animalis. You stated . . .
The Second Vatican Council ruled out the polemical approach. (cf. Unitatis redintegratio, 10)
Dmar198 correctly pointed out . . .
Also, Unitatis Redintegratio 10 merely says that seminarians should be trained in a theology that is not polemical. It doesn’t say that polemical theology is bad or that no one should study it or write it. In fact, so long as seminarians are trained in a non-polemical theology, the requirement of Unitatis Redintegratio 10 is fulfilled, and so they may Also be trained in polemical theology.
From Unitatis Redintegratio section 10
- Sacred theology and other branches of knowledge, especially of a historical nature, must be taught with due regard for the ecumenical point of view, so that they may correspond more exactly with the facts.
It is most important that future shepherds and priests should have mastered a theology that has been carefully worked out in this way and not polemically, especially with regard to those aspects which concern the relations of separated brethren with the Catholic Church. . . .
***This above needs to be balanced with this below . . . ***
From Unitatis Redintegratio section 11 (with emphasis and formatting mine)
- The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety.
Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.
At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.
Think about that.
Bible Christians can understand an appeal to the Bible.
So instead of an approach like,:
"You don’t affirm the papacy? That’s OK. Well we all believe in Christ and after all, that’s really the ONLY thing that matters. "
(which is not only false irenicism that Vatican II condemns, but is false theology as well) is wrong.
(animalis. I am not trying to say YOU would do this. I’m merely bringing these things out because there are lurkers here who may misunderstand what you are saying here and jump to this conclusion if not clarified.)
Also an approach like:
“Well you gotta affirm the papacy because the Church has authority so there.”
Would also be wrong. Wrong in attitude, not content. (There IS a truth here though in this appeal in that it highlights authority is correct, but it is wrong because it excludes a way that Bible Christians can readily see why).
“The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren.”
But an approach like . . .
“Look. You and I both affirm Scripture. We see in Matthew 16, Peter is the ROCK. We see this at Caesarea Philippi where there is a ROCK 500 feet long by 200 feet high. We see Peter is the ONLY one that gets “the keys”. We see binding and loosing authority on earth that is at least under certain circumstances, ratified in Heaven. I want to challenge you to get beyond your presuppositions and affirm Scripture! And all of this is echoed down throughout Christian history too.”
This is the kind of presentation that Vatican II is calling for.
We stand fast to the faith, present doctrines in a way that builds upon other doctrines, we present a FULL Gospel, and we do it in love!
That’s what Vatican II teaches.
More from section 11 of Unitatis Redintegratio . . .
Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility.
When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a “hierarchy” of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith.
Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.(34)
Unitatis Redintegratio link . . .
Vatican II is not a “club” warning us away from evangelization.
Vatican II is a wonderful blueprint on HOW to approach evangelization in our epoch.