For Non-Catholic Apologists - What would be a response?


#1

To statements such as, “well for 1500 years that is how all Christians understood it”

This could be received in a response to the “New Birth” - where “for 1500 years that is how all Christians understood it” - referring to it happening at Baptism. Or in response to the actual “necessity” of Baptism for salvation…

Or even when one is debating the “literal” or “symbolic” meaning of the “Eucharist”…“well for 1500 years noone took the Eucharist as symbolic”…

Hopefully I am clear with my question.


#2

[quote=malachi_a_serva]To statements such as, “well for 1500 years that is how all Christians understood it”
[/quote]

I tried to answer this myself last year when I was considering whether or not I should join the catholic church.

The answer I got back then was that there was always a remnant of “real” Christians and that Luther didn’t really invent his beliefs, rather, the remant had always held them.

The problem was that their argument wasn’t convincing. They could never tell me who these people were, where they lived, what they really believed (e.g. baptism necessary or not?), or provide any evidence that these people actually lived. Even more noticably, why did Luther never mention his beliefs had historical legitimacy? If they had existed it would only have helped prove his case. Yet no one could point me to where he ever did this.

And why did this remnant not emerge when Luther became popular and say “Hey, we’ve been saying this all along?”.


#3

[quote=SemperJase]I tried to answer this myself last year when I was considering whether or not I should join the catholic church.

The answer I got back then was that there was always a remnant of “real” Christians and that Luther didn’t really invent his beliefs, rather, the remant had always held them.

The problem was that their argument wasn’t convincing. They could never tell me who these people were, where they lived, what they really believed (e.g. baptism necessary or not?), or provide any evidence that these people actually lived. Even more noticably, why did Luther never mention his beliefs had historical legitimacy? If they had existed it would only have helped prove his case. Yet no one could point me to where he ever did this.

And why did this remnant not emerge when Luther became popular and say “Hey, we’ve been saying this all along?”.
[/quote]

Yes,…I was hoping for something to chew on.

Anyone?


#4

I must admit, I do not think anyone could “win a debate” that wasn’t Catholic…on this Catholic website…even if they were right/and or correct.

:slight_smile:


#5

[quote=malachi_a_serva]I must admit, I do not think anyone could “win a debate” that wasn’t Catholic…on this Catholic website…even if they were right/and or correct. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I hoped they would try.
The issue you raised is actually one of the more influential questions in my journey to catholicism. No one was able to provide an answer to who this remnant of “real” Christians was.
Apparently no one will give an answer here either.

Last year when I was working through this, I could only conclude that the evangelicals debating me believed in the remnant only by faith. It was a circular logic. The catholic church was not the church founded by Christ (in their opinion). That leaves a problem; Jesus promised that not even hell would prevail against the church. Therefore the must be a remnant of real Christians that these evangelicals believed existed even though they was no other proof. This belief in the remant was enough to support their belief that the catholic church was not founded by Jesus.

As I said, it was an article of faith based on their need to disbelieve the catholic church.


#6

[quote=malachi_a_serva]To statements such as, “well for 1500 years that is how all Christians understood it”

This could be received in a response to the “New Birth” - where “for 1500 years that is how all Christians understood it” - referring to it happening at Baptism. Or in response to the actual “necessity” of Baptism for salvation…

Or even when one is debating the “literal” or “symbolic” meaning of the “Eucharist”…“well for 1500 years noone took the Eucharist as symbolic”…

Hopefully I am clear with my question.
[/quote]

My view is that where this is clearly true–baptism being one example–the Protestant view is decidedly wrong. (Fortunately that is one instance where many Protestants–Lutherans for instance–are closer to the Catholic position.) On other issues it’s harder to say this clearly. Sola scriptura, for instance, simply wasn’t formulated in the same way before the Reformation. You can find passages in the Fathers pointing in both directions. I would say that there’s some support for material but not for formal sufficiency, and that Protestantism should adjust its theology accordingly.

But then I’m not a typical Protestant. I remain Protestant only by the skin of my teeth, and only because Protestantism doesn’t claim infallibility and thus is in principle open to change for the better.

Edwin


#7

That’s very interesting Contarini, because one of the things that keep me so loyal to the Church is infallibility. I do enjoy your balanced posts yet find infallibility as almost fundamental to the faith of Christians, though not all Christians claim it, though hold to it. In other words they don’t claim a belief in infallibility but hold some beliefs to be undeniable and therefore infallible.

I am a revert and since not a Protestant will abstain from responding to this thread and eagerly await to see more responses.
God Bless
Scylla


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