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Switch to Forum Live View Is the Bible the source of disunity and division among Protestants?
2 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2012 - 5:42PM #1
cristoiglesia
Posts: 66
The Church is the "rock" of faith. For me that is what attracted me to Catholicism. You must understand that I had become extremely disillusioned with the constant changing of theological positions in my previous church. This, I believe, is typical of Protestant churches, in that, they are just more worldly, adapting to the changes in secular morality instead of holding firm to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. A few examples would be ordination of women, homosexuals and embracing of new gospels such as the prosperity gospel which in my opinion is just secular motivational teaching under the guise of Christianity. As a minister of the Gospel these constant changes were very disturbing. Being a scholar, it is also very disturbing to see all of the eisegesis being practiced by so many Protestant denominations to support their changing doctrines. I put a great deal of blame in this on the irresponsible practice of Sola Scriptura.

The reason that the Catholic Church is right about theological issues, aside from the arguments of the Holy Spirit leading the Church and the strength and validity of apostolic succession, is the fact that the Church has endured for two-thousand years. There is an accumulation of scholarship that unfortunately many Protestant groups refuse to take advantage of, reject or ignore, throughout the history of the Church. For the Catholic or the scholar, most Protestant scholars included, it is not surprising that Protestants embrace so many thousands of versions of the truth. Many of these versions are far a field of the teachings of the Jesus and the apostles and represent false teaching at an exponentially increasing level.

The belief by Protestants that the Bible is "norma normans" is really not the problem or something that Catholics would disagree vehemently but would be in agreement with the Bible being "norman normata" instead, with the Church being the "norma normans". What Catholics disagree with most adamantly, which has been explained many times and in many different ways; with amazing scholarship and eloquence by so many people directed to the author, there is no consensus among Protestants as to hermeneutics to be applied to the theory of the Bible being "norma normans". As a result, it should not be surprising that Catholics disagree often with Protestant interpretations and even more often with scholarly exegesis. Until Protestants are more mature in their faith or abandon completely the Protestant experiment, that is imploding from its exponentially increasing schisms, there will be little reason for Catholics to agree with Protestant musings of "Sola Scriptura" or the Bible as "norma normans" as a guide to faith when there is no consensus among Protestants as to what either one of these theological positions may be defined. Catholics would say, "where is the Church" in the Protestant scheme of things?

Catholics have matured to the point that there is a consensus that all Sacred Tradition is to be considered as a guide to faith, practice and morals. Protestants are not there yet and I fear that they may never reach that understanding because of their lack of unity in authority and rejection of the historical teaching of the Church. It is as if the gospel in Protestant Churches is continually being created anew and that is the crux of the differences.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph
http://fiatvolvntastua.blogspot.com/
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2012 - 7:36AM #2
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,154

Um...could you please explain what 'norma normata' and 'norma normans' mean? I'm an ignorant Protestant who has never heard these terms. Thanks.

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2012 - 10:14AM #3
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,314

They are Protestant ideas.


"[Confessional Lutherans] consider the Book of Concord the norma normata (Latin, "the normed norm") in relation to the Bible, which they consider the norma normans (Latin, "the norming norm"), i.e. the only source of Christian doctrine (God's authoritative word).  In this view the Book of Concord, on the topics that it addresses, is what the church authoritatively understands God's authoritative word to say."


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Concord


Being rather ignorant myself, I hadn't even heard of the Book of Concord.


Protestantism inherited much from Catholicism which in turn is founded mainly on the Blessed Augustine's theology.  He, alas, did not read Greek, and was living in a theological backwater.  He concocted the doctrine of Original Sin, for example due to his reliance on a less than perfect Latin translation of the Bible.  Such a doctrine is unknown by the Greek Fathers.


Protestanism inherited this idea, along with a defective notion of justification based again on Jerome's mistaken translation.


There are many other aspects of RCC's departure from the faith entrusted to the Apostle's which we might get into later.


Being an Orthodox Christin myself, I don't see as much difference between Catholicism and Protestantism as the Catholics and Protestants do.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2012 - 10:49AM #4
smcisaac
Posts: 7,916

A blind spot shared by all three traditions -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox alike -- is that there is only a single correct way to understand the Bible, and that they are the proper stewards of it and the guardians against the erroneous misunderstandings of others. Compare the way that Jews read the Bible, searching it for alternative meanings and comparing and contrasting multiple interpretations.  I think theirs is a richer and more honest approach, and one that celebrates diversity rather than uniformity of understanding.


A corresponding blind spot is the tendency of any particular sect to affirm its own doctrine (whether derived from scripture, ancient tradition, or both) as constituting absolute and exclusive Truth.  Doctrine is not absolute Truth, it is subjective interpretation and contextual application.


(Seraphim, are you sitting down? I am about to agree with you about something: You are absolutely correct about St. Augustine's theological shortcomings.)

"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way."  Gospel of Philip, Logion 72

"Christ will regenerate all things; through Him all things will be purged, and return into eternal life. And when the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, all things will be God; that is, all things will still exist, but God will exist in them, and they will be full of Him." Fabius Manus Victorinus, c. 350 AD
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2012 - 2:05PM #5
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,314

Nov 14, 2012 -- 10:49AM, smcisaac wrote:


A blind spot shared by all three traditions -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox alike -- is that there is only a single correct way to understand the Bible, and that they are the proper stewards of it and the guardians against the erroneous misunderstandings of others. Compare the way that Jews read the Bible, searching it for alternative meanings and comparing and contrasting multiple interpretations.  I think theirs is a richer and more honest approach, and one that celebrates diversity rather than uniformity of understanding.


A corresponding blind spot is the tendency of any particular sect to affirm its own doctrine (whether derived from scripture, ancient tradition, or both) as constituting absolute and exclusive Truth.  Doctrine is not absolute Truth, it is subjective interpretation and contextual application.


(Seraphim, are you sitting down? I am about to agree with you about something: You are absolutely correct about St. Augustine's theological shortcomings.)




It is exactly that sort of nihilism which led me to become Christian.


If there is no absolute Truth, then nothing matters.





People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2012 - 4:26PM #6
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,653

Q1: Is the Bible the source of disunity and division among Protestants?


OBJECTION: Methinks you broad-brush "Protestants" as to ALL those who are NOT members of the RCC!


A1: The "CHURCH" ("The Living Church?") is the collective "Body" of BELIEVERS who are permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit at the time of their Salvation. The "Head" and the "Corner Stone" is God the Son, the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ, The Messiah, The God-Man.
Its "building blocks" are "living stones", the "Grace through Faith" good news which guides the estranged to become a saved BODY + SOUL + SPIRIT.


Ephesians 4: 2-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 22:16; Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16;
Matthew 21: 42-45


Ephesians 4: 2-6....Unity in the Body of Christ...look for common ground in the "creeds"
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—
one Lord,
one faith,
one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is
over all and
through all and
in all.


Jude 1:19
These are the ones who cause divisions,
worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.


Q2: If (YOUR) Bible clearly and spiritually conflicts with "Church TRADITION" and / or "Magisterium", why does the RCC choose to disregard "the word of God", the Bible?"


Using the Bible as the highest spiritual authority is NOT your "Sola Scriptura". It is defined by me as "Scriptura Suprema".


 

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2012 - 4:35PM #7
Rgurley4
Posts: 8,653

You may refer to me as a conservative Christ-follower. And you have little or know knowledge of what I believe.


Why are are you trying to pick on "Protestants" / NON_RCC! Trying to convert us?


For 50 years, I have seen "Protestants" become more tolerant of hard core RCC's.


AND I have seen the RCC become more "like" non-RCC Christ-followers.

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2012 - 7:51PM #8
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,154

Nov 14, 2012 -- 10:49AM, smcisaac wrote:


A blind spot shared by all three traditions -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox alike -- is that there is only a single correct way to understand the Bible, and that they are the proper stewards of it and the guardians against the erroneous misunderstandings of others. Compare the way that Jews read the Bible, searching it for alternative meanings and comparing and contrasting multiple interpretations.  I think theirs is a richer and more honest approach, and one that celebrates diversity rather than uniformity of understanding.




...and it's worth mentioning that many Jews do this while studying the Bible in its original language. Yes, languages change over time and we have to keep that in mind, but they admit that there is room for diversity of opinion in the originals and seek to learn from each other.


Some Christians, on the other hand, insist there's only one interpretation while working from translations of translations (and sometimes just based on something they saw on the 700 Club) and don't even bother to consider another viewpoint. IOW, they don't read the originals but they think they know more about the what the Bible means than people who do. If that makes sense. That's like me watching Grey's Anatomy and thinking I can do surgery better than my doctor.


Sometimes I think Muslims have the right idea when they teach that the Quran is only 'inspired' when written in the original Arabic.

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2012 - 7:56PM #9
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,154

Nov 16, 2012 -- 4:35PM, Rgurley4 wrote:


For 50 years, I have seen "Protestants" become more tolerant of hard core RCC's.


AND I have seen the RCC become more "like" non-RCC Christ-followers.




I think there is a lot to be said for remembering what we have in common rather than what we don't. Jesus and what He did for us is more important than what translation of the Bible someone uses or whether they allow women to speak in church.


(silly tangent)


If someone insists on taking Paul's words about women not speaking in church and applying them out of context to today, would that mean that women shouldn't be in the choir or sing? Or shouldn't participate in liturgy or read one of the Bible lessons for the day? Because we're technically speaking in church when we do those things, and it can be said that we would be teaching men if we read a lesson.


(/tangent)

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2012 - 7:58PM #10
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,314

Nov 16, 2012 -- 7:51PM, Beautiful_Dreamer wrote:


Nov 14, 2012 -- 10:49AM, smcisaac wrote:


A blind spot shared by all three traditions -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox alike -- is that there is only a single correct way to understand the Bible, and that they are the proper stewards of it and the guardians against the erroneous misunderstandings of others. Compare the way that Jews read the Bible, searching it for alternative meanings and comparing and contrasting multiple interpretations.  I think theirs is a richer and more honest approach, and one that celebrates diversity rather than uniformity of understanding.




...and it's worth mentioning that many Jews do this while studying the Bible in its original language. Yes, languages change over time and we have to keep that in mind, but they admit that there is room for diversity of opinion in the originals and seek to learn from each other.


Some Christians, on the other hand, insist there's only one interpretation while working from translations of translations (and sometimes just based on something they saw on the 700 Club) and don't even bother to consider another viewpoint. IOW, they don't read the originals but they think they know more about the what the Bible means than people who do. If that makes sense. That's like me watching Grey's Anatomy and thinking I can do surgery better than my doctor.


Sometimes I think Muslims have the right idea when they teach that the Quran is only 'inspired' when written in the original Arabic.




According to this article the situation is not exactly as SMC would have us believe.




People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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