Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Seeing Eye Dog Controversy: Conclusion

A notable feature of the seeing eye dog controversy is the repeated statement that "dogs are unclean animals." Naturally, nobody can give me a clear citation to this effect, certainly not from the NT. (In this age of on-line bibles, there's no excuse for an inaccurate citation; if you use The Unbound Bible you can get it in a variety of versions, translations, and even different versions of the original text.)

There's something Levitical about this pronouncement, and indeed in other places I see Eastern Orthodox (generally men) reinventing menstrual purity laws, in direct contradiction to the council in Acts 15. And there's a rabbinical exactitude to limiting Peter's vision in Acts 10 to the purity of food. Unfortunately, taking that tack completely guts the point of the vision in the first place; after all, Peter wasn't going to eat Cornelius! The vision must be given an expansive interpretation for it to have the necessary meaning; it doesn't just mean that we can now eat pork chops.

Which brings up another point about theological "argument": maybe even most of the time, it's nothing better than rationalization. Most of the content of the seeing eye dog argument was about justifying a rule that everyone already "knew" but nobody could really cite. The message everyone should have gotten was, "maybe I don't really know this rule after all."

6 comments:

尼古拉 said...

Menstrual purity is in the canons of Saint Dionysius and others in the Rudder too. This is simply part of tradition that you choose to ignore for modern comfort and political correctness. Of course you ignore the canons or reinterpret them how you feel they should be interpreted (Protestantism to a tee?) to try and nullify the Faith of the Fathers.

C. Wingate said...

The obvious point is that it is a defective tradition, Nick. You have no argument if all you have to say is that "It's in the Pedalion."

尼古拉 said...

Perhaps we should hold an Ecumenical Council so you can teach them that the Church Fathers and Tradition is wrong because the high and mighty Charles Windgate has declared tradition to be defective and his opinion is supreme, not the Church!

C. Wingate said...

Well, Nick, you aren't listening if you think I'm going to take you as an authority on "the" tradition. Tradition as a whole includes a lot more than your favorite patristic prooftexts, and tradition as a whole is extremely unkind to menstrual purity laws because they are so blatantly wrong.

If the churches can't even implement the Aleppo solution to the calendar, what makes you think there could ever be an ecumenical council? Your church has already declared itself to be the Ecumen; how could they swallow their pride and converse with "heretics"?

I'm not high and mighty; I'm just a layman who can read enough scripture to see that those whom you claim to be high and mighty are talking nonsense.

尼古拉 said...

To quote a phrase, Why should I care what calendar the heretics are on? Sorry the Church of the WCC means nothing to me except to point out to show people as a wrong.

C. Wingate said...

You should care about the calendar, Nick, because it does affect you. It's only sectarians that can entertain the illusion that there is no greater Christianity of which they are only a tiny fraction. The reality is that all of the various claims as to who is the Church are seen-- correctly-- as positioning attempts within the entirety of Christianity. I don't mean to assert that such claims could never be true, but rather that what people see first is the likeness between the churches, not the difference. The errors of one tar them all, and the inability of them to work together is a scandal to them all.

The calendar thing is particularly scandalous because it obviously has nothing to do with theology.