Of course, we disagree with you on both points.
Right, and that's because you are citing historical sources that do not pertain to any direct evidence.
Your pattern of speaking in vague generalities continues.
My first statement on my first post on this thread noted that discussions with Protestants (like you) "often is an exercise in the non-Catholic finding reason after reason to reject what is offered is 'proof.'" You are making me look prophetic (not that this wasn't easily predictable). So, in yet another attempt by this Board to make you deal in specifics, rather than vague platitudes, I ask: please explain the criteria for determining when a citation to an historical source "pertains to direct evidence" and when it does not.
If citing to a primary historical source such as the writings of St. Basil isn't "direct evidence," then what, pray tell, would ever constitute direct historical evidence in your view? Can you offer some guidance here? If you can't provide that, it's apparent you're just playing the "that's not adequate proof" game.
"Common understanding" among whom? Catholics? Not in the least!!
Of course it is.
In my last post, I laid the challenge for you to provide a Catholic source wherein "Tradition" was defined or discussed to mean "Teachings that come unsupported by either the Bible or history" as you (wrongly) assert the Catholic Church defines it. Your reply doesn't attempt to provide that definition.
"Teachings that come unsupported by either the Bible or history" may be a common "definition" among Protestants; but (as I noted in my prior post), such is NOT the meaning of Tradition among Catholics.
And the way the Church uses tradition is not the same way she defines it.
So are you here finally agreeing that the Catholic Church does NOT define
"Tradition" as "teachings that come unsupported by either the Bible or history?" You keep dancing around this question. Please answer for once.
Since no where in the early church was "Tradition" described or defined as "something that can be taught infallibly without the support of either history or scripture," I have no obligation to "prove" such from any Church Father.
I thought my original post (OP) asked for evidence that tradition defined and used in the same sense the Catholic Church does (I refined the question a little).
And I'm offering as evidence statements affirming that the early church 1) explicitly recognized there are equally authoritative non-written teachings and 2) accepted as matters of doctrine things (e.g., Mary's PV) that you certainly won't agree are Scripturally based, so your only alternative is to acknowledge these doctrines are based in the main on Tradition (more on this below). So you have evidence that Tradition was described and used then just as it is described and used today.
So far I found no such proof to surface. I think what you said here is not what I have argued.
That's because your original post proceeds off a false view of how the Catholic Church defines "Tradition." We can't provide proof to a question that proceeds off a false premise. That's why I keep insisting you provide a definition of "Tradition" from a Catholic source, because that may be the only way I can hope to correct the erroneous view that resides in your head.
I asked a question.
Again, you asked a question based on a flawed premise. But in the further attempt to show how this is the case, I'll ask for information from you:
Please document 1) how the Catholic Church defines "Tradition" (using Catholic-sourced documentation) and 2) where or how in history any Catholic writer has appealed to or used Tradition in a sense contrary to the definition provided. (Or, in light of your later 'what I more specifically meant qualifier,' if you want to focus on how Tradition was "used" then and now, that's fine, too.)
Parker, you are continuing in this notion that there is some disparity between how Catholics today describe Tradition and how earlier generations described it. So the burden falls on you to document that disparity.
By contrast, I've already given one example -- Basil -- who speaks of an equally authorititative non-Scriptural teaching authority (more on Basil below). So your turn: give an example of someone who described (or used) Tradition differently from how the Catholic Church today describes (or uses) it, and provide the words they used in so describing it (or demonstrate how they used it).
Although Basil does mention a belief in the idea that tradition is independent of Scripture, the problem here as mentioned before is that He speaks about the ecclesiastical practices of the bishops (e.g. the sign of the cross, baptisms, using oil, etc.) but not of doctrine. Sorry, try again.
Parker, you're not going to be able to skirt by Basil (or a host of other examples that lie waiting in the wings) by trying to claim the authoritative non-written teachings he refers to pertain just to supposed non-doctrinal matters like the sign of the Cross (and even that has Trinitarian implications). You are exhibiting a failure to grasp the extent to which the early church expressed its doctrinal beliefs through its liturgical practices. But I needn't delve into ancient liturgies at this point, as another example should suffice to show that Basil accepted doctrinal
matters on the basis of Tradition.
Basil, like pretty much near all of his contemporaries, affirmed the belief in Mary's Perpetual Virginity:
"The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin." Basil the Great, "Homilia in sanctam Christi generationem," in Patrologia Graeca 31:1468
Now, Basil could only have based his belief on this matter on two possible sources: 1) Scripture or 2) Tradition. Are you going to contend that Basil could adequately ground his belief on Mary's PV on Scripture alone? I am guessing not (though I'd be fascinated were you to make and support that claim). If not, then here before us is a doctrinal belief
that Basil (under your paradigm where Scripture and Tradition are essentially separate things) must be regarded as basing primarily on Tradition
. And, again, note how Basil asserts this teaching without undertaking some type of historical 'proofing' back through time.
So, again, I am demonstrating through the example of Basil how the early church described and used Tradition as the present Church today describes and uses it. This is the very thing you have asked to see produced. And I have many more examples I can adduce.
Right, and that makes the church look completely ambiguous with its dealings in Scripture.
You consistently fail to distinguish between assertion and argument. What on earth is "ambiguous with its dealings in Scripture" supposed to mean? That's merely an assertion (albeit a non-sensical one). It would start to take on a semblance of argument if you were to give an example or two and attempt to explain how these show "ambiguity with [Church] dealings in Scripture."
So it's pretty much a pointless exercise for the Church to create a list of teachings that were transmitted orally versus those that come via Scripture. Tradition and Scripture overlap far too much to make that exercise meaningful.
Not for us Protestants.
Only for those Protestants who favor this pet argument and who then ignore the logical response that the Scripture/Tradition overlap makes producing a list of "Teachings Which Come Solely From Tradition" impossible. Here you simply ignore my point and regurgitate the same "show me the list" blather. Pet arguments aren't easily abandoned, but this one is beyond saving and deserves to be euthanized.
You see, if the Church argues for the need of this 'Golden Index' catalog for the Canon, then it's OK for us Protestants to demand the Golden Tradition/Non-Tradition list as well. It's only fair.
The Church doesn't argue for a need for a "Golden Index." It merely observes correctly that Scripture itself does not define its own parameters.
This is a case of Protestants mixing the apples and oranges and making a specious argument. "Canon" means "list." Scripture does not by itself identify that list. So historically that list was derived through the witness and practice of the Church (through the "Holy Spirit leading into all truth") in accepting some books as having apostolic origin (and thus authoritative and inspired) and dismissing others as not having the same, direct apostolic origin. But a writing either bears apostolic authority or it does not. It's an either/or matter (apple).
As to Tradition, it is the same Spirit-led witness and practice of the Church which accepts some teachings as properly belonging to the Apostolic "Deposit of Faith," while concluding others do/did not. We are very consistent in our approach to Scripture and Tradition in this regard. But given that all teachings bear the imprint of both Scripture and Tradition to varying degrees, it's not the same either/or "apple" that exists with the question of a book's canonicity. That is, it's not a matter that a teaching can be said to be 'via Scripture only ' or 'via Tradition only.' (It's an 'orange.') So no "Golden Tradition" list which purports to identify teachings that are received apart from Scripture is possible. It's only the fallacious Protestant pet-argument that insists such can or should be done.
When at the outset you phrase the question as "Where in either history or the scriptures do we find a description of tradition the way the Catholic Church defines it," you make the definition of tradition central to the inquiry. (Do you that easily lose track of what you've asked?)
Like I said earlier, the issue is about how tradition is used (which is what I meant more specifically).
At the outset, you phrased it as a matter of how Tradition is "decribed (defined)." Now, you're shifting to say it's a question of "how tradition is used."
The rejoinder to your frequent "I keep asking, but don't ever get an answer" posturing is that you are getting answers; you just keep trying to shift the question to make it seem like you haven't. The "maintain a moving target" technique is one I've seen often before.