Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-11-16 - Carl Oelhaf Part 2

Author Recorded Saturday November 16th, 2019

There are 31 episodes in the Versus:Protestant series.


Carl sent me a few talking points and we moved through them pretty effortlessly: The Canon of Scripture, Purgatory, The Blessed Virgin Mary, and Human Nature. I enjoyed our chat.


Catholic vs. Protestant - 2019-11-16 - Carl Oelhaf Part 2

Author Recorded August 14th, 2016

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Carlo HOF part two so what do you been up to what do you want to talk about today the definition of canonicity how do you define what is canon and what is not well the Holy Spirit is God Almighty and he is the primary author of all Scripture and he is not the primary author of any other writings so it's a special category of books it's a set of books that are divinely inspired they're inerrant they're infallible they're very special and unique in that way it's not to say that there isn't truth elsewhere for example in my notebook where I wrote down some of the truths of the Bible those are truths but there's a special categorization of the inspiration and the primary authorship of the Holy Spirit in that particular set of books so that's the definition of the canonicity of the books in the Bible all right and I'd agree with that to a certain point but I like to go to what um like definitions like as we can find them in dictionaries and say Canon is the general rule principle or criterion by which something is judged so Canon isn't just a set of divinely inspired books of course it's that but it's also with the criteria by which we judge everything else it's the standard by which we judge the validity of our faith the validity of our beliefs and the validity of other books that others claim to be canon so if something is to be considered Canon it has to measure up to that standard and last time you asked me how I would define Canon in that sense Eden my answer there was completely insufficient it was scattered and quite frankly it was flat-out wrong so the way we determines canonicity is by appstore licit a prophetic nature and reference back to other books that are considered Canon so starting off with referencing back to other books of the Canon we look at the Jewish Scriptures and at the time of Jesus the deutero Canon was not a part of Jewish Scriptures so it doesn't meet that criteria I disagree I disagree do you did that they're different Jewish canons and the Bible that we use is based on the subdue agent which is the Greek translation of the Jewish Old Testament it's the Jewish Canon that was itself canonized by Jesus Christ and His Church in the ecumenical councils that put the stamp of approval on the official Canon and of course it's a very hairy issue you'll find lots of people talking about different canons of course you will even Martin Luther himself came up with a different Canon but I have a church and I have a Canon and I not only do I have a canon of Scripture I also have sacred tradition and before the New Testament was written down it was tradition and same thing with the Old Testament before it was written down it was tradition so there is absolutely no way to avoid sacred tradition if you want to maintain a rigorous faith okay I guess I'd agree with you in the most direct sense but that tradition would only apply to the first one maybe two generations that existed that would have been there before we have all the writings in the New Testament once we have all of those and they're all in circulation they're not visible to every Christian in the world but they're easily transferable between and they're easily verifiable between Christians so the necessity of that tradition is very very slim in fact it's negligible at least from from what I'd see if you're if you have a teaching and you have that teaching written down within 30 years of that teaching and of Jesus there's no need to have a quote/unquote sacred tradition because the tradition has already been established in the Canon the sacred deposit of faith sacred tradition and sacred scripture they're both closed and they both closed at the same moment in time in history which was the death of the last apostle so I want to make that very clear now speaking of Saint John the Apostle he did say in writing that if everything were written down the whole world could not contain the books so there is this implication they are carrying with them teachings of Jesus Christ sayings of Jesus Christ ordinances and disciplines and and pastoral care of Jesus Christ and this is passed on and the church continues to this day so it's always been carried along and protected by the church and it's been documented by the church there are mountains and mountain of Christ's teachings that are written down although they don't count as sacred books they are nonetheless drawing on that sacred deposit of faith which is both sacred tradition and sacred scripture I really need to make that crystal clear for you so you don't make a straw man argument about my church even though there's a categorical difference between the writings of the church men after the death of Saint John the Apostle and the writings that are contained in the scriptures there's a categorical difference there but there are still infallible writings which are guided and protected by the Holy Spirit from containing any error pertaining to faith and morals so we'll both confess that the Holy Spirit is the first and primary author of the scriptures yeah so if you were to say that there's important things outside of the Holy Scriptures rather than okay we both agree there's truthful things outside the scriptures but stuff that's important to our salvation would have been communicated through the scriptures if the Holy Spirit is the primary author he would have communicated that through the Scriptures there's things that Jesus did that apply to those specific people groups in those times but they were important and they were necessary for those people the things that are important and timeless for all people I believe that the Holy Spirit communicated those through the scriptures and anything that is necessary or even important for that was put into the scriptures because anything else is to deny the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit st. Paul says in Scripture II committed to writing his saying that we should guard all of the teachings those that were written and those that were not written all these traditions that were handed down to the churches he emphasized in Scripture that there are things outside of Scripture so how do you deal with that I would say that I think it's the second Timothy 3:16 all Scripture is god-breathed he's just for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness it says all scripture not the teachings of the church no but it says the church is the pillar and ground of the truth right absolutely the church is the defender of that truth it's a pillar and ground it's what it was built on but it's not what is useful for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness that's what the Scriptures before yeah the Second Vatican Council clearly teaches that the church is the servant of the Holy Scriptures she not the master of the holy scripture so there is a subservience Oh beautiful this was one of your bullet points in your questions that you sent me so I wanted to make sure we emphasize that that's absolutely amazing I actually have not heard of that ruling in fact most Catholics that I talk to but the church and the scriptures on the same level so hearing that the church is subservient to the scriptures it's so refreshing yeah it feels amazing to hear but absolutely getting into the next things we were gonna talk about purgatory we spent a lot of time near the end of on this I absolutely love what you wrote by the way I found that hilarious I had no clue what you were saying and I'm like hullo this is funny can you explain to the audience they have no idea what you're talking okay so last time David and I talked about purgatory for a long time near the end of the podcast so in the email where we discussed the talking points for this I said I hope to move through purgatory quickly since we can both agree that the purpose of purgatory is sanctification he responds with I hope to move through purgatory quickly to because it's painful better yet skip purgatory completely by conforming to Christ in this life very clever yeah I like to be facetious it comes across well okay so purpose of purgatory sanctification are we sanctified by our works or by our faith in Christ well we this has been settled there's a joint declaration by the Lutheran's and the Catholics that addresses this whole issue of language because there are some hairy ambiguities in language even in Holy Scripture that's why it's such a delicate thing to interpret it we need expert theologians and not only expert theologians but faithful and prayerful theologians to get at the heart of the matter linguists - yeah and there are cultural questions there all sorts of layers and layers of complexity that make interpretation of some scriptures very difficult so basically grace is everything we can only become sanctified by accepting and cooperating with God's grace and there isn't really much for us to fight about over this issue okay it's the second we get off this I'm printing out the JD DJ in highlighting that stuff so I guess let's move on to Mary ology sure beautiful so something that absolutely commie off-guard last podcast was when you said that Mary is married to God now any Protestants listening that's probably just gonna completely trigger you you're going into full nail the theses to the door mode I want to give David a minute to explain that and like take you away from that ledge on that yeah yeah I you have to understand that there's a vertical component of the cross and there's a horizontal component of the cross so in the horizontal component that's the mundane natural world that we live in we have marriage we make babies and this sort of thing but in heaven it will not be thus this is what Jesus said okay when they tried to trick him and to say well whose husband is she you know when she had seven brothers or whatever it was whose husband was she well it's not like that in heaven right this is a shadow here below this is a mirror type our marriage here is real and it's holiness good but it's it's a cheap shadow of the real marriage the marriage of the Lamb which we see in Revelation so the lamb and his church so this is the mystical reality that vertical bar of the cross we need to focus on that not exclusively but we need to at least give it its proper place because God is omnipotent he can use the events of history to communicate higher truths mystical truths and it's the same thing with the marriage of Christ and His Church or the same thing that is symbolized by the marriage not the natural marriage but the mystical marriage between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary so it's very very important and I wanted to point out that Jesus Christ was formed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and he submitted to the Blessed Virgin Mary for 30 years and he obeyed her and we have to imitate Jesus Christ in every way including that way we need to be obedient we need to be subservient and respectful and we need to love the Blessed Virgin Mary and we need to be molded in her by the Holy Spirit her spouse so this is an ancient tradition of the Catholic Church that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the daughter of the Father the spouse of the Holy Spirit and the mother of the son okay so did Jesus obey Mary because of who she was and her title in that sense or did he obey because she was his mother well everything hangs together it's not an either/or situation for example when the priest calls down the Holy Spirit to consecrate the host the Holy Spirit and God the Father and Jesus Christ obey Him it's because he's a priest but the priest only has his priesthood because he received the priesthood from God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit so it's always a chicken and the egg situation but we can know one thing for certain everything is Grace when God allows the priest to act in the person of Jesus Christ and to bring down the Holy Spirit to consecrate that host it's also a gift of God he can't do it on his own power nothing is done by our own power st. Agustin famously said that when he crowns our merits he's crowning his own gifts to us we always need to come back to this idea that grace is everything and so with Mary he obeyed the Blessed Virgin Mary because that's the economy of salvation that he and His infinite wisdom chose even before he became wisdom incarnate so it's all a chicken and the egg situation before he became wisdom incarnate yeah the eternal wisdom of the second person of the Holy Trinity became incarnate in the womb but before space and time God the Holy Trinity planned all of salvation history including the Incarnation in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary it's very mysterious I don't I don't expect anyone to understand how God can plan salvation history but his wisdom and his intelligence and his knowledge and power are infinite so it's mind-boggling by definition we we just can't wrap our heads around it but we can apprehend it and we can submit to it and we can be impressed by it and we can love it and worship it and that's what we're called to do here okay I just have very strong convictions against the statement that Mary's married to God do you accept the Catholic dogma that Mary is the mother of God the Theotokos I accept that she's the mother of Christ and His Christ God absolutely but she's the mother of Christ human nature there is no mother ice divine nature no no she's not the mother of the Divine mate but she's the mother of one person right Jesus Christ is just one person if you you know what I'll pull out your card and say it's a mystery marries the mother of Christ but she's not the mother of God and that's a mystery okay but Christ is God and Christ is one person undivided person yes okay so she is the mother of that one undivided person who happens to be fully divine correct yes that's all the dogma says it's not saying that she was before God or something like that but that Christ came out of her room Christ came out of her womb Christ was formed in her womb and you as a Christian if you want to be a Christian you also need to place yourself in Mary and be formed in Mary it's the only way you have to let the Holy Spirit form you in Mary the way that Jesus Christ wisdom incarnate allowed himself to be formed by the Holy Spirit in the body of Mary you need to do the same thing otherwise you're not imitating Christ now please elaborate on that we need to humble ourselves the way God Almighty humbled himself he took on human flesh from the Blessed Virgin Mary and he was formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary so we need to do the exact same thing otherwise you're holding back because of your pride I hate to say it but it's only pride that can make you resist humbling yourself to the extent that you would look at a mere human being Mary because she's only a human being that you would look to her and say no I will not bow to I will not submit to her because she's only a human being well God Almighty humbled himself and he allowed himself to be formed in Mary so you have to do the same thing and if you don't it's because of your pride and you're gonna have to pay for that so Satan the main reason Satan rebelled was exactly because of Mary he could not humble himself but God was not too proud to Humble himself so we need to imitate God it's mind-boggling but it's absolutely essential so I urge you to look into Mary ology and to maintain your holy fear of offending God of course you want to avoid offending God and infringing on the sovereignty and the dignity of God of course there's an infinite distance between God and the Blessed Virgin Mary but that infinite distance tells us something of God's humility he lowered himself infinitely and you need to do the same thing and many many people especially Protestant Christians are very very proud they're way too proud to humble themselves to bend to the Blessed Virgin Mary or to bend to Pope Francis okay so did Christ bend to the law of the time to the legal authorities of the time yeah so I'm talking about Pilate and the Roman Empire oh okay why do I not legitimize the authority of corrupt abuses of power not not corrupt abuses of power boat why aren't they held on the same level as married the Eastern Orthodox Church does venerate Pilate I think I do believe as a saint although they do not venerate any of the saints to the same extent that they venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary the Blessed Virgin Mary is the highest and holiest Saint in the most perfect creature because she housed the Incarnate Word of God Jesus Christ is the most perfect human being yet but Mary is the most perfect and the highest and the holiest non divine human being right so there's no way to elevate any of the saints to the heights of sanctity and perfection that Mary enjoys by her singular privilege of being the mother of God so Pilate is if he is a saint he's the probably one of the lower Saints because of the role that he played but god only knows we do not Revere him as a saint he's not canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church but he did have authority and all the legitimate authority comes from God but that authority can be abused and I think it's fair to say that he abused his authority and that he was not judicious and fair with his use of Authority the authority that God gave him okay so every human is called to submit to the will of God in Mary asking Christ to do a miracle at the wedding and turn the water into wine she was not submitting to the will of God because Christ says this is not my time it was not God's will to do that and Mary did not submit to God's will Mary submitted to God's will perfectly always there's no room for negotiating on that point Mary submitted perfectly to the will of God as perfectly as a mere mortal can okay now it is a historical fact that Jesus performed the miracle at Cana at his mother's bidding was he coerced no did he do it freely yes but he certainly struggled with suffering he did not be if if it were possible for the cup to pass from him he begged God the Father to let the cup pass right so it may be a similar situation with beginning his public life he did not want to and he may have even said to Mary if it's possible let this pass from me but not my will be done but your will be done and so then he did as he was requested because ultimately he knew that he was gonna have to go through a lot of pain and suffering and it was that was the beginning of it the miracle like Hannah was the first miracle it was the beginning of the beginning of the end I guess you could say so we shouldn't be too surprised if he and his human nature resisted that somewhat but if his human nature and his divine nature there's no separation between the two he's one person correct how could Mary have submitted to God if she was the one that pushed him to do something he didn't want to do if I push God to I don't know take my sickness away which is something he does not want to do I've sinned no health is good God wants you to beg him for health so if I give me dollars and that's something he doesn't want to do yeah well everything is good even money is good so there's nothing that you could ask God for that is not good in and of itself ontologically okay I got you here God let me have sex outside of marriage yeah that's ontologically good everything about it is ontologically good but it's morally wrong but I'm asking God to allow me to do evil separate myself from him which in itself is sin he permits you to sin but I don't recommend it he permits me to sin but asking and desiring God to allow me to sin is that sin yeah it is sin of course there's sin yes okay but Mary did not sin Mary did not sin when she prompted Jesus to enter his public life but she went against the will of God I disagree I mean if if you could convince me that the Blessed Virgin Mary ever went against the will of God then I would leave Christianity altogether because that is a dogma of the church that she did not sin not a venial sin not a mortal sin no sin she is sinless so your Christianity and your faith in Christ hangs on Mary being sinless among other things I mean any dogma that is contradicted by reality or by another dogma will bring all of Christianity tumbling down because truth cannot contradict truth the church is one with Christ Christ is God and God is infallible and so the church is promised infallibility which is a negative thing it means it's protected from teaching error concerning faith and morals and it's formalized these teachings in what we call dogmas and dogmatic definitions I can send you a list of about 500 of them and you can look it over if you're interested attic ism right the Catechism doesn't list the dogmas but some of them are implicitly talked about in the Catechism a the Catechism is not an infallible document by the way yeah it's just a guide it's just a guy but it does contain references to infallible teachings but if you were to go through the dogmas then you would understand what I believe and if you were to convince me that any one of those properly understood was wrong then all of Christianity comes tumbling down because Jesus Christ is the god man and he did build a church one church not 40,000 churches but one church Christ is one his church is one and his church is infallible we need an infallible way of knowing the essential saving truths and Christ said that his Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth what that means is all of the essential saving truth so that's what it means it doesn't mean that every Christian knows every detail of Natural Science or of math or of history it means that we have all the essential saving truth everything you need to know to be saved and God gives sufficient grace to every human to be saved and if you want access to all of the saving truths your best option is to get into the church that Jesus Christ built and where is that church that Jesus Christ built can you tell me the thing that Christ bill is the body of believers and the church is the body of believers but Christ promises that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth the Holy Spirit's the sole author of the Bible and of the scriptures that's how he leads us into truth he doesn't lead us by preserving men from sin no no there's no prevention from sin in the church the charism of infallibility does not preserve us from sin only the Blessed version was preserved from sanh original and actual he does not he doesn't preserve popes from what went from error yeah when they speak ex cathedra he preserves the writers from error as they wrote down the Bible like you said in that era of infallibility ended with the authors as they died so did the infallibility no the era of Revelation which includes Sacred Scripture and sacred tradition that era closed with the death of the last apostle but what you said earlier we just said that the Holy Spirit was the sole author of Scripture that's not true I just wanted to correct you it might have been a mistake when you said that yes okay but this is this will give us a little bit of insight into how the Holy Spirit works he works with real human beings doing what they want to do and he's able to do that now there is a difference obviously between that period of divine revelation which is closed with the death of the last apostle and then the period of the church the age of the church that were in and this age of the church involves obviously the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth and expanding and an organic development of our understanding of those many layers of meaning that are contained in the sacred deposit of faith both tradition and Scripture and that is unfolding even now I mean we have like I mentioned the Second Vatican Council within the past hundred years but the bottom line is that the Holy Spirit is there with the church and he's guiding the church and he's protecting the church from teaching any error concerning faith in morals and those are enshrined in the dogmas of the church so if the dogmas topple then the church will topple but the church cannot topple because as Saint Agustin said if Jesus Christ could topple then the Church catawba Jesus Christ cannot be toppled so the church cannot be toppled that's my position and my position is that the Word of God not be toppled and if the Word of God taught those Christianity tackles is that on the resurrection hangs our faith if grace did not rise from the dead then our faith is for nothing and that's the central thing if that falls apart everything else falls apart other things could fall off our understanding of certain aspects of this could fall off but that central idea of Christ's resurrection is what Christianity and our salvation hangs on as Paul says I can't think of the reference actually it's in first Corinthians somewhere but it's not the entirety of our understanding rather it's that one specific thing on which everything else hangs that's my understanding yeah yeah I would agree with that I mean Christ is everything so let's move on to human nature you had a couple of questions about that I think it's going to be very easily set aside because I think we agree but let's see we have to say about human nature where you think we disagree okay you said human nature is good I say human nature is bad this is just a quick recap for the people that didn't hear the first time you say human nature is good for the reason that we were created in God's image and our the image of God is broken in us but it's still essentially good can I correct you on one thing absolutely we are not good because we were made in the image of God we are good because we were made by an all good God nothing that God makes is not good everything that God makes is good ontological II now because we have freewill we and the angels are able to choose of course the time of choosing for the angels is long past and the good ones chose the right way and the bad ones chose the wrong way but for us humans it's a slightly different story we're still going through salvation history today and we can still choose for God and we can still go to heaven so but I wanted to make it very clear that that we are all on technologically good and by all of us I mean all of creation the trees the rocks the birds the bees and everything in between and the humans and even Satan himself is ontologically good so that's a very important distinction to make and then having been made in the image and likeness of God as we were we humans were this is very good as it says in Genesis right that he saw that everything was good but then when he created man he saw that it was very good so I just wanted to make that distinction for okay I I agree with you for the most part there man may be good but our personalities our hearts not our ontology but our personality how we interact with each other is in itself is inherently evil because of original sin the stain of original sin and our separation from God and it's only through the grace of God that we can overcome that and do good in the world and come to God yeah I'd be very surprised to meet a Christian that didn't agree with that so where do you and I disagree then ah wait where do we disagree in stating that what the heart desires is evil yeah of course I desire evil don't you absolutely yeah so we agree about that okay I think I think we do then where was our disagreement in the first I think it's just emphasis the very strong emphasis I place on the ontological goodness of everything that God created it makes a very strong impression and it could give you the wrong impression that I think that we're not in need of a savior but that is absolutely not the case okay there's a theological distinction that you need to keep in mind which is that that ontological goodness resides even now and for all eternity even in Satan himself so bear that in mind as a sort of reality check about this ontological goodness it doesn't mean you're gonna be happy it doesn't mean you're gonna go to heaven it just means that God is incapable of doing any evil or of creating anything that is not good so that's just something to bear in mind as a moderate Calvinist who doesn't emphasize our natural goodness I emphasize our need for a savior that just hit me and I immediately went into like I said Reformation mode nailing a 95 theses haha but so recently I began a discussion with aa well I ran into two Mormons missionaries and I began a discussion with them and I just yesterday actually I had my second meeting I took a tour through their church building and I sat and talked with him for about to some hours and their faith astounds me now don't get me wrong I don't agree with what they teach at all but the faith in what they have been taught is incredible it's a faith that overcome logic and reason and all of that stuff which my arguments were based in that faith that they have and that's something that I'm interesting to learn from them is how that faith can overcome the logical processes that God has given us because I have a strong faith but I associate so much more with doubting Thomas than I do with the rest of the disciples and that's something I really do need to work on in my life as my pure faith in God rather than me trying to understand and comprehend and think logically through it even though he is a God of logic I want to be able to put my faith in him fully and just trust rather than needing to know yeah the heart of conversion really is in the heart and in the in the Bible there's an emphasis on the heart and the heart means the whole person right and it's where you do your thinking but it's all you do you're your loving as well and that head heart connection for us for those of us in the modern world especially bombarded as we are by the junk content of news and entertainment it's kind of hard to make it as sincere and authentic and meaningful and fulfilling head heart connection but that is the goal and I think it's only with is through prayer and through study and devotion and through the love of God that we can get there but I really appreciate meeting you I really appreciate talking to you and we're gonna have you back for part three and we'll keep pressing on the most important differences that separate us because God is unity and Satan wants us separated but eventually we're gonna have to get together one way or the other because if we don't it means one of us is burning you know at least one of us so it's of the utmost importance but we have to move forward move towards the truth with charity and with joy too you know absolutely and this is exactly how we're going to do it having these fruitful thoughtful discussions with other believers that we may disagree with excellent thanks so much we'll talk soon okay absolutely take care god bless all you gotta do is all you got to do is all you gotta do is all you got to do is

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