Was Conciliarist Ecclesiological Theory an
"Orthodox" Option in Mediæval Catholicism?

Critique of a Central Aspect of Tim Enloe's Thesis for New St. Andrews College: "In Search of the Societas Christiana"
(http://www.graceunknown.com/Historia/SocietasChristianaMain.html)

Dave Armstrong vs.Tim Enloe

Part Two
Go to Part One

Appendix I: Documentation of Tim's Claims for the Thesis and Contra-Catholic Rhetoric

This documentation from his blog and discussion boards illustrates Tim's severe bias against orthodox Catholicism as it actually exists, and his own opinion of his ambitious project, what he hopes to prove and disprove, and his overall state of mind:

1) This package is called "faith", and thus they argue that "faith" means they must interpret historical occurrences as always supporting Catholicism and all historical arguments against that "faith" as being fundamentally irrational.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-4-03, 3:33 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2726.topic&index=11)

2) . . . it's a thorny problem for those who don't do their historical work on the basis of such interesting premises as "It doesn't matter how this happened; it's what the Church says so it must be true."

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-12-03, 4:21 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2735.topic&index=43)

3) But how a historical is becomes a theological ought is something that our Roman friends have a great deal of trouble explaining apart from simply begging all the questions . . . they're every last one of them guilty of simply begging the questions that have repeatedly ripped Christendom asunder over the last 2,000 years.

4) . . . You can't have a historical faith if you abandon history every time it gets too messy for you and flee to the realm of "self-evident" truths that are held by "faith" even if the world they describe simply doesn't exist and never did.

(Blog, 12-13-03)
(first paragraph also appeared on the Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-11-03, 2:36 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2735.topic&index=43)

5) . . . it does matter how these things happened, not just that they happened so (as it has been put to me by several here) you all have to be good Catholics and just believe the "articles of Faith" that the Church proposes.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-13-03, 2:20 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2735.topic&index=43)

6) . . . proclaiming, say, oligarchy to be "the divinely willed order of things" and then sneering down their noses at other forms of government, pretending their own is self-evidently "objective", and thus ceasing all substantive, humble interactions with other viewpoints.

(Blog, 12-20-03)

7) . . . Roman Catholic historiography is profoundly unable to deal with history as it is. On both the lay and scholarly levels it typically begins by claiming to be "deep in history", but as the historical arguments progress it constantly and seemingly inevitably refers its adherents and its opponents both to "timeless truths" and "articles of the Church's Faith" that supposedly reside in a supra-temporal, supra-historical sphere of inquiry accessible only by "Faith" (which in fact seems to mean "objective Reason") and properly interpretable only by Roman Catholics.

The sheer partisanship of this method of doing history is evident . . . I cannot myself see any reason why the historical claims of the Roman Catholic Church should NOT be consistently opposed with every fiber of one's being and her apologists--particularly those who converted from Protestantism--militantly challenged to produce REAL interactions with HISTORY and not merely repetitions of the axiomatic contents of Roman Catholic catechism classes. If Roman Catholics themselves wish to organize their portion of the societas Christiana as if Christianity is a Euclidean text book and Christians are "objective" practitioners of theological geometry, that is their prerogative.  But they need to straightforwardly face the incredible difficulties of this method of thinking and acting--as well as its historically verifiable incredibly harmful effects upon the cause of Christendom--and stop pretending that the burden of proof always lies on everyone else.

(Blog, 12-21-03)

8) I had made the analogy . . . that the Roman Catholic system is a type of “theological geometry”, beginning with infallible axioms and indubitably unfolding their logic, regardless of connections or lack thereof to the spacetime world, and thus that it is essentially “guilty of trying to get us all to believe that 2+2 actually equals 465, or that circles can be square, or that bachelors can be married men”.

. . . The interesting thing is that so many of these Catholics will easily and incessantly taunt Protestants with simplistic maxims such as Newman’s “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”, only to themselves be found to avoid getting “deep in history” because what they really want to do is get “deep in theology” and pass off mere repetition of dogmatic axioms as “history”. I do not see any other way to express this point, which has been driven home to me time and time again by the manner in which Roman Catholics do their historical apologetics.

. . . In my experience, Roman Catholics wish to talk about “history” until they realize the history isn’t going to get them anywhere, at which time they retreat to invocations of “faith” and allege that what they are doing with regard to “the Church” is exactly what Protestants do with regard to “the Bible”.

. . . most Catholics who talk about history . . . are not content to say “My community teaches this and I am loyal to my community.” Rather, they say “My community teaches this and this is the verifiable historic faith of the Church”. After which they promptly retreat from the “historical” part of their statement and rely upon invocations of “faith”. In my long experience with Roman Catholics of many varieties, all of them ultimately refer everything they believe solely to the logic "The infallible Church has said it; therefore it is true and nothing can possibly count against it".

. . . many things that the historical record says which simply do not comport with the Church's present-day claims.

(Blog, 12-25-03)

9) . . . some of the most ecumenically harmful aspects of Roman Catholicism did get implemented for the first time in the eleventh century. The ludicrous thing about it all is how blind Roman Catholics are to their own historical moorings. "2,000 years of unbroken Tradition and just follow the yellow brick road of "logic" from Clement to Vatican I", they say. Yeah, right. Whatever.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-27-03, 11:23 A)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

10) What Catholics like you say about papalism relative to other governmental options in the Church is triumphalistic in the extreme . . . all it does is offend the intelligences and consciences of others and make discussing these very difficult issues so much more perplexing. I would say you're right about a second thing--that what you say doesn't matter--but then, since Catholics like you are everywhere, ruining discussions with one-sided, sloganeering twaddle every time you sit down at your keyboards, I think it really does matter. I'm sure the Pope himself isn't overbearing, but a whole lot of his followers are . . .   historically obtuse, theologically self-aggrandizing "[my unbelievably selective reading of the alleged] preponderance of evidence and question-begging belief in the divinely-willed order of things" . . .

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-27-03, 3:33 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=24)

11) Once you start putting "reality stuff" into logical forms, all kinds of interesting things start happening. Things like seeing Roman Catholics start conversations by taunting "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" and, after a great deal of historical wrangling in which they decidedly get the worst end of the stick, ending those very same conversations by saying "Excuse me for being Catholic!"

. . . If you've spent any time dealing with the online Catholic apologetics phenomena, you know that their bread and butter is conversion stories presented as compelling reasons why others should come across the Tiber. Usually these stories feature know-nothing Fundamentalists who treated the Bible like it just fell out of heaven one day . . .

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-28-03, 1:04 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2764.topic&index=11)

12) There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that as a general rule, we Reformeds are extremely weak in our historical understanding and this weakness is a vital pressure point that is exploited by Roman apologists, themselves extremely weak historically but much stronger in their weakness than we are in ours . . .

. . . if I'm saying "we shouldn't get hung up on differences", why I am presently hung up on debating the utterly insular, sectarian construal of ecclesiology that is promoted by Roman Catholicism? . . . why am I frustrated that so many Roman Catholics I talk to appear utterly oblivious to the deep, factually-demonstrable problems that exist in their rhetoric about the history of the Church and its "universal" faith?

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-28-03, 5:00 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2764.topic&index=116)

13) I'm frustrated at all the obtuse Catholic "apologists" out there who taunt me with stupid slogans from Newman and ex-know nothing Fundamentalist converts, but who then can't say two intelligible things about history when cross-ex comes around. I'm frustrated at all the well-catechized, decently-read Catholics who can't do anything more than tell me I "don't understand the Objective Revelation" or "the divinely-willed order of things". I'm frustrated at the lack of gravitas and respect with which the whole lot of you "Catholics" approach everyone else in the Christian world with your dumb "come home" slogans and refusal to pay two seconds of attention to what is important to your "separated brethren". Maybe when you guys grow up a bit you'll understand how self-serving and insulated from reality you all sound.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 9:20 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

14) Hincmar of Rheims, one of the most learned canonists of his day, came down on the conciliarist side. His nephew, Hincmar of Laon, as ignorant of historical reality as any given 10 lay Catholic apologists, held to the papalist position.

. . . I find the Roman Catholic case as presented to me by Internet apologists who blabber about "preponderances of evidence" and "face value interpretations" of Church Fathers and so forth so utterly disturbing. It's all about this Grand Idea of "development of doctrine", as if doctrine could ever be rigorously separable from the spiritual and physical realities it is trying to describe. "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" and "You can't stop people from drawing conclusions from premises", your apologists chant, but when the rubber hits the road, they themselves aren't "deep in history", but rather, in theology, and the premises from which all these conclusions are being drawn are so historically lopsided that it's comical.

. . . What I see continually on these boards and in chatrooms where your co-religionists come to try to make converts is that when those flesh-and-blood, breathing, sweating realities don't meet the a priori abstractions of the Papalist vision, the Papalist vision retreats into the unaccountable, disembodied realm of "biblical Platonism" and "the divinely willed order of things", and then pridefully looks down its snotty nose at everyone else . . .

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 10:51 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=45)

15) I don't know much about the SSPX, but actually, some of the questions you pose were raised in an earlier era, before the Western Church became the stomping ground of radical Papalists and the truth about the Tradition obscured by their one-sided dogmatizing.

And you're absolutely right on track when you mention the resolution of the Western Schism by a General Council. The attempts of today's Papalists to make the 15th century (and MUCH else before that!) fit their post-Vatican I "divinely-willed order of things" results in incessant absurdities from their side. It's essentially a mirror-image of the "Trail of Blood" stuff practiced by many history-ignorant Baptists. The RCs simply reverse it, absolutize one thread of a complex tapestry, declare themselves "deep in history", and then cry foul when they're asked to be accountable for their "historical" reconstructions.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 1-5-04, 11:45 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2772.topic&index=46)

[Catholic poster "Mathitria" made the appropriate comment on this, in the same thread (1-8-04, 10:58 P), referring to the first sentence of the second paragraph: "You make this statement as if it puts the lie to papal infallibility and authority, even though you must know that it isn't as simple as that. In fact, I have given explanations for that time period and you contributed nothing more to that discussion than cheerleading and jeering. Tim, just as you despise polemical slam-dunks that ignore the complexities of a situation, so do we. It is simplistic to say a general council resolved the schism and chose the pope so that proves that papal authority is false." Tim, of course, ignored the comment -- a reaction which is virtually his trademark. Catholic poster "loricalady" has long experienced the same response from Tim, as Mathitria, myself, and many others. Hence, she commented, "You dismiss me beforehand as an Ultramontane Triumphalist, so you never have to engage what I actually say. Very convenient." (12-27-03, 2:35 P: http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15) ]

16) I've tried the pattern of giving citations elsewhere, and the citations I've given have been responded to with gratuitous "But we have this Grand Article of Faith called 'The Papacy', so it doesn't matter HOW this stuff happened, just THAT it happened" blow offs by other "orthodox Catholics" who think like you do.

(Blog feedback, 1-8-04 @ 06:57; responding to me)

SUMMARY OF TIM'S INSULTS OF CATHOLICS AND CATHOLICISM

P1. Catholics supposedly "must" believe (in the name of "faith") that all historical occurrences always support Catholicism, and that "all historical arguments" against Catholic faith are "fundamentally irrational." We allegedly must believe what the Church tells them about history, regardless of the actual facts, and that the Church can never err in historiographical matters. (1,2,6).

P2. Catholics characteristically ignore or fudge historical facts, and avoid "real interaction with history." (Orthodox) Catholic historiography is characterized by "sheer partisanship" and severe bias. Catholics are "historically obtuse." We revise and "reconstruct" history. (2,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15)

P3. Catholics are blind to historical causation and the "why's" of history. (2,5,16)

P4. Catholics supposedly change the "historical is " to the "theological ought" and do so by "simply begging all the questions." They do historiography under the decietful guise of theology. (3,8,14; see also 35 below)

P5. "Every last one of" Catholics are "guilty of simply begging the questions" that have divided Christendom for 2,000 years. (3)

P6.  Catholics do not "have a historical faith" because we habitually "abandon history every time it gets too messy" and retreat to the mere maxims of faith. (4,8,10,14)

P7. Catholics are radical fideists who hold their beliefs in stubborn resistance to historical fact; they believe in a world which is nonexistent now and always in the past.  We're "insulated from reality." Catholic articles of faith concerning history "reside in a supra-temporal, supra-historical sphere of inquiry" accessible only by "Faith". (4,5,7,8,9,13; see also 33 below)

P8. Catholics do not engage in "substantive, humble interactions with other viewpoints." They lack "gravitas and respect " when "the whole lot of" them "approach everyone else in the Christian world." Catholics (mostly Catholic apologists, in Tim's judgmental rhetoric) are "everywhere, ruining discussions with one-sided, sloganeering twaddle" and a "whole lot of" them are "overbearing." We need to stop being so "self-serving" and "grow up a bit." The "papalist vision pridefully looks down its snotty nose at everyone else." (6,10,13,14)

P9. Catholics are extreme, Enlightenment-type rationalists who approach theology like a "Euclidean text book" and who practice "theological geometry." This has caused "incredibly harmful effects upon the cause of Christendom." (7,8)

P10. Catholics "always" shift the burden of proof to others. (7)

P11. The Catholic rationalist (or irrationalist?) mentality is the equivalent of the propositions, "2+2 actually equals 465," and "circles can be square," and "bachelors can be married men”. (8)

P12. Cardinal Newman's famous observation: “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”, is a "simplistic maxim" and "stupid slogan." (8,13,14)

P13. Catholics supposedly believe that no conceivable proposition can possibly contradict Catholicism ("all of them ultimately refer everything they believe solely to the logic 'The infallible Church has said it; therefore it is true and nothing can possibly count against it'"). (8)

P14. Catholic dogma is fundamentally at odds with "many things" in "the historical record" and it obscures that history and true Tradition. (8,9,11,12,14,15)

P15. The papacy as orthodox Catholics believe it to be only came into existence in the 11th century. (9)

P16. Orthodox Catholic notions of the papacy are "triumphalistic in the extreme" and "offend the intelligences and consciences of others."  (10)

P17. The "online Catholic apologetics phenomena" is typically characterized by  conversion stories featuring know-nothing Fundamentalists." These contain "dumb 'come home' slogans." (11,13)

P18. Catholics refuse to "pay two seconds of attention" to what Protestants consider "important." (13)

P19. Development of doctrine is a chimera and a smokescreen habitually used to hide Catholic decitfulness about, and inability or unwillingness to face "real" history. (14)

P20. The orthodox Catholic belief in papal infallibility and supremacy is "essentially a mirror-image of the 'Trail of Blood' stuff practiced by many history-ignorant Baptists." (15)

Despite all these overwhelmingly condescending and patronizing condemnations of orthodox ecclesiology as understood by orthodox Catholics (sadly typical in his voluminous writings), Tim, amazingly enough, somehow  simultaneously claims that he is not intending to bash orthodox Catholic ecclesiology. After repeatedly implying strongly that Catholic thought in this regard is dishonest and idiotic, he casually denies this, as if he inhabited a thought-world of Orwellian doublespeak or Alice-in-Wonderland verbal absurdity:

Can't we maintain that our views are right without maintaining that everyone else is non-Christian, stupid, or unregenerate for disbelieving them?

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-28-03, 5:00 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2764.topic&index=116)

As for myself, I mean it when I say I don't believe in "silver bullets". There is orthodox stuff in our shared Tradition that leads to the type of papalism you believe in. I accept that fully. Nothing I'm researching is a "silver bullet" against the Papacy per se. I can accept that a particular Christian community (yours) might choose to organize itself along the lines of "High Papalism" and that it certainly does have some Traditional precedent for doing so.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 5:22 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

What will be established at the end of the whole project will be not that (1) "Roman Catholicism is an idiotic belief system held only by mindless puppets who love tyrannical governments"

(Blog feedback, 1-6-04 @ 05:58)

My thesis is not about showing that "orthodox Catholic historiography" is "dishonest" and "ridiculous".

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 06:42; responding to me)


Appendix II: Documentation of Tim's View That Medieval Conciliarism Was "Orthodox"

17) . . . in this thesis about “Christian civilization” I am concerned almost exclusively with the West and with an altogether different disruption of society that was based upon deep-rooted tensions within the apparently unitary Western Tradition itself.

. . . the inability over many centuries of Western Church to peacefully resolve a radical conflict between two opposing strains of its own cultural heritage.  These strains will be developed throughout this thesis, so here I will only sketch them.  One of these strains can be characterized roughly as “divine-right monarchicalism”, which means that society is to be led by a ruler who is not the subordinate minister of the law, but who is in some important sense or another above the law, being either its source or its only proper interpreter.  The other strain can be characterized roughly as “constitutional republicanism”, which means that society is led by a ruler who is himself subject to the law, which stands above him. The intriguing conflict between these two strains of thought—a conflict brought on because both have always been present in the Western authority tradition!— . . .

(p. 5)

18) . . . “catholic” really is not and never has historically been a simple synonym for “being in union with the Pope”) . . . I will argue from the broader premise that we need not give away any historical ground to Rome that in one of the most controversial areas of all, ecclesiology, the history of the pre-Reformation Church gives us Protestants a great many reasons for standing firm in our convictions.  I will argue that we can and should outright deny the legitimacy of Cardinal Newman’s historical perfectionism because we can truly give the Roman Catholic vision of ecclesiology a serious, sustained run for its money on the basis of catholic tradition itself.

(p. 14)

19) . . . conciliar ecclesiology—which I will later in this thesis defend as being intimately linked to its catholic forebears, and therefore as a fundamentally orthodox part of the Western ecclesiastical authority tradition.

(p. 16)

20) The mechanism of the Absolutist principle was, of course, the Roman Papacy.  The mechanism of the Constitutional principle was the council—and particularly the General Council.  We shall see throughout this thesis that there were times where one or the other principle had the dominance, but that there was never a time when both principles did not exist and could not each lay claim to having a basis in “the Tradition”.

(pp. 17-18)

21) The realization that the Western authority tradition—particularly on the issue of the representation of the Church—is pluriform, not uniform, does not lead to skepticism or the “loss of Truth”; it merely requires all of us to be much more humble in how we speak to each other regarding disputed matters of our common history.

(p. 18)

22) Today’s Roman Catholic Church—now defanged of all the temporal power she had accumulated and used to such great effect in the later Middle Ages—continues this fine tradition of obstinacy and historical one-upsmanship, and so deserves to be thoroughly rebuked by another child of the Western Tradition.

(p. 21)

23) On the one hand, modern Protestantism, excited by long-standing polemics against a specifically Roman Catholicism, Enlightenment notions of “progress”, and an uncritical blindness to its own manifest flaws in the area of visible unity might easily assert that the historical contingency of the See of Rome entails the total relativization of the See of Rome.  On the other hand, post-Vatican I Roman Catholics find it all too easy to say that “orthodox” Christians always held one basic view of the matter, while it was only “heretics” and “rebels” who proposed and acted on various “obviously” false views.  Both of these stories are very tidy, and precisely for that reason both of them look suspiciously like simplistic retrojections of present-day categories into the past—hindsight is twenty-twenty, after all.

(p. 27)

24) . . . there was a definite primacy of the Papacy relative to all other powers both secular and spiritual.  However, the outworking of the nature and limitations of that primacy were a very long time in coming, and significantly, every time a particular absolutist spin was made upon it there quickly arose significant and sustained resistance from within the catholic tradition itself.

(p. 38)

25) For all this strenuous propagandizing, however, Gregory VII and his faction did not go unchallenged from within the orthodox ranks of the Church.

(p. 79)

26) . . . at the high point of the dispute between Papalism and Conciliarism we will see that certain of the more extreme members of the Papalist party were prepared to allow the pope power even over Holy Scripture, and that this radicalism helped fuel the elaboration of the orthodoxy of the conciliar theory.

(p. 95)

27) It seems to me that the language of "divine right" is precisely the foundation upon which all of the later papalist claims of the High Middle Ages are made, including such distortions as the transformation of "appellate jurisdiction" into "ordinary universal jurisdiction" and the transformation of "role of helping to identify authentic Christian truth" into "undeniable, infallible definer of authentic Christian truth and ex sese determiner of what constitutes 'being catholic'." The latter halves of each of these parallels are to me extremely suspect historically, for reasons I'm working on spelling out in my thesis work.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-10-03, 11:20 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2735.topic&index=43)

28) I would at this point be inclined to agree that "a primacy within the Church as a whole is implicit in the Petrine passages of the New Testament", but I would disagree that that primacy is necessarily papal. For it is precisely the historical circumstances, and not "face value" theological ones . . . that gave rise to the equation "Peter=Bishop of Rome" . . . Given the very slow, much opposed historical origin of papal primacy within the context of "Maintain The Universal Empire of the Romans"--a context that rapidly disintegrated into multiple contenders after the sixth century--I think it's reasonable to ask "Where is the Universal Empire today over which Rome has the primacy?"

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-10-03, 11:54 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2735.topic&index=43)

29) . . . we must note the tremendous ambiguity of Christian political thought in these most formative years of the "Christian Empire" . . . when dealing with the early Church it is fundamentally a violation of the historical and cultural context to think about authority in the Church (and particularly the authority of the Roman Bishop) as a set of theological abstractions concerning "timeless truths" that were supposedly "the divinely-willed order of things". The manner in which authority was to be exercised in Christian society generically and in the Church specifically it was by no means clear to our early forebears in the faith . . . a multiplicity of conceptions about authority existed side-by-side for centuries . . . NOBODY was sure until the 11th century and that when they finally got it "sure" their efforts proved to be tremendously disruptive to the existing society and ended up establishing as (to borrow the words of a provincial Roman council that met in 1870) "the ancient and constant faith of the universal Church" a radical novelty centering upon the role and powers of the Roman Bishop.

(Blog, 12-18-03)

30) . . . my studies of the profoundly multi-faceted nature of the Western authority tradition . . .

(Blog, 12-20-03)

31) Roman Catholics . . . are all for discussing “historical facts” such as “papal primacy” until you point out to them that “primacy” has always had multiple interpretations based on the cultural context of the Christians who talked about it, and that the complex of papal claims from their origin until at least the 16th century was buried deep within changing historical-social situations related to the cause of the (now dead) “Universal Empire of the Romans”.

(Blog, 12-25-03)

32) If your theory about "the preponderance of evidence" is really true, why is the Western authority tradition from Ambrosiaster to Zabarella pluriform?

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-28-03, 2:25 A)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

33) . . . the Reformers did not "leave the RCC". That way of thinking surrenders the entire history of the Church to the Romanist faction within it, and truly does open us up to a lot of their commonplace rhetorical and apologetic tactics . . . I've seen enough of the extraordinary messiness of the Late Medieval Period to realize that anyone today who thinks that anyone then had it all figured out is just drastically wrong. "The Magisterium" (just to be anachronistic for a minute) was virtually totally clueless about what was going on in Christendom for about two centuries prior to the Reformation . . . the tremendous uncertainties and pressures that had been building up in the Western Tradition for centuries beforehand, it should be a clue that maybe both sides missed some things. Platonized dogmatists on both sides, however, cannot afford to admit this. That would bring their beautiful, unsullied Platonism into contact with the messy, "polluted" spacetime world, and that is a huge No-No for Platonists.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-28-03, 5:00 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2764.topic&index=116)

34) I'm busy translating some important passages from Hincmar of Rheims, a Western theologian widely recognized as the top expert on canon law in the ninth-century, and on top of that, a conciliarist in his ecclesiology. Ninth-century canon law expert and conciliarist. Boy, doesn't that mess with your "ancient and constant faith of the universal Church preponderance of evidence face value interpretation" paradigm! Ah, if only you Roman apologists actually were "deep in history". Maybe we could have some truly edifying conversations for once.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 3:25 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

35) [speaking to a vocal  orthodox Catholic] . . . that's the difference between you and me: you CANNOT accept that there's anything orthodox in our shared Tradition that leads to the type of view I hold. You CANNOT accept that other Christian communities can LEGITIMATELY organize themselves on a DIFFERENT basis than yours and that they can be ORTHODOX and IN ACCORD WITH THE TRADITION as they do so . . . I am afraid that you truly not in possession of a good understanding of the Tradition. I know that irks you, but it's true. You don't evaluate papalism as a historical phenomenon in Christ's Church, and so you CANNOT handle history fairly . . . Catholics like you love to talk big about your wonderful "continuity" with history and other groups' alleged tremendous "discontinuity", but you simply cannot back your talk up with anything other than gratuitous appeals to your own Church's allegedly "infallible" dogmas, which alone give "the real meaning" of the history . . . I just completed translating a section of a council held in 881 under Hincmar of Rheims, and in very significant ways it sounds like the original "non-democratized" Westminster Confession of Faith. Huh. Isn't that interesting . . . . I wonder why I don't see Catholic apologists quoting from men like Hincmar of Rheims. Could it be that the "deep in history" folks really aren't?

. . . the pluriform Western authority tradition.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 5:22 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

36) . . . the question isn't properly framed in terms of "separatism" (us) vs. "organic continuity" (you). That's just a lot of baseless propaganda, basically. The Western Tradition does NOT support the absolutization of the High Papalist point of view. Yes, there are elements in the Tradition that can be used to construct that point of view, but those elements are not the ONLY elements of the Tradition, much less "the ancient and constant faith of the Universal Church". From Ambrosiaster (4th century) to Zabarella (15th century), the "preponderance of evidence" is precisely that the mode of ecclesiastical government was never decisively settled in the West. There are more options available on the basis of the Tradition than the High Papalism of present-day Roman Catholicism and the High Populism of present day Protestantism. Sheesh, man, High Papalism itself can be construed in several different ways, not just the way Vatican I happened to pick. Between Augustinus Triumphus and Nicholas of Cusa, there's a whole LOT of ground and a whole LOT of options for construing "the headship of the pope". But history happened as it happened, and now we're all living with the results.

. . . Please do stop presenting the quite superficial similarity of your Church's present episcopal structure to that of the past Church. I'm sorry, John, but no, your bishops are NOT "in organic continuity" with Hincmar of Rheims . . . When the records are examined for what they are instead of for what late-breaking de fide dogmas say they are, the Church of Hincmar's day didn't look like the Church you believe has always existed. And that's because the Church you believe has always existed hasn't. The story your Church tells about the progress and meaning of ecclesiastical history is as false to the records as is the Baptistic "Trail of Blood" story . . . It's something close to gut-bustingly hilarious, then, to watch what happens when those you taunt do look at the history. Suddenly it's "You'll have to excuse us for being good Catholics" and "You don't understand development of doctrine" and "Once you grasp the fundamentals of biblical Platonism you'll see how obvious our view is." Stand up comics, the lot of you!

. . . Your bishops are in continuity with one part of the Tradition, but by no means do they have the "fullness" of the Tradition. History speaks decisively against the absolutist claims your Church makes about ecclesiastical government. You can surely make those claims for your local communion if you wish, but presuming to make them over the whole Church only shows how sectarian and disconnected from real history Rome really is.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 9:20 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

37) Don't talk to me about "the ancient and constant faith of the Universal Church" if what you mean is "unbroken continuity of union with the Pope as the criterion of orthodoxy". It's rubbish and balderdash, and I have the records to prove it. The time for insular propaganda--on both sides--is coming to an end.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 10:51 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=45)

38) Obviously Rome calls councils, and called many of them during the Middle Ages. That's not the problem. The problem is all this wacky business of magnifying the Bishop of Rome's role in conciliar action to the point where the conciliar action itself is not even valid unless and until the Roman Bishop "approves" it.

. . . The erudition of faithful, orthodox Catholics who came increasingly to support the via concilia (out of three proposed options for ending the schism) is simply amazing . . . These were not "Ockhamist heretics" or "Marsilian radicals" or "Gallicans", as the stupid Ultramontanist slurs go. These were utterly pious, immensely learned, orthodox Catholics, and they came to the position that the Church's own tradition had been corrupted by the Roman pontiffs and had to be restored . . . when one starts grappling with these things, it becomes undeniably apparent that the Western Tradition has always been pluriform on these issues . . . fundamental multiplicity of understanding continued to work itself out in Christian ecclesiastical politics all the way up to the present day . . . the Tradition isn't uniform. It's absolute bunk to thunder that one particular highly nuanced vision of the Papacy is "the ancient and constant faith of the Universal Church".

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-30-03, 12:38 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=54)

39) It's tough to explain these things to you or their relevance to RC / Protestant relations because, ironically, you don't see the "essence" of the Western Tradition itself (it's fundamentally PLURIFORM, not UNIFORM!) . . .

(Blog feedback, 1-5-04 @ 23:58; responding to me)

40) . . . my present thesis project (which is in the process of demonstrating the essential orthodoxy of a conciliar form of ecclesiology even within the Western Tradition).

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 1-5-04 12:46 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2774.topic)

41) . . . what will be established [by the thesis] is AT LEAST that it isn't accurate or fair for (1) Roman Catholics to write the whole Reformation off as a "rebellion" if all they are going to offer as proof for those assertions is repetitions of developed Papalist dogma without recognizing the very complex historical conflict between the two strains of the Tradition, and (2) that today's children of the Reformation need not hand over the Medieval Church lock, stock, and barrel to the Roman Catholics, since we have so much within that era that is fundamentally on "our" side, . . .
I don't accept the story that RCs like Dave tell about Church history.  It's just fundamentally inaccurate and one-sided . . .

(Blog feedback, 1-6-04 @ 05:58)

42) Part 1 [of the thesis] . . . sets up the situation for the materials which will be covered in Part 2 regarding the fundamental orthodoxy of a conciliar ecclesiology and the classical Protestant continuity with the elements of the orthodox Western catholic tradition on that point.

(Blog, 1-7-04)

43) I gave you a summary of my thesis work.  It includes the following points: (1) The Western authority Tradition is pluriform, not uniform.  (2) This means that it is not a historically accurate view to appeal, as you constantly do, to "orthodox Catholic Magisterial teaching".  In the periods I'm dealing with, what that was was up for debate--it simply IS NOT TRUE that there was this widely accepted "orthodox Catholic view" (just so happening to resemble your own) and that all other views were manifestly and obviously "heretical" or "rebellious", etc.  (3) Some of the major elements that came to be embodied in the ecclesiology of the Reformation confessions have very deep roots in previous orthodox catholic tradition.

(Blog feedback, 1-8-04 @ 06:57; responding to me)

44) . . . my most central point, i.e., that the Western authority tradition is PLURIFORM, not UNIFORM, . . . the Western tradition itself is not quite so uniform . . .

(Blog, 1-9-04)

45) . . . your own view of history is one-sided and not at all fair to the sources.

(Blog feedback, 1-9-04 @ 04:28; responding to me)

46) . . . my statements about the "pluriform Western authority tradition" . . .

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 1-9-04 2:50 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2774.topic&index=114)

47) Me: You claim that orthodox Catholic ecclesiology is "pluriform."

Yes, I do, because I don't feel the pressure, as you do, to maintain that the NT gives a formal and perpetually valid ecclesiological theory, nor do I do my history from the standpoint of being forced to defend an anachronistic confusion of the destiny of one provincial church with the destiny of the Universal Church.  The sources fully support me on the point of the pluriformity of the tradition about "authority".  It is surely possible to take issue with the specific conclusions I draw from that fact, but the fact itself is absolutely undeniable.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:16; responding to me)

48) I deny all concepts of doctrinal and ecclesiastical infallibility, and I deny that "development" can be properly traced when one is epistemologically bound up by such concepts . . . I'm not concerned with the issue of infallibility.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:16; responding to me)

49) Me: All you can produce are a bunch of scholars who held thus-and-so, which proves exactly nothing when you are talking about Catholic magisterial or official or binding or dogmatic teaching.

. . . the very way you frame the above question shows how distorted is your perception of the historical issues.  You actually believe that there is this thing called "Catholic Magisterial Teaching" that has existed from the very beginning of the Church and which just so happens to look pretty darned close (depending on the state of "development") to what you hold today.  That's true if you emphasize only one element of the Tradition.  But if you emphasize the other element of the Tradition, or at least try to focus on the centuries long conflict between them, quite a different picture of "Catholic Magisterial Teaching" emerges.  And that picture is not the picture of Vatican I or of the Essay on the Development of Doctrine.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:16; responding to me)

50) Me: What is orthodoxy?

At this point I'd say that what the Universal Church has ministerially decided is orthodox is, ministerially speaking, orthodox . . . your theory of Papalist government is decidely un-orthodox.  You can only make it "orthodox" by equating "the Universal Church" with "those bodies in union with the Western Patriarch, the Pope of Rome", but that premise has always met with significant opposition from other and not easily-dismissed sections of the Universal Church.  No genuinely Ecumenical Council (as distinguished from the string of provincial Roman ones over the last 1,000 years which Rome has been arrogantly pleased to call "ecumenical") has decreed on the issue of Church government--certainly not on the specifically Papalist scheme of Church government.  At this point, the argument for ecclesiological orthodoxy appears to be suspended in the air pending a reunification of the Church that is sufficient to allow a genuinely Ecumenical Council to be called to debate those issues.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:55; responding to me)

51) Me: How is orthodoxy determined within the medieval "Catholicism" that you purport to be studying?

Well, continuing from the last answer, this is why what I've seen in the Middle Ages in the West is so interesting.  It's just sheer apologetic propaganda to pretend that even in just the West Papalism was always accepted as orthodoxy.  It takes the breath away, really, this insistence of you Papalists that being "deep in history" proves your points on that score.  It's hard to even know where to begin showing the errors of your views, especially when men such as yourself are all over the place bombastically comparing everyone else's views of history to secular Modernity and insinuating that they simply aren't looking at the historical data with the eyes of "faith".  Rome is astonishingly provincial.

 . . . We know who determines "orthodoxy" in what you call "orthodox Catholicism".  The trouble is that what you call "orthodox Catholicism" has never been agreed to be so by the Universal Church.  Rome has been following the monastic precedent of the Cluniacs for the last 1,000 years, and the result has been immense destruction within the societas Christiana.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:55; responding to me)

52) Me: Is one allowed to change those definitions for polemical purposes, so that Protestantism can be shown to be a "continuation" of legitimate Catholic ecclesiology?

But I'm not "changing the definitions for polemic purposes", Dave.  I'm not the one whose mind and conscience are in thrall to the anachronisms of Vatican I and the rationalistic methodology of trying to retroactively determine what "development of doctrine" must look like.

(Blog feedback, 1-10-04 @ 20:55; responding to me)

53) When this new critical mindset was energized by the Aristotelian renaissance of the first half of the thirteenth century, significant re-orientations of Christian society became possible . . . It is surely not the case that there was no Christendom at all during this period.  However, it is true that the prevailing concept of what that Christendom was in its ontology, epistemology, and practical outworking began to be seriously challenged from within Christian orthodoxy and tradition.

("Lessons from the Conciliar Epoch: Some Suggestions Toward a Second Christendom")
(http://www.graceunknown.com/Historia/Lessons_From_Conciliar_Movement.doc)

54)  Change was so deep in the air that eventually even the novel concept of "national churches" came to gradually insinuate itself into the changing definition of "orthodoxy".

("Lessons")

55) . . . we now turn to the fundamentally orthodox solution to the fifteenth-century breakdown of absolute papalism: the great Conciliar Movement . . . We have already noted that two centuries of intense development of canon law had created a matrix of complicated ambiguities regarding the role of the Papacy.  This already makes it impossible to dismiss Conciliarism as a mere novelty coming from outside orthodoxy . . . conflicts over the proper powers and role of the pope could erupt from within orthodox theology . . .The Conciliar movement, always a legitimate option within basic catholic orthodoxy, . . . Grappling with the mere existence of, not to mention the profound conflict of, multiple traditionary streams within the basic framework of orthodox ecclesiology would powerfully inoculate us against the terrible anachronisms of typical Roman Catholic treatments of history . . .

("Lessons")

56) . . . we might attempt to historically argue that the notion that being "Catholic" is a synonym for "agreeing with the Pope" was an 11th century innovation foisted upon the Church by Pope Gregory VII, and not the ancient patristic principle . . .

(Blog, 10-27-03)

57) The tradition regarding authority in Christian society that was passed on from the Fathers was one in which sufficient ambiguity existed to allow a wide spectrum of opinions to emerge, most of them not being considered "unorthodox" at all in their own day, but only by the retrojected standards of later days . . . This is an unacceptable way to present the Catholic concept of "primacy" precisely because the Western tradition itself is not unitary on the matter -- our tradition, broadly speaking the "Latin" one, has never resolved many of the questions that animated the central and high Middle Ages, . . .

(Blog, 9-25-03)

58) What I'd like to see is a Catholicism that isn't afraid to seriously discuss something like how Pope Gregory VII substantively altered the concept of "obedience" that Pope Gregory the Great passed on to his successors, thereby laying the groundwork not merely for a papal "primacy" in the Church but instead a papal "dictatorship".

(Blog, 9-25-03)

59) . . . my objection is that the Roman Catholic "Pope as principatus" story about the stages that the live organism of the Church went through is a rather one-sided story, based on and progressing solely by means of emphasizing only one part of the multi-faceted Western tradition about authority matters in the Church. Note every word in that last clause--we don't even have to speak about the East's tradition of "Petrine primacy", for in the West alone there was not merely one tradition, but multiple traditions. Or if you prefer, multiple strands of the same tradition, which strands worked out their contrary principles at various times in history in concert with the attempt to build and maintain a coherent, vibrant, world-conquering societas Christiana.

(Blog, 9-24-03)

60) . . . the Papacy is a theory of kingship and as such falls under the tremendously diverse nature of the Western authority tradition from (A)mbrosiaster to (Z)abarella. "Development of doctrine" can't save you from this point, because the history of the central and high Middle Ages plainly demonstrates that the development of the Papal claims always took place side-by-side with the development of another set of principles. In one era developing Papalism seems to be "the in thing", but in another era something else takes that spot. The Papal claims are just like everything else under the sun--mired in historical and cultural circumstances that bias their adherents one way or the other and cause them to come into conflict with other people's biases. The result is a centuries-long, extremely diversified, sometimes very heated but sometimes fairly low-key, debate about authority matters within the orthodox Western tradition.

There is no unitary process of the development of Papalism as you maintain there is. There is no "one, two knock out punch" from Scripture and Tradition as you say there is. There's no "silver bullet" against Papalism, but then, neither is there one against other theories of government such as the East's or the multiple varieties of conciliarism that have been tried in the West.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 1-10-04 2:14 P)
(http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2774.topic&index=120)

Appendix III: Documentation of Tim's Unwillingness to Defend His Thesis Against (and to Even Read) This Critique

Tim wrote on his blog, on 1-8-04: "I have explicitly stated that I WANT criticism on it, especially from Catholics", so I asked him directly, whether he would be willing to defend his thesis, if I spent time critiquing it. Here was his very clear answer:

I don't care if you read my thesis and critique it, and I am not interested in interacting with you about these matters.  Read the thesis if you want.  Write a paper about it if you want.  I really don't care.

(Blog feedback: 1-10-04 @ 06:42)

No, Dave, rest assured that I will NOT be reading your "refutation" of my thesis. My thesis is about understanding "Christian society" and trying to rebuild it today, NOT about "refuting" the other side's apologists or making the other viewpoint look like something Utterly Stupid that only Dishonest Morons could possibly believe.  You're right--attitude is key here.  What you fail to understand is the childish nature of yourattitude toward those who disagree with Roman Catholicism, and thus the inability of your whole way of thinking and acting to even approach understanding of what someone else is saying.

. . . I'm simply not interested in work done by people who presume they can "refute" what I've produced (and still am producing, since the whole second half is yet to come) with a couple of days of labor out of encylopedias, slurs about the validity of others' "faith", and endless question-begging philosophizing about "development of doctrine."   No, Dave, I'm not interested in your forthcoming "refutation" . . . in my eyes, at least, you simply haven't earned the right to be taken seriously in serious discussions about serious historical issues.  You're a propagandist and an apologist, not someone who wants to understand where others are coming from and who tries to take them seriously on their own terms.  So write away!  I will NOT be reading what you write.

. . . have a nice "refutation".  You're only talking to yourself and those whose "Catholic" faith is so ignorant and weak that it has to resort to sophomoric sloganeering, whining about "anti-Catholics", pretending that anyone with half a brain just ought to see how obvious "development of doctrine" is, saying that non-Catholics are forever led astray by a "priesthood of scholars" because they "don't have faith in 'the Objective Revelation'", and so on.  What a bunch of introverted, nonsensical quackery.  Really.

(Blog feedback: 1-11-04 @ 21:34)

Get a life, Dave.  I told you my work isn't primarily a work of apologetics, and that's why I'm not interested in interacting with a "refutation" of it written by an apologist . . . I really couldn't care less about what "apologists" are doing to "refute" me, especially when "refuting" people is how they actually make their living.  No, no pressure to perform, there, I'm sure.

. . . I don't give a rip what you have to say about my thesis--you're so blinded by your ignorant zealotry for Rome that you could write last week or the week before that I was just citing "some guys" and working with a "priesthood of scholars".  Take your asinine attitude and shove it, sir.  The Church doesn't need sectarian garbage like yours masquerading as "apologetics". As far as I'm concerned, your activities as an apologist are designed only to maintain the status quo, not help understand and get beyond long-standing problems . . .

. . . Oh, but here comes Romanist propagandist Armstrong to say . . . "you should all come home to Rome now" . . . If that's the STUPID line you want to take, then explain why your glorious Papalist Theocracy, based upon "Petrine primacy" and developed (virtually Newman-style!!!) within the context of a real, full-orbed Christian society, couldn't create and maintain unity from 1378-1414, why it took a COUNCIL to fix the problems caused by the inanities of the various Papalist parties, and why, scarcely 100 years after that the Papalist system wrecked the entire Western Church.  Oh, I know how it goes.  People should have just listened to "the Church" during that period.  "The Church" is all wise, the "Apostolic Succession" solves all problems, the glorious thrill of allegedly "giving up" one's judgment so as to embrace "implicit faith" saves you from having to be "Super Pope" just like that deluded, immoral fool Luther.

Yes, Dave, go get a life.   If you want to hack and slash my thesis up once it's available again, be my guest.  Somebody somewhere will say "Rah, rah, Dave!  Go, Dave go!"  so you need not worry about accolades.  Just stop bothering me.  I'm too busy translating original sources and juggling complicated historical progressions of culture and faith and finitude under God to mess with your foolish "all or nothing" apologetic chattering.

(Blog feedback: 1-17-04 @ 00:22)

To add hypocrisy to insult, we find Tim elsewhere chiding another Catholic (a friend of mine), for supposedly acting in a way that he habitually does (concerning the same exact subject matter):

I asked you some good questions in a respectful manner. Surely given the way you talk (down) to the rest of us, you can take a few minutes and try to give some sort of reply to them.

(Crowhill Discussion Board: Theological Discussion, 12-29-03, 3:25 P: (http://pub141.ezboard.com/fgregsdiscussionboardgodtalk.showMessage?topicID=2763.topic&index=15)

It seems that refusal to defend his thesis and various other views is becoming regular habit for Tim. Dr. James White, a well-known Reformed Baptist anti-Catholic apologist, also challenged Tim to do so, on his website blog:

I have a suggestion for Mr. Enloe.  It seems that despite his hard work on his thesis, TGE has lots of time for writing other stuff, especially on this topic.  So, how about we benefit everyone and actually address an issue in a formal, written format on this website?  How about we address the issue, "Is the Roman Catholic My Brother"?  I think our readers would find such an encounter, with specific limitations on lengths, most useful.  How about it, TGE?

(http://www.aomin.org/ -- entry for 1-15-04)

Tim replied:

The answer to Dr. White's debate challenge to me is "No". There are far more credible men out there who can stand against Dr. White--why doesn't he seek them out? I am just a layman and an undergraduate student who sometimes has a little bit of time to post informal, rambling stuff on a blog. Why a Doctor of Theology with a well-established, public ministry would care to publicly and formally debate with an undergraduate student who wrote some rambling stuff on an out-of-the-way blog on the hind-end of cyberspace seems very strange.

I really do think that Dr. White ought to seek out more credible opponents. Not that I'm dumb or not convinced of my position, certainly; just that I am a Relative Nobody in the Church.

(Blog: 1-15-04 and Blog feedback: 1-16-04)

Dr. White retorted:

Why should it seem strange?  TGE has been active in Internet apologetics for quite some time; has been associated with a number of ministries, and I have said many times he is one of the sharpest folks I've ever met.

Writing about someone else the next day, Dr. White makes a point I heartily agree with:

Seems your ilk...sorry, type, prefers monologues rather than dialogues.  It is so much easier to blather on without having to worry about actually interacting with answers to your position.

Dr. White, of course, adopts the same exact position he criticizes with regard to my critiques of him (he has utterly ignored two recent ones I informed him about), but that is off our subject. Tim refuses to interact with my critique because of my supposed "ignorant zealotry," "asinine attitude," "sectarian garbage," "nonsensical quackery," "childish attitude," and "foolish apologetic chattering," while at the same time he refuses a written debate with Dr. White because he regards himself as "just a layman and an undergraduate student" and a "Relative Nobody" who writes "informal, rambling stuff" on his blog in "the hind-end of cyberspace." Ironies never cease, and one must see the humor in these things after receiving such scathing and fundamentally silly criticisms from Tim as I have.

In any event, however Tim responds (or -- I should say -- doesn't respond), and whatever he thinks about my supposed internal dispositions and the goals of my apologetic apostolate (he apparently feels that he is able to discern these to an extraordinary, almost supernatural, degree), it is a worthwhile endeavor to interact with his thesis and show how and why a Catholic would disagree with it.

Bibliography

(P = Protestant / C = Catholic; others are of unknown religious affiliation -- probably non-Catholic from appearances)

Adams, George Burton (P?), Civilization During the Middle Ages, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1906.

Balke, Willem (P), Calvin and the Anabaptist Radicals, translated by William Heynen, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981, from the 1973 Dutch version.

Belloc, Hilaire (C), How the Reformation Happened, New York: Robert M. McBride & Co., 1928.

Carroll, Warren H. (C), A History of Christendom (six volumes), Volume 2: The Building of Christendom, Front Royal, VA: Christendom College Press, 1987.

Cross, F.L. and E.A. Livingstone, editors (P), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1983.

Daniel-Rops, Henri (C), The Protestant Reformation, volume 1, translated Audrey Butler, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1961, from the 1958 French edition.

Dawson, Christopher (C), Medieval Essays, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1959.

Dawson, Christopher (C) [2], The Dividing of Christendom, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1965.

Dickens, A. G. (P), Reformation and Society in Sixteenth-Century Europe, London: Thames and Hudson, 1966.

Dickens, A. G. (P) [2], The Age of Humanism and Reformation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1972.

Downs, Norton (?), editor, The Medieval Pageant: Readings in Medieval History, Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc., 1964.

Durant, Will (secularist), The Reformation, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957 (volume 6 of the ten-volume work, The Story of Civilization, 1967).

Herbermann, Charles G. (C), editor, The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1913; sixteen volumes. Available online:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

Hillerbrand, Hans J. (P), Men and Ideas in the Sixteenth Century, Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1969.

Hughes, Philip (C), The Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils, 325-1870, Garden City, NY: Hanover House, 1961.

Hurstfield, Joel (P), editor, The Reformation Crisis, New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1966.

Kelly, J. N. D. (P), Early Christian Doctrines, San Francisco: HarperCollins, revised edition, 1978.

Latourette, Kenneth Scott (P), A History of Christianity (two volumes), Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1953; reprinted in 1975.

Lortz, Joseph (C), How the Reformation Came, translated by Otto M. Knab (from the German Wie kam es zur Reformation?), New York: Herder and Herder, 1964.

Lortz, Joseph (C) [2], History of the Church, translated and adapted from the 5th and 6th German edition by Edwin G. Kaiser, Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1939.

McGrath, Alister E. (P), Reformation Thought: An Introduction, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2nd edition, 1993.

McNeill, John T. (P), editor and Ford Lewis Battles (P), translator, John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960 (from 1559 edition).

Morrall, John B. (?), The Medieval Imprint, Baltimore; Penguin Books, 1970.

Pelikan, Jaroslav (P), The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (five volumes), Volume 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300), Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Schaff, Philip (P), History of the Christian Church, New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1910, eight volumes; available online:
http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/About.htm

Southern, R.W. (P?), Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (The Pelican History of the Church, volume 2), Baltimore; Penguin Books, 1970.

Tuchman, Barbara W., (?), A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, New York: Ballantine Books, 1978.

Wilcox, Donald J. (?), In Search of God and Self: Renaissance and Reformation Thought, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1975.

Wolff, Philippe (?), The Awakening of Europe (The Pelican History of European Thought, volume 1), translated by Anne Carter, Baltimore; Penguin Books, 1968.

End of Part Two and Entire Paper
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