Revising Church History


#1

Many Protestants believe in so-called Primitive Church Theory. Recently I’ve received some rather novel replies.

  1. When Confronted with fact that the earliest writers of the Apolostolic period (Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Ireaneas, The Didache, Clement) were believers in Apostolic Succession, Real Presence of the Eucharist, etc their reply is these writers were probably good teachers, but the writings are not inspired.

  2. One Protestant I know when confronting with these facts, makes the argument that the Catholic Church was only church until the Reformation and had to role to play in Defining the Trinity (for them)and canonizing and preserving the Bible, but it wasn’t until the last century that we’ve only really begun to study the Bible in depth. This argument is usually given when confronted witht he fact the the Rapture is unknown idea until the 1830s - they’ll say "well…nobody ‘really’ studied prophecy until 20th century.

  3. Contraception - A reply I get is well nobody understood biology until the 19th Century (as to how conception occurs) therefore when church writers such St. John Chrystoam [sic] , even Luther and Calvin condemn contraception their opinions it is argued were in error because the didn’t understand biology as we do now.


#2

(Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Ireaneas, The Didache, Clement) were believers in Apostolic Succession, Real Presence of the Eucharist, etc their reply is these writers were probably good teachers, but the writings are not inspired.

PM,
Most of them really don’t even know who these guys are. It’s really pretty sad. We Catholics never say that they are inspired…but they do provide a good historical reference about the things that the “primitive church” (sounds like cavemen at Mass or something, doesn’t it? :slight_smile: really believed. You will find that our seperated brothers get really wound up with their allegations about the Church. Most of it is baloney (my apologies to baloney…). We just have to be patient & answer w/ love, even though their “evangelism” is often less than loving towards us. Fact is all of us are only human, & that original sin left us w/ lots of “issues”.

Hang in, be at peace


#3

These guys and many others in the early Church used more ink explaining and quoting Scripture then anything else!


#4
  1. Contraception - A reply I get is well nobody understood biology until the 19th Century (as to how conception occurs) therefore when church writers such St. John Chrystoam [sic] , even Luther and Calvin condemn contraception their opinions it is argued were in error because the didn’t understand biology as we do now.

It’s not a question of whether you know biology or not. It’s a question of morality.

Pio


#5

Are they saying that people didn’t know how babies are made? What about Onan “spilling his seed” and all the other references to Abraham’s seed? These people were not modern, but they weren’t stupid.


#6

[size=2]Jason Engwer: 3.) If Catholics can disagree with a church father on a number of issues, yet consider him orthodox anyway, why can’t evangelicals do that?[/size]

[size=2]Mark Bonocore: Because we believe in the development of doctrine. You do not. Take the Council of Chalcedon and its definition of the Hypostatic Union of Christ as an example. If St. Irenaeus (200 years earlier) stated something which disagrees with Chalcedon, that is no big deal, since we believe that the question of Jesus’ two natures was not fully explored and defined by the Church until Chalcedon concluded the matter in 451. You, however, cannot accept this, since …if the entire orthodox Christian Faith is recorded statically in the Bible … then you must maintain that Christ’s Hypostatic Union (His being both fully-God and fully-man) is taught clearly and unambiguously in Scripture itself, and that this was always recognized by orthodox Christians.[/size]

Therefore, you must apply this same principle to all the tenets of your faith. Given your Sola Scriptura position, you must be able to show that your comprehensive reading of the Bible was shared by someone else in ancient times (who achieved the same results as you). …Or rather you must concede that your interpretation of Scripture is totally subjective and non-repeatable throughout history. We don’t need to show this. But you do. :slight_smile: …Or else Sola Scriptura doesn’t work as an objective rule of faith.

JE> For example, Catholics consider Augustine to be orthodox. Yet, Augustine either didn’t mention or contradicted a number of Catholic doctrines.

I answered this in regard to Thomas Aquinas above. It’s a non-issue, Jason. Now, why don’t you answer my question? :slight_smile:

JE> Regarding Augustine’s view of church government, the historian Philip Schaff points out that even though Augustine held a high view of Peter and of the Roman church, he didn’t believe in a papacy.

Oh, pleeeeease! :slight_smile: What do you call this:

"This act, Lord Brother, we thought right to intimate to your holy charity, in order that to the statutes of our littleness might be added the authority of the Apostolic See for the preservation of the safety of many and the correction of the perversity of some.” (St. Augustine to the Pope on Pelagianism, Ep. 175)

and

“For we do not pour back our little stream for the purpose of replenishing your great fountain, but in the great temptation of these times, we wish it to be approved by you whether our stream, though small, flows from the same head of water as your abundant river, and to be consoled by your answer in common participation of the same grace.” (St. Augustine to the Pope, Ep. 177)

JE> Catholics may object that Philip Schaff is a Protestant historian, and that Robert Eno, though a Catholic, isn’t conservative enough.

Eno is a modernist and a heretic. Cased closed. Now, can we please stay on topic, Jason? :slight_smile:

bringyou.to/apologetics/num19.htm


#7

[size=2]Jason Engwer: 3.) If Catholics can disagree with a church father on a number of issues, yet consider him orthodox anyway, why can’t evangelicals do that?[/size]

[size=2]Mark Bonocore: Because we believe in the development of doctrine. You do not. Take the Council of Chalcedon and its definition of the Hypostatic Union of Christ as an example. If St. Irenaeus (200 years earlier) stated something which disagrees with Chalcedon, that is no big deal, since we believe that the question of Jesus’ two natures was not fully explored and defined by the Church until Chalcedon concluded the matter in 451. You, however, cannot accept this, since …if the entire orthodox Christian Faith is recorded statically in the Bible … then you must maintain that Christ’s Hypostatic Union (His being both fully-God and fully-man) is taught clearly and unambiguously in Scripture itself, and that this was always recognized by orthodox Christians.[/size]

Therefore, you must apply this same principle to all the tenets of your faith. Given your Sola Scriptura position, you must be able to show that your comprehensive reading of the Bible was shared by someone else in ancient times (who achieved the same results as you). …Or rather you must concede that your interpretation of Scripture is totally subjective and non-repeatable throughout history. We don’t need to show this. But you do. :slight_smile: …Or else Sola Scriptura doesn’t work as an objective rule of faith.

JE> For example, Catholics consider Augustine to be orthodox. Yet, Augustine either didn’t mention or contradicted a number of Catholic doctrines.

I answered this in regard to Thomas Aquinas above. It’s a non-issue, Jason. Now, why don’t you answer my question? :slight_smile:

JE> Regarding Augustine’s view of church government, the historian Philip Schaff points out that even though Augustine held a high view of Peter and of the Roman church, he didn’t believe in a papacy.

Oh, pleeeeease! :slight_smile: What do you call this:

"This act, Lord Brother, we thought right to intimate to your holy charity, in order that to the statutes of our littleness might be added the authority of the Apostolic See for the preservation of the safety of many and the correction of the perversity of some.” (St. Augustine to the Pope on Pelagianism, Ep. 175)

and

“For we do not pour back our little stream for the purpose of replenishing your great fountain, but in the great temptation of these times, we wish it to be approved by you whether our stream, though small, flows from the same head of water as your abundant river, and to be consoled by your answer in common participation of the same grace.” (St. Augustine to the Pope, Ep. 177)

JE> Catholics may object that Philip Schaff is a Protestant historian, and that Robert Eno, though a Catholic, isn’t conservative enough.

Eno is a modernist and a heretic. Cased closed. Now, can we please stay on topic, Jason? :slight_smile:

bringyou.to/apologetics/num19.htm


#8

[quote=philipmarus]Many Protestants believe in so-called Primitive Church Theory. Recently I’ve received some rather novel replies.

  1. One Protestant I know when confronting with these facts, makes the argument that the Catholic Church was only church until the Reformation and had to role to play in Defining the Trinity (for them)and canonizing and preserving the Bible, but it wasn’t until the last century that we’ve only really begun to study the Bible in depth. This argument is usually given when confronted witht he fact the the Rapture is unknown idea until the 1830s - they’ll say "well…nobody ‘really’ studied prophecy until 20th century.

[/quote]

In other words nobody really studied hard until I got my hands on a Bible and since I can’t find anybody to agree with my interpretation until after the 1830’s true biblical interpretation really started in protestant circles around that time. Those church fathers don’t know more than me.

Its kind of sad when you put yourself above the church Jesus found and about the theological giants the church has provided us Augustine, Aquinas, etc But I guess the me and my Bible syndrome really is the root of Pride and that in the end is not very Christian.


closed #9

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