Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Well, That's Interesting: Understanding the Scriptures

FrSamuelMedley, someone I follow on Twitter, mentioned this earlier today:
"Understanding the Scriptures Chapter 01: What is the Bible"
Introduction to Sacred Scripture, Theology 2300/3300, Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, via Scribd.com
Our Lady of Corpus Christi
Spring Semester 2010

"This chapter discusses how Catholics read the Bible: in the context of Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Magisterium."
My reading list's a little tight, but I hope to get back to this online resource. It looks interesting.

Catholics, the Bible, and Good Sense

If the idea of Catholics reading the Bible - not only being allowed to, but encouraged to read and study the Bible - seems odd, you've been listening to the wrong folks.

As a Catholic, I'm encouraged and expected to read the Bible. What distinguishes Catholicism from the American 'Bible-believing' churches is that we openly rely on more than just the Bible.

Yes, the Bible is vital. It's the word of God: inspired writing.

It's also a collection of letters, census reports, a detective story, and quit a lot else: all written long before the warrior bands of Europe got organized and started building contemporary Western civilization.

'God's Gonna Get You?'

I've heard some pretty weird 'Bible truths' asserted by someone who relied on the Bible alone - with an apparently unconscious assist from the speaker's subculture and psychological quirks.

With occasionally-colorful results. That may be what led an America pastor to inform his son that "because he cussed his father, God could kill his wife and family."1

Then there was televangelist Pat "blame the Haitians" Robertson's latest exhibition of foot-in-mouth. (see "Haiti: Voodoo, Pat Robertson, and the Catholic Church (January 16, 2010))

No wonder Christians and Christianity as a whole have a sort of PR problem these days. (see "Tony Alamo, 'Those Evangelists,' and Labels" (November 13, 2009))

Catholics have acted badly, too. Unless you've been off the planet for the last decade or so, you've heard of the pedophile priest trouble?

Moving along.

If the Magesterium Didn't Exist, it Would be Necessary to Invent It

Not all Protestant churches - and not even all evangelical groups - really operate on a "the Bible, my subconscious, and pastor Bob" approach to beliefs. I've written about this before.
"Listening to people from 'Bible-believing' churches describe how they relied on the Bible alone, I learned that many of those churches have a more-or-less formal custom of having some of the more senior members talk over scripture from time to time, and decide what it says.

"I'm not being disrespectful with that description: just trying to describe the process briefly. It's a pretty good system, and can filter out the crazier ideas before they get presented as 'Bible truths.'

"The Catholic church relies on the Bible, and can't change what it's been given. But we're not left to decide for ourselves what the census reports, songs, and accounts mean. We rely on the Bible, the Magisterium, and Tradition.

"Here's how the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops puts it:
  • "BIBLE: Sacred Scripture: the books which contain the truth of God's Revelation and were composed by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit (105). The Bible contains both the forty-six books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament (120). See Old Testament; New Testament."
  • "MAGISTERIUM: The living, teaching office of the Church, whose task it is to give as authentic interpretation of the word of God, whether in its written form (Sacred Scripture), or in the form of Tradition. The Magisterium ensures the Church's fidelity to the teaching of the Apostles in matters of faith and morals (85, 890, 2033)."
  • "TRADITION: The living transmission of the message of the Gospel in the Church. The oral preaching of the Apostles, and the written message of salvation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Bible), are conserved and handed on as the deposit of faith through the apostolic succession in the Church. Both the living Tradition and the written Scriptures have their common source in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ (75-82). The theological, liturgical, disciplinary, and devotional traditions of the local churches both contain and can be distinguished from this apostolic Tradition (83)."
"There's more, in the Catechism: 95, 113, 174, and 126, for starters...."
(October 2, 2008)
If all that doesn't sound particularly "Biblical," I'm not surprised. You'll have to make up your own mind about what's real and what isn't.

Me? I grew up in a virulently anti-Catholic part of the country. My efforts to discover exactly how evil and wretched the Catholic Church and those Catholics were resulted in my converting to Catholicism.

But that's another story. (January 12, 2010, November 24, 2009, September 19, 2009, April 5, 2009, for starters)

Related posts:
A tip of the hat to FrSamuelMedley, on Twitter, for the heads-up on that online resource.
1Unhappily, this sort of belief isn't all that unusual, in some branches of Christianity:
"Alcoa pastor's son accuses him of pulling gun during argument at church"
TheDailyTimes.com (Blount County, Tennessee) (January 28. 2010)

"The 32-year-old son of a well-known Alcoa pastor has taken out an order of protection against his father, claiming the man threatened him with a gun during an argument over the younger man's lack of church attendance.

"The order of protection filed Monday by Michael Louis Colquitt, 32, Grayson Drive, Alcoa, stems from a Friday incident Colquitt reported to Alcoa police Sunday...."

"...The pastor denied threatening his son's wife and family, but said he told the 32-year-old that 'because he cussed his father, God could kill his wife and family.'..."
Well, as the Bible-thumping set like to say, "hallelujah!"

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.