On October 22, 2010, Robert Sungenis (Roman Catholic) and James R. White (Reformed Baptist) debated the issues of the existence of Purgatory. The debate was held at the Believer's Reason Conference at Newberg Christian Church in Newberg, Oregon.
The next day, presenters were asked to speak on their "theological presuppositions" for their position in their debate.
Do you know any first grade students, Christian or non-Christian, who believe that 2 + 2 = 5? Do you know any high school students who believe that common water is not H2O? Do you know of any Christian students who, knowing that 2 + 2 = 4 and that water is H2O, ever tried to wish it away by calling on God in prayer? Do you know of any comparable students who believe, or religious people who teach, that two truths can be contradictory, or that a true fact and a false fact can be true as a unit? I thought so.
Welcome to the world of Mark Shea where exaggeration is as common as H2O and making straw men is as common as straw; where calling your opponent a fool or liar is more important than trying to understand what your opponent is saying and why he says it. It’s the same MO as always from Mark Shea: Shoot first, ask questions later.
In Catholic biblical hermeneutics, a turning point occurred during the reign of Pius XII. In his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, Pius believed it to be beneficial that Catholic biblical scholars be able to use the interpretive tools of what is known as “historical criticism.” In a word, it could be said that historical criticism seeks to apply scientific analysis to a written document. Is the document authentic? What is its date? Who wrote it? Did the author borrow from other sources? What type of literature is it? How much is the author influenced by his culture? Did the author fabricate, exaggerate, or embellish his story? These and many other questions the historical critic brings to his document. The document studied can be any piece of literature of historical worth – a sonnet by Shakespeare, a Greek tragedy by Homer, or even the United States Constitution. In a word, the historical critic tries to get to the real essence of the document so that he can find out the real truth of what occurred, or at least, what he thinks is the real
Over the years Catholic Answers has produced some exceptional apologetic material, but this was not one of them. Oddly enough, we cannot blame it on anyone in particular because the author did not attach his name to the tract. I think we can safely assume, however, that it would not have been published in 2004 without the consent of the then president, Karl Keating. For all intents and purposes, this tract started with a presumed thesis and then went on a hunt to find evidence to support it. The author skipped his way through the patristic sources, twisting and cherry-picking as he went. Insult was added to injury when at the end we find that the nameless author secured a nihil obstat and imprimatur from his local bishop. Sometimes an imprimatur isn’t worth the paper it is written on, and this is one of those cases. Bear with me as I go through this tract sentence by sentence.
Galileo scholar, Maurice Finocchiaro, has put forth a supposition that the Catholic Church’s decrees against Galileo were not based on the Church declaring that heliocentrism was a heresy. He suggests the “heresy” interpretation is a “myth” begun in 1633 and carried on until today. Instead, he suggests the Church decreed heliocentrism was merely “contrary to Scripture” but not heretical. For example, in one place he argues:
Carafa’s conflation of “heretical” and “contrary to Scripture” was the first sign of how easy it would be to come to think that Copernicanism had been declared heretical, which was to become one of the most persistent myths in the subsequent controversy.
To my knowledge, Finocchiaro is the only Galileo scholar to advance this novel thesis. At the outset, we must note that the idea of it being a “myth” implies there was no truth to the accusation of heresy; that it was completely fabricated; that it had no historical roots; as well as no precedent and no justification. As such, the bar is set quite high for Finocchiaro to prove his case. The shortest and most obvious answer to Finocchiaro’s challenge is that since Galileo was convicted by the 1633 Inquisition of being “vehemently suspect of heresy,” and since Finocchiaro agrees the Church condemned Galileo with that specific canonical label, logic requires that Galileo could only be suspect of holding the heresy if, indeed, the heresy had already been defined and declared by the Church. The previous defining of the heresy, which would have occurred in 1616, would allow the Church to decide at the 1633 trial whether Galileo’s belief made him guilty of the heresy, or perhaps some lesser charge, such as “suspect” of the heresy.
1. Summary of the Doctrine of Salvation; propitiation vs expiation, justification vs sanctification, Protestant vs Catholic views
2. Is hell in the center of the Earth? Purgatory and Limbo?
3. What heaven is like
4. Thoughts about Gerry Matatics and Sedevacantism
5. Essence vs Energy Debate with Orthodox
6. Is it a sin to say rude thing about a priest
7. Is the Mass a propitiatory sacrifice vs James White, favorite part, White's book Fatal Flaw
8. Interpretation of Genesis, literally, the Catholic hermeneutic
9. The Eucharist, Transubstantiation
Rob Mullane · 9:51 My question how could a global conspiracy go on. Diplomatically with space treaties. Ambitious countries. How could a international mindset agree to such a global obstacle. Knowing they would have to know. I believe you. I believe your science. How could a fallacy like this remain. True top engineers say in the space industry. Like Ron Hatch have come around about relativity. Taking a plane in one direction. The time is about the same in the other. They say that's because the atmosphere travels with the rotation. If that's true why doesn't the rotation kick in with travel time. The first sentence is the question.
Renée Marie · 13:33 Hi Robert. Kindly post the links of your youtube channel, youtube posts
A question about latest images of black holes.
Andrew Attar · 16:39 The enemies of the faith fully understand what's at stake.
Charlie Salcedo · 18:33 A holy fear of God is good
Charlie Salcedo · 20:28 Have you heard of the Pascal's Wager?
Laurence Gonzaga · 20:12 Question: Considering the insights from Not by Bread Alone about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the Ordinary Form sufficiently demonstrating this reality?
Ro En · 21:20 I don't think that heliocentrism necessarily leads to the conclusion that humanity is insignificant.
Edoardo da Pra · 21:38 Have you considered doing live youtube videos? it seems to me that now many are evangelizing or spreading error to huge crowds on that platform. Look at Skiba, James White, Hovind, Ben Shapiro, Alex Jones, they all found big crowds on Youtube. Will you also put yuur old movies on the chANNEL
Andrew Attar · 21:56 What's the central theological issue you're working on after geocentrism?
Ro En · 34:16 Robert Sungenis, can you comment on Dr. James White's interpretation of Hebrews 10:29? He says that the one who is sanctified is Jesus.
Andrew Attar · 24:03 Is it true the orbital satellites disprove Special Relativity? No time displacement.
Gage Livingston · 30:16 Hi Robert, Can you comment on the Greek used in Hebrews 3:14 that we have discussed by email to answer this question: How does the verse leave open the possibility that the one who truly believed but then falls away did at one time "share in Christ" since the verse says that on the condition we hold our confidence to the end, then we share in Christ now? It seems to indicate that the one who doesn't hold their confidence firm to the end does not share in Christ now. Yet, in Catholic theology we would say it is possible to share in Christ now but then fall away.
Edoardo da Pra · 33:40 Would you consider hiring a social media expert that can help you spread your material? How about podcasts on Spotify, that is what many young people listen to now. There are many orthodox Catholics that can launch in a new and effective way your books, videos and material. I think there is so much potential that your work has that has not yet been actualized. Maybe some Church Militant media worker could help, I am sure you can find one.
Johnny Proctor · 37:03 Thanks for doing this, Dr. Sungenis, This is a very direct way to share the holy Gospel.
Paul Novak · 41:06 What are your thoughts on Fr Georges Lemaître I've never heard you mention him and if you have I apologize.
Discussion with Dr. R. Scott Clark of Westminster Theological Seminary
and other Protestants
on David’s Justification in Romans 4:5-8
A Bellarmine Theological Forum patron alerted me to a discussion taking place on a Protestant blog regarding the topic of Justification. He said that one of the participants was Professor R. Scott Clark of Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) in Escondido, CA. As many BTF patrons know, I graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, so I am well familiar with the caliber of men that teach there and the approach they take toward theology.
The topic of the conversation was the radio interview I had about a year ago with another professor at WTS named Michael S. Horton. Professor Horton interviewed me on his radio program as I gave the Catholic understanding of Justification from my book Not By Faith Alone (Queenship Publishing, 1996). (Michael and I had previously debated this topic in front of a public audience of 1500 people in 1995). After the interview, I wrote an article describing my experience which is now on our website: http://www.robertsungenis.org/2018/01/interview-of-robert-sungenis-by.html
Among the many things I said, I emphasized that I had mentioned the case of David’s justification in Romans 4:5-8 three times during the interview as one of the most important scriptural supports for the Catholic doctrine of Justification, but I had also remarked that Dr. Horton never followed up with a discussion of David.
Apparently, some Protestants of the Calvinistic persuasion were a bit bothered by Horton’s reluctance to take up the issue of David so they brought it up on the blog of Professor R. Scott Clark. The name of the blog is Heidlblog, named after the city of Heidlberg where some of the Calvinistic doctrines were forged. In the blog, Dr. Clark responds to some of their questions. I have copied the blog discussion and have made intermittent comments along the way.