Location: Texas, United States

Evangelical Anglo-Catholic Deacon in the Episcopal Church (Dallas). I also received a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary in Historical Theology and Pastoral Ministries and am completing a post-graduate certificate in Anglican Studies from Nashotah House Seminary.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Treatises on Saints and Divine Images, Introduction

In the Protestant/Catholic debate one issue that always comes up is the veneration of the saints. Sometimes on the lay level this digresses into an unhelpful "you worship Mary!", "no we don’t!" childish match.

In defense of a more Catholic understanding, I want to point out five different issues that tend to get muddled, but are not the same.

1) Veneration of the Saints

2) Veneration of Angels

3) Intersession of Saints

4) Intersession of Angels

5) Veneration through Icons

I will argue that it is appropriate to venerate the saints, but not appropriate to seek their intercession. Not appropriate to venerate angels, and irrelevant about seeking their intercession, and permissible to use Icons in worship. (Hence, "more Catholic" vs. "Catholic")

These issues are not all necessarily connected. It may be that the 7th council was wrong about Icons, but right about veneration. Or it may be it is permissible to ask a saint for intercession, but not ok to venerate them. Both sides need to start making these distinctions, which always get lost in the polemical hash.

In the next blog, I'll go into why I think #1 is permissible. If anyone has any prior objections please post them, so I make sure to interact with them as I continue.

One preliminary point needs to be made. My starting presupposition is against a "regulative principle" of Worship. (basically that where Scripture is silent on type of worship or Christian practice, then it is not allowed) Therefore, I'll be arguing for logical connections that lead to these ideas, and am only concerned about conflict with Scripture, not proof-texting these ideas.


Anonymous Xavier said...

Looking forward to your upcoming posts

11:14 PM  

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