pope Francis - all Catholics were sede vacantists for a while.  Does it really matter if there are gaps and even conflicts over who was "the true pope" during parts of Catholic history?  No, not really.  Another put it this way... 

} "The Church does not actually need a Pope. In one
} instance, the Chair was vacant for more than a year
} and a half. Hypothetically, the Chair could be vacant
} for a century or more, and the Church would continue
} along just fine (and could then finally elect a Pope).
} If the Church went a century without ordaining a
} Bishop, She would cease to exist, but a gap in the
} line of Popes ultimately would not matter. 

sw: Well, that should say "If the Church went a century without consecrating a bishop..." for bishops are already ordained priests who are consecrated to the office of bishop by other bishops.  Apostolic succession is based upon the succession of bishops - of which the Bishop of Rome is just one.  We don't need to verify every single link, we have faith that Jesus kept His promise and that His Church exists from the time He left it and will exist until He comes again - and, back to the point of this response - His Church didn't start less than 500 years ago, He built it nearly 2000 years ago.


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