Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Catholic Triumphalist Humor

5 Comments:

Anonymous Tim (Random Observations) said...

Ooooh! Sectarian! But hilarious!!

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Tim (Random Observations) said...

... not, of course, that errors could ever occur in a collective interpretation.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is, how do you tell which pope to believe if there are 3 at once? It has happened before after all...

6:34 AM  
Blogger Bernhardt Varenius said...

Since I'm no triumphalist myself, I certainly agree with you that problems can arise within a "collective interpretation". And in any case, I posted this more for the humor value than to make any particular point.

My position on this topic is that Sacred Tradition is generally a more solid paradigm for interpreting scripture than Private Interpretation. The Bible does not "interpret itself" -- we need to go back to the original context to understand its meaning. Part of this original context is what the early Christians took the scriptures to mean, and if we ignore this, there's potential for trouble.

Here's a good illustration of what I mean: the Trinity. I'll assume both of you consider this an essential part of Christianity. Although there is material in the New Testament that implies the concept of the Trinity, nothing in it clearly teaches this -- we only know it from the Sacred Tradition handed down from the earliest Christians. Thus, if we switch to a framework of Private Interpretation in which one's own opinions outweigh the voice of Tradition, there is the potential that teachings such as the Trinity will be tossed out the window if some individual decides that the scriptures say otherwise to him. This is what happened in the case of Oneness Pentecostalism, for example.

Now certainly most Protestant thinkers hold to the importance of "original context" implicitly, but the problem is that the emphasis on Private Interpretation undermines the intellectual support for this.

I'll leave it at that for now, but I'm willing to expand on any of this if the brief treatment here doesn't make things clear.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous patrick kelly said...

Is there a Mac OS error version for us Orthodox? ;-)

1:42 PM  

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