Help I don't know how to explain to my Fundamentalist friend


#1

My friend writes:

Tradition and papal teaching have their place; but they cannot claim to be God-breathed. And, inasmuch as they can instruct and guide, you must take into account that they cannot claim to have proceeded from the very breath of God. “For who has known the mind of God?”
**
If I believe the Bible is the infallible, God-breathed Word, doesn’t it make sense that the Bible should be the absolute standard by which I judge everything else?
**
I don’t know how to answer my friend, she twists everything I say around…
*Can someone help? Robin *
**


#2

The point is that the bible itself is not sufficient. It says that it doesn’t contain everything, not even everything about Jesus.

“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presince of the disciples, shich are not written in this book” (John 20:30)

She claims that the Bible is “the absolute standard by which I judge everything else.” So what does the Bible say about organ transplants or woman priests? Nothing! You need some other authority to cover those things. Why not the authority that Jesus put here for the purpose of preserving His Truth?

She implies that the Bible proceeds from the breath of God. Well not exactly. It was written down by men who were inspired by God to write. So if men could be inspired by God to write something that she accepts as true, why can’t other men be inspired by God to teach the truth?

Ask her how we got the Bible anyway. It did not just drop down from heaven as some people seem to believe. The books were written by men, preserved by men. The canon of scripture as we know it was made official at the councils of Carthage and Hippo in the 300’s AD. The Bible was compiled by the very authority of the Church that she is rejecting! If it wasn’t for the authority of the Church, we wouldn’t have the Bible.

Hope this helps.


#3

So the Bible is inspired? As Catholics we say to that “Amen.”

But just because the Bible is inspired, *it doesn’t follow * that that makes it sufficient, especially since it nowhere claims sufficiency for itself. In other words, your friend is taking one valid attribute of the Bible, and, based on that, imposing another *unfounded * one on it. She still has to prove to you that it is sufficient.

The Catholic Church does not claim inspiration for Tradition and the Magisterium, that it is *the same thing * as Scripture. Who says they have to be? What we *do * claim is that they are all three necessary, like a three legged stool. Take one or more away, and the others cannot stand.


#4

Thank you to both of you that makes it more clear for me as well. I am going to love this site so I can become more informed as well…

Robin


#5

Also, maybe this isn’t relevant, but if the Bible was the sole rule of faith, why did Martin Luther decide that he could basically just throw out what he didn’t like or at least degrade the Deuterocanonicals as inferior because the Apostles supposedly never quoted them (many protestants call these books the “apocrypha”)?

The Church declared the canon of 46 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books at the Council of Rome in 382. It was ratified by the Council of Hippo (393), Carthage 397, 419), II Nicea (787), Florence (1442), and finally by the Council of Trent in 1546. Even the first KJV has them, as does the first printed bible, the Guttenburg Bible.

The Catholic Church has defended the authenticity of Scripture from day 1, but the protestants took it upon themselves to decide that the only relevant doctrines come from the Bible, and thus if the Bible disagrees with them, all you have to do is reject some books as apocryphal and accuse the Catholic Church of “adding” them!


#6

The Bible says of the Church:

… that the Church is “the pillar and foundation of Truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Catholics simply affirm this to the extent that we believe God would never allow the Church to be otherwise in her formal and authoritative teachings. If God were to allow this, then the Bible would be proved false, and the Church would cease to be the “***the pillar and foundation of Truth.***”

The Church says of the Bible …

… “***[the] teaching office [of the Catholic Church] is not above the Word of God but serves it***”(Vatican II, *De Verbum, *10)

So it seems to me the Church today teaches, as had always been taught throughout Christianity, that both the Bible and the Church have complementary roles. Both have their source in Jesus Christ, and are God-breathed.

It is true that Scripture is God-breathed, as this is what the Church teaches. It is also true that the apostles were God-breathed, as this is what the Bible teaches. Observe…

John [font=Arial]20:22 “He [Jesus] breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost”[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial][/font]


#7

Be sure to make this point very clear to her:

Paul wrote in one of his epistles (I believe to the Corinthians but I’m not sure; I’ll double check this and post back later with the verse number) for those he was writing to to “hold to the traditions I have taught you.” So, tradition IS from scripture. Make sure you tell her this.


#8

Since your friend is obviously a believer in “sola scriptura” (Scripture alone), then ask her where in the Bible it’s says that? The problem is, it doesn’t say that anywhere. Even references in the New Testament about the value of scritpure only referred to the Old Testament canon, since the New Testament was officially defined centuries later by the Catholic Church. In fact, her belief in the Bible alone is actually a “tradition” in whatever denomination she belongs to.


#9

Ask you friend if she believes that her particular protestant denomination interprets the Bible correctly. Then ask her why every other Protestant denomination thinks that they interpret the bible correctly, and why none of these Protestant denominations agree with each other’s interpretations of the Bible.


#10

The Bible is not infallible, it’s inspired. That’s different from infallible. Be Careful, because you may fall into a trap.

Inspired means what you teach is true.
Infallible means you can not teach something that is false.

Inspired (a positive trait) will reveal new truths, or truths that were previously unknown.

Infallible (a negative trait) prevents you from teaching something false. So if it’s unknown, the Church remains silent.

Again, you’ll need to know this when your friend jumps from the Sola Scriptura argument to the Peter the Rock argument.

God Bless!

NotWorthy


#11

[quote=PhilNeri]The point is that the bible itself is not sufficient. It says that it doesn’t contain everything, not even everything about Jesus.

“But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presince of the disciples, shich are not written in this book” (John 20:30)

She claims that the Bible is “the absolute standard by which I judge everything else.” So what does the Bible say about organ transplants or woman priests? Nothing! You need some other authority to cover those things. Why not the authority that Jesus put here for the purpose of preserving His Truth?
[/quote]

It doesn’t need to mention those things, or democracy, or apartheid, or human rights, or birth control, to be the final and absolute standard for judgments about them: al it need do, is provide supremely authoritative principles for making judgements about things it does not mention.

She implies that the Bible proceeds from the breath of God. Well not exactly. It was written down by men who were inspired by God to write. So if men could be inspired by God to write something that she accepts as true, why can’t other men be inspired by God to teach the truth?

Yes - it is the “Word of God”, truly, but in an analogical sense. God did not breathe and enunciate and pronounce the words of it, as a human being speaks words.

Ask her how we got the Bible anyway. It did not just drop down from heaven as some people seem to believe. The books were written by men, preserved by men. The canon of scripture as we know it was made official at the councils of Carthage and Hippo in the 300’s AD. The Bible was compiled by the very authority of the Church that she is rejecting! If it wasn’t for the authority of the Church, we wouldn’t have the Bible.

Hope this helps.

OTOH -

the theological function and value of the Bible, is a different topic from the history of its canonisation: it could still be of greater authority than all other things in the Church, no matter how late it was in being canonised.
That is - there is no logical connection between its history, and its theological authority ##


#12

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Be sure to make this point very clear to her:

Paul wrote in one of his epistles (I believe to the Corinthians but I’m not sure; I’ll double check this and post back later with the verse number) for those he was writing to to “hold to the traditions I have taught you.” So, tradition IS from scripture. Make sure you tell her this.
[/quote]

To which the answer would be - Matthew 15 :slight_smile:

And the result would be a long game of Bible bingo, with much swatting of verses back and forth :slight_smile: ##


#13

Aha, you’re right Gottle, the fundamental principles ARE present AND sufficient in the Bible, however , it is clear that among the 35,000 protestant denominations even that basic principle isn’t agreed upon. For some tolerance was the prime principle Christ laid down, for others charity, for still others a strict adherence to the law–every Christian THINKS they know the fundamental principles, but do not possess the authority say what they are definitively. Before you say anything, it is not sufficient to say you will know by their fruits, because each one of these groups is looking for different fruits. Fortunately though, God knew this would happen 2000 years after Christ’s death and gave us a lightpost to understand the Bible and the message of Christ by giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom, making him the first Pope, and establishing him as the head of a Church against which the gates of Hell would not prevail. Without this one universal authority it would be impossible to translate the Bible into a single universal law. Christ knew it, Peter knew it, Paul knew it, the early Church fathers knew it, and Catholics today know it. Its as simple as that.


#14

Robin,

Ask your friend how she knows the Bible is the inspired word of God. The answer is because the Catholic Church infallibly declared it so (but I suspect you won’t get that from her). Also, ask her to define infallible. The Bible is inerrant, not infallible, there’s a big difference. If she passes those tests, then ask her to prove to you (from the Bible alone) where it teaches that the Bible, and only the Bible is the absolute standard by which we are to judge everything else. She won’t be able to, but I’m sure she’ll try. She may throw 2 Tim. 3:16,17 at you, but with a little study on your part, you will be able to easily refute that argument.

If you like to read, I recommend the book *Where We Got The Bible, *by [Bishop] Henry Graham, a Presbyterian Minister who converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic bishop. The book is a bit difficult to read because of the time in which it was written (early 1900’s), but is a great book for anyone who wants to know the true history of the Bible.

There are also several really good Catholic Answers tracts you can download that will help you as well.

Hope this helps.

Joe


#15

To be infallible is to teach without error.

Obviously the bible is not infallible.

Otherwise there would not be thousands of denominations claiming the bible alone as their sole authority, and yet believing very different things. Apparently, somebody is in error. Yet they got their teaching from the bible!

Conclusion: the bible is not infallible.

It is, however, inspired.


#16

Don’t forget Catholics and non-Catholics have different beliefs in what is scripture. We have the compleate Bible, containing the deuterocanonicals, which just happen to support many Catholic dogmas and doctrines, go figure. :rolleyes:


#17

You point is invalid to a protestanst as when the canon of scriptures was decided upon protestants were still catholics. it wasnt until martin luthors time that protestantism was born. yes, there were other denominations back then but, no protestants.

This seems like a not-so -honest question because I can askthe same question to the EO and RC and Coptic Churches. I can go one step further to then include Protestants in the question.

You see it is usually in small cases as to why one denom. doesn’t agree with another.


#18

[quote=2BinChrist]* *

My friend writes:

Tradition and papal teaching have their place; but they cannot claim to be God-breathed. And, inasmuch as they can instruct and guide, you must take into account that they cannot claim to have proceeded from the very breath of God. “For who has known the mind of God?”
**
If I believe the Bible is the infallible, God-breathed Word, doesn’t it make sense that the Bible should be the absolute standard by which I judge everything else?
**
I don’t know how to answer my friend, she twists everything I say around…
*Can someone help? Robin *
**
[/quote]

I would suggest getting some good basic books which contain the writings of the Patristic Fathers. The Patrictic Fathers were the very earliest Christians who were taught by the Apostles—guys like Polycarp, and Ignatius, and Clement, and so on, and see what they say about Tradition being equal with Scripture. (I can already tell you that they believed that Scripture and Tradition are both inspired by God, and they are both equal to one another.) :slight_smile:

Then you ask your friend how come her beliefs don’t square with what the earliest Christians believed.

You need to be careful, though, because depending on the brand of Protestant Fundamentalist you’re dealing with, they sometimes believe in a popular fairy tale about how the evil ole Catholic Church was “corrupted by paganism” about 100 A.D., and the real Christians went underground and were persecuted by the Catholics (who killed approximately 700 billion of them) for hundreds of years, until Martin Luther rode in a white horse and saved them in 1517.

The set of books I would recommend is William Jurgens’ Faith of the Early Fathers, published by the Liturgical Press of Collegeville, Minnesota. They are absolutely indispensable, especially for the doctrinal indexes in the back.


#19

[quote=2BinChrist]Thank you to both of you that makes it more clear for me as well. I am going to love this site so I can become more informed as well…

Robin
[/quote]

You’re right about that. I was an on-again off-again cradle Catholic for 28 years. Now I’m 29 and after visiting this site for just a few months, I consider myself a TRUE Catholic due to all of the information I’ve taken in.


#20

1 Cor. 2:16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


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