When you’re Romish and you know it clap your hands

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by CFLawrence, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There is actually no difference between Tradition 1 and the Reformers, that’s the point Oberman was making. They wanted to return to this older way of seeing special revelation, and to the less-corrupted way of relating tradition to scripture. Namely, scripture is the only source of revelation, and there is nothing outside of it. The only role for tradition is that it serves scripture and helps interpret it. It is not independent of scripture, or have separate contents of its own. Something like this was found as late as Aquinas.


    The key point is, the hermeneutic those people use was chosen or made by them.

    “I decide how I’ll interpret scripture, or what it means to me.”

    This is contrasted with:
    “Someone else will tell me what scripture means” which is the traditional view. It can be seen as taught among other places in the story of Peter and the eunuch.

    At the Reformation, all magisterial Reformers had rejected private interpretation. There is a Lutheran tract specifically against private interpretation from the 1560s, if I remember correctly.

    Today of course private interpretation is seen as a sacred Protestant commitment, but that’s because the evangelicals and anabaptists (ie. all the radical protestants), have taken over.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "Someone else will tell me what scripture means" would have been quite necessary at a time when scripture was not widely available for all to read and study for themselves, but we also see that it bought the church a bushel of trouble; the church veered off into the weeds and took practically all the hapless followers with it.

    If the reformers had abided by the maxim, they would have continued to abide by the RCC's interpretation of things. Instead they read and interpreted the scriptures with their own cognitive functions and the help of the Holy Spirit, and they broke away from the error-ridden institution.

    Here are some of the principles of sound Bible interpretation that I have learned (each of which can be greatly expanded upon):
    1. Scripture interprets scripture (the Bible is its own best commentary)
    2. The Bible is progressive revelation
    3. Seek the writer's original meaning, in light of grammar and type of literature
    4. Interpret in light of history and the then-existing culture
    5. Interpret in light of the intended audience and the stated conditions that existed
    6. Always interpret the implicit by the explicit
    7. Know the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law
    8. Yield to the guidance of the Holy Spirit (pray about the meaning, listen, be led)
    9. Do not stop at the content, but consider how it applies to our lives
    10. Be especially careful when interpreting predictive prophecy, since many types exist

    Every person who reads written pages finds it necessary to use his cognitive ability to understand what has been written. That's why God endowed humans with that gray matter between the ears. The early fathers didn't expound upon and interpret every single thing that is written in the N.T. Not by a long shot! If God wants us to read the Bible, surely He wants us to think about what we're reading and try to comprehend its meaning. This makes mental interpretation of what we've read an absolute necessity; without interpretation, we are just scanning a string of words without any understanding or comprehension of the message behind those words.

    Indeed, we look to the early church for help in arriving at a correct interpretation, and this very fact implies that we are supposed to interpret! Not that we blindly follow what someone said the scripture means (for example, the Arians were very early on the scene and I'm sure they wrote down their own interpretations!) but instead we consider, evaluate, and compare the early writings, and they assist us in arriving at the interpretation of the Scriptures.

    Not one of us is infallible; we all make mistakes. But then, not one of the early fathers was infallible, either. Nor did they all agree on the meanings of everything. It falls to each person to use his brain (his God-given faculties) and some sound principles of interpretation, along with the Holy Spirit's help, to understand the words, phrases, sentences, chapters, and books within the Bible.
     
  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would argue that "my bible and I" has brought the church just as much trouble. There are millions of people running around, who are completely impervious to your and my arguments, because they think they know what a word means better than someone in the 1st century AD did. And we have no way of convincing them, and they die and go to hell. Some people believe that the KJV itself is inspired. It's nothing else than idolatry, the idolatry of the book. AND the idolatry of their minds.

    I am much less confident in the ability of my mind to match the thousands of years and the most intelligent people in history, and assemble from scratch the entire teaching of the Almighty by myself, in my limited lifespan. I think you should also. Humility is a virtue.

    It's not a matter of infallibility. In fact that's one of the markers of "tradition 1" or the "traditional" view of tradition, namely to subject it to Scripture and make Scripture the only sure source of revelation. However that does not make tradition obsolete; it simply makes it a source of scholarship.

    We consult the fathers not because they were more infallible than us, but merely because scholarship demands that you go ad fontes, to the sources to understand everything. To understand Julius Caesar you want to read his own book that he wrote, and which we still have; not the modern commentaries on it. To understand God and Jesus and the Church and holiness and worship, you want to see how were understood by their audiences; and not from the modern interpretations. That's all it means.

    Through 'tradition 1', the value of tradition (especially the earliest tradition) lies in its value for scholarship. Your and my opinions on what piety and worship and God are, are simply less accurate than those 200 years ago; and theirs less accurate than those of 1000 years prior.

    To hopefully make my point clearer, you Rexlion will understand me much better than someone 1000 years later who is consulting these internet records on his spaceship. You can't help but understand me better, because you share the same space in culture and time with me. That future reader (if he interprets me by himself) will always be less accurate than you. His only recourse to understand me fully is to read your words to me (in addition to mine). And thus, someone like St. Polycarp is automatically more trustworthy than John Calvin or Pope Pius V or even Lancelot Andrews.


    Nope, if you read the reformers, especially the Anglican divines, you will find this argument: "your tradition is wrong and new; we go back to an older tradition, where Scriptures are paramount and tradition functions for us as the source of scholarship."
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate you sharing your viewpoint. Iron sharpens iron, as the saying goes. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    I find myself drawn to many Romanite things: Gregorian Chant, Crucifixes (to the dismay of my other Reformed brethern), Church Fathers, even Popes like Gregory who in a dialouge with St. Augustine of Canterbury summed up my ideology on taking from different traditions:

    “Augustine of Canterbury’s third question: Since there is but one faith, why are the uses of Churches so different, one use of Mass being observed in the Roman Church, and another in the Churches of Gaul?
    Answer of the blessed pope Gregory: Your Fraternity knows the use of the Roman Church, in which you have been nurtured. But I approve of your selecting carefully anything you have found that may be more pleasing to Almighty God, whether in the Roman Church or that of Gaul, or in any Church whatever, and introducing in the Churchof the Angli, which is as yet new in the faith, by a special institution, what you have been able to collect from many Churches. For we ought not to love things for places, but places for things. Wherefore choose from each Church such things as are pious, religious, and right, and, collecting them as it were into a bundle, plant them in the minds of the Angli for their use.” (From The Eccleiastical History of the English Speaking People, Book I, Chapters 29-33, Bede, Penguin Publishers, or Fathers of the Church, Registrum Epistolarum, Book XI, Letter 64).

    I apply Pope Gregory’s brillant reasoning to the Romanite, Eastern Orthodox, and orher denominational aspects, rites, practicies, art and etc I delight in.
     
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