Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Mark Shea: "No, I Can't Defend My Position, but I Can Pretend"
07/21/2009 - James WhiteJames Swan sent me about ten clips of Shea defending his a-historical Marianism that I hope to get to on the DL soon. Today Shea posted a blog article that makes brief reference to my comments on his attack on the perspecuity and sufficiency of Scripture (found here). As is often the case with our friends on the far side of the Tiber River, though he linked to my blog article, he did not, of course, provide any kind of meaningful rebuttal (that seems to be "below" today's Roman Catholic apologists). If you look at what Shea claimed regarding marriage and the Bible, and compare Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19 (a text he somehow managed to forget to include in his diatribe), Shea's duplicity is easily seen. I included at the end of the citation of Matthew's gospel these words: "Let Mr. Shea rail away at the 'lack of clarity' of God's Word here. The child of God knows better." So instead of responding to the refutation of his own claim, Shea meanders elsewhere:
You can always find some sort of biblical justification for your pet idea. And with sufficient will power or ego, you can trumpet your pet idea as the Revealed Will of God Almighty, denouncing anybody who questions your pet theory, not as somebody who questions your pet theory, but as an enemy of God who "rails away" at God Almighty, while "The child of God knows better." It's a very cozy way to congratulate yourself.I could theorize that Shea just doesn't think his readers will follow his links to see that he is not even attempting a meaningful response, but for the moment, I will just allow his statements to stand on their own. In any case, it was what came after this that caught my attention:
The thing is, the perspicuity of Scripture is one of those ideas, like Marxism, that is the result of theory run amuck and removed entirely from the laboratory of real life. Now Christianity has room for doctrines that can't be empirically verified. The doctrine of the Trinity is a classic. We believe it because God revealed it to us through Christ and his Holy Church. There's no scientific demonstration of it. Neither is there scientific disproof of it. It's not open to empirical investigation. You either trust God and his Church on this or you don't. All arguments against it can be refuted by reason. But it can't be proven by reason alone.Notice the fundamental epistemological difference between the dedicated follower of Romanism and the follower of Christ and His Word: why does Shea believe in the Trinity? "Because God revealed it to us through Christ and his Holy Church." I believe in the Trinity because it is part and parcel of the revelation of God in Scripture, which records for us its revelation in the Incarnation of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As a member of Christ's church I gladly recognize that the church is the recipient of this revelation, not the means by which the revelation comes. The church, as the Bride of Christ, obediently proclaims the truth revealed by her Husband. She never confuses her role with that of Christ.
It is important to see this difference, because it explains how Shea can twist and contort history the way he does to shoe-horn the Marian dogmas into the words and teachings of men who did not believe as Shea does. He can assume the existence of the Marian doctrines because his ultimate authority is, of course, Rome, and Rome insists that these doctrines are both true as well as apostolic. History truly need not get in the way of such an over-riding assertion. So, for the consistent follower of Rome, doctrines--whether the divine truth of the Trinity or the man-made falsehoods of the Marian complex of beliefs--are believed upon Rome's authority, not because God speaks in His Word. Once again the chasm between biblical faith and Roman presumption is illustrated with clarity.