Date: 2018-02-21 14:28
6. When I first explored the writing of the ECF, I literally yelled to myself, “he has no idea he is the Pope.” The idea of development presented by Sullivan and Eno, was very foreign to anything that I ever expected to see as a faithful Catholic way of looking at the Early Church.
7. This way is very foreign to Catholic self understanding as evidenced by numerous attempts to read developed Catholic theology and authority back into the writings of the ECF. Orestas Bronson presented a well thought out criticism of Newman’s development theory and many Catholic intellectuals were of the opinion that Newman’s ideas were not Catholic ideas. I really think that your reluctance to see the subordinationism that numerous scholars claim is present in the pre-Nicene Fathers is a symptom of this.
8. The Bible does not IMO witness to the process of acquiring more and more broad powers via development. It seems to me that God typically chooses folks who then enlist others to work with them. Moses and Aaron and the Levitical Priesthood. Jesus, the Apostles, and the co-workers and the Episcopes and Presbyters and … I do not see where a Bishop becomes a Metropolitan over other Bishops. Then a Metropolitan becomes a Patriarch over other Metropolitans and Bishops. Then the Bishop/Metropolitan/Patriarch in Rome becomes (is recognized as) the Pope.
9. Moses and Abraham and Peter and Adam and Noah all claimed to receive revelation to develop/define God’s truth. The Catholic Church does not follow this pattern. Instead groups of Bishops get together and dialogue about truth. One can argue that the Holy Spirit guides such things, but there are clearly abuses associated with these groups of Bishops that would be hard to assign to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
5. There are numerous aspects of Roman Primacy that seem to turn upon secular happenstance. Certainly a sovereign God may use the secular prominence of a city, the fact that the there was one Western See and *censored* Eastern Sees of great prominence (after Jerusalem ceased to be of great prominence), the fact that the Roman government took people to Rome to kill them, and other things to aid in the development of His divinely selected authority but this also appears very human.
6. While I try to removed myself from a LDS paradigm when I assess other paradigms, it is worth noting that from a LDS paradigm the development of centralized authority rather than the divine selection of a Prophet/Apostle is not God’s way. The leading of a church via an appeal to Tradition teased out of history by scholars rather than a direct appeal to God’s ongoing revelator guidance is not God’s way. From a LDS paradigm it is easy to see the apostasy of authority in the early church.
It might be stated this way. There are certain sequences
or developments (cases of one thing following another), which are,
in the true sense of the word, reasonable. They are, in the true
sense of the word, necessary. Such are mathematical and merely
logical sequences. We in fairyland (who are the most reasonable
of all creatures) admit that reason and that necessity. [···] If the three brothers all ride *censored*s,
there are six *censored*s and eighteen legs involved: that is true
rationalism, and fairyland is full of it. But as I put my head over
the hedge of the elves and began to take notice of the natural world,
I observed an extraordinary thing. I observed that learned men
in spectacles were talking of the actual things that happened—
dawn and death and so on—as if THEY were rational and inevitable.
They talked as if the fact that trees bear fruit were just as NECESSARY
as the fact that two and one trees make three. But it is not.
There is an enormous difference by the test of fairyland which is
the test of the imagination. You cannot IMAGINE two and one not
making three. But you can easily imagine trees not growing fruit
you can imagine them growing golden candlesticks or tigers hanging
on by the tail. These men in spectacles spoke much of a man
named Newton, who was hit by an apple, and who discovered a law.
But they could not be got to see the distinction between a true law,
a law of reason, and the mere fact of apples falling. If the apple hit
Newton's nose, Newton's nose hit the apple. That is a true necessity:
because we cannot conceive the one occurring without the other.
But we can quite well conceive the apple not falling on his nose
we can fancy it flying ardently through the air to hit some other nose,
of which it had a more definite dislike. We have always in our fairy
tales kept this sharp distinction between the science of mental relations,
in which there really are laws, and the science of physical facts,
in which there are no laws, but only weird repetitions. We believe
in bodily miracles, but not in mental impossibilities. We believe
that a Bean-stalk climbed up to Heaven but that does not at all
confuse our convictions on the philosophical question of how many beans
make five. [···] In fairyland we avoid the word "law" but in the land of science
they are singularly fond of it. Thus they will call some interesting
conjecture about how forgotten folks pronounced the alphabet,
Grimm's Law. But Grimm's Law is far less intellectual than
Grimm's Fairy Tales. The tales are, at any rate, certainly tales
while the law is not a law. A law implies that we know the nature
of the generalisation and enactment not merely that we have noticed
some of the effects. If there is a law that pick-pockets shall go
to prison, it implies that there is an imaginable mental connection
between the idea of prison and the idea of picking pockets.
And we know what the idea is. We can say why we take liberty
from a man who takes liberties. But we cannot say why an egg can
turn into a chicken any more than we can say why a bear could turn
into a fairy prince. [···] When we are asked why eggs turn to birds or fruits fall in autumn,
we must answer exactly as the fairy godmother would answer
if Cinderella asked her why mice turned to *censored*s or her clothes
fell from her at twelve o'clock. We must answer that it is MAGIC.
It is not a "law," for we do not understand its general formula.
It is not a necessity, for though we can count on it happening
practically, we have no right to say that it must always happen.
It is no argument for unalterable law (as Huxley fancied) that we
count on the ordinary course of things. We do not count on it
we bet on it. We risk the remote possibility of a miracle as we
do that of a poisoned pancake or a world-destroying comet.
We leave it out of account, not because it is a miracle, and therefore
an impossibility, but because it is a miracle, and therefore
an exception. All the terms used in the science books, "law,"
"necessity," "order," "tendency," and so on, are really unintellectual,
because they assume an inner synthesis, which we do not possess.
The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the
terms used in the fairy books, "charm," "spell," "enchantment."
They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery.
A tree grows fruit because it is a MAGIC tree. Water runs downhill
because it is bewitched. The sun shines because it is bewitched.