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Originally Posted by Newman
But surely during the time of the Jerusalem Council, the visible church consisted of myriad and varied members, some of whom were not even regenerated. No? So, I’m not sure I get your point. confused

The point is that the visible church is not infallible because it is composed of both regenerate & unregenerate members. As such, the councils of the visible church are not infallible either. The Jerusalem Council is different (& irrelevant) because it had apostolic authority which no council since has possessed.

Quote
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think your answer is the same one the Judaizers gave is it not? When they advocated for Gentiles to observe the law in order to become Christian, they were appealing to God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant written word. As it turned out though, the final arbitrator was the church, ie. the council, guided by the Holy Spirit.

First, we don't live in an era of ongoing revelation. New revelation from God ceased with the close of the apostolic age, so the Bible, Old & New Testaments together, is our only source for God's revelation. Second, at the Jerusalem Council, the church was in infancy & much what was new was still being revealed by the Spirit as the new covenant administration overtook the old covenant (Mosaic) administration. If you read in Acts 15, you'll see that Peter, Paul, & Barnabas testified of the outpouring of the Spirit on uncircumcised Gentiles, with the conclusion that God was saving these Gentiles by faith apart from circumcision and all other works of the law. Third, even the ultimate decision of the Jerusalem Council was not without reference to Scripture, as we see in Acts 15:13-18:

Quote
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Brethren, hearken unto me: Symeon hath rehearsed how first God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After these things I will return, And I will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen; And I will build again the ruins thereof, And I will set it up: That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, And all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from of old.


Quote
Are you telling me that had the Jerusalem Council decided upon whether homosexuals and women are qualified to serve, it would be relevant, but since they decided upon some other issue it is not relevant? Also, in the New Testament, Elders and Presbyters are the same thing and already existed by this time, as did bishops, so that seems to be more irrelevant to the subject at hand than the council.

What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era. The elders/presbyters/bishops, which are the office ordained perpetually in the church for the preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era, are to do so according to the teachings of the apostles contained in Scripture, since the apostles are no longer with us.

Quote
Yeah, I certainly get all that, but how do you know they’re wrong? Its interp vs. interp. To put it another way, how do you know their interpretation of scripture is wrong while yours is right? Is your interpretation infallible? I'm guessing you wouldn't claim that, so how then do you know your interpretation about what is essential and non-essential is the correct one?

All you do is push the question back another step. No mere man is infallible, & no council of mere men is infallible. Only God is infallible, & His Spirit speaks through Scripture. We must read the Scripture, compare Scripture to Scripture where things are unclear, & seek the aid & illumination of the Holy Spirit for understanding. This is not a guarantee that we will get everything correct; but the IMPORTANT & NECESSARY things are not obscure.


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Originally Posted by CiB
The point is that the visible church is not infallible because it is composed of both regenerate & unregenerate members. As such, the councils of the visible church are not infallible either. The Jerusalem Council is different (& irrelevant) because it had apostolic authority which no council since has possessed.
So, are you saying the apostles were infallible, whereas Timothy and Titus and everyone else they ordained were not? Did all the apostles have to be alive? They could have convened an infallible council in AD 90 (while John was still alive,) but not in AD 100?


Originally Posted by CiB
What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era.
Is this based on scripture or on opinion? I ask sincerely.

Originally Posted by CiB
The elders/presbyters/bishops, which are the office ordained perpetually in the church for the preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era, are to do so according to the teachings of the apostles contained in Scripture, since the apostles are no longer with us.
Well, I actually agree with this, but it seems, to me, your previous statements do not. If you and I interpret scripture differently and call each other heretics, how do we settle this dispute? Matthew 18:17 provides the answer. Jesus says to take it to the church…ie. the elders/presbyters/bishops you just mentioned. Is the command of Jesus irrelevant?


Originally Posted by CiB
All you do is push the question back another step. No mere man is infallible, & no council of mere men is infallible. Only God is infallible, & His Spirit speaks through Scripture.
You just got through implying that the apostles were infallible, and now you’re telling me no mere man is infallible, only God. Which is it? And mere men wrote scripture, by the way, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can inspire men to write scripture and can inspire men to hold a council during a certain period of time, yet can’t inspire “the elders/presbyters/bishops” charged with “preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era” to hold a council in the post-apostolic era?

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Originally Posted by CiB
This is not a guarantee that we will get everything correct; but the IMPORTANT & NECESSARY things are not obscure.
Again, I'm not being flippant, but since you are a mere man, I can't accept your statement as infallible. Right? It seems to me that if they are not obscure, then we have little need of elders/presbyters/bishops, or of seminaries, or of Mt 18:17 or of a lot of things really. If they are not obscure, I wonder why most of the Christian world was Arian at one time...I wonder about all the Christological heresies that were so persistent back in the day, and even in our own day.

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Originally Posted by Newman
[/quote]
So, are you saying the apostles were infallible, whereas Timothy and Titus and everyone else they ordained were not? Did all the apostles have to be alive? They could have convened an infallible council in AD 90 (while John was still alive,) but not in AD 100?

What he said was that the Jerusalem Council was unique because the Apostles were there. Apostolic authority has not been available to any subsequent Council other than through the inscripturated writings of the Apostles. He did not say that the Council - even with the Apostles present - was infallible. No one is suggesting that.


Originally Posted by CiB
What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable [because the Apostles are no longer with us] & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era.

Originally Posted by Newman
Is this based on scripture or on opinion? I ask sincerely.

You need Scripture proof that the Apostles died? I suggest the book of Acts...

But as for resolving disputes regarding doctrine and practice, the Scriptures were always applied by both the Jerusalem council and every legitimate council since. Now we have more Scripture to refer to in modern councils than they did at the Jerusalem council (if you need Scripture proof of the New Testament's authority, start a new thread).

Interpretation of Scripture is not some individual thing, but in councils of elders/bishops/presbyters who are bound to adhere to "the faith once delivered," a consensus is reached and passed along as the "official doctrine" of that denomination. The consensus can be wrong and does not carry the same weight as Scripture, but in the visible church it can and should be accepted and taught. It can also be challenged and reconsidered by future councils. As long as those councils adhere to the authority of infallible Scripture and "the faith once delivered," they are unlikely to amend their earlier findings. When they abandon the authority of Scripture and the analogy of faith, they end up reaching absurd, foolish conclusions like the PCUSA and other denominations have, which fly in the face of infallible Scripture.


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Originally Posted by Newman
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2. Now for my answer. As you probably anticipated, I believe that God's inspired, infallible, inerrant, written Word is the final arbitrator in all such matters of doctrine and life. It is the Holy Spirit who leads those who are Christ's to the truth.
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think your answer is the same one the Judaizers gave is it not? When they advocated for Gentiles to observe the law in order to become Christian, they were appealing to God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant written word. As it turned out though, the final arbitrator was the church, ie. the council, guided by the Holy Spirit.
CovenantInBlood has actually answered most of what I was going to write and much the same way. But I'll add a few more things to round it off. grin My point is that the Jerusalem Council was a unique gathering both as to its members and the circumstances which brought it about. 1) The members were hand-picked by Christ, i.e., they were Apostles that had personally bestowed divine authority, and 2) the Church was in its infant stage and undergoing a major change, i.e., a new universality with the bringing in of the Gentiles to once was a predominantly Jewish Church. The Apostles were able to speak with authority based upon the infallible words of Christ and the divinely inspired, infallible and inerrant written Word of God; the Old Testament, which Christ Himself gave His 'imprimatur'. The Pharisees, aka: Judaizers referenced Scripture but both misinterpreted it and/or misapplied it. The problem wasn't with the Scriptures but those who read and used it.

Originally Posted by Newman
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
The problem I have with this suggestion is that 1) The Jerusalem Council is irrelevant to the issue at hand. It was a gathering of the Apostles during the infant stage of the Church wherein decisions had to be made in regard to the inclusion of the Gentiles in matters of the ceremonial law and justification by faith alone. Once the Church as an organization was established (cf. Eph 4:10-16), those called to serve in the office of Elder, Presbyter, Bishop, were to preach, teach, and maintain doctrine according to what they had been taught according to the Scriptures.
Now that I didn't expect. I didn't expect you to say the Jerusalem Council is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Hmmm. Ok, is it relevant to any discussion we might have today? Are you telling me that had the Jerusalem Council decided upon whether homosexuals and women are qualified to serve, it would be relevant, but since they decided upon some other issue it is not relevant? Also, in the New Testament, Elders and Presbyters are the same thing and already existed by this time, as did bishops, so that seems to be more irrelevant to the subject at hand than the council.
1. No, it is not relevant to any discussion we might have today. That was my point and one which CovenantInBlood also made. Again, the Jerusalem Council was unique and temporal formed to serve a particular purpose during a specific time period during the development of the Church. You don't find any other pronouncements given by the Jerusalem Council other than that addressing the issue of the verity of Paul's Gospel. ALL matters of doctrine and practice are found in the Epistles, written by holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit (2Pet 1:21). As I pointed out above, the structure of the Church is clearly stated in Eph 4:10-16 with Christ as the cornerstone, then the Apostles, and upon them (their teaching), evangelists and pastor/teachers, whose responsibility is the 'perfecting of the saints' through the preaching and teaching of the Scriptures (cf. 2Tim 3:16,14; 4:2), that body of faith once given to the saints (cf. Acts 16:5; Rom 1:5; 1Cor 16:13; Gal 1:23; Eph 4:13; Col 1:23; 2:7; 1Tim 4:1; 2Tim 3:8; Titus 1:13; Jude 1:3).

2. There was already heresy being taught in the early Church and those who did so were to be removed through discipline should they not repent (Rom 16:17; 1Cor 11:19; Titus 2:10,11; 2Pet 2:1). And history shows that these errors in teaching increased after the death of the Apostles... yes, within the Church. Corruption, hunger for power, the adding of superstitions, etc., etc., ad nauseam took hold. Yet, there has always been a remnant saved by grace who have endured these things and kept the faith with sound doctrine and life. True believers rely upon God's inspired written Word and that alone for guidance. Those who are given the responsibility of teaching the Word are to be scrutinized under the light of that Word by all who hear it.

Originally Posted by Newman
Yeah, I certainly get all that, but how do you know they’re wrong? Its interp vs. interp. To put it another way, how do you know their interpretation of scripture is wrong while yours is right? Is your interpretation infallible? I'm guessing you wouldn't claim that, so how then do you know your interpretation about what is essential and non-essential is the correct one?
My interpretation is certainly not infallible. But that doesn't mean that everything I conclude from Scripture is wrong. wink There is a consensus of what is biblical truth that one can consult from the various Confessions and Catechisms of the Church. The fact that there is so much agreement among those who also disagree about various and minor issues gives verity to my own interpretation. There is strength in numbers, especially where those numbers consist in diversity. All false religions have one source, typically an individual such as do the cults, or a small group which dictates doctrine and policy to all the other members, to which all are to give full recognition and unfeigned obedience. Questioning of the dictates of these authorities is strictly forbidden. But in the true Christian Church, the final arbiter is always God's written Word. Their may be disagreements on what the Bible teaches, but nevertheless THAT is the source from which all truth is to be found. No man is without sin and thus no man is infallible. And gathering a group of sinful men to make decisions doesn't override their fallacy. See here: The Argument for an Infallible Body, by James Henry Thornwell.


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Originally Posted by Newman
So, are you saying the apostles were infallible, whereas Timothy and Titus and everyone else they ordained were not? Did all the apostles have to be alive? They could have convened an infallible council in AD 90 (while John was still alive,) but not in AD 100?

The apostles were not inherently infallible, no; but they had unique authority given to them by Christ, from whom they received teaching directly & of whose death & resurrection they were eyewitnesses. As an apostolic conference, then, the Jerusalem Council had unique authority in the infancy of the catholic church, when revelation was not yet complete, since Christ had ordained that apostolic teaching was to be part of the foundation of the church going forward. No one after the apostles was granted apostolic authority. I'm not going to speculate uselessly about the possibility of other such councils before John's death; there simply weren't any, & there cannot be any more since John's death.

Quote
Originally Posted by CiB
What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era.
Is this based on scripture or on opinion? I ask sincerely.

The apostles have passed on, as is universally acknowledged. As such, how could an apostolic conference be repeatable or a paradigm for the resolution of future disputes in the absence of the apostles themselves? It is simply not possible.

Quote
Originally Posted by CiB
The elders/presbyters/bishops, which are the office ordained perpetually in the church for the preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era, are to do so according to the teachings of the apostles contained in Scripture, since the apostles are no longer with us.
Well, I actually agree with this, but it seems, to me, your previous statements do not. If you and I interpret scripture differently and call each other heretics, how do we settle this dispute? Matthew 18:17 provides the answer. Jesus says to take it to the church…ie. the elders/presbyters/bishops you just mentioned. Is the command of Jesus irrelevant?

I don't see where I've disagreed with anything I've written. Whether councils are useful or possess some kind of authority in the post-apostolic age is not the question. The question is whether councils have the authority to determine what is essential & what is not. Councils do not have that authority; only God, speaking through Scripture, does. Inasmuch as the Jerusalem Council was addressing a new situation in the church, at a time before revelation was complete, the Jerusalem Council is not an applicable paradigm in the post-apostolic era in which revelation has been closed & in which there is no longer an apostolic office. All men & councils are bound to the Word of God in Scripture.

Quote
Originally Posted by CiB
All you do is push the question back another step. No mere man is infallible, & no council of mere men is infallible. Only God is infallible, & His Spirit speaks through Scripture.
You just got through implying that the apostles were infallible, and now you’re telling me no mere man is infallible, only God. Which is it?

Only God is infallible; I've never said otherwise.

Quote
And mere men wrote scripture, by the way, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can inspire men to write scripture and can inspire men to hold a council during a certain period of time, yet can’t inspire “the elders/presbyters/bishops” charged with “preaching, teaching, & maintaining true doctrine in the post-apostolic era” to hold a council in the post-apostolic era?

The church's foundation has been established; revelation is closed; there is no need of further revelation. Do you posit an ongoing apostolic office? (Who could fulfill the prerequisites of the apostolic office, seeing as no one today can be an eyewitness to Christ's resurrection nor a disciple who sat at his feet?) Do you suggest that God is still revealing new things today? Is God still laying the foundation of the church, or has He actually been building upon that foundation for some time?

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by Newman
Again, I'm not being flippant, but since you are a mere man, I can't accept your statement as infallible. Right?

You can't accept me as infallible. My statement may or may not be in accordance with God's infallible word. I certainly think it is in accord, or I would not have stated it. wink

Quote
It seems to me that if they are not obscure, then we have little need of elders/presbyters/bishops, or of seminaries, or of Mt 18:17 or of a lot of things really. If they are not obscure, I wonder why most of the Christian world was Arian at one time...I wonder about all the Christological heresies that were so persistent back in the day, and even in our own day.

There would be no need of written revelation at all if God were simply directly communicating his word through church councils. Indeed, what could possibly be the point of God providing us with Scripture at all if the same Scripture could not clearly convey those truths necessary for us to know & if there were already the mechanism of Holy Spirit-inspired church councils to settle all such disputes anyway? The sinfulness of man enables man to make obscure even the most clear things; however much is necessary to satisfy his own rotten desires. The decision of the PCUSA General Assembly - a council composed of that church's seminary-trained elders - to allow ordination of unrepentant sodomites - in spite of the clear testimony of Scripture - is a pertinent example. These men are sinners, deceivers, & apostates, not sincere Christians who are befuddled by "obscure" matters in Scripture.


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Originally Posted by Robin
What he said was that the Jerusalem Council was unique because the Apostles were there. Apostolic authority has not been available to any subsequent Council other than through the inscripturated writings of the Apostles. He did not say that the Council - even with the Apostles present - was infallible. No one is suggesting that.
He did suggest that. He said “church councils since that time; I'm including the modern councils of Synods, General Assemblies and such, have erred, do err and will continue to err…” Now I took that to mean that the Jerusalem Council was infallible whereas the subsequent councils were not. But, ok, if he was only saying it was unique, then fine, but that’s not really saying much. All councils are unique. If Pilgrim was saying that the Jerusalem council was fallible, is he also saying they erred? Is so, how did they err?

Originally Posted by Robin
Originally Posted by CiB
What Pilgrim is saying is that the Jerusalem Council was unique. It is not repeatable [because the Apostles are no longer with us] & not a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes regarding doctrine & practice in the post-apostolic era.

Originally Posted by Newman
Is this based on scripture or on opinion? I ask sincerely.

You need Scripture proof that the Apostles died? I suggest the book of Acts...
Aha. A glib retort. You're a man after my own heart. :cool: Well, no, I don’t need scripture for that…we both have to go outside of scripture (last I checked, Acts doesn’t record the death of the apostles.) Obviously though, I was wondering where in scripture it says that Timothy, Titus, Apollos etc. can’t hold a Council with the apostolic authority granted to them. If its clear and essential, then maybe you can point that out to me. If the Jerusalem council was fallible, and subsequent councils are fallible, then…

Originally Posted by Robin
But as for resolving disputes regarding doctrine and practice, the Scriptures were always applied by both the Jerusalem council and every legitimate council since. Now we have more Scripture to refer to in modern councils than they did at the Jerusalem council (if you need Scripture proof of the New Testament's authority, start a new thread).
“Legitimate council” ???? I thought all councils err. confused Ok, so if all councils err, what then is a legitimate erring council and where can I find this definition in scripture?

Originally Posted by Robin
Interpretation of Scripture is not some individual thing, but in councils of elders/bishops/presbyters who are bound to adhere to "the faith once delivered," a consensus is reached and passed along as the "official doctrine" of that denomination.
So basically councils provide for the resolution of disputes and the strengthening of the faith in the post-apostolic era. Except for the “denomination” part, that sounds exactly like what the Jerusalem Council did, except you told me that the council was NOT a clear paradigm for the resolution of disputes in the post-apostolic era. If it was not a clear paradigm, upon what are you basing the concept of councils you just described?

Originally Posted by Robin
The consensus can be wrong and does not carry the same weight as Scripture, but in the visible church it can and should be accepted and taught. It can also be challenged and reconsidered by future councils. As long as those councils adhere to the authority of infallible Scripture and "the faith once delivered," they are unlikely to amend their earlier findings. When they abandon the authority of Scripture and the analogy of faith, they end up reaching absurd, foolish conclusions like the PCUSA and other denominations have, which fly in the face of infallible Scripture.
Again, sorry to repeat, but….where is all this to be found in scripture? Future councils? Are you using the Jerusalem council as the clear paradigm?

Last edited by Newman; Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:56 PM.
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
1) The members were hand-picked by Christ, i.e., they were Apostles that had personally bestowed divine authority
The apostles were hand-picked, certainly. I don’t know about the elders and brethren. confused Anywhoo, back to a question I asked before…was the Jerusalem Council infallible? Or did it err? If it erred, how so?

I’m also wondering if it is your position that whereas Christ bestowed divine authority on the apostles, the apostles, in turn, could not bestow apostolic authority on Apollos and Timothy and all the rest? I’m also wondering what kind of authority they were bestowed, if any.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2) The Apostles were able to speak with authority based upon the infallible words of Christ and the divinely inspired, infallible and inerrant written Word of God; the Old Testament, which Christ Himself gave His 'imprimatur'. The Pharisees, aka: Judaizers referenced Scripture but both misinterpreted it and/or misapplied it. The problem wasn't with the Scriptures but those who read and used it.
Oh certainly. I wholeheartedly agree. It’s the same with all heretics… arians, nestorians, monophysites, iconoclasts, hussites, jansenists etc. etc.


Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Again, the Jerusalem Council was unique and temporal formed to serve a particular purpose during a specific time period during the development of the Church…
Again, one could say all councils are unique and serve a particular purpose during a specific time period. Right? What’s not unique, nor temporal is that a group would misinterpret and/or misapply scripture. If scripture is perspicuous, I don’t see a need for councils, and if councils can and do err, I don’t see how they can be very authoritative. confused

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Yet, there has always been a remnant saved by grace who have endured these things and kept the faith with sound doctrine and life.
And you can find this remnant in every age? 2nd century, 3rd century…..8th century, 9th century and so on?

Originally Posted by Newman
There is a consensus of what is biblical truth that one can consult from the various Confessions and Catechisms of the Church. The fact that there is so much agreement among those who also disagree about various and minor issues gives verity to my own interpretation. There is strength in numbers, especially where those numbers consist in diversity. There is strength in numbers, especially where those numbers consist in diversity….
Well, I wonder who decides what's minor and major. I get what you're saying though about consensus, and strength in numbers and diversity and all that (though it almost sounds like you're talking politics grin) but I’m reminded of the famous quote from Jerome: “the whole world groaned in astonishment to find itself Arian…”

Last edited by Newman; Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:23 PM.
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Originally Posted by Newman
Anywhoo, back to a question I asked before…was the Jerusalem Council infallible? Or did it err? If it erred, how so?
1. I do not believe that the Jerusalem Council was infallible. God alone is infallible and those who were inspired in the writing of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.

2. There is no indication in Scripture that the decision reached by the Jerusalem Council was in error. Beyond that we know virtually nothing further. And thus I have no warrant to speculate what further pronouncements the Jerusalem Council made.

Originally Posted by Newman
I’m also wondering if it is your position that whereas Christ bestowed divine authority on the apostles, the apostles, in turn, could not bestow apostolic authority on Apollos and Timothy and all the rest? I’m also wondering what kind of authority they were bestowed, if any.
1. The Apostles had no power nor authority to bestow divine (Apostolic) authority on anyone. The Apostles were of a set number established to accomplish the laying of the foundation of the Church, which they did. And it is upon that foundation that elders and deacons stand (Eph 2:19-22).

2. Elders are given the authority to "rule" over congregations consisting of professing believers and to administer discipline when necessary. And they are given the authority and responsibility to preach and teach the written Word of God for the edification of the saints. (Scriptural references can be provided if necessary)

Originally Posted by Newman
Again, one could say all councils are unique and serve a particular purpose during a specific time period. Right? What’s not unique, nor temporal is that a group would misinterpret and/or misapply scripture. If scripture is perspicuous, I don’t see a need for councils, and if councils can and do err, I don’t see how they can be very authoritative. confused
1. Right as to the uniqueness of all councils, although the Jerusalem Council was uniquely unique. giggle If, for no other reason than the Canon was not complete at that time and thus the element of inspiration among some of the Apostles and others chosen by God to set down in writing that which was to be the standard for the Church.

2. Re: perspicuity... is it your view that Scripture as a whole, without exception is perspicuous? The Reformed churches surely don't hold that to be true. What we hold is that the major doctrines of the faith, particular in the matter of salvation are perspicuous. But there are many things which are not so clear and require serious study. This is one of the main reasons for a trained clergy. Of course, study alone is not sufficient apart from the grace of God and the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit. The body of Christ has many parts which are meant to compliment the whole.

3. The subsequent councils and the documents which were produced by them are of secondary authority, e.g., the Westminster Confession of Faith states in Chapter 1:X:

Quote
Chapter 1:X - The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

Chapter XXXI:II - It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word.

III. - All synods or councils, since the apostles' times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.

Originally Posted by Newman
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Yet, there has always been a remnant saved by grace who have endured these things and kept the faith with sound doctrine and life.
And you can find this remnant in every age? 2nd century, 3rd century…..8th century, 9th century and so on?
yep


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Newman
Yet, there has always been a remnant saved by grace who have endured these things and kept the faith with sound doctrine and life.
And you can find this remnant in every age? 2nd century, 3rd century…..8th century, 9th century and so on?
yep

I've known Newman for a while now; very good conservative man.

I think the difficult thing for a devoted Roman Catholic to fathom is the idea of a remnant church throughout the ages, and I could totally see how from their side that seems odd that God would work in such a way.....

but the death of God's Son (who was rejected by His own people) on the cross to pay for the sins of elect men is also pretty unfathomable....God's ways are so very mysterious!


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #47084 Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:51 PM
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AC, thanks for the kind words. It doesn't seem odd to me at all, that there is a remnant church throughout the ages. What does seem odd however, to me, are some of the ideas about this remnant that have been presented to me. When I ask for an example of this remnant, I have been told either (a)all writings and historical accounts have completely wiped out by the Catholic Church or (b)the Paulicians and the Waldensians and various other groups were the remnants. Not only were these groups heretical though, but they don't span the ages.

If you or Pilgrim or anyone else would point to some examples of the remnant church in anywhere from 6th to 15th centuries, for example, it might help me fathom your position. :cool:


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Hey,

I can't present a physical remnant church throughout the ages

I would just say vital Christian truths were presented, preserved and upheld throughout the ages


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

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:cool:

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