Archive for the ‘GNRHead’ Category

What Catholic Answers Isn’t Telling You About the New Mass Translation

June 3, 2010

Over the past few months I’ve seen a number of requests for funding from Catholic Answers to support what is billed as the “new translation” of the Order of the Mass. Some of the earlier requests seemed vague as to why this is important. The latest email claims that the issue is that the current translation is “clunky” whereas the mass is supposed to be “sublime.”

On the one hand, one can hardly imagine this same conversation happening 50 years ago, when it had been Rome’s practice for centuries to essentially use Latin only (plus the Greek words kyrie eleison) in the order of the mass (with a few exceptions, such as the homily). To that time, one would expect to see reused the arguments against the Reformers as to why it is better not to place the mass into English.

Nevertheless, it was put into English and, as Catholic Answers’ recent email has noted, they (the mysterious “they” that makes decisions for the English-speaking portion of Rome’s church) did not simply reuse the existing parallel English that had been prepared for the aid of English-speaking priests. Instead, a new translation was provided.

What Catholic Answers hasn’t been mentioning in the emails I’ve seen (though perhaps I’m not privy to all their communications) is that there are theological issues with the translation that has been in use for the last few decades. One prominent example is the issue of the very wording of the consecration.

The order in use offered four alternative “Eucharistic prayers” but all of the alternatives stated:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it;
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all
so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.

(source – see the “institutive narrative” section)

The new translation of the mass fixes this erroneous statement with respect to the atonement. In relevant part it states:

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT,
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT,
WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

(caps in source)

This is a theologically significant change, and one that has been grist for the mill of sedevacantists, as can be seen at the following link from a sedevacantist site (link to arguments for the invalidity of the new mass).

While it may be true that the order of mass in use for decades in the English-speaking world has been clunky, has Catholic Answers’ mission ever been to improve the style of American Romanism? One possible explanation is that at least some of the arguments of the sedevacants against the new mass are compelling enough to force a revision that reverts the language to the more traditional form.

I’ve addressed one issue, an issue that was brought to my attention by Peter Dimond’s debate with William Albrecht on the subject (link to debate). I’ve also addressed this theological issue because it has significance to the issue of the atonement.

The words “shed for many for the remission of sins” should remind us:

1) That the shedding of Christ’s blood, not the drinking of his blood, is the way by which the guilt of sins is remitted. Not “drunk … for the remission of sins” but “shed … for the remission of sins.”

While we are taught that we must eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ to have life in us:

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

It is because Christ is our source of life, not because it is the eating and drink that provides forgiveness. It is the shedding of the blood that provides the forgiveness.

2) The only way that sins are forgiven is by the shedding of Christ’s blood.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

3) The sacrifice of Christ is a time-bound event. It was future at the time of the institution of the sacrament, though it is past now.

Hebrew 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

4) Christ’s aim in having his blood shed was to remit the sins of many, not all.

Thomas Aquinas explains it this way:

Objection 8: Further, as was already observed, Christ’s Passion sufficed for all; while as to its efficacy it was profitable for many. Therefore it ought to be said: “Which shall be shed for all,” or else “for many,” without adding, “for you.”

Reply to Objection 8: The blood of Christ’s Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews, to whom the blood of the Old Testament was exhibited, but also in the Gentiles; nor only in priests who consecrate this sacrament, and in those others who partake of it; but likewise in those for whom it is offered. And therefore He says expressly, “for you,” the Jews, “and for many,” namely the Gentiles; or, “for you” who eat of it, and “for many,” for whom it is offered.

– Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Third Part, Question 78, Article 3 (Objection/Response 8)

– TurretinFan

Sola Scriptura and Unity Debate

April 11, 2010

(UPDATE: the audio issues seem to be fixed – you may need to refresh your browser if you tried to view previously) The debate below took place April 10, 2010, between William Albrecht (Roman Catholic) and myself. The resolution was: “Does Sola Scriptura foster disunity and division in the [Christian] body?” This resolution was originally proposed by Steve Ray. Albrecht took the affirmative position and I took the negative position. While the constructive speeches may be of interest, I think both sides will most appreciate the lengthy cross-examination segments, which make up 4/7 of the debate.

http://www.youtube.com/p/0634C27CFB1C7CA7&hl=en_US&fs=1

If the above doesn’t work:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Enjoy!

-TurretinFan

Transcript of Veneration of Mary Debate

August 6, 2009

The following is a transcript of the “Veneration of Mary” Debate that Mr. William Albrecht (GNRHead) and I conducted with Mr. Lane Chaplin moderating (the audio may be found here). Thanks very much to Matthew Lankford for providing this transcript. I’ve tried to smooth out irregularities of speech as much as possible without deviating from what the speakers were saying. If anyone notes any problems with this transcript, please let me know. The subtitle of the debate is my own creation, not an “official” subtitle to the debate.

Veneration of Mary Debate: Does the Bible Command Hyper-Dulia of Mary?

Lane: Welcome to today’s debate. Today’s debate is entitled: Does the Bible Teach Veneration of Mary? We have two debaters today: Mr. William Albrecht, who will be taking the affirmative position. He’s a Roman Catholic Apologist who runs Youtube.com/GNRHead And TurretinFan who will be taking the negative position. He runs Youtube.com/TurretinFan and also TurretinFan.blogspot.com — he’s also a contributor to AOmin.org. We will now begin the debate.

Mr. Albrecht you now have seven minutes for your first affirmative constructive, you may begin.

William: Today my goal is one that is quite simple. My goal is to simply see what the Bible says about the blessed Virgin Mary and repeat it. Today my goal is not to attempt to prove any of the Marian dogmas, but merely to show that true veneration, true honor, is due to the Mother of God and that such can be found within the New Testament.

While it is clear that Jesus Christ definitely honored his mother, since being a faithful Jew he would have not of broken the commandment to honor your father and your mother, we come to the question if it is the Christian’s duty to honor his mother Mary.

Today I will make an attempt to come to the Scriptures as one who merely picks up the Bible and reads it and attempt to understand its plain meaning. There will be no hearkening to Church Fathers, Church Councils, or Papal encyclicals, or anything of the sort. Rather we will see that no matter what denomination you come from, that you can see the plain truth of Mary in Scripture.

Our first passage of examination is that of Luke chapter one verse twenty-eight (Luke 1:28). And the passage reads “And coming in he said to her, hail having been graced, the Lord is with you.”

What we have here is a Greek word kecharitōmenē, which is a Greek perfect passive participle. Kecharitōmenē is from the Greek word charitoō. Mary is called having been graced, or woman who has been graced, since the gender is that of the feminine type. Whereas we may find the usage of this term in other places, it is only used in the titular form for Mary in all of Scripture, even including that of the Septuagint. This is what makes its appearance in Luke chapter one verse twenty-eight so unique. The Lord is with Mary. God is in Mary’s womb.

We are told that Mary is the mother of our Messiah, our Savior, our God, in this direct address from the angel. This is quite significant. The goal of the Holy Spirit is to show us that God has chosen Mary for this special role in salvation history. Mary is chosen is chosen to bring our great God and Savior into the world and it is because of this that she has been graced. She is called kecharitōmenē because God’s grace is in her. God is in her womb. She’s blessed because of Christ and Christ alone. We must be quite clear: without Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb, Mary would not be called kecharitōmenē.

Our next passage of examination is commonly called Mary’s “Magnificat.” And we’ll be examining Luke chapter one, verse forty-six to forty-nine. Starting off with forty six. “And Mary said ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is his name.'”

It is clear the New Testament shows us that we are to honor and venerate Mary for all generations, because, as Mary tells us, the Mighty One has done great things for her. It is because of this very reason that we can call Mary blessed and any other Christian that the Lord has done great things for. Mary is special, though, because she alone brought forth our Messiah and our God, Jesus Christ. We’re told that all generations will call Mary “blessed.” The actual Greek word — Greek uses the word makariousin from makarizō, meaning just what our English translations tell us: that Mary was to be called blessed.

Of particularly interest is that even in the beatitudes — where we can find those that are called blessed — are the listener followers of Christ called blessed. The Greek word makarioi (from makarios) can be found used in the Gospel of Matthew. But there is a great variance of degree when we compare those in the beatitudes and Mary. Mary in verse forty-nine in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel tells us “for the Mighty One has done great things for me” and it is because of these great things that have been done for Mary, Christians are to honor and venerate her and to call her blessed for all generations.

Mary is blessed because of Christ and Christ alone. Be not mistaken: none of the grace and favor that have fallen upon Mary came to her through her own will. Nor are we honoring Mary and Mary alone. Our honor and respect for the Virgin Mary is because of the great things that have been done for her. From what is clearly shown in the Scriptures it is right to show veneration to Mary. No mere human ordained such honor or respect to be given to the blessed Virgin, but God Himself.

The Bible tells us in Galatians chapter five at verses thirteen to fourteen (Gal. 5:13-14), that we should serve one another in love. Here we find the plural from douleuo used. A loving service is to be given to fellow Christians. As we have examined in a previous debate, this veneration can and is used in a religious context, when its referring to the worship of God. But in such passages as these, with a strict order to serve your fellow Christians in Christ is given, we must also yield to the fact that such a religious context is ever so present. We are to honor one another in love, and in Mary’s case we are to honor and call her blessed for all time.

The care and respect and love that Jesus also expressed for His mother on the cross should be emulated by all Christians. Remember those precious words of our Lord and God, when He said in John chapter nineteen, verses twenty-six to twenty seven (John 19:26-27). And the verses read: “When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, He said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her to his own household.”

His words to the beloved disciple forever reverberate in the hearts of all Christians. “Behold, you mother,” he says, “Behold, your mētēr.” In this particular instance, His great and deep love and care for His mother is so tremendous that He entrusts her care to that of the beloved disciple. Shouldn’t we imitate Christ and show His mother a mere ounce of the profound love and respect that God has shown her? I believe, as a Bible-believing Christian, that it is our obligation for all generations.

Lane: Ok, TurretinFan you now have three minutes to cross examine Mr. Albrecht. You may begin.

TurretinFan: Thanks very much.

My first question for you: You spoke about Luke 1:28, and you said that there the term that’s translated by the King James Version as “highly favored” is a titular form of that particular word, and that this is the only place its mentioned. I wonder whether you’ve considered Ephesians 1:6?

William: Absolutely I have. And it is not used in the titular form in Ephesians 1:6. And just to be clear, I wasn’t saying that this kecharitōmenē only appears in Luke 1:28 — I’m also aware that it appears in Sirach 18:17 and, I believe, in 2 Maccabees. But I’m contending that the difference is that it is used as a title for Mary. I understand that the verbal form that it comes from (charitoō) can be found in other places, but I’m contending that the difference is that it is used as a titular form for Mary.

TurretinFan: What makes you conclude that it’s a titular form in Luke 1:28 and not in Ephesians 1:6?

William: I believe in Ephesians 1:6 in the way it is being used — I don’t find any usage of anybody calling somebody “having been graced” or using it as a title, replacing it for somebody’s name. And in Luke Chapter one Verse twenty-eight (Luke 1:28) we find just that. We find the greeting, “Hail having been graced” or we could use, “highly favored” — I prefer “having been graced” as the translation. And as we see, the angel comes in and he says, “Hail having been graced” “chaire kecharitōmenē” That’s quite different from the usage in Ephesians chapter one, verse six [Eph. 1:6].

TurretinFan: My second question has to do with the comment about Mary’s own statement that all generations will call her blessed. What makes you conclude that that’s a command, rather than simply a statement of fact?

William: I don’t quite understand, whether its a command or a statement of fact, don’t you believe that all generations should call her blessed? Regardless, of whether its a command or statement of fact, it’s the truth of Scripture that all generations are to call Mary blessed.

TurretinFan: Well, you said you were going to prove your case from the Bible. So, I was trying to get whether this verse actually says that it is a command or whether that was something you had sort of imposed on the text.

William: Well, I don’t think I’m imposing anything on the text. Whether it be a command — it’s a fact of Scripture that all generations are to call Mary blessed.

TurretinFan: Ok, well, my next comment was very similar — when it says “Behold your mother” was that a command to John or to all Christians? In the text.

William: In the text, was it a command to John or to all Christians? I believe specifically when He says “Behold your mother” it is a command specifically to John in that context. He is entrusting her to John’s care, therefore, I believe it would be a command to John in that context, since He calls her his mother. He entrusts her care to the beloved disciple.

Lane: Ok, that’s time. Ok, thank you for that. Turretin[Fan] you now have your negative constructive, which consists of eight minutes.You may begin when you’re ready.

TurretinFan: My presentation today is going to be on the veneration of Mary and the Bible — what does it have to say about it? The Roman Catholic Church gives Mary worship in the form of hyper-dulia. Whether or not that should be called worship is a separate debate. The question today is whether this is Biblical. And I would tell you the answer is “no.” And I’ll try to explain why in three parts today. The first part will be Mary as she is portrayed in the Bible. Number two, what the Bible says about the veneration of Mary. And then the third section will be responding to what Mr. Albrecht has said.

So, the first part: Mary’s portrayal in the Bible. She’s portrayed in the Bible as a relatively minor character. She’s only mentioned by name once outside of the Gospels and that’s right at the beginning of the book of Acts. She’s only mentioned once by name in the Gospel of Mark. And she’s never mentioned by name in the Gospel of John. Now, of course, she is mentioned in John, but just not by name. And then there’s no real mention of Mary by the Apostle Paul in any of his epistles. There’s only one verse of the Old Testament that clearly relates to Mary and that’s a single verse prophesying that Jesus would be born of a virgin. And so, in general Mary has a fairly minor role in Scripture.

What’s her character like? She’s portrayed as modest and humble. She’s described as being highly favored by God. And the way in which she is highly favored is that she is the one who gives birth to Jesus Christ. This term means “highly favored,” which is essentially how Mr. Albrecht has translated it, not “full of grace” as the Vulgate mistranslated it.

Another aspect of Mary is that she’s a witness to Jesus’ earthly life at a number of critical points. For example, at the conception, the birth, and the miracle at Cana, and the death of Christ. She’s in all of these and we see that she was interviewed by Luke in the preparation of his Gospel and possibly also by Matthew as well. And the other sort of interconnection she has with the Apostles in addition to appearing with the Apostles after Jesus’ ascension, in that one place in Acts, is that she was cared for by John, although John doesn’t actually mention her by name anywhere in his Gospel (although, of course, John doesn’t mention himself by name in his Gospel either).

The second section that I’d like to deal with here now is now: what does the Bible actually have to say about veneration of Mary? Since, you know, generally describing her is one thing, but what about the issue of veneration. There’s sort of three general positive areas where someone might think that there’s an inclination in that direction. The first is the angel’s greeting to Mary. The second is Elizabeth’s greeting of Mary. And then the third is some general principles of love of the brethren. As for the third, there’s no call, just because there’s a general love of the brethren and service to the brethren, for us to create a special cult of Mary, or a cult of Albrecht, or a cult of Lane, or a cult of anybody in particular. And when we talk about the veneration of Mary, we’re not just talking about, you know, bringing her a cup of water when she’s thirsty. We’re talking about something that’s especially particular to Mary — in a special reverence that’s shown to her — that’s different from just the ordinary reverence we show to other people in following the law of God. The greetings are interesting, but mostly they just show politeness. We’ll come to the argument that Mr. Albrecht presented earlier from the idea that this was some kind of titular form of the word for saying that the person is highly favored, in just a minute.

Moving on from the positives to the negatives, there are actually three of the Gospels, the synoptic Gospels, they each relate an account that show that Mary is really nothing special in the Kingdom of God. Those are: Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; and Luke 8:19-21. They may all be the same account, they may be two or more accounts, but in these three accounts, which may or may not be more than one event, the situation is someone is trying to give Mary special attention — Mary and Jesus’ brethren special attention. And Jesus turns it around and says ‘Look, anyone who believes in me, that’s my mother, that’s my brethren.’ He’s basically saying that there’s an equality within the Kingdom of God among all the believes, such that His mother and His brethren are nobody special. That seems to be the point that’s raised in each of those; in Matthew, and Mark, and Luke — John doesn’t have that same one, but that’s fairly normal, John often doesn’t include events that the synoptics include.

There’s a second aspect in which we can see veneration of Mary is undone by the Scriptural evidence. This second area is when Paul talks about the mother of us all. Now recall that there’s an argument that’s made that Mary is our mother and, therefore, in some sense she’s our mother, because we’re in Christ and, therefore, we need to honor her. But when Paul talks about who’s our mother, he says the mother of us all is the heavenly Jerusalem. He doesn’t view it as Mary at all, but as the heavenly Jerusalem.

And then the third aspect is this title that’s sometimes given in Roman Catholicism — “The Mother of God” is given to Mary. But the author of Hebrews describes Jesus in this way: he says that He was “without mother.” And now, of course, that can’t refer to His humanity, since Jesus was the son of Mary. So, it must be referred to His divinity. And, so, therefore, in view of Hebrews, its inappropriate to call Mary by such exalted titles as “The Mother of God.”

Now we’ll turn to the third section, which is responding specifically to the points that Albrecht has raised. The first point he raised is this idea that the titular form of the word is used in Luke 1:28. But, on being pressed upon this, what we see is that it’s simply a statement that when the participle essentially used as a reference to the person. In other words, this is a person who is highly favored. It’s not that it’s being used as a title — like that it has a special capital letter in Greek — of course, they didn’t have that type of mechanism in Greek (in the original). Rather, what it is, is the fairly rare word is used only a couple of times. It’s only used, maybe, in a similar way, only two times in the New Testament — in this place and in Ephesians 1:6. And in Ephesians 1:6 of course its not used as a title. There’s not any particular reason to view it as a title here, except for a desire to use it as a title later. No one ever else calls her by that title and we’re not suggested in that passage to use that as a title. Let me move on to the second argument.

The second argument is that “all generations will call her blessed.” This argument, again, is actually a statement of fact, that all generations will call her blessed — its not a command to do so.

The third argument was an argument from Galatians, I believe it was, chapter five, verses thirteen and fourteen (Gal. 5:13-14)… perhaps it was chapter three. In any event, the idea was that we serve one another in love. Well, the idea is not that we shouldn’t give Mary a glass of cold water if we see her and she’s thirsty. The question is whether or not we are supposed to give some kind of special cultus — in the terms that the Roman Catholic Church would use to describe the worship.

Then, the fourth argument was, “behold your mother,” but as we brought out during the cross-examination this is not a command for all Christians, just a command for John. And, of course, John, in his Gospel, never commands us to worship Mary, or to venerate her in any way.

Lane: Ok, Mr. Albrecht, you now have three minutes to cross-examine TurretinFan, you may begin when you’re ready.

William: Ok, that sounds good. TurretinFan, due to the fact that the Bible tells us that, “all generations,” and literally in the Greek, “pasai geneai,” all generations will call Mary blessed, and the fact that the Bible clearly shows us that Mary has been graced and will always continue to have that grace within her person, even after the birth of Christ, does this not entail that there is clear Biblical proof that honor and respect is due to Mary?

TurretinFan: There’s a premise in there, that you stated, which was that the Scriptures suggest that she continues to have some special role beyond the giving birth to Jesus. Which is a questionable premise. And without that premise, of course, the conclusion doesn’t follow — that she has some continued desert of being called … or … of being given special reverence.

William: Well, what my contention basically is, is that she will continue to have that grace within her person even after the birth of Christ. That’s all that I’m really contending. Moving on to another question now, I’ll ask, I guess, I’ll try and phrase this in a different way. Since God has preordained that we are to forever call Mary blessed, due to the fact that she is the woman who has been graced, called kecharitōmenē by the angel of the Lord, does the Greek of Luke 1:28 then entail that we’re to give her true honor and respect, because she is continually one who is graced?

TurretinFan: No. When it says that “all generations will call her blessed” — it just simply means that all generations will, indeed, call her blessed. And one way in which that can be the case, is that all generations will realize that she was given a special favor from God in that she was given the privilege of carrying in her womb, incarnate God.

William: Alright, I suppose I’ll try and continue this a little bit more with you. I guess my question is pretty much since Luke 1:28 pretty much shows us that Mary will continue to be graced, I guess my question was whether it was/is alright to continue showing Mary honor and respect? I understand calling Mary blessed is not anything that we cannot call for other Christians, but wouldn’t this be different in the case of Mary, since she will continually be graced even after birthing Christ?

TurretinFan: Yes, it doesn’t say that she will continually be graced even after birthing Christ. That’s an important, underlying, mistaken premise in your assertions that you’re throwing at me.

William: So, the usage of kecharitōmenē in the perfect passive participle in the Greek, does not have the connotation that Mary will continue to have grace even after the birth of Christ?

TurretinFan: The idea of a perfect passive participle, as you should know, implies a past action that has continuing effects (William interjecting: Absolutely) at the present time, which is the time when the angel was speaking to Mary.

William: Yes, and is there anything in the verse that shows us that since she is continually being graced at that current present moment that the grace will cease to be after she births Christ?

TurretinFan: Oh, no, I’m not trying to make an argument from silence. I was leaving that up to your side, which was asserting that, in fact, it was continuing on — which, of course, you could never get from that particular verb.

Lane: Ok, that’s time. Ok, Mr. Albrecht you now have your first affirmative rebuttal. You have four minutes for it. You may begin when you’re ready.

William: Alright, great. I think we can clearly see that the Scriptures are far from muddled when it comes to the subject of the Virgin Mary. Is honor and respect due to the Virgin Mary? We can clearly see that the answer is yes. Mary’s “Magnificat” is the precious song of God’s blessings bestowed upon a human being. When the earth was created, when the heavens were created, when the first human beings were created, never was such grace known to be given to a creature of the Lord. Yet we can clearly see that Mary was one who was found to have favor from God. Such favor that all generations are to forever recognize what God has done for her. All generations are to forever recognize the mighty things that God has done for her. The Scripture shows us that it is because of God, and God alone, that we are to give honor to Mary. God is the one that Mary tells us has done great things for her. Holy Writ shows us that God, being one who has given her the grace and blessings, then entails that we offer true honor and respect to Mary.

Examining the Bible clearer we can see in Luke chapter eleven verses twenty-seven to twenty-eight [Luke 11:27-28]. We read: “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said to them, Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But He said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” To be clear, Christ says “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” In the Greek, Christ responds with “menounge makarioi.” “Indeed blessed,” He says, “are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” With this comment He isn’t saying that Mary is not blessed and that those who hear the word are instead. Instead He answers in the affirmative that Mary’s very body was blessed and then reinforces that which is of greater blessedness is that His word be heard and obeyed and kept. Mary did hear the word of God and did obey it. And actually bore the Word incarnate in her womb.

TurretinFan says he would not like to argue from silence, yet his mere assertion that kecharitōmenē is not special is fallacious on its very face. We are shown that Mary has been graced in the past and that its effects continue and never are we told that it ceases; rather we have indications that it doesn’t. The very fact that Mary is forever to be called blessed is an indication of her enduring grace and favor in the eyes of God. And as a Christian we should honor and we should respect that.

Lane: Ok, TurretinFan, you can now set forth your negative rebuttal. You may begin when you’re ready.

TurretinFan: Thanks very much. It’s been a pleasure to debate today. I’d like to thank Mr. Albrecht for his participation and for bearing with my questions and answers.

Now I’d like to sort of summarize the debate. The debate was over the question of whether or not the Bible promotes the veneration of Mary, and although we saw that Mary is praised in the Scriptures — she’s called blessed — she’s described as having been highly favored — she’s described as a modest and humble woman, and (as Mr. Albrecht pointed out) she was greatly privileged to have the incarnate Son of God at her breast. Nevertheless, there’s nothing in Scripture that commands any Christian to give her any special reverence or honor. And so the Roman Catholic view of hyper-dulia is completely unbiblical, as we’ve discovered.

Remember, the first section that we talked was the fact that Mary’s portrayal in Scripture relatively minor. She’s only mentioned once outside of the Gospels by name. And only mentioned once by name in Mark, never by name in John, and never by Paul. In fact, as we discussed in the second section, when Paul talks about who’s the mother of us all, he doesn’t point, as many might expect, to Mary, but, instead, he points to the heavenly Jerusalem. She doesn’t have a specific role that is taught by Scripture, as far as having any maternal relationship to us, such that the Fifth Commandment, that we should honor our father and mother, would apply in some sense, so that we would have to honor her using that sort of maternal honor, which would still not be hyper-dulia. But lets continue on.

We also saw that the Scriptures describe her as a witness to Jesus’ life and that, as well as a great privilege that we can’t experience because we’re not around during Jesus’ earthly ministry; and that she was cared for by the beloved disciple John, and interviewed by Luke, who was in the process of preparing the Gospel of Luke. All these things said, we also saw that there are three passages which may all be the same event, in which, far from suggesting that Mary is to be specially praised, it’s suggested that she’s simply just the same as any other believer. And Mr. Albrecht himself brought this out in his last speech, when he pointed out, pointed to the verse, which says, that, ‘indeed, truly is blessed the person who believes.’ See, all believers are equally blessed with Mary — there’s nothing particularly special about her and that’s really the point to those verses.

We also saw as well, and this wasn’t disputed at all by Mr. Albrecht, that when the author of Hebrew describes Jesus, he calls Him “without mother.” And really, this undermines this special title, among many exalted titles, that the Roman Catholic Church uses. This title “Mother of God” is not only unbiblical, it’s contrary to the Bible, in that it falls afoul of Hebrews 7:3, which describes Jesus as being like Melchizedek — being without father or mother: “without father” as to His humanity, “without mother” as to His Divinity.

Then, when we investigated the arguments that Mr. Albrecht made, we didn’t hear what you would expect — we didn’t hear any verses where there was a command to honor Mary or an example even of someone giving special honor, or special reverence, to Mary. Aside from the greeting of the angel and the greeting of Elizabeth, that we already talked about, there’s no examples of anyone giving her special attention; and the one case where we saw something close to giving her special attention is the point where Jesus took the opportunity to say, ‘Oh, no, no, she’s nothing special, she’s just the same as all the other believers.’

Mr. Albrecht tries to make an argument from silence on Luke 1:28. He says ‘well, she was given this privilege in the past and it had a continuing effect at the time the angel spoke to her and there’s nothing that ever tells us it stopped.’ Well, indeed, there’s nothing that tells us whether it stopped or it continued — and it’s just simply an argument from silence on that point.

He makes a point about something being in a titular form only in Luke 1:28, but it’s hardly ever used throughout Scripture. The word itself is hardly ever used throughout Scripture — and its not particularly rare to have people described in terms of characteristics; and in this case the characteristic that was salient was the fact that she had been privileged with having the Son of God come and be in her womb.

The next argument that we heard was one about all generations calling her blessed, which Mr. Albrecht continually seemed to try to convert from a simple statement of fact, that all generations will, indeed, call her blessed, to a command that we must — as though this were an order: you must call her blessed. It doesn’t say that. I think we tried to bring that out in the cross-examination. And, instead, we got a: ‘well, but… shouldn’t we?’ You know, that… It’s not in the text. It doesn’t say that we are to do so — it just says that people will call her blessed. And the reason why we call her blessed, of course, is that she received an enormous blessing from God. Its quite true, it was an immense privilege for her to be the mother of Jesus, to have the incarnate Son of God in her womb. It was an extraordinary blessing. And she is blessed. And we call her blessed. But that’s a far cry from giving her hyper-dulia.

The next argument was one from Galatians — about how we serve one another in love. But, of course, again, that’s not hyper-dulia. That’s not veneration in the sense of a cultus, and the sense of what we talk about religious veneration in theology, we’re not talking simply about obeying the second table of the Law.

The fourth argument was this argument from, “Behold your mother,” but, as we discovered, that was specifically made to John and there’s no where in Scripture that suggests, or implies, or states that this is to have any broader application than John. Of course, John himself, while he did care for Mary, he never mentions her by name in his Gospel (although, of course, he does mention her without using her name).

We hear from Mr. Albrecht that Scriptures are very clear on this issue. He started his initial speech with that, he mentioned in his last one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he mentions it in his final speech. But, what they’re clearly here, is clearly silent. They never give any examples of people venerating Mary in any special way, without Jesus coming and saying, ‘Wait a minute, she’s just the same as anyone else.’ And, we never have any commands, or instructions, or exhortations, to venerate Mary in any particular way.

And, instead of that, and instead of those commands, instead of those instructions, we have a relegation of Mary essentially to the Gospels — with a brief mention at the very beginning of Acts. No mention throughout Paul’s epistles. She’s not this central figure next to Jesus. She’s not described as the “Queen of Heaven” or any of these other exalted titles that are given in Roman Catholicism today. In short, what we see is that the entire cult of Mary, the entire worship in the form of hyper-dulia of Mary that we see in Roman Catholicism today — is unbiblical.

And consequently, when Christians are seeking to follow the Bible and to follow what the Apostles taught, which we know through Scriptures — we are not to worship Mary, we’re not to give her special reverence, special attention, and we’re not to treat her any different from any other believer — although she was greatly privileged and although she was given great favor from God.

Lane: Ok, Mr. Albrecht, you now have four minutes for your second affirmative rebuttal. You may begin when you’re ready.

William: I think that anyone that comes to the Scriptures without any pre-conceived notions or bias will find that Mary was special, because of God and God alone. They will find that Mary is called ‘forever blessed’ and ‘the one who has been graced’. We find a mighty angel of the Lord even greeting her with a unique title that no other creature in all the Scripture is addressed with.

If anyone has noticed, they will see that I came to this debate with one goal — not to appeal to any doctrines, not to appeal to the authority of any church, any denomination, or any church council. I didn’t quote an Catholic scholars, Protestant scholars, Church Fathers, or even Protestant Reformers for that matter. I presented passages from the Bible and put them forth and examined their relevant portions in the Greek. I didn’t attempt to yank any doctrines from the Scriptures. My goal was to merely present that the mother of Christ, the mother of our Savior, the Mother of our God (a term which TurretinFan is clearly confused about) was due religious veneration and that such a fact was present in the New Testament.

The religious veneration of Mary clearly differs from that of other creatures. Only Mary had the favor to carry God in her womb and to bring God the Second Person of the Trinity into this world. With that clear examination of Scripture we find that only Mary has been graced with this type of gratia from God. Mary’s “Magnificat” is evidence enough for those that are faithful to the word of God, that it is right and good to call her blessed forever. The very word of God, which Christians should cherish as inerrant, tells us that her grace is enduring and shows us a precious and loving image of our Lord giving His mother into the care of the disciple whom He loved dearly.

The Scripture continues to show us Mary’s special role in Luke chapter one, verses forty-one to forty-four (Luke 1:41-44). Upon reading this, we see that Elizabeth has recognized that Mary is carrying her Lord, and her Messiah, and her God, in her womb. After that, being filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth says that Mary is blessed among women and blessed is the Messiah that she carries in her womb. And, indeed, Mary was more blessed than any other woman and more special than any other woman that we see in the Bible, because of the love and grace of God.

TurretinFan further says that the Apostle Paul doesn’t point to Mary as mother of us all, yet his usage, Paul’s usage, in the passage of Jerusalem is not in a maternal connotation. Furthermore, this isn’t a debate about Mary’s heavenly motherhood, but rather a debate about veneration that is due to Mary.

TurretinFan also points to some verses in which it is argued that Jesus replaces His biological family for His spiritual family. This argument holds no water at all. If Jesus were replacing His family for His spiritual family, then we would have to exclude His family from what Jesus says. Jesus says, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother, and sister, and mother.” And we know that Mary did, indeed, do God’s will. Her very “Magnificat” shows us that her soul rejoices in her Lord, because of the great things God has done for her. Jesus never has the intention to remove His familial bond from His mother or he wouldn’t have his continual care for His mother shown in the Scripture.

Furthermore, we are told that Mary is portrayed as a minor character in the New Testament, in the Bible. Yet if we examine the Old Testament (we’ll relegate ourselves to the Old Testament), there is no explicit, notice how I say explicit, description of the Trinity; yet, we wouldn’t claim that the Trinity plays a minor role at all. Arguments from silence are quite weak.

Furthermore, TurretinFan also says the Vulgate mistranslates by saying, “full of grace,” in Luke 1:28. Brother Jerome’s usage of, “full of grace,” is a viable translation. If we realize that the gratia that Mary has been given to her is by God and God alone, Mary is, indeed, full of grace, since Christ is in her womb and has bestowed this grace on her. Just as we can call Mary, ‘highly favored,’ — yet the ‘favoring’ is not intrinsic in the text, but, rather, the grace is. And, as the Greek title kecharitōmenē shows us, Mary’s grace endures forever, because all generations will called her blessed, all generations will recognize her grace and her favor, and as such we should honor and respect and venerate the Mother of our God.

Lane: Ok, that now concludes our debate. Mr. Albrecht your contact information is: http://www.youtube.com/gnrhead and TurretinFan has turretinfan.blogspot.com and youtube.com/turretinfan.

Thank you both for being with us at today’s debate and thank you everyone for listening.

Limited Atonement Defended (Against Albrecht)

June 13, 2009

This is a response to Mr. Albrecht’s video “Limited Atonement, further examined” (link).

Mr. Albrecht has already conceded the main point of the discussion in his video by noting that Limited Atonement is not a heresy. That’s for the best, since the position OneTrueChurch (Glenn) took that Calvinism’s doctrine of Limited Atonement is heresy, is an untenable position.

There are a few other things to clear up, however:

1. Cut-n-Paste – There are Two Kinds

a) Bad – when you cut and paste arguments from Jimmy Akin to try to use them as your own arguments without understanding what Akin was trying to say.

b) Good – when you quote a church father verbatim.

2. The Church Fathers At Issue

a) Theodoret

Whether or not Christ “thirsts for the salvation of all men” is at best tangential to the issue of the extent of the atonement. And I was surprised that Albrecht would be so blatant about telling his listeners to ignore the context – but there you have it!

However, the statement that Christ was not offered to bear the sins of the non-elect is directly relevant, since that’s the claim of limited atonement (though sadly, Albrecht does not understand this).

2. Augustine

Likewise, the statement that Christ did not redeem all humans is directly relevant to the issue of limited atonement, since that’s the claim of limited atonement.

3. Chrysostom

Same as with Theodoret – the question of “bearing the sins of all” is the point that is relevant to Limited Atonement (not the question of why he did not bear the sins of the others).

4. Bede

Bede’s interpretation of the important (to the discussion) text of 1 John 2:1-2 is supportive of the doctrine of the Limited Atonement, which Albrecht would understand if he understood Limited Atonement.

-TurretinFan

Albrecht vs Cajetan – Round 2

June 10, 2009

The video embedded below is a further response to William Albrechts (aka GNRHead) (link to Albrecht’s video) on the issue of Cardinal Cajetan and the Canon. In this video:

1. We deal with the fact that “Cajetan” is pronounced in modern English with the “j” making a “j” sound when it comes from a Latin (or other classical) root. Thus, we have Jesus and Jehovah, or – more to the points (since Jesus and Jehovah are not Latin words in the strictest sense) – June, July, Julius Caesar, and Jerome. Of course, a more authentic pronunciation would be to soften the “J” to a “Y” sound, but this is not the standard way of anglicizing Latin names these days.

2. We note that Mr. Albrecht humorously says that I have “the credentials of a super-hero” – but counter that this is why I don’t rely on my own credentials. I rely on higher authorities than myself.

3. We clarify that Cardinal Cajetan accepts Jerome’s opinion and harmonizes it with the other councils through a “two senses of canonical” explanation, which is reasonable. We note that Mr. Albrecht is confused about this, leading to his mistaken impression that Cardinal Cajetan thought that he (Cajetan) was opposing the rest of tradition besides that of Jerome.

4. Mr. Albrecht expresses the opinion that Cardinal Cajetan is “ignorant” when it comes to Jerome, but we discover that Cardinal Cajetan has credentials that ought to give Mr. Albrecht pause about that sort of comment.

5. We observe that Albrecht admits that his arguments about quotations from the Apocrypha are bad arguments. However, we also note that he doesn’t complete eschew them, but then complains when we point out that they are bad arguments (suggesting that we are beating a straw man when we smack down his bad arguments as such).

6. We observe approximately the same thing as (5) about Albrecht’s argument from the binding of a few ancient codices.

7. Next, we dispose (on the authority of Bruce Metzger) of the error of thinking that Jerome was alone in rejecting the apocrypha (or as the Romanists call them, the deuterocanonicals). Instead, Origen and Melito of Sardis did as well (it should, of course, be noted that there is an asterisk next to Melito’s name, in that he apparently accepted Wisdom in place of Esther, though he got the total number of books correct).

8. Furthermore, we disposed of Mr. Albrecht’s error of claiming that Trent had the same list of books as did the councils of Hippo and Carthage, confirming this from the words of one of Mr. Albrecht’s fellow Romanists, Gary Michuta.

9. Finally, we addressed Mr. Albrecht’s debate challenge, which we accepted – although setting up a time and date remains to be done (Mr. Albrecht had suggested January 2010).

Special thanks to Matthew Lankford’s artistic skill in adding a number animation goodies into this clip!

-TurretinFan

Limited Atonement – Respone to Albrecht

May 26, 2009

Mr. Albrecht has posted a video titled: “the CHURCH FATHERS and LIMITED ATONEMENT-refuting a Reformed View” (formatting is original) (link). This video is a response from Mr. Albrecht to an earlier video I had made responding to the Youtuber “OneTrueChurch”. My video response is below, if one simply scrolls down.

Mr. Albrecht criticizes my video for not providing citations and for being “cut and paste” apologetics. Of course, the text of my discussion was not cut and paste, and I surely hope Mr. Albrecht isn’t suggesting that when I quote the early church fathers I have to avoid using their exact words, cut and paste from their writings.

Mr. Albrecht’s criticism (and consequently my response) is divisible into sections by father:

1. Theodoret

In this discussion, Mr. Albrecht quotes from Jimmy Akin’s “Tiptoe through TULIP” (although he doesn’t cite it). But Albrecht just doesn’t get Akin’s point in the article, “There are other ways to construct a Thomist version of TULIP, of course, but the fact there is even one way demonstrates that a Calvinist would not have to repudiate his understanding of predestination and grace to become Catholic. He simply would have to do greater justice to the teaching of Scripture and would have to refine his understanding of perseverance.” Mr. Albrecht also doesn’t get the Reformed view. Please note that I’m not endorsing or recommending Mr. Akin’s article. I think his attempt to suggest that Calvinism and Roman Catholicism are largely compatible is wrong and is potentially misleading (whether that’s due to deceptive intent or simple ignorance on Mr. Akin’s part, I don’t pretend to know).

Mr. Albrecht fails to realizes that the “sufficient for all, efficient for the elect” position is fully consistent with the Limited Atonement position. It’s even how John Calvin himself interpreted 1 John 2:2, one of the key passages in the limited atonement debate.

Mr. Albrecht also provides a fragmentary quotation from another (essentially unrelated) writing of Theodoret to try to suggest that Theodoret didn’t believe in Limited atonement. It’s such a short work, that I’ve reproduced the whole thing below.

True friendship is strengthened by intercourse, but separation cannot sunder it, for its bonds are strong. This truth might easily be shown by many other examples, but it is enough for us to verify what I say by our own case. Between me and you are indeed many things, mountains, cities, and the sea, yet nothing has destroyed my recollection of your excellency. No sooner do we behold any one arriving from those towns which lie on the coast, than the conversation is turned on Cyprus and on its right worthy governor, and we are delighted to have tidings of your high repute. And lately we have been gratified to an unusual degree at learning the most delightful news of all: for what, most excellent sir, can be more pleasing to us than to see your noble soul illuminated by the light of knowledge? For we think it right that he who is adorned with many kinds of virtue should add to them also its colophon, and we believe that we shall behold what we desire. For your nobility will doubtless eagerly seize the God-given boon, moved thereto by true friends who clearly understand its value, and guided to the bountiful God “Who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” netting men by men’s means to salvation, and bringing them that He captures to the ageless life. The fisherman indeed deprives his prey of life, but our Fisher frees all that He takes alive from death’s painful bonds, and therefore “did he show himself upon earth, and conversed with men,” bringing men His life, conveying teaching by means of the visible manhood, and giving to reasonable beings the law of a suitable life and conversation. This law He has confirmed by miracles, and by the death of the flesh has destroyed death. By raising the flesh He has given the promise of resurrection to us all, after giving the resurrection of His own precious body as a worthy pledge of ours. So loved He men even when they hated Him that the mystery of the œconomy fails to obtain credence with some on account of the very bitterness of His sufferings, and it is enough to show the depths of His loving kindness that He is even yet day by day calling to men who do not believe. And He does so not as though He were in need of the service of men,— for of what is the Creator of the universe in want?— but because He thirsts for the salvation of every man. Grasp then, my excellent friend, His gift; sing praises to the Giver, and procure for us a very great and right goodly feast.

Theodoret, Letter 76, To Uranius, Governor of Cyprus

As I explain in the video, the comment “He thirsts for the salvation of every man” – while certainly not phrased in the most precise way, especially given the preceding clarification “He does so not as though He were in need of the service of men,— for of what is the Creator of the universe in want?” but nevertheless, when read in context (something Albrecht fails to do) we see that Theodoret is speaking of the universal command to repent and believe proclaimed by God to all, through the instrumentality (the means) of men, as Theodoret expresses it: “For your nobility will doubtless eagerly seize the God-given boon, moved thereto by true friends who clearly understand its value, and guided to the bountiful God “Who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” netting men by men’s means to salvation, and bringing them that He captures to the ageless life.”

2. Jerome

Jerome sometimes uses the expression “whole world” with reference to Jesus’ death so Albrecht assumes this means universal atonement. Unfortunately, Albrecht fails to realize that this can be simply an expansive term, as Prosper of Aquitaine clearly explained about the same time in church history.

Albrecht claims he doesn’t understand how Christ redeeming only some and not all men supports limited atonement. The reason he doesn’t understand, of course, is that he’s not familiar with limited atonement.

3. Augustine

For Augustine, Albrecht just says “same thing.” Talk about cut-and-paste! Only this time he just cuts, and doesn’t paste the same arguments he has taken from the apologetic work of Jimmy Akin in the first section.

4. Chrysostom

Albrecht does not seem to understand what “not bearing” the sins of all has to do with the doctrine of limited atonement. This is, unfortunately, because Mr. Albrecht doesn’t seem fully to understand limited atonement.

5. Bede

Just waves his hands and says he doesn’t even understand how I could “twist” what the Bede says to support limited atonement. Well, at least he’s honest about not understanding on this one.

Albrecht, in conclusion, claims that there are numerous other examples he could bring up. Perhaps, though, he would have done better to first understand the doctrine that he’s attacking and the relation of that doctrine to what the fathers are teaching. There may indeed be some issue (and I will address this at a later time – since the issues involved have little to do with Albrecht’s comments) with the Chrysostom quotation, but the rest are certainly fine.

Albrecht claims: “The early church didn’t believe in the limited atonement in the Calvinist sense or in any sense – if you will – and a clear reading of them in their context will bring that out.” On this as well, Mr. Albrecht missed the point: the point is not that the early church had a single unified voice on the issue of limited atonement. No, the point is that a significant number of important fathers held to limited atonement. Therefore, calling it “heresy” is an irrational claim for folks like “OneTrueChurch” to make, unless he is willing to condemn those of the church fathers who taught it, together with the Calvinists.

-TurretinFan

Cajetan and the Canon

May 22, 2009

Response to Mr. William Albrecht regarding Cajetan and the Canon. Cajetan was a Roman Catholic cardinal who opposed Luther as an official representative of Rome, but who also held to the same canon as “Protestants” do today. This clip discusses that issue as well as a few related issues.

-TurretinFan

Augustine – Metaphor – Bodily Presence

May 20, 2009

In this clip, we respond to Mr. William Albrecht’s continued (but unsupported) insistence that apparently terms like “the bread becomes the body of Christ” or “the bread is the body of Christ” must be understood neither literally (as actual flesh with skin, veins, DNA, etc.) nor analogically but transubstantially. We note that Mr. Albrecht doesn’t like the comparison between Latin and modern English, and so we provide commentary from Augustine himself on the use of metaphor in Scripture.

-TurretinFan

Veneration of Mary Debate – Thoughts on Reflection – Part 8

May 17, 2009

In this eighth section of my reflections on my recent debate with Mr. William Albrecht on the veneration of Mary, I respond to a video that Mr. Albrecht put out (link to Albrecht’s video). Since he put out a video, I’ve also provided this response in video form.

Mr. Albrecht’s video, after an introduction section, plunges into a few areas that Mr. Albrecht felt he couldn’t cover during the debate:

1) “Turretinfan’s LACK of Preparedness When it Came to Luke 1:28” (all-caps to show spoken emphasis)

Mr. Albrecht’s support for this contention was that I allegedly simply don’t realize that the word κεχαριτωμένη (kecharitomeneh) is used as a title for Mary. He supports his position that this is a title by saying that this isn’t him reading into the text, this is just a basic fact that “anyone familiar with even the basic level of New Testament Greek – Biblical Greek – would know this fact.” He continued: “In fact, I don’t know a single Protestant that would deny this.”

I have to chuckle a bit. Ironically, before seeing this video, I had already gone on in a previous post into much greater detail about what the best possible arguments are for the word being a title, and disposed of them (link to previous post). Mr. Albrecht offers us absolutely nothing except his own assertion as a basis for accepting his position. If it were such a “basic fact” as he claims, you’d think that he’d be able to find at least one person who agreed with him, but instead he resorts to a negative assertion: he claims he doesn’t know of any Protestant who would deny this. The next step, no doubt, is for him to ask me to find some scholar who rejects his unusual view – rather than him having to prove his own point. Is this really the best that he can do even without the pressures of the debate? Amazing.

2) “He’s [TurretinFan is] also Confused about Ephesians 1:6”

Mr. Albrecht’s support for his contention that I am confused is that Ephesians 1:6 doesn’t use the same exact word.

Again, this was rather amusing. It is the exact same verb, just a different conjugations of the verb in each case. Mr. Albrecht reads off the two different conjugations, seemingly intending to give the listener the impression that these are two different Greek words, rather than two different conjugations of the same Greek word. What’s even more amusing is that, during the debate, Mr. Albrecht had acknowledged that it is the same word in Ephesians 1:6.

There is an important difference between the two conjugations as it pertains to the word being used as a title, as I have already explained in my previous post. Unfortunately, if you watch the video, you’ll see that Mr. Albrecht gives you no argument in this regard, just assertions. In fact, he puts it well when he says “The fact – not even an argument – is that kecharitomeneh is used as a name for Mary. And that’s not even an argument, that’s just something he was confused about.” Well, yes, Mr. Albrecht tries very hard to present it as though it were a fact, Mr. Albrecht does try to persuade people that I was confused, and Mr. Albrecht does so without making an actual argument, just a string of assertions.

-TurretinFan

Veneration of Mary Debate – Thoughts on Reflection – Part 7

May 16, 2009

This is the seventh section of my reflections on my recent debate on the veneration of Mary with Mr. William Albrecht. This one may discuss a few different miscellaneous points as I try to round up the last of my thoughts on the debate itself.

I. No Logical Link Between Mary’s Being Blessed and Mary’s Being Venerated

About 4 minutes into the debate, Mr. Albrecht makes the claim that Mary is called blessed in a different degree. Mr. Albrecht refers to the beatitudes where the followers of Jesus are called blessed. Then, Mr. Albrecht says: “But there is a great variance in degree when we compare those in the beatitudes and Mary.” He doesn’t really go on to support this, except to note that great things were done for Mary, and (according to Albrecht) because of these great things people are supposed to honor and venerate Mary.

First, there’s no real logical connection between this being a matter of degree as opposed to simply a different kind of blessing. Second, there is no real reason to go from someone simply recognizing that God has blessed Mary to a person honoring or venerating Mary.

I didn’t really go after this in the debate and perhaps I ought to have spent a few seconds explaining the fact that there is no comparison of degrees and no logical link between someone being blessed by God and someone deserving (or mandating) honor and veneration of men.

II. No Logical Link Between Loving the Brethren and Venerating Mary

Another odd argument that Mr. Albrecht used was one that basically said, that because Paul tells us to serve one another in love in the Epistle to the Galatians, that consequently we should venerate Mary. There’s really no logical link there. The way in which we serve one another in love is not by engaging in any sort of religious veneration, such as offering up prayer or lighting candles and incense, but by meeting their needs. But Mary has passed into glory. She no longer has needs – or at least she certainly has no needs that we on Earth can meet. I mentioned this briefly in the debate, but perhaps I should have insisted that Mr. Albrecht justify himself more fully in this regard.

III. “Continue to be Graced”

There was an odd line that Mr. Albrecht took during his cross-examination questions, in which he asked about Mary continuing to be “graced.” Mary was given a great honor, namely to be the mother of the Lord. But this was not like wearing a coat made from a shiny material called “grace” or something like that. The verb employed (as we have already discussed) relates to a past event that had (at the time the statement was being made) continuing effects. The past event was the dispensation of an enormous favor to Mary, namely the conception of our Lord in her womb. That had a continuing effect at the time the angel announced her pregnancy, namely that Jesus was in her womb. Mr. Albrecht appeared to be trying to suggest that the action of receiving favor from God was a continuing action, which it is not.

Well – that’s about all for miscellaneous thoughts. Next up, I’m going to review what Mr. Albrecht has to say about the debate, as he’s posted a video regarding the debate.

-TurretinFan


%d bloggers like this: