Monday, November 16, 2009

Fraternizing with the Enemy

When I first read this, my response was this.

But then someone reminded me of this:

Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.

[Luke 15:1-2]


And that reminded me of this:

And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if he were if a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner.

[Luke 7:39]

Oh Noes!!!!!

I think that these passages are appropriate rejoinders, and the occasion represents a teaching moment: if certain Protestants treat one of their own in this way, we should not be surprised if they likewise think the worst of us Catholics. If they can't "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" with respect to their comrades, it's a fool's errand to hope that they will show any respect to us. It's sad, but there it is.


Paul Hoffer said...

Hi RdP, I just happened to be reading "Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Reformation" by Francis Clark, S.J. and the back of the book has favorable reviews from Protestant luminaries like Dr. J.I. Packer, Rev. T. Hewitt, Dr. E.L. Mascall, Dr. G.W. Bromley, Rev. Neville Clark, and Rev. M.L. Snow and this is pre-Vatican II.

Apparently, this is an issue that must bother present-day Calvinist
controversialists and apologists. You would think that if they wished to provide a stanch defense of their views they would want their readers to deal with the best of Catholic teaching and thought rather than cut and past mawkish prooftexts as made famous by Professor White and his sort. He likes to pontificate ad nauseum about the folks at Catholic Answers and other popular Catholic apologists, but you never see him deal with Cardinal Sheen, Orestes Brownson, or Pope Benedict's writings or for that matter Dr. Hahn's books. One must wonder why.

Your post points out a bigger defect in Protestant apologetics though. Particularly Calvinist apologists love to demonstrate their knowledge as to what they want their readers to believe the Bible teaches, but aside from such superificial treatment of the Word of God, they have no idea how to live what the Bible teaches. Like his post last year about Christian liberty and Christmas, TF's post is certainly another example that he does not know how to articulate what the Bible teaches when it comes to how to live the Gospel.

We all should pray that God illumines his heart as well as his mind.

God bless!

Reginald de Piperno said...

Hi Paul,

What you say is true. Unfortunately many Protestants (including Calvinists—maybe especially so, but I could be mistaken) think that bad behavior towards others is justified 1) by the fact that Jesus spoke harshly toward the Pharisees on many occasions, and 2) by their belief in a truly dreadful form of total depravity—which they think justifies a hermeneutic of suspicion. They are dead wrong about this noxious doctrine, but I think it’s difficult for them to rise above their theology on this point.

The only thing that I’d like to clarify about the post is that it seems to me that TF refrained in this case from the terrible excesses of his fellows, for the most part. I was disappointed by him as well, but I thought that he behaved better than some others did.

Is the debate with TF that you mentioned a while ago still going to take place?



Paul Hoffer said...

Hi RdP,

As far as I know, TF and I will still be debating. I am waiting for a response from him regarding a joint statement.