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Author Topic: Traditions of Men vs Traditions of God  (Read 3136 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2012, 05:30:20 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP
Its not, particularly when they get their Bible manuscripts for those Churches they say is the tradition of man.

Kind of makes you wonder,  how they know the scriptures they hold themselves are not a tradition of man.

Don't mind me, just talk among yourselves.
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« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2012, 05:46:13 PM »

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Then there's your point # 1. Let me put it to you this way: I can understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Catholics for not being Orthodox, and I can also understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox for not being Catholics. But I can't understand criticism of Anglicans and Protestants for not being Orthodox or Catholics
I understand you comment, I was simply stating that it is virtually unassailable, that the original Church was either the OC or the RC (depending on your affiliation of course Wink )


I find this is one of those topics that so big but also so subtle and nuanced, that it's a little hard to know what to say about it. So far I've only written up one little commentary on it (but hopefully I'll come up with others later).

I've many times (and I assume you have too) read posts on this forum, talking about how great it was back when the Catholic Answers Forum had the “Eastern Christianity Forum”. Anglicanism and Protestantism, meanwhile, were relegated to the Non-Catholic Religions Forum, alongside Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071104010625/http://forums.catholic.com/
On the surface, this supports the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea (with a vengence); except that in about November of 2007, CAF changed the “Eastern Christianity Forum” to the “Eastern Catholicism Forum”.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071109072323/http://forums.catholic.com/

All things considered, I'd have to say that rather than supporting the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea in my mind, this affair actually makes me more suspicious of it.
S. M. Hutchens once addressed Orthodox and Roman Catholics with these words: “If you two grand ladies can figure out which of you is the real Mrs. Jesus, then perhaps the rest of us can come on home.” (quoted by the Orthodox priest Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon in “Never the Twain?”) I think I can agree with Hutches' statement; but the thing is, that's a big “if”.
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« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2012, 05:51:06 PM »

Quote
I find this is one of those topics that so big but also so subtle and nuanced, that it's a little hard to know what to say about it. So far I've only written up one little commentary on it (but hopefully I'll come up with others later).

I've many times (and I assume you have too) read posts on this forum, talking about how great it was back when the Catholic Answers Forum had the “Eastern Christianity Forum”. Anglicanism and Protestantism, meanwhile, were relegated to the Non-Catholic Religions Forum, alongside Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071104010625/http://forums.catholic.com/
On the surface, this supports the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea (with a vengence); except that in about November of 2007, CAF changed the “Eastern Christianity Forum” to the “Eastern Catholicism Forum”.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071109072323/http://forums.catholic.com/
I've not gone to that forum...I've heard too much negative thingsa about it. besides (Im not slinging mud but) I've no reason to join a Roman Catholic forum, Im orthodox (or soon to be).


Quote
All things considered, I'd have to say that rather than supporting the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea in my mind, this affair actually makes me more suspicious of it.
S. M. Hutchens once addressed Orthodox and Roman Catholics with these words: “If you two grand ladies can figure out which of you is the real Mrs. Jesus, then perhaps the rest of us can come on home.” (quoted by the Orthodox priest Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon in “Never the Twain?”) I think I can agree with Hutches' statement; but the thing is, that's a big “if”.
Excellent refernce. That'll give me something to think about. Thanks Smiley


PP
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« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2012, 05:55:10 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
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« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2012, 05:59:35 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
Missouri Synod, but I dont know what they are now. I moved away at age 9 (it was in the DC area). I loved the school....I wish I could have stayed there for the schooling.

PP
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« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2012, 06:04:47 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
Missouri Synod, but I dont know what they are now. I moved away at age 9 (it was in the DC area). I loved the school....I wish I could have stayed there for the schooling.

PP
My old parish was ELCA:when it was formed, they sent a woman pastor, to tell the conservative congregation "to get with the program."  Many went on to the Missouri Synod. It is going to celebrate its 81th anniversary this February, and will close in June.
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« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2012, 02:52:57 AM »

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You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
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« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2012, 03:00:16 AM »

Quote
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
ELCA = Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
LCWS = Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod
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« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2012, 08:22:31 AM »

Quote
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
ELCA = Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
LCWS = Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod

Technically, I think that last one should be WELS.
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« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2012, 11:31:49 AM »

Yeah, I was raised Lutheran, but when I moved away at age 9 we moved to Virginia and became baptist. It was hard not to do so as the Dark Side of the Force is strong here  laugh
PP
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« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2012, 03:52:41 PM »

Yeah, I was raised Lutheran, but when I moved away at age 9 we moved to Virginia and became baptist. It was hard not to do so as the Dark Side of the Force is strong here  laugh
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« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2012, 06:07:35 AM »

I haven't been following this thread, so you must forgive me if my irruption is irrelevant to what has gone before. It seems to me, as an outsider to Orthodoxy, that you have that body of belief and practice called Holy Tradition, but that you have filled it with the things you wish to believe - a bit like someone said on a different thread that we Prots have done from another source with the things we want a priori to believe. You know well enough the usual gripes we Prots have about your religious practices - prayer to the saints, prayer for the dead, infant baptism (in the case of Baptists anyway) etc etc - we have discussed them at length elsewhere and they need not be listed here, neither do I wish to restart a discussion of them. You say they are in Holy Tradition because they were within the oral teaching the apostles gave to the early churches, which was not included in the books of the NT. A fair enough theory, but there is (as far as I know) no evidence for these beliefs and practices within the first churches. The earliest writings being Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp and so on, there is a fairly large gap in time before the material of Holy Tradition makes its appearance. Therefore, the question of whether its contents are traditions of men or of God is, surely, a matter of faith not sight? If we pin our faith on scripture alone as sufficient and alone authoritative, and if you pin yours on Holy Tradition (which includes scripture), are we not in fact both making an act of faith? This does not mean that we are right and you wrong, nor vice versa, but the matter surely cannot be determined by rational argument.
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« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2012, 10:28:38 AM »

But what came first, David? Scripture or Tradition? The fact that St. Paul was writing to churchs in Scripture implies there being something holding them together before a cannon of writings could be called Scripture. Gutenberg didn't come out with his press until 1439. That written tradition or (sola scriptura) is the only thing early Christians used does not fit into a historical framework. They relied on the Church in faith to the Apostles to teach what had been passed down.

And on another note, following Scripture alone does not safe guard against Traditions of Men. The Protestant churches my great-grandparents, grandparents, and to some extent my parents all went or have gone to have changed just in the last century to where it would be unrecognizable to my great-grandparents to worship in a 21st century Protestant church. These live bands you have in some charismatic churches or youth churches are a relatively new wave of "fitting the gospel message to a modern audience". In my opinion, in another generation or so the Baptist church that I grew up in is not going to be the Church I was raised in.
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« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2012, 10:56:00 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP
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« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2012, 11:31:03 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
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« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2012, 11:35:43 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
But, we've been down that road so much that the tires have dug divots in the road.....

PP
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« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2012, 11:42:57 AM »

following Scripture alone does not safe guard against Traditions of Men. The Protestant churches my great-grandparents, grandparents, and to some extent my parents all went or have gone to have changed just in the last century to where it would be unrecognizable to my great-grandparents to worship in a 21st century Protestant church.

Though there are exceptions (rightly or wrongly, some worship in a time warp), this is largely true and I would not wish to gainsay it.

I was not wishing to re-start the long discussions on sola scriptura - the threads have not been deleted - but only to say that either position boils down in the end to being a leap of faith.
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« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2012, 12:17:49 PM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
But, we've been down that road so much that the tires have dug divots in the road.....

PP

I guess youre right.  Im still fairly new around here and havent been too involved with the other sola scriptura discussions.  When I first realized that point, thats when I knew I had to abandon sola scriptura.  And of course the fact that the Church is older than the Bible.  Although that point is obvious, a lot of people dont seem to realize it for whatever reason.
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« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2012, 12:33:03 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
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« Reply #64 on: January 30, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
You're correct Peter. I cant offer proof per se, but we can look to the ones the Apostles handed the leadership of the Church to, and their heirs, etc. See what they said, and taught but also, it is a leap of faith that they were faithful to the apostles.

PP
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« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2012, 01:03:07 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.

The positions themselves-- Holy Tradition vs Sola Scriptura can be made rationally. The contents of those positions-- faith in Christ-- would indeed be something we held in common, and-- to some, could not be made in a rational way.

If Christ came after Gutenberg made his printing press then we might have a different argument on our hands. The fact that most people were illiterate in regards to actual reading comprehension before modern times makes studying of scriptures in terms of sola scriptura not very practical. We belong to the Church. Any arguments against the faith that was proclaimed is a non sequitur. The positions of Holy Tradition vs. Sola Scriptura are not on equal footings. Sola Scriptura is a relatively modern heresy that does not deserve to be held to the same standard as Holy Tradition.

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2012, 05:24:44 PM »

"Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally."

No, not just as right: one of us (if not both!) must be wrong. Perhaps we need an infallible pope! (That is not a serious suggestion on my part).
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« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2012, 05:28:38 PM »

Quote
"Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally."
Just as right is a dangerous phrase. Using that logic, Mormonism is most correct of all....

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« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2012, 05:38:01 PM »

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
You really think so? What of David's claim that we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
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« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2012, 05:41:04 PM »

we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
Well, archaeology has answered the icon question for us, pushing John Calvin's "No icons for the first 500 years of Christianity" back a century with every new discovery.
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« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2012, 06:55:25 PM »

Oy! Well, given that the Church was under persecution in the first century, open public was not practiced. We do know that it was Liturgical though because they would meet in the Jewish Temple.. That St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians when some of the members there doubted the Holy Mysteries being actually the Body and Blood of Christ is a good indication of our beliefs too. And in St. John's Revelation we have talk about incense and worship: And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. Also, the Liturgy of St. James is from the first century, no?

I'm not a scholar nor have I researched much into the earliest forms of Christian worship. There are indeed things we do know about it though. But I can't say we have documented evidence from the first century on the rubrics of Worship because I simply don't know. I'm going to go look.  Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2012, 11:34:53 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.

It guess it hinges on how one understands the term "proof".
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« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2012, 10:09:42 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.

The real question is the traditions of MEN vs. the Tradition of THE MAN Jesus Christ? That which He passed on to His Apostles!!
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« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2012, 09:37:20 AM »

The real question is the traditions of MEN vs. the Tradition of THE MAN Jesus Christ? That which He passed on to His Apostles!!

Yes - absolutely!
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« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2012, 10:42:48 AM »


I was not wishing to re-start the long discussions on sola scriptura - the threads have not been deleted - but only to say that either position boils down in the end to being a leap of faith.

However, a true leap of faith presupposes no rational, factual support, no? For example, the belief in perfect man by Marx is such a leap of faith because there is no evidence that perfect man existed in history that is acceptable to Marx.

The leap of faith in sola scriptura is that the Holy Spirit will guide man in understanding what he is reading. In other words, the Scriptures themselves do not magically impart themselves into man's understanding. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sola scriptura simply devolves to each man's own personal interpretation.

OTH, the leap faith for the Orthodox may not be a comparable leap of faith. It is true that those who accept the Church's Holy Tradition uncritically are making a leap of faith. However, evidence does exist to bolster Holy Tradition that includes the Holy Scriptures. First of all, we do not totally rely on ourselves to understand the Word (in practice, sola scriptura adherents do not either but they mostly seem to chose those spiritual leaders with whom they agree). Second, there is historical witness for the architecture of our churches, the icons, our mode of worship, our Creed--all of which fit with the Holy Scriptures. Orthodox do not need to research the scriptures to figure out how to worship and what to believe; I would recommend reading the story of how some U.S. Youth for Christ leaders investigated the Scriptures and historical documents and ended up accepting the truth that the Orthodox Church is the New Testament Church. The account of their journey has been told in Becoming Orthodox - A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith, by Father Peter Gillquist, Conciliar Press. A similar, albeit more singular, story is related in A Faith Fulfilled: Why are Christians Across Great Britain Embracing Orthodoxy? by the late Rev. Michael Harper, also published by Conciliar Press.

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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2012, 12:59:40 PM »

a true leap of faith presupposes no rational, factual support, no?

Not entirely. When you spend an evening in Roscoff, waiting for the morning's ferry to Plymouth, you are quite likely to stroll to the end of a rather strange 'bridge': it takes you out a good way into the sea, but then stops and goes no further. Reason is somewhat like that 'bridge': it starts you off in the right direction and takes you a goodish way. Faith is not like a leap all the way direct from the shore. Every man with command of his natural faculties has the witness of creation and the promptings of conscience, and many have the testimony of Christians to their experience of God - an astonishingly unanimous testimony when you consider the wide range of places, ages, and types of person and culture in which people have found the same Saviour and the same Father: the same triune God. There is that "true light that enlightens every man" (John 1.9). And very many, if they really want to find God, have access to the scriptures.

In addition, after one comes to faith and walks with God for some years and decades, one's own experience of his presence and his providence becomes available to hindsight. All these, and doubtless much else, encourage faith. It is not true to say there is no rational, factual support.

Quote
I would recommend Becoming Orthodox - A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith, by Father Peter Gillquist, Conciliar Press. A similar, albeit more singular, story is related in A Faith Fulfilled: Why are Christians Across Great Britain Embracing Orthodoxy? by the late Rev. Michael Harper,

I have read Gilquist's book; I have also read The true Light by Michael Harper, his personal testimony of becoming Orthodox, but I did not know of the book by him that you mention here.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 01:01:10 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #76 on: February 04, 2012, 01:12:44 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
History.  Sola scriptura doesn't have it until 1517, and Holy Tradition has it 33 AD.
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« Reply #77 on: February 04, 2012, 01:12:44 PM »

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
You really think so? What of David's claim that we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
No matter how little (and I'd dispute that characterization, based on the normal criteria of the discipline of history), that is still more than sola scriptura, which has NO documentation.

Case in point:what precious little documentation we have that the sola scripturists (and historians) MUST accept show Christ and the Apostles going to synagogue. The synagogue does not appear in scripture, and is without warrant in the OT.  Yet Christ not only approved the synagogue service, but it became the basis of the Liturgy of the Word in the DL (also historically proven).

"Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you...For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received."  "Deliver" and "tradition" are the same root word in Greek.  Words written by an Apostle within the first generation of the Church.  That is an historical fact, and any group that claims "doctrinal continuity" with the Apostles must live up to such expressions of the Apostles' doctrines of historical continuity. Even the gnostics realized that, and invented their own history.  The institution of the semicha, the laying on of hands to transmit authority and the charism of teaching and leading the Faithful was well entrenched (and well documented) amongst the Hebrews of Christ's day, we have the earliest records of the Church referring to and requiring it, as the Orthodox do till this day.  The Protestants can appeal to the lack of such apostolic succession among the gnostics of the first century, but not from the Gospel the Apostles transmitted through the Church.  They will have to go to the "another gospel" of the gnostics to document that.  Then their problems of historic continuity would be solved.  Of course, they would have to show doctrinal continuity with the gnostics as well, with all that that entails.

So yes, if we accept Preacher (correct title?) David's assertions, we have no reason to accept him over Joseph Smith Jr. or Taze Russell.  They too claim "doctrinal continuity."  The traditions of man claim doctrinal continuity in spite of the lack of historical continuity, whereas the doctrinal continuity of the Tradition of God is safeguarded by historic continuity.  If we accept that the Church went off the rails in less than a lifetime (by the time of Pat. St. Ignatius, we pretty much have evidence of practically everything in Orthodoxy) how are we to reconcile the doctrine that "the gates of Hell will not prevail" against the Apostles' Church and that Christ will be with that Church "every day until the end of the Age" (literal translation of the end of St. Matthew), with the fact of the historic and doctrinal continuity over 5 centuries of the Protestant Churches?  Did Luther, Calvin, Cramner, Grebel and Smyth succeeded where Christ and His Apostles failed?  By that token, we should marvel more at the continuity, historical and doctrinal, of the nearly two centuries of Mormonism-according to Pastor David, Jesus Christ and His True Church couldn't keep it together so long. Even if you dated present day Mormonism to the disavowal of polygamy (which is more like the switch from auricular confession from general confession than any dogmatic change), that's still 120+ years, and Preacher David says that Christs Church didn't make it to the year 150.  So the man Joseph Smith Jr. succeeded where the God Christ failed.  How does that show "doctrinal continuity"?
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