Ministerial / Apostolic Succession in the Presbyterian Tradition

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Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
David: I have supplied relevant sources, including JDRE and Turretin's article. (BTW, I do plan to get the book you cite from interlibrary loan, which looks very interesting). From your later posts, I really didn't see any disagreement, though. I have never said that succession is of the esse, only the bene esse (I think Matt and Scott B may differ on that, though). And, I agree that while calls should ordinarily be issued through the established church, but that there are exceptions in extreme circumstances (such as the crisis state of Rome during the Reformation, being on a desert island, or whatever). So, if that is the case, is it really any surprise that I don't think that Cavlin's quote contradicted what I said? Would it really be helpful to explain further? I think that we are at one of those roller coaster type points where we seem to agree. It is at those times that I suggest that perhaps we just differ on emphasis. When I get a negative reaction for simply quoting Matt. 23, I do seem to think we disagree.

Anyway, life is too short to get mad at people on internet chat boards. So, please be at peace. :bigsmile:
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott
David: I have supplied relevant sources, including JDRE and Turretin's article. (BTW, I do plan to get the book you cite from interlibrary loan, which looks very interesting). From your later posts, I really didn't see any disagreement, though. I have never said that succession is of the esse, only the bene esse (I think Matt and Scott B may differ on that, though). And, I agree that while calls should ordinarily be issued through the established church, but that there are exceptions in extreme circumstances (such as the crisis state of Rome during the Reformation, being on a desert island, or whatever). So, if that is the case, is it really any surprise that I don't think that Cavlin's quote contradicted what I said? Would it really be helpful to explain further? I think that we are at one of those roller coaster type points where we seem to agree. It is at those times that I suggest that perhaps we just differ on emphasis. When I get a negative reaction for simply quoting Matt. 23, I do seem to think we disagree.

Anyway, life is too short to get mad at people on internet chat boards. So, please be at peace. :bigsmile:
Dear Scott,

I have to dispute the insinuation:). I am not mad, neither am I angry, nor am I out of patience. I've simply pointed out the obvious. Your posts do not represent the balance found in Calvin or in Turretin; and yet, as I have pointed out both in this thread and another, the responsibility of the laity in examining the decisions of Church synods to see whether they agree with Scripture has not been reflected in your posts, particularly in the way you argued for ecclesiastical authority in another thread and here with the use of Matthew 23:1-3.

As I said, I think that such opinions influence people. We see how the internet has provided the Federal Vision people with a platform for the dissemination of their views. My convictions are such that we cannot ignore such claims if we are to make conscience of what God requires of us, both as ministers and as laymen.

I think it is helpful for you and helpful for the other members of the board to understand how people such as you and I differ, and who's willing to make the exercise of such contentions and who is not.

I assure you that I am all for peace and harmony. But both you and I, and all of us live in a fallen world. We are all subject to blind spots, which in turn really does prove that a proper ecclésia dócens makes for the bene esse of the Church, but the ecclésia díscens can never resign itself to the passivity that you seem to advocate in our day. For it too constitutes the bene esse (as I would contend) that the Reformation itself demonstrates.

I think we can disagree agreeably, and yet at the same time point out how one's patience is put to the test, as from my perspective, your posts on this issue have demonstrated time and time again. Moreover, I don't think our unity has to be defined by uniformity, but I'm not sure that your view on ecclesiastical authority would grant that. I am, I assure you...

Your brother in gratitude for the opportunity to object to your position on church authority,
DTK
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
David: I would suggest that until your latest posts (especially the quote from the secondary source and your comments on it), your position did not represent the balance of Turretin, Calvin, et al. The post actually in my opinion simply elaborated what I have been saying all along. (I will agree that I emphasized the importance of the established church but do believe I mentioned the extraordinary circumstances exception more than once). In any event, I am glad that we can agree on ministerial calls and I don't think we should exaggerate our differences.

Also, although my opinion can change depending on your posts (which seem to change in emphasis :D ), I doubt our view of authority is singificantly different in practical ways. We both agree that synods are the best means for settling controversies of faith and that synodal decisions are neither infallible for irreformable. I think we would also agree that decisions of the universal synod have more weight than those of a provincial synod (as a Supreme Court opinion may have more weight than the decisions of a local court - even though both are reformable). We both see a role for private judgment and the submission of private judgment to ecclesial decisions. You may be perhaps more on the individualistic side than me, but that might be more a matter of degree than substance. It is hard to tell.

I suppose where we do disagree might be the use of historical conditions to inform our understanding the the Reformers' views of sola scriptura. I think that the actual practices of the Reformers in using the sword to enforce their interpretations (often in detail) against those who had different views does weigh against your more individualstic view. As for homework and sources, I would refer you generally to Dunn's The Age of Religious Wars (although simply as that was my most recent read that touched on that topic), although as I recall you did not dispute the substance of the historical conditions I mentioned. As I recall, you suggested that the Reformers may not have been as consistent as they could have been.

But argh! You have drawn me into another discussion on authority!

[Edited on 3-8-2005 by Scott]
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott
David: I would suggest that until your latest posts (especially the quote from the secondary source and your comments on it), your position did not represent the balance of Turretin, Calvin, et al. The post actually in my opinion simply elaborated what I have been saying all along. (I will agree that I emphasized the importance of the established church but do believe I mentioned the extraordinary circumstances exception more than once). In any event, I am glad that we can agree on ministerial calls and I don't think we should exaggerate our differences.
[Edited on 3-8-2005 by Scott]
Scott,

Well, you never answered my question as to whether you own Turretin's works or not. I don't know if your reading of him depends solely on your acquaintance with what you've found on the internet or not. But I do know this. I have his volumes on my shelves, and I read him on a regular basis. Thus, I don't put a great deal of stock in your evaluation of "balance." I've yet to detect from your posts here that you possess the degree of familiarity with Turretin (or Calvin for that matter, as I've indicated repeatedly) to make such a broad sweeping analysis of my understanding of the positions of these men. It is clear to me that there have been some snap shots missing from your gathered album of Turretin on these matters, and it is those I have tried to offer.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but if you were as familiar with Turretin as you seemed to indicate on this issue (having spoken so directly to it as he did), I'm wondering how you could have "forgotten" what he had written regarding it, in the other thread you began, until I reminded you.

But it doesn't cost anything to post opinions, and I most charitably welcome you to yours.

Cheers,
DTK
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
David: Yes I own the works. I would chock it up to old age and too much Diet Coke. :lol:

[Edited on 3-11-2005 by Scott]
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
David: I think your quote from Ainslie and comments about the esse (being) / bene esse (well being) were helpful and reflect a very balanced view and I want to retract my earlier statement that your position was not balanced. I do think we agree on the role of ordination through the established church. My view is that the test for determining a "œtrue church" (the esse, or being) is the conventional Reformed Word and Sacrament formula, not ministerial succession. I agree that succession goes to the bene esse.

Scott
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Scott
David: I think your quote from Ainslie and comments about the esse (being) / bene esse (well being) were helpful and reflect a very balanced view and I want to retract my earlier statement that your position was not balanced. I do think we agree on the role of ordination through the established church. My view is that the test for determining a "œtrue church" (the esse, or being) is the conventional Reformed Word and Sacrament formula, not ministerial succession. I agree that succession goes to the bene esse.

Scott

Scott,

This being the case, then I pray that we are both right. But if further study uncovers the need for us both to be corrected, I want to believe that we both will welcome to a clearer understanding of the structure of Christ's church. I think you've indicated an attempt to procure and read Ainslie's work on this subject. I have found it to be a fascinating read. If you do read it, consider his rather brief remarks on Jus Divinum. I'm asking you to do this because I would be interested to see what you make of Ainslie's very brief comments (and I emphasize "brief," just a few words in passing) on it.

Blessings,
DTK
 

Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks, and I am trying to get Ainslie's work through interlibrary loan. I have had trouble finding many works that address these issues in detail and am thankful for the reference.
 
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