Nice job, Phil. I like the positioning of authority in revelation by including the details of both scriptural and apostolic authority on one hand and the authority of the Fathers on the other. You infer, I liberally suggest, that later councils and doctors and saints would add to that.

Your analysis may not have been as necessary in the early Church. The "whole counsel" of the Church allowed for God's broad scope of revelation. Once we "codified" scripture, though, the hierarchy of revelation started. In truth, they all go hand in hand to clarify the truth. One shouldn't take away from any of God's methods and means to draw us to him and to live with us.

Lots of opportunity for clarification of doctrine, as developing yet always true, as Newman said. Of course, I may be just reading all this into your article. I get pretty excited over this stuff!

God bless.

Expand full comment

Yes, as debates go. We operate, though, from the charter aptly coined as being faithful and cognizant about the "mind of the church." It should be in sync with Jesus.

There's a mistaken notion that the Holy Spirit says different things to each of us in regards to the interpretation of scripture. He says different things in communication methods beyond my pay grade, but the interpretations aren't fluid in that way.

I think that's what bothers my exegetical friends outside of the Catholic loop. Well, that's not true. At least half of my Catholic peers might say they're some degree of orthodox, but they're really just playing a theological monopoly game. They never leave the debate, spending more energy on being right about their opinion.

Orthodox, by the way, is probably at the root of your comment. Don't throw around the intent of Jesus. Trust that in a prayerful prompting from his Holy Spirit we'll be convicted, or something about certainty that's really hard to pin down.

It's OK to do spitballing in debate, but a whole 'nother thing when proclaiming the mind of the Church.

I'll let you go. This conversation has no ending ....

Expand full comment