"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Allen Hunt: A Methodist Mega-Church Pastor Turned Catholic

Published by Win One for God at March 7, 2017

Allen is a former Methodist mega-church pastor and currently hosts a daily talk radio show (the Allen Hunt Show) which is heard on 150 mainstream stations around the country each week with a half million listeners. Allen is also a husband and father of two daughters.

I never saw it coming.

For fifteen years, my ministry as a Methodist pastor blossomed from one ministry to another, culminating in my dream job. I became the senior pastor of a mega-church, the most well-attended Methodist congregation in the South, and one of the largest in the country. Somewhere between four and five thousand people worshiped there each Sunday. Eight thousand gathered there for Christmas and Easter services. The church sponsored one of just two K-12 Methodist schools in the nation, had a full pregnancy resource center, a counseling center, a child care ministry, and maintained partnerships with vital missions on every continent around the globe.

How did my transition occur? Not in a single moment of great revelation, but slowly, through a series of experiences. More like a mosaic of God-encounters. Or better yet, like a journey on a boat that begins in the Atlantic Ocean, without a real plan or destination. One day you wake up, look around and realize that you’re somewhere in the Pacific. You’re not sure when you crossed from one ocean to the other, but you know you’re there, and there’s no going back.

Often, I was leading that wonderful mega-church, and deep inside I began to feel a longing to be a part of what I was convinced was God’s One Church. Over time that longing grew until I could deny it no more.

My journey culminated on Sunday, January 6, 2008, the feast of the Epiphany. On that day, I, the former pastor of a mega-church just twenty miles away, stood before the congregation at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta’s oldest Catholic church.

I was no longer the very public and well-respected Methodist minister. I would not welcome the congregation, deliver the homily, or stand outside and greet members as they left, but instead would be just like any other lay person there.

But then, finally, the moment came.

I walked to the front, and the priest gently placed the Body of Christ in the palm of my hand for the very first time.

And I began to weep.

Tears slowly streamed down my face as the years of journey climaxed in the enveloping presence of the Holy Spirit.

God’s Instrument

God used my friendship with a priest whom I met in graduate school to introduce me to the treasures of the Catholic Church. Through Father Steven, a Dominican friar, I came to see the six hidden treasures of the Catholic Church, treasures so powerful that they changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. I call them hidden treasures because they are so often over-looked or misunderstood or taken for granted.

At times, God uses friendships in remarkable ways. We listen to real friends. To strangers, we often turn a deaf ear or a cold shoulder. But to real friends, we will listen, even when listening stretches us in new ways. I do not think Fr. Steven intended to lead me home. Rather, he loved me and my family with abundance in a time when we desperately needed it. That friendship and love led to conversations about things of faith. Those conversations percolated and bounced around in my soul for years. I am constantly amazed at how God uses genuine friendships to shape our lives.

Meeting the Nuns

In our second year together, Fr. Steven arranged for the two of us to give Lenten lectures to a group of cloistered Dominican nuns in North Guilford, Connecticut. Of course, first, he had to explain what a cloistered monastery was. Talk about naive! I had no idea such places even existed.

A gathering of 50 nuns, located in a monastery whose grounds they vowed never to leave. A place of regular prayer, Mass, and simple, humble service. A group of nuns who supported their mutual life of prayer by making fudge (and it was great fudge!) and operating a book store. It was in their monastery that God planted the first seeds for my conversion, seeds which took sixteen years to come to fruition, and seeds which I did not even realize were being planted at the time.

Fr. Steven and I spent four wonderful afternoons giving talks to the nuns at the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace. I discovered later that I had been the first male who was not an ordained Catholic priest ever to instruct the sisters within their walls. It was a rare privilege and blessing, which I could not have fully appreciated at the moment. God had opened a door of grace into which I had stumbled.

Best of all, the experience proved eye-opening for me in more ways than one. This invitation into a cloistered monastery rocked my world.

A Graced Encounter

The holiness of these sisters stunned me. Keep in mind that these women would be the first to disagree at any suggestion that they are holy. They would be wrong.

Never before had I encountered persons so completely given over to God. Their faces shone with a grace and a light that unnerved me. The love of God revealed itself physically in their eyes, cheeks, and smiles. These were women whose entire lives were dedicated to the glory of God.

Remember this was totally new to me. I had no context or background to understand this place or these women. No such group exists in any Protestant tradition. Very simply, I was bumfuddled. It is not often that we have an experience that is so out of the ordinary and so out of place that we have no real way to process it at first.

This was all new territory to me. In some ways, it was scary because I was accustomed to teaching, speaking and being in charge of my setting. That control and leadership clearly did not apply here.

Fr. Steven and I shared lectures focused on the great Dominican doctor of the Church, Thomas Aquinas, and on John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. We discussed sanctification and holiness, and the places where our beliefs intersected far more than we had anticipated. The common ground between us surprised the nuns, Fr. Steven, and me. We enjoyed great interaction and conversation together. After our last lecture, we reserved time for questions and answers. For many of the sisters, I was the first Methodist they had ever met.

A Probing Question

One sister, whom I call “Sr. Rose,” raised her hand and, as I bremember, said, “Allen, thank you for having come these past few weeks. We’ve enjoyed your teaching.” She paused and continued, “You sound so Catholic. After hearing you, I can’t help but wonder, ‘Why aren’t you a part of the Church?’”

The nuns giggled. The question startled me. “A part of the Church?” What did she mean?

As a Protestant I was taken aback by that. I thought to myself, “Well, I am a part of the Church. Don’t you understand that? I’m a Methodist pastor.” Then all of a sudden it dawned on me: she meant the Catholic Church is the one and only Church.

I laughed and gave a quick answer. I said something like, “Why am I Methodist as opposed to being Catholic? Well, you are some of the first Catholics I have ever met. The main reason revolves around communion. It seems very obvious to me that Jesus is using a metaphor when He talks about the cup and the loaf. The wine doesn’t literally become His blood; that seems kind of obvious to me as a Methodist. It’s still wine, or in the Methodist tradition, it’s grape juice. The loaf, He is saying, ‘It’s my body,’ just as He also says He is the door, He is the light, and He is the shepherd. It’s just bread and juice. I really do not understand why you all take it so literally. It’s a symbol.”

Believe it or not, I had never had that conversation in my brain before. As a Methodist and in my training in seminary, it was just something we assumed. I took it for granted.

Sr. Rose then came right back at me. Very kindly but very directly, she said, “Well, you are a New Testament scholar, right? So why does Jesus say…”

With that introduction, she then began to walk me through chapter 6 of the Gospel of John and Jesus’ teaching there on the Bread of Life. I thought I knew this passage, but Sr. Rose carefully paused on eight separate occasions to make the point: Jesus is serious about His body and His blood.

A Lifelong Journey

My transition into the Church stunned my family. I come from a long line of Methodist pastors, 8 generations I think my mother and in-laws are still processing my decision. My wife and children have been very supportive. One of my daughters (21 years old) has also entered the Church now. My decision cost me a number of friendships, primarily with some former colleagues. Of course, it put an end to all I had worked for in my career as a pastor. But it was impossible to avoid. It has been a wonderful journey, a hard journey, and a life-giving journey

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ASH WEDNESDAY - It's the beginning of Fasting and Abstinence and what you need to know about the Lenten Season


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FORBES: Pope Francis is World's Fifth Most Powerful Leader

According to FORBES, Pope Francis is 5th Most Powerful Leader. No wonder why a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo-1914 was STARSTRUCKED when he finally met the 266th Pope or Vicar of Christ since from St. Peter the Apostle, acknowledged by the INC™ according to Eagle News publication.

Pope Francis, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, gladly obliged to the selfies as he shook hands with the students, and also took the “Pasugo” (God’s Message) magazines handed to him by a Filipino student, Klein Mendiola, who is studying at the Roman Tre University.



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Napanood sa Eagle News ang Pamimigay ng Kaanib ng INC™ sa Santo Papa ng Magasing Pasugo

Nagulantang at nagsaya ang mga kaanib ng INC™ ni Felix Manalo sa balitang 'TINANGGAP" ng SANTO PAPA ang kanilang magasing PASUGO nang siya ay bumisia sa Roma Tre University noong nakaraang Biernes (Peb. 17, 2017. Napapanood DITO ang kaganapan.)

Heto ang nalathala sa kanilang Eagle News Facebook Page na accessible pa mga mula kahapon hanggang kaninang 7:00AM (Feb. 18, 2017)

 Ngunit bandang 10:00 AM ngayong araw ng Linggo ika-18 ng Pebrero 2017 ay ganito na ang nakalagay sa kanilang Eagle News website "ERROR 404"!


At dahil hindi naman natin alam kung bakit nila INALIS SA KANILANG WEBSITE ang balitan iyan, narito po sa ibaba ang buong video courtesy of CTV.

RUNNING TIME 1:44:02  Makikita natin kung paano tinanggap ng Santo Papa ang magasing PASUGO at ibinigay sa kaniyang mga Swiss Guards.

RUNNING TIME 1:44:06 Makikita ang pagpapaliwanag ng kaanib ng INC sa Santo Papa na ang INC™ raw ay isang "IGLESIA SA PILIPINAS" (malinaw po yan).

RUNNING TIME 1:44:16 Ang pagkaunawa ng Santo Papa ay ang IGLESIA KATOLIKA sa PILIPINAS, kaya't naibulalas niya na sa Pilipinas ay tawag sa kanya ay "LOLO KIKO" na ikinatuwa naman ng kaanib ng INC™.

RUNNING TIME 1:44:21 Namamalas sa mukha ng kaanib ng INC™ ang KAGALAKAN sa NAKASALAMUHA at NAKAUSAP niya harap-harapan ang itinuturing nilang "ANTI-CRISTO". Nakapagtataka na HINDI MAN LANG NIYA NAGAWANG sabihan siya at ng mga TAO roon na ang SANTO PAPA ng TUNAY at NAG-IISANG IGLESIA NI CRISTO ay na sinsabi nilang "NATALIKOD NA GANAP" ay ang ANTI-CRISTO!

RUNNING TIME 1:44:28 WALA NA ANG MAGASIN SA KAMAY NG SANTO PAPA!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Anti-Catholic Rant: "I am your mother daw, ulol"


His GROSS IGNORANCE about the BLESSED MOTHER makes him more "STUPID" than his anti-Catholic rantings. We pray for all anti-Catholics out there but we also do something to enlighten them back to the true fold of Christ - the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.

KANEKI BALA EDICTO, may the Blessed Mother protect you, keep you and your loved ones from the snare of the devil and may the Lord God Jesus Christ bless you with understanding so that you may understand that the Blessed Mother was God's instrument for Him to become one with us in flesh. (John 1:1-14)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Crux: The Pope and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch met a year ago. Here’s what’s next.

Andrea Gagliarducci February 12, 2017
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY via CRUX

From Cuba to Switzerland, from Havana to the great hall of the university, many things have changed. But what has not changed is the strong desire for dialogue between the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Pope Francis meets with Patriarch Kirill in Havana, Cuba on Feb. 12, 2016. (Credit: L'Osservatore Romano via CNA.)
ROME - One year ago marked a historic first meeting between a Pope and a Russian Orthodox Patriarch.

Now, the Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchate will celebrate the meeting’s anniversary with a conference at Switzerland’s Freibourg University.

The conference will take place Feb. 12, exactly one year after the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill at the St. Marti airport in Havana.

Christian brotherhood and unity were the focus of the 2016 meeting.

“We spoke as brothers,” Pope Francis said of the meeting last year. “We have the same baptism. We are bishops. We spoke of our Churches.”

Patriarch Kirill said their private discussion was conducted “with full awareness of the responsibility of our Churches, for the future of Christianity, and for the future of human civilization” and provided a chance to understand each other. He said the two Churches will work against war.

Now, one year later, Catholic and Russian Orthodox leaders will gather in Switzerland for a conference. The event is held by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and Metropolitan Hilarion, president of the department of the external ecclesiastical relations of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.

Cardinal Koch and Metropolitan Hilarion both led the negotiations that led to Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill’s joint statement in Havana. At the Switzerland conference they will talk about progress and rapprochement between the two Churches.

It is probable that Cardinal Koch’s lecture will follow the approach of Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, who is in charge of the Eastern relations desk at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the Christian Unity.

In Jan. 19 essay for L’Osservatore Romano, Destivelle emphasized the advances in the dialogue between the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate.

The 2016 meeting was not framed by theological dialogue, which is instead the competence of the International Roman Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue. Rather, it was framed “by the dialogue of charity, and more precisely by pastoral ecumenism.”

The priest reiterated that the joint declaration between the Pope and the Patriarch was “a pastoral one.” He rejected interpreting their declaration through “geopolitical lenses” and said it would be incorrect to see in them an excessive theological impact.

The declaration focused at length on anti-Christian persecution, especially in in the Middle East and North Africa. It lamented the hostilities in Ukraine. The declaration also voiced concern about the threat of secularism to religious freedom and the Christian roots of Europe.

Other topics of the discussion between the Pope and the Patriarch included poverty, the crisis in the family, abortion and euthanasia. The Pope and the Patriarch exhorted young Christians to live their faith in the world.

Destivelle also noted that the declaration drew criticisms from both Orthodox and Catholic sides.
In particular, from Ukraine the Greek Catholic Church expressed “strong reservations” focused on some passages.

The priest said more time is needed for the Havana meeting and the joint declaration to bear fruit.
As for the upcoming anniversary, Destivelle listed a series of concerts, exhibitions and even exchanges of gifts that will show strengthened relations.

He noted that Hilarion visited Rome four times in the last year and met with Pope Francis twice, on June 15 and Oct. 21. The metropolitan has met with other Vatican leaders. He had a June 26 meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and several meetings with Cardinal Koch.
Destivelle wanted to reiterate that the Havana declaration was a “pastoral declaration” that intended to soften the polemics, even the polemics raised after the declaration was issued.

The declaration was at that time considered “Russophile” in some quarters. The Ukrainian religious agency RISU described it as such in its introduction to an interview with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Asked about his strong criticism of the declaration, Major Archbishop Shevchuk said that “some considered my words to be too harsh,” but he then noted that the Pope himself “affirmed that that the declaration’s text was not infallible, that it is not ‘a page of the Gospel’.”

“It should not be underestimated but it should also not be exaggerated,” the archbishop said.

For Major Archbishop Shevchuk, an important result of the Havana meeting was that the Ukrainian Church began a conversation with the Holy See on these points.

“Certainly, even before this event, we always strove to inform the Vatican regarding the truth concerning the war in Ukraine,” the archbishop said. “Nevertheless, after Havana, the global community was able to perceive our distress once again, by being reminded of the ‘forgotten war’ in Ukraine. Our pleas also resounded anew in the Vatican.”

Archbishop Shevchuk also voiced appreciation for the progress of the Holy See, and recalled Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s trip to Ukraine. On the other hand, he emphasized that Ukraine should invest more in relations with the Holy See.

Russia too is investing much in relations with the Holy See. While in Paris for the European Meeting between Catholic and Orthodox Bishops, Hilarion granted an interview to the Italian Bishops’ Conference’s news agency SIR.

In the interview, he underlined the good relations with the Holy See and in particular with Pope Francis. Though he said that another meeting between Francis and Kirill is “not in the agenda,” he said there are many things both Churches can do together.

“If our Churches speak joining their voices, our message is certainly stronger and of more impact,” Hilarion said.

These are all the issues on the table that will likely be developed in the conference in Freibourg on Sunday. From Cuba to Switzerland, from Havana to the great hall of the university, many things have changed. But what has not changed is the strong desire for dialogue between the Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ChurchPOP: What Convinced This Secular Scientist the Shroud of Turin is Real

Source: ChurchPOP
By Ann Schneible

Public Domain, Wikipedia / ChurchPOP
The Shroud of Turin has different meanings for many people: some see it as an object of veneration, others a forgery, still others a medieval curiosity. For one Jewish scientist, however, the evidence has led him to see it as a meeting point between science and faith.

“The Shroud challenges (many people’s core beliefs) because there’s a strong implication that there is something beyond the basic science going on here,” Barrie Schwortz, one of the leading scientific experts on the Shroud of Turin, in an CNA.

Admitting that he did not know whether there was something beyond science at play, he added: “That’s not what convinced me: it was the science that convinced me.”

A Non-Practicing Jew Studying the Ancient Artifact

The Shroud of Turin is among the most well-known relics believed to be connected with Christ’s Passion. Venerated for centuries by Christians as the burial shroud of Jesus, it has been subject to intense scientific study to ascertain its authenticity, and the origins of the image.

The image on the 14 feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide cloth is stained with the postmortem image of a man – front and back – who has been brutally tortured and crucified.

Schwortz, now a retired technical photographer and frequent lecturer on the shroud, was a member of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project which brought prestigious scientists together to examine the ancient artifact.

As a non-practicing Jew at the time, he was hesitant to be part of the team and skeptical as to the shroud’s authenticity – presuming it was nothing more than an elaborate painting. Nonetheless, he was intrigued by the scientific questions raised by the image.

Despite his reservations, Schwortz recounts being persuaded to remain on the project by a fellow scientist on the team – a NASA imaging specialist, and a Catholic – who jokingly told him: “You don’t think God wouldn’t want one of his chosen people on our team?”

And Schwortz soon encountered one of the great mysteries of the image that still entrances its examiners to this day.

A Mysterious 3D Image

He explained that a specific instrument used for the project was designed for evaluating x-rays, which allowed the lights and darks of an image to be vertically stretched into space, based on the lights and darks proportionately.

For a normal photograph, the result would be a distorted image: with the shroud, however, the natural, 3-D relief of a human form came through. This means “there’s a correlation between image density – lights and darks on the image – and cloth to body distance.”

“The only way that can happen is by some interaction between cloth and body,” he said. “It can’t be projected. It’s not a photograph – photographs don’t have that kind of information, artworks don’t.”

This evidence led him to believe that the image on the shroud was produced in a way that exceeds the capacities even of modern technology.

“There’s no way a medieval forger would have had the knowledge to create something like this, and to do so with a method that we can’t figure out today – the most image-oriented era of human history.”

“Think about it: in your pocket, you have a camera, and a computer, connected to each other in one little device,” he said.

“The shroud has become one of the most studied artifacts in human history itself, and modern science doesn’t have an explanation for how those chemical and physical properties can be made.”

The Evidence Is “Overwhelming in Favor of its Authenticity”

While the image on the Shroud of Turin was the most convincing evidence for him, he said it was only a fraction of all the scientific data which points to it being real.

“Really, it’s an accumulation of thousands of little tiny bits of evidence that, when put together, are overwhelming in favor of its authenticity.”

Despite the evidence, many skeptics question the evidence without having seen the facts. For this reason, Schwortz launched the website www.shroud.com, which serves as a resource for the scientific data on the Shroud.

Nonetheless, he said, there are many who still question the evidence, many believing it is nothing more than an elaborate medieval painting.

“I think the reason skeptics deny the science is, if they accept any of that, their core beliefs have been dramatically challenged, and they would have to go back and reconfigure who they are and what they believe in,” he said. “It’s much easier to reject it out of hand, and not worry about it. That way they don’t have to confront their own beliefs.”

“I think some people would rather ignore it than be challenged.”

Where Science Ends and Faith Begins

Schwortz emphasized that the science points to the Shroud being the burial cloth belonging to a man, buried according to the Jewish tradition after having been crucified in a way consistent with the Gospel. However, he said it is not proof of the resurrection – and this is where faith comes in.

“It’s a pre-resurrection image, because if it were a post-resurrection image, it would be a living man – not a dead man,” he said, adding that science is unable to test for the sort of images that would be produced by a human body rising from the dead.

“The Shroud is a test of faith, not a test of science. There comes a point with the Shroud where the science stops, and people have to decide for themselves.”

“The answer to faith isn’t going to be a piece of cloth. But, perhaps, the answer to faith is in the eyes and hearts of those who look upon it.”

When it comes to testifying to this meeting point between faith and science, Schwortz is in a unique position: he has never converted to Christianity, but remains a practicing Jew. And this, he says, makes his witness as a scientist all the more credible.

“I think I serve God better this way, in my involvement in the Shroud, by being the last person in the world people would expect to be lecturing on what is, effectively, the ultimate Christian relic.”

“I think God in his infinite wisdom knew better than I did, and he put me there for a reason.”

CNA: Samurai martyr beatified in Japan

Samurai. Credit: Britannica, Wikipedia Public Domain.
Tokyo, Japan, Feb 8, 2017  (CNA/EWTN News).- A 17th century Catholic Samurai and martyr was beatified during a Mass in ‎Osaka, Japan on Tuesday.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Vatican’s ‎Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the Beatification Mass of Justo Takayama Ukon, who was declared a martyr by Pope Francis in January last year.

Takayama Ukon was born in 1552 in Japan during the time when Jesuit missionaries were being introduced within the country. By the time Takayama was 12, his father had converted to Catholicism and had his son baptized as “Justo” by the Jesuit Fr. Gaspare di Lella.

Takayama's position in Japanese society as daimyo (a feudal lord) allowed him many benefits, such as owning grand estates and raising vast armies. As a Catholic, Takayama used his power to support and protect the short-lived missionary expansion within Japan, influencing the conversion of thousands of Japanese.

When a time of persecution set in within the country under the reign of Japan's chancellor Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587, many newly-converted Catholics abandoned their beliefs.

By the 1620s, most missionaries were either driven out of the country or into underground ministry. These missionary priests would have been of the same era as those featured in the recent movie “Silence” by director Martin Scorsese. Although the film is based on a fictional novel by the Japanese author Shusaku Endo, many of the events and people depicted in “Silence” are real.

Instead of denying their faith, Takayama and his father left their prestigious position in society and chose a life of poverty and exile. Although many of his friends tried to persuade Takayama to deny Catholicism, he remained strong in his beliefs.

Takayama “did not want to fight against other Christians, and this led him to live a poor life, because when a samurai does not obey his 'chief,' he loses everything he has,” Fr. Anton Witwer, a general postulator of the Society of Jesus, told CNA in 2014.

Ten years passed, and the chancellor became more fierce in his persecution against Christians. He eventually crucified 26 Catholics, and by 1614, Christianity in Japan was completely banned.
The new boycott on Christianity forced Takayama to leave Japan in exile with 300 other Catholics. They fled to the Philippines, but not long after his arrival, Takayama died on February 3, 1615.

In 2013, the Japanese bishops' conference submitted the lengthy 400-page application for the beatification of Takayama to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. On Jan. 22, 2016, Takayama's advancement in the cause for canonization was further promulgated when Pope Francis approved his decree of martyrdom.

“Since Takayama died in exile because of the weaknesses caused by the maltreatments he suffered in his homeland, the process for beatification is that of a martyr,” Fr. Witwer explained.
Takayama's life exemplifies the Christian example of "a great fidelity to the Christian vocation, persevering despite all difficulties," Fr. Witwer continued.

"As a Christian, as a leader, as a cultural person, as a pioneer of adaptation, Ukon is a ‎role model and ‎there ‎are many things we can learn from him,” ‎Father Renzo De Luca, and Argentinian Jesuit and the director of the 26 Martyrs Museum ‎in Nagasaki‎, told Vatican Radio.

“In this era of political distrust, I think he ‎will be helpful ‎for ‎people other than Christians.”

Patheos: If The Bible Is Infallible Then So Is The Church

February 6, 2017 by K. Albert Little
Source: Patheos

Photo Credit: Dwight Stone.
A paradigm shift occurs when the number of compelling facts and figures from a competing world view other than your own forces you to concede your position—and adopt another.
It happens like this.

Facts and information enter your radar which you perhaps hadn’t considered before. They challenge your perspective, opinions, and ultimately, your view of the world. As more and more of these new arguments and ideas pile up the lens through which you’ve previously understood much of reality begins to look a bit foggy—the edges aren’t as crisply in focus as they used to be.

And on and on.

Eventually—and this may take a lifetime—the enormous pile of facts in the other, competing worldview appear to be more compelling. They make more sense; offer a more robust explanation of what you understand to be the world and you make a radical leap.

A paradigm shift.

This is what happens when an Evangelical Christian becomes a Catholic.

For me, one of those crucial pieces of information, which began as a question, orbited around the idea of an infallible Bible. Where did we get the Bible? And how did it get put together?

And what made us so sure it was the infallible Word of God?

This began, for me, the fateful journey towards a paradigm shift in my own life.

A journey into the Catholic Church.

In my early twenties, having been “saved” in the Evangelical church at the age of fifteen, I was embarrassed to not have an answer to that first question: Where did we get the Bible?

Sadly, up to that point in my life, it wasn’t even a question I’d considered. But, to be fair, it’d never been put to me either.

In my large Pentecostal church—where I clocked a good amount of Sunday mornings and Friday nights—the historical understanding of the timeline of the Bible ended with the final punctuation mark in the Book of Revelation and began again somewhere in the 1960’s (which was about when the oldest book in our church library would’ve been written).

There was, as there often is in Evangelical circles, a giant gaping hole in the middle of Church history.

As if nothing happened between the last book of the Bible being written and the preacher grasping it in his sweaty palms on a Sunday morning.

So it never occurred to me to ask either where we got it or how it was put together and when it was, finally, asked of me I had not discernable answer.

And that was worrying.

Digging around in familiar Protestant sources failed to make it any more clear.
The Bible, from a Protestant perspective, was hard to square.

Where exactly these books came from was fairly clear. In many cases the author identifies himself and their identity can be linked directly to the apostles and Jesus’s ministry. But why these particular books were included and others, as I learned, were intentionally left out was a complete mystery.
How do we, as Evangelicals, affirm these books to be infallible while declaring others to be not.

How do we know?

I was no closer to an answer, so I kept digging.

I learned that the biblical canon became relatively stable around about 400AD. The Protestant sources I read argued that these books, clearly, were collected together and considered canonical because they were the most read in and, thus, the most respected.

But why were they the most read while others weren’t?

As I dug deeper no satisfying answers emerged and even the best Protestant scholars admitted that the thesis of these particular books standing out of their own merit was weak.

Instead, it was the Church which affirmed these books as worthy to read, copy, and pass around amongst congregations. Congregations under the unequivocal authority of bishops who drew in a successive line tracing back to the apostles.

In other words, it was bishops like Augustine (who affirms a canon in his early writings) who authoritatively declared which books and letters, out of those being circulated, should carry weight.
And, finally, when these same bishops got together to make early pronouncements on the biblical canon in the 400’s it was through the authoritative mechanism of a Church Council. The same mechanism that Peter, Paul, et. al. used to sort out the earliest theological scramblings in Jerusalem (see Acts 15).

As I dug deep into the formation of the biblical canon I was flabbergasted because even the most robust of the Protestant theologians, R.J. Sproul, admits that the unless we afford some authority to the Catholic Church (we he doesn’t) we must admit that the Bible is, ultimately, “an fallible collection of infallible books.”

You can see my difficulties.

Unless we are to admit that the Catholic Church, with its hierarchy of bishops et cetera, held some kind of God-given authority and infallibility to collect up the Bible into its current form then we must be comfortable in admitting that maybe we got it wrong.

How can we trust that?

Because there is no infallible Table of Contents and nothing in the New or Old Testaments gives us a clue as to what should be in there.

Martin Luther, first-leg runner of the Reformation, actually wanted to remove certain pieces (like Hebrews and James) because they didn’t fit with what his interpretation of the salvation looked like. We know from history that these same sorts of disagreements happened in the first 400 years of the Church when there was no fixed canon.

Who’s to say that some letters and books weren’t removed then?

No one.

Unless we trust the Church.

I want to end with this,

In the first 400 years of Christian history, without a fixed canon, it had to have been the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, which maintained unity and helped its people to discern right, wrong, and understand its theology and teachings. Nevermind that most couldn’t read and even with a Bible it wouldn’t be much good; the Holy Spirit guided the authoritative teachers of the Church, first the apostles, and then their successors, in helping to discern important pieces of theology and identity.
It was in the first 400 years, before the serious concretization of the biblical canon, that important pieces of the Christian worldview like our understanding of the Trinity and the Person of Jesus were developed. These were developed and defended passionately by the Church at the time—before the Bible was canonized.

These developments happened within the context of a Church with an authority structure which also made decisions on how we can, and do, pray for the dead, the important place of the Blessed Virgin, the power and necessity of Baptism so save, and the unequivocal Real Presence of Christ in the Communion elements.

If we trust the Bible we have, how can we avoid trusting the Church?

In other words, if the Bible is infallible it can only be because it was put together by an infallible authority which is the Catholic Church.

The same Church which exists today, authoritatively governed by bishops who succeeded the men who collected the Bible, because Christ Himself said nothing would overcome it.

And, truly, if we trust the Bible but throw out everything else that the Church affirmed and taught prior to canonization than we’re doing nothing more than snacking as we please at a theological buffet. Established doctrinal norms like the Trinity and the Personhood of Jesus are not any more “evident in Scripture” than the Eucharist as Real Presence, the necessity of Baptism, and a Catholic understanding of the Communion of the Saints.

Like the canon of the Bible, these doctrines were affirmed by authority and rely, ultimately, on an extra-biblical source.

It was these struggles, as an Evangelical, which amounted merely to more information heaped onto an ever-growing pile of other compelling evidence. Answers without satisfactory questions; and the most I asked and received answers the more another way began to become more appealing.

These questions did have incredibly satisfying answers, I learned, found in the historic Church. A Church which claims continuity and historical pedigree stretching back to Jesus laying hands on a fisherman named Peter. And I’ve found, much to my delight, a spirituality, a historical grounding, and depth of faith and grace in this historic Church beyond anything I could’ve imagined before.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

THE CONFUSION CAUSED BY RAMIL PARBA USING HEBREW TEXT OF GENESIS 23:6 TO SHOW THE GREEK WORD, THEOS IN THE THIRD CLAUSE OF JOHN 1:1 IS NOT A NOUN BUT AN ADJECTIVE

Ni Kapatid na Duane

We can see in this video that Parba found it very difficult to distort the Bible verses using his questionable knowledge of biblical languages.

Since his explanation of John 1:1 is wrong, no New Testament scholar will agree with him that the Greek word "Theos" in John 1:1 is an adjective. He used the verse from the Old Testament where the Hebrew word, "נְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים" or "mighty prince" in English was compared to the 3rd clause of John 1:1 "and the Word was God".

IF UNDERSTANDING OF HEBREW TEXT IS WRONG, WHAT MORE IF IT IS ABOUT SYNTAX?

When Ramil Parba read Genesis 23:6, we noticed he read the word, אֲדֹנִי (Adoni) as Adonay so he referred to Abraham as God. He was wrong from the start.

Is it right to use the Hebrew Word "נְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים" or "n'si Elohim" from Genesis 23:6 to show that the Greek word Theos in the 3rd clause of John 1:1 is an adjective?

He used the Hebrew syntax since he wanted to rectify his wrong understanding about the Greek syntax?

שְׁמָעֵנוּ אֲדֹנִי, נְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים אַתָּה בְּתוֹכֵנוּ--בְּמִבְחַר קְבָרֵינוּ, קְבֹר אֶת-מֵתֶךָ; אִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ, אֶת-קִבְרוֹ לֹא-יִכְלֶה מִמְּךָ מִקְּבֹר מֵתֶךָ.
(Genesis 23:6, Hebrew Bible)

First of all, Elohim is not an adjective in Genesis 23:6. As usual, think context. Genesis is an ancient narrative, in Hebrew, written in the sixth or fifth century BCE, in formal courtly language: “a prince of God.” As opposed to ancient narrative, John (half a millennium later) is making a solemn claim, in Greek, that Jesus is God and co-eternal with God. The Hebrew and the Greek cannot be compared on equal terms. The Hittites (polytheists!) are not thinking John's "God."

John specifically and dramatically is claiming that Jesus IS GOD.

John 1:1 is Greek, while Genesis 23:6 is Hebrew; so the rules of syntax are somewhat different.
Greek syntax works different than Hebrew syntax.

Ramil Parba is trying to confuse the issue by appealing to Hebrew syntax as a way to refute a point of Greek syntax.

That would be like suggesting a point in Spanish syntax could illumine an issue in French syntax—mixing apples and oranges.

The question about the syntax in John 1:1 is Greek, so the only kind of syntactical parallels that will count must be in Greek.

video

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On the Issue of Banning (Muslim) "Refugees" on Possibility of Bringing in "Terrorism Ideology"



WHO IS MS. BRIGITTE GABRIEL?

Brigitte Gabriel was born in the Marjeyoun District of Lebanon to a Maronite Christian couple, a first and only child after over twenty years of marriage. She recalls that during the Lebanese Civil War, Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base near her family's house and destroyed her home. Gabriel, who was ten years old at the time, was injured by shrapnel in the attack. She says that she and her parents were forced to live underground in all that remained, an 8-by-10-foot (2.4 by 3.0 m) bomb shelter for seven years, with only a small kerosene heater, no sanitary systems, no electricity or running water, and little food. She says she had to crawl in a roadside ditch to a spring for water to evade Muslim snipers.

According to Gabriel, at one point in the spring of 1978, a bomb explosion caused her and her parents to become trapped in the shelter for two days. They were eventually rescued by three Christian militia fighters, one of whom befriended Gabriel but was later killed by a land mine.
Gabriel wrote that in 1978 a stranger warned her family of an impending attack by the Islamic militias on all Christians. She says that her life was saved when the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in Operation Litani. Later, when her mother was seriously injured and taken to an Israeli hospital, Gabriel was surprised by the humanity shown by the Israelis, in contrast to the constant propaganda against the Jews she saw as a child. She says of the experience:
I was amazed that the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Palestinian and Muslim gunmen...These Palestinians and Muslims were sworn, mortal enemies, dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. Yet, Israeli doctors and nurses worked feverishly to save their lives. Each patient was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. The doctor treated my mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his. The Israelis did not see religion, political affiliation, or nationality. They saw only people in need, and they helped.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

REFUTING RAMIL PARBA ON JOHN 1:1 by Bro. Duane

By Bro. Duane

Let us analyze in detail. This will only show that his assessment is very inappropriate.

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: Kaya nang suriin ito ng mga nagsipagsuri ito ang sinasabi nila about the function of the term theos or God in the third clause of John 1:1, ito ang ating mababasa sa, The Fourth Gospel: Its Significance & Environment sa page 99:

"The closing words of v.1 should be translated, 'the Logos was divine.' Here the word theos has no article, thus giving it the significance of an adjective."

My Response: We saw Ramil Parba quote the book, “The Fourth Gospel: Its Significance & Environment” which is on page 99.

Is that really written on page 99 of said book?

This is page 99 of the book mentioned by Ramil Parba.

"about the purifiying is connected with baptism, and we do know exactly what form it would take. It is introduced only to to give the Baptist the opportunity of declaring again his subordination to Jesus. The disciples of John endeavour to rouse in their master jealousy of Jesus. Probably the dispute was as to whethere Jesus baptism or John's was the more effective. vv. 31-36 are a comment and reflection of the Evangelist. All the ideas are most with elsewhere, in the other parts of the Gospel. They are suggested by the Baptist's wods in Ἐν, 27-30. "(The Fourth Gospel: Its Significance & Environment”, page 99.)

It is clear that it is not written in page 99!

--------------------------------------------------------------

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: The term "GOD" or "Theos" in John 1:1 doesn't function as NOUN but it does function as Adjective. That is a predicative adjective and it is not a predicative nominative. the Word Was GOD. "The" is an Article. "WORD" is the subject of the clause "was" is a linking verb. "GOD" this is predicative adjective. So the "GOD" is predicative adjective because of the absence of the article."

Is it correct? No! It was very, very WRONG!

Let us answer what he said one-by-one.

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: The term "GOD" or "Theos" in John 1:1 doesn't function as NOUN but it does function as Adjective."

My Response: This is incorrect. Theos is a noun. While adjectives (like “good,” “bad,” etc) can function in a number of ways, nouns always function as nouns (substantives). Liddell and Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, present no evidence of the use of θεὸς as an adjective, as follows: ὁ θεὸς, “God, in a general sense, θεὸς δώσει “God will give,” and in a particular sense, θεὸς τις “a god.” The noun, θεὸς, thus does not require a definite article to function as a noun, as follows: πρὸς θεῶν “by the gods.”

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: That is a predicative adjective and it is not a predicative nominative. the Word Was God.

My Response: This is a misunderstanding of what a “predicate adjective” is. A predicate adjective is an adjective acting substantially (like a noun) in the predicate position. This happens when nouns or adjectives are working with equative verbs (like “was” here).

--------------------------------------------------------------

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: Kaya nga naninindigan tayo at sinasang-ayunan yan ng ibang mga bible scholars, in fact even in the Greek Grammar talagang yung sabihin na logos dyan without the article sabi nila it functions as adjective at hindi po a noun or hindi po nominative in form.
Ramil Parba used the book of Professor Daniel B. Wallace, the Greek Grammar beyond the basics and quoted Page 269 which states.

“Such an option does not at all impugn the deity of Christ. Rather, it stresses that, although the person of Christ is not the person of the Father, their essence is identical. Possible translations are as follows:"What God was, the Word was (NEB), or "the Word was divine" (a modified Moffatt). In this second translation, "divine" is acceptable only if it is a term that can be applied only to true deity. However, in modern English, we use it with reference to angels, theologians, even meal. Thus "divine could be misleading in an English Translation. (Page 269, Greek Grammar beyond the basics, Daniel B. Wallace)”

My Response: What is the comment of a renowned New Testament scholar about this?
"I was shocked to learn that InC ministers had used my Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics in support of their heterodox beliefs."(Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Author of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Ramil Parba (INC Minister) said: Pero maliwanag dito sa sinasabi nila na the word was divine, ang sabi nila e yun ang mas angkop na pagkakasalin tulad ng binanggit nya na salin ni James Moffatt.
"The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine."(John 1:1, James Moffatt Version)

My Response: What does the New Testament Scholar, Dr. Daniel Wallace said in his comment?
"Consequently, I have no problem translating it as ‘divine’ as long as we understand that only true deity is divine. "(Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Author of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics)
Now, here is my question: Is James Moffatt against Christ being God?

This is the information about James Moffatt.

James Moffatt was an orthodox Trinitarian who supported the Nicene Creed and Chalcedon Confession:

"The Word was God...And the Word became flesh,' simply means "The word was divine...And the Word became human.' The Nicene faith, in the Chalcedon definition, was intended to conserve both of these truths against theories that failed to present Jesus as truly God and truly man..." Moffatt, Jesus Christ the Same, (Abingdon-Cokesbury), 1945, p.61.

Moffatt apparently did believe that "divine" signified that Jesus was "one and the same God" with ho theos.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WACOM - 4TH WORLD APOSTOLIC CONGRESS ON MERCY



Please reglarly update yourselves by clicking the LIKE  or FOLLOW the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy Facebook Page.

Jose Ventilacion: Iglesia Ni Cristo Apologist Expert on Textual Criticism?

WHO IS DR. EUGENE ULRICH?
By Bro. Duane

Dr. Eugene Ulrich teaches and writes in the areas of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Septuagint. A member of the translation teams for both the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible and the New American Bible: Revised Edition, he also co-authored The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. He is one of the three General Editors of the Scrolls International Publication Project and Chief Editor of the Biblical Scrolls.

He was twice elected as President of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies and was invited as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Recently, he was elected as President of the Catholic Biblical Association and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Here is my question to Iglesia ni Cristo:

Why is it that up to now, the iglesia ni Cristo of felix manalo does not have its own bible translated by an Iglesia ni Cristo minister specially Mr. Joe Ventilacion who claim to be someone who studied textual criticism?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Challenge of Bro. Duane to INC's Top Defender Mr. Jose Ventilacion!

My Message for Joe Ventilacion (INC™) Regarding His Education At Harvard University

Source: The Splendor of the Church Blog

When Kuya Adviser posted his article on his FB page, Ventilacion posted comments on his FB page about me. He said I was challenging him and asking questions about textual criticism and that I have to study more about this topic.

He is simply boasting that he studied at Harvard University. He posted this on his FB Page conspicuously.


I am just wondering who among bible and textual scholars from Harvard University favor the interpretation made by Jose Ventilacion.

I asked Dr. Eugene Ulrich, a former professor at Harvard University who among his colleagues do not agree with King Cyrus referring to “Bird of Prey” in Isaiah 46:11. It is clear that Ventilacion does not concur with this and instead, he makes it appear that Felix Manalo is the one just like what his Church is doing.

Here is the email response of Dr. Eugene Ulrich:


By the way, Dr. Eugene Ulrich is one of my mentors in Biblical Languages.

Now, you studied at Harvard but you did not follow your professors and mentors in textual criticism who said explicitly that Cyrus is really being referred to as the Bird of Prey in Isaiah 46:11 and yet, it is Manalo whom you are pointing at.


It is clear you studied at Harvard University not to learn from the experts and it is not for you to boast about it. So, you do not follow what you learned.

You attended the SBL Annual Meeting and you were given the go-signal by your Executive Minister, Eduardo V. Manalo.


If it was Dr. James Richard Saley who delivered the lecture and you attended that, participated and listened; is it not a slap on your face as a result of what is written in your Pasugo Magazine?


I asked Dr. Eugene Ulrich if he knows Dr. James Richard Saley. Dr. Eugene Ulrich told me they are good friends and he presumes Dr. Saley is a Protestant.

Does Dr. James Richard Saley know that you taught your listeners that Felix Manalo is the Bird of Prey in Isaiah 46:11? Can you ask him if he agrees with your interpretation? 🙂

So, Joe Ventilacion listened to a Protestant whom you addressed as Devil. And, you studied at Harvard University wherein some professors are Protestants.

I give you 2 weeks to answer my post at splendor that INC members can read. I pray that you will be enlightened as well as them someday or they will soon realize your false teachings.

Answer the following because you studied textual criticism at Harvard University:

  1. Who are the Bible Professors and Textual Scholars from Harvard University favor your interpretation that Felix Manalo is the Bird of Prey in Isaiah 46:11?
  2. Who are the textual scholars from Harvard University who taught you that you translated Mizrach in Isaiah 43:5 of Aleppo Codex as “Far East”? Give me the names of at least 3 textual scholars.
  3. Who are the textual scholars from Harvard University whom you can prove translated the Greek word (Logos) in John 1:1 to “idea” as you did?
  4. Who are the textual scholars (at least three) from Harvard University who can give testimonies that your LAMSA Translation is Accurate?
I will wait for your reply, Joe Ventilacion.

And, if you are boasting that we need to square off in a debate, do not give me any conditions that I should pay for the venue rental since there are many public venues which are free.


Just tell me when and I will submit my proposal to the nearest INC Local.

Prove that the LAMSA is accurate using Greek text and testimonies of Aramaic scholars if you are really intelligent in textual criticism and that I still need to study.

Sincerely,

Bro. Duane

My Blog List

My Calendar

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...