Monday, March 14, 2005

I'll Give Prejean's Incomprehensible Ramblings One More Opportunity

Jonathan Prejean has added a note to his blog that directs the reader to this previous entry. In that entry he mentions me in an incidental way toward the end of the article, and then proceeds to offer rather snide, but otherwise tenuous comments on selected quotations from an article I wrote about modern Roman Catholic epologists (of which he is one). In those selected quotes, I cite Augustine's view of Jesus' relationship with his mother--which, by the way, is opposed to modern RC musings about it. In his snide comments, Prejean presumes to accuse me of not knowing the difference between person and nature, although his emotion-laden ramblings do not make it clear just why he thinks this. The quotes he cites from my article certainly do not lend credence to his false accusation (again, for the sake of justice, I do hope he's a better analyst of things legal than he is of things theological).

He then presumes to think I might care whether I fall under the condemnation of the fifth ecumenical council. The magnitude of such a charge is tantamount to the reverse charge that Prejean falls under the condemnation of the Westminster Confession! Just in case that analogy is lost on Mr. Prejean, let me make it clear to him in no uncertain terms. This may come as a shock to him, but the fifth ecumenical council is not authoritative for me! Does it condemn me? Who cares? The ecumenical councils--all of them--were wrong in many, many things. News flash to Mr. Prejean: I cite councils and church writers as hostile witnesses against the Romanists who do hold these gatherings as authoritative. But you can't cite them against an Evangelical who does not hold to some inate authority of catholic church councils. They don't speak on my behalf. But you hold they do speak on your behalf. Hence, I can use them against you but you can't validly use them against me. Didn't you learn anything about the valid use of hostile witnesses in law school Mr. Prejean?

Prejean continues:

For the record, we have no objection to people speaking about just one of Christ's natures, as long as they aren't denying the one divine person of the Word of God. That Jesus is the same divine person as the Word of God is clearly presented in Scripture, including the letter to the Hebrews.
Including the one that says he is without [human] father or mother?

In all of this, not once does Prejean demonstrate what he has been blustering about for the past few days: namely, that my view contradicts the views of patristic scholars. Prejean doesn't cite even one patristic scholar in the article, let alone one who provides an assessement of the views of RC epologists. And not once does he interact meaningfully with my articles. It is exceedingly difficult for me to believe that these are the "objections" that Prejean thinks were instrumental in my being "plainly corrected beyond doubt."

I'll give him one more chance: But if Prejean doesn't produce something of substance in his next reply, I'll be turning my attention to more productive things. By the way, Mr. Prejean might want to begin reading historical works that lean less toward the RC view of these issues (Jurgens, Newman, etc.) and more toward the Reformed view. It is beyond obvious that Prejean's exposure to historical analysis is limited to a select few "quote books" that are commonly cited (although erroneously) by the Catholic Answers crowd, and that he has no idea what the "overwhelming majority" of patristic scholars even looks like. One such work I might recommend to him (to get him started) is Harold O. J. Brown's Heresies: The Image of Christ in the Mirror of Heresy and Orthodoxy from the Apostles to the Present (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984). Brown received his Ph.D in Historical Theology at Harvard. The foreword was written by George Williams, Hollis Professor of Divinity Emeritus, at Harvard. If I'm not mistaken, that's Prejean's alma mater, so I assume he would regard this work as "authoritative" enough. Time will tell.