Historical background of the Church, the Bible and Doctrines

What do you guys think is the likelihood of 10 nominal fundamentalist and 10 nominal Catholics, both with just enough knowledge of Jesus, becoming full pledge Catholics or full pledge fundamentalists if both groups will undergo a 3 month catholic catechism and 3 month fundamentalist catechism covering the historical background of both churches, the protestant and catholic bibles and different doctrines? I’m just curious coz a lot of Catholics that convert to some form of Christianity are mostly not knowledgeable of Jewish and Christian History and whatever they learn of the Catholic Doctrines come from their newly found religion.

It’s just me, but I think if you give people the FACTS from both camps. People will become Catholic. That is what happened to me. The truth, unclouded by an agenda, will always win out.

In Christ.

I agree wholeheartedly. Unbiased truth always wins out, and the Catholic Church is unbiased and proclaims THE truth.

PAX DOMINI

Shalom Aleichem

Any take from non-catholics? I just want to know your thoughts in this matter. Thanks.

I would suspect that if the 20 could actually give changing their positions a fair shot, then most would end up as neither Fundamentalist Protestants nor conservative RCs. I note that some RC historians such as Gary Wills look at the history of the early church and conclude that the RCC is quite different from the original church. I note that some RC theologians such as Hans Kung look at the history of the early church and conclude that the RCC is quite different from the original church. Both of them are comfortable being “cafeteria Catholics”, but if they weren’t comfortable in being cafeteria Catholics then they would probably become non-fundie NCs or EOs (as did the renowned NC historian Jaroslav Pelikan who converted to Orthodox (not RC) when {IIRC} the Lutheran church he belonged to “went liberal.”)

Hans Kung not so much concluded that the church changed (which it has not), so much as being incensed at the church not accepting his liberal and quasi-heretical views about Jesus. Also Wills’ look at the church is like comparing ancient and modern cultures, of course there will be some change.

PAX DOMINI

Shalom Aleichem

Hans most certainly has a bone to pick with conservative Catholicism, but if you read his The Catholic Church: a Short History you will see that he denies the historicity of many modern Catholic views including the presbyteral-episcopal church and papal infallibility. He declares that “it is no anachronism to claim that Jesus was anything but the representative of a patriarchial hierarchy.”

Also Wills’ look at the church is like comparing ancient and modern cultures, of course there will be some change.

Again, if you read *Why I am a Catholic * (which focuses on his views regarding the papacy) you would note that Wills holds that the priesthood was not instituted by Christ, but was a development. Concerning apostolic succession, Wills states that bishops were not consecrated by Peter’s successors (or any other apostle’s)…they were elected by their own communities. He states that anything like papal primacy of jurisdiction was foreign to Ignatius and Ireneaus. He denies papal infallibility.

I find it hard to imagine a liberal Catholic like Hans Kung (who, if I’m not mistaken, supports the ordination of women, among other things) converting to Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy isn’t “Catholicism lite”, you know.

You may be right PeterJ…but then again, I find it hard to imagine why he stays within RCism (given his views)

I doubt that conservative Catholics use H Kung in RCIA. History supports the foundation of the catholic church the bible and her doctrines. Any fundamentalist church can not come close to her claims.

Good question. I don’t know either, why Kung stays in the Catholic Church.

Then again one might likewise ask: Why did Martin Luther stay in the Catholic Church (until he was excommunicated)? Why didn’t he just leave?

agreed… b/c he doesn’t share their presumptions

History supports the foundation of the catholic church the bible and her doctrines. Any fundamentalist church can not come close to her claims.

Depends on one’s presumptions. The conservative RC works off of a number of presumptions which include:

a) the Church can not err in matters of doctrine; and

b) the ECFs would not introduce any completely novel doctrine.

As such, they can not help but conclude that if the church was widely teaching a doctrine in the 4th century, then it must be based on a teaching from Jesus/the apostles.

The fundamentalist does not share those presumptions and has his own which include:

  1. any important doctrine would have been clearly taught in or could be easily derived from scripture; and

  2. there is a way that a completely novel doctrine could have been introduced into the early church without resulting in a big blowup

As such, they cannot help but conclude that all the Marian doctrine (apart from the virgin birth) was added by overzealous devotees after Jesus and the apostles completed their teaching.

In opposition to your claim, the fundamentalist would point to the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the NT, the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the Apostolic Fathers, the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the first creeds and the complete absence of Marian doctrine in Eusebius’s history of the church and declare that his study of history demonstrates that the fundamentalists can base all their beliefs on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and that the RCC can’t come close to that claim.
So, to return to the question posed in the OP, if no one is prepared to change presumptions and if the RCs teach their version of history with the fundamentalists responding with their version of history, then there will be no connection and you will end up with 10 frustrated and angry RCs on one side and 10 frustrated and angry fundamentalists on the other side. (kinda what you see going on in this forum on a number of threads).

I guess that hinges on your understanding of a doctrine being ‘widely taught by the church’.

But let me ask you this … Would you agree that:
(1) in the 4th century (or at least the end of the 4th century), the church was widely teaching that there are 27 books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, etc.)
(2) On the basis of (1) we can conclude that this is the correct canon of the NT

?

Unfortunately it never quite works like that…

Your “fundamentalist” is sounding less “fundamentalist” all the time. :wink:

I just hope that one side includes Henry Fonda, and the other side has Jack Lemmon. (And 12 would be better than 10, but who’s counting? :smiley: )

Depends on one’s presumptions. The conservative RC works off of a number of presumptions which include:
a) the Church can not err in matters of doctrine; and
b) the ECFs would not introduce any completely novel doctrine.

Letter a is not a presumption.The idea is already in there and the church just used her teaching authority that she receive from Christ Himself, guided by the Holy Spirit in defining that doctrine.
Concerning letter b, any novel ideas (if there’s any at all) presented by any ECF were rejected by the authority of the Church, based on Tradition and the Bible.

The fundamentalist does not share those presumptions and has his own which include:

  1. any important doctrine would have been clearly taught in or could be easily derived from scripture; and
  2. there is a way that a completely novel doctrine could have been introduced into the early church without resulting in a big blowup

Now talking about presumptions, the above quote is what I call presumptions. Number 1, nowhere in Scriptures says that all Christian Doctrines are clearly taught or defined in Scriptures. Scripture alone is a novel idea, thus a presumption and a man made doctrine used by some Christian churches.
Number 2, Any novel ideas introduced by any ECF or any heretics were quickly rejected and condemned by the Church.

As such, they cannot help but conclude that all the Marian doctrine (apart from the virgin birth) was added by overzealous devotees after Jesus and the apostles completed their teaching.
In opposition to your claim, the fundamentalist would point to the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the NT, the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the Apostolic Fathers, the complete absence of Marian doctrine in the first creeds and the complete absence of Marian doctrine in Eusebius’s history of the church and declare that his study of history demonstrates that the fundamentalists can base all their beliefs on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and that the RCC can’t come close to that claim.

But the deposit of the faith is already there. Marian doctrines are fully supported by understanding the Old Testament and the New Testament. Just because the doctrines were not defined yet, don’t mean to say that they are not there, Just like the doctrine of the Trinity. Development of doctrines is not new in the New Testament but can be seen in the Old Testament.

So, to return to the question posed in the OP, if no one is prepared to change presumptions and if the RCs teach their version of history with the fundamentalists responding with their version of history, then there will be no connection and you will end up with 10 frustrated and angry RCs on one side and 10 frustrated and angry fundamentalists on the other side. (kinda what you see going on in this forum on a number of threads.

I disagree, if these 20 people are genuinely seeking the truth, they will study on their own and balance the information their are getting from the two opposing views. The conflicting information their are receiving will motivate them to search scholarly and unbiased information.That is why I chose nominally informed Christians and not the hardcore ones.

B/c if he left he would lose his health coverage and full pension benefits?

Your “fundamentalist” is sounding less “fundamentalist” all the time. :wink:

That’s quite possible…for the last few years I have missed the local fundamentalists’ Annual Barbeque and Record Burning and so I might be rather out of touch :wink:

I just hope that one side includes Henry Fonda, and the other side has Jack Lemmon. (And 12 would be better than 10, but who’s counting? :smiley: )

I agree, 12 would be better than 10 or 20…and the movie with HF was a good one.

But let me ask you this … Would you agree that:
(1) in the 4th century (or at least the end of the 4th century), the church was widely teaching that there are 27 books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, etc.)
(2) On the basis of (1) we can conclude that this is the correct canon of the NT

On the basis of (1) alone?..that is, if the situation was such that the first record we have that mentions the existence of writings from the hands of the apostles does not appear until at the end of the fourth century, and if the situation was such that passages were not quoted from these alleged writings from the hands of the apostles until the end of the fourth century, then I would suspect the books to be forgeries and the Church teaching wrt the NT canon to be an error. The canon, however, did not appear out of nowhere…we see these books quoted as authority from the Didache onward.

Bless You

Presumption (a) which read “a) the Church can not err in matters of doctrine” is a matter of faith…whether that matter of faith existed from the outset or not can be explored historically, but it is still a matter of faith.

Concerning letter b, any novel ideas (if there’s any at all) presented by any ECF were rejected by the authority of the Church, based on Tradition and the Bible.

historically, you can show this happened on a number of occasions, but it is still a presumption that it happened in each and every case.

But the deposit of the faith is already there. Marian doctrines are fully supported by understanding the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Is there any non-devotee of Mary that sees these Marian doctrines to be present in the OT and the NT (even only in an undeveloped form)?..I doubt it.

I disagree, if these 20 people are genuinely seeking the truth, they will study on their own and balance the information their are getting from the two opposing views. The conflicting information their are receiving will motivate them to search scholarly and unbiased information.

…which is where I started, I believe that Wills, Kung and Pelikan all were genuinely seeking truth, preformed indepth studies on their own and ended up somewhere other than conservative RC or fundamentalist. The conservative RC version of church history is simply not as bullet-proof as conservative RCs think it is.

Good point, Radical. I didn’t mean it like it sounded.

No, not that alone. Certainly, the early evidence (before the specific list of 27 books was proposed) is very important. Likewise the fact that the fifth and subsequent centuries accepted/confirmed that lists of 27 books is very important as well.

Presumption (a) which read “a) the Church can not err in matters of doctrine” is a matter of faith…whether that matter of faith existed from the outset or not can be explored historically, but it is still a matter of faith.
historically, you can show this happened on a number of occasions, but it is still a presumption that it happened in each and every case.

I’'m a little slow here, am I understanding your right that every doctrines the church defined throughout its history are based on presumptions?

Is there any non-devotee of Mary that sees these Marian doctrines to be present in the OT and the NT (even only in an undeveloped form)?..I doubt it.

‘The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.’ I forget where I read that but I think it make sense in understanding the scriptures. The Marian Doctrines will fall into place once we understood how the Early Church saw them.

…which is where I started, I believe that Wills, Kung and Pelikan all were genuinely seeking truth, preformed indepth studies on their own and ended up somewhere other than conservative RC or fundamentalist. The conservative RC version of church history is simply not as bullet-proof as conservative RCs think it is.

There are a lot more learned non-catholics who converted to the Catholic Church than to the EO,and other non catholic denominations.

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