Puritan Board Sophomore
I don’t know if my last post pointed it out clearly, but I am not anti-contraception. And I am not rejecting the use of scripture, but that we should examine carefully the Fathers teachings in light of scripture. This would include their hermeutical use of scripture and application there of. I do not think contraception should, nor do I think it is wise, to be a preached conscience binding topic, for the reasons I gave in a earlier post.Grimmson,
I agree that we shouldn't *ignore* what the great teachers of the faith say. I am not ignoring them. I am testing their arguments against what scripture says.There a big difference talking from maryology/"maryolatry" and contraception. We do not want to ignore, as Protestants, the exercise of wise teachings and use of wisdom of our Fathers in the faith. They read the scriptures, just as we do today. It is not like the scriptures suddenly disappeared as can be seen from Chrysostom to Aquinas. Did some of them have an interpretation different from us? No doubt, but we would be a fool to ignore what the great teachers of the faith said. Let us not compare contraception to non-biblical traditional thoughts of Mary, such as the conceived immaculate/ perpetual virginity/ prayers to Mary/ assumed bodily into heaven. It is a comparison of apples to spinach. You thought I say oranges didn’t you?
The reason I think it is parallel to Maryolatry is not because I think that it is equally grave to pray to Mary, and to look at the patristic writers rather than the scriptures; I am simply pointing out that we rejected Maryolatry for the same reason that I believe we should reject the binding of anti-contraception on the people of God: it cannot be found in scripture.
Also, while it is true that the patristic writers read the scriptures [and, again, I think Noonan has done a good job in showing that anti-contraception teaching developed over time], still we have to understand that the people of God do grow in our knowledge. Chomskian syntax was unknown to the patristic writers, as were the modern day fields of semantics and pragmatics. Also, a whole lot of research is being done right now on the relationship between all of the major divisions of linguistics. In terms of extrabiblical material, most of the Northwest Semitic inscriptions had yet to be found, no one knew of the material Akkadian, Sumerian, Ugaritic, or Egyptian Hieroglyphics. I believe that God has given us this knowledge so that we can use it to better understand his word, not *ignoring* what people in the past have said, but *correcting* what people in the past have said. We should seek to use all the tools God has given us to become more and more accurate in our understanding of scripture
And I think Adam would basically be in agreement with me. If I am wrong Adam then correct me.