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Thread: The Identity of God.

  1. #241
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    So you've been saying all along that Jews, Muslims, Protestants, etc, may be saved without joining the Roman Catholic Church?
    ONLY, as clearly defined by the Dogma defined in Vatican II, and other documents including as described by Cardinal Dulles, and no this has not been a significant deviation from the Doctrine 'There is No Salvation Outside the Church. Again, 'Desire,' Sincerity,' and 'Knowledge' remain the criteria of well defined and limited exceptions.

    You may begin the discussion any way you like? I asked you if the phrase was accurate? All you have to say is 'no', if it is not accurate?
    No, the phrase is not accurate.

    The origin of what accusation? The idea that Baha'i view other religions as less evolved, from their own perspective that is more evolved? Sorry if I offended you, that was not my intent, but I do not view that as an accusation.
    The answer to the question is best served by questions: does Christianity 'look down on' Judaism? Does Islam 'look down on' Judaism and Christianity? Does Buddhism 'look down' on Hinduism?

    But I was asking you about your statement: "I can imagine that many including believers in the Roman Church, believe that placing all the religions of the world in a more universal context, then their individual exclusive views of issues of salvation, but that is their problem, and not a problem with the Baha'i view of religion."
    If this would even remotely a realistic view of the modern Roman Church or Christianity in general, it is one that is forming in very recent history. Considering the historical relationship between the Roman Church, and Judaism, and Islam this is difficult to accept. The problem again is what (some?) believers in the Roman Church believe, and the problem again and again is that the Dogma of Salvation of the Roman Church does not accept this, in part because the "Catholic" nature of the human relationship with God is defined as through the Church only, with fairly narrowly defined exceptions.

    Is the accusation you are referring to contained therein?
    The Doctrine of Salvation is in some ways similar in the criteria of 'Desire,' 'Sincerity' and 'Knowledge,' but lacking is the 'Salvation,' of individuals is not as defined specifically through necessity of belief in the Doctrine and Dogma itself. Also, the Baha'i Faith lacks the defining of the Dogmas and Doctrines defining God and the Religion, separate from other religions. Religions and Faiths are more of a collective of all humanity in a continuum in the journey toward God.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  2. #242
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    I want to go back to this statement, particularly regarding "the conditions as to how they may be saved".

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I have never had a problem that they 'may be saved,' but the conditions as to how they may be saved are well defined in Vatican II and the other Doctrines and Dogma of the Roman Church.
    The statements you made originally, with which I disagreed are these (emphasis mine):

    16: "... the Doctrine and Dogma of The Roman church, which holds that salvation is for only the sincere ones within the church, the sincere ones who have no knowledge of the Church, and those sincere who die below the age of consent."

    22: "The only allowance for salvation outside the church is defined as: Those who through no fault of their own have no knowledge of the One True Church, and those below the age of consent or otherwise not able to comprehend God and the One True Church (i.e. the mentally ill or incapacitated)."

    And the implications you outlined in the same post:

    "Please be specific if the Grace of Salvation is extended to others beyond what I have described above.

    Actually, unlike past ages, by far most of the people of the world have rejected the Roman Church as the One True Church with full knowledge of the Roman Church. What in the view of the Doctrine and Dogma of the Roman Church would there be any chance for them for salvation?"

    So I asked you, "Where does it say that Protestants must rejoin the Catholic Church in order to be saved?" "Please quote where it says that Protestants must rejoin the Catholic Church in order to be saved?" "Still no mention of the necessity of Protestants to convert to Catholicism in order to be saved."

    Your response: "Given those sources. Please read them."

    But you repeatedly refused to acknowledge that your initial source was not an infallible document of the Roman Church today (45,51,54,67,75,80,84,89,94,105,106[no response]).

    Once we got you reading the actual documents of the church, you disagreed with my literal interpretation of the documents, even claimed that I was deluded and leading people astray. My 'interpretation' with respect to those who do have knowledge of the Catholic church is to understand the texts literally, ie, that extra ecclesiam nulla salus is only applied to those who know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God (§846). As it happens, this is exactly the same interpretation as Cardinal Dulles (no surprise there), ie, other Christians can be saved if they submit their lives to Christ and join the community where they think he wills to be found.

    My interpretation is that, unlike Pope Boniface, who applies the traditional maxim to all human creatures needing to be subject to the Roman Pontiff, the Catholic church currently does not even apply this maxim to those who do not know of the Church (§847). You did not accept my interpretation and did not consider this to be addressing different populations, even 'though it clearly says "this affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church" (§847). You did not believe that the fundamental statements by Boniface have changed. So I asked you:

    • Where does Boniface's statement make exception for those below the 'age of consent,' those with sincerity, and those without the ability to have knowledge of the church?"
    • Can you show how Pope Francis understands that every human creature is to be subject to the Roman Pontiff in the same way that Boniface understood this statement? Do you see Francis requiring subjection to him in the same way that Boniface did?
    • Do you think that Boniface understood every human creature being subject to the Roman Pontiff to include an acknowledgment of the necessity of honoring fundamental and inviolable personal rights of all, including, eg, equal secular rights for women?

    No answer, except to say that you are no longer speaking of Boniface or any one pope or any one person of authority.

    And now you would have us believe that you have really agreed with Cardinal Dulles (and me) all along? But, guess what, Cardinal Dulles and I still disagree with your original statements. It is not true that "... the Doctrine and Dogma of The Roman church, [] holds that salvation is for only the sincere ones within the church, the sincere ones who have no knowledge of the Church, and those sincere who die below the age of consent." It is not true that "the only allowance for salvation outside the church is defined as: Those who through no fault of their own have no knowledge of the One True Church, and those below the age of consent or otherwise not able to comprehend God and the One True Church (i.e. the mentally ill or incapacitated)."

    Rather, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, those following other religions, agnostics and atheists, as you yourself point out, "by far most of the people of the world have rejected the Roman Church as the One True Church with full knowledge of the Roman Church", and the Catholic church does now teach that the grace of salvation is indeed extended to others beyond what you have described above and not "for only the sincere ones within the church, the sincere ones who have no knowledge of the Church, and those sincere who die below the age of consent."
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  3. #243
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    ONLY, as clearly defined by the Dogma defined in Vatican II, and other documents including as described by Cardinal Dulles, and no this has not been a significant deviation from the Doctrine 'There is No Salvation Outside the Church. Again, 'Desire,' Sincerity,' and 'Knowledge' remain the criteria of well defined and limited exceptions.
    No doubt, you do not consider this a concession, but it is literally an admission that my interpretation, which is exactly that of Cardinal Dulles, was and still is accurate and not deluded.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    No, the phrase is not accurate.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The answer to the question is best served by questions: does Christianity 'look down on' Judaism? Does Islam 'look down on' Judaism and Christianity? Does Buddhism 'look down' on Hinduism?
    I will happily answer your questions, but I'm not sure if you answered mine. I suspect most Christians and Muslims do indeed look down upon their 'parent' religions, but they should not in my opinion. My knowledge of Buddhism is very limited so I cannot give a well informed answer there. Now, if I may repeat my reformulated question to you: Do Baha'i view other religions as less evolved, from their own perspective that is more evolved? Is that also inaccurate? With respect to my other questions, do you consider Baha'i to be a religion, a faith, a philosophy, none or some or all of the above?

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    If this would even remotely a realistic view of the modern Roman Church or Christianity in general, it is one that is forming in very recent history. Considering the historical relationship between the Roman Church, and Judaism, and Islam this is difficult to accept. The problem again is what (some?) believers in the Roman Church believe, and the problem again and again is that the Dogma of Salvation of the Roman Church does not accept this, in part because the "Catholic" nature of the human relationship with God is defined as through the Church only, with fairly narrowly defined exceptions.
    I'm still not sure if I grasp what you mean by "this" but I suspect you are characterizing, correctly by the way, the Roman Catholic church's mainstream theology as expressing an exclusive Christocentric view of salvation, even as somehow mediated through the Church albeit sometimes in some mysterious manner known only to God, which nonetheless allows them to also believe in the universal and efficacious salvific will of God for all humanity. That latter part is sometimes considered ecclesiocentric but not really exclusivist. A strange combination of exclusivism and universalism. It can only be held together by a high Christology that affirms Jesus as the preexistent Son of God participating in the creative activity of God. The universal element can be seen as only recently coming into the mainstream but there were elements dating at least as far back as St Paul, who saw Christ in these terms and as a second Adam. In my opinion, all theology must be theocentric, but, perhaps paradoxically, I agree with those theologians who see these and all dogmatic and doctrinal affirmations as kataphatic theology, which is inferior to apophatic theology. My view is certainly not mainstream, but it is not at all unusual among theologians. It is more common in the Catholic West to see kataphatic and apophatic theology as part of a necessary dialectic but not necessarily explicitly affirming the superiority of apophatic theology. Some elements of the Protestant West would be rather strongly opposed to apophatic theology, 'though they may affirm it implicitly and indirectly sometimes, while other quietist elements of Protestant West are very much enthralled with apophatic theology, although this may also be implicit. Most Christians, East or West, don't consciously care about theology at all, and I very much respect that view, but still these people as engaging nonetheless in a kind of 'seat-of-pants' theological praxis. With respect to practical ecclesiology, as opposed to theology in the strict sense, I agree with Yves Congar vs Paul VI.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The Doctrine of Salvation is in some ways similar in the criteria of 'Desire,' 'Sincerity' and 'Knowledge,' but lacking is the 'Salvation,' of individuals is not as defined specifically through necessity of belief in the Doctrine and Dogma itself. Also, the Baha'i Faith lacks the defining of the Dogmas and Doctrines defining God and the Religion, separate from other religions. Religions and Faiths are more of a collective of all humanity in a continuum in the journey toward God.
    Most of the theologians I have studied with and know interpersonally or collegially would agree with this. As I said above, some would consider this theocentric and apophatic, and some would even maintain some affinity with various kinds of panentheism. I am particularly fond of John Scottus Eriugena's lack of distinction between the natural and supernatural and the usefulness of revelation for those who need it.
    Last edited by robrecht; 04-20-2014 at 02:24 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  4. #244
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    No doubt, you do not consider this a concession, but it is literally an admission that my interpretation, which is exactly that of Cardinal Dulles, was and still is accurate and not deluded.

    Thank you.

    I will happily answer your questions, but I'm not sure if you answered mine. I suspect most Christians and Muslims do indeed look down upon their 'parent' religions, but they should not in my opinion. My knowledge of Buddhism is very limited so I cannot give a well informed answer there. Now, if I may repeat my reformulated question to you: Do Baha'i view other religions as less evolved, from their own perspective that is more evolved? Is that also inaccurate? With respect to my other questions, do you consider Baha'i to be a religion, a faith, a philosophy, none or some or all of the above?
    I will apply to more of this post, but first I would like to clarify some general concepts of 'Salvation' in the Roman Church. I never said that there was no possibility of those outside the 'One True Church' have no chance of salvation. There are too many hurtles of Mortal Sins such as Herecy, and other issues then knowledge that those outside the Roman Church must face. First what is most clearly defined in the Vatican II and other documents is 'Normal' Salvation, and this remains the 'Standard,' other then what you refer to 'Extraordinary Salvation' as in the following:

    1943 Encyclical Mystici Corporis, 'may in fact be joined to the true Church by a link – seemingly tenuous, but sufficient for salvation – that consists in a merely implicit and unconscious desire (implicitum votum Ecclesiae) to enter the Catholic fold. This desire, however, will have to be such as includes supernatural acts of faith and charity.'

    It is also true that no human knows the destiny of any soul, inside nor outside the Roman Church, and the possibility of up to the last second of life a change in heart in terms of 'Desire' and 'Sincerity,' or intervention by God. The Mysterious intervention of God is always possible, but I do not believe this should be banked on for anyone inside nor outside the Church. I believe that pretty much all references to Salvation remain conditional on 'Desire,' 'Sincerity' and 'Knowledge,' not withstanding the qualifier of the knowledge of the 'Necessity of the Roman Church.

    I believe the interesting point Cardinal Dulles paraphrased made still holds, 'there has not been much change as some think.'

    I believe your dwelling on the possibility of 'Salvation' in extraordinary circumstances outside the clear criteria of 'Normal Salvation defined in Vatican II, and essential to the identity of the Roman Church is grasping at straws of the vain hope for actual change.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 04-22-2014 at 06:02 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  5. #245
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I will apply to more of this post, but first I would like to clarify some general concepts of 'Salvation' in the Roman Church. I never said that there was no possibility of those outside the 'One True Church' have no chance of salvation.
    Nor did I ever think that you said this. I have identified exactly which statements of yours incorrectly characterize the current teaching of the Catholic church.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    There are too many hurtles of Mortal Sins such as Herecy, and other issues then knowledge that those outside the Roman Church must face. First what is most clearly defined in the Vatican II and other documents is 'Normal' Salvation, and this remains the 'Standard,' other then what you refer to 'Extraordinary Salvation' as in the following:

    1943 Encyclical Mystici Corporis, 'may in fact be joined to the true Church by a link – seemingly tenuous, but sufficient for salvation – that consists in a merely implicit and unconscious desire (implicitum votum Ecclesiae) to enter the Catholic fold. This desire, however, will have to be such as includes supernatural acts of faith and charity.'

    It is also true that no human knows the destiny of any soul, inside nor outside the Roman Church, and the possibility of up to the last second of life a change in heart in terms of 'Desire' and 'Sincerity,' or intervention by God. The Mysterious intervention of God is always possible, but I do not believe this should be banked on for anyone inside nor outside the Church. I believe that pretty much all references to Salvation remain conditional on 'Desire,' 'Sincerity' and 'Knowledge,' not withstanding the qualifier of the knowledge of the 'Necessity of the Roman Church.

    I believe the interesting point Cardinal Dulles paraphrased made still holds, 'there has not been much change as some think.'

    I believe your dwelling on the possibility of 'Salvation' in extraordinary circumstances outside the clear criteria of 'Normal Salvation defined in Vatican II, and essential to the identity of the Roman Church is grasping at straws of the vain hope for actual change.
    I have not referred to 'Extraordinary Salvation'. Lumen Gentium and Guadium et Spes, the two documents from Vatican II that we have discussed, do not use the language of a implicitum votum Ecclesiae, 'normative salvation', or 'extraordinary salvation'. Some do use this kind of language. Nor was I ever speaking of anyone of anyone inside, let alone outside, of the church 'banking on' God's mysterious intervention. Even those inside the church refer to the sacraments as mysteries. That's just the way God is. Mysterious. I concentrate on salvation outside the church no more and no less than Cardinal Dulles when describing the teaching of the current Catholic church.

    I agree with Cardinal Dulles that 'there has not been as much change as some think', but we would both still disagree with the statements of yours that I identified as incorrectly characterizing the current teaching of the Catholic church. And 'not as much change as some think (note the comparative) does not mean 'no actual change'.
    Last edited by robrecht; 04-22-2014 at 06:27 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  6. #246
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    The Baha'i Faith and the relationship to other religions and beliefs. The Baha'i Faith believes that the human evolution of the spirit parallels the natural evolution of the physical we witness in the cycles of natural world throughout the physical history of our existence. Change and evolution in cycles is the natural way of Creation and Revelation.

    'These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.' Baha'ullah.

    'The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.' Shoghi Effendi

    Source: http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-10.html

    'The Changeless Faith of God'

    When Bahá'ís say that the various religions are one, they do not mean that the various religious creeds and organizations are the same. Rather, they believe that there is only one religion and all of the Messengers of God have progressively revealed its nature. Together, the world's great religions are expressions of a single unfolding Divine plan, "the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future."

    © Copyright Original Source



    There is no clear delineation between religions as one is different or lesser then another. It is like an eternal river of Revelation inseparable from the continuous process of Creation.

    go with the flow the river knows . . .
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 04-22-2014 at 07:01 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  7. #247
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Thanks, Frank. Interesting. It seems like you distinguish between founders of religions as messengers of God, which are part of this progressive revelation, but not necessarily their followers. Thus one could certainly consider certain sects or even mainstream swaths of a particular religion as less evolved and thus inferior. Is there any discussion of that by Bahá'ís?
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  8. #248
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    Nor did I ever think that you said this. I have identified exactly which statements of yours incorrectly characterize the current teaching of the Catholic church.
    I was clarifying, not changing. I still hold to my citations refer to the 'Normal Salvation as taught by the Roman Church.

    I have not referred to 'Extraordinary Salvation'. Lumen Gentium and Guadium et Spes, the two documents from Vatican II that we have discussed, do not use the language of a implicitum votum Ecclesiae, 'normative salvation', or 'extraordinary salvation'. Some do use this kind of language. Nor was I ever speaking of anyone of anyone inside, let alone outside, of the church 'banking on' God's mysterious intervention. Even those inside the church refer to the sacraments as mysteries. That's just the way God is. Mysterious. I concentrate on salvation outside the church no more and no less than Cardinal Dulles when describing the teaching of the current Catholic church.
    I did not say you described it as such. I describe it as such based on a clear understanding of Vatican II and the documents referenced.

    I agree with Cardinal Dulles that 'there has not been as much change as some think', but we would both still disagree with the statements of yours that I identified as incorrectly characterizing the current teaching of the Catholic church. And 'not as much change as some think (note the comparative) does not mean 'no actual change'.
    I do not believe I have overstated the clear Dogma stated in Vatican II. There is more cited by Cardinal Dulles.

    "While repeatedly insisting that Christ is the one mediator of salvation, Vatican II shows forth a generally hopeful view of the prospects of non-Christians for salvation. Its hopefulness, however, is not unqualified: “Rather often, men, deceived by the evil one, have become caught up in futile reasoning and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or, some there are who, living and dying in a world without God, are subject to utter hopelessness.” The missionary activity of the Church is urgent for bringing such persons to salvation."

    "We may conclude with certitude that God makes it possible for the unevangelized to attain the goal of their searching. How that happens is known to God alone, as Vatican II twice declares. We know only that their search is not in vain. “Seek, and you will find,” says the Lord (Matt. 7:7). If non-Christians are praying to an unknown God, it may be for us to help them find the one they worship in ignorance. God wants everyone to come to the truth. Perhaps some will reach the goal of their searching only at the moment of death. Who knows what transpires secretly in their consciousness at that solemn moment? We have no evidence that death is a moment of revelation, but it could be, especially for those in pursuit of the truth of God."
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I was clarifying, not changing. I still hold to my citations refer to the 'Normal Salvation as taught by the Roman Church.
    But you did not represent your statements as only speaking of normative as opposed to extraordinary salvation. And your statements did refer to the salvation of those who had never heard of the church, which also would be nonnormative. The problem I see with your statements was not that they were normative but a combination of normative and some nonnormative, but not all of the nonnormative, eg, the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians, and you also seemed to be excluding those of other religions or no religion or belief in God who know of the church but did not enter it. That's a pretty big doughnut hole, and as you yourself point out it is only getting bigger in today's world of mass communication.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I did not say you described it as such.
    Actually you did, but I suspected when you said, "... other then what you refer to 'Extraordinary Salvation'," that this was meant as an impersonal 'you'--I just wanted to make sure this was clear. I personally do not like the use of normative and extraordinary but I use it because it now seems to be a preferred category of yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I describe it as such based on a clear understanding of Vatican II and the documents referenced.
    But the Vatican II documents do not use the language of a implicitum votum Ecclesiae, 'normative salvation', or 'extraordinary salvation'. If I recall correctly (and oftentimes I do not), some of this language was in the preparatory commission's documents that were rejected. The theology of the language that was used is sometimes different in nuance and reflects the theological perspectives of some of the periti and I think it corrects some of the supernatural language of Pius XII (a big bugaboo of Chenu and de Lubac, and for good reason). Note that Cardinal Dulles also thinks that this language has some importance: "Wisely, in my opinion, the popes and councils have avoided talk about implicit faith, a term that is vague and ambiguous." Still, some theologians will still use the older language or the normative/extraordinary language to try and clarify points. I don't like it for a few different reasons, but not because it vague and ambiguous because the newer language is also obviously vague and ambiguous at some of these same points. But the explicit exclusionary language around the extra ecclesiam saying is explicit for good reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I do not believe I have overstated the clear Dogma stated in Vatican II. There is more cited by Cardinal Dulles.

    "While repeatedly insisting that Christ is the one mediator of salvation, Vatican II shows forth a generally hopeful view of the prospects of non-Christians for salvation. Its hopefulness, however, is not unqualified: “Rather often, men, deceived by the evil one, have become caught up in futile reasoning and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or, some there are who, living and dying in a world without God, are subject to utter hopelessness.” The missionary activity of the Church is urgent for bringing such persons to salvation."

    "We may conclude with certitude that God makes it possible for the unevangelized to attain the goal of their searching. How that happens is known to God alone, as Vatican II twice declares. We know only that their search is not in vain. “Seek, and you will find,” says the Lord (Matt. 7:7). If non-Christians are praying to an unknown God, it may be for us to help them find the one they worship in ignorance. God wants everyone to come to the truth. Perhaps some will reach the goal of their searching only at the moment of death. Who knows what transpires secretly in their consciousness at that solemn moment? We have no evidence that death is a moment of revelation, but it could be, especially for those in pursuit of the truth of God."
    You really do not need to cite Dulles to me. I know his interpretation of Vatican II. I disagree with him sometimes, but not about his interpretation of these documents. I have pointed out where you have misrepresented the clear teaching of the Church, both where it is highly explicit and where it is still vague and mysterious.
    Last edited by robrecht; 04-22-2014 at 08:13 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  10. #250
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    The term God does not give us God's identity. But God nevertheless has a very real identity. This identity if it is not God, there is no God. In other words this identity is very real.

    The universe is not God. And the universe, meaning: everything that exists. Now consider the question "does God exist?" The problem with this question and that the universe being everything that exists, it makes such a God part of His creation. Which of course He is not. The universe being God's creation.

    Now the tautology Existence exists, is a simple self-evident truth. Now space is a type of existence. Every material thing exists in space in some way. Even the non-material things which make up the material things. (Such as electromagnetic energy and gravity.)

    Now the things in space do not make space.

    Now our simple tautology existence exists. Everything real has existence of some kind. Since different things are not the same things, they which have existence are not the existence which self exists.

    The self existent existence is omnipresent, and possesses everything and anything which is real.

    Existence defines what is true. Truth being what really exists.

    The self existent existence needs no God.

    Now that self existent existence is the very identity of God. God's Hebrew name means "Self Existent."

    The self-existent existence is the true ontological proof of God. Being it is God's identity.

    Something more here: Self existent is not caused and is eternal in not having any beginning nor end. And being eternal is a an immutability.

    Noting existence defines what is true. And truth is immutable - absolute. It does not change. The law of non-contradiction.

    But our created universe is temporal. Was caused, all causes are temporal. So whether there is only one discrete cause for the universe or an infinite series leading up to the universe that is now. Either case requires an uncaused cause.

    Now an uncaused cause has two natures. Uncaused is eternal. And a cause is always temporal. So it requires an agent which is both the uncaused, which we identify as the self existent existence. And that the agent is also temporal being a cause. Which is another entity different from being uncaused. This agent is both uncaused and a cause. And that these two entities being both the same and different in being a common uncaused. The common uncaused nature constitutes a third entity being an uncaused essence.

    We have the self existent existence.
    Which precedes everything - which constitutes the fundamental order - which is both uncaused and a cause in of itself.
    Both the uncause existence and the uncaused order/cause are two entities being one uncaused essence constituting a third entity which make those three the one entity we know as God.

    Self Existent, uncaused entity (The Hebrew Name: Yahweh.)
    The uncaused order/cause being both uncaused and temporal. (the Logos)
    And the one uncaused essence - which makes the three entities the one entity. (the Holy Spirit)
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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