Fides manducans intellectum!
#11
(10-23-2012, 05:31 PM)Walty Wrote:
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Doctrinal development has to be in reference to living dogmas, because they are the truths of the living God. They are not static truths which we slowly enlighten with our flashlight. God is in act, not stasis. Doctrinal development is like a budding flower which develops what it always was, transferring that which was latent into that which is concrete and discernible. It is living, and changing in time, just as Christ changed in time, but never into something it is not, nor contradicting its nature. The modernists have an excessive evolutionism, in which dogmas evolve into contradictions. The opposite is not true, though, that there is no evolution. Man does not stop becoming man though we see over time a progression and evolution, a budding and development. Christ made flesh was not a "demotion" of the unchanging God, but a revelation, a "development" in the economy of salvation. From the perspective of reality in time this must be conceded, otherwise such things as the Incarnation, or canonization of saints, the Immaculate Conception, make no sense. Otherwise we'd have to deny many things related to the personality of God.

All of this necessitates a God that too is "budding like a flower" and is not just "static truth".  However, that does not at all fit with God, who is indeed unchanging truth, existence itself, actualizing all potentiality so that there is no possibility of budding or growing.

Given that, the development of doctrine really is just the continual unpacking of the information we already have of a God who is absolutely unchanging.

The development of doctrine that you espouse is truly dangerous and a fruit of Modernism.

It may be that just as the Trinity does not deny the simplicity of God, that God's immutability is nothing like the stasis some presume, nor does he change like beings with something lacking. A third option could be the finer understanding. I didn't pose "budding" as a concept of changing connoting lack, but change connoting revelation. God continues to reveal things to us. In time this is actually on the part of God, not just man learning more or studying more. We say that revelation ended with the apostles, but clearly there is more revealed to us which are secondary and tertiary (definitions of new dogmas, canonizations, and the grace to do these acts) to the principle revealed truths. When God reveals to us that so-and-so is in heaven, that is a divine truth revealed to us, but is also intimately bound up with the Himself. This can't be properly called change, but I don't know how to conceptualize any other way from my temporal perspective. Like I said, it has nothing to do with lack or contradiction, but everything to do with an unfolding of the divine in time. From our perspective wherever there is life, there is change. But really what we see as change is the actualization of the potential, but God as unchangeable is by no means stasis, void. That is not what God is or His truths which He reveals to us. The concept is budding or unveiling, and the principle actor is Christ, not man. It is through Him as mediator, with His divine and human nature, that we close the gap between time and eternity.
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#12
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Doctrine developing like an organism is pretty much straight from St. Vincent de Lerins' Commonitory:

"Therefore, whatever has been sown by the fidelity of the Fathers in this husbandry of God's Church, the same ought to be cultivated and taken care of by the industry of their children, the same ought to flourish and ripen, the same ought to advance and go forward to perfection."

Anyway, Newman earlier explains the notes of a development that is not corruption:

"There is no corruption if it retains one and the same type, the same principles, the same organization; if its beginnings anticipate its subsequent phases, and its later phenomena protect and subserve its earlier; if it has a power of assimilation and revival, and a vigorous action from first to last. On these tests I shall now enlarge, nearly in the order in which I have enumerated them."

It's the "power of assimilation" that is disputed here, if I understand correctly.  What Newman is saying with regards to assimilation is not that the substance of the faith is changed by external things being assimilated (otherwise that would destroy a different note of true development Newman proposes), but quite the opposite.  He is talking about the external idea being assimilated, not the external idea doing the assimilating.  That's why he says an idea that cannot be assimilated, but is instead rejected, is heresy.  For example, ideas about forms, substances, etc. are taken not from the deposit of faith, but from pagan philosophers, but they were assimilated by the Church and increased her vitality and ability to defend and explain the faith--which resulted in true development.

He gives examples of false religions which cannot do this. They are either dead and cease to authentically develop or they are themselves assimilated and corrupted by ideas.

This is a good post. I think many people in their reaction to what they perceive to be modernism go to an opposite extreme: holding that there can be no such thing as organic development and that the Church of Pius IX just dropped out of the sky fully formed in A.D. 33, historians who claim otherwise being modernists.

And, of course, if the Church were unable to assimilate concepts taken from the pagan philosophers, I don't see how we could accept something like the Trinity, which, since the beginning, has always been explained in terms borrowed from Greek metaphysics.

That said, I wonder if it isn't better to think of doctrinal and theological development as more of a deepening of our understanding of revelation. Dogma sets us on the right track when attempting to understand these mysteries, but it does not exhaust them, so there is always room for greater insight. We probably want to avoid thinking of development as the building up of a system through the process of deduction from premises given in revelation, which unfortunately is how some theologians in the 19th and 20th century, though obviously not Newman, tended to view the whole thing.
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#13
(10-23-2012, 01:06 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(10-22-2012, 07:54 PM)Geremia Wrote: And, finally, an interesting quote:
Card. Newmans Development of Christian Doctrine Wrote:In Christianity, opinion, while a raw material, is called philosophy or scholasticism; when a rejected refuse, it is called heresy.
Does this imply dogma is an accepted opinion

I understand that theological statements and even opinions (as made in pre-VII approved theology manuals) can carry different "notes": probable, safe, theologically certain conclusions... etc. all the way through dogma (revealed). ( http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/theolnotes.htm).
Wow, thanks for that table. I know about John Daly's writings, but hadn't seen this.
(10-23-2012, 01:06 AM)Doce Me Wrote: Theological opinions that are merely "probable" can become more certain when more theologians (at one time and over time)  hold them. This doesn't change the truths, but only the firmness with which we must hold them.
But one cannot consider the denial of a firmly-held opinion "a rejected refuse" or "heresy", as Card. Newman calls it, because there is no theological censure against opinions.
(10-23-2012, 01:06 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
"Pope Pius IX Tuas Libenter" Wrote:But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the foresaid dogmas of the Church, but that it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.
So opinions accepted by theologians (and even Catholics, over centuries) CAN become truths we must believe under pain of mortal sin, if they are commonly taught; and if they are commonly rejected they can become heresy.
But their being commonly taught or rejected is accidental to them.

For example, today, unfortunately, Catholic theologians commonly teach that contraception is not opposed to God's law, but this in no way enables a Pope to define the proposition "contraception is good", which certainly relates to faith or morals, as a dogma of faith "we must believe under pain of mortal sin." Why? This would be defining an opinion as dogma, which is impossible. Only theological conclusions which result from two premises of faith are definable as dogma (cf. Reality ch. 6):
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.s Reality ch. 5 Wrote:To illustrate, let us take these two statements: first, "Jesus is truly God," second, "Jesus is truly man." From these two statements there follows, by a strictly illative process, this third statement: Jesus has two minds and two wills. And this third truth is elsewhere explicitly revealed, in the words of Jesus Himself: "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

Now a conclusion of this kind, a conclusion revealed elsewhere, can evidently be defined by the Church as a dogma of faith.
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.s Reality ch. 5 Wrote:[Thomists hold that for] theological conclusions properly so called, namely, conclusions obtained by a genuinely illative process, from one premise of faith and one premise of reason[, …] the Church can condemn the contradictory of such a conclusion, but if she does, she condemns it, not as heretical, that is, as contrary to the faith, but as erroneous, that is, contrary to an accepted theological conclusion.

It seems Card. Newman does not distinguish dogma, doctrine/teaching, and opinion.

From Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, #1-2 are dogmatic, #3-5 are non-dogmatically-defined doctrines, and #5-6 are opinions:
Quote:1. The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one’s certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are “de fide definita.”

2. Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

3. A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church.

4. A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions).

5. Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of the free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally.

6. Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.
(10-23-2012, 01:06 AM)Doce Me Wrote: But of course revealed dogma does not come to us as an opinion; and none of these truths themselves change.
Right
Only what pertains to faith and morals can be defined as dogma. As Dei Filius (DS 1839-1840) said (my emphasis):
Dei Filius, Vatican I Wrote:we teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church.
"such definitions…are…not from the consent of the Church." As Lamentabili condemned:
Lamentabili Wrote:22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.
Defined dogmas are "not based on any such weak foundation", such as interpretations or opinions, as Humani Generis says.
Humani Generis §16 Wrote:These things are based on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence it is not astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the Oecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.
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#14
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: It's the "power of assimilation" that is disputed here, if I understand correctly.
Yes, that is part of it. I think mostly what seems unclear to me is that Newman seems to confuse dogma and doctrine.
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: What Newman is saying with regards to assimilation is not that the substance of the faith is changed by external things being assimilated (otherwise that would destroy a different note of true development Newman proposes), but quite the opposite.  He is talking about the external idea being assimilated, not the external idea doing the assimilating.
What do you (and Newman, too) mean by "idea"?
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: That's why he says an idea that cannot be assimilated, but is instead rejected, is heresy.
But, as I alluded to here, there cannot be heresies against "ideas". Heresies are propositions contrary to the Faith.
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: For example, ideas about forms, substances, etc. are taken not from the deposit of faith, but from pagan philosophers, but they were assimilated by the Church and increased her vitality and ability to defend and explain the faith--which resulted in true development.
Oh, okay, now I'm beginning to understand.
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: He gives examples of false religions which cannot do this. They are either dead and cease to authentically develop or they are themselves assimilated and corrupted by ideas.
Like the languid animal overtaken by what he eats, as was his example
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#15
(10-23-2012, 06:40 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 07:36 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Doctrine developing like an organism is pretty much straight from St. Vincent de Lerins' Commonitory:

"Therefore, whatever has been sown by the fidelity of the Fathers in this husbandry of God's Church, the same ought to be cultivated and taken care of by the industry of their children, the same ought to flourish and ripen, the same ought to advance and go forward to perfection."

Anyway, Newman earlier explains the notes of a development that is not corruption:

"There is no corruption if it retains one and the same type, the same principles, the same organization; if its beginnings anticipate its subsequent phases, and its later phenomena protect and subserve its earlier; if it has a power of assimilation and revival, and a vigorous action from first to last. On these tests I shall now enlarge, nearly in the order in which I have enumerated them."

It's the "power of assimilation" that is disputed here, if I understand correctly.  What Newman is saying with regards to assimilation is not that the substance of the faith is changed by external things being assimilated (otherwise that would destroy a different note of true development Newman proposes), but quite the opposite.  He is talking about the external idea being assimilated, not the external idea doing the assimilating.  That's why he says an idea that cannot be assimilated, but is instead rejected, is heresy.  For example, ideas about forms, substances, etc. are taken not from the deposit of faith, but from pagan philosophers, but they were assimilated by the Church and increased her vitality and ability to defend and explain the faith--which resulted in true development.

He gives examples of false religions which cannot do this. They are either dead and cease to authentically develop or they are themselves assimilated and corrupted by ideas.

This is a good post. I think many people in their reaction to what they perceive to be modernism go to an opposite extreme: holding that there can be no such thing as organic development and that the Church of Pius IX just dropped out of the sky fully formed in A.D. 33, historians who claim otherwise being modernists.

And, of course, if the Church were unable to assimilate concepts taken from the pagan philosophers, I don't see how we could accept something like the Trinity, which, since the beginning, has always been explained in terms borrowed from Greek metaphysics.

That said, I wonder if it isn't better to think of doctrinal and theological development as more of a deepening of our understanding of revelation. Dogma sets us on the right track when attempting to understand these mysteries, but it does not exhaust them, so there is always room for greater insight. We probably want to avoid thinking of development as the building up of a system through the process of deduction from premises given in revelation, which unfortunately is how some theologians in the 19th and 20th century, though obviously not Newman, tended to view the whole thing.

(Sorry I'm not keeping up with the conversation in these posts!)

Comments over more than one post (I am not disagreeing with everything you are saying)

The Church does put external truths to use in making what is always taught implicitly more explicit.  This does not change what the Church teaches; "new" truths are only helps to explaining what is already taught. One example of course (as you  indicate) is St. Thomas' adaptation of Aristotelian explanations of reality to the realities already taught implicitly by the Church, e.g. on the natures of Christ, and the Transubstantiation.  If Aristotle had ideas that were "new" meaning contrary to what to the Church taught, St. Thomas would never have accepted these ideas at all.

But revelation ended with the Apostles.  This truth doesn't change over time. Canonizations are not considered a part of public revelation in the strict sense; nor are private revelations (Fatima), or deeper understanding individuals receive by grace.  The Apostles knew about the Assumption, and at least implicitly about the Immaculate Conception.

Here is just a bit the Catholic Encyclopedia says (notice the last interesting part about Newman)
"Catholic Encyclopedia, Revelation" Wrote:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13001a.htm
That Revelation was given in its entirety to Our Lord and His Apostles. After the death of the last of the twelve it could receive no increment. It was, as the Church calls it, a deposit — "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude, 2) — for which the Church was to "contend" but to which she could add nothing. Thus, whenever there has been question of defining a doctrine, whether at Nicæa, at Trent, or at the Vatican, the sole point of debate has been as to whether the doctrine is found in Scripture or in Apostolic tradition.
[...]
Newman [...]  teaches that the whole doctrine, alike in its later as in its earlier forms, was contained in the original revelation given to the Church by Our Lord and His Apostles, and that its identity is guaranteed to us by the infallible magisterium of the Church. The claim of certain Modernist writers that their views on the evolution of dogma were connected with Newman's theory of development is the merest figment.

(The rest of the article, especially on "The Christian revelation"  also looks very relevant to the discussion here)

This is certainly contrary to the idea that dogma merely "puts us on the right tracks".
...
God is not static, theologians say that He IS pure Act.  All the good that is in change, is in Him, but He does not change. He is ever old and ever new, in His "eternal now".  He acts over our time in us (the Incarnation), but He Himself is not "growing" or "blooming", nor are His truths.  But we can bloom in our understanding of these eternal truths.
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#16
Another distinction that we should be making is between "dogma" and "defined dogma."
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#17
(10-23-2012, 05:31 PM)Walty Wrote:
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Doctrinal development has to be in reference to living dogmas, because they are the truths of the living God. They are not static truths which we slowly enlighten with our flashlight. God is in act, not stasis. Doctrinal development is like a budding flower which develops what it always was, transferring that which was latent into that which is concrete and discernible. It is living, and changing in time, just as Christ changed in time, but never into something it is not, nor contradicting its nature. The modernists have an excessive evolutionism, in which dogmas evolve into contradictions. The opposite is not true, though, that there is no evolution. Man does not stop becoming man though we see over time a progression and evolution, a budding and development. Christ made flesh was not a "demotion" of the unchanging God, but a revelation, a "development" in the economy of salvation. From the perspective of reality in time this must be conceded, otherwise such things as the Incarnation, or canonization of saints, the Immaculate Conception, make no sense. Otherwise we'd have to deny many things related to the personality of God.

All of this necessitates a God that too is "budding like a flower" and is not just "static truth".  However, that does not at all fit with God, who is indeed unchanging truth, existence itself, actualizing all potentiality so that there is no possibility of budding or growing.

Given that, the development of doctrine really is just the continual unpacking of the information we already have of a God who is absolutely unchanging.

The development of doctrine that you espouse is truly dangerous and a fruit of Modernism.

Yeah, Scriptorum's posts were raising an eyebrow.
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#18
(10-23-2012, 06:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: God continues to reveal things to us.

That is the exact opposite of what the Church teaches.  Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.
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#19
(10-23-2012, 06:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: It may be that just as the Trinity does not deny the simplicity of God, that God's immutability is nothing like the stasis some presume, nor does he change like beings with something lacking. A third option could be the finer understanding. I didn't pose "budding" as a concept of changing connoting lack, but change connoting revelation. God continues to reveal things to us. In time this is actually on the part of God, not just man learning more or studying more. We say that revelation ended with the apostles, but clearly there is more revealed to us which are secondary and tertiary (definitions of new dogmas, canonizations, and the grace to do these acts) to the principle revealed truths. When God reveals to us that so-and-so is in heaven, that is a divine truth revealed to us, but is also intimately bound up with the Himself. This can't be properly called change, but I don't know how to conceptualize any other way from my temporal perspective. Like I said, it has nothing to do with lack or contradiction, but everything to do with an unfolding of the divine in time. From our perspective wherever there is life, there is change. But really what we see as change is the actualization of the potential, but God as unchangeable is by no means stasis, void. That is not what God is or His truths which He reveals to us. The concept is budding or unveiling, and the principle actor is Christ, not man. It is through Him as mediator, with His divine and human nature, that we close the gap between time and eternity.

You clearly adequately understand that temporality influences our perception of things.  Why you want to keep attributing temporality to God in a round about way is beyond me.  Clearly God has revealed certain things to us.  That revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.  In the time since, we have, via reason and grace, been able to unpack further and further the treasure of what God has revealed to us and all of its logical implications.

It's simple and the above is the only theological view of doctrine that fits with God's immutability and the Church's teaching that God DOES NOT continue to reveal new things to the Church.  Everything works perfectly.  There is no need for vague and troublesome assertions that there is "an unfolding of the divine in time" or that "God continues to reveal things to us."
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#20
(10-23-2012, 09:26 PM)Walty Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 06:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: God continues to reveal things to us.

That is the exact opposite of what the Church teaches.  Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.
Yes, I know what you mean, but what about private revelation?
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