Anybody interested in a apologetics debate?

I have been thinking of ways to sharpen the knowledge of what I know in apologetics.
I can listen to C.A. , read the forums , etc but it’s not the same as a conversation where people could critique responses and defenses.

Any one?

What do you have in mind?

Are you seeking someone to debate? If so, your thread may have a better home in the “Non-Catholic Religions” forum.

If you’re really keen, we can play devil’s advocate and hit you with challenging questions and critiques from a Protestant, Orthodox, non-Christian or atheist perspective.

Ooh! Sounds fun! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hit the Non-Catholic forum with a topic that you feel fairly confident in. This is a safe place to debate because if you get stuck, you can easily say, “I don’t know how to answer that, but give me some time and I will get back to you” and the non-Catholics here are usually agreeable. And while you’re looking up the pertinent Scripture or other Church Doctrine or relevant defense of your position, there will undoubtedly be other Catholics who will chime in, and you can learn from them as well. :slight_smile:

Let’s start with this one - it comes up all the time:

“Call no man father…” now we all know about Paul, Stephen, etc. Once they are mentioned, we’re still stuck with the original quote.

(Yes, I have my answer)

Well, I think you just answered yourself. :slight_smile:

No, I didn’t. Despite showing many other times where the term “Father” is used, we still have Jesus’ direction to NOT do this. So, the challenge is : how do you reconcile this? And, yes, there is a logical way to this.

First of all, Paul could not err while under divine inspiration, yet he still called himself and Abraham fathers. Christ was simply saying that we must acknowledge God as the Source of all fatherhood.

However, I think that we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. We have to wait for the OP to confirm that this is what he/she wants.

Neither Paul or Luke erred. There’s a logical answer ( or at least I like to think so ).

I guess I am trying to learn more and go past the “canned answers” so to speak.
Maybe this is not as easy as I thought.
What about disecting common rebuttals? Like “call no man father” worshiping Mary, infant baptism, why do non denoms baptise at older ages, confession and such.

Even once we cite the fact that both Paul and Stephen use the term ‘fathers’ in apparent contradiction of what our Lord taught, we still need to explain this apparent command. It is this: Jesus used three main techniques of teaching, the first being factual. When he said , “Verily, verily I say unto you…” or phrases similar to this, he was stating what was required. The second was the technique of parables which he used to give a concrete example to what He wanted done. And third was hyperbole or exaggeration. When He instructed us to cut off our hands or pluck out an eye, that was hyperbole. When He said we had to hate our fathers and mothers in order to be his followers, that was hyperbole. So too is it with calling no man rabbai or father.

This is the most important part of the response. If we just show the apparent contradiction in scripture we leave the whole argument hanging in the air. If we show how the passage is being misinterpreted, then we can be like James with the Ethiopian and truly explain the scripture. Besides, the look of “Oh, I see” on people’s faces in this example tends to bring the attacks back to a conversation level.

Actually, no, it wasn’t. Jesus meant ‘hate’ in a more archaic sense of the word: that is, He meant “love me more than you love your father or mother or brother or sister or even your own life.” No exaggeration; no hyperbole: just love Jesus above all overs. :wink:

Why don’t you write a response to one of those (e.g. worshiping Mary) post it here and let us rip into it :wink: ?

Either that, or (if you’d rather debate a non-Catholic):

  1. post a thread like this in the non-Catholic forum and see who bites, maybe mention a specific topic

  2. PM a non-Catholic you want to debate and see if they will debate you

  3. Find another forum online that is made up of mostly non-Catholics and wade in. You’ll find debates a plenty!

Here’s how I deal with the supposed quote “call no man father”.

The text in question is Matt 23:9. It reads, “Call no one on earth your father (patera umon); you have one Father in heaven.” This is construed to mean Jesus, in this passage, prohibits priests from being addressed as “Father.” Is this valid?
Three biblical arguments suggest otherwise.

First, the preceding passage used the title “Rabbi” in an unqualified sense: “do not be called ‘Rabbi.’”
This passage, however, says call no one your (umon) father. It does not say: “call no one on earth ‘father.’” Jesus is using hyperbole to stress the uniqueness, sovereignty, and commonality of our heavenly Father with reference to earthly fatherhood.

Second, the above comports with other instances of hyperbole (exaggeration) in Christ’s teaching which are not followed literally even by those who want to follow the text in question literally.

Jn 6:27 – “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” No one says this text means we should not work for a living.

Lk 21:17 // Mt 10:22 – “You will be hated by all panton] because of my name,” Clearly each and every last person will not hate a given Christian individual or the church.

Mt 18:8-9 // Mk 9:43-48 – No one holds one should literally cut off ones hand if it is a cause of sin, etc.

Mt 23:8,10 – within the passage in question we read: “Avoid being called kathegetes teacher/leader/guide/master.” Are these titles rejected just like “your father”? NO!

Third, there are numerous instances in the New Testament where people on earth are called “father” using the same Greek word pater. St. Paul, a religious leader, is included. Below is a list.

Lk 15:12, 20, 22, 29 – In narrating the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus himself uses the word “father” four times when referring to the prodigal son’s . . uh . . dad.

Acts 7:2 – “. . . our father Abraham . . .”

Rom 4:12, 16, 17, 18 – for a total of five times Abraham is referred to as our “father” in faith

*1 Cor 4:15 – St. Paul describes himself as the Corinthian’s father in Christ Jesus

1 Cor 4:17 – St. Paul calls Timothy his “son.”

*1 Thess 2:11 – St. Paul says he treats the Thessalonians as a father treats his children
See also Gal 4:19.

Philemon 10 – In his imprisonment, St. Paul is the [spiritual] father of Onesimus.

Heb 7:9-10 – Levi’s “father” Abraham

Heb 12:7, 9 – fathers discipline their sons

James 2:21 – “. . . Abraham our father . . .”

*1 John 2:13-14 – John writes to “fathers” and calls his readers “children”

1 Tim 1:2, 18 – to Timothy, my true child in faith [which means Paul sees himself as a Father]

2 Tim 1:2; 2:1; Titus 1:4 – my true child (in faith) [which means Paul sees himself as a Father]

I have had trouble explaining why confession must happen if sins have been forgiven when Jesus was crucified. When I’ve been in confession before the priest hAs said "don’t worry , all of that has been forgiven. I don’t question we must go to confession but I guess I can not explain the two.

Point them at John 20:23. The very first thing that Jesus does, at the very first time he meets with the apostles following His resurrection, is to tell the apostles to forgive peoples’ sins. If there were no more sin following His resurrection, then why would Jesus say what He said, and why would it be so important that He’d mention it first thing? :wink:

It’s a matter to applying the forgiveness won by Christ on the Cross to a particular person for particular sins.

It’s not unlike being given a winning lottery ticket as a Christmas present. You didn’t do anything to earn it. The ticket has already been purchased in the past. The drawing is in the past. But you still have to go to the store and collect the winnings.

Similarly, Christ died for the forgiveness of your sins. You didn’t do anything to earn it (its a grace). Christ has already died (and is risen!) and atoned for all sins, but you still have to go to the store and collect the mercy (i.e. have it applied to you).

Remember, Christ’s death is powerful enough to atone for all the sins of all the people who have ever and will ever live, but not all those sins will be forgiven because not everyone is willing to accept forgiveness (i.e. not everyone is saved).

I would observe that every Christian denomination points out a means by which the reconciliation between God and man achieved by the Paschal mystery is brought into the lives of individual’s down through history. Conversely no denomination really thinks Jesus’ work of salvation is absolutely self-sufficient and all-sufficient such that we wouldn’t even need to know about it let alone do anything.

The fact is Jesus sacrifice is all-sufficient to save/reconcile us by the means He chose. Confession, we hold, has been revealed as the ordinary means for this.

If the priest you encountered meant in objective redemption all has been forgiven, he is right but it still has to be assimilated through faith. If he meant, now that you have made your good confession it is all forgiven, he is right.

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