Saturday, January 17, 2009

Catholic Presuppositionalism?

A thread with the title, “Cogito, Ergo Sum [Protestant]?”, posted by Jason Stellman at de regnis duobus, has prompted some interesting dialogue concerning the issue of Catholic presuppositionalism. [I found out about this thread via a link provided at FIDES QUAERENS INTELLECTUM.]

I think it is important to point out that this is not the first discussion on the topic; a thread started by Art Sippo back in December, 2006 at Patrick Madrid’s Speak Your Mind is the first instance of this subject that I am aware of. Those who are currently involved in the dialogue at DRD and FQI would probably derive some benefit from reading the older thread.


Grace and peace,

David

6 comments:

Ken Temple said...

The picture of the Pope and Hitler that one sees at the very beginning of going to that blog is pretty devastating as a provocative technique.

This blog is referring to Al Kimel's blog, which I used to read in 2004-2006, but it appears to no longer have some of his articles.

Al Kimel's site appears to have been changed, because I cannot find these statement's he made back in 2006 ( ?) in an article on the canon: (interspersed in my comments that I made on Dave Armstrong's blog back in 2006.

My main point is that Kimel also uses Presuppositionalism in his belief that the Church determined the canon.

Pontificator, Al Kimel, in his blog and article on the "canon of Scripture" says that the church did not "create" the canon of Scripture:

"Did the Church “create” the Scripture? No, the Holy Spirit of God did–both in inspiring the biblical authors to compose the sacred texts and in inspiring the Church to recognize and authorize these texts as Scripture. The Bible cannot be divorced from the living voice of the Church. As Fr John Breck has written, “It is the work of the Spirit that enables the Church both to generate and to interpret her own canon or rule of truth.”

But, earlier, by saying that John probably did not write the Apocalypse and that Paul did not write Ephesians or the Pastoral Epistles, and that Peter may not have written 1 and./or 2 Peter, and that Pseudominity is OK, if the church declares it scripture, then Al Kimel actually contradicts himself, in my humble opinion, and although writes, "the church did not "create" Scripture", he actually does say it in a round about and backdoor way:

"The anonymous author of Hebrews probably was not an Apostle. John of the Apocalypse probably was not John, son of Zebedee. And then we have to acknowledge the critical problem of pseudonymity. The Apostle Matthew may not have written the gospel attributed to him. The Apostle Paul may not have written Ephesians and the Pastorals. The Apostle Peter may not have written his two letters; etc. The question of authorship of many books of the New Testament is a hotly contested matter in scholarly circles. Surely Atwood knows all of this, but without mention."

“If the historical evidence leads us to conclude that God employed the convention of pseudonymity in his sacred writings, who are we to complain? who are we to judge? I stand by the Word of God as confessed by his one holy catholic and apostolic Church.”

These last two sentences actually are teaching a kind of “creating” of Scripture, while trying to escape the charge that the RCC actually teaches that the RCC “creates” Scripture.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

I don’t know exactly when, but Fr. Kimel made a decision to eliminate comments on his blog and basically converted his site to an archive his thoughts on various topics.

As for the canon, it has not been much of an issue for me when it comes to the NT (although the Shepard of Hermas presents some interesting possibilities); as you probably know, the real controversy concerns the so-called apocryphal books.

BTW, have you read older thread at SYM that I linked to?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken Temple said...

Not only did Al Kimel take away the comments, but he changed the whole blog template and unfortunately, eliminated the article that I am quoting from.

How many other Roman Catholics think that way? That maybe Peter did not write 2 Peter and Psuedonymous writing is ok and same goes for Ephesians, and Revelation; and that is no problem because the Church declared it to be so?

Ken Temple said...

David,
I did not look at the SYM link earlier, but did now - Wow - it like trying to drink from a Fire Hydrant - 7 pages of comments!

Never was impressed with Art Sippo before - he always seemed too harsh and ad hominem and insulting; and he seems to be the main contributor.

David Waltz said...

>>How many other Roman Catholics think that way? That maybe Peter did not write 2 Peter and Psuedonymous writing is ok and same goes for Ephesians, and Revelation; and that is no problem because the Church declared it to be so?>>

Me: If the The Jerome Biblical Commentary and The New Jerome Biblical Commentary are representative of the general direction of post-VII, Catholic Biblical scholarship, then I would have to say yes to all of the above. (Yet with that said, there still remains a conservative element within the RCC that accepts Petrine authorship.)


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

>>Never was impressed with Art Sippo before - he always seemed too harsh and ad hominem and insulting; and he seems to be the main contributor.>>

Me: Art’s style can certainly be quite brusque at times; but in the presup thread, he pretty much remains ‘restrained’. What I found particularly interesting is Art’s fondness of Van Til—who would have thought!


Grace and peace,

David