Development of Doctrine, or Denial?
Balthasar's Holy Saturday and Newman's Essay

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Abstract

Edward Oakes generalized Newman's seven tests for doctrinal development as ‘internal logic’ and ‘developmental consistency’. Using this reduction, he claimed Newman's support for Balthasar's theology of Christ's descent into hell. In fairness to Newman and for a more adequate evaluation of Balthasar, I let Newman speak for himself. His norms are applied to both the traditional doctrine and Balthasar's. Since Balthasar's lacks all seven, it follows it is not a development of doctrine, but a corruption. Oakes' other arguments insufficiently counterbalance this deduction, while the traditional doctrine offers insights into the questions of pluralism and the salvation of the non-baptized.

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