Hello Jennifer, here is what I think is the Catholic response:
the true church will teach what the Bible teaches
This is true. Our response is that the Bible itself teaches Apostolic Succession, and so a community that rejects the teaching isn’t teaching the Bible in whole.
We can also point out that Apostolic Teaching isn’t bound to the Bible according to the Bible (2 Thessalonians 2:15, for example), and so we shouldn’t try and chain our teaching to “the Bible, the Bible, and nothing but the Bible.”
The true church is the one started in Acts, so we can model our faith off of that
For foundational things, yes, but there are other things that build on this foundation, like Aristotelean Theology.
These arguments are vague, and I can use this sort of reasoning to reject steel beams and electrical lighting in churches because “it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible.” :rolleyes:
Just because the Catholic faith, and doctrines like praying to saints existed in the early days doesn’t prove they are the true or first church, only that they are an early church after the Bible.
This is actually a good point, because it reveals the same error that those who think that Jesus was a Gnostic and that the Apostolic Church was originally as well. However, this isn’t actually an argument against the Catholic position: it doesn’t actually demonstrate what teachings are fake, and what are real.
The Bible was not widely available in the early church and thus false doctrines could’ve crept into the Catholic Church
This position is the somewhat the Catholic position, as long as it is understood that the Church itself didn’t teach the heresy, and that the Bible isn’t something ultimately separatable from the rest of Apostolic Tradition. Arianism crept into the Church, but it wasn’t taught by the Church.
(obviously the article held that the uniquely Catholic teachings like praying for and to the dead, venerating Mary, etc) were false teachings because they aren’t explicitly taught in the Bible.
The definition the the Trinity, the hypostatic union, etc. aren’t explicitly taught either (show me where the words ousia, hypostasis, etc. are used in Scripture).
The Protestant has to demonstrate how these doctrines are false. Just saying that they aren’t taught in the Bible begs the question.
Protestantism is a theological reductionist movement: they want to remove what they call excess by reducing all of Apostolic Tradition to (how they interpret) Scripture. Catholics, on the other hand, try to filter what is Revelation by appealing to the organ of the Church that is specifically created by Christ to pass on His teaching: the Bishops in communion with their head. Both groups are different in approach, in method. The major historical problem with Protestantism is that the sola Scriptura doctrine doesn’t appear until medieval times, and that the Catholic method itself was accepted by the true Church, as only the gnostics denied it (for reasons Protestants too reject): even the Arians understood the meaning of Ecumenical Councils.
The simplist problem with the sola Scriptura method, among other things, is that it ultimately collapses into the Magisterium method, because Scripture itself speaks of Apostolic Authority and Succession, as well as tradition by word of mouth (unwritten) and by letter (the Bible)
Do you wish for us to give an explanation of the Scriptural support for Apostolic Succession? A lot of Catholic apologists, I find, just throw the Scriptual phrases about without explaning why they prove the doctrine.