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December 10, 2007



Steffen Losel questions "von Balthasar's sacred sociology, which ultimately privileges the magisterium as the decisive source of divine revelation". But really, what's happening to the editorial staff of Modern Theology? Balthasar, ultimately privileging the magisterium as a SOURCE of divine revelation??? What book of Balthasar has Losel been reading??? This is laughable!!! Perhaps Modern Theology's quality as a scholarly journal is slipping?


Before being critical of the essay based only on the abstract, I would read the essay. Loesel is one of the best German protestant scholars on von balthasar and his argument has warrant. I think he is drawing on Balthasar's office of Peter.


Well, i've read all fifteen volumes of the trilogy plus almost all the other major and minor works. As for "The Office of Peter", nowhere does Balthasar talk of the Petrine Ministry as a SOURCE of divine revelation. Not even Scripture is a SOURCE of divine Revelation. ONLY JESUS CHRIST is the SOURCE OF REVELATION. Vatican II speaks of TWO CHANNELS OF THE ONE SOURCE OF REVELATION, JESUS CHRIST. The "two sources" theory, i.e., Scripture AND Tradition, of Vatican I was superseded by that of the "two channels" theory of Vatican II. The Magisterium is the "decisive INTERPRETER of revelation" within that stream of the Tradition. The Modern Theology notice simply creates a distortion. Loesel may be a good Protestant interlocutor, but he is NOT the only one... If that is indeed what he says, that Balthasar thinks the magisterium is the "decisive SOURCE of divine revelation," then I accuse him of a gross and perhaps malign distortion of Balthasar's thinking. I wonder whether the greatest Protestant Theologian of the 20th century, Karl Barth of course, could have maintained any ecumenical links with Balthasar if the latter had held that the magisterium is a SOURCE OF REVELATION. Barth and Balthasar had their differences, but on this point, Barth would have come to the defence of Balthasar!!!


Correction: the "two sources" theory was the Council of Trent's, not Vatican I's.

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