Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ponderings on the Papacy by a Sympathetic Separated Brother

That is the subtitle of a very interesting blog called Pontiffixations. I am reading past post and his attitude is refreshing. I think Catholics and Orthodox Christians can learn much from this blog.

It seems he is about to dive right in as we can see in this very well thought out post Understanding Romanitas (Introduction) . I t appears that he main audience that wishes to engage Protestants. That in fact there is something to be learned from the Papacy.

Here is first two paragraphs:
One thing I plan to do on this blog--and it will be an extended project that takes a lot of time--is to explore the cultural moorings of the papacy. Let me make clear that my purpose in doing this will NOT be to follow in the footsteps of skeptics who want to reduce religious claims to merely cultural ones, making all religious claims essentially equal in their relativity (and, it is often implied or openly stated by such men, equal in their falsehood). Too often in our Modern age, intellectual quests to highlight changing historical and cultural circumstances in which religious beliefs are articulated, defended, and passed down amount to little more than attempting to use canons of so-called "objective" research to relegate all religious beliefs to the status of "subjective."

In exploring the cultural moorings of the papacy, this sort of reductionistic project is not my goal at all. Rather, I wish to shed frequencies of light upon the papacy that are very often not seen by us Protestants, or if seen, not appreciated as I think they should be. It is common for us Protestants to engage the papal claims on "bare" biblical and historical levels. In doing so I believe that we are generally unreflective. We easily import many assumptions into our criticisms that adherents to the papal claims would not accept, and this makes our criticisms simply irrelevant, if not outright specious.

Good Stuff. I am adding this one. I think we would welcome people int he comments sections to engage in this dialogue.

Let me quote one more part and shows how this blog will be fun-

But what sorts of things did Romanitas entail, and what were the interfaces of these entailments with the rise and development of papal claims? In subsequent posts I will outline some answers in detail. For now I will whet the readers' appetite with a few fancy Latin terms that, despite jokes about Latin being a "dead language," describe realities that are quite alive and well today in the claims of the papacy: imperium (ability to command), jurisdictio (jurisdiction), populus (the people), patricius (noble), principatus (primacy), potestas (power), paterfamilias (head of the house), auctoritas (authority), and others. As Protestants, as brethren separated from our Roman family members, we must try to come to grips with these terms and the complex realities that they describe. And if there is anything that it we must understand about these terms and the complex realities that they describe, it is that while they may not be "self-evident truths" the way that .

Let me add I think Catholics could with a Refresher course on that too.

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