Monday, April 14, 2008

Finding the Papacy in the First Centuries

Whenever you set about looking for something in antiquity, you would be wise to first understand clearly what you at least expect to find. So about the papacy, what would we expect it to look like in the first centuries? We understandably envision today's pope as a starting point but unfortunately, many would-be historians never progress any further.

What would we expect the pickup truck to look like in 1935? Not like they do now. Is it inconceivable that the office of the papacy would be developmental as we all agree the rest of the Church is? Who needs bishops and archbishops in the upper room?

Let me ask the skeptic a few questions (this means any skeptic).

First, if we were to prove that the papacy existed like it does today in the first century, would you become a Catholic and start praying to Mary, going to confession and drop the belief in sola fide / sola scriptura? If not, then your issue isn't with the historicity of the papacy but elsewhere. I have some guesses if you're interested. This question is more serious than you might realize. It leads us to our second one:

Do you think that this issue is significantly different than trying to convince an atheist of the historicity of the Synoptic Jesus? Intelligence and historical knowledge can only offer so much help - in fact, the more clever you are, the more reasons you can think of to disbelieve what the Church is claiming. In brief, faith is a vital element of submitting to the papacy just as it is with submitting to Christ. This brings us to our third question which is implicit in both of these:

Are you willing to submit to the papacy if you found out that he was really the vicar of Christ on earth? No one who has yet to seriously contended with that question is ready to ask the less important ones like "did the early Church believe exactly like we do about the Roman Pontiff"?

If one can argue his way out of James 2:24 in favor of sola fide, one can certainly argue his way out of St. Irenaeus explicitly stating "it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church[Rome], on account of its pre-eminent authority". If one can deny the early Church's belief in the Real Presence, then one can easily turn a blind eye to St. Clement of Rome's first century letter demanding obedience to his see (while an apostle was still alive no less). In short, if Clement, Irenaeus and the other greats (not the least of which St. Augustine) fail to convince you about the early Church's fidelity to the bishop of Rome then my words will be of little effect.

There are tomes of books written to demonstrate this doctrine both theologically and historically. If one were so inclined to find out the facts about the matter, it wouldn't be difficult.

50 comments:

George Weis said...

Well, I like your forwardness Tim! I almost feel as though you were writing this specifically for me. I already know that it wouldn't look the same. That is about as obvious as it gets. And you ask some good questions, that made me smile. I will actually have to re-read and think some more. Again, as I said to you I am willing to be proven wrong. I am not of the same bent as an atheist. I do not consider myself wise. I consider myself a student. I seek the truth in all things. One thing off the subject that makes me wonder is the fruit of most RCs that I come across... where is their weekly devotion to Christ? They are brawlers, drinkers, gamblers and often have course words. Now, this doesn't totally put the church into question, because I have known many a mormon who is upright.. but we know that the Love of Christ should shine in a transformed regenerate life. At any rate, alot of protestants/evangelicals are the same... so I guess that is a moot point :D
I'll have to get back to the Pope issue after I look at your questions again. I guess the questions also go in reverse then don't they Tim?

Much love to you brother!

-george-

Tim A. Troutman said...

George, this post was only half written to you but fully inspired by our other interactions. Please don't think I'm pointing the finger at you in any of that.

But you don't seem to have taken offense which is good because sometimes I dont realize I'm being offensive and end up really pissing someone off!!

As for your point about fruits of Catholics I think it was CS Lewis who said something like "The strongest argument against Catholicism is Catholics". I would unfortunately agree with him and you. I shutter at the thought of myself being looked at as a representative of living the Catholic faith. Thats also a good point about Mormons - they're some of the most upright people you'll meet.

Pound for pound, your typical traditionalist Protestants are more faithful to the gospel than the average Catholic (but not the average traditionalist Catholic of which there aren't many).

You said: "I guess the questions also go in reverse then don't they Tim?"

I don't think the questions go in reverse because if I were to ponder the question of de-conversion and become Protestant again I wouldn't subject myself to any other authority or restriction than I am already under. I am already under the authority of the Scriptures as much as a Protestant (except I have 7 more books to "answer to"). But maybe you meant something else by that that I'm missing.

Anyway, I'm sure we'd have some great conversations in person - actually I hold confidence that we will eventually - if not here then in glory assuming I can stop getting in the way of God's grace!

I love theological conversation - especially the kind that doesn't turn into a debate where each side is trying to outsmart the other. Those are rarely fruitful - I think you will agree. Between the two of us though, you'll be the one to keep it level headed I think because if you ask any of my usual readers (or especially my former ones) I have a bad tendency to become polemic all too quickly.

Peace

Grifman said...

Color me a skeptic :)

It seems to me that you are reading the papacy back into Clement and Irenaeus rather than deducing it from them.

Take Clement for example. First off, the letter says does not identify it's author. Just reading the letter for what it says, it is a letter from the Roman church to the Corinthian church. It doesn't say anything about Clement. So it may be written by Clement or it might not. You've not proven that by any means. Yes, by tradition it is called Clement, but that's not conclusive at to its authorship by any means. The internal evidence seems to say otherwise.

Secondly, you state that this was written while an apostle was still living, presumably John. Again, the dating of Clement is only approximate, as is any dating of the death of John. You haven't proven this to be true or even probable. Possible, yes, probable, well, I'm not sure about that.

Thirdly, even if John were alive (I'll admit, it's possible), there are any number of reasons why he didn't respond. Firstly, he might have, we just don't have a copy of his letter. Or he might have not known of the problem. Or maybe the Romans had cut off his communications by that time. Any number or reasons are possible. You haven't shown me why I should expect John to have written them.

Fourthly, the letter appeals to the Corinthians to heed its message for any number of reasons: scripture, Jesus, the apostles, the Holy Spirit, etc., but never to any papal authority. Interesting for a letter that you propose proves this very thing. Where's Clement's call to obedience to the Seat of Peter?

You seemed to have built your position on one supposition after another. The cumulative weight is less than convincing to me.

As for Ireneaus, where does he mention the pope or papacy in your quotation? Your quote has him mentioning the primacy of the church at Rome, not the pope. Perhaps he mentions this elsewhere, but not in this quotation.

Indeed, Catholic scholar Roman Catholic scholar William La Due comments:

"It is indeed understandable how this passage [in Irenaeus] has baffled scholars for centuries! Those who were wont to find in it a verification of the Roman primacy were able to interpret it in that fashion. However, there is so much ambiguity here that one has to be careful of over-reading the evidence....Karl Baus' interpretation [that Irenaeus was not referring to a papacy] seems to be the one that is more faithful to the text and does not presume to read into it a meaning which might not be there. Hence, it neither overstates nor understates Irenaeus' position. For him [Irenaeus], it is those churches of apostolic foundation that have the greater claim to authentic teaching and doctrine. Among those, Rome, with its two apostolic founders, certainly holds an important place. However, all of the apostolic churches enjoy what he terms 'preeminent authority' in doctrinal matters." (The Chair of Saint Peter [Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999], p. 28)

Indeed, Catholic scholar Klaus Schatz concludes regarding the papacy as a whole:

"There appears at the present time to be increasing consensus among Catholic and non-Catholic exegetes regarding the Petrine office in the New Testament….The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the author of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably 'no.'…If we ask in addition whether the primitive Church was aware, after Peter’s death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Church’s rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer." (Papal Primacy [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], pp. 1-2)

I don't think the origins of the papacy are as clear and easy as you make them out to be.

Dave Gudeman said...

Tim, here are my answers:

1. The existence of a papacy in the first century would not be evidence in favor of the Catholic Church but against it. If such an institution existed but were ignored by the authors of the New Testament, this would suggest that they didn't take it seriously.

2. I consider it idolatrous to suggest that I should have faith in the Pope like I have faith in Jesus. This is not a good argument for your position.

3. If I came to believe that Catholic doctrine is true then I would, of course, believe in Catholic doctrine and follow it as well as I follow what I believe now. Why wouldn't I?

As to the comments on Mormons, I've always felt that the behavior of Mormons is an affront to Catholics and Protestants alike. If we are going to reject their doctrine, we owe an explanation for how their form of religion seems to be played out in their lives better than it is in the lives of Christians who supposedly have the working of the Spirit to help make us holy (sorry, I know that some Mormons will object, but Mormonism cannot possibly qualify as a Christian sect).

Rob said...

Grifman

You are right St. Clements Epistle to the Corinthians is addressed by "The Church of Rome" to "the Church of Corinth".The writer's name is not mentioned in it,nevertheless the Clementine authorship was not doubted in antiquity and was only called into question recently. Eusebius and St. Jerome state that it was written by Clement" as a representative of the Church of Rome". Clement of Alexandria,and other thought so highly of his letter that they include it in the canon of the New Testament. What people tend to overlook even if St. Clement did not write the letter,another "Bishop of Rome" would of had to write it,and with the letter coming from Rome to correct the Church in Corinth, would clearly give the Church of Rome and Bishop primacy over other churchs.Also when the Apotles gathered together in the upper room and St. Peter stood up in the center of the room quoting from the psalms and instructing the others that they would have to pick a replacement for Judas and his share of the ministry. Why do you think it was St. Peter that took charge? Second question,if the Apostles knew to have a successor for Judas don't you think the Apostles knew to have successors for there minstries including Peter's
Tim great Blog.

God Bless everyone
Rob

Gretchen said...

I can't comment on the other issues, but I can comment on the belief (yes belief) that Mormons in general are so upright. Good heavens, people. I have Mormon relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc., and believe me, they are no different than the rest of the population. Some are faithful to the tenets of their religion, but many fall down time and time again. Drinking, cursing, sexual immorality, gossiping, judging, and on and on. You guys need to visit Utah for a while. :-)

Tim A. Troutman said...

Grifman - like I said, if you can argue out of James 2:24 you can argue out of anything.

I don't know how many times or how many different ways I have to say it - the papacy wouldnt have looked like it does now in the first century.

The mustard tree doesnt look like the mustard seed.

Irenaeus and Clement both have the early Church primacy of Rome in mind not necessarily the pope per se (it would go without saying though that the Roman Bishop is head of the Roman Church and therefore is the fullest expression of that primacy). In both of these early accounts the primacy seems to be based on the deaths of Peter & Paul rather than just Peter.

Now as for these "Catholic" scholars, I'm not familiar with either of them but I wouldn't waste my time with anyone who claimed to believe something (Catholicism) on one hand and denied one of its central tenants on the other (the papacy). It would be like reading a Protestant scholar who admitted that Luther invented sola fide and sola scriptura. I'd be suspect - why then would they be a Protestant if they knew it was false? To claim that Jesus didn't expect Peter to have successors is utter blasphemy whether you believe in the papacy or not.

Dave:

1. See Grifman's post, serious biblical scholars have never doubted Peter's primacy. The argument is whether his successors continued it or not or rather (since we KNOW they did continue it) whether they had the right to do so.

2. This is hard to explain without starting from the very ground up which would take more time than I'm willing to spend at this time. The faith I'm asking the skeptic to have is faith in Christ (not the pope) and believe that He [Christ] wasn't lying when He told Peter in Matthew 16 that the Church would be built on him. Furthermore, it's not an argument. None of this post was an argument. They were questions for the skeptic to ask themselves.

3. Just asking :)

Rob : Thanks for the backup!

Gretchen: I can only speak of the Mormons I know of but I dont know many since I'm on the East coast. As I understand it though, Joseph Smith said something in the way of "If you knew the heaven that awaits murderers you'd kill yourself right now" which may be a gross misquote so don't hold me to it and if there are any Mormons out there who want to object - have at it. It's just what I heard somewhere and if it's true it would explain some of that behavior.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Oh I didn't finish my thought on the Roman primacy (as opposed to the papal primacy) either way - only Catholics still assert that Rome has primacy. Of course, the East still acknowledges honorary primacy but thats an entirely different argument.

Protestants have no historical leg to stand on here as they reject both papal primacy and Roman primacy while its absolutely undeniable that the early Church believed at least in the latter.

And finally, about the dating of Clement's letters most date it to 96 AD, I would date it 89 AD and some date it pre-70 AD and for solid reasons (he seems to assume the Temple is still standing). Traditionally, he died under Trajan who reigned from 98 AD.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Sorry - the last "he" being John the apostle.

George Weis said...

Whoa, good debating on here :D

I would throw this one out there...

Yes indeed Peter had his primacy, but there certainly is evidence that his position wasn't one that couldn't be questioned. As we all know the old Paul put him in his place argument... additionally Paul stating that he was chief of the apostles...

Absolutely interesting stuff...

Funny that you mentioned C.S. Lewis, I was thinking this relationship is one kinda like Lewis and J.R. :D

On Mormons...
They more than all others I have come across do their darndest to look like they have no flaws... but I worked very closely with them, and under the surface, there are major issues. I think I heard a statement that said Utah has the highest percentage of people on anti-depressants! That would make alot of sense. I actually had the opportunity to help one of them out of that dark hole. It is a creepy creepy thing!

Blessings to all of you! I wish I had more time to chat... and yes, one day I hope to meet you all in glory!

-george-

Dave Gudeman said...

Tim, what about a person who can argue out of Ephesians 2:8-9.

Grifman's post does not support your contention that there has never been any doubt about Peter's primacy. It has a quote from a Catholic scholar (hardly an unbiased source) to the effect that "There appears at the present time to be increasing consensus". There are three qualifiers in there "appears", "current time", and "increasing". None of which supports your claim that serious biblical scholars have never doubted his primacy. In fact I have heard numerous sermons conducted by serious scholars who did, in fact, dispute this.

Finally, it almost seems that you are claiming that if the church in Rome wrote a letter chastising the church in Corinth, that this proves the primacy of the church in Rome. I don't see how it follows. My sister chastises me all the time, but there is considerable dispute about her primacy.

andrew said...

Here is a proof-text:

"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

QED

Rob said...

Tim you are welcome

Tim A. Troutman said...

Dave, it would be hard for outsiders to believe that you and I have a lot of agreement on other issues. You know I started this blog mostly because of you right? Not in a bad way, you were commenting on Michael Williams' post re: something or another where he was bashing the Catholic Church - I followed it to your blog and then decided to start my own. We're still involved in that same perpetual discussion I think! We're both stubborn I guess.

Ok back to business:

On Ephesians 2:8-9 I see three Protestant doctrines affirmed here:

1. Sola gratia - salvation is by God's grace alone - we didn't deserve it.

2. de fide - we are saved by faith

3. rejection of Pelagianism - we are not saved by works.

Do you agree with that or is there something I missed? If so, you're in good company - the Catholic Church affirms all three of those doctrines so I'm not sure what we need to be arguing ourselves out of.

Moving on:
I retract my statement then, about Griffman's post (insofar that I was assuming he agrees with me) but do not retract about the "serious scholar" remark. I know there are many who are "serious" about their work that deny it. Jack Van Impe is serious too but I dont take him seriously just as I wouldnt take anyone seriously who denied Peter's primacy in Scripture. This isn't the equivalent of acknowledging the pope.

On Clement's letter, have you read the letter? Clement wasn't chastising them, he begins by praising them and then intervening in a matter. In fact, he apologizes for not attending to his "duty" sooner but was delayed due to the persecution in Rome. Later in the letter (after clearly expounding on the doctrine of apostolic succession in a most Catholic way) he demands obedience to his instructions. Does this sound like the sort of thing your sister would do? If you had a problem come up in your life, let's say your family - would your sister or another one of your equals consider it their solemn duty to step in and tell you how to solve it? Would they later demand that you follow their instructions?

Tim A. Troutman said...

BTW - someone -George?- made the point about Peter being challengeable I forgot to address it.

This doesn't argue against the papacy but only against Protestant caricature of the papacy. The pope isn't the dictator of the Church he is the "servant of God's servants". He is the visible unity of God's people.

His authority doesn't mean that he micromanages every aspect of Christendom or that questioning him or disagreeing with him brings damnation. It surely doesnt mean he was perfect. In the passage you site, the conflict in Antioch, Paul actually affirms Peter's doctrine. He said "you teach x but do y". His teaching is true (which is the extent of what we say about the pope in this regard) whereas his actions didnt live up to his teachings. Peter was a man just like you or me. So is Pope Benedict.

George Weis said...

Fair thought brother...

Ya know, one thing I'm waiting for is for the servant of servants to cast off the garb of wealth. I'm waiting for someone to bring down the pomp a little bit... but don't RCs think Benedict is the possible last pope? I heard my In Laws say something like the next guy is supposed to be an apostate. What's that all about?

Blessings to you Tim,
I pray your day is full of the Peace of Christ.

P.S. I do know he is just a man. I don't see him as a Protestant Caricature. I think "Protestants" would have a better view of Rome in general had the popes and cardinals etc. during the Reformation actually listened up a little more. Instead, it was like "Shut up Huss... your condemned". Men like Huss just wanted issues addressed. I'm glad John Paul did something about him... more of that needs to happen. Whoa, long PS!

Tim A. Troutman said...

I dont know much of John Huss at all or that time period so I'm not going to comment on him specifically. Have you read any Catholic perspective on his life?

The Church has not been perfect throughout history as she is not perfect now. She's filled with men and men do imperfect things. Augustine said that the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bad bishops. (God have mercy on me!) And so it is very unfortunate that various Church leaders (even popes) have abused their power.

Pope Leo X (pope during the Reformation) made a lot of mistakes and was a greedy man (his doctrine was solid though, his writings are still with us).

The Reformers were right about a lot of things - but they were gravely wrong on certain others. While the Church can (and did) adopt those things which they were right on, she (the Church) had to reject those things which they were wrong on. Of Luther's 99 theses, something like half of them were adopted by the Church.

Selling indulgences for money was not only condemned but all indulgences supposedly sold for money were rejected and pronounced completely invalid by the aforementioned Pope.

I think the reformers started out right and I can easily see how I would have been quickly persuaded to follow them. But when the Church responded slowly (as unfortunately she often does) to their valid claims, they started coming up with invalid ones. Pride eventually took over and blinded them to what they were doing.

Luther and Calvin didn't say "there is no one certain way to read scriptures" they said "there is one way but its not the Catholic way its MY way" and both of them had others under their jurisdiction imprisoned and even killed for disagreeing with them.

Luther had around 100,000 peasants slaughtered on one instance (for civil disturbance it wasn't doctrinal in nature). See Protestant Church Historian (anti-Catholic I might add) Bruce Shelley and if you need page numbers I have them.

The reformers said the Catholic leaders are doing wrong (and in part they were right) but when the Church didn't act (like she really should have) they broke off and said we will start a new church and it is the true one. Then they proceeded to do more evil than the Catholic Church ever did to begin with. Which is worse, selling indulgences and being greedy or mass murder?

Just think though, if the Church had acted quickly, you'd be asking Mary & the Saints to pray for you right now and you'd be going to confession!

Tim A. Troutman said...

Oh yea, about the last pope - I don't know what that's about. Sounds like something eccentric to me.

Tim A. Troutman said...

I don't know why I keep forgetting to say things I mean to say. George, have you ever listened to Peter Kreeft? I think you'd love his audio lectures - they're powerful. He's Catholic but not a Catholic polemicist. He is more like a CS Lewis - easy for both Protestants & Catholics to listen to.

Here are his audio files. I highly recommend the one on language and beauty. At first you might not understand why I'm suggesting that but I think he hits on some points (borrowing mostly from the likes of Tolkein, CS Lewis and GK Chesterton) that are highly applicable to what you just said, especially about the 'pomp' comment.

Rob said...

Renee said:

My theory on why it is so hard to prove absolute truths regarding Catholicism.

First we must understand and agree that as is proven in the Bible, God from the beginning gave man free will. God already knows the outcome of His plans, for He sees the past, present and future at once. He has selected certain people for specific purposes to fulfill His plan as history and the Bible show. So it is then reasonable to say that He knew of the division of the Church before He established it. It would therefore be assumed that He was aware of who the responsible persons would be, most likely He picked them Himself and their roles and reasons for doing so. Just as Judas was selected by Jesus to be an Apostle. The other Apostles could no better understand this at that time, then those of us today can understand the divisions of the Church.. We also must remember that Jesus was betrayed with a kiss. So all divisions need not arise from hate. Peter reacted by attempting violence and was stopped by the Lord himself. Much like some of us Catholics can do today, except replacing violence with words.

From the first covenant God established with Adam and Eve through the last The Church, man has always been given the Free Will to submit to the authority of God or refuse it. The Lords words himself “will you leave me too?”

My point being is that it could be that God purposely planned the division of The Church so that men would always remain free to exercise their free will, because if He had not, this could be the outcome, to use the words of some Non-Catholics “ If I agreed with everything, I would Be Catholic!” i.e. the end of free will. This is why we can not prove things 150 % as some would like.

Just a thought.

By the way Tim you are right about the eccentric pope thing. It was no big deal.

George Weis said...

Tim,

I hear you on that stuff. However, a man like Huss didn't break off in the least bit. His Parish and many others in his area were shut down due to his preaching. Look into him, he was a fantastic guy. He died singing to Christ as he was burned.

I think what I personally would like to see, is that there would be enough room with certain doctrines for us all to be in fellowship. I am not in the same thinking with anyone who thinks that they have it all right in the area of theology particularly the gray areas. I think there is considerable evidence to support the two other views of the Eucharist, and all agree that it is the sacrament that was instituted to be at least a picture of unity in the body and blood of Christ... what actually happens when it is administered is not as important to me as the deep spiritual significance. I currently lean to Consubstantiation... but not fully. I see that in early writings like Justin Martyr the elements were taken as more than mere bread and wine... but also, there can be more read into that than was actually true. We have to remember that he was speaking to people who didn't have a clue what the truth was about christians and their customs. If it was heard down the line, people would think they were cannibals, but in actuality, the words made it sound more than what it was. Know what I'm saying here?
So, I am with Wycliffe on this... yes the heretic Wycliffe (who also didn't break off). I believe there is more spiritual and even mystical significance to the Eucharist than what protestants make of it in general, but not as much as what Catholics make of it. Again, I say that God is more than able to do the act that the RCC says happens once the elements are blessed, but I do not see the point really. I'm sure you will give me the reasons :D

At any rate, always good talking with you! I will check out the link you gave me when time permits me. I love all three of the mentioned writer! Chesterton was excellent also! Yes, I certainly have no qualms about beauty and beautiful things, but honestly the Lord himself, didn't make much of himself, and neither did the early Bishops (as you noted in your other post) SO why do it? Hebrews was written against going back to old cov ways. Why oh why do we need all the vestments?

Love you man!
Bless you!

-george-

George Weis said...

I see my In laws are on here. I didn't catch that last time around :D Ma, are you now treading this blog because you feel it more RCC friendly? :)

Anywho, that was a nice though on free will there ma!
I know in my own heart, I want unity with all who are truly in the Body of Christ... but unfortunately there are some heavy issues that keep us separated in ways we shouldn't be torn apart about. All it would take in my opinion are a few magic words that would grant some freedom. I think over the ages, the clamps got so tight because of the fending off of heresies, that by the time of the Reformation occurred, there was little room for any real discussion. It reminds me of Alice in wonderland... don't piss off the queen of hearts... "off with their heads!". Heresy can indeed occur when we have man involved. Heresy happened in the RCC and Heresy outside of it. Just because someone takes a role of primacy, doesn't mean some wrong views can't be instated. Where the roe in and of itself could be good in many ways, the person that takes up the role could really misuse it.
Anyway, Tim, we already kinda talked about this somewhere else.

-g to the w-

Rob said...

Renee said:
Maybe this will help


The Covenants established by God:


Covenant Mediator:
Adam,
Noah, Abram, Moses, David, Jesus

Covenant Role: Husband, Father, Chieftain, Judge, King, Royal High Priest

Covenant Form:
Marriage, Household, Tribe,
Nation, National Kingdom, Catholic Church

Covenant Sign : Sabbath, Rainbow, Circumcision, Passover, Throne, Eucharist,

George Weis said...

As we all know, Tertullian held the belief of Peter as the rock, but interestingly enough here is this quote, that seems to give an equilateral position to all the apostolic churches...

They (the Apostles) then in like manner founded churches in every city, from which all the other churches, one after another, derived the tradition of the faith, and the seeds of doctrine … it is on this account only that they will be able to deem themselves apostolic, as being the offspring of apostolic churches.… Therefore the churches, although they are so many and so great, comprise but the one primitive church, (founded) by the apostles, from which they all (spring). In this way all are primitive, and all are apostolic, whilst they are all proved to be one, in (unbroken) unity, by their peaceful communion, and title of brotherhood, and bond of hospitality…

-george-

George Weis said...

How about Origin?

But if you suppose that upon that one Peter only the whole church is built by God, what would you say about John the son of thunder or each one of the Apostles? Shall we otherwise dare to say, that against Peter in particular the gates of Hades shall not prevail, but that they shall prevail against the other Apostles and the perfect? Does not the saying previously made, "The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it," hold in regard to all and in the case of each of them? And also the saying, "Upon this rock I will build My church"? Are the keys of the kingdom of heaven given by the Lord to Peter only, and will no other of the blessed receive them? But if this promise, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven," be common to the others, how shall not all the things previously spoken of, and the things which are subjoined as having been addressed to Peter, be common to them?… For all bear the surname of "rock" who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of the rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.… and to all such the saying of the Saviour might be spoken, "Thou art Peter," etc., down to the words, "prevail against it."

Love ya dude :) I'm just being a piss ant giving you some other thoughts here!

-george-

andrew said...

Our Lord spoke these the words (Mt 16.16-19) directly to Peter, addressing him by name and in the second person singular pronoun.

Now, insofar as these words pertain to Peter, qua Apostle (i.e., in a generic sense), they pertain to each Apostle (i.e., every member of the genera "apostle").

Yet, insofar as they pertain specifically to Peter (i.e., in a particular sense), they do not pertain to any other Apostle.

Now, it is certain, per the above quotations (as well as Matt 18), that the words have a generic application.

However, it strains credulity to think that words addressed directly, by name, to Peter, have no more specific application than the generic "apostolic" one.

And if the words have a specifically Petrine application, then it is hard to see how Mediaeval and Modern Papal Claims outstretch the literal meaning of Our Lord's Ancient and Scriptural words:

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Furthermore, Rome is, according to the testimony of the Ancient Church, the See of St Peter. If the Apostolic Sees become estranged some from the others, as they have, shall one find the promise which Our Lord addressed to Peter most truly fulfilled in his See (and those in communion with it), or among those who are estranged from it?

Tim A. Troutman said...

Andrew - good points. George - I would also add two things to what Andrew said, first - you are quoting from Tertullian and Origen - neither of whom were strangers to serious theological error.

Second, ask yourself honestly - if they said outright "all Churches must subject to Rome" would it only preclude you from using it as a proof-text or would it change your opinion on the matter? I think the former since others (Irenaeus) did say such a thing as has been demonstrated.

Grifman said...

Tim said: Grifman - like I said, if you can argue out of James 2:24 you can argue out of anything.
******

That's wonderful, but hardly relevant. We aren't talking about James, we're talking about the early evidence for the papacy. Is this an admission you really don't have an argument? Let's stay on topic, shall we?
****

Tim said: I don't know how many times or how many different ways I have to say it - the papacy wouldnt have looked like it does now in the first century.The mustard tree doesnt look like the mustard seed.
*******

Sure I agree it probably wouldn't have looked like it does today, but so far you haven't established any papacy, small or large, with the evidence you've provided. Clement doesn't mention papal authority, neither does Ireneaus. Neither mentions the pope or even the bishop of Rome for that matter.
******

Tim said: Irenaeus and Clement both have the early Church primacy of Rome in mind not necessarily the pope per se (it would go without saying though that the Roman Bishop is head of the Roman Church and therefore is the fullest expression of that primacy). In both of these early accounts the primacy seems to be based on the deaths of Peter & Paul rather than just Peter.
*****

Bingo, you've just admitted my point. Your post claimed we find the evidence of the papacy in the early centuries of the church. Yet you now admit that your two examples, Ireneaus and Clement have the primacy of the Church at Rome in mind.

I have no problem with that assertion, as it is an entirely different claim that a pope is recognized. So I guess we are in agreement here after all :)

The point is you've made a number of statements that you can't support - or at least don't seem to be able to. You claimed Clement intervened in Corinth while John was alive (and offered no proof that John was alive or knew of the problem or was able to respond to it). You've not explained why Clement has appealed to his papal authority, nor why Irenaeus didn't mention the pope. You seem to be backing off your claim quite a bit now.
****

Tim said: To claim that Jesus didn't expect Peter to have successors is utter blasphemy whether you believe in the papacy or not.
****

Well that's certainly an arguable point. And nice of you to go to the blasphemy route in our discussion. Does this mean I should bring up some of the extreme Protestant attacks on Catholicism now? Let's try to keep this friendly, how about that?

Grifman said...

Rob said: You are right St. Clements Epistle to the Corinthians is addressed by "The Church of Rome" to "the Church of Corinth".
&&&&

Agreed, my point exactly. Taking the letter at its word, it's a letter from one church to another. Plain and simple.
****

Rob said: The writer's name is not mentioned in it,nevertheless the Clementine authorship was not doubted in antiquity and was only called into question recently. Eusebius and St. Jerome state that it was written by Clement" as a representative of the Church of Rome".
*****

Eusebius is better evidence but Jerome is just too late, almost 250 years afterwards to be of much evidence. But even Eusebius is 150 years late.
******

Rob said: Clement of Alexandria,and other thought so highly of his letter that they include it in the canon of the New Testament.
******

Sure, I know that, but the quality of the letter has no bearing on its authorship.
*****

Rob said: What people tend to overlook even if St. Clement did not write the letter,another "Bishop of Rome" would of had to write it,and with the letter coming from Rome to correct the Church in Corinth, would clearly give the Church of Rome and Bishop primacy over other churchs.
*****

Uh, but you've haven't proven that a bishop of Rome wrote the letter yet. You're assuming your argument And even if a bishop wrote it, that doesn't prove his primacy over other churches. As far as I know, a neighboring bishop heard of a problem and sought a resolution. Please note that nowhere does he appeal to his own authority, as I've already mentioned. So sorry, no evidence for primacy here.
******

Rob said: Also when the Apotles gathered together in the upper room and St. Peter stood up in the center of the room quoting from the psalms and instructing the others that they would have to pick a replacement for Judas and his share of the ministry. Why do you think it was St. Peter that took charge?
*****

Uh, I thought we were talking about Clement? Is this a bait and swith argument? That said, I can believe that Peter was the leader of the apostles quit easily without believing he was the first pope.
******

Rob said: Second question,if the Apostles knew to have a successor for Judas don't you think the Apostles knew to have successors for there minstries including Peters
******

One can believe in apostolic succession without believing in their being a pope.

Grifman said...

Tim said: Luther and Calvin didn't say "there is no one certain way to read scriptures" they said "there is one way but its not the Catholic way its MY way" and both of them had others under their jurisdiction imprisoned and even killed for disagreeing with them.

Luther had around 100,000 peasants slaughtered on one instance (for civil disturbance it wasn't doctrinal in nature). See Protestant Church Historian (anti-Catholic I might add) Bruce Shelley and if you need page numbers I have them.

The reformers said the Catholic leaders are doing wrong (and in part they were right) but when the Church didn't act (like she really should have) they broke off and said we will start a new church and it is the true one. Then they proceeded to do more evil than the Catholic Church ever did to begin with. Which is worse, selling indulgences and being greedy or mass murder?
*****

Omigosh, I really don't think a church that allowed its own children to be repeatedly molested over decades should be preaching to Protestants over morality, do you?

Sorry, you started it, didn't you? Those last comments of yours -= and mine - serve no good purpose. It's a fact that BOTH Protestants and Catholics were pretty good at slaughtering each other after the break. To act as if this were one-sided is silly. Just go look at a pre-Counter Reformation and post-Counter Reformation map of Europe showing Catholic and Protestants. I don't think all of that change took place peacefully by great Catholic evangelism, do you? Ask the Huguenots of France if that was true.

Let's try sticking to a reasonable discussion rather than engaging in cheap polemics. Otherwise we can just post cheap shots at each other's faith which won't do anyone any good. I keep it above board if you will.

George Weis said...

Hey fellas,

Yeah, we all know about their deviations... but hey, it doesn't keep us from holding to things like Tertullians work on the Trinity. Anyway, the Montanists weren't much different than todays Pentecostals... I consider them my brothers in Christ, even though I think they horribly misuse the idea of prophesy (which the montanists did also)... I have my issues to beg with them, but that doesn't mean we throw em out. Nor did we or should we throw out the words of these men. If they are found as valid statements.

Tim, I need thorough evidence. I am with Girfman on this. I am certainly more than willing to be taught something here, but not very easily. In my heart, I feel a strong pull to the fact that Christ as head of the invisible church wouldn't appoint a Vicar, but rather Servants of servants only. Peter was assigned a shepherd role. If that is all that the bishop of Rome was/still is I would be all for the idea, but along the way, it changed. It became an exalted position. Christ Himself never walked the earth in the manner of these men, and I would beg of them to consider taking up their cross, and putting off all the unneeded display of grandeur. That was just a rant, but again if shown wrong I would admit to it. But then the next issue is what has this role become from what it started as.

Cyprian (this should be a familiar statement)

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....

And this statement, which I think beautifully shows that there was variation from church to church at this time, and yet unity was maintained.

But that they who are at Rome do not observe those things in all cases which are handed down from the beginning, and vainly pretend the authority of the apostles;… and that all things are not observed among them alike, which are observed at Jerusalem, just as in very many other provinces also many things are varied because of the difference of the places and names. And yet on this account there is no departure at all from the peace and unity of the Catholic Church, such as Stephen has now dared to make; breaking the peace against you, which his predecessors have always kept with you in mutual love and honour, even herein defaming Peter and Paul the blessed apostles...

Good discussion here. For the sake of our Lord, let's keep this full of peace. Hopefully we are seeking to Love one another and seek truth out in love. Let our words be kindhearted.

Many blessings to each one of you!

-george-

Tim A. Troutman said...

Grifman:

"That's wonderful, but hardly relevant"

It's an example of a typical gross misinterpretation. If one can look at an inerrant source that says "A" and come out saying "not A" then how much easier would it be to do so on an errant document? I thought the point was perfectly relevant.

. Is this an admission you really don't have an argument? Let's stay on topic, shall we?

No, it wasn't. I hope my explanation has sufficed otherwise you can just be content with thinking I had a bad point and wasn't smart enough to think of a better one.

"Sure I agree it probably wouldn't have looked like it does today, but so far you haven't established any papacy, small or large, with the evidence you've provided."

How long ago would a said document need to be stated explicitly for you to believe it, or give a false example of something a (or many) Church fathers would have needed to say in order for you to believe it You're a Protestant so you already believe in doctrines that weren't mentioned anywhere by anyone until 1500 years after Christ. I'm not sure what your criteria is here.

I said: "it would go without saying though that the Roman Bishop is head of the Roman Church and therefore is the fullest expression of that primacy"

I should have said "it should go without saying" because obviously it didn't. You quoted it and then turned around and asked about the Roman bishop.

"Bingo, you've just admitted my point"

No, I didn't.

"Your post claimed we find the evidence of the papacy in the early centuries of the church."

My post proposed some questions for the skeptic. The first two centuries hold some evidence (though much less than I would like) about the papacy and its roots. Enough that we can be utterly certain it wasn't merely invented from scratch at a later time.

"I have no problem with that assertion, as it is an entirely different claim that a pope is recognized. So I guess we are in agreement here after all :)"

Yes, I have never, ever anywhere stated that a pope was recognized in the early centuries of the Church.

"The point is you've made a number of statements that you can't support - or at least don't seem to be able to. "

Like what?

"You claimed Clement intervened in Corinth while John was alive (and offered no proof that John was alive or knew of the problem or was able to respond to it)."

You must have missed it. I said:
"And finally, about the dating of Clement's letters most date it to 96 AD, I would date it 89 AD and some date it pre-70 AD and for solid reasons (he seems to assume the Temple is still standing). Traditionally, he died under Trajan who reigned from 98 AD."

What further proof do you want? I can't produce a photograph of Clement and John singing hymns together. Eusebius says that John died under Trajan (98AD) I don't know of any scholar on the planet who dates Clement's letter any later than 97 AD.

"You've not explained why Clement has appealed to his papal authority, nor why Irenaeus didn't mention the pope."

This is the first I've heard you ask. Some scholars would say there wasn't a bishop per se in the first few decades after Peter in Rome. ( I would disagree as we know that nearly every other city had one and it would be silly to say Rome didn't). I just want to make sure that you know that the word "pope" wasn't used back then at all right? We're all in agreement on this? Don't take this as a condescending remark - I'm just making sure that the wording is not entering into the discussion.

So are we just talking about him not mentioning the bishop of Rome or not mentioning the literal word "Pope" or "papa"? Why don't you just read this stuff for yourself? As I said in the beginning nothing I would say here could convince you. What would it take to convince you? Would Irenaeus have to literally list out a succession of bishops of Rome starting with Peter himself? Is that what it would take to convince you? Of course it wouldn't convince you because he did. Here it is:

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels."


Now he has contradicted everything you've been saying in the most explicit ways. You should recall my point before which you thought was off topic. "If you can miss the point of James 2:24"....

You said: "Let's try to keep this friendly, how about that?"

I haven't accused you of blasphemy or made any personal attack on you. I was talking about the quote you gave and if it's out of context and he meant something other than "God has limited knowledge" then I retract it.

"Uh, but you've haven't proven that a bishop of Rome wrote the letter yet"

He's mentioned the unanimous early support for it. Scholars nearly unanimous accept it. What more do you want? If you don't believe that then your issue isn't with us lay Catholics its with the scholars and historians.

"Uh, I thought we were talking about Clement? Is this a bait and swith argument? That said, I can believe that Peter was the leader of the apostles quit easily without believing he was the first pope."

We can't put all the pieces of the puzzle together for you at every turn. Peter as leader of the apostles+apostolic succession = papacy. Maybe you don't believe in apostolic succession and maybe you dont believe in my over simplified formula, that's fine but Rob's point wasn't off topic at all.

"Omigosh, I really don't think a church that allowed its own children to be repeatedly molested over decades should be preaching to Protestants over morality, do you?"

First, you should be aware that there is as much abuse going on per capita in Protestant faith communities as in the Catholic Church. Second, I wasn't arguing that Luther or Calvins sins disprove their authority.

At any rate, I shouldn't have brought it up and I for one am not able to preach at anyone so I'll drop that point.

To act as if this were one-sided is silly.

I dont think for a second that it's one sided. Catholics have been guilty of evil as much as Protestants I'm sure. Men are evil, we sin.

"Let's try sticking to a reasonable discussion rather than engaging in cheap polemics."

I don't think I took any cheap shots but fair enough. We'll play nice.

Tim A. Troutman said...

George,

I agree with you and remember that St. Augustine reconciled Tertullian's followers back into the Catholic Church. I don't think Tertullian was a wild, crazy heretic by any means. I think he got overly eccentric and let his pride get the best of him.

"If that is all that the bishop of Rome was/still is I would be all for the idea, but along the way, it changed. "

Some popes have fallen far short of the office. Not because they lacked the grandeur befit for a king but because they had the external grandeur of a king and the internal lackluster of a peasant. You should read some of Pope Benedict. He is probably one of the humblest people on earth. Do you know the night he was elected, he spent it praying that he wouldn't be elected? He knows what a fearful role he has been put in and he has responded wisely and patiently in every way. He is very traditional but he hasn't come out making ex-cathedra statements.

Heck, look at how much the world (World in the biblical sense) hates him! Doesn't that tell you something?

As I understand it Cyprian (I always get him confused with Cyril) is one of the very few Church fathers who denied the primacy of Peter. Church father testimony is only binding when it's unanimous.

George Weis said...

Tim,

I am glad for this discussion. No matter what the outcome of each persons perspective, I pull towards at the least unity as far as it allows us. Still, I find it sad, that there is a wall up so that we can't be in full communion. I don't think I could ever be convinced of Veneration of Saints and other like issues, but I can allow God to have his way with men. I will stand in the convictions I have towards things that to me are forms of idols. I will long stand as one who desires the simplest and purest form of Christianity. I desire above all to hold to the things unseen. However, I can leave people to their symbols, and still find that as long as the Spirit indwells them and their faith and actions line up, I can consider them my brethren.

I am not on par with Luther or Zwingli and their modes of testing. I do however, think that the Holy Spirit often bears witness to those who are walking with God. Call me Charismatic (which I assure you I am far from), but many times has this proven to be true.

Tim, I truly pray that in all you do, that your heart would be steadfast for the sake of Christ. Never overly concerned with these things, although they are wonderfully enjoyable.

God bless each of you!

-george-

Rob said...

Hello everybody I do not know what happened to this discussion, but it went bad. I see hate ,anger,and prejudice where hope,love,and charity should be. Jesus can only be weeping when he sees this. We must be able to discuss our differences, out of love for Christ Jesus or not discuss them at all.

Today at 9:30 there will be 50,000 people gathered to prey together. Our Father in heaven used a humble servant to accomplish this. It is always amazing to me how God chooses us lowly humans to share in his glory. With all these people in one place praying,could this be Christian unity?

Let his peace be your peace .
Rob

Grifman said...

"That's wonderful, but hardly relevant"

Tim said: It's an example of a typical gross misinterpretation. If one can look at an inerrant source that says "A" and come out saying "not A" then how much easier would it be to do so on an errant document? I thought the point was perfectly relevant.
******

It's irrelevant for a number of reasons. You're assuming my interpretation of that passage is wrong, hence my interpretation of your evidence for the early papacy will be wrong also. Firstly, you don't know my interpretation. Secondly, it's possible to be wrong on one subject and right on another. Using your logic, I should automatically disregard anything you say, since you are fallible and bound to be wrong on at least one topic - therefore you must be wrong on this one, right? :)

That's why the matter of the interpretation of James is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Understand?
****

"Sure I agree it probably wouldn't have looked like it does today, but so far you haven't established any papacy, small or large, with the evidence you've provided."

Tim said: How long ago would a said document need to be stated explicitly for you to believe it, or give a false example of something a (or many) Church fathers would have needed to say in order for you to believe it
********

If Clement had said it was written by Clement and appealed to the Corinthian church to obey him on the basis of his being the successor of Peter, that'd be pretty strong evidence that I'd be hard pressed to ignore. I certainly don't think that's an unreasonable position.
*******

Time said: You're a Protestant so you already believe in doctrines that weren't mentioned anywhere by anyone until 1500 years after Christ. I'm not sure what your criteria is here.
******

You've got it above :)
*******

Tim said: I should have said "it should go without saying" because obviously it didn't. You quoted it and then turned around and asked about the Roman bishop.
******

Sure, he is, but that's still not the same as saying he's the pope. That's the problem I see a lot - reading back into history current Catholic ecclesiology and doctrine, IMO of course.
*******

Tim said: My post proposed some questions for the skeptic. The first two centuries hold some evidence (though much less than I would like) about the papacy and its roots. Enough that we can be utterly certain it wasn't merely invented from scratch at a later time.
*******

I certainly don't think it was invented from scratch by any means. I do think it developed over time due to several reasons - lack of imperial control over Italy as the Roman govt collapsed which forced the bishop of Rome to step in, doctrinal disputes/heresies which required Christianity to point to a central authority figure, and finally the collapse of many of the other Apostolic sees (Carthage, Alexandria, Antioch) which reduced "competition". I also think it developed based upon Roman govt model - an empire requires an imperial church, with parallel structures. Emperor/pope, governors/bishops, etc.
*********

Tim: Yes, I have never, ever anywhere stated that a pope was recognized in the early centuries of the Church.
****

Well, that's interesting. Where di the church then go wrong early on, since Catholics claim Christ gave this authority to Peter and his successors? So you're saying the early church was much more Protestant in this regard early on? :)
********

"You claimed Clement intervened in Corinth while John was alive (and offered no proof that John was alive or knew of the problem or was able to respond to it)."

Tim said: You must have missed it. I said: "And finally, about the dating of Clement's letters most date it to 96 AD, I would date it 89 AD and some date it pre-70 AD and for solid reasons (he seems to assume the Temple is still standing). Traditionally, he died under Trajan who reigned from 98 AD."
*****

Yes, sorry, I saw that after I posted. But even then that's only a guess. It's a possibility, certainly not a fact you can hang your hat on as you seem to be doing.
*********

What further proof do you want? I can't produce a photograph of Clement and John singing hymns together. Eusebius says that John died under Trajan (98AD) I don't know of any scholar on the planet who dates Clement's letter any later than 97 AD.
*********

Try this link for datings. You'll find your missing scholars there :)

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1clement.html

That said, even if John was alive, there are a number of reasons that he might not have intervened. Or he might have and we just don't know about it. You just can't assume that because we don't know of an intervention by John it was because of Clement's authority. Besides, why is this even an issue? Above you say you make no claims for papal authority at this point :)
********

"You've not explained why Clement has appealed to his papal authority, nor why Irenaeus didn't mention the pope."

Tim said: This is the first I've heard you ask.
******

Nope, I raised this very point in my initial post:)
********

Tim said: Some scholars would say there wasn't a bishop per se in the first few decades after Peter in Rome. ( I would disagree as we know that nearly every other city had one and it would be silly to say Rome didn't). I just want to make sure that you know that the word "pope" wasn't used back then at all right? We're all in agreement on this? Don't take this as a condescending remark - I'm just making sure that the wording is not entering into the discussion.
*******

No problem, sure I know the term "pope" wasn't used. But I meant there is no appeal to any inherent authority of his own, or as a successor of Peter. Instead he argues from the scriptures, etc.
******

Tim said: So are we just talking about him not mentioning the bishop of Rome or not mentioning the literal word "Pope" or "papa"? Why don't you just read this stuff for yourself? As I said in the beginning nothing I would say here could convince you. What would it take to convince you?
******

Actually, I've given you above what would convince me.
*********

Tim said: Would Irenaeus have to literally list out a succession of bishops of Rome starting with Peter himself? Is that what it would take to convince you? Of course it wouldn't convince you because he did. Here it is:
*******

Yes, I am quite aware that Irenaeus has listed the bishops of Rome. I am far more well read on this stuff than you seem to be assuming. Yet a list does not a pope make. Again, here's that habit of leaping from one fact to assuming another that does not definitely follow. I'm not denying that Rome ever had bishops, which you list would prove me wrong. I am denying that there were popes or anything like them early on. That list doesn't prove anything about that.
********

Time said: Now he has contradicted everything you've been saying in the most explicit ways. You should recall my point before which you thought was off topic. "If you can miss the point of James 2:24"....
********

Are you sure about that? I don't think so. I don't see how that quote contradicts anything I'vs said. I've never denied that there were bishops in Rome from the beginning, which is all he's really saying. And actually he agrees with me against you. He says that while Clement was bishop "the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians"! NOT Clement, but the church at Rome sent the letter! So who's disagreeing with who here? Maybe Ireneaus was a closet Protestant! :) I hope you've got a petard handy, because I think you've just been hoisted upon it :)
***********

Tim said: I haven't accused you of blasphemy or made any personal attack on you. I was talking about the quote you gave and if it's out of context and he meant something other than "God has limited knowledge" then I retract it.
******

You seemed to be directing your comments to anyone disagreeing that Peter had a successor. That would seem to be most Protestants, including me. I think a lot depends upon what you mean as "successor". Did someone succede him as bishop of Rome. Probably. As leader of the entire Christian church, mmmm, not so much.
*******

"Uh, but you've haven't proven that a bishop of Rome wrote the letter yet"

Tim said: He's mentioned the unanimous early support for it. Scholars nearly unanimous accept it. What more do you want? If you don't believe that then your issue isn't with us lay Catholics its with the scholars and historians.
******

But as you just quoted so conveniently for me, Irenaeus disagrees with them :)
********

Tim said: We can't put all the pieces of the puzzle together for you at every turn. Peter as leader of the apostles+apostolic succession = papacy. Maybe you don't believe in apostolic succession and maybe you dont believe in my over simplified formula, that's fine but Rob's point wasn't off topic at all.
*****

The thing is, this is what i see all to often. Catholics lay out the pieces, then put them together in a way that matches their presuppositions, and but ignore all the other ways the pieces could go together. Just showing that there was apostolic succession does not mean logically that the papacy and all its powers was next. You have to show the connection, which has not been done. That's why I considered his point irrelevant.
********

Tim said: First, you should be aware that there is as much abuse going on per capita in Protestant faith communities as in the Catholic Church. Second, I wasn't arguing that Luther or Calvins sins disprove their authority.

At any rate, I shouldn't have brought it up and I for one am not able to preach at anyone so I'll drop that point.
*****

Agreed, but why bring it up if you're trying to have a discussion with those of a different POV? All it does is poison the water, putting people on the defensive.

It's like the blasphemy comment. It's just not necessary. If I want to be attacked as a Protestant, then I'm sure there are alot better/worse forums I could go to for that. I'd much rather interact with some Catholics here, try to understand the other side.

I may and do strongly disagree with many Catholic positions, but I dont think the Catholic church is evil, that Catholics are blind or dumb, or that they aren't Christians, etc. There's no need for us to antagonize each other.

I have a great deal of respect for the church and it's followers, and the pope himself. I've been following the reporting on Benedict's visit closely and am glad that it seems to be going well. I think his meeting with some of the abuse victims was a very Christ-like act and I applaud him for it. I do nothing but wish him and the church - your church - the best.

Regards,
Grifman

George Weis said...

Grifman,
Get a blog already will ya?
You are quite excellent on this subject, and I would love to hear more of what is in your noodle.
I am also glad to hear that you aren't out to badger, but just ask the hard questions. Very interesting!

Many blessings to each of you...

-george-

Tim A. Troutman said...

Grifman, I don't have the patience to keep discussing this with you. And in fact, it's clear that the two of us can have little or no meaningful conversation on this issue as we're in such different places.

So, I wont respond to your last post, you have the final word.

George Weis said...

Tim,
That's too bad brother! I was hoping to hear the retort :D Both of your heads have been given over to this subject for far longer, so I appreciate the discussion.

I hope your day is off to a great start... it's Friday my man! Do you hit up Sat. Mass?


-george-

Tim A. Troutman said...

I'm just cutting this one short. For one, Im sure the three of us are the only ones still reading it. It takes a lot of blog patience to wade through 40 long comments.

Also, I really don't feel like it's going anywhere. I dont like to discuss or debate anything with anyone unless they're in a similar "place" with me, if not intellectually then spiritually.

This shouldn't be interpreted as me saying that Grifman isn't as smart as me or as spiritual as me (God forbid). It means that somewhere along the way we took a turn on the path of life. I walked down one intellectual road and he the other or I walked down one spiritual road and he the other. This doesn't even necessarily mean it was by choice - this could be environmental factors - experience etc and God knows what else.

The point is that we're so far away from each other that we can't have meaningful conversation. I don't mind spending some time hammering out certain things in discussion like this, as long as it's charitable in fact I like it, but I don't like it at all when it's clear that it will go nowhere. To me, it is abundantly clear that this conversation could go until eternity and no one learn anything.

George Weis said...

Where would going "somewhere" be?

Does that mean it reaches a consensus or a Zenith. Or simply an agree to disagree?

I am not saying that with attitude by the way... just asking.

Love ya dude!

-george-

Tim A. Troutman said...

Going somewhere would be one (or both) of us learning something, seeing things from a new perspective or even just walking away with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Frankly, this sort of arguing for arguing's sake (which is what it seems like to me) doesn't leave me with a good feeling. In fact, it arouses all my bad qualities.

I didn't feel like this was going anywhere - we've both made our points. Don't worry, this isn't my last post on the papacy (I have 9 others besides this one already).

Rob said...

Tim I'm still here reading your blog ,and I agree it was going nowhere. That’s why I stopped commenting. I think , God has graced you with a intellect that most people don’t have. You are definitely ahead of me in that department. I think spiritually you, and I are the same. I just started Sunday, and enjoyed looking through your writings. It was funny, I just read St Clement and started on St Ignatius Epistles when I came to your blog from my son in-law George’s blog, and St Clement was referred to and I had to jump in. I will be hanging around a little while because I really do believe we are on the same path spiritually. I Like the miracle blog for I lean towards the mystic’s of The Church like St John of the Cross, and Theresa of Avila

See ya
Rob

Tim A. Troutman said...

Rob - thanks and I appreciated your insightful comments. Glad to have a reader but more importantly someone who interacts!

George Weis said...

Grifman, Do you argue for arguing sake? :D

Tim, I hear you. You haven't adopted that RC tendency to blow up have you? Man, I have had that happen to me several times over by RCs. One time I actually deserved it because of a flippant comment. But all other times I was speaking kindly and with love.

I don't know if it is just the large number of Italians and Irish that are in this area, but whoa, I have seen some fiery eyes!

I think Grifman needs a site to express his full views.What do you think? Ha, you probably think not right? I'm only kidding. I appreciate the both of you.

Blessings!

GioCrypt said...

I find the discussion quite lively, however I dont think that Tim is up to the challenge (though he is quite good) of answering your questions. I would like to recomend to Griffman to present his argument against a more seasoned apologist like Dave Armstrong.

I have seen some of the same arguments used in his blog (though it was a while ago) and I think he may be able to provide and good answer.

Also I would say to George that he is misusing the term RC.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Giocrypt - ouch major blow to the ego. Dave Armstrong is a much better apologist than me, in fact.. he's an apologist - I'm not.. period..

I'm not bowing out for a lack of ability to deal with Grifman's arguments though, I'm bowing out because I don't have time to spend hours debating someone who's not really responding to my arguments.

If Grifman wants to debate and you folks want to see it.. fine - then lets make it more formal. Let's demonstrate what kind of sophistry we're talking about here.

I'll debate Grifman and here are the suggested terms:

Affirmative: The papacy, while not existing in its current form, did have demonstrable roots in the first three centuries of Christian history.

Negative: The papacy not only did not exist in its current form in the first three centuries, no substantive roots thereof can be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

Two posts - each of us have our opening remarks limited to 750 words (including citations) then 2 rebuttals each (250 words or less both times no other comments) final statements 500 words or less.

And to demonstrate the uselessness of this endeavor, here's the catch: he argues in the affirmative and I argue in the negative.

How's that?

George Weis said...

Hey, how am I misusing RC? Give me a better way to say Roman Catholic in an abbreviated way, and I will use it. I don't mean to misuse anything.


Blessings!

May the debating begin! HAHA! Funny.

-george-

GioCrypt said...

George:

I am guessing you are trying to refer to all Catholics when you say RC. The Church is composed by more than just RCs.

All RCs are Catholics but not all Catholics are RCs.

Roman refers to the Rite and the Catholic Church has about 22 different rites aside from Roman Catholic.

Its an hones mistake the media doesnt know any better.

George Weis said...

Oh, I am only speaking of Roman Catholics when I say that. Am I still off? The Reason I say that, is because I would consider myself Catholic but not Roman.

-george-