8 thoughts on “I’ve got nothing today

  1. Dear Mr. Bugay,

    I am writing to you to tell you about something strange which happened this morning. When I awoke you were the first person that came to mind – you and St Irenaeus. Why this happened is anyone’s guess. It was all to do with what you wrote about him sometime ago but why I would be thinking of this first thing in the morning is as I said anyone’s guess.

    When I came onto your site I realized after reading some of your posts that you have more important things to deal with than answering a query from a Scottish Papist.

    I don’t have any money to give you and if I had it I would most certainly would have given it to you. Times are hard and most people are feeling it, especially me and my family. All that I can offer is my prayers and I promise that from today I will add you and your family to them. Maybe that’s why you were on my mind this morning. Who knows why these things happen? I don’t know you and I read the piece you did on Irenaeus ages ago so why would you be on my mind this morning that I felt compelled to write to you about it? Was it that it would lead me here so that instead of answering a query about Irenaeus that I was instead meant to pray for you and your family? I honestly believe it was. And I will do that every day.

    I hope and pray that everything works out for you and yours.

    Yours in Christ Jesus,

    Jim Paton

  2. Well, Jim, if I must say so myself, I’ve produced some wonderfully insightful thoughts about Irenaeus, and so it doesn’t surprise me that you would be thinking about it, first thing in the morning, a couple of years later.

    I’m kidding about that, of course. I’ll appreciate your prayers, I’ll suggest that if you’re Scottish, you’ve probably got better things to do than to be a papist, and I’ll still be happy to answer your question about Irenaeus as best as I can.

    🙂

  3. Thanks for the reply John.

    ” I’ll suggest that if you’re Scottish, you’ve probably got better things to do than to be a papist”

    LOL. I can’t imagine what those things would be.

    Could you give me the links to some of the things you’ve written about Irenaeus as I can’t seem to find them. There is one particular piece you wrote and I cannot for the life of me remember what it was (maybe I should go back to bed 😉 ) It was something to do with Irenaeus and Sola Scriptura (I think) If you provide them, I’ll read through them and then we’ll take it from there.

    Thanks.

  4. It has occured to me John, that instead of digging stuff up, I should just ask you a simple question. The question I would like to ask is: do you believe Irenaeus to have been a Sola Scripturist?

    I believe that everything would have boiled down to this question anyway.

    Thanks for your time.

  5. Jim, here is a link to all my entries about Irenaeus.

    Rather than ask if Irenaeus was a “sola scripturist”, why not ask, what was he in actual fact? What world did he live in, and what was he genuinely trying to accomplish? At that point, it is fair to ask a question that I ask in that first (in the search list) of my blog posts about Irenaeus:

    For they (apostles) wanted those to whom they left as successors, and to whom they transmitted their own position of teaching, to be perfect and blameless (1 Tim 3:2) in every respect. If these men acted rightly it would be a great benefit, while if they failed it would be the greatest calamity.” (Against Heresies, 3.3.1)

    Irenaeus was not establishing a “papacy”. He was pointing to the ancientness of the faith that he taught, contra that of what the various gnostics were teaching in Rome and surrounding areas in the second century.

    How many bishops of Rome “failed to act rightly”? Insofar as they did (and keep in mind he does not hold to the current Roman teaching on the papacy, which allows the worst human scum to serve as “placeholders” in an “unbroken succession”) — insofar as these individuals “failed to act rightly” and in his words, and “were the greatest calamity” to the church, how is it that you can reject Irenaeus’s thinking there, and accept modern Roman teaching on the papacy.

    In other words, “do you believe Irenaeus to have been a papist?”

    Here, by the way, is what John Behr (dean of St. Vladimir seminary) thought Irenaeus meant by apostolic succession.

  6. Thanks for the reply John, and digging up the list. (I have tried to post my reply but for some strange reason it won’t let me organize what I’m posting and that’s why it is all lumped together with no space between paragraphs. I can, thankfully, write this at the beginning so as to explain myself 🙂 But I think you’ll get the gist of it.)

    I believe it was the “Scripture interprets Scripture” post that I wished to write to you about. It wasn’t so much as in debating but more about trying to find out your position “The Protestant position” if you will, about whether Irenaeus needed NO OTHER normative authority in order to interpret Scripture – meaning that the Scriptures were formally sufficient for him.

    Scripture interpreting Scripture might be a good indication as to whether you believe he did but I wanted to make sure so as not to misrepresent the Protestant position; your position. I don’t see the use in setting up straw men. That’s it in a nutshell. So if this is your position, can you show that Irenaeus did not need any other normative authority in order to interpret Scripture?

    Am I right in believing that you have no other normative authority other than Scripture? I succinctly remember James White stating in a debate that the Scriptures are the normative authority for the Church. But then again, I could have picked him up wrong and if I have then please correct me on this.

    As to your comment, I’m going to have to answer this in parts so bear with me.
    You wrote:

    “Rather than ask if Irenaeus was a “sola scripturist”, why not ask, what was he in actual fact?”

    I’m sorry John but I think my question was a really simple one and one that wouldn’t have used much ink in answering. Also, instead of answering a question on Sola Scriptura we end up writing about the Papacy. How did that happen? If you don’t want to answer the question then I’m fine with that but you were the one who stated: “I’ll still be happy to answer your question about Irenaeus as best as I can” But you don’t. Instead you ask a question. As mentioned, if you don’t want to answer then that’s ok.

    “For they (apostles) wanted those to whom they left as successors, and to whom they transmitted their own position of teaching, to be perfect and blameless (1 Tim 3:2) in every respect. If these men acted rightly it would be a great benefit, while if they failed it would be the greatest calamity.” (Against Heresies, 3.3.1)

    It is a calamity if the successors did not and do not act rightly. Who is arguing the case that the successors will ALWAYS act rightly? Certainly not me or Irenaeus.

    “Irenaeus was not establishing a “papacy”

    Who ever said he was? This is a straw man!

    “He was pointing to the ancientness of the faith that he taught, contra that of what the various gnostics were teaching in Rome and surrounding areas in the second century.”

    That wouldn’t, sorry, make that couldn’t be the Church in Rome that you hint at as being the “various gnostics” because the Roman Church was the Church that Irenaeus says that all other Churches must listen to.

    “How many bishops of Rome “failed to act rightly”?”

    Loads! But it’s a straw man your setting up John. And also, ALL Churches according to Irenaeus have to listen to Rome. That would mean Bishops and that would mean Irenaeus also.

    Are you claiming that up until Irenaeus’ time that every Bishop of Rome acted rightly?

    “and keep in mind he does not hold to the current Roman teaching on the papacy,”

    We don’t claim that he did. Another straw man John. We believe in the development of doctrine.

    It goes like this: If ALL Churches MUST listen to Rome, and the successor of Peter according to Irenaeus is the bishop of Rome, and Rome is the Church that ALL Churches MUST listen to then he did believe in a Papacy of sorts because they are listening to the bishop of Rome who has maintained that Apostolic Tradition.

    Let me ask you John: Do you believe that every Church during Irenaeus’s time should have had to listen to Rome? And more importantly why should they if they have Scripture alone as their normative authority? (I would like you to please adress this as it is pertinent to the above question)

    “insofar as these individuals “failed to act rightly” and in his words, and “were the greatest calamity” to the church, how is it that you can reject Irenaeus’s thinking there, and accept modern Roman teaching on the papacy.”

    I don’t reject Irenaeus’s thinking. It is a calamity as I have mentioned and it will always be a calamity if bishops fail to act rightly. So I don’t know how I reject Irenaeus’s thinking.

    I do believe however, that you’re confusing impeccability with the indefectibility of the faith. It was the same Irenaeus who wrote that: “For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is truth.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:24

    What is that “Truth”? The Apostolic faith given to the Church by the Spirit of God. Now, is one man or several men not acting rightly able to ruin that actual Apostolic faith? How can they if the gates of hell cannot prevail against Christ’s Church? And if the Church is where the Spirit of God resides then the Church is indefectible no matter how many men within the Church fail to act rightly.

    “In other words, “do you believe Irenaeus to have been a papist?”

    Of sorts! The reason is given above.

    “Here, by the way, is what John Behr (dean of St. Vladimir seminary) thought Irenaeus meant by apostolic succession.”

    I agree with a lot of what he says about it but I don’t agree with him entirely.

    So, the one question I would have for you John, and it is in relation to my original question, is that, if Scripture was the normative authority, then why does all the Churches in the world have to listen to Rome, if Scripture is the normative authority?

    Well, it’s bed time in these neck of the woods so I will await your reply. Again, thanks for your time John, it’s much appreciated.

    You and yours are in my prayers.
    Jim Paton

    Ps, I know that when this type of dialogue happens on blogs it can become a bit scatter-brained with others throwing their two pennies worth in. I would ask that if that happens that we both try stay focused on what WE have been discussing. I’ll be honest, I just don’t have the time for 100 questions.

  7. Jim, I have answers to you, but not today. What I have done is to have gone through your comment and put added space between the paragraphs.

  8. Thanks for doing that John 🙂

    No worries about answers today, I’ve only just found two minutes of spare time before I go to bed to see if you had written anything. It seems we’re in the same boat when it comes to time 🙂

    I’ll check back in either tomorrow or Sunday. And even then I might not find the time to send a reply as soon as I would like to. It may take a day or two. And also, you have more pressing things than answering my comments. When you’ve got time post it and I’ll do likewise.

    Take care for now,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s