Church History

What answers can we Catholics give to someone like James White who says that Catholics misrepresents church history?:confused:

Tell him to prove it. He can’t, though what he’ll do is sling a bunch of out of context quotes that once you look them up will prove that what he says is not at all what they meant.

Guys like White pretty much have the same problem misinterpreting the ECF that they do with the Word of God. It only works for their teachings when it is taken out of context and misinterpreted. :slight_smile:

This should help you. Church Fathers

Church militant you are always a wealth of information; thanks!~

Like Church Militant said, they pull stuff out of context thinking it’s in agreement with them when they are wrong.

Some of these ECF documents are long winded, but read the entire thing so you have a better understanding of it. Because I can pretty much guarantee you that protestants aren’t reading them. Heck, many do not even care what Luther thought and he started their whole movement.

I went through a Matt Slick rebuttal on the real presence in the Eucharist the other day and refuted pretty much everything he said(ECF quotes) just by reading the documents he quoted from in their entirety.

In the case with James White, you must understand his sister converted to Catholicism so he has this big ax to grind. I don’t even know if he actually still believes all the stuff he says.

Very interesting…

The burden of proof is on him to prove that assertion. In cases of established history, it’s the revisionist who must defend themself.
I’ve never heard of the person you mentioned, but only if he can provide a strong case for his claims (with specific evidence) does his revisionism deserve anything more than a patronizing eye roll.

He seems to do so during his debates.

He’s the best debator i have seen for protestant argumentation. However, all ive seen him accomplish is muddying of the waters. And he will sometimes use strawman to tear down what he claims the church to be.

You need to just learn history yourself, that’s how you figure out who’s a charlatan and who is truthful.
For example, holocaust deniers. Some of what they say makes sense because they dump a bunch of flimsy factoids on you in a very organized manner. Doing it like that makes it difficult and cumbersome to refute, but the more you compare the arguments with known established history and reason, the less strong the argument becomes.

Another example, Jehovah’s Witnesses claim both Catholics and Protestants are false Christians and that JW’s are the original Christians. They can even make a decent case for how they went under the radar of history for 2000 years. But when you know history and scrutinize their “facts” point by point, their entire mythology (like holocaust denial) falls apart.

Catholicism, according to every history book, goes back to the times of the Apostles. The only church who has a similar claim is the Orthodox. That checks out with history books, isn’t controversial, requires no logical leaps of faith, and is firmly established in literature and historical artifact.

That said, I invite protestantism to show how their religious ideas (that the Reformation fathers couldn’t even agree on btw) are the true exercise of the faith Jesus, and not just a prideful splintering of a once unified Church.

Church History covers a lot of time and material. What specific points does White say were misrepresented? If White is trying to claim that Church History prior to the Reformation looked a lot more Protestant (especially Reformed Baptist) than it did Catholic, then he’s simply deluded.

The point of Church history is not to get an exact High Definition Picture of what the true Church looks like, so there might not always be an abundance of information or details that line up…but I’ll tell you, the image that does form by looking at the historical evidence looks very, very Catholic…and hardly at all Protestant.

There’s a reason why Protestants tend to ignore Church history when it comes to their own theology…and there’s a reason why Protestants avoid calling the Church Fathers “Christians” (because if they did call them Christians they would have to explain why those “Christians” could believe in so many Catholic “heresies”).

This is the main reason why folks like White have faded into irrelevance, because once you beat them at Scripture, and History, and Logic, there’s no sense in paying attention to them.

A lot of his debate has to do with Church doctrine. He says the Church Father did not believe such things.

Then it’s up to him to prove it with more than cherry-picked quotes and misrepresentation, which is his usual mode in making his “arguments” against Catholic anything. :wink:

On the contrary, the Church father believed a lot of the exact things Catholics still profess today.
Baptismal regeneration, sacraments, the primacy and devotion to Mary, hierarchical church structure.
Heck, simply by reading Eusebius alone you get the idea that the Church’s structure, belief, and devotion hasn’t changed almost at all. Then you fill in the rest with Irenaeus, Polycarp, Augustine, Jerome, what happened at the Councils, and even the scriptural book of Acts and you get the image of a church that was immediately Roman Catholic.

Well said. :thumbsup:

White likes to use the absence of evidence for the Marian dogmas. It’s true, we dont find them in thr first few centuries. But just because it’s not documented doesn’t mean it’s not believed.

A silly yet effective example is the happy bday song. Your kids know it, you know it, your mom knows it, her mom knows it, etc, etc. But you likely don’t have a written copy of it locked up in your family vault. Another factor to consider is the heavy persecution the early church was under. They weren’t just killing Christians they were also destroying their possessions. I’d love to see just how much early work existed that we never got to lay our eyes on.

So like i was saying, White likes to muddy the waters but he cant actually prove that the Church has done anything wrong. He’s a calvinist and that system of beliefs was totally foriegn to the early church.

:thumbsup: Correct. Whenever White or any Protestant mentions Mary, that’s a pretty good sign you’ve won the bigger argument. When you take a Church Father like Augustine, the “closest” Church Father that Protestants will even touch, we see Augustine affirming baptismal regenaration, infant baptism, eucharistic sacrifice, lineage of Popes, possibilty of losing salvation, Mary without sin, purgatory, deuterocanonical books, celibacy, etc, etc…does this sound like a Protestant Church Father at all? Is it really that shattering if Augustine doesn’t mention Mary’s Assumption? It’s just silly for White and Protestants to fixate on the smaller issues while ignoring the massive testimony of evidence for everything else.

The only time White and Protestants appeal to Church History is when Catholics aren’t looking.

LOL!! I know, right?

It really is astounding to me that these people can quote church fathers to try and support their protestant arguments. Then i go and re-read the entire document and it’s talking about “altars” Malachi 1:11, the sacrificial nature of the Mass and baptismal regeneration or another doctrine like you mentioned and I’m thinking to myself, do you really want to go this route? :rolleyes: Because these guys are not on your side, not in the least bit.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit