Actually I did regret it & all the comments that followed it. 'Cause now I'm doubting whether I actually hold to a quia subscription of the Confessions or not since I can't honestly confess that Mary remained Ever Virgin. I don't deny she could've remained so, but I also don't confess it. So, apparently my subscription to the Confessions, if Dr. Stephenson is correct, is lacking.
Counterpoint: http://www.logia.org/features/feature193.pdfI don't think this issue is worth discussing except to keep it from becoming dogma on either side as in Rome or Pentacostalism. Either view is fine. Either Mary sought to honor her special appointment by remaining celibate, a great comfort to many single celibate women, or she was a true second Eve, and more properly pursued her vocation as a wife and mother. I think there are a lot of issues like this purposely left open and unknown.
I would agree the issue isn't worth discussing but the assertion has been made that the Confessions teach Semper Virgo & so if you don't confess the SV then your confessional subscription is cracked at the very least. Which kind of seems like a serious charge or issue.
As I indicated on the discussion, I don't think that quia can actually hold the weight we're putting on it. That is a discussion for another day. I certainly hold that Sasse was a fine and upstanding Lutheran; he saw it in the Symbols but disagreed with it; Piepkorn saw it in the Symbols and agreed with it, but dealt with the difficulty that arises when the Symbols speak where the Scriptures are silent and he offers some thoughts about that.
Well, I'll have to find where Piepkorn talks about it then. Because it's one heck of a confusing issue. But the real question still comes down to, it doesn't matter what either Sasse or Piepkorn actually thought about it; if it is held to in the Confessions, what do we do with it? Maybe we should adopt some form of "don't ask, don't tell" policy on the SV.
Well, as one who thinks the Biblical evidence supports it, the answer is easy... ;)
More here: http://www.stpaullutheranchurchhamel.org/Perpetual_Virginity.doc
Well, as one who doesn't think the Biblical evidence supports it, I guess I have more of a problem then.
Is there a simple rule of thumb to help understand how an 'o'rthodox Lutheran decides what aspects of an Ecumenical Council are to be accepted and what may be rejected? Or is it a matter of individual conscience?
Simple rule of thumb: that which accords with the Sacred Scriptures and may be proven therefrom is accepted.
I gather from this thread alone that doesn't actually work. Is there an example of a doctrinal or dogmatic statement of one of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils that fails this test in your judgement?
Why on earth doesn't it work? The Councils, even the Ecumenical, contain many things that no one observes - neither Orthodox, nor Roman, nor Protestant. When it comes to the seventh ecumenical council, the Lutheran Church would certainly disagree with the requirement that icons MUST (as opposed to may) be venerated. St. Gregory the Great obviously said the same. On this, St. Gregory has the Scriptures on his side.
Anastasius, Bishop of Theopolis (d. 609), who was a friend of St. Gregory and translated his "Regula pastoralis" into Greek... makes the distinction between proskynesis and latreia that became so famous in Iconoclast times: "We worship (proskynoumen) men and the holy angels; we do not adore (latreuomen) them. Moses says: Thou shalt worship thy God and Him only shalt thou adore. Behold, before the word 'adore' he puts 'only', but not before the word 'worship', because it is lawful to worship [creatures], since worship is only giving special honour (times emphasis), but it is not lawful to adore them nor by any means to give them prayers of adoration (proseuxasthai)" [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07664a.htm]St. Gregory quite probably did not warn against VENERATING (proskynesis) icons; he spoke against adoring (latreia) them with the same reverence as is due God alone. This is evident in the teaching above by the very disciple of his who translated his Pastoral Rule into Greek.
St. Gregory says what he says - and the point he makes about the images is that their use in the Church is kerygmatic - they proclaim to us, and especially benefit those who cannot read. Certainly he understood that honor is not the same thing as to worship.
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