Top 10 questions to consider before converting to Catholicism


#1

On his website, James White answered the following question from his mail bag last night:

“Dear Mr. White, For someone considering converting to Catholicism, what questions would you put to them in order to dicern whether or not they have examined their situation sufficiently? Say, a Top 10 list. Thanks.”

His response can be found here:
aomin.org/index.php?itemid=2210
(Please scroll down past “Can Paul be trusted?” to the last entry for August 20th.)

James answered in a reasoned, non-insulting manner. I believe that CAF’s gifted apologists can answer these questions in a like manner.

Any takers?


#2

For one thing, each of his questions was broad. One would have to write a large book to adequately answer all his questions.

Anyway, we answer these questions every day on CAF. Mr White brought up the issues of history, Papal infallibility, sola Scriptura, the Catholic view of salvation, indulgences, Purgatory, the Papacy, and Marian dogmas.

There are already existing threads on each of these subjects.


#3
  1. Have you listened to both sides? That is, have you done more than read Rome Sweet Home and listen to a few emotion-tugging conversion stories? Have you actually taken the time to find sound, serious responses to Rome’s claims, those offered by writers ever since the Reformation,…

That’s actually three questions. Oh well. Mr White is actually being a bit near-sighted on this question, since he seems to reduce the situation to something he calls “both sides”. The original question did not suggest a person is trying to choose between his brand of Protestantism and Catholicism, but rather is merely considering joining the Catholic Church. So, to be really fair, Mr. White should amend the question to say “Have you listened to ALL sides?” Listening to “both sides” is merely a form of false objectivity.

  1. Have you read an objective history of the early church? I refer to one that would explain the great diversity of viewpoints to be found in the writings of the first centuries, and that accurately explains the controversies, struggles, successes and failures of those early believers?

Unfortunately, there is no “objective” history of the early Church. Either now or then. The earliest evidence that exists involves nothing “objective”–everyone has a dog in the hunt so to speak–either the Early Church, pagan commentators, gnostic radicals, etc. Which is what Mr. White is getting at (I think) with mentioning “great diversity” of viewpoints.

  1. Have you looked carefully at the claims of Rome in a historical light, specifically, have you examined her claims regarding the “unanimous consent” of the Fathers, and all the evidence that exists that stands contrary not only to the universal claims of the Papacy but especially to the concept of Papal Infallibility? How do you explain, consistently, the history of the early church in light of modern claims made by Rome? How do you explain such things as the Pornocracy and the Babylonian Captivity of the Church without assuming the truthfulness of the very system you are embracing?

Here is where Mr. White really starts to get…wacky?..assuming his point rather than proving it. There is, for example, no “evidence” that contradicts the papacy. He may have an interpretation that does, but no objective evidence. To connect the pejorative term “pornocracy” tips his hand nicely–perhaps the zany Mr. White is not fully aware of the distinction between impeccable behavior (not a Catholic claim) and infallible teaching (which is a Catholic claim). He also seems unable to grasp the concept that believing the “system” is a consequence of believing what God has told us, and not a circular pattern.

  1. Have you applied the same standards to the testing of Rome’s ultimate claims of authority that Roman Catholic apologists use to attack sola scriptura? How do you explain the fact that Rome’s answers to her own objections are circular? For example, if she claims you need the Church to establish an infallible canon, how does that actually answer the question, since you now have to ask how Rome comes to have this infallible knowledge. Or if it is argued that sola scriptura produces anarchy, why doesn’t Rome’s magisterium produce unanimity and harmony? And if someone claims there are 33,000 denominations due to sola scriptura, since that outrageous number has been debunked repeatedly , have you asked them why they are so dishonest and sloppy with their research?

Here Mr. White casts an essential issue in rather meaningless terms. The real issue is whether the infallible canon is able to be determined by a fallible authority, or not. He apparently thinks it can be, while the Catholic view is that it can’t be, because, logically, how can something fallible produce something infallible?

And again he states interpretation as fact when claiming the Magisterium is not a source of unity and harmony. Dissent from the Magisterium does not disprove its authority any more than dissent from Jesus’ teaching disproves His…

  1. Have you read the Papal Syllabus of Errors and Indulgentiarum Doctrina? Can anyone read the description of grace found in the latter document and pretend for even a moment that is the doctrine of grace Paul taught to the Romans?

Again, the lovable Mr. White presents innuendo as a basis for joining a Church, or not. He leverages his own opinion in place of objective factual evidence. The truth is that, yes, what Paul taught and what is taught in the Syllabus and about indulgences are harmonious teachings, and provably so. The pattern is clearly emerging that, rather than leave the matter at asking insightful questions, all the questions are designed to produce a result desired by Mr. White–a move closer to his view.

Cont.

DJim


#4
  1. Have you seriously considered the ramifications of Rome’s doctrine of sin, forgiveness, eternal and temporal punishments, purgatory, the treasury of merit, transubstantiation, sacramental priesthood, and indulgences? Have you seriously worked through compelling and relevant biblical texts like Ephesians 2, Romans 3-5, Galatians 1-2, Hebrews 7-10 and all of John 6, in light of Roman teaching?

Mr. White appears to be a master of comic irony–ending his text list with John 6, as though that text is not in harmony with Catholic teaching? His point here seems to be that Scripture conflicts with these teachings. But the funny part is that someone who seriously considers these texts will conclude that they uphold the Catholic view, not the fascinatingly erroneous views of Mr. White…

  1. Have you pondered what it means to embrace a system that teaches you approach the sacrifice of Christ thousands of times in your life and yet you can die impure, and, in fact, even die an enemy of God, though you came to the cross over and over again? And have you pondered what it means that though the historical teachings of Rome on these issues are easily identifiable, the vast majority of Roman Catholics today, including priests, bishops, and scholars, don’t believe these things anymore?

An appeal to what can be called the “lemming” approach to truth? If lots of misinformed people reject something, it must not be true? Side splitting humor from JW…amazed that he asserts that the “vast majority” of Catholic clergy and scholars reject Catholic teaching, when that’s demonstrably untrue. And right after quibbling about dishonest and sloppy research!

  1. Have you considered what it means to proclaim a human being the Holy Father (that’s a divine name, used by Jesus only of His Father) and the Vicar of Christ (that’s the Holy Spirit)? Do you really find anything in Scripture whatsoever that would lead you to believe it was Christ’s will that a bishop in a city hundreds of miles away in Rome would not only be the head of His church but would be treated as a king upon earth, bowed down to and treated the way the Roman Pontiff is treated?

A more careful scholar of Scripture would not go out a limb like this with titles. In response, one can merely ask, "Did LUKE consider what it meant to proclaim a human being the SON OF GOD, which is the term he used for Adam in his genealogy of Jesus…

Jesus called Peter “blessed” and asked God to make all the Twelve “Holy”. Paul claimed a spiritual fatherhood.

Is there any Scripture passage in which Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Vicar of Christ”.

And what’s this “hundreds of miles away” stuff? Not if you’re in Rome! What is that supposed to prove?

Cont.

DJim


#5
  1. Have you considered how completely unbiblical and a-historical is the entire complex of doctrines and dogmas related to Mary? Do you seriously believe the Apostles taught that Mary was immaculately conceived, and that she was a perpetual virgin (so that she traveled about Palestine with a group of young men who were not her sons, but were Jesus’ cousins, or half-brothers (children of a previous marriage of Joseph), or the like? Do you really believe that dogmas defined nearly 2,000 years after the birth of Christ represent the actual teachings of the Apostles? Are you aware that such doctrines as perpetual virginity and bodily assumption have their origin in gnosticism, not Christianity, and have no foundation in apostolic doctrine or practice? How do you explain how it is you must believe these things de fide, by faith, when generations of Christians lived and died without ever even having heard of such things?

The affable Mr. White finally gets to the “So’s your Mama” part.

There is actually better ancient evidence for early belief in Mary’s singular purity and holiness (cf. Protevangelion of James) than there is evidence for early belief in “Sola Scriptura”…Yup, forget all that “Mary” dogma stuff 'cause it’s 2000 years later, but cling to the tenets of the Protestant Reformation–because that’s only 1500 years later. How can you not love this guy!

And the number 1 question I would ask of such a person is: if you claim to have once embraced the gospel of grace, whereby you confessed that your sole standing before a thrice-holy God was the seamless garment of the imputed righteousness of Christ, so that you claimed no merit of your own, no mixture of other merit with the perfect righteousness of Christ, but that you stood full and complete in Him and in Him alone, at true peace with God because there is no place in the universe safer from the wrath of God than in Christ, upon what possible grounds could you come to embrace a system that at its very heart denies you the peace that is found in a perfect Savior who accomplishes the Father’s will and a Spirit who cannot fail but to bring that work to fruition in the life of God’s elect? Do you really believe that the endless cycle of sacramental forgiveness to which you will now commit yourself can provide you the peace that the perfect righteousness of Christ can not?

Here again is the myopic view at work–his number one point is not responsive to the question asked–it focuses all attention on Mr. White’s view, when there is no indication that the person in question even comes from a Protestant background. Slightly odd.

Further, he wrongly asserts that sacramental “forgiveness” (which comes from Christ) is somehow opposed to to Christ’s perfect righteousness.

Further further, he is here making an emotional appeal–appealing to a desire for feelings of “peace”–when his top ten list starts out pooh-poohing “emotional” conversion stories, etc…

Also further further, the first thing I thought of when reading this was the appeal made by Mormons who ask you to ask yourself whether the Book of Mormon is really true–that the “burning in your bosom” will attest to its truth.

In this case, it is “peace” that will attest to the truth. An emotional appeal similar to that made by Mormons…

That about wraps it up…

DJim


#6

I’ll give it a try, though I’m no gifted apologist, I just try to be. :smiley:

  1. Have you listened to both sides? That is, have you done more than read Rome Sweet Home and listen to a few emotion-tugging conversion stories? Have you actually taken the time to find sound, serious responses to Rome’s claims, those offered by writers ever since the Reformation, such as Goode, Whitaker, Salmon, and modern writers? I specifically exclude from this list anything by Jack Chick and Dave Hunt.

Here White passively writes off any Catholic argument as unsound and un-serious. He’s implying here that if one is reasonable they will not convert. I believe the problem here lies in that becoming Catholic can come through reason and is not just an emotional impulse.

  1. Have you read an objective history of the early church? I refer to one that would explain the great diversity of viewpoints to be found in the writings of the first centuries, and that accurately explains the controversies, struggles, successes and failures of those early believers?

I’d also want people to remember that White proof-texts the ECF’s often, taking a quote that supports his argument and leaves out any pro-Catholic comment by the same hurch Father. He’s also making the assumption here that the ECF’s, when looked at objectively, agree with him. When they were much more Catholic in practice than he’d like to admit.

  1. Have you looked carefully at the claims of Rome in a historical light, specifically, have you examined her claims regarding the “unanimous consent” of the Fathers, and all the evidence that exists that stands contrary not only to the universal claims of the Papacy but especially to the concept of Papal Infallibility? How do you explain, consistently, the history of the early church in light of modern claims made by Rome? How do you explain such things as the Pornocracy and the Babylonian Captivity of the Church without assuming the truthfulness of the very system you are embracing?

He speaks of contrary evidence yet says nothing about it. Hidden in his question is his statement that it is a fact that contrary evidence exists. We’re to take this on nothing else but his say-so. Something stated as fact does not a fact make. That’s not an objective question. It’s like asking you “So how do you handle the fact you’re a murderer?” It’s making the assumption you’re a murderer and then proceeding on that point as if me saying so is proof enough. This deck is stacked.

And I honestly don’t understand the “Pornocracy” or “Babylonian captivity of the Church” he’s referring to.

  1. Have you applied the same standards to the testing of Rome’s ultimate claims of authority that Roman Catholic apologists use to attack sola scriptura? How do you explain the fact that Rome’s answers to her own objections are circular? For example, if she claims you need the Church to establish an infallible canon, how does that actually answer the question, since you now have to ask how Rome comes to have this infallible knowledge. Or if it is argued that sola scriptura produces anarchy, why doesn’t Rome’s magisterium produce unanimity and harmony? And if someone claims there are 33,000 denominations due to sola scriptura, since that outrageous number has been debunked repeatedly (see Eric Svendsen’s Upon This Slippery Rock for full documentation), have you asked them why they are so dishonest and sloppy with their research?

White is assuming these arguments are circular. Christ established a Church. He gave that Church the authority to discern correct doctrine from incorrect doctrine. The Church doesn’t make up what’s infallible, it’s guided by the Holy Spirit, as Christ promised it would not err, to this infallible truth. With no one with the God-given authority to discern truth from error, there would be no bible as no one would be able to tell, difinitively, which is inspired and which is not.

Second, in his comments dealing with arguments against sola scriptura, he’s passing the buck. You see when he says, “Or if it is argued that sola scriptura produces anarchy, why doesn’t Rome’s magisterium produce unanimity and harmony?” Does that at all refute the argument? No. Second, How many separate “faith communities” has Catholic doctrine created? 0. How many “faith communities” are based on sola scriptura? He says 33,000 has been debunked, but the fact remains that it is many, many thousands and sola scriptura only serves to divide. He has not refuted this claim at all, but merely passes the buck.

Continued…


#7
  1. Have you read the Papal Syllabus of Errors and Indulgentiarum Doctrina? Can anyone read the description of grace found in the latter document and pretend for even a moment that is the doctrine of grace Paul taught to the Romans?

We are saved by grace alone, on that I think we all can agree. But true conversion also affects how we act towards one another. Read James 2, remember Pauls wirds; faith, hope and charity, the greatest of these is not faith but charity. Every time scripture speaks of judgement, mankind is not judged on his faith but on his works. The encyclical he mentions is also annotated with scriptural passages. He’s also assuming that it is at odds with what Paul taught. That’s not being very objective.

  1. Have you seriously considered the ramifications of Rome’s doctrine of sin, forgiveness, eternal and temporal punishments, purgatory, the treasury of merit, transubstantiation, sacramental priesthood, and indulgences? Have you seriously worked through compelling and relevant biblical texts like Ephesians 2, Romans 3-5, Galatians 1-2, Hebrews 7-10 and all of John 6, in light of Roman teaching?

If one does an honest readong of history they will know that the Catholic Church was almost 400 years old before the bible was put together. He’s making the assumption that the bible contradicts what Catholicism teaches. It’s only his interpretation that does so. Just earlier he attacked infallibility saying we shouldn’t take Rome’s word for it. Well why shouldn’t we do the same for his? How is he infallible and Rome is not? Since he does not believe in the infallibility of the Church, then his view is that Rome has only opinions, no authority. Well doesn’t the same thing go for him? If the Catholic Church has only opinions and no authoirty then so does James White.

To these I’d say just look them up in the Catechism, and see for yourself the case Catholicism makes. And not to automatically say their wrong just because White states opinion as fact. Catholicism can make just as good of a case if not better from scripture than White can. But which is true? This is hy it’s important that someone with authority discern between truth and error. Does White have such authority? Both arguments are based on scripture, so scripture alone can’t decide between them.

Continued…


#8
  1. Have you pondered what it means to embrace a system that teaches you approach the sacrifice of Christ thousands of times in your life and yet you can die impure, and, in fact, even die an enemy of God, though you came to the cross over and over again? And have you pondered what it means that though the historical teachings of Rome on these issues are easily identifiable, the vast majority of Roman Catholics today, including priests, bishops, and scholars, don’t believe these things anymore?

He’s making another assumption that A. Catholicism taught something (what exactly remains unmentioned) and B. That “…the vast majority of Roman Catholics today… don’t believe these things anymore.” What exactly is he referring to? Are we again supposed to take his asserted opinions as fact? That something in Catholic teaching exists that he knows for sure the majority of Catholics don’t believe?

Can a person attain a state of salvation and then lose it again? Yup. Scripture is littered with many passages supporting this.

In Romans 11 Paul is talking about being grafted into the tree an analogy to us becoming believers and becoming grafted into the body of Christ (the Church). In verse 17 he says:

“And if some of the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root, and of the fatness of the olive tree,”

We are grafted into the tree, and partaker of the root which is Christ (remember the metaphor of the vine)

in verse 20 Paul says:
“Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear.” Here it shows that by unbelief we can be cut off from the tree and not partake of the root. Then in verse 23 Paul says:

“And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again” So not only can we be cut off after being grafted to the tree (Christ) but that if we cease to be in unbelief that we can be grafted in yet again. Obviously, salvation is a process, not a one-time deal.

Second, White is taking an either/or dichotomy with faith and works when the Catholic position is both/and. If you have nothing but hate and loathing for God in your heart and merely go through the motions in Church are you saved? No way. A sacrament is only effacacious is the person recieving the sacrament is of the proper disposition to recieve it.

If we read from Paul in 1 Cor 11:27-29 in reference to the sacrament of the Eucharist:

“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”

It is clear that merely going through the motions will not only be ineffective, but is sinful when recieving the sacraments. No properly catechised Catholic will tell you different. White has created a strawman here.

  1. Have you considered what it means to proclaim a human being the Holy Father (that’s a divine name, used by Jesus only of His Father) and the Vicar of Christ (that’s the Holy Spirit)? Do you really find anything in Scripture whatsoever that would lead you to believe it was Christ’s will that a bishop in a city hundreds of miles away in Rome would not only be the head of His church but would be treated as a king upon earth, bowed down to and treated the way the Roman Pontiff is treated?

Where is it prescribed that Catholics treat the pope like a king? And how is “Vicar of Christ” only in reference to the Holy Spirit?

In Mat 16:18 Christ singles out Peter to be on whom He will build His Church. Catholics believe the pope is the successor of Peter. Perhaps the honor we show the pope is out of respect instead of mandate? If we read in Acts, Peter was treated with great respect (chapter 5), and was singled out from among the apostles:

Christ asked him personally to feed His lambs and His sheep (John 21:15-17). Peter alone walked on water with Jesus (Mat 14:29). Whenever the apostles are mentioned in the Gospels, Peter’s is listed first. (Mat 10:2, Mark 3:16, Luke 6:14,9:32, Acts 1:13) Christ asked Peter specifically to pray for his brethren that they may be strengthened. (Luke 22:32) Peter is the one whose mere shadow cured infirmities. (Acts 5:15, similiar miracle by Jesus in Mat 14:36) Peter is the one who addressed the crowd in Acts (Acts 1:15,2:14, et al) Only two miracles of people being raised from the dead are recorded in scripture (afaik); that of Jesus and that of Peter (Acts 9:36-40).

Catholics show the successor of Peter the honor we feel he is due. White is trying to imply that honoring this man is wrong yet gives no clue as to why it is wrong, or how such honor is “too much”.


#9
  1. Have you considered how completely unbiblical and a-historical is the entire complex of doctrines and dogmas related to Mary? Do you seriously believe the Apostles taught that Mary was immaculately conceived, and that she was a perpetual virgin (so that she traveled about Palestine with a group of young men who were not her sons, but were Jesus’ cousins, or half-brothers (children of a previous marriage of Joseph), or the like? Do you really believe that dogmas defined nearly 2,000 years after the birth of Christ represent the actual teachings of the Apostles? Are you aware that such doctrines as perpetual virginity and bodily assumption have their origin in gnosticism, not Christianity, and have no foundation in apostolic doctrine or practice? How do you explain how it is you must believe these things de fide, by faith, when generations of Christians lived and died without ever even having heard of such things?

Funny, the creator of sola scriptura, Martin Luther, believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Is White a better scholar than Luther? Both are sola scripturalists, obviously.

First, let’s deal with Jesus’ alleged siblings. The most quoted verse is Mark 6:3:
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon? are not also his sisters here with us? And they were scandalized in regard of him.”

Is there precedent for referring to cousins as brothers? Let’s look in the Old Testament:

Gen 14:14 “Which when Abram had heard, to wit, that his brother Lot was taken, he numbered of the servants born in his house, three hundred and eighteen well appointed: and pursued them to Dan.” Here Lot is mentioned as Abram’s brother. Now for another verse:

“And these are the generations of Thare: Thare begot Abram, Nachor, and Aran. And Aran begot Lot.”

Lot is not Abram’s brother, but his nephew. Abram had only two brothers, Nachor nad Aran, neither of which are Lot. Why is this? Because the language didn’t accomodate for cousins or uncles, etc. Now let’s take a closer look at Mark 6:3:

First James is mentioned so let’s look at him. In Gal 1:19 James is mentioned as an apostle:
“But other of the apostles I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord.”

Now let’s turn to Mat 10:2-4 and see what it says about James:
“And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, 3 James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, 4 Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”

Neither apostles named James were the son of Joseph.

Next we have Joseph. If we look in Mat 27:55-56, during the crucifixion we read:
"And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Is this Mary the mother of James and Joseph the same Mary of Jesus? No, Mary the mother of Jesus was at the foot of the cross, not off afar. (John 19:25)

Simon is either in reference to the Canaanite Simon or the Galilean Simon. If teh Canaanite Simon was a sibling of Jesus it would be silly to identify him with where he was born apart from where his family lived. And in Mat 4:18 Simon (Peter) isn’t called the brother of Jesus, but of Andrew.

Jude is considered the brother of James the less (Brother of Joseph) who is not the son of Joseph, nor the son of the mother of Jesus. He’s either the son of the Mary who viewed from afar in Mat 27:55-66, or the son of Mary the wife of Cleophas who is distinguished apart from Mary the mother of Jesus.

Mark 6:3 is describing either Jesus’ very close brethren, or his cousins. But not blood siblings.

Continued…


#10

Next, is a brief treatment of the Assumption, one must ask themselves if Elijah and Enoch can be assumed into heaven, and if rapturists can believe that people will suddenly be raptured (assumed) bodily into heaven, then why not the Ark of the New Covenant?

In Rev 11 we read an interesting verse (remember when the scriptures were written there were no chapter and verse separations):
Rev 11:19 “And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

And then right in the following verse we read:
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:”

In the old manuscripts 12:1 reads right after 11:19; there was no division. That’s at least worthy to ponder.

Next, White asks,“How do you explain how it is you must believe these things de fide, by faith, when generations of Christians lived and died without ever even having heard of such things?”

Well you need to ask yourself, where in scripture does it describe the trinity as three divine persons? Where does scripture describe Jesus as having both a divine and human nature in a single hypostasis? How about worshipping God on Sundays?

All of that is implied in scripture but not explicitly. But all of that is also carry-overs from Catholicism.

What about other teachings not in the bible like age of accountabiliy? White believes in this one, infant baptism is a no-no. Many protestants will agree that all have sinned, right? (Rom 3:32) That’s commonly used to negate the Immaculate Conception. Well what about the age of reason? Are people not at or over the age of reason sinners, since all have sinned? If they’re not sinners then obviously not all have sinned, which would demolish their argument against the Immaculate Conception.

Nowhere in scripture is the age of reason defined, yet many protestants, including white, subscribe to it.

Nowhere in scripture is “accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” mentioned, nor what it does.

What about imputed righteousness? Where’s that in the bible?

What about altar calls? Where does scripture mention that?

So yes, there are many things which protestants, White included, accept that the apostles and ECF’s did not. Second, if the Church provided for us a book with all of the writings inspired by God, why doesn’t it have the right to define new teaching? That’s not a biased claim, you can look it up that the canon of the bible wasn’t defined until long after christianity identified itself as “Catholic”.

And the number 1 question I would ask of such a person is: if you claim to have once embraced the gospel of grace, whereby you confessed that your sole standing before a thrice-holy God was the seamless garment of the imputed righteousness of Christ, so that you claimed no merit of your own, no mixture of other merit with the perfect righteousness of Christ, but that you stood full and complete in Him and in Him alone, at true peace with God because there is no place in the universe safer from the wrath of God than in Christ, upon what possible grounds could you come to embrace a system that at its very heart denies you the peace that is found in a perfect Savior who accomplishes the Father’s will and a Spirit who cannot fail but to bring that work to fruition in the life of God’s elect? Do you really believe that the endless cycle of sacramental forgiveness to which you will now commit yourself can provide you the peace that the perfect righteousness of Christ can not?

We’ve already seen that salvation is a process, not a one-time deal. Paul refers to salvation as a race (1Cor 9:24), that he does not fight in vain (1Cor 9:26). We’re called to persevere to be saved (Mat 10:22, 24:13). We can be cut off from the tree of life, that we must be believers to be a part of (John 15:6)

Salvation is a process, we can lose it. Second, where is “imputed righteousness” taught in the bible? Does not loving God with all of our heart require some action on our part? How about loving our neighbor? Does not obeying God’s will refelct in our actions? (James 2:16) Is it not the doers of the law, not the hearers of the law who are justified? (Rom 2:13)

Yet another doctrine with no scriptural basis. Pot meet kettle, Mr. White.


#11

Mary:

  1. James wants a debate.
  2. James has acquitted himself in a disproportionately robust and uncharitable way toward Francis Beckwith concerning that man’s reversion to Catholicism.
  3. Not one of those defending James’s behaviour in this matter has admitted to taking the man aside and suggesting that he seek guidance to curb his untoward behaviour – which would be the Christian thing to do.
  4. I believe that, at this time, it would be harmful to James and harmful to Christians for Catholics to engage him in any form of debate.
  5. This thread seems to me to be no more than a subtle insinuation into Catholic Answers in order to revive this misguided debate issue.
  6. Jimmy Akin will not debate the man.
  7. I will not debate the man.
  8. I encourage other Catholics to not debate James – on any pretext – until such time as he regains his sense of proportion and Christian charity.

I have started a prayer thread for James here:

Prayers for James White


#12

I thought of this before I posted but Mr. White gave ten brief questions and I wondered how CAF’s apologists would answer if these questions were presented to them. Obviously they wouldn’t go into the detail that could be found on these forums. They would answer in brief form, later to be expounded upon if asked to do so.

I would like to hear what the short form answers would be.


#13

I disagree. I think his tone is mocking and sarcastic, and he uniformly mischaracterizes Catholic teaching when he should (by now) know better.

It isn’t as if these questions haven’t been answered innumerable times. White simply doesn’t like the answers.


#14

DJim and Unitas, thank you for taking the time to answer the questions point by point. This was what I was looking for. Obviously each of these questions could be given it’s own thread and it could be turned into 50 pages of point/counter point. I was looking for initial responses to each question if those were presented to someone.

And Unitas, I too was puzzled by “Pornocracy” or “Babylonian captivity of the Church”. Maybe somebody can explain what Mr. White is talking about.


#15

It’s codified language to rouse the fanboys around James’s latest attempts to provoke Catholics into a gladiator fight. It doesn’t have to have a meaning or even to make any sense at all. It’s a-nod’s-as-good-as-a-wink language.


#16

The Pornocracy was a period in the 10th century when the Papacy was rumored to be heavily under the influence of a particular Roman family that was headed by some strong willed and politically active women. They were not prostitutes but the “porno" name was coined by their political enemies.

Like the time of the Medici popes this period is often used the ridicule the institution of the papacy and/or the Church in general. The problem with that is that the critics make the leap from pointing to a pope that may have lead a sinful life to assuming that therefore what they taught was wrong or that the whole institution is wrong. But they fail to demonstrate that these admittedly flawed men actually promulgated any false teachings.

The Babylon Captivity etc is a work by Luther IIRC.
I’m not sure what he says in it but why it should hold more weight than the 1500 years of teachings that went before I don’t know.


#17

englishatheist.org/indexw.shtml

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rule_of_the_Harlots


#18

Thread edited pruned and closed. Question answered.

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