Last thing on Scripture for a while

September 30, 2007

Here’s a good statement of the protestant position on Sola scriptura and it’s relation to the authority of the church. I’m going to quit talking about this for a while, because I’d like to stop and do some more reading about the topic before I say any more. In particular, I want to look at Keith Matheson’s book, “The Shape of Sola Scriptura”. Reading the description of the book on amazon, I found somebody posted a great quote that I wish I had read two weeks ago:

“This also is certain, that no one should rely on his own wisdom in the interpretation of the Scripture, not even in the clear passages, for it is clearly written in 2 Peter 1:20: ‘The Scripture is not a matter of private interpretation.’ And whoever twists the Holy Scripture so that it is understood according to his preconceived opinions does this to his own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). The best reader of the Scripture, according to Hilary, is one who does not bring the understanding of what is said to the Scripture but who carries it away from the Scripture. We also gratefully and reverently use the labors of the fathers who by their commentaries have profitably clarified many passages of the Scripture. And we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church in the true and sound understanding of the Scripture. Nor do we approve of it if someone invents for himself a meaning which conflicts with all antiquity, and for which there are clearly no testimonies of the church.”

–Martin Chemnitz, “Examination of the Council of Trent” Vol. 1, p. 208.

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First Karl Barth Blog-Conference

June 11, 2007

My friend and colleague WTM has arranged the very first internet blog-conference on Karl Barth. There will be a series of blog posts on Barth’s Protestant Theology in the 19th Century written by various theobloggers. It sounds like a rollicking good time, so stop by if it tickles your fancy.


The H in Jesus H. Christ

June 7, 2007

Comes from the Christogram.

Touché Wikipedia, touché.


Damnable Heresies

May 21, 2007

The Papal Bull Exsurge Domine was given by Leo X in 1520 to answer Martin Luther and the nascent reformation. The bull includes a long list of heretical propositions put forward by Luther, one of which caught my eye:

L: “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

Pope Leo says, with reference to this proposition:

“We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church.”

In other words, it’s against the catholic faith to hold that heretics ought not to be burned. The burning of heretics is an essential part of the doctrine of the catholic church, according to Leo X. Now, I’d like to ask my catholic friends, is this just a personal opinion of the Pope’s, or is the necessity of heretic burning a part of the infallible ordinary and universal magisterium of the church?

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Can philosophy provide an insight into reality that surpasses that which science offers?

aprilis 21, 2007

[The following was my response to an exam at my graduate program. The idea of this exam is that it is unprepared and ex tempore. One has 4 hours to write a response to one of three very broad question on the nature of philosophy. The title of this post indicates the question that I chose to answer and the body of the post indicates my response to it. I post it on the off chance that somebody is morbidly curious as to my own philosophical opinions.]

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