Recent interaction with Turretinfan on his 4th response to Jay Dyer’s criticism, for those keeping score at home:


St. Luke himself addressed your errors in chapter 24 of his Holy Gospel:

“31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? 33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, 34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.

41 But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish, and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them. 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

46 And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 And I send the promise of my Father upon you: but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.”

Obviously there is no way, according to your philosophical and (if I might coin a word) scientistic mindset to explain the vanishing and appearing of Christ, nor the supposition of the gathered disciples, nor the vivid descriptions of our Lord’s bodily yet glorified presence. You are content to live with these mysteries, yet you wish to cast aspersions of absurdity on your opponents. Forgetting that, in the fulness of time, Christ died, was buried and resurrected, you neglect to make the necessary conclusion that He then manifested in the fullest sense His glorification and full “re-entry” (as it were) into an eternal mode of being. Temporal constraints do not affect Him any longer. One of your fellow Protestants, the brilliant astronomer and astrophysicist Dr. Hugh N. Ross, wrote an excellent book called “Beyond the Cosmos” in which he addresses the “multi-location” argument and demonstrates the flaw in your logic.

As to the original point of monotheletism (alternatively: monotheletelism), you again (as with Nestorianism) imply that the heresy was improperly condemned. You hastened to add your condemnation of the tenet, but one wonders why you felt, here as before, the need to apologize in some fashion for the heretics. Monotheletism was an offshoot of monophysitism, as Nestorianism was an echo of Apollinarianism. All of them were in error, and rightly condemned. Peppering your defense with veiled excuses, as has been pointed out, tends to give rise to concern about the total adherence to the orthodox doctrine.

As an aside, I look forward to further discussion in subsequent posts about your assertion that the Eucharistic Presence is “physical,” as you put it. Specifically, I am curious as to your definition of physical, and the implications for your rejection of the doctrine of transubstantiation.

And, later on (quoted sections Turretinfan, unquoted sections my responses) :

“The physical sciences are what they are. They deal with what exists in the physical world. They cannot explain miracles, but they can observe the results.”

The physical sciences can most assuredly tell us all about the accidental properties. What they cannot do is divulge hidden supernatural realities. They are natural sciences. When you start up a metaphysical laboratory, let me know.

“The absurdity is saying that Christ is physically present, when it is so obvious that he is not. Arguing that his presence can only be perceived ‘by faith’ (I think I already provided the CCC cite above) just makes the Emporer-clothing analogy too tempting.”

The “physical” reality is present in a sacramental manner, as has always been asserted. The explanation of transubstantiation is a metaphysical construct, and you know this, yet you wish to misapply natural sciences to investigate it, and then wish to hurl invective at your straw man. Go right ahead. You fall prey to the same criticism, of course. You rightly reject that criticism from others with regard to issues where faith is a proper and necessary precursor, so I fail to see why you insist on using the criticism now. Other than that you don’t mind being inconsistent, that is. Reductio ad absurdum here is awfully tempting, as well.

“Let’s not play games.”

I’m not. I’m contending that you haven’t held up your contentions to as many aspects of orthodoxy as necessary. Take issue with the contentions as you may, but don’t brush them off as gamesmanship. If you had in mind Christ’s glorification and eternal manner of existence, you wouldn’t have objected to His sacramental presence in the Eucharist, or the re-presentation of the once-for-all-sacrifice of Calvary, or any of the other carefully elaborated distinctives with improper methodology or inapt criticisms like you did. Claiming DNA testing of a consecrated Host should reveal human DNA is akin to claiming that a sphygmomenometer should reveal emotional states. Or that satellite telescopes should clearly give scientific evidence of Jesus in the heavenly places. Make big enough mirrors and lenses and you should be able to see Him on the throne, right? Given that you can point it in the right direction. He’s physical, therefore spatial, therefore detectable. Just using your logic, TF.

“That’s an interesting claim, but not one that is necessary to debate, since it is not really germane to the topic at hand.” and “If the argument itself were brilliant, I’m sure you’d use it, instead of him. :)”

While I appreciate the inapt comparison to Dr. Ross, whose intellect causes me no little wonder, temporal constraints are germane to the multilocative criticism you and Rhology raised. The basic point Dr. Ross made to which I was referring is (and here I think Dr. Craig’s critique falls short) is precisely that He is (or can be properly conceived of as being) perpendicular to our temporal line. I will revisit the book in question to find the section from which I took that conclusion, but Steve (Mr. Hays, I presume), I concur with Dr. Craig’s critique insofar as he points out the ill-formed kenotic position of Dr. Ross. The two positions do not depend on one another, and a Christologically orthodox rendering of the underlying atemporality is precisely what I was briefly arguing.

TF, if you recall, I started my remarks with citation from St. Luke where physical attributes which really substantially exist can and did exist in ways transcending physical limitations. The eyesight of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, which theretofore had no problem discerning the identity of the Lord, did not function as it should have. Jesus was still Jesus, and their eyes were still their eyes. Something supernatural was at work. Something which interfered with natural means of detection. Physical people don’t just suddenly appear in the midst of a group in a room, most especially not after they’ve been dead for a few days. Something supernatural happened, which you concede without minding apparent logical and scientific difficulties.

As to interaction with PP John Paul II and Paul VI, I think, as usual, clarifying remarks were excluded. Paul VI elaborated “For what now lies beneath the aforementioned species is not what was there before, but something completely different; and not just in the estimation of Church belief but in reality, since once the substance or nature of the bread and wine has been changed into the body and blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species—beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical ‘reality,’ corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.”

The manner is a sacramental manner. I would remind you that this has a quite specific meaning which you ignore at no little risk to your criticism, as I have attempted to explain above.

End of interaction section.

For those wondering, I hadn’t encountered Jay Dyer’s “Nicene Truth” site before; it’s quite enjoyable. Lots of great stuff, and some… interesting stuff. As with practically everything these days, I feel compelled to make the usual disclaimers about not espousing or endorsing each and every thing on there.  I’ll try to contact Mr. Dyer to see if he minds being added to the sidebar.