Sunday, January 29, 2023

Matters of Fact Sometimes in Fact Matter

Thoughts on the Gavin Ortlund vs. Horn/Akin Icons Discussion
Reason & Theology, 24.I.2023

2:14 For comparison.

I was received in 1988, having made my decision the last days of 1984 after revising the Inquisition and Albigensians, a topic that had previously given me some Anti-Catholic fuel in favour of Lutheranism.

Most of the time since, I have been a kind of rad trad, but didn't come to communion with FSSPX until 1993, which means I had some experience of what you would consider real Catholics before that. My time with EO was 2006 to 2009. Had a soft spot for them before and have had it since.

A very interesting difference is, I was doing my conversion catechesis before, and you 20 years after CCC was issued.

16:20 After a glimpse at his video - Council of Elvira, canon 36 got it partly wrong on images.

But it wasn't an Ecumenical one. I say partly, because it is far from totally condemning them and also makes no prohibition against icons at home.

It is a prudential measure, "It has seemed good" and not anything like aggressive bans on icons.

Doesn't mean Nicaea II got it wrong.

17:49 Am I reading you right when you claim that the theology of Nicaea II is infallible, but the historical claim is fallible?

That you do not think that the honour of images is of apostolic origin historically?

Because, it is a major deviation from "revelation was closed at the death of the last apostle" (traditional Catholic dogma, forget whether it was Trent or Vatican 1869-70) if you tend to say "veneration of images came later but was defended by theology that was later deduced from what the apostles had" - a very major one.

19:21 Copts and Armenians certainly and Assyrians probably are in agreement with Nicaea II.

So, Gavin is cutting himself off from that too.

21:05 At a minimum, St. John was venerating an icon or two not made by human hands - the Shroud and the Sudarium.

21:51 The objection is:
  • partly presupposing that Jewish adversaries of the apostles had access to all Christian practises
  • partly presuming they did not make that point.

Now, for the Talmudic Yeshu, I think it is mainly based on a way earlier person, who did found a form of idol worship (without images according to Tacitus) among Germanic tribes (who got Apocalypic matters, Osiris worship, Nephelim before the Flood, Babylonian subterranean dragons gnawing world pillars or world tree from this oriental), at least one or two generations earlier, but they also do identify him with someone they executed and whose disciples they executed. So, why would they accuse Jesus of founding an idolatrous sect? Is it only because they objected to worshipping Jesus as The Lord?

23:59 I think that you are misrepresenting what "materially" means in scholasticism.

It doesn't mean "in the premisses" - an example of icon veneration really being materially apostolic would be if they venerated (or some of them venerated) the Shroud and Sudarium, but not as icons, rather as relics. Which they are also.

24:36 For the denial of the existence of the cake it is enough that it was a rare dish.

Or, if icon veneration was early on restricted to icons not made by man, and St. Luke's icon of the virgin, that would make the then licit icons hard to access for most Christians, meaning the rest were involved in a situation materially coinciding with, thought not formally identic to prohibition of icons.

Like my absence from Mass in Paris is not formally identic to Protestant objections against the Mass, it only materially coincides about the Masses that are available in Paris, where none were celebrated up to Aug 2nd last year "una cum papa nostro Michael" ...

26:58 When you talk of "all the ingredients already there in the apostles" how is that different from "all the premisses for the logical reasoning there in the apostles"?

So, the second option as you state it really coincides with the third option as you state it.

Oh, wait, by "mixed in from reason or history" you mean one of the premisses being accessible by either rather than by revelation?

Like, I suppose the exact terms of transsubstantiation involve (like Trinitarian theology and Christology) terms from Greek philosophy.

28:41 Indeed.
If icon veneration is no way apostolic at all, that means Nicaea II was wrong, that excludes Catholics, Orthodox, and at least Miaphysites, probably Nestorians too, from being Apostolic.

Just checked for Nestorians:

"One of the most common misconceptions about the Assyrian Church of the East is that she does not use icons or is even averse to icons. For many Assyrians this would seem natural and correct as they have not seen icons in their worship and may have been told that the Church of the East rejects icons. All other ancient Christian traditions have icons and it may be shocking to think of an Apostolic church without icons.

"The concept that the Church of the East does not have icons in her tradition is a myth. The Assyrian Church does not currently make large use of icons, but they are indeed present in her tradition."

The blog is called "East Meets East" and the post is "Assyrian Church's Theology of Icons: Part 1"

As said, so this would of all Christians leave only either:
  • Protestants issued from the Reformation, OR
  • a Baptist Continuity since the Apostles.

Note, when it comes to icons not made by human hand, we have the facecloth Christ sent to Abgar (VI) of Edessa. Cited in the post:

"The letter came to Abgar the king, and he received it with great joy. When they related to him the wonders that were performed by Jesus in the land of Judea, he admired and was amazed by the might of God. Since he was not worthy of seeing these things…he found skilled painters and ordered them…to depict the fact of our Lord and bring the depiction…to him. The painters were not able to depict the Lord’s human appearance. When our Lord realized, thought the understanding of His divinity, the love of Abgar for Him and as He saw the painters who endeavored to find the image to depict Him as He was, but failed, He took a cloth and imprinted on it His face…The cloth was placed in the Church of Edessa, where it still remains as a source of all kinds of help.” (A. Harrak, “The Acts of Mar Mari the Apostle”, Writings from the Greco-Roman World II (Atlanta, 2005) found in Die Welt der Gotterbilder, ed. B Groneberd & H Spieckermann, pg 327"

Also note, Reformation = contradiction with Matthew 28:16-20, therefore incompatible with Christianity.
Baptist continuity = non-historic. Not just very hard but totally impossible to verify in historic sources.

Therefore contrary to Matthew 5:15 for most centuries which is also incompatible with Christianity.

32:37 A claim about historic transmission since apostles is within the Church's scope of infallibility.

A claim about what exact sin against faith Honorius did is sth else, but on that one the vote of the bishops and the confirmation by the Pope disagree, and the Catholic position would in that case either be to discard both or to go with the papal confirmation.

So, if Evolutionism ("Adam had non-human biological ancestry") is heresy, Honorius was for Monotheletism not guilty like "John Paul II" but only like Pius XII (with Humani Generis).

Equally, Nestorius retreated to a monastery on the Epheus condemnation, and at Chalcedon news arriving, he said "that's what I meant" and left it. So Ephesus ("I") could be historically wrong in Nestorius being guilty of the heresy condemned as Nestorianism. This makes it even more poignant that a Pope said he lost office directly on preaching heresy - since the appearance of heresy in the words were enough, even without grave personal guilt.

I suppose you know the video by Dimond Brothers with the relevant quote from ... Pope Celestine I.

A Pope who vindicated the layman who cried out "heresy" from the bench against Nestorius in the pulpit.

I think the position of (33:04) Anastasios Bibliothekarios (by the way, briefly an Antipope) about the 5th Council may reflect a position that a valid conciliar declaration is basically made by the majority vote of bishops. If he had taken into account the confirmation letter by Pope St. Leo II, it would not have been necessary.

35:34 I disagree on pure matters of fact (when connected to what is apostolic tradition) being outside the magisterium.

I also appreciate that Pope Leo XIII confirmed a pure matter of fact, namely St. James the Great really being (and by extension, Priscillianus really not being) the relics in Santiago de Compostela.

41:00 Liturgy is a theological location, and it may incorporate items previously not in liturgy.

Like the offertory (lacking in the Dominican rite) incorporates theology about intentions when putting bread and wine on the altar, but prior to the consecration which changes them into the Flesh and Blood of God.

But part of the point Gavin was making is, icons was not originally part of the normal Catholic liturgy. He may have overestimated its uniformity (if licit icons were rare, like only the miraculous ones and St. Luke's, many would not have been able to use these liturgically). He may have got the CF wrong (as I think he did with St. Justin). But if something from the start was neither there in liturgy, anywhere, nor in magisterial teaching, anywhere, nor in the Bible, not even passages he overlooked, that means, it is not apostolic.

42:07 Matters of fact CAN and DO come under secondary object of faith,
as seen from II-II, Q1 A1, objections 1 and 2 with their reply:

// Objection 1. It would seem that the object of faith is not the First Truth. For it seems that the object of faith is that which is proposed to us to be believed. Now not only things pertaining to the Godhead, i.e. the First Truth, are proposed to us to be believed, but also things concerning Christ's human nature, and the sacraments of the Church, and the condition of creatures. Therefore the object of faith is not only the First Truth.

Objection 2. Further, faith and unbelief have the same object since they are opposed to one another. Now unbelief can be about all things contained in Holy Writ, for whichever one of them a man denies, he is considered an unbeliever. Therefore faith also is about all things contained in Holy Writ. But there are many things therein, concerning man and other creatures. Therefore the object of faith is not only the First Truth, but also created truth.

Reply to Objection 1. Things concerning Christ's human nature, and the sacraments of the Church, or any creatures whatever, come under faith, in so far as by them we are directed to God, and in as much as we assent to them on account of the Divine Truth.

The same answer applies to the Second Objection, as regards all things contained in Holy Writ. //

45:26 You actually affirm a "Middle Inerrancy" which does not amount to inerrancy.

46:17 I most certainly do hold to YEC* and before you tell me I have "a lot of strained and forced things on my hand" you would have a duty of looking what I have under my hand and my keyboard.

Otherwise, you are guilty of slander.

Not all Protestants do.

Well, not all Catholics don't.

47:45 Part of what Jews complain about are LXX readings, as if it was clear that Masoretic just bc it is the original language is also the original text version.

It's not strained to disagree.

Part are simply unexpectedness of fulfilments. Rivon Krygier, when invited into Notre Dame, claimed Jesus was not the Messiah he didn't fulfil Isaiah 11. I go to Isaiah 11 and don't need to strain to find early Church history, generally (His Sepulchre shall be glorious) and of the region (Acts 8, flight to Pella) a very convincing fulfilment of Isaiah 11, point by point - at least the final verses, which are what Rivon Krygier was complaining about.

* For some readers not aware, YEC is acronym for Young Earth Creationism.

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