Catholic-Protestant semantics


I’ve been talking to a good friend of mine a lot about our faiths. He’s a a member of the Church of the Nazarene, which seems to put him on the evangelical, maybe even fundamentalist end of the Protestant spectrum, which tends to make the conversations quite interesting since our beliefs are usually drastically different.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, as we talk about what we believe, is that we have totally different understandings of words like “grace” and “religion” and etc. (For example, he’s been raised to believe that ‘religion’ is a bad thing, and thinks that all the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism boil down to irrevelant relgious stuff.)

Is this common problem with Catholic-Protestant dialogues?


Yes. The “religion” one is quite common. You will find that you need to pay careful attention to what you mean and what they mean by words. Misunderstanding is easy.

Some words are more constant. “Trinity” is usually understood, for example. Also, you must watch out for assuming that you know what someone believes just based on knowing which denomination they name. You need to deal with what they personally believe.


YES :frowning:


edit #2: never mind. :o


18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (the first pope) , and upon this rock (peter) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (the rock, peter, or the church?).

And this boys and girls is a great example of how a lot of protastants read the Bible-Prooftexting is the practice of using decontextualised quotations from a document (often, but not always, a book of the Bible) to establish a proposition
Outside religious discourse, it has been claimed that prooftexting is widely used by Libertarians, and especially Objectivists, to demonstrate that certain historical personalities (usually the Founding Fathers of the United States) would have supported their philosophies and their religion. Aside from any questions of decontextualization, such methods of argumentation have been seen as a fallacious use of appeal to authority.


Gosh, yes, it happens all the time! I have been amazed at how many words are used differently…
As a Methodist on these forums, I have to jump in every so often, & translate for some folks who think they are disagreeing, when the whole problem is in the language…
Definitely something that needs to be considered; we have enough real isssues without adding in all the ones that only exist in our use of words!!

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