My sons just put a ping pong table in the basement, so perhaps it's fitting that I find myself meanwhile, and surprisingly, occupied with a little game of blog pong.
It seems that Dan Woodrung has taken my previous post as an opening volley, to which he replied, not here, but over on his own blog.
Fair enough, I guess, since I did not reply to his musings about his journey to Rome on his blog in the first place. Fine. So now, in the spirit of blog pong, I'll reply to his blog, yet not there, but from my end of the table.
First, he says he thinks, and then, that at least he "rather hopes" that I did not mean to say that Cyprian said both that there is no salvation outside the church and that the church is where her marks are.
No, sir: I did not mean to say that Cyprian was responsible for the second part; but then, you did know that about me, didn't you. This "rather hoping" of yours seems rather unnecessary.
What I do mean to say is that there is no salvation outside the church. Now if you consent also to the idea that the Church of Rome is the church, then unless there is some qualification you must believe that I am outside the church, and that I am among the damned. And this, though I believe the Gospel, that Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That's a problem, it seems to me.
Next, Mr Woodrung quotes Cyprian at some great length in an attempt to show that Cyprian must mean that the church may only be found where the Bishop of Rome is.
Now here's where it gets interesting. To my rescue comes my old friend Fr Gregory Hogg, an Orthodox priest, providing some additional Cyprian quotes to provide what he calls "balance": these quotes show that Cyprian is not as monolithic about the authority of the See of Rome as Mr Woodrung was evidently seeking to show.
To this Mr Woodrung cries foul, and says, if I get this right, that because the balancing quotes were (so he thought) merely lifted from another web page, therefore Fr Hogg was behaving in a "shameful" way. What, because he lifted quotes from another site (which he insists he did not do)? But even if he had done so, so what? How would that be shameful? A Cyprian quote is a Cyprian quote. Who cares where it came from?
This caused me for the second time in one sitting to raise an eyebrow. What's going on here? Are we cross?
All of this is really very intriguing to me. Perhaps I should just let Mr Woodrung and Fr Hogg debate the matter while I watch.
I guess maybe all of this would make Fr Hogg the Blog Pong referee? Not sure.