Scripture, the norming norm.

rakovsky

Active member
It really doesn't. If you've never been a member of an Anglican church, how can you know what "it feels like"?
You can have something give you a feeling without you belonging to their organization.

The Episcopalian Church USA website defines the Anglican Communion as being those churches in communion with Canterbury. So if you leave communion with that particular see or get excommunicated by them, you no longer belong to the Anglican Communion that the ECUSA does. Canterbury, like the See of Rome among Catholics, thus becomes the necessary point of unity for their communion.

In contrast, the Orthodox Church worldwide does not have a single see that churches must be in communion with in order to belong to our communion. If one See excommunicated another, it does not automatically follow by virtue of the location of one that the other is excluded from the whole Orthodox Communion. The same principle is true in Lutheranism AFAIK that I just laid out in Orthodoxy.
 

rakovsky

Active member
"Didn't the Anglican Church change its rule eventually so that if a nation (the Greeks for example) wanted to join the "Anglican Communion", that their ecclesiology would entail that the English monarch became the head of that nation?"
I didn't ask that clearly enough. Originally the Anglican Church taught that the English King, not the Pope, was the head of the church. It was a big deal for Henry VIII. I don't know offhand if the Monarch of England, eg. the Queen, is today doctrinally considered the head of the Church if England. Plus, I'm sure that there has been some rule or agreement so that the Queen is not the head of Episcopalians in the US today. So I was asking about the history and current status of those rules as per the English monarchy. I was asking if the Anglicans changed the rule that they had that made it so that other peoples in the English Church would end up having their churches be under the English monarchy.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
The problem is that Anglicans have a history talking big and obfuscating on the Real Presence but are actually sharply divided on whether the Lutheran or Calvinist view is right ever since the founding period of Anglicanism. Those who have studied Anglicanism's founders carefully enough on the Eucharist know this.

Let me give you two illustrations to help you see this. First, one of Luther's debating points on the Real Presence with the Calvinists was whether the unfaithful ate Christ's body. The Calvinist answer was NO, that Jesus' body stays up in heaven and is not objectively in the food on the table, so that ONLY the faithful eat it because it is ONLY something that happens BY FAITH. Luther made a big deal out of this point, emphasizing that even the unfaithful eat Christ's body if they swallow the ritual food.

Now if you turn to the Anglican Articles, you can find one that specifies that ONLY the righteous eat Christ's body. Historically the reason for that particular Article was to teach the Calvinist view, as opposed to the Lutheran one. In the founding period of Anglicanism, Anglicans tended to hold to the Calvinist view like Cranmer and Ridley did.

Second when you ask about the phrase "Jesus' body and blood are truly present in the Sacrament", you need to understand how Lutherans vs. Calvinists understand and use those same kinds of phrases. The Calvinist idea is that Jesus' body just stays actually located in heaven, but that it is present in the sense that it has the same effect "as if" it was in the bread. Or to put it in other Calvinist terms, it is present in the sacrament but not in the food, ie. it is involved in the activity of the ritual, but the Body is not directly or objectively in the food.

So when the Calvinists use terms like "truly present" or "Real Presence", it sounds like they are "talking big" or obfuscating when contrasted with the teaching if the Objective presence. The fact that you took that Anglican terminology to mean an objective presence shows how obfuscating that terminology is.

As a side note, I should add that the Anglicans gave always been divided on whether the Lutheran or Calvinist side of the debate is right, but even those of them who take the Calvinist view use the kinds of terms that you quoted that SOUND as if they mean an objective direct presence located right on the table.
I understand what you're saying here.
 

Nic

Well-known member
Ok, thanks, BJ.
I guess that since EOs consider tracing Apostolic Succession, Tradition, and Sacraments to be key, then it makes RCs more acceptable to the EOs because RCs at least have those things even though they consider some things infallible by mistake.
What's an interesting note (IMO), is that the EOs tradition alledges to only be as far back as the third century. 🤔
 

rakovsky

Active member
What's an interesting note (IMO), is that the EOs tradition alledges to only be as far back as the third century. 🤔
The EOs have their tradition from the 1st and 2nd century AD and follow the Church fathers. so I don't know where you would get that idea.
1st-2nd century writings and Church fathers important in the EO Church include:

50-120 AD: Didache
80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
(Clement Alexandrine & Origen used it, Jerome considered its authorship genuine & Eusebius didn't, Vulgate used it as apocryphal)
80-140 1 Clement
88-160 Shepherd of Hermas
(included in Codex Sinaiticus; Muratorian fragment says it "ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly"; Clement Alexandrine uses it but notes "many people despise it")
90-150 Apocalypse of Peter (Muratorian canon has it but says some ban it from reading in church, Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted genuine by Eusebius)
90-218 4 Esdras (Vulgate) / 2 Esdras (Protestant) / 3 Esdras (Slavic), including Chp 7 w/ NSRV verses 35-105 (Canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible, Apocryphal in the Vulgate, Russian, and KJV)
95-160 2 Clement

Others include:

105-115 Bp. Ignatius of Antioch (check the Arian version's legitimacy)
105-10th century Martyrdom of Ignatius
110-140 Bp. Polycarp of Smyrna to the Philippians
110-140 Bp. Papias of Hieropolis' Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord ( see Peter Kirby's writing on his fragments)
120-130 Quadratus of Athens
120-130 Apology of Aristides
130-150 Aristo of Pella
130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
140-150 Epistula Apostolorum (within the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, counters gnosticism)
150-160 Justin Martyr
150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp
150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues (found in early Latin codices)
2nd c. - 4th c. Old Roman Creed
160-180 Claudius Apollinaris
160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix
161-180 Acts of Carpus
165-175 Bp. Melito of Sardis (see https://alinsuciu.com/2016/03/11/abstra ... -congress/)
165-175 Hegesippus (see Kirby's writings on chasing Hegesippus)
165-175 Dionysius of Corinth
170-200 Muratorian Canon
175-180 Athenagoras of Athens
175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons
175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea
175-185 Rhodon
178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons
 
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Nic

Well-known member
The EOs have their tradition from the 1st and 2nd century AD and follow the Church fathers. so I don't know where you would get that idea.
1st-2nd century writings and Church fathers important in the EO Church include:

50-120 AD: Didache
80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
(Clement Alexandrine & Origen used it, Jerome considered its authorship genuine & Eusebius didn't, Vulgate used it as apocryphal)
80-140 1 Clement
88-160 Shepherd of Hermas
(included in Codex Sinaiticus; Muratorian fragment says it "ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly"; Clement Alexandrine uses it but notes "many people despise it")
90-150 Apocalypse of Peter (Muratorian canon has it but says some ban it from reading in church, Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted genuine by Eusebius)
90-218 4 Esdras (Vulgate) / 2 Esdras (Protestant) / 3 Esdras (Slavic), including Chp 7 w/ NSRV verses 35-105 (Canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible, Apocryphal in the Vulgate, Russian, and KJV)
95-160 2 Clement

Others include:

105-115 Bp. Ignatius of Antioch (check the Arian version's legitimacy)
105-10th century Martyrdom of Ignatius
110-140 Bp. Polycarp of Smyrna to the Philippians
110-140 Bp. Papias of Hieropolis' Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord ( see Peter Kirby's writing on his fragments)
120-130 Quadratus of Athens
120-130 Apology of Aristides
130-150 Aristo of Pella
130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
140-150 Epistula Apostolorum (within the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, counters gnosticism)
150-160 Justin Martyr
150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp
150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues (found in early Latin codices)
2nd c. - 4th c. Old Roman Creed
160-180 Claudius Apollinaris
160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix
161-180 Acts of Carpus
165-175 Bp. Melito of Sardis (see https://alinsuciu.com/2016/03/11/abstra ... -congress/)
165-175 Hegesippus (see Kirby's writings on chasing Hegesippus)
165-175 Dionysius of Corinth
170-200 Muratorian Canon
175-180 Athenagoras of Athens
175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons
175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea
175-185 Rhodon
178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons
The information was given to me by a former Wesleyan seminarian who had converted to EO and had married a lifelong EO member. Her ID here wss mamabug. At the time I had numerous EO friends of the EO forum.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
The information was given to me by a former Wesleyan seminarian who had converted to EO and had married a lifelong EO member. Her ID here wss mamabug. At the time I had numerous EO friends of the EO forum.
That may have something to do with the exuberant claims of apostolic succession by Constantinople and consequently Rome. A side bar to a dispute in The Power And Primacy Of The Pope, 1537. I will double check.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
That may have something to do with the exuberant claims of apostolic succession by Constantinople and consequently Rome. A side bar to a dispute in The Power And Primacy Of The Pope, 1537. I will double check.
Ok, it was something I came across off the fairway while researching PPP. It is deep in the weeds and I don't recall a landmark at the moment. If it is a priority for anyone I will leave it to that person.
 

rakovsky

Active member
The information was given to me by a former Wesleyan seminarian who had converted to EO and had married a lifelong EO member. Her ID here wss mamabug. At the time I had numerous EO friends of the EO forum.
Yeah, one would really need to look at her exact statement and it's context, because the statement does not make sense that "the EOs tradition alledges to only be as far back as the third century". I don't know where the EO Tradition would say that it does not include the 1st or second century, when for example I quotes a long line of Eastern Orthodox Church fathers from that period. Lutherans for example refer to the Greek Church fathers as "Greek church fathers" and the EO Church as the "Greek Church". There is no denial in the EO Church that those ones are part of the EO Tradition.
 

Nic

Well-known member
Yeah, one would really need to look at her exact statement and it's context, because the statement does not make sense that "the EOs tradition alledges to only be as far back as the third century". I don't know where the EO Tradition would say that it does not include the 1st or second century, when for example I quotes a long line of Eastern Orthodox Church fathers from that period. Lutherans for example refer to the Greek Church fathers as "Greek church fathers" and the EO Church as the "Greek Church". There is no denial in the EO Church that those ones are part of the EO Tradition.
Hi Rakosky, what I recall about the exchange was that poster first question me as to why follow traditions dating back to the 15th century. So I asked, how far back can your tradtions be dated and that us where the 3rd century was offered. I then said if that was so then what makes your 3rd century dated tradition better than those of say the far east who only embrace earlier councils? The following comment offered was, that was a good question. The husband if I have his ID correct was cameryle who married mammabug. I had many conversations with him and mammabug and other orthodox over the years. The orthodox on the surface boast a lot of things but they also practice a lot of things they often at first deny like baptizing more than once. And yes of course like everything in all creation there is context.
Nic:)
 

rakovsky

Active member
Hi Rakosky, what I recall about the exchange was that poster first question me as to why follow traditions dating back to the 15th century.

So I asked, how far back can your tradtions be dated and that us where the 3rd century was offered. I then said if that was so then what makes your 3rd century dated tradition better than those of say the far east who only embrace earlier councils? The following comment offered was, that was a good question.
Thanks for replying.
The poster starts with a good point.
Christians profess an "apostolic church". If a Church, like maybe Anabaptists, was only going back to the 15th century with any extrabiblical writings that they used (eg. the writers of their founders), then Traditions going back to the 3rd century would be much closer to the apostles, and thus much more likely to reflect "apostolic" traditions. By comparison, if you use Hindu writings from 800 BC, you are more likely to get traditions that reflect the time of the Vedas of 2000-1300 BC, than if you just start with traditions in India that started by some sects in 1800 AD.

But anyway, to give a good example of where this kind of issue comes up, the earliest on-point writing that Christians have about infant baptism is from c.180 AD (2nd century) by an Eastern bishop, and this writing is part of our "Tradition." In it, the bishops says that Christians are doing infant baptism, with approval. That is the earliest specific recorded Christian practice. It's only 2 generations after the time of the last apostle, John, and 1 generation after the death of Polycarp in c. 160 who knew John.

In Protestant Apologetics for the resurrection like "Cold Case Christianity", the authors actually go and emphasize the links of apostolic succession to show that the Bible is reliable on the resurrection. They use these later generation writers as confirmation of the Bible.

Your next sentence is not clear when you talk about "earlier councils" - ie. what earlier councils you are referring to: "I then said if that was so then what makes your 3rd century dated tradition better than those of say the far east who only embrace earlier councils?"
There are no ecumenical councils from before the 3rd century.
There are local councils from the 1st and second century, like the Council of Jerusalem in Acts, but those councils are also part of our tradition. For example, the Council of Jerusalem says not to eat blood foods (eg. blood pudding) as a rule for gentiles. This rule remains in the EO Church, but not in Protestant Churches AFAIK. Anglicans have no rule against blood pudding, AFAIK. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would guess that Protestants would say that it's just a first century AD rule from the apostles and not a big deal so we don't need to try to follow it.

There was a 2nd century council against Montanism (Montanism had some commonalities with Pentacostalism), and maybe one in c. 199 about the Easter calendar. They are also part of our Tradition.

In short, there are no churches I am aware of, including in the far east, that only embrace earlier councils. The Nestorian Church (of AC of the East) accepts the first ecumenical council of the 4th century, but no later councils. The first few ecumenical councils are:

  • First Council of Nicaea (325)
  • First Council of Constantinople (381)
  • Council of Chalcedon (451)
FWIW, Lutheranism also agrees with those councils AFAIK. The Nestorians split at the 2nd council (381 in the 4th century) over the issue of the number of Christ's hypostases. The EO church perceived the Nestorians as teaching that in effect Christ had two Persons. In any case, both the EOs and the Nestorians (ACE) would agree with using Tradition from the 1st-4th centuries AD, and they would both disagree with Sola Scriptura, the teaching in the Book of Concord that we should ONLY use the Bible as the ONLY guiding rule on religious teachings.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Thanks for replying.
The poster starts with a good point.
Christians profess an "apostolic church". If a Church, like maybe Anabaptists, was only going back to the 15th century with any extrabiblical writings that they used (eg. the writers of their founders), then Traditions going back to the 3rd century would be much closer to the apostles, and thus much more likely to reflect "apostolic" traditions.
That is an assumption that can only be tested and verified in some instances on a case by case basis.
But anyway, to give a good example of where this kind of issue comes up, the earliest on-point writing that Christians have about infant baptism is from c.180 AD (2nd century) by an Eastern bishop, and this writing is part of our "Tradition."
Infant baptism is a better example of Scripture as the norming norm, as your post demonstrates. At best the writing you assert is a right reflection of Scripture.

This is easily verified through the witness of Scripture and the common sense of those who believe it and those who don't. It is the same with the resurrection. That doesn't mean that all will receive the Lord but if the Lord doesn't return soon it remains that long after we are gone the word of the Lord stands forever.
Your next sentence is not clear when you talk about "earlier councils" - ie. what earlier councils you are referring to: "I then said if that was so then what makes your 3rd century dated tradition better than those of say the far east who only embrace earlier councils?"
There are no ecumenical councils from before the 3rd century.
All councils are local. The ecumenical nature of the local first century council in Jerusalem is founded on the Apostolic presence and participation in agreement with the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Scriptures. It is another example of Scripture, the God breathed scriptures, as the norming norm of what was to become a tradition.
Scripture In any case, both the EOs and the Nestorians (ACE) would agree with using Tradition from the 1st-4th centuries AD, and they would both disagree with Sola Scriptura, the teaching in the Book of Concord that we should ONLY use the Bible as the ONLY guiding rule on religious teachings.
Scripture is the norming norm is not the same thing as saying, "we should ONLY use the Bible as the ONLY guiding rule on religious teachings." I hope that the repeated misrepresentation of Scripture alone is lord and master over all other writings on earth is not an inviolable tradition of yours.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Luther in his lectures on 1 Corinthians identified a significant instance of Scripture as the norming norm. He didn't call it that but that is what it amounts to.

He pointed out Paul's repetitive use of "according to the Scriptures" with regard to Christ in chapter fifteen. In other words, what is of first importance rests on the Scriptures as the best and strongest evidence rather than on tradition.

Yet, to paraphrase Luther: There are people who consider Scripture to be like Christ, that is, it is a worm and less than other books or writings.
 
In a discussion of the ECF in this forum the topic came up of what Luther's Scripture alone means in practice. Although what we believe in this regard is an open book it doesn't stop some from imaginig their own idea of our practice or our possible practice.

The following is based on the Formula Of Concord which is a reiteration of the faith and doctine with an addition from the, "Holy Scripture, that only norm and rule of doctrine, a thorough explanation of certain articles."

The Christian manner in which the controverted articles were reconciled and explained as follows:

The sole rule and standard by which teachings and teachers are to be judged is the Holy Scriptures.

Other writings are not to be considered equal to the Scriptures and therefore subject to the Scriptues.

In this way the distinction between the Holy Scriptures and all other writings is preserved.

The other symbols and writings are only a witness to how the faith was understood and explained at that time regarding articles in controversy. -- Concordia Triglotta, p. 777ff, CPH

What follows after that are numerous examples of the practice in action with regard to controverted articles. a person can read the Formula Of Concord and particularly this section in its entirety at www.bookofconcord.org
BJ Bear writes, "The sole rule and standard by which teachings and teachers are to be judged is the Holy Scriptures."

? The sole (i.e. only) rule by which doctrine and teachers are to be judged?

So BJ Bear, are you then saying that Lutherans are "no" longer bound by the Lutheran Confession's authority in matters of judging doctrine and teachers?

In Christ's service,
David Behrens
Soli Deo gloria!
Bringing Christian harmony to all the world
 

Mod10

Moderator
Staff member
Discussion on the day of Resurrection has been moved to the Apologetics board. It is off topic for the Lutheran board--I apologize for not providing a link to that board.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
BJ Bear writes, "The sole rule and standard by which teachings and teachers are to be judged is the Holy Scriptures."

? The sole (i.e. only) rule by which doctrine and teachers are to be judged?

So BJ Bear, are you then saying that Lutherans are "no" longer bound by the Lutheran Confession's authority in matters of judging doctrine and teachers?

In Christ's service,
David Behrens
Soli Deo gloria!
Bringing Christian harmony to all the world
What you quoted was part of the opening of the Formula of Concord. In other words, the authors were laying out t-h-e formula by which the concord was reached.

I'll check the other board to see if you have a new claim.
 

Josiah

Member
The following is based on the Formula Of Concord which is a reiteration of the faith and doctine with an addition from the, "Holy Scripture, that only norm and rule of doctrine, a thorough explanation of certain articles."


Exactly correct.

But it seems true that non-Lutherans have OTHER definitions....and so it's not surprising that there is confusion on this.

And I think people unlearned in epistemology simply have no clue what "rule" and "norm" mean. These are words from philosophy, specifically from epistemology - the issue of what is true, what is credible and how to determine that.

In Lutheranism, the issue here is very specific: There ARE disagreements among the world's Christians... in both teachings and practice. Sometimes these are in dogmatic and definitive issues. Sometimes they are highly divisive. SO, the issue becomes: Who is correct? Which of the teachings is correct?

I've never liked the term "Sola Scriptura" (Luther himself chose this.... likely to go along with his other "sola" statements). "The Rule of Scripture" is the title I tend to use.



In epistemology, addressing this involves three aspects:

1 Accountability.
All the positions are POTENTIALLY wrong, no one gets a "free pass" from accountability. This is often a problem in Christianity since there are those who demand a unique exemption - insisting all OTHERS could be wrong but there is ONE unique, individual exception among all the teachers on the planet, and that ONE just happens to be self ("self" here can be an individual person or church or denomination). The Lutheran position rejects self exempting self uniquely from accountability, and this is why the Catholic Church so rejected Sola Scriptura since it itself insists that it itself cannot be wrong (under certain conditions). Catholicism "opts out" at this point. So do the cults and some Protestants who claim special status as uniquely, individually lead and protected by God. Those who reject this whole process do so for THIS reason, they need to exempt ONE from accountability (and that's always self).


2. Rule. All disciplines tend to embrace some rule.... something objective and knowable that can be used by all disputing parties to determine which view aligns with this. In the Rule of Law, civil disputes are decided according to the words of the law; if a cop says I was speeding and I say I was not, we both agree to look at that big square sign by the side of the road with the big black numerals of "50." In physics, we often use repeatable laborative evidence and mathematics. Let's say Tpm and Jim hire Bob the Builder to construct a 6 foot fense on their property line between their houses. Bob is done and says the fence is 6 feet tall but Jim says it's only 5 feet tall. Perhaps Tom and Jim and Bob all agree to use a Sears Measuring Tape to see if Bob's claim is true. In this case, the Sears Measuring Tape is the Rule, the norm (or as it is called in epistemology, the "norma normans" - literally, the norm that norms. THIS IS THE SINGULAR ISSUE IN SOLA SCRIPTURA - specifically WHAT is the best rule. Yes, it depends on #1 above (all disputing views are accountable) but the issue is only WHAT should serve as the Rule or Norm or Canon ("canon" refers to the measuring stick used in construction by the Greeks - the measuring tape). And in epistemology, the more objective, the more universally accepted, the more "outside" all parties in dispute, the better. Sola Scripture embraces that SCRIPTURE is to so serve.


3. Arbitration.
There then is the issue of determining IF the teaching/claim/view "measures up" to the "measuring stick" (the Rule, the Canon)? Tom and Jim told up that measuring tape.... and it says 72 inches.... SO does the fence "measure up" or not? That's arbitration. In the Rule of Law, a court decides if the behavior "measures up" to the Rule of Law. In physics, scientific journals work to see if the theory or view "measures up" to the observable evidence and the math. Now, admittedly, this remains a problem. Since the demise of Ecumenical Councils (the last of the 7 ended in 800 AD) there simply is no "court" to which all Christianity is bound, there is no "court" at all for the whole of Christianity. Individual denominations often have some means of final arbitration but nothing beyond the denomination and this is perhaps part of the reason why Christianity has spun so many denominations ... even before 800 since not everyone accepted all 7 Ecumenical Councils. When people note that Sola Scriptura doesn't always RESOLVE disputes among the world's 2;.2 billion people, they are correct and this is why. The case can be made..... perhaps very clearly and boldly... but the "jury" tends to be us and the virdict isn't always the same. But does the lack of this third step make the previous 2 meaningless? I don't think so. As limited as this is in practice, any look at the plethora of cults (ALL of which fundamentally reject Sola Scriptura), the absurdities of liberalism (which also rejects Scripture as the Rule), the craziness of what we often see on the internet (all obviously rejecting Sola Scriptura since clearly the words of Scripture are obviously deleted and replaced by the new, wierd "interpretation" of the heretic). The vast majority of Christianity embraces the Councils, the Creeds and an enormous body of teachings precisely because we consider all SUBJECT to the words of Scripture and not above such.... most Christians are "people of the book."




Other writings are not to be considered equal to the Scriptures and therefore subject to the Scriptures.


Exactly!

Other things are NOT ignored! Indeed, they are often essential in the third step, the arbitration. How has CHRISTIANITY understood the verse(s) we are looking to as the Rule, Norm, Canon, norma normans? TRADITION plays a critical role here.... we will look to the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Three Ecumenical Creeds, the universal/ecumenical faith of Christians over the centuries. Now this MOSTLY has to do with hermaneutics - how to understand/interpret the Scriptures, but it's not limited to such (indeed, what IS Scripture is a matter of Tradition). Again, this is always true in epistemology. In the Rule of Law, the court will look at how this law has been understood and applied in the past. Such CAN be wrong... but which is taken into account.



That's the ENTIRELY of "Sola Scriptura." I will admit most ALSO argue that Scripture is not only the sole Rule/Canon BUT ALSO the sole source of doctrine. Actually, Sola Scriptura does not say that, but I will admit it's a natural consequence of it: If a teaching isn't found in Scripture, it cannot be normed as true by such.





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