Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Update: The young messiah and the case of nominalism

Brother Andre Marie of the St. Benedict center took on this issue as well in his radio show.
You can find it by clicking HERE

So a new 'Jesus' movie came out during lent... no surprise
The movie contains grevious errors and even outright heresy... no surprise.

Catholics both lay and ordained are applauding the effort... exactly, no surprise.

You can even listen to the 3/11 show of Catholic Answers live in which Steven Grayanus reviews the movie and applauds it, all the while down playing the Christological error within as not important, because... well its complicated.

Dave Armstrong (whom I have had disagreements with in the past) has recently wrote about the nominalism and grevious problems within the movie:

"The Young Messiah is the latest “Bible movie” to appear. The problem is that it’s not (technically speaking) all that “biblical.” We know very little about Jesus’ childhood, and so the film draws from extrabiblical sources of mostly dubious historical value. For background’s sake, it’s drawn from Anne Rice‘s 2005 novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Rice has since left the Catholic Church and “organized religion” (I have written about the inadequacy of her reasoning in that respect). As soon as I saw the first TV ad for this movie my immediate reaction was to be suspicious of it. I highly suspected that it would portray the young Jesus in a way that was contrary to the Catholic faith, in terms of Jesus’ own self-consciousness and omniscience. I haven’t seen it, but this is indeed the case, according to several sources. One of my roles as a professional Catholic apologist is, of course, to be a sort of watchdog, and I write occasionally about religious films, from that standpoint — not from the purely artistic perspective (though I like art — especially music — as much as the next person).
Thus, following that distinction, I’m not asserting (I want to make it clear) that there is no good in it whatsoever or that it can’t possibly be a good movie qua movie, or move people, or even bring some into the faith or a deeper faith walk (God may use whatever and whomever He likes for that purpose); but it is so suspect that I would strongly recommend avoidance of it, lest someone receive wrong theology from it (more on that below).

I was happy to learn that the director consulted Christian theologians and didn’t include some aspects of Rice’s novel that were thought to be too controversial. Indeed, The Young Messiah has been glowingly reviewed by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. These distinguished men of the Church (I once met Abp. Chaput and am a great admirer of his) seem to see nothing wrong with the movie at all, which (with all due profound respect to the office of bishop, and with trembling) is disturbing to me and a curiosity. Steven D. Greydanus, “everyone’s” favorite Catholic movie critic, wrote an almost ecstatic review. He links to a second piece he wrote specifically about Jesus’ self-awareness. I must, again, respectfully disagree with his summary of the issue of Jesus’ human knowledge (Steven’s not a bishop, but I like his work a lot!). He stated that “when and how Jesus came to the conscious human knowledge of his identity that he did not have at conception is not a matter of clear scriptural teaching or defined Catholic dogma.” This is untrue. There are several aspects of development of the human knowledge of Jesus (an extraordinarily complicated aspect of Christology) that are legitimate and perfectly orthodox. But not knowing Who He was (or growing into that awareness) is not one of these. Dr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma is a solid source for the determination of what the Church teaches on a doctrinal and dogmatic level. It will soon be updated, by the way. My good friend, Dr. Robert Fastiggi, of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, is involved in that. Dr. Ott provides the following dogmatic statements (his bolding):

Christ’s soul possessed the immediate vision of God from the first moment of its existence. (Sent. certa.) . . . Christ’s soul possessed it in this world . . . from the Conception. . . . (p. 162)

Christ’s human knowledge was free from positive ignorance and from error. (Sent. certa.) Cf. D2184 et seq. (p. 165)"

You can read the rest of it HERE


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