I just want to say a big “Thank you” to Dan at Beatus Vir (a rather odd blog which has nothing on it except a link to three excellent documents that every Lutheran should read and then ask himself: Why I am not a Catholic?) for doing an excellent job in the combox discussion to my post below on Sacred Scripture establishing doctrine.
I have been a little pre-occupied with mundane matters of late, and have not had the opportunity to pursue my argument with Pastor Weedon as the topic deserved (with relentless logic and multiple quotations from the Fathers). Riding to the rescue comes Dan with the most excellently argued and well expressed reposts. Truly, Dan, you should put something on your own blogsite. No, on second thoughts, I am quite happy with you continuing your excellent apologetics on my blog!
And, while I can understand how Past Elder rejects the thesis of Newman’s “Essay on the Development of Doctrine” (clear proof of history and logic of argument meaning little in that quarter), I can’t quite make out how Pastor Weedon can dismiss it in such a cavalier fashion. He wrote (in the same combox string):
You have frequent recourse to Newman; I do not buy his entire line of argument of development and hence growth of the doctrinal corpus.
The faith of the Church is the faith of the Apostles; and the Apostles under the Holy Spirit’s influence wrote for us an inspired record of what they believed and what they taught and the Church is bound to this record in her teaching. To quote another Father on this very matter:
“What is the mark of a faithful soul? To be in these dispositions of full acceptance on the authority of the words of Scripture, not venturing to reject anything nor making additions. For, if ‘all that is not of faith is sin’ as the Apostle says, and ‘faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,’ everything outside Holy Scripture, not being of faith, is sin.” Basil the Great (The Morals, p. 204, vol 9 TFOTC).
Dan nicely shows how Pastor Weedon’s interpretation of the matter is clearly at odds with what St Basil himself wrote in another place, but nevertheless, can it truly be said that, by reflecting upon the deposit of faith which the apostles received from our Lord, authentic Catholic theology has been guilty of “rejecting anything or making additions” to that faith once received? Applied strictly, Pastor Weedon would require that we only use the words of Scripture itself in our preaching, and not interpose any interpretation or elucidation of our own. The fact is that in his essay, Newman describes and seeks to explian nothing other than what has actually and indisputably taken place in regard to the dogmatic affirmations of catholic and orthodox Christianity.
How anyone can deny it is beyond me. It is like denying that the sun comes up every morning simply because one has read somewhere in a science book that it is the earth which goes around the sun, and not vice versa.