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Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 10 2010 8:41 PM

David Saeli:
For example (and I also do NOT wish to take any sides in my emails), Revelation 12 will certainly be interpreted one way to a Protestant and certainly interpreted another way for a Catholic.

David,

I would encourage you to be careful of assuming unanimity of perspectives amongst "Catholics" or "Protestants" on any passage. There exists among both Protestant and Catholic scholars a great diversity of opinions concerning Revelation 12. There is most certainly not an official Catholic position on its interpretation (as in the only one which may be believed). Raymond Brown, for example, did not believe that the woman of Revelation 12 should be identified as Mary.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 3:12 AM

I have been lurking on this thread for the last few days. I just wanted to post now to thank everyone who has participated for an interesting, well-reasoned, and courteous discussion. Thank you all.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 5:19 AM

Damian McGrath:

I would encourage you to be careful of assuming unanimity of perspectives amongst "Catholics" or "Protestants" on any passage. There exists among both Protestant and Catholic scholars a great diversity of opinions concerning Revelation 12. There is most certainly not an official Catholic position on its interpretation (as in the only one which may be believed). Raymond Brown, for example, did not believe that the woman of Revelation 12 should be identified as Mary.

Absolutely true! In fact, and maybe surprisingly, there is an extremely low percentage of scripture verses where the Catholic Church has :authoritatively" (meaning you must believe) interpreted Bible verses.  Contrary to the opinions of religious sisters teaching in elementary schools in the 60s, the Church has always encouraged the faithful to read and study the Bible.  That should be done in conjunction with an understanding of the teaching of the Church so as not to fall into an incorrect line of thinking (in the Church's eyes).  Again, others disagree...

As for Logos Catholic resources, you have been offered the one Catholic page that has some. I also encourage you to check out the current Community pricing page at http://www.logos.com/communitypricing -- placing some bids there will bring some public domain stuff to the market at absurdly cheap prices (Aquinas' Catena Aurea is there).  On the Pre pub page, good discounts are offered on quite a few Catholic resources that you, through your bids, can encourage to be published at prices you will not be able to match later. You will see a Ray Brown collection (noted Catholic scholar), GK Chesterton collection, Catholic spirituality collection, Aquinas' Summa Contra, Butler's Lives of the Saints, Douay Rheims Bible works of John Henry Newman (possibly the next designated Doctor of the Church!),    the Patrologia Cursus Completus (Early Church Fathers!), Studies in Karl Barth collection, Catholic Encyclopedia, and the Catholic Theory and Dogma collection are all outstanding classics that build Logos' Catholic collection significantly, if they get published. Prepubs are here - http://www.logos.com/prepub

One last point - like Damian said, even Catholic scholars have diversity of thought.  Once you have a better feel, if you are interested, of the nuances between what the Church authoritatively teaches vs. those things that Catholic scholars have reasoning through their own scholarly work (which one day may actually advance the teaching of the Church; for example look at the development of the Theology of the Trinity over the first 400 years AD!), you can then start reading other scholars' work from a discriminating perspective.  Many scholars of all Christian faiths have lots to offer if you have a foundation in your own faith (and that is true for all Christians); Christians of any denomination can learn from all scholars if they have a good grounding in their own faith, and I know many on this forum feel the same way, which is why they buy and read lots of stuff).

Happy reading!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 1:34 PM

Dominick Sela:
Contrary to the opinions of religious sisters teaching in elementary schools in the 60s, the Church has always encouraged the faithful to read and study the Bible.  That should be done in conjunction with an understanding of the teaching of the Church so as not to fall into an incorrect line of thinking (in the Church's eyes).  Again, others disagree...

This statement is true but also subject to misinterpretation. For the majority of the Church's life, putting Bibles in the hands of everyone was impossible - no printing presses, no mass produced Bibles. However, the Church did encourage biblical literacy through art, preaching and readings in worship. The latter slowly grew less influential as church service languages separated from spoken language (in both the eastern and western churches). However, there were continually translations of portions of the Bible into the spoken languages; prayer books and devotionals included scripture in the spoken language etc. So those wealthy enough to purchase such books had some scripture in the home. The printing press occurred at the same time as some major philosophical changes (hence the reformation). The Church, looking at the reformation's emphasis on scripture decided (not necessarily wisely), that encouraging lay reading of scripture without previous education on how to read scripture was a bad idea. This culminated in some embarrassingly stupid "official" statements near the beginning of the last century. Fortunately, the really stupid is self-evidently stupid and a number of Catholic scholars ignored the nonsense. So after a 400 year or so hiatus, the Church hierarchy got over reacting to the reformation and moved back to encouraging scripture study.

Ah yes, the theological language of "embarrassingly stupid" is a bit toned down from what a certain Dominican scholar really said.Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 12
Thomas Doud | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 15 2010 7:45 PM

David,

Grace and Peace to you as well. I can offer you resources outside Logos. I just purchased Logos but as far as I can see there is very little here that would help. I look forward to them publishing some Catholic content but it is very weak now. If you want support in not believing Catholic doctrine that should be easy to find on Logos. 

Here is a good scripture source for Catholic doctrine:

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/

Here is a great easy read. Best casual look at patristics from an evangelical convert:

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Witnesses-Early-Church-Words/dp/0898708478/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263608413&sr=1-1

If you objectively read scripture from the heart of the church you will see that all her doctrine is plausible. What you believe in the end will be determined by the philosophy you use to look at it. You will not decide by the content in the bible. Remember that when the church set the canon in the late 300's to early 400's her liturgical and doctrinal teaching had long been established.  The Catholic church is not "bible based' because there was no bible in its current form until late 300's. What you are asking is a philosophical question and you will need to understand the parameters of what confirms truth. That last sentence would take books to unpack but let me state it another way. To reject Catholic teaching you need to imagine the early church without sacraments, oral tradition, hierarchy, etc. I can't point you to source but I can point you to the right time frame. Look at every commentary written pre-Nicene. Do a word search on Eucharist at CCEL. 

Here is a great audio series from a scholar who is a Jewish convert:

http://hebrewcatholic.org/Studies/MysteryofIsraelChurch/mysteryofisraela.html

That would give you an honest orthodox view of how true Catholic teaching views scripture. If you listen to much of that you would at least be informed of the Catholic way of interpretation. 

I look forward to reading the protestant commentaries. I love to learn how others think. Most of what disagrees with Catholic teaching seems to be protestant's disagreeing with a straw man they call catholic teaching. To be fair most were probably written before the CCC came out so it would be hard for someone to know what the Catholic church teaches. 

I would help for us all to grow in an ecumenical effort is to at least have an honest rendering of the real teaching of each community. 

Peace,

Tom

Posts 1390
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 15 2010 8:21 PM

David Saeli:

Hello:

 

I just purchased L4 Silver and am now in search of more resources ... some that are geared specifically toward addressing the serious issues of Catholicism.  I am looking for a Biblical perspective from both positions (preferably non-biased).  I am originally Catholic and years ago, left the church due to not being able to personally "Biblically" substantiate my faith.  I read many of the Catholic apologists books but found their answers lacking as far as serious exegetical "Biblical" study was concerned (even though they made many good points on beliefs of the early church fathers).  The more I have dug into Biblical text myself, the more convinced I have become.  This is just my personal findings and I pray it doesn't offend anyone, as this isn't the reason for the post.

 

I talk often to my family (some still Catholic) about my faith and to many great friends and am a sincere seeker of what the Bible has to say.  I choose to believe the Bible solely ... and not rely on mans opinions of what the Bible has to say from a slanted viewpoint (from either stance).  One of my MAIN reasons for purchasing L4 was to either prove or disprove my stance by more closely looking at the original biblical texts and supporting documentations.

 

I have tried to find any non-biased resources for L4 that cover all "Catholic" doctrines and compare it with original languages and popular commentaries, beliefs of early church fathers and how Catholic doctrines have evolved over the past 2000 years.  I am trying to find a resource that discusses "what" they believe and more importantly, "why"  they believe it and can it truly be justified after tough exegetical studies from God's Word?  For example (rhetorical question):  Did the early church fathers believe what the Catholic church teaches today, were their beliefs correct according to a close look at text and context of the Word of God, did even their beliefs evolve over time, etc...  These are all things I am seeking answers for.

 

Catholic resources (ie: Karl Keating) will, of course, give me their beliefs, but this is not what I want.  My goal is to find resources instead that will "substantiate" their beliefs when the Bible speaks for itself.  Anyone know of any good quality resources available from solid Biblical scholars that can substantiate Catholic doctrine or show where and why it is in err?

 

Kindly forgive in advance if this is in any way offensive (I know it can be a touchy subject for most).  I'm just looking for any available resources that can help me to study what the Bible ALONE states and help me to prove the stance that I've made in leaving the church, or to disprove my stance.

 

In Christ's love.

 

David

You might check out the catholic encyclopedia it is on pre pub

 

Posts 1493
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 16 2010 8:29 AM

Have you read "Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics" by Ron Rhodes?

He lists some of the major doctrines of the Roman Church, explains why (and what scriptures they use for defense) they believe in these doctrines, and then explains what Scripture really says within correct context.

 

 

Posts 198
Bryan Brodess | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 16 2010 9:01 AM

sounds like an excellent book.. Also looks like he has a few good ones.. Might be a nice add for logos..

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 16 2010 9:51 PM

Joshua Garcia:

Have you read "Reasoning from the Scriptures with Catholics" by Ron Rhodes?

He lists some of the major doctrines of the Roman Church, explains why (and what scriptures they use for defense) they believe in these doctrines, and then explains what Scripture really says within correct context.

While I am not familiar with this particular book beyond the first few pages available on Amazon, it does not appear to me that the book is well researched. Like many of its type, it appears to have at its starting point what the author thinks Catholics believe rather than what Catholics actually believe. Unfortunately, in apologetics on most any side, I find more books that reinforce misunderstanding than promote actual understanding and a meaningful conversation of persuasion.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 4:04 AM

A little know fact, you can use the "search" on that Amazon page and read any part of that book you want! 

If I wanted to learn what people of another religion believe, I would read an authoritative source.  I would not read a book by someone who disbelieves the religion he is writing about.   

So what makes people think this non-Catholic author's description of what the Catholic Church believes will be more accurate than what the Catholic Church authoritatively states itself? It seems to indicate the existence of these books is to reinforce in people that they have good reason to disagree with religion 'x', otherwise many more books that are authoritative on their religion would be purchased.

I hazard to guess that Christians have bought a lot more books about the Quran written by Christians than they have the Quran itself.  Just a guess...

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 11:24 AM

MJ. Smith:
While I am not familiar with this particular book beyond the first few pages available on Amazon, it does not appear to me that the book is well researched. Like many of its type, it appears to have at its starting point what the author thinks Catholics believe rather than what Catholics actually believe. Unfortunately, in apologetics on most any side, I find more books that reinforce misunderstanding than promote actual understanding and a meaningful conversation of persuasion.

MJ,

This seems to be your excuse for any apologetic work against Catholicism. It seems that no one can understand Catholicism but a Catholic (and I guess if you write a book disagreeing with Catholicism that it just proves that you don't understand Catholicism). And, of course, when I quoted directly from Roman Catholic sources, I just misunderstood them. (I guess this means we need a magisterium to interpret the magisterium since Roman Catholic dogma is so inperspicuous.)

Of course, you will disagree with this assessment, but anyone can read your posts here in this regard and decide for themselves. Sorry, I'm not trying to go after you or Roman Catholics, but I think the "straw-man" charge you keep throwing around needs to be put to rest.

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 11:32 AM

Dominick Sela:
So what makes people think this non-Catholic author's description of what the Catholic Church believes will be more accurate than what the Catholic Church authoritatively states itself? It seems to indicate the existence of these books is to reinforce in people that they have good reason to disagree with religion 'x', otherwise many more books that are authoritative on their religion would be purchased.

Actually, the existence of these books is to critique Roman Catholicism. People write these types of books so that average joes who don't want to spend all their time reading through Catholic dogma and all its transformations can get a basic grasp of Catholic teaching and what is (allegedly) wrong with it. 

Same with Islam: not everyone has the time to read the Qur'an and all the ahadith first hand and then to formulate and organize a critique of Islam (especially since Muslims like to use the translation/interpretation thing to safe-guard themselves against being critiqued, you would practically have to learn Arabic first). It's easier and quicker to read someone else who has already done that work. 

Of course, there is always the problem that the person who does such work will make a mistake or misrepresentation. But then it's also possible that your firsthand research will lead to mistakes and misrepresentation. 

So I think the project of such apologetic works and person's reading of such apologetic works is perfectly legitimate and I won't venture to guess the primary motive in your objection to such material.

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 12:17 PM

John Bowling:
Actually, the existence of these books is to critique Roman Catholicism.

Nothing at all wrong with a critique if what it intends to critique, the premise, is factual.  When the source premise is non-factual, and a formal authority and formal written source exists, the conclusions of the book will be misleading and misinformed.

John Bowling:

 I won't venture to guess the primary motive in your objection to such material.

I was just pointing out the illogic of reading a book that starts from false premise.

John Bowling:
Of course, there is always the problem that the person who does such work will make a mistake or misrepresentation. But then it's also possible that your firsthand research will lead to mistakes and misrepresentation. 

My point was avoiding the authority for the premise. If you read the authority to ascertain what is taught (since in this case it is written down by a formal authority) than you have the basis to (a) draw your own conclusions or (b) read critiques of people who know what it really says, because then the reader could draw a conclusion on whether the premise being critiqued is accurate or not. 

Posts 39
David | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 12:27 PM

Hello all:

 

Thank you everyone for all of your posts.  They have been very helpful.  I really appreciate the link to the catechism (I have added this as a link in my Logos to take me there at the click of a button).  I also appreciate the suggestion on the Ron Rhodes books.  I looked into them and will have to go with paper books (after Logos ... what is 'paper' again?)  Big Smile

 

They say that discussing politics or religion is taboo because people are so "tuned in" (blinders on) to what they believe that they hate to think that they may be incorrect (especially when you're messing with someone's personal convictions or faith).  But should genuine Christians truly object to hearing truth?  After all, Apollos was open when he was corrected by Aquila / Priscilla.  Shouldn't we be?  I love Jesus and only assume that the readers of this email love Him as well.  I am just requesting that we seek to grow in the "knowledge" of our Lord and Savior.

 

I want to sincerely understand better what Romanism teaches.  As stated in my original email, my goal is to have a better understanding of what goes through a Catholic's mind when they read the Biblical passages that appear (to me) to disagree with their church's doctrine rather than seeking to back up a decision that I've already made.  This is why I have been searching through the Logos website for some sort of Roman-thought "commentary", etc... so that when I turn to Romans chapter 4 (only for example) and see what seems obvious to me as imputational righteousness, then this seemingly non-existent magical Logos program would show me how a Catholic might explain away this text.  Without this, how can anyone agree with anything other than what seems (to me) to be obvious.  I'm not interested in seeking "anti-Catholic" propaganda "if" their explanation of what Catholicism teaches is not truly what Catholics believe, yet if it is nothing more than "incorrect propaganda", then I am interested in owning true Catholic explanations of the scriptures that I found most disturbing as a Catholic and why I eventually ceased to be one.

 

My online L4 friends ... we all agree that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.  Do we not?  I can only assume that there is a foundational base of agreement on this if we all spent the big bucks to purchase L4.  In John 17, Jesus said (to the Father), "your word is truth".  If we all can agree that the Bible as God's Word is truth, then let's dig into God's Word and see what He has to say on these important subjects.  I'm confused by the posts that state that if I read God's Word "alone", then I will not find Catholic answers.  Shouldn't I be able to?  If not, then I personally have to question why not.

 

I understand that this is not the proper forum (as this is strictly about L4 available software) and that's kewl, but maybe someone can assist me in finding the proper forum to discuss this as I believe that this is the 800lb gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Written in love and sincerely seeking Catholic answers to the difficult Biblical questions,

 

David

Posts 39
David | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 12:40 PM

Hi Dominic:

 

How can one search through an entire book (instead of just the first few pages) on Amazon.com?  I didn't know one could do this.

 

Thank you.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 1:13 PM

David:

Hi Dominic:

 

How can one search through an entire book (instead of just the first few pages) on Amazon.com?  I didn't know one could do this.

 

Thank you.

 

Well for example, to look in the book "The Shack" http://www.amazon.com/Shack-William-P-Young/dp/0964729237/ref=pd_ts_b_12?ie=UTF8&s=books, look under the graphic of the book on the left - it says "Search inside this book".  Many times I use the Table of Contents to look up a page number, or a topic, or something.  It's not the best interface in the world (it's not Logos!) but it works!  Many books have the "Search" link, especially if they have the sample pages.

Posts 27
Brandon Vaughn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 2:04 PM

John Bowling:
Of course, you will disagree with this assessment, but anyone can read your posts here in this regard and decide for themselves. Sorry, I'm not trying to go after you or Roman Catholics, but I think the "straw-man" charge you keep throwing around needs to be put to rest.

I think my biggest prayer is that the term "straw-man" might be banned from eternity.  No offense to John in using it either.  But it certainly seems the "catch phrase" in Christiantiy today.  I think I've heard just about everything that everyone believes in called a "straw-man" at this point.

Maybe we aren't in Kansas anymore?!

Blessings,
Brandon

Posts 20
Stephen Egge | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 3:04 PM

David ...

I recently built a new computer and it is running Windows 7 - 64 bit ... that being stated because it caused me to be unable to use many non logos Catholic resources (from Harmony Media Inc ). I suppose I could run them if I rebooted into xp mode. At any rate I found a program with a rather "clutzy" interface with catholic docterine such as the CCC and others that will run on my machine and is relatively inexpensive. You might find it useful "The Faith Database"  ( http://www.faithdatabase.com/ )

Logos does have some good Catholic resources ... pointed out in a previous post. The Collegeville reference library being one of the better ones. On prepub you will see The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library which contains a number of interesting Cathoic resources ... many from Raymond Brown and John P Meier.  It is a bit pricey however.  

I wish you well on your journey.

steve

Steve

 

Posts 12
Thomas Doud | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 4:16 PM

" I'm confused by the posts that state that if I read God's Word "alone", then I will not find Catholic answers.  Shouldn't I be able to?  If not, then I personally have to question why not."

This is simply demonstrated by the vast number of extremely gifted, talented and dedicated bible scholars who have read the bible and not found some of the most obvious of Catholic doctrines that have not wavered in 2000 years. There are many who do eventually see the Catholic view independently of course. Just one example as a demonstration - abortion. The earliest Catholic document (the Didache) teaches against and the Catholic teaching has not wavered. How many churches disagree with that now? I can imagine two protestants discussing how silly Roman Catholic teaching is yet they come from traditions that differ on whether "thou shall not kill" is still in effect.

Act 8:30-31
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?" So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. 

What would be the point in Logos if we can't stand on the shoulders of people who have gone before us and studied the bible. Why do you have Logos if you can pick up the bible and understand it perfectly already? Why do you need a book to tell you the Catholic church is in error when if it is self evident? 

The question doesn't change if you are outside the Catholic church. How do you determine doctrine? Are you telling me that the 30,000 protestant denominations all agree on all doctrinal issues? The Mormons, Jehovah Witness, and Muslim traditions all agree with your rejection of the Catholic teaching. They all find the truth in their books self evident. That is one of the reasons Chesterton converted is he noticed how all people explain themselves in relation to the Catholic teaching. 

The fact that you need to read from inside a tradition seems to me self evident. We should let Luther speak for Luther, Calvin speak for Calvin should we not? Otherwise we are creating a clay - man (following Brandon's no straw man rule:). 

I trust that as I use Logos I will grow in my understanding of scripture from the work of many protestant brothers. I applaud their love and dedication to the Lord and His word. 

Peace,

Tom

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 17 2010 4:55 PM

Thomas Doud:
Are you telling me that the 30,000 protestant denominations all agree on all doctrinal issues?

This is simply a false statistic. See here for the debunking of it. From the link, for example, we see that the source often cited for this statistic includes Roman Catholicism...

As for the rest of what you say, as the retired philosopher turned blogger Bill Vallicella writes, "It is worth noting that thinking for oneself is no guarantee that one will arrive at truth.  Far from it.  The world is littered with conflicting opinions  generated from the febrile heads of people with too much trust in their own powers.  But neither is submission to an institution's authority any assurance of safe passage to the harbour of truth.  Both the one who questions authority and the one who submits to it can end up on a reef.  'Think for yourself' and 'Submit to authority' are both onesided pieces of advice. You thought things were easy?"

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

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