Sunday, April 13, 2014

... on Authority, Protestantism, Genesis (answering Robert Barron)

Video A:
Protestantism and Authority
Fr. Robert Barron
I Can Everyone Make Sense of Scripture?
Biblical History was already in everyone's hands. Historia Scholastica was translted into vernacs

As said, Historia Scholastica by Petrus Comestor was translated into several vernaculars and this with the full blessing of the Church.

No Flemish Inquisition was burning the Rijmbijbel, which was a Flemish translation of Historia Scholastica. And obviously Petrus Comestor with his Flemish translator (and his colleagues for other vernaculars) took Genesis 1-11 as very literal history.

So, on Genesis 1-11 (except perhaps the question of freewill in ch 4 and precise nature of fall ch 3) Catholics and Luther were totally agreed. Not Petrus Canisius, not Pius V, not Cajetan, not Francis of Sales, nor any other Catholic found any fault with Luther for taking these chapters literally.
II How Splintered is Protestantism?
Number of Protestantisms ... if Catholic Church and Orthodox Church together are so close to each other and so far from the Protestantisms properly so called, that would make about 5th or 6th major kind of Protestantism. Or perhaps 7th.

Lutherans and Anglicans are an Episcopalian one with Methodists.

Then there is the Presbyterian one, Calvinists and Arminians.

Then there is the Baptist or Congregationalist Protestantism (with free will baptists and calvinist baptists and pentecostals).

Then there is Restored Magisterium Protestantism (Watchtower Society and Mormons, also Apostolic Church).

Then there is Anabaptist type - Amish, Mennonites, Quakers and Shakers.

Then there are Apostates totally, like Unitarians, Transcendentals, Atheists.
III Are recent Popes acting as Referees and Fairly so?
Was John Paul II / Karol Wojtyla a fair umpire?

New blog on the Kid : David Palm as a Canonist

If the salt looseth its savour ...

Intervening when he had to ... is Bergoglio being a referee or is he a player?

An atheist who liked him said he feared "he is after my timeslot". He refuses to blow the whistle but holds the ball all the time.
Video B
Fr. Barron comments on Misreading Genesis
Fr. Robert Barron
I What is the Genre of Genesis?
What KIND of text are we dealing with?

Well, Petrus Comestor and any Catholic in his time and the following centuries, including the ones who condemned Luther were clear on Genesis being HISTORY.

Historia Scholastica
on Latin Wikisource (shortlink:)

From 12th C, but printed from Strasburg 15th C up to at least Lyons 1543. It was a standard work. It was also the basis for translations into the vernacular. Like:

on Nederlandsche Wikisource (shortlink:)
II Is Genesis Accurate?
"Modern Science didn't exist yet"

Well, there is no way that ACCURATE and INERRANT history can contradict ACCURATE science. So, perhaps it is Galileo and Darwin who are INACCURATE. Thought about that one?
III What is Proper of Science?
"To form hypotheses to test them with experimentation"

Standard theory on why Sun moved in relation to Zodiac, Newton's time: an angel was moving it. Standard theory as to why it moved each day: it was moving with all of heaven which was moved by God.

Newton certainly gave another explanation, but never ever tested it in such a way as to exclude the previous theory. UNLIKE how he dealt with spectral theory of light.
IV Themes in Genesis
"Creation is happening now"

No. Creating the world and upholding it are two distinct acts of God. [Both involve conferring existence on what has none of itself.]It's like building a harp and playing on it (analogy given by St Thomas Aquinas).

"Great act of violence" of Pagan Mythologies. None such in Big Bang or Abiogenesis?

"Some worshipped stars"

Modern scientist Lawrence Krauss said "a star had to die so you can live"

"Some worshipped animals"

Modern scientists of evolutionist bent say we have five phalangs on each hand or foot because non-human ancestors survived better that way. Or that other traits of our nature can be traced to non-human supposed either ancestors or beings with a same last common ancestor.

AronRa on his video series (five parts) on evolution of morality argues about Chimps coming in two shapes: bonobos and troglodites. Hippies and warriors. If that is all there is as alternatives go for chimps, so it is for men ... if chimps were our gods, of course, which they are not.
Video C
Deep Misunderstanding about the Bible by Fr. Robert Barron
I Enumeration of Genres in the Library Called Biblia
R U saying that either Gospel or the "Saga" at the beginning of Genesis are not meant as literally accurate history?

I am from the Nordic Countries. When I see the titles "Njáls saga" or "Gunnlaugs Ormstungu saga" I do not think of a "Märchen" like Rumpelstiltskin. I think of a "Sage" like Richard Lionheart being captured on his way through Austria by the squire of the Duke he had insulted at the siege of St Jean d'Acre. In other words, I think of literally factual information.

As history, I would compare Genesis to Herodotus, I - IV Kings (and Paralipomenon and Maccabees and for that matter Judges) to Thucydides and Gospels to the memories about Socrates, mainly those by Plato (Socrates as a Pagan and mere human was more complex about where he stood than Christ and so the works by the other disciple, what's his name, who also wrote Anabasis, though VERY different from Plato can be equally true: Plato shows the great thinker Socrates was occasionally, Xenophon the conventional Pagan he was habitually and sometimes slipping back into, while Aristophanes shows rumours from the viewpoint of his enemies and detractors). The difference being that Xenophon, Plato, Thucydides and Herodotus were mere men, workin outside a strict and uninterrupted divine guidance, and so they were fallible. Not so Moses or St John or St Matthew, who worked under the inspiration of God so as to say nothing in these works which was not also said by God who can neither be deceived nor deceive.
II Should one Take Poetry Section Literally?
Ha, poetry section!

NOT taking poetry as literally true (or meant to be such if good) is a habit that comes from Christians reading Homer and Virgil.

Did Ulysses come back to Penelope? Sure. Did he kill a lot of suitors when doing so? No problem.

Did he blind an already one eyed giant on the way? Possibly, but he could have been bragging about that one.

Was Zeus and Athena debating with Poseidon on Mount Olympus on whether he should get back or not and when? That is nearly the first scene in the Odyssey. No way a Christian can take that as literal truth! HENCE the habit of reading poetry for fun and then intellectually dissecting it "when Hermes warned Aigistos, Homer is speaking of his conscience, since even a bad man has such a thing, or about his guardian angel" ... For Holy Bible you don't need to do that to have it make sense. Its authors were not misguided Pagans that Christians can accept for instruction and for fun with some goodwill and some stretch. Its authors were designed to teach ONLY truth. Including in the very obvious poetry section called Psalms.

It is as much the literal or close to literal view of how things are or will be about Jesus Christ (see Ps 21 Deus meus) of King David and other authors, as De Rerum Natura is Lucretius cosmology and evolutionary cultural history as he literally believed it. With important difference that Lucretius was wrong by omitting God from His creation. And he and Tully were wrong to take the earliest men as savages without civilised institutions (see what St Thomas says against Tully in Supplement on whether Marriage is by Natural Law).
III Are the Novels in the Bible?
[As in invented figments of imagination?]
Moby Dick is a novel. Were the old Hebrews in need of inventing such - or had God placed them alive in a real life novel setting?

If you say Book of Jonah is a novel like Moby Dick, you are repeating a rationalistic explanation like that suggested by Calvin. He also wrote off Tobit as a novel. Are there any novels in the Bible?

Jesus' parables come pretty close to being a candidate. BUT the thing is that their author is God. The guy who can write a parable about Christ into the events of all the Old Testament can also afford taking examples from what in His omniscience he knows to be real life - which he created for that purpose.

Pope St Gregory the Great taught that the Rich Man and Lazarus were real people and St Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Martha and Mary, identic to the Lazarus who had been suffering a life like Job up to recently before the four days of death and the Waking from the Dead by Jesus. I agree.
IV From within a Hermeneutic Tradition?
FIRST OF ALL - saying any part of the Bible as speaking of past events is a mythology which is not meant for literal truth is NOT the Catholic tradition.

SECOND - saying the first eleven chapters of Genesis is not meant literally as history is also NOT the Catholic tradition.

1909 the Bible Commission of Pope St Pius X also very clearly said so.

It is I, the FUNDIE here, who is really speaking from within the CATHOLIC tradition.

You seem to be treating Genesis like a Platonist or Christian would read Homer's divine scenes or most of Hesiod's Theogony. Not like a believer in Homeric Mythology read those things and also not how Hebrews and Christians have been reading Genesis for Millennia.

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