I have comments of what you said about the Mass and Karl Keating’s Book. I do not know whether Karl Keating has responded to you or not. Your comments show bad gymnastic exegesis with eisegesis, all opinion, no evidence, and personal interpretation with anti-Catholic attitude. Your comments also show that you go against what is in the Bible to the point no making sense. Why do I say that? I will tell you why. I will not comment on each word you say but key words to demonstrate to you what I say. I want to say this before my response. One thousand difficulties do not make one doubt. The gift of faith is a gift to the humble heart.
You said, “As a person or a representative of a church that holds that the Bible is the inspired and revealed Word of God, as Roman Catholicism does, it would be logical to assume that most of the arguments put forth in defending a biblically derived doctrinal position, would be grounded first upon Scripture, and secondly on man's reasoning and tradition.” Do you know that the Bible came from what you called man traditions? The overwhelming evidence and history proved that the spoken word of God, which we called Sacred Traditions, came first. Anyway, we consider both equally important. They form the deposit of faith, divine revelation from God. Reasoning enhances the faith; do not substitute as seems to be your writings.
You said, “Good Biblical theology BOTH explains contemporary and historical events in the light of God's written revelation (His Word) and His natural revelation (the created realm) AND uses sound human reasoning that does not break the laws of logic. [Please note, miracles break the laws of NATURE, NOT the laws of LOGIC e.g. God always has a God Glorifying reason for performing a miracle]” I see here your opinion no evidence. Do you know that the first 400 years was not Bible available the way we know now? Based on your reasoning, those people in the first 400 years do not have good Bible theology. That is senseless. They died for Jesus. Many died a horrible death. Do you think their death was in vain? Then if you know is a fact they are in Heaven, how did they learn without the Bible as we know now? The answer is Sacred Traditions or Apostolic Traditions. Jesus told the Apostles to preach (spoken word of God), no to hand out Bibles (written word of God) and relax. The martyrs learned well from the successors of the Apostles. There is overwhelming evidence about that in history and even the Bible itself, more evidence in the Early Fathers of the Church. Have you ever heard about them? You said, “The literal meaning cannot be avoided except through violence to the text - and through the rejection of the universal understanding of the early Christian centuries".” Present evidence about that, I see opinions. Do you know that the Early Christians disagree with you? The Early Fathers of the Church were part of the Early Christians. Did you read about them with complete information, no conveniently eliminated or bias information?
What evidence do you have about laws of logics, where do you get that from? Who’s logic, your logic that is your law? Where do you come from saying that a miracle breaks the laws of nature, no the logic? What evidence do you have to support that? Miracles happen only through human beings whom things changed and human beings too. The evidence is clear in the Bible. Examples, we have water turn into wine and the blind see, healing the body by Jesus. What law of nature got broken when water turned into wine? The law that nobody can change that, water supposes to stay water? Define this law and give evidence to support and your sources. I know you will not find anything. The fact that water supposed to stay water, that does not deal with any law of nature but logic. Is it normal and logic to see water changed to wine, does make sense? What about the blind, what law of nature was broken there? The person was born blind. There is a law blind supposed to stay blind? Present that law, evidence, and sources. If you do not have evidence, you have opinions, as many of your writings. As far related to healing, who would be more qualified to verify miracle, you, or a physician? Are you a physician? I am a physician myself. A fact is that miracle no necessary deal with laws of nature but logic. I learned about how the human body works. What I learned makes sense. If somebody born blind, no way he or she can see of the sudden. Medicine tries some technology to help them see. That is not miracle if they see, no law of nature broken if any in that area. If somebody blind see, I have evidence that person was blind, as a physician, it would not make any sense to that person to see again. The person did not have any medical treatment or technology provided. Or there is not medical treatment or technology that works. He or she tried all available. It is not logic based of what I know as a physician. We determine that medically is not possible, therefore a miracle. There is evidence about that, no opinions. Do you see? You seem to forget that what is impossible for man is possible for God. That also applied to the Eucharist. It is difficulty because we do not understand. We call that mystery. The same happen about the Most Holy Trinity. However, that difficulty should no make a doubt. God can do what we do not understand. He is Almighty. He created something out of nothing. You think that He cannot turn bread into His Body and wine into His Blood?
In your writings, you say that Jesus was talking symbol and physical reality at the same time. However, you uses very conveniently. You said it is real or true He is the Bread of life. However, when He said this bread is His flesh you say is no real, no physical reality but spiritual. You called that metaphor. You said, “Jesus tries to point them to the heavenly Father and away from Moses, and shows that He (Jesus) supersedes the prophets of old by eluding to Himself as the "true" spiritual bread from heaven.” You added spiritual to the Gospel. This shows that you are going against what is written in the Bible, to the point adding to the Bible. What suppose to happen who add to the Bible? You are using eisegesis. That is bad. You said, “He clearly defines himself, metaphorically, with manna.” Metaphorically, it is your opinion, no evidence. It is your private or personal interpretation of the Bible. Can we have personal interpretation of the prophecy of Scriptures? Verse 34 Jesus was speaking metaphor or symbol for you. You said, “Verses 37 - 40: Jesus continues to witness to the world that He is the Son of God, intimately and uniquely related to His Father and that His Father's will is that, "...everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him (Jesus) shall have eternal life...". Notice, Jesus, speaking literally here, stepping out of the metaphor for a moment, does NOT say, "everyone who looks to the Son and eats him shall have eternal life".” Suddenly, for you is literal and back to metaphor verses 48 to 60. Jesus just took a break from symbolisms. You said, “Verse 61 - 62: Jesus continues to concentrate and teach the spiritual as He asks if becoming so intimate with Him offends them. In verse 62, He makes it clear His question is regarding the spiritual by rebuking them by essentially saying, "OK, you won't believe in me as the Son of God by repenting of your unbelief and desiring to worship me intimately, and you still don't understand about my upcoming bodily sacrifice on the cross for your sins - fine, how about if you see me ascend into heaven [as He predicts His ascension - Acts 1:9] - WILL YOU THEN BELIEVE?"”. Verses 61 and 62 are all opinions. You added to the Bible again, you said that Jesus asks if becoming so intimate with Him offended Him. Where is that in the Bible? You are doing eisegesis again. You are going against what is written clearly in the Bible. Verse 63, you took it literally. For you Jesus is back to literal.
I am dizzy with this back and forth. I do not remember in the Gospel Jesus to speak like that, symbol and literal back and forth in specific moment. If you have read the Gospels, you should know that is a fact when Jesus speaks symbols or metaphors like the parables, He does not mix them with literal sense. You do not make sense. You are going against the Bible. That is a shame. You ignored again conveniently verses 64 to 71. The evidence in the Gospel shows that Jesus explained the disciples all parables. However, He did not explain to the rest of the people, like Pharisees, etc. In John 6 He did not explain anything to disciples. He affirmed again by saying truly twice. Many disciples left Him after He said they need to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He did not say, “Hold, do not leave me, this all symbols, no real”. To affirm that He was talking literally, no symbolic, He asked the Apostles do they wish to go away too. Again, He did not explain anything to the Apostles either. He did not compromise the Truth about His words, His Flesh is true food, and His Blood is true drink. He was ready for them to leave too. However, they did not leave. St. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus affirmed He chose them but one is a devil. One did not believe but stay anyway at that time. They believed because they were humble. The gift of faith is to the humble heart only. His Flesh is true food and His Blood is true drink, another way, “For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed”. Indeed food and indeed drink common sense should tell you that is not symbolic food and symbolic drink. It is indeed food and drink. It is like saying this is indeed Chinese food and this is indeed sweet drink. It makes sense they will go to the stomach. The Apostles understood that and all the faithful in the early Church. I hope that you are beginning to see the Truth now too and stop the distorted views and bad gymnastics that do not make sense and go against the Bible.
You said, “Verse 53: Jesus now responds with the full force of the metaphor given the peoples continued unbelief and rejection of Him and His Words. He says, "...unless you eat the flesh (spiritual, v. 51) of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU." NOW, IF THIS WAS LITERAL AND NOT SPIRITUAL, THE PEOPLE HEARING THIS WOULD BE DEAD, RIGHT? Jesus said that if you did not eat his flesh and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Well, the following verses tell us that Jesus was not actually cannibalized and verse 60 tells us the people who heard this were in fact still alive! Therefore, they did not eat and drink Him, and yet were still physically alive. Therefore, the meaning of His word's were metaphorical pointing to spiritual truth!” People would be dead by hearing Jesus. Where did you get that from? You try to work hard to make John 6 symbolic to the point your explanations to be senseless. Why Jesus said who loses his life will gain it who gains his life will lose it? They all tried to stay alive, did all died? Do you see that the life He was talking about it is eternal life when He said clearly I will raise him up in the last day, which you ignore conveniently to justify your opinions? Jesus was not talking about that moment. Jesus was talking about the Last Supper, the first Mass and the future. You said there is not connection between John 6 and Last Supper. That is false. That is your opinion, no evidence. The people understood him clearly. They said how this man can give His flesh to eat? Even His disciples that believed in Him could not take that either. They said this is hard saying. Eating Jesus flesh was offensive to them and Jesus knew. Nothing about your eisegesis becoming so intimate, offended them. However, you may be right about intimate. Because that exactly what happen when we eat is Body in Mass. We literally become one with Him and we worship Him in truth, as He wants. Indeed, it cannot get more intimate than that. Jesus said this is my Body, no a symbol, no parable, no explanations. Jesus said this is my Blood that will be poured out for you, for the forgiveness of sins, no spiritual Body, no spiritual Blood but real Body and Blood. He is eatable; it shows how much he loves us. He is eatable so we can have eternal life as He said. He is the Truth, no spiritual or metaphorical Truth, but real. This is why it is the Sacrament of love.
You said, “Verse 51: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven". Notice that He is the living bread - NOT ACTUAL BREAD ITSELF, FOR BREAD DOES NOT LIVE (unless, of course, it is the Roman Catholic Eucharist)! Now Jesus simply takes the next logical step of bringing the metaphor to its full expression as He had already eluded to in verses 27, 35 & 50. It was necessary to continue using the metaphor and bring it to its logical conclusion due to the peoples continued unbelief.” Why do you say that bread does not live? Do you think that God cannot do the true miracle of making no living bread to become Himself, the living bread; it looks and taste like bread but is Jesus? If you believe cannot happen, you do not believe in miracles. Do you remember what we discuss about miracles before? One thousand difficulties do not make one doubt. What logical conclusion, verse 51 is literal for you? Did you forget verse 55? It does not look like a conclusion for me and it was not a parable. It was just beginning, it sounds He lost all the disciples. Only the Apostles stayed with Jesus. Back and forth repeatedly, symbol to literal and literal to symbol does not make any sense and it is not biblical.
This is long; I do not have time to make it longer. As I said before, I hope that you are beginning to see the Truth, as other anti-Catholics have seen the Truth to the point of becoming Catholics. The Truth will set us free. You are invited and anyone to join an apologetic group to share and learn the Truth in a friendly way. It would be nice if you can response there. I plan to make a discussion in the group about what I wrote to you. I know you like the challenge. If you or anybody interested to join this group, please click here http://groups.msn.com/CatholicChurchApologetics.
Doc (my name in the group Catholic Church Apologetics)
If anybody wants to read all what he wrote this is the link http://www.john14-6.org/catholicmass.htm. This is the first time I see a Protestant trying to explain John 6. Let see the response if any.