Charles Hodge on Rome's authority claims


#1

This is From Hodge’s Systematic Theology -

“There is something simple and grand in this theory. It is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men. It relieves them of personal responsibility. Everything is decided for them. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. Many may be inclined to think that it would have been a great blessing had Christ left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself. God’s thoughts, however, are not as our thoughts. We know that when Christ was on earth, men did not believe or obey Him. We know that when the Apostles were still living, and their authority was still confirmed by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Church was nevertheless distracted by heresies and schisms. If any in their sluggishness are disposed to think that a perpetual body of infallible teachers would be a blessing, all must admit that the assumption of infallibility by the ignorant, the erring, and the wicked must be an evil inconceivably great. The Romish theory if true might be a blessing; if false it must be an awful curse. That it is false may be demonstrated to the satisfaction of all who do not wish it to be true, and who, unlike the Oxford Tractarian. are not determined to believe it because they love it.”


#2

In short, who cares what Charles Hodge thinks. His rantings don’t reflect any accuracy in the Church’s teachings on its foundation, purpose or authority.

[quote=BouleTheou]This is From Hodge’s Systematic Theology -

“There is something simple and grand in this theory. It is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men. It relieves them of personal responsibility. Everything is decided for them. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. Many may be inclined to think that it would have been a great blessing had Christ left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself. God’s thoughts, however, are not as our thoughts. We know that when Christ was on earth, men did not believe or obey Him. We know that when the Apostles were still living, and their authority was still confirmed by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Church was nevertheless distracted by heresies and schisms. If any in their sluggishness are disposed to think that a perpetual body of infallible teachers would be a blessing, all must admit that the assumption of infallibility by the ignorant, the erring, and the wicked must be an evil inconceivably great. The Romish theory if true might be a blessing; if false it must be an awful curse. That it is false may be demonstrated to the satisfaction of all who do not wish it to be true, and who, unlike the Oxford Tractarian. are not determined to believe it because they love it.”
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#3

This is the great disaster. One man picks up a bible, reads it and writes WHAT HE THINKS is correct interpretation outside the authority of the Catholic church, that has existed since the apostolic see of Peter.

This individual man becomes an authority against what has ALREADY been established for two thousand years. Charles Hodge is no different from Charles Russell, Joseph Smith, Cyrus Scolfield, John MacArthur, Finnis Dake, Matthew Henry or hundreds more. They ALL claim self interpretation outside the authority of the church.

Now these men may object to salvation being given through the church all they want, but truth will always remain nevertheless. The sacraments of the church are the means by which God offers his grace and forgiveness. It is ignorance to suppose that a soul can be forgiven outside the sacrament of baptism, penance and receiving the Eucharist. One may claim “faith ALONE” all one wishes, but the fact remains believing in Jesus or God is not all the written word requires for salvation.

This is REALLY what these men advocate and this is why they despise the authority of our holy, Catholic church. I suggest to you, that you please buy a copy of Kenneth Whitehead’s book " One,Holy,Catholic and Apostolic". Read how the early church really developed and what they really believed. It is very readable and it will change your life and thinking once and for all. Why? Because when one reads what the early church really practiced and believed one will cease from being a Protestant forever. Trust me, I know. I was a misguided evangelical for some 30 years. Thank God, God brought me home.


#4

“That it is false may be demonstrated to the satisfaction of all who do not WISH it to be true”

Ah - objective truth is determined by subjective desires.

Is there a more fitting summary definition of Protestantism? I think Paul warned us about this approach to determining truth:
3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers TO SUIT THEIR OWN LIKINGS,4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2 Tim 4)


#5

[quote=rarndt01]This is the great disaster. One man picks up a bible, reads it and writes WHAT HE THINKS is correct interpretation outside the authority of the Catholic church, that has existed since the apostolic see of Peter.

This individual man becomes an authority against what has ALREADY been established for two thousand years. Charles Hodge is no different from Charles Russell, Joseph Smith, Cyrus Scolfield, John MacArthur, Finnis Dake…

[/quote]

You mean there might be errors in my Dake’s Study Bible :bigyikes:

:wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

DaveBj


#6

HODGE, CHARLES (1797-1878), Presbyterian minister, and later a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was obviously not a fan of the Oxford Movement (aka the Tractarians), a movement led by John Henry Newman, John Keble, R.H. Froude, and others, which tried to bring the Church of England closer to Catholicism. John Henry Newman later became a Catholic, a priest, and was eventually made a Cardinal.


#7

There is something simple and grand in this theory. It is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men.

As opposed to Sola Scriptura? Every man his own superpope? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. :rolleyes:

Scott


#8

“It relieves them of personal responsibility.” Charles Hodge

Can there be a better statement of the ignorance of Catholic theology held by even prominent Protestants?** :banghead:**

If ignorance is bliss, this guy must’ve been ecstatic!


#9

[quote=Strider]If ignorance is bliss, this guy must’ve been ecstatic!
[/quote]

Strider, that is a GREAT line!

DaveBj


#10

Strider -

Can there be a better statement of the ignorance of Catholic theology held by even prominent Protestants?

Is that so? So, Roman Catholics do not believe:

**1. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. **

**2. That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

So, Hodge, in these statements, is ignorant of Catholic beliefs and is misrepresenting the Catholic position? What then, Strider, is the Catholic position on the issues Hodge is addressing here?

Patrick


#11

[quote=BouleTheou]Strider -

Is that so? So, Roman Catholics do not believe:

**1. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. **

**2. That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

So, Hodge, in these statements, is ignorant of Catholic beliefs and is misrepresenting the Catholic position? What then, Strider, is the Catholic position on the issues Hodge is addressing here?

Patrick
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Salvation is never secure. You can never know if you are saved. You can always change.


#12

Boule Theol, Strider’s quote from Hodge was this only:

“It relieves them of personal responsibility.” Charles Hodge

And his interpretation of THAT statement was this:

Can there be a better statement of the ignorance of Catholic theology held by even prominent Protestants?

Your bringing in OTHER statements of Hodges and attacking (

Is that so? So, Roman Catholics do not believe:

followed by your two statements, is a classic example of bait-and-switch, is it not?

Can you please address Strider’s original post?


#13

[quote=BouleTheou]Strider -

Is that so? So, Roman Catholics do not believe:

**1. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. **

**2. That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

So, Hodge, in these statements, is ignorant of Catholic beliefs and is misrepresenting the Catholic position?

Boule,

He absolutely is. I suggest you get your Catholic Theology from a Catholic source. You might try the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a start.

Peace,
Mark
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#14

He absolutely is. I suggest you get your Catholic Theology from a Catholic source. You might try the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a start.

I own that catechism, and I’ve read Dr. Ott as well. Hodge isn’t misrepresenting a thing. And he’s not saying Catholics think their salvation is guaranteed when he says, “secured.”

Let’s focus on point 2 for a second. What in this following statement is not accurate?:

**That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

That’s not the Roman Catholic position? Then what is?

Patrick


#15

[quote=BouleTheou]This is From Hodge’s Systematic Theology -

"It is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If this were true people would be lining up to be Catholic. No, it is protestantism which is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men. It is protestanism that allows people to decide their own truth and morality–a truth and morality based on their wants and desires. Example: contraception. All Christians held this to be morally wrong until the late 1930’s. Since then virtually all protestants have reversed their teaching and now claim that contraception is morally o.k. Only the Catholic Church has held fast to the teaching the contraception is morally wrong. The scorn and abuse the Church takes for maintaining this position shows that Christs Church certainly is not adapted to the tastes and wants of men. No, those are the protestant demoninations which have slowly over the years compromised the basic moral truths to please the wants and desires of men. Contraception is o.k., divorce is o.k., abortion in some cases is o.k. and now some denominations are starting to embrace homosexual marriage as o.k. Moral relativism has crept in to protestant denominations and that is what men want–the right to make their own morality. The last thing people want is a church to tell them the moral right from wrong.

“It relieves them of personal responsibility…their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin pardoning and grace imparting Church”

Once again this is a mis-statement and gross distortion of Catholic teaching. What is somewhat funny is that Charles Hodge is really attributing protestant attributes and beliefs to the Catholic Church and then criticizing them. He is unwittingly criticizing his own beliefs and theology.
a.) The Church does not relieve anyone of personal responsibility. This is not a Catholic teaching. Everything is not decided for us, but the Church does guide us to know the moral truth and the true faith. It is our responsibilty to accept the faith, properly form our conscience and to live the faith. The Church provides guard rails to assist us in staying on the narrow road, but it is our responsibility to make the decisions that will keep us on the road.

It is really protestants–who believe that once they have accepted Jesus they are saved and cannot lose that salvation–that have been relieved of personal responsibility because after accepting Jesus they cannot lose their salvation. Where is the personal responsibility in that belief? Thats the easy road, the wide road.

b.) The Catholic Church does not teach that salvation is ever secured (until one dies in a state of grace) nor does it teach that we are saved by submitting to the Catholic Church. These are groundless charges based on a distortion of Catholic teaching. Really it is protestants who teach that their salvation is secure once they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and who deny that they need to work out their salvation in fear and trembling lest they lose it as St. Paul said.

Peace in Christ
Mark
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#16

[quote=BouleTheou]I own that catechism, and I’ve read Dr. Ott as well. Hodge isn’t misrepresenting a thing. And he’s not saying Catholics think their salvation is guaranteed when he says, “secured.”

Let’s focus on point 2 for a second. What in this following statement is not accurate?:

**That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

That’s not the Roman Catholic position? Then what is?

Patrick
[/quote]

As has been stated above, my original post was to illuminate the ignorance of understanding of Catholic doctrine in the sentence, "It relieves them of personal responsibility."
That is a ludicrous statement and, if you’ve read the Catechism of the Catholic Church you either know this or didn’t understand what you read.
There are so many errors in the paragraph above (but just enough of the truth to misinform the uninformed) that I don’t know where to begin.
Let me try this: Magesterial authority is limited to the areas of faith and morals, not "…all times of difficulty and doubt…"
For further information on all of the errors contained in the first post of this thread, really read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Try it with an open mind, not with the aim of finding areas of disagreement you have with us


#17

[quote=BouleTheou]Let’s focus on point 2 for a second. What in this following statement is not accurate?:

**That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.” **

That’s not the Roman Catholic position? Then what is?

Patrick
[/quote]

Actually both of the statements are incorrect. Partial truths at best, which is the reason we need an infallible authority, to prevent mistakes made in ignorance (which we all suffer from to some degree).

What is wrong with point 2 is this: The Catholic Church cannot be said to be clothed with His authority, in that the Church can only interpret and explain what Jesus and the Apostles taught. To say otherwise is to imply a false sense of authority that even Catholics do not claim. Catholics believe that the Divine Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle.

Nor is there “an order of men dispersed dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles”. Again, the teachings of the Apostles is regarded as included in the Divine Revelation to man. Catholic priests share some of the gifts given to the Apostles, namely the administering of the Sacraments. Again, to say it as you qutoed, implies a false sense of the attributes of the Catholic Priesthood.

Getting back to point number 1: This is a false and misleading statement as well. Our salvation is not a result of submission to the authority of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church teaches that salvation is not the result of anything we could do, but was earned by the merits of Jesus Christ and gained through Baptism. The Church merely administers grace through the priesthood, and protects the faithful from heresies. We as individuals have a part to play in our salvation, that being the confessing of sins, making amends for our sins, loving God and our fellow man, etc. Once again, the statement you quoted is mis-leading and false.

Ironically, the description of Catholic teaching he provides, although false and mis-leading, gives the impression Catholics are looking for an easy way out, so to speak. How odd, coming from a person who (I presume) thinks all we need is some vague idea of objective truth, based on our feelings, which cannot be verified or falsified, and which eventually leads a person to hopefully accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior at which time we need to do nothing else (except the works of charity that naturally result) to achieve salvation…hardly the more challenging path (if it were true).

I agree with Scott Waddel in his post: Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!


#18

Anyone else find it additionally ironic that Charles Hodge’s work is called “Systematic”?

What kind of viable systematic approach starts with assumptions and false accusations so as to arrive at “Theology”? Why employ a “systematic” approach at all if, in the end, you will just state whatever you are feeling…I’d recommend he forgo the “system” and just say he opposes Catholicism (it would be more honest).


#19

[quote=BouleTheou]This is From Hodge’s Systematic Theology
[/quote]

I’m sorry but, what is a Hodge’s and why shold I care what it thinks?


#20

Patrick:

“Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church.”

An astounding charge from a man who claims salvation is sola fide, and sanctification isn’t necessary for salvation! And he accuses us of a “merely”! No, Patrick, that’s not the church’s teaching. You may recall a guy named Martin Luther who criticized the church for teaching good works were involved in the process too?

"That Christ “left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, – men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself.”

No, Patrick, that is not what the church teaches. The individual bishops are not infallible, and the pope, unless he be making a pronouncement intended to be binding upon all the faithful (ex cathedra), is not infallible. Christ never said the authorities in His church would always be right. But He did promise that He would not allow them to bind something on the faithful that was false.

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be** bound in** heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:19

He it is who is head of the church, which is His body - His eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet in this world. The two are one flesh

23] For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.24] As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25] Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26] that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27] that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28] Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29] For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30] because we are members of his body. 31] “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32] This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” Eph 5

I see no scriptural basis for believing that Christ would allow satan to rape His bride and lead her astray.


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