How do I debunk this?


#1

First of all, you understand it wrong. Protestants do not “put soley their own selves in charge of tradition and Biblican interpretation”. Just like the Catholic Church, Biblical understanding and Tradition has developed over time, the only difference between Catholics and Protestants in this regard is that the Catholic Church has “made it official” so to speak. Do you think the Catholic Church has some magical scroll filled with all the traditions and the ways of applying those traditions to modern problems? No, they have a group of people who sit down and do it. God does not descend down from Heaven and tell them what Tradition is, tradition, just like anything not in Scripture, has developed over the last 2,000 years because people have examined it and came to different conclusions. The Vatican has Councils to help decide that kind of thing, you seem to have no idea of how “Tradition” developed, its called Tradition because at one time it was new, where did “Tradition” come from? I know your’e going to say the apostles or some such, but that simply isn’t true. Sure some of it may have come directly from Apostles, but much of it has developed over time, starting hundreds of years AFTER Christ’s death, as different problems faced the “Church”.

Protestants do not exist in some type of vacuum, just like the Catholic Church, our understanding of the Bible and its concepts has developed over time, and we learn from history’s great thinkers and theologians, men like Aristotle, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Calvin, Pascal, John Locke, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Billy Graham. We study the Bible, we study other theologians, we study history, we don’t just rely on one group of men or an entire history of groups of men to tell us what to think, and I don’t believe for a second that Catholics do either. Are you forgetting this verse?

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

What happens, hypothetically, if you one day come to the conclusion that a part of Catholic Tradition seems to, in your mind, conflict with Scripture? Are you going to shrug it off because the Church is infalliable? Or will you nail it to the door of the Church like Martin Luther did? Which takes more courage? Which is the right thing to do?

Arguement against Sola Scripture is pointless because the theological views of Catholics and most Protestants conflict. The REASON Protestants do not accept many parts of Catholic tradition is because we see it as conflicting with Scripture, and when the two conflict Tradition has to go.

Second of all, your understanding of Church history is flawed. The Catholic Church is no more “THE Church” than any other wing of Christianity. There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

Third, you seem to have the wrong idea about what the “Church” is anyway. The “Church” is not some organized body of believers with certain theological leanings or opinions, the “Church” is the entire body of believers. No specific organization or group can be called the only “True Church”, to do so only serves to divide Christ’s Church even more, something you seem to be willing to do.

Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.

Your right, the Catholic Church did “put the Bible together” in so far as they organized books that were already written into the New Testament. That being said, they in no way “created” the Bible. They simply put together letters that had been around for hundreds of years into a collection, so don’t get any ideas that somehow the Catholic Church has some kind of copyright on the Bible and the ideas present in the New Testament. Whether it was a Catholic Council (as it was) or Martin Luther who organized the NT, nobody has any more authority than anyone else when it comes to interpreting Scripture.


#2

Simple, the decision that the tradition of Sola Scriptura is a legitimate development whereas certain other teachings are Catholic corruptions is purely arbitrary. His whole premise assumes what he needs to prove.

Scott


#3

Just which part do you want debunked?

How about:

There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

About 60 years after the death of Our Lord, Clement, the Bishop of Rome, writes to the Corinthians advising them regarding a controversy they have brought to his attention.

Can one prove papal authority from this? Probably not, but it is strongly nuanced. In any event, the relationship appears much stronger than “losely (sic) related communities”.

The statement:

Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.

cannot be shown from scripture, nor proven in any event from ANY historical sources.

Question: If there wasn’t “anything particularly special about Peter”, then why is he ALWAYS mentioned FIRST in any list of the apostles?

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#4

Just ask whoever to show you the Solas (fide and scriptura) anywhere in church history prior to the 16th century. It is one thing to have doctrinal development, it is quite another for that development to contradict what has come before it.

Peace


#5

Tell whoever that guy who said this bunk to come to Catholic Answers and face the music!

All you have to do is lead him here!

The biggest debunking factor in this whole heap is the fact that he doesnt understand that protestants are DIVIDED ON ALMOST EVERY ISSUE!!! God does not create this kind of CHAOS!!! The confusion is sickening and evil! So to claim that they are free thinking is saying no more than everyone has it his own way. There is NO way around this.

The best way for you to learn and be convinced is to invite this guy in here and have him speak for himself. All you have to do is sit back and learn!!!


#6

Second of all, your understanding of Church history is flawed. The Catholic Church is no more “THE Church” than any other wing of Christianity. There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

Third, you seem to have the wrong idea about what the “Church” is anyway. The “Church” is not some organized body of believers with certain theological leanings or opinions, the “Church” is the entire body of believers. No specific organization or group can be called the only “True Church”, to do so only serves to divide Christ’s Church even more, something you seem to be willing to do.

Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.

Your right, the Catholic Church did “put the Bible together” in so far as they organized books that were already written into the New Testament. That being said, they in no way “created” the Bible. They simply put together letters that had been around for hundreds of years into a collection, so don’t get any ideas that somehow the Catholic Church has some kind of copyright on the Bible and the ideas present in the New Testament. Whether it was a Catholic Council (as it was) or Martin Luther who organized the NT, nobody has any more authority than anyone else when it comes to interpreting Scripture.

Although it seems rather obvious, the later section quoted above is merely one bald assertion after another with no supporting arguments.

Scott


#7

Jesus promised to be with us to the end of time, Jesus went to Heaven to send the Holy Spirit to His Apostles.
( Remember Pentecost )

So the Catholic Church is being guided by the Holy Spirit, so if your friend or friends have a hard time understanding that, well too bad.

Maybe they should pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment.


#8

What happens, hypothetically, if you one day come to the conclusion that a part of Catholic Tradition seems to, in your mind, conflict with Scripture? Are you going to shrug it off because the Church is infalliable? Or will you nail it to the door of the Church like Martin Luther did? Which takes more courage? Which is the right thing to do?

That is the typical false dichotomy that Catholic apologists frequently get. 1) There is nothing courageous about saying I will not submit my understanding to a higher authority that myself. Obedience to authority is courageous. 2) I don’t know all 95 theses by heart, but some of them no doubt regarded corruptions of true doctrines. The answer is not to overthrow the doctrine, but to remove the corruption. 3) Who are you going to trust? Tradition seems to contradict Scripture? There are billions of people who would say otherwise. Do you trust the successors to the apostles, or some upstart? 4) He disagrees with some Catholic traditions. Or at least his understanding of those traditions. Thousands of Protestant denominations disagree with his traditions. It’s not a simple matter of Protestant vs. Catholic. It’s Catholic vs. Protestant 1 vs. Protestant 2 vs. Protestant n.

Second of all, your understanding of Church history is flawed. The Catholic Church is no more “THE Church” than any other wing of Christianity. There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

How come, at the end of the first century, the Church is called Catholic, by Ignatius? How come he, the Bishop of Antioch, is writing to congregations who would have been under other bishops? Because they all belonged to one church. Why, as pointed out above by someone else, was the Bishop of Rome caring for the flock around the mediterranean, if they were not one church?

Third, you seem to have the wrong idea about what the “Church” is anyway. The “Church” is not some organized body of believers with certain theological leanings or opinions, the “Church” is the entire body of believers. No specific organization or group can be called the only “True Church”, to do so only serves to divide Christ’s Church even more, something you seem to be willing to do.

The Church is the entire body of believers, united to the apostles (or their successors), and especially to St. Peter (or his successor). This is how the early Church viewed itself (read “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic”, by Kenneth Whitehead).

Your right, the Catholic Church did “put the Bible together” in so far as they organized books that were already written into the New Testament. That being said, they in no way “created” the Bible. They simply put together letters that had been around for hundreds of years into a collection, so don’t get any ideas that somehow the Catholic Church has some kind of copyright on the Bible and the ideas present in the New Testament. Whether it was a Catholic Council (as it was) or Martin Luther who organized the NT, nobody has any more authority than anyone else when it comes to interpreting Scripture.

The Catholic Church determined the canon of the old and new testaments. There was much disagreement about what books should be included, before the Church met in council to settle the matter. Therefore, it was not “simple”, and if the Church was not infallible in its decision, then the canon is still open to debate.

we learn from history’s great thinkers and theologians, men like Aristotle, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Calvin, Pascal, John Locke, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Billy Graham.

No offense to your buddy, but that’s not true. What they (I used to be one) do is interpret the bible for themselves, and then go back into history to find one person who said something like it. What they do not do is look at the vast consensus of what the early Church taught and did, because what the early Church taught and did is precisely what the Catholic Church of today teaches and does.


#9

There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church.

Hmmmm… Protestant scholars disagree with your friend.

According to Protestant author, J. Leslie Dunstan,

Protestantism is one of the three main divisions of the universal Christian Church, which together with the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches make up one world-wide religion. Protestantism is the most recent of the developments within Christianity, having a relatively short history of slightly more than four centuries; the other two branches of the faith have histories going back to the earliest days of the Christian era. Moreover, compared to the unity which characterizes those other branches, Protestantism is divided within itself among hundreds of separate organizations, some of which deny all relationship to others. The many denominations and sects have differing beliefs and carry on a variety of practices, which give them the appearance of being distinct from one another.

[font=Arial](*Protestantism, *by J. Leslie Dunstan, (New York: George Braziller, 1962), p. 9)[/font]

According to Protestant scholar, JND Kelly:

The Papacy is the oldest of all Western institutions with an unbroken existence of almost 2000 years.” (Oxford Dictionary of Popes)


#10

Ah, heck, Valtiel, this individual’s argument is easy to deal with.

(a) They don’t call the Protestant position “SOLA Scriptura” – “Scripture ALONE” – for nothing.

ULTIMATELY, any and all sources outside the Bible must be mere completely non-binding recommendations respecting how to interpret Scripture for any “sola Scriptura” Bible reader.

Otherwise, they do not believe in “sola Scriptura,” period.

So, this statement by your Protestant friend is ULTIMATELY wrong: **“Protestants do not ‘put soley their own selves in charge of tradition and Biblican interpretation’.” **Ultimately, they DO put their own selves in charge of tradition and Biblical interpretation.

“Sola Scriptura,” and the boldface statement, **“Protestants do not ‘put soley their own selves in charge of tradition and Biblican interpretation’,” **are not reconciliable.

(b) Roman Catholic “Tradition” is not “traditional stuff which the earliest folks taught,” or something like that.

Roman Catholic “Tradition” is the composite of binding teaching by the divinely-inspired Magisterium.

So, your friend’s question, “Do you think the Catholic Church has some magical scroll filled with all the traditions and the ways of applying those traditions to modern problems?,” is a little off-target, definitionally.

A capital “T” Tradition in the Catholic Church is an inspired, authoritative teaching. It’s not just some darn traditional concept within the Church.

© Your friend says, “Do you think the Catholic Church has some magical scroll filled with all the traditions and the ways of applying those traditions to modern problems? No, they have a group of people who sit down and do it. God does not descend down from Heaven and tell them what Tradition is, tradition, just like anything not in Scripture, has developed over the last 2,000 years because people have examined it and came to different conclusions.

He is wrong. It’s not a “magical scroll,” but it is “magic,” in a sense. God DOES descend from Heaven and teach our teachers. This is actually portrayed by word-picture, or expressly taught, in Scripture itself.

Your friend won’t AGREE…in my opinion he’s too blinded by his anti-Catholic zeal. But here are a few of those verses…

TO BE CONTINUED


#11

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE…

**41 ****Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, ****42 ****and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. ****43 ****After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. ****44 ****Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, ****45 ****but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. ****46 ****After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, ****47 **and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2:41-47.

Luke 2:41-47, the story of the finding of the boy Jesus in the Temple, is a picture of the entire New Testament salvation process, like so: Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Afterwards, He “goes under” for three days, and then He is found “sitting,” the Bible type meaning “presiding,” in His Church, teaching the teachers! There it is.

Next, Jesus assures, “**11 **When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy Spirit.” Mark 13:11.

But who is Jesus talking to at this moment? Note what Mark is careful to tell us: “**3 **As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple area, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,…” Mark 13:3. These words are carefully restricted to the leaders of the Church.

Because the verse expressly addresses Apostles, many Protestant congregations allow that the Apostles, only, were inspired directly by the Holy Spirit. (So that they refer to “the end of the Apostolic Age…” Get it?)

However, re-review Mark 13:11 carefully, again, this time in context

**9 ****"Watch out for yourselves. They will hand you over to the courts. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will be arraigned before governors and kings because of me, as a witness before them. ****10 *****But the gospel must first be preached to all nations.*****11 **When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy Spirit." Mark 13:9-11.

Jesus, by His Own admission, is not talking to His PRESENT Apostles, BUT RATHER TO HIS FUTURE APOSTLES, BECAUSE THE GOSPEL WAS NOT “FIRST” PREACHED TO “ALL NATIONS” UNTIL LONG, LONG, LONG AFTER THE APOSTOLIC AGE!

There it is: Express Biblical verification, for “sola Scriptura” believers, by “Scriptura,” itself, telling them that it won’t be “sola”!

Your
friend
is
patently
incorrect.

TO BE CONTINUED…


#12

[quote=Valtiel]Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.
[/quote]

Incorrect–Matthew 16:9-12 "“he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

When Jesus asked his disciples about a common heresey that was floating around those days concerning the Son of Man, it was Peter who infaliably declaired that He was the Christ, Son of God. Jesus blessed him as one who received revelation from the Father, renamed him Peter (“Rock”), declaired him as that which His Church is built upon, gave him the Keys to the Kingdom, gave him the power to bind and loose, and so forth. Peter was special because he was blessed by God to be able to discern Truth in the midst of many heretical opinions and so his successors, the popes, are so recognized with the same power.


#13

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE…

Your friend adds, “Second of all, your understanding of Church history is flawed. The Catholic Church is no more “THE Church” than any other wing of Christianity. There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

In fact, Scripture, itself, singles out “Peter’s Church” as the Church from which Jesus, Himself will teach, in another word-picture…

**1 ****While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. ****2 ****He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. ****3 *****Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. *****4 ****After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” ****5 ****Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” ****6 ****When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. ****7 ****They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. ****8 ****When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” ****9 ****For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, ****10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." Luke 5:1-10.

“Boat” in the Bible is always, “The Church.” So, in this picture, in Verse 3, we see Jesus “sitting,” or “presiding,” in “Simon’s boat” – *the Church of Peter! *And then Jesus continues the picture by telling Peter to go fishing for souls. And then Jesus tells Peter, “From now on you will be catching men.”

Protestantism made a point of departing from Peter’s Church. That is precisely why they call themselves “Protestants.”


#14

[quote=Valtiel]Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.
[/quote]

Incorrect–Matthew 16:9-12 "“he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

When Jesus asked his disciples about a common heresey that was floating around those days concerning the Son of Man, it was Peter who infaliably declaired that He was the Christ, Son of God. Jesus blessed him as one who received revelation from the Father, renamed him Peter (“Rock”), declaired him as that which His Church is built upon, gave him the Keys to the Kingdom, gave him the power to bind and loose, and so forth. Peter was special because he was blessed by God to be able to discern Truth in the midst of many heretical opinions and so his successors, the popes, are so recognized with the same power.


#15

[quote=Valtiel]Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, no because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.
[/quote]

Incorrect–Matthew 16:9-12 "“he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

When Jesus asked his disciples about a common heresey that was floating around those days concerning the Son of Man, it was Peter who infaliably declaired that He was the Christ, Son of God. Jesus blessed him as one who received revelation from the Father, renamed him Peter (“Rock”), declaired him as that which His Church is built upon, gave him the Keys to the Kingdom, gave him the power to bind and loose, and so forth. Peter was special because he was blessed by God to be able to discern Truth in the midst of many heretical opinions and so his successors, the popes, are so recognized with the same power.


#16

First of all, you understand it wrong. Protestants do not “put soley their own selves in charge of tradition and Biblican interpretation”.

First of all, understand that I have many Protestant friends - not acquaintances - who I love and respect. I consider them Christian.

However, with respect to the above assertion, yes they do. That is why there are Lutheran, Wesleyan, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican denominations to name a few. There are actually thousands. If I am wrong, tell me who or what EXACTLY has the final authority in any Protestant denom. And not only final authority, but infallible, unalterable authority.

Just like the Catholic Church, Biblical understanding and Tradition has developed over time, the only difference between Catholics and Protestants in this regard is that the Catholic Church has “made it official” so to speak.

Not quite junior, the Catholic Church may BUILD on understanding over time, but the new understanding NEVER contradicts prior dogmatic revelation. And yes, the Catholic church makes it “official” in the sense that once it’s declared there is no recanting allowed. Quite impressive, really. Protestant doctrine has changed and contradicted itself over time. Contraception is a glaring example - there are more both inter and intra denominational doctrinal changes.

Do you think the Catholic Church has some magical scroll filled with all the traditions and the ways of applying those traditions to modern problems? No, they have a group of people who sit down and do it. God does not descend down from Heaven and tell them what Tradition is

Actually I do believe that the Holy Spirit guides them in this respect. He does this within the context of a group of individuals meeting or a Pope.

, tradition, just like anything not in Scripture, has developed over the last 2,000 years because people have examined it and came to different conclusions. The Vatican has Councils to help decide that kind of thing, you seem to have no idea of how “Tradition” developed, its called Tradition because at one time it was new, where did “Tradition” come from? I know your’e going to say the apostles or some such, but that simply isn’t true. Sure some of it may have come directly from Apostles, but much of it has developed over time, starting hundreds of years AFTER Christ’s death, as different problems faced the “Church”.

Your ability to provide specifics is greatly appreciated; without it, we might not know exactly what we are talking about.

Those traditions which we can trace back to the earliest Christians and which were followed consistently by people of undoubtedly strong christian character (ie Martyrs) are extremely reliable indicators of what the first Christian traditions were. Even the briefest glimpse will reveal those traditions to be Catholic. My guess is that you have never looked.

Con’d


#17

Protestants do not exist in some type of vacuum, just like the Catholic Church, our understanding of the Bible and its concepts has developed over time, and we learn from history’s great thinkers and theologians, men like Aristotle, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther,

Although I’m sure he was more qualified than I, few knowledgeable people regard ML as a “great thinker” or theologian. Doctrinal development is not the problem. Contradicting prior doctrine is the problem in Protestantism. To experience this once is to say that the new doctrine may some day be contradicted by another - why should anyone believe it then?

Calvin, Pascal, John Locke, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Billy Graham. We study the Bible, we study other theologians, we study history, we don’t just rely on one group of men or an entire history of groups of men to tell us what to think, and I don’t believe for a second that Catholics do either.

Yes but the Truth never changes. And even if our understanding of the truth develops, we should not be contradicting truth with truth.

Are you forgetting this verse?

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Yes I had forgotten it and I’m not sure of it’s relevance. I do remember this one though: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. On your own intelligence rely not….

What happens, hypothetically, if you one day come to the conclusion that a part of Catholic Tradition seems to, in your mind, conflict with Scripture? Are you going to shrug it off because the Church is infalliable?

No I will not shrug it off. I will seek to understand it. I will go into the depths of the Church’s history and read from the thousands of great intellects that have come before me and who I don’t hold a candle too. It’s called humility, I will humble myself and reconsider my two cents against the riches of the church.

Or will you nail it to the door of the Church like Martin Luther did?

Pretty sure that won’t happen.

Which takes more courage?

Courage is not my aspiration as a Christian; humility is much more Christ like. Which is the right thing to do?

I’ll tell ya what, you dig up the “rise up against the Church and split it into thousands of pieces” verses and I’ll provide just one “sit down and humble yourself” verse: 1Peter 5:5-6 Likewise you younger members be subject to the Presbyters. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another for God opposes the proud but bestowes favor on the humnbe. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.

Arguments against Sola Scripture is pointless because the theological views of Catholics and most Protestants conflict.

Actually that’s the whole of arguing: if you didn’t conflict there would be no argument.

The REASON Protestants do not accept many parts of Catholic tradition is because we see it as conflicting with Scripture, and when the two conflict Tradition has to go.

That’s only one valid response. The other, of course, is to reject your interpretation of Scripture. That’s what Protestants are actually best at, second only to disagreeing with the Catholic Church at all costs. This reinterpretion is know as doctrinal “development” among Protestants.

Second of all, your understanding of Church history is flawed. The Catholic Church is no more “THE Church” than any other wing of Christianity. There was no “Catholic” Church as an organized body until over 300 years after Christ’s death. Until that time there were losely related communities in different areas that made up Christ’s Church. The whole Church as you know it today did not exist until Constantine converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

Again, your attention to detail is overwhelming, but I will attempt to respond. The first pope was in place before John the Apostle died, and he had authority over other regions. Early church writing supports Catholic practice and theology overwhelmingly - and ther is plenty of it. And not just wise arses like you and me, but people who actually were put to death for their faith.

con’d


#18

And finally…

You seem to have the wrong idea about what the “Church” is anyway. The “Church” is not some organized body of believers with certain theological leanings or opinions, the “Church” is the entire body of believers. No specific organization or group can be called the only “True Church”, to do so only serves to divide Christ’s Church even more, something you seem to be willing to do.

There is only one Truth, one faith, and one Church. The Church is the bride of Christ. He said he would build the Church on Peter and that it would not be overcome by hell. The Church is also meant to be a light to the world and the “pillar and foundation of Truth” As far as division, that rests firmly in your lap. There was one church for over 1000 years, 2 churches for the next 5oo years. Since the reformation there are now many thousands of denominations with their own version of the truth. Some see themselves as all in the body, some not. There is not 1 single thing that all of them can agree completely on. Of the mainline Protestant denoms they claim unity in Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. This is more of an illusion than it seems however. Even on these basic points they disagree. Basically all they agree on is Sola Scriptura which is ironic because it isn’t taught in the bible, isn’t whispered once until the 16th century, and finally, they can’t agree on what Scripture says! They are. However, very good at agreeing to disagree, that much I give them.

con’d

Jesus made Peter the “rock of the Church”, not because there was anything particularly special about Peter, but because Peter represented the common man who would come to belong to the Church.

No, that is simply something you made up and don’t realize it yet. Where do you come up with this? Did anyone “common” ever have their name changed by God? That is just ridiculous. Jesus tells us exactly why Peter was chosen: because God revealed to him who Jesus was. You are right in that we can relate to Peter in that Peter crumbled under pressure and denied Jesus, but you and I are not Peter except in that sense. And there is much more to who Peter was than just a common man who believed. You should reconsider the humility stuff I mentioned earlier.

Your right, the Catholic Church did “put the Bible together” in so far as they organized books that were already written into the New Testament. That being said, they in no way “created” the Bible.

Technically it was created through the Church (Apostles and other writers) under inspiration, then the Church (Church Fathers) REVEALED it to us through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That’s part of their job. They are still doing it today - revealing what Scripture means.

They simply put together letters that had been around for hundreds of years into a collection, so don’t get any ideas that somehow the Catholic Church has some kind of copyright on the Bible and the ideas present in the New Testament. Whether it was a Catholic Council (as it was) or Martin Luther who organized the NT, nobody has any more authority than anyone else when it comes to interpreting Scripture.

Scripture does tell us the Church is the “pillar and foundation of Truth” (1 Tim 2:15) doesn’t it? Where exactly does it say that everyone is entitled to his own opinion? I’m seeing that humility problem creeping in again. And Paul makes this statement to Timothy - who Paul admits has known Scripture since his youth. Yet Paul still feels compelled to tell Timothy how to act in the Church of the living God despite the fact that he is so well versed in Scripture. Apparently not only didn’t Paul think a knowledge of Scripture was sufficient, he didn’t think Timothy himself was completely equipped by his understanding

Phil


#19

Great responses above that I will not repeat. Also, it’s interesting that your friend concedes that the Catholic Church compiled the Bible. If the Bible that he relies upon as inerrant authority was created by the Catholic Church, then he must admit the Catholic Church acted infallibly by establishing and then closing the canon. If he refuses to admit that, then he is conceding that the Bible - his own inerrant authority - *could * be incomplete or over-inclusive and, thus, not inerrant. In other words, he cannot have his cake and eat it too. He cannot point to the canon of the Bible as inerrant authority without acknowledging that in order for the canon of the Bible to be inerrant it had to have been created by an infallible body.

Peace and Charity.


#20

I’d focus on the One Church thing. When Jesus mentions the Church, how does this fellow know what he means. How does a person know which church has the correct teachings? How does one Holy Spirit “say” so many conflicting these as reflecting in the various Protestant churches. Ask him why Jesus would’ve left things so confusing to people that they don’t even know which teaching are correct or which Church Jesus said that evil will not prevail. Just my thoughts on it. He seems like a smart fella that just misunderstands Catholic Teachings.


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