Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sola Scriptura or Tota Scriptura?

Sola Scriptura or Tota Scriptura?
Did Benedict XV call Geocentrism in Question?
other look on same:
On : Benedict XV, To/From : mhfm1, Dates: 29-VII - 4-VIII-2013
Are "Talking Stars" Ramandus or Oyerasu acc. to Baruch?
A Christian Also Could Say: there is no religion higher than truth ...

"Moreover I also assert that these problems are themselves caused on the Christian side by the inerrantist, literalist, ‘sola scriptura’ assumptions of conservative Protestantism."


Inerrantism means: all of the Scripture is God's word and therefore inerrant. Tota Scriptura. Obviously what a bad or stupid guy says is not inerrant per se, but the statement that he says it is inerrant. "The fool has said in his heart: there is no God". What the fool has said in his heart is not inerrant, but that he has said so in his heart is.

Sola Scriptura means: only Scripture is God's word and therefore a religious authority. Again, the application does not go immediately to each and every absurdity, like denying the Trinity because that word does not figure in Scripture. Arians (the Homoean school) and Jehovah's witnesses have taken it to that extreme, however.

Literalism again subdivides: must all of Scripture be believed in literal sense or must Scripture be believed only in literal sense? Once again: any application important enough to be an agenda does not go to absurdities. Not every phrase belongs to the literal sense of the text in its own literal sense. And sometimes parables are used - not for truth of their literal sense, but for what can be understood by them.

Now: Sola Scriptura is Protestantism. It was the principle of Reformation. Inerrantism as to Tota Scriptura is "fundamentalism" as the word is understood today.

A Protestant who believes the 66 books are totally inerrant, a Roman Catholic who believes the 72 books are inerrant, a Russian Orthodox who belives the even more books of his canon are inerrant are equally "fundamentalist". But they are not equally Protestant. Because the Russian Orthodox admits, beside Scripture, also iconographic and liturgic tradition, and Seven Councils; the Roman Catholic furthermore 20 or 21 Councils and Popes up to present or Pius XI (or almost any limit in between) as religious authorities.

Then again there is literalism. If you are against non-literal senses, you are an extreme of the Antiochean tradition, maybe a Nestorian. Even they did not believe that the lady making a feast for retrieval of a coin belonged as such to Christian dogma. Or that God had hands or eyes before the Incarnation. If you are against literal sense of some historic passages, you are an Alexandrian extremist, like Origen. But if you believe all Bible history must be believed literally, but not for its own sake, therefore not only nor even mainly literally, you are the Patristic mainstream, like St Augustine or St John Cassian.*

Hans Lundahl
on Sunday 9 March 2008 19:44
this was posted on Antimodernism


At least: the exegesis of St John Cassian and St Augustine seem to be the mainstream of the West. If pure literalism and pure allegorism have remained accepted in the Orthodox Calchedonian East, I do not know that, but I do not know the opposite either. HGL

*The link did not open, so I cannot repost it. However, it went to some kind of explanation of either St Augustine taking task with both pure literalists denying the allegoric sense or pure allegoricists who deny the literal sense: he said we must believe about the Ark of Noah, both that it was the only haven of safety where one could be saved from the waters of the flood and that it was an allegory for the Church which is now the only haven from Sin and Damnation. The Quadriga Cassiani means that each passage has (up to?) four senses: the literal and three different spiritual ones, namely allegoric by which OT signs represent Jesus Christ and the Church, the moral by which OT and NT good persons are examples to follow in our lives, the anagogic by which even especially NT points forward to the Eternal Heavenly Glory yet to come, as to us who still live here on earth.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Thread Where First Message was by Quarefremuntgentes

Identic start on both: 1) A Thread Where First Message was by Quarefremuntgentes, 2) One group member promoted Hutchison

He posted, Sunday, 2 November 2008 08:27 (European time, it might still have been Saturday 1 November where he was):
Robert J. Hutchinson: Atheists take credit for science when they had nothing to

9:10 PM PDT, October 17, 2007, updated at 10:48 AM PDT, October 19, 2007

For the past 400 years, the partisans of irreligion-from the Marquis de Sade to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins-have deliberately misrepresented the way science actually developed in the West as part of their ideological crusade against Judaism and Christianity.

What's worse, the partisans of atheism have been intellectually dishonest in the extreme: They have tried to take credit for the development of science when, in fact, they had little if anything to do with it.

Many of the most ideological and dogmatic of atheist crusaders, although continually referring to science, and seeking to use science to justify their own philosophical assumptions and declarations, were not scientists themselves.

In dramatic contrast, most of the true giants of empirical science-the people who founded entire scientific disciplines or who made landmark scientific discoveries-were primarily devout Christians who believed that their scientific studies, far from being in conflict with their religious faith, ultimately was dependent upon it.

My response (Monday, 3 November 2008 10:55):

Ah, a book link with an extract!

I was just wondering where this came from and why!

"most of the true giants of empirical science-the people who founded entire scientific disciplines or who made landmark scientific discoveries-were primarily devout Christians who believed that their scientific studies, far from being in conflict with their religious faith, ultimately was dependent upon it."

I was reflecting on the quote yesterday, and forgot "most". Here is what I thought upon that misunderstanding:*

Hippocrates reputedly founded western tradition of medicine and reputedly was a pre-Christian pagan. Freud reputedly founded psychoanalysis and reputedly was an atheist apostate from the synagogue. Are these reputations wrong, are these disciplines no sciences or are they exceptions? Or do you distinguish between them? On which side do you then put things like Darwinism, Heliocentrics, microphysics (sizes below what is seen in optical microscopes)?

Let us say medicine were actually founded by a devout Christian - how come it was attributed to a pre-Christian pagan? It would be a cock-and-bull story like that on Christianity founded by St Constantine and then retrospectively attributed to Christ. The answer in both cases is that Christians were around, even lots of them, in St Constantine's day, and so were doctors in the days of Christ. St Luke, remember. He was a disciple of Hippocrates before becoming one of Christ. The doctors who had failed to cure the bleeding woman cured by Christ's garment may have been hippocratic or Jewish or both in combination. I do not claim to know.

I happen to believe that most true and complete sciences - as distinct from both secondary applications and pseudo-sciences - came from before the time of Christ. Euclid is as pre-Christian as Hippocrates, and so is Aristotle. In technological discoveries the really useful ones were made before Christ. Adam, Tubal-Cain, Noah. A penitent, a tyrant and a just prophet: agriculture, metallurgy, viticulture. Grammar was made by God - Adam adding only the names for each animal species. C S Lewis cites anaesthetics as the one discovery that is really useful and really late. But wine can be used for that.**

Hans Lundahl

*No need for him to answer what I thought, since it was based on a misunderstanding of what had been stated, as said.

**One of the times when moral theologians considered it licit to get drunk was getting so soak drunk that a leg or arm with gangrene could be amputated without patient fighting too much.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Antigone's flaw"

In the following linked text ...

...Patricia Lines recharacterises Antigone's moral character to flawed. We learn that she is "self centred" - according to modern psychological analysis. We have first of all no indication that the Pagan Greeks regarded that as hubris, and second of all, the charge makes anyone "self centred" if centred on a difficult situation one-self is facing.

I am not very subtly reminded of the reading of Hippolytos, in which he commits the "hamartia" of insulting his stepmother and therefore his father. I had the displeasure to be examined on precisely that play, admiring Hippolytos myself and by an examinor who at every cost had to find a tragic flaw in Hippolytos - i e in the main character.

I wonder, what is the tragic flaw of Oedipous in Oedipus in Colonis? What it was back in Oedipus Rex, there is no doubt, at least not to Aristotle's mind. But in the follow up?

Actually, there is a story about a tragic flaw in Antigone: it is Creon's, just as Creon committed another tragic flaw in Oedipus in Colonis, when trying in vain to secure the sacred relics of Oedipus for Thebes. And just as Theseus commits a tragic flaw in Hippolytos, when asking his father to kill his son.

Let us face it: Greek Tragedy is - at least in these extracts, left intact by Christians - anti-totalitarian. It says there are things a ruler must not command or forbid. It says there is a limit on the ruler's claims on the citizen, as well as on the wisdom of the ruler.

A certain modern communist school of intellect finds this disgusting. The tragic figure with the tragic flaw cannot be Creon, Creon and Theseus: it must be Antigone executed by Creon, Oedipus persecuted by Creon to return from the exile which left Creon in power, Hippolytos put to death by the wish of Theseus innocently accused of an incestuous adultery he never did commit. Because, if so, the tragic flaw is in an individual who had the hubris to face the state when the state was unjust.

This state-friendly rereading of state-sceptical tragedies reminds me of Jew-friendly rereadings in which Shylock is the tragic hero of Shakespeare's play. Of course he is that to a modern pro-jewish reader, who sees any sneers at Jews as so much unprovoked persecution on part of prejudiced antisemitic Christians. Even if the sneers are about greed and even if the character in question is greedy. Even if the taunts (sometimes exaggerated perhaps, but understandable after some rumoured acts) of Jews wanting to spill innocent Christian blood is parallelled by Shylock wanting to cut out a pound of a man's flesh, closest to the heart, even if that means that he spills the man's blood and life. For, after Hitler dishonouring Antisemitism, after 1945, no respectable playwright like Shakespear may be read as writing a play with partly Antisemitic content. Shylock must be Christ, even if he is the Devil (if anyone is Christ in the Merchant of Venice, it is Antonio: he is in fact very comparable to Christ in St Irenee's theology, as well as to Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), so that Shakespear may not be Hitler.

In the very same manner, tragedies written when Athens had just made Socrates a martyr for his teaching of objective ethics, tragedies full of the sense of futility in certain statesmen's state-wisdom, must be re-read so as to make Antigone and Hippolytus if not villains (that is impossible) at least tragic fools and something very much less than heroic martyrs.

Unfortunately for this reading, Hippolytus was in Athens worshipped as a Hero. So was Theseus. But in Theseus' case, his sacredness comes from being the son of Poseidon, and from doing great deeds in spite of and beside obvious blunders. Hippolytus' one great deed - spurning love and therefore finally the criminal love of his stepmother - would, on this reading, be an obvious blunder. And Antigone's one great deed, a clear parallel to Electra, the difference being that the latter was successful, would be her obvious blunder. This reading serves not clarity of thought or of litterary analysis, it serves only the agenda of denying that Antigone and Hippolytus were paragons. Just as the psychologists who retroactively have diagnosed Socrates as suffering from schizophrenia (as I have heard) serve the agenda of cutting down admiration for a martyr of philosophy. And these agendas serve only the greater agenda of looking at the state as something divine, which no citizen or inhabitant, not even non-rulers of the royal house, may challenge in any way without incurring the guilt and tragic flaw of hubris.

Let us compare how Patricia Lines judge Creon and Antigone:

Creon, by contrast, understands the needs of the polis. Following a civil war, he has placed a premium on order. He will do whatever is necessary, including the stern enforcement of harsh rules. He faces another dilemma in his role as leader: he forbade the burial of Polyneices and decreed this harsh punishment before he was aware of Antigone's guilt. To pardon his future daughter-in-law as his first serious act as ruler of Thebes would compromise all future claims to fairness in his rule. Yet Creon listens to the chorus of old men; he listens to the blind seer. After struggling with the issue, he reconsiders his judgment; he determines to bury the body of Polyneices and to unbury Antigone with his own hands.

So, when Creon commits an injustice and impiety, setting aside personal feelings, he is sensitive to fairness and the needs of the state?

Antigone, on the other hand, recognizes the demands of true justice and champions it. She spurns Ismene, who initially hesitated to assist her but soon after wished to share in her sister's punishment and death. Antigone refuses the offer. When Ismene asks whether her sister has cast her aside, Antigone's answer ignores Ismene's change of heart: "Yes. For you chose to live when I chose death." Antigone seems to speak not to spare Ismene, but to wound her to the quick. Antigone leaves Haemon, her betrothed, in the cold, as she left Ismene. She never seeks him out, nor even mentions his name. Yet Haemon is ready to defy his father for Antigone's sake, and he refuses to live without her. Ironically, this may be what he must do to win her affection, for Antigone reveals no tenderness for anyone except those already dead.

So, when Antigone sets aside personal feelings in order to be pious and ready to suffer death for it, she is self-centred and insensitive? And when she wounds people it has nothing to do with trying to leave them out of her suffering? Which fails with Haemon, but succeeds with Ismene, who survives to guide her blind father in the play Oedipus in Colonis.

Let us remind that Antigone was indeed of the royal race and had therefore at least potentially, a hightened responsibilty for public morality. Its first need is not enforcing harsh rules, even or especially after civil wars, nor being fair and equal in its unfairness and iniquity. If a corpse had been left unburied, the state would have been cursed. If the burier had remained hidden and private, justice and piety would have become then and there a private adventure of cheating the state (as it has since become in some places) rather than remaining the official morality of the state.

Hans Lundahl
Aix en Provence
Tuesday of Great and Holy Week, 2007
(3d April Greg. Cal)

A better link is: