How do protestants explain history

So for 1,500 years all Christianity either was Roman Catholic or closely resembled it in all corners of the earth from Goa India to Ethiopia and no where did it resemble modern day american evangelicalism. I can see a Lutheran’s, a conservative Anglican’s or a Eastern Orthodox point of view but it completely puzzles me how anyone can believe like a American evangelical and sincerely have studied Christianity.

Below is some answers I have got gotten from evangelicals

“With technology we can be closer to god and understand him more”

“I believe in the bible not history”

“Well what is important is we both believe in jesus as our savior I just like a different type of worship”

I can’t even see the Lutheran’s point of view because there must have been a time when there was for all intention purposes no true church. None of the churches before the reformation and after a certain point of the time of the apostles held to the true meaning of scripture as Lutherans hold to it and that is how they justify themselves as a church away from tradition of apostolic succession, its all dependent on the bible and the correct reading of the word but that didn’t exist for a time apparently.

It’s even worse for the clueless evangelical who thinks of such history as unimportant and that the bible just magically appeared.

We don’t; we rather like history. I’m sick of bringing this point up, but the history of the RCC is not very nice.

And can we stop with the generalizations? I’m pretty sure Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Nabeel Qureshi are Evangelical. C.S. Lewis was brilliant but not Catholic; we’re not all nutbars shouting on street corners.

The push to prove Christianity by reason and logic through history and the Scriptures is being taken on strongly by Evangelicals, while every Catholic Apologist I hear of is interested in proving Protestants wrong. Protestants are guilty of the same, but we have really turned our focus to those who would attack Christianity.

Our historical woes are attributed to sinners within the Church acting outside of Church teaching. And much of it is incredibly over exaggerated by enemies of the Church. And I whole heartedly disagree that our history is “not very nice.” You can thank us for birth of western civilization, the worldwide spread of Christianity, the scientific method, universities, hospitals, classic art and music, beautiful architecture, the lives of the saints,THE BIBLE, etc, etc. And the history of our theological origins and foundational origins go all the way back to Christ and the Apostles and the Early Church itself.

Protestants/Evangelical historical woes come from the fact that their existence nor their theology can be traced back any earlier than the Reformation era. Any honest study of the Early Church shows that it was incredibly Catholic. Protestant theology on the other hand was an invention stemming from the Reformation that ended going in thousands of different directions. Theological anarchy. :shrug:

I think it is a very valid uninsulting question, but you have taken it rather sensitively, seemingly to quash it right off the bat by taking the question of puzzlement in the wrong direction of comparison.

I’m pretty sure Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Nabeel Quershi and CS Lewis would only cover around the last 80 years? No? While you make the history prior to that 80 years evil?

I see the majority of Catholic Apologists making a positive case for Catholicism (both in defense against Protestant and Secular). Obviously you view that slightly different because you sit from a different view-point.

After all there is no point telling me Protestant is wrong, it would leave me with a void of truth and losing that could send me in any direction. Tell me Catholic is right, and I will see Protestant is wrong in my own processing.

Accurate description there. There are Protestants that wrote about the History of the Church such as JND Kelly, Darwell Stone, Philip Schaff and many others. In fact, Calvin College also host the biggest collection of the writings of the Church Fathers, Free for anyone who just go to their website to read all of them.

Of course, you are right to say that Catholic History is not very nice. It’s true but it should be noted that things are not exactly greener at the Protestant side as well with Luther’s treatise on the Jews called, “On the Jews and their Lies”, the Reformation Wars, which both sides committed atrocities and the Salem Witch Trials by the Puritans. So when discussing History, it is important for us to be humble as like it or not, our Christian History while have many positive points and breakthroughs, is also filled with unnecessary bloodshed and hate, be it towards the Jews or each other.

Of course regarding Catholic Apologists, you are quite correct to say that. A majority of websites try to prove Protestantism wrong, even this one as I’m sure you can see by the promotion of a certain book. Whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant however, it is important that we should face the real enemies that are happily watching us squabble amongst each other such as the Atheists, especially Richard Dawkins. It is fortunate for us that we have the likes of William Lane Craig whose intention is to defend “Mere Christianity” and Billy Graham who sought to promote unity between us Christians. We need more people like them on each side as the Real Enemy such as the Militant Atheists and even governments in general try to push for a world that is without morals and worse of all, without God.

I nearly forgot, here’s the link to Calvin College’s website that is a literal treasure trove of Early Christian documents and writings,

And how much more effective would Christians be if they were of One Faith, One Mind as the Bible says we should be?

The Protestants dilemma has been published by catholic answers so why shouldn’t they promote it? This is a catholic website after all? It’s actually a very interesting read and has a very good logical format to it. It actually takes the premise that Protestantism is true and then deduces logical conclusions from this assumption.

I’ve been a Catholic my whole life and I’m a history student and i’ve always wondered this, “how could anyone who knows history be protestant” I used to think.

These days hwoever I have been asking myself the opposite question. In an attempt to show error to my protestant friend I began reading the whole of the Church fathers, in context not in quotes, and I am struglling to see the Catholic Church at all. I don’t see the Protestant churches, but that does not essential for the protestant, but it is essential that the early Christians were Catholic for the Catholic church.

Accepting historical non-evidence on faith has proven to be very difficult for me, but I am trying. As a Catholic, how can I explain the available historical evidence? The only way I can explain it is by accepting the Church teachings, including her teeachings on history, on faith. History has not led me closer to the Church. I have to make an act of faith.

Tha’s what its all about, FAITH. Like Peter said, Lord where would we go?? YOU have the words of Eternal Life!! God Bless, Memaw

This is an interesting viewpoint, coming from an Orthodox Christian. At the time of the Reformation, Orthodoxy had considered Rome in schism, maybe heresy, for close to 500 years.
If we look at two major points of divergence the Lutheran Reformers had at the time, they were justification, and the power and primacy of the pope. But connected to and wrapped up in these two issues are practices such as indulgences, private masses, etc.

So, which of these do you think the Lutheran Reformers were wrong about. Justification?
Fine. Perhaps, then, Orthodoxy has no cause for division, since you agree with the Vatican on everything else. Yes?


:thumbsup: Our message, no, Christ’s message through us, His Church, would be much stronger were we truly united. As the great hymn, The Church’s One Foundation say;
She is from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.


I think you might be able to argue that those answers are just as much Catholic as Protestant…

  1. I have heard on numerous occasions by Catholic apologetics, the belief that if Saint Paul were alive today, he would use electronic means to spread the good news, as his preaching medium was the the first century equivalent to modern means.

  2. while a history of God’s salvation plan, the church concludes the bible is not a history or science textbook, nor are the gospels intended to be a complete biography of the life of Christ.

  3. I believe even the last couple of a Popes agree that It might indeed be most important that all believe in Christ as savior.

I have a friend who is Episcopalian who considers herself a good Christian and every once in a while I itch to ask her how she feels about the origins of her church with it’s murderous past and the fact that for 250 her church literally outlawed Catholicism in her country and persecuted Catholics in all her colonies as well. That means it was illegal to be Catholic in English Colonies folks. Yeppers - here in the good ole USA until we were a Nation freed from Colonial oppression, if you were Catholic you were an illegal person. There is lots to think about there.

I haven’t yet asked her how her church explains what they did to Catholics when they started but it would be interesting to hear. I don’t think our friendship would remain if I asked her. :frowning:


In that sense we Catholics have a lot to be ashamed about too. For every sin against Catholic she’d probably be able to point out some of Catholics against Protestants so it’s not a terribly good argument. For as the Anglicans spread their faith through colonialism so too did the Spaniards for one. As they persecuted Calls so to Catholics persecuted heretics. Thank God the holiness of His Church is not determined by her sinful children!

Yes, in certain ways but what about those who are like the Anglicans or Lutherans? These denominations are basically quite close to Catholicism, especially the High Church. Of course while I personally disagree with certain areas of Protestantism, we must remember that not everyone is willing to swallow the “red pill” and I personally think that CAF shouldn’t advertise it here, after all there’s a no proselytizing rule here and with all due respect, the “Protestant’s Dilemma” book seem to break this rule. To be fair however, I personally been to Christian Fellowship(CF) Camps where they directly sell books of a similar nature even though the camp organizers have said that they respect Catholic and Orthodox Christians and would not seek to convert them.

Of course this being a Forum in which Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants gather together, it is important to be considerate and not push them to convert to Catholicism by force, just let them learn and decide with their free will. That’s way better than using the Fundamentalist way of using fear to convert people.

Yup but the problem is that I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian which means that I belong to a Church that is different from the Catholic Church. Still however, you got a point there.

I thought the proselytising rule was for non-catholics to catholics, in that this forum can’t be used to try and turn catholics away from their faith. Catholic answers is about the defence of the (catholic) faith - the book is a defence of the catholic faith? I’m not catholic and even I can see that. This isn’t a general religious forum, it is a catholic forum…defending the catholic faith, if non catholics (or even catholics) don’t like books which defend the catholic faith being advertised, they shouldn’t be here.

Catholic answers are the publishers of the book…so how they are not supposed to advertise it I’m not sure!

Cardinal Newman a famous Convert has the best answer to that.


At least as I understand it, this post is correct. Banned Topics - Revised includes

Proselytizing Catholics or encouraging them to leave the Church

There is no such rule in other directions. Respect is universal, though, and also included in Banned Topics are

Derogatory terms characterizing a class of people by religion (Papists, Prods, Fundies), political affiliation, or national/ethnic origin
Blatantly disrespectful characterization of any faith, (“Rome is the Whore of Babylon”, “Nazarenes are Holy-Rollers”, “Jews are Christ-killers”, “Muslims are terrorists”) its tenets, practices, or adherents

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread!

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