Yes, OSAS, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura…these will all be apart of this discussion. I can’t imagine a serious or thorough effort would be a very quick thing. Thank you.
God bless. Those are great, thank you for helping me!
Two other sources you may find helpful, available from Sophia Institute Press are The Scriptural Roots of Catholic Teaching and Always Inspired–Why Bible-Believing Christians Need the Catholic Church.
From the second book mentioned:
“Christianity has no room for pure individualism; it is excluded by the central Christian claim that God spoke to all men by and in a particular historical life.”
“…the written word itself can only fully be understood within the continuance of the unwritten tradition.”
Put simply, the Word did not come to us bound in leather. As the Gospel of John tells us, it came in human form, incarnate. “The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.” Within scripture, we find the words that help lead us to a better understanding of God’s will in our lives.
…the problem with non-Catholics is that they hold that the Catholic Church has “add-ons” and they have a pure and direct line to God… where is that in Scriptures?
…when speaking about issues that would arise between Believers Christ did not send them looking into Scriptures as the final Authority; here’s what Christ said:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]5 ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, is between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge. 17 But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector. 18 ‘I tell you solemnly, whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.
(St. Matthew 18-15-18)
Do you see the progression? Do you see where Jesus places the Authority?
It is not about what a person thinks, or about what a few people think; it is about who has the Authority: ‘if he would not listen to the Church…’ because only the Church has the Power/Authority to ‘bind and loose’ and only the Church’s Authority would Heaven uphold!
…and what about the Truth… what can be said of the Truth? Is there any place in Scriptures that speak of the Truth? Many places, right? But what does Scriptures say about the Deposit of Truth, does it say that anyone can speak for God or that everyone can speak for God? What do Scriptures say?:
3:15 but in case I should be delayed, I wanted you to know how people ought to behave in God’s family – that is, in the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe.
(1 Timothy 3:15–JB)
15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15–NIV)
…so Jesus says it is the Church who has His Delegated Authority and Scriptures say it is the Church that holds the Deposit of Faith… so how is Christ’s Founded Church not the correct source?
A sidenote, but related: As we do hold that even just considering NT, both NIV and KJV have issues with translation, may one please say which part (in NT) of either translation that is completely contradictory of Catholic teaching? I know, for Example, Acts 8:37 is always footnoted as “removed from Catholic bible” and used to “prove” infant baptism never make sense.
In my journey from being a Baptist to a Catholic, I was ultimately swayed by the historicity of the Catholic Church and the authority inherent to apostolic succession.
The historicity is important because Christ established a Church circa 30AD with the promise that “not even the gates of hell” could damage it. But if you believe in a Christianity that has been “reformed”, “restored” or some other buzz-word that invokes a sense of renewal, then you implicitly require that hell did indeed prevail against the ancient Church, if even for a temporary moment - making a liar of Christ himself.
Apostolic succession is important because it severely curtails the protestant chaos of “Why does X denomination have it “more right” than Y denomination?” or "How do you know you’re interpreting scripture correctly?"
Christ didn’t write a bible. He empowered visible, authoritative men (with Peter as the head) to shepherd the Church and empower other men to do the same. By the time the NT canon was fixed (as to make “sola scriptura” even possible), this had been the basis of the Church for 350 years.
For what it’s worth.
…so let me see if I understand this argument… the Catholic Church (and those who have kept v 37 as a footnote in whatever Bible version) are pulling the wool over peoples head and this is proof against infant Baptism?
Wow! …they’ve won again… I have never read a single footnote in any of my Bibles; I’m pretty sure everyone else around the world find this logic just as good (if it’s a footnote, don’t read it)… so the Catholic Church has made visible ink invisible!
I am glad that you have joined the Fullness of Faith!
…to remove 1500 years of Church history is to remove the Holy Spirit from the world for 1500 years; to suggest that one person then summoned the Holy Spirit to make things right after He abandoned the Church for 1500 years is to believe it is man who is in charge of God’s Salvific Plan.
So I have had to argue with this blockhead that came to faith in a Baptist church - myself!
It’s not an easy road, but Steve Ray is great as he’s a former Baptist, check this out:
He has other ones that are really good too, just check around.
Voris is a little harsh at times, but he nails a good one here:
Is Catholicism the other extreme from Paul?
Paul’s letters, which predate the Gospels, don’t mention Mary or place Jesus on Earth in any way.
But the Catholic Church says Mary was assumed bodily into heaven.
Very well put, thank you!
The “add-ons” issue is central. I will try and focus on the Authority and the Deposit of Faith. Thanks!
Ultimately I think that these are two of the strongest forces in conversion, and maybe reversion as well. Thank you.
Markie Boy, that’s great stuff. Thank you so much!
They may try to use the “traditions of man” argument, or the relationship versus "religion’ argument.
Read the letter of St. Paul to Timothy. Timothy has been “steeped in the scriptures since his youth.” St. Paul also writes about this religion to which we belong.
I will often go the root of Latin root of religion which is religare, or to bind fast.
We are bound to Christ through our relationship with Him. St. Paul clearly defines the spiritual traditions to which we are to hold fast (sacred Tradition) versus man made custom.
The cross has two beams. One is horizontal, and one is vertical. Christ is the head of the Church. Our worship all go upward. In turn, we receive the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments. As part of the Body of Christ to which we all belong, we are call to reach out, horizontally to our Brothers and Sisters, to those who are in need, to those who may or may not have heard the Good news.
St. James said say "Show me your faith without works and I will show you the faith that undergirds my works."
In terms of Church authority, I often point to Acts 2. The first Christians submitted to the teachings of the Apostles, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers. This is all in keeping with what Christ told Peter. “Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail.” We are Church. St. Paul speaks of the hierarchy of Church when he writes of the Spiritual gifts.
What you do not want to happen during your discussion is for it to digress into quibbling about finite points. As Catholics we look at the whole of scripture rather than nitpicking a verse here and there.
Yes Our Lord spoke to many of those He healed saying “Your Faith has healed you.” He warned against returning to the former sin. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The Apostles passed on what they had received, once they had the courage of the Holy Spirit, received at Pentecost. What they taught was passed through oral tradition, under the protection of the Holy Spirit so that even now we receive the same teachings as the First Christians.
One example is the Sign of the Cross, not found in Scripture. An analogy is knocking on doors before being admitted. It is an accepted custom, passed from one generation to the next as a form of courtesy. The Sign of the Cross is a Sign of Our Baptism, and of Our Faith, passed through the generations.
The problem begins with the fact that Catholics and Protestants use different language and vocabulary.
When the Protestant talks about justification/salvation, they are reducing the term to the lowest common denominator. For them, only the basic, absolute requirements for Heaven should be mentioned when these doctrines are brought up. Everything else in the Christian life would then fall under sanctification.
But for the Catholic, justification/salvation is not so black and white. The Church would admit that*** initial ***justification is by faith alone, provided that the “faith” in question involves love for God and is not merely intellectual assent. But the Church also talks about an “increase in justification” that occurs as a person grows in love for God; and this increase occurs through Sacramental participation, observance of the divine commandments, etc.
So when the Protestant hears the Catholic Church speak about Sacraments and good works as “necessary” for justification/salvation, they think we are confusing justification with sanctification and promoting a works-based system in which we earn our salvation. But this is because they fail to realize (and often times because Catholics fail to understand and articulate) that what the Church is teaching is not the absolute necessity of such things for initial justification (that is, requirements for getting to Heaven), but is only emphasizing the need for such things if the person is to grow in the justice already acquired by faith.
For more on this subject, here is a GREAT article by Jimmy Akin:
The Sacraments are not a separate power from God, but are the means through which He gives us His grace. So one could rely entirely on God in the manner through which He ordinarily gives His grace, i.e., the Sacraments.
I think it’s important to note that Protestant scholars very much so listen to and read the official Catholic position on such things, and that assuming a “misunderstanding” is not necessarily the best explanation for why they disagree.
The basic way to express the difference is not to appeal to misunderstanding, but to state that very many Protestant theologians would understand Sacramentalism as being a synergistic view of salvation, rather than the monergism which they believe to be the Gospel.
Monergism vs. synergism would be a very fair way to express the different sides of this debate. The Catholic believes it is possible to decide whether or not to exist in a state of grace. I could kill the life of grace in my soul if I chose to. But to many Protestants, that choice cannot be made, because God has already, freely and for His own good pleasure, transformed a fallen soul into a completely different creature which cannot choose to be anything else. Just as I cannot choose to fly, I cannot choose to be saved. But once God transforms me into a creature that flies, I cannot choose to be anything else. The first view is a view of cooperation with God, the latter view is a view which sees only God acting.
And if you believe you cooperate with God to be saved, you are a good Catholic. But that view is condemned by much of Protestantism.
So yes, this is not simply about misunderstandings or being ignorant of terminology, as Jimmy argues in his book on the subject.
The number of Protestant scholars who truly understand the Catholic position are very few. In fact, the number of Catholics (even clergy) who truly understand the Catholic position is very few as well.
Not all Protestants believe in monergism. But many of the best ones do. And they should not be faulted for that view. Because it is actually quite close to the Catholic position.
To say that we cooperate with God in our salvation is Orthodox Catholic teaching. At the same time, strict “synergism” would not be consistent with the Council of Orange.
We know from Orange that Catholic dogma insists on the absolute inability of man to initiate or cooperate with God by any means except for supernatural, effectual grace. Not even the man’s willingness to receive grace can be attributed to any other means than grace itself. Therefore, the mystery between sovereignty and freedom is not one the Catholic Church would be willing to decide on.
Neither strict synergism nor strict monergism is valid Catholic teaching. The issue is a mystery that the Church will not attempt to solve, but if Orange was not balanced by Trent, we would certainly be left with a monergistic impression of things. Trent simply leaves us with a mild monergism balanced by the mystery of our ability of reject grace. (Yet even this is balanced by Orange’s insistence that even our willingness to accept grace can be attributed to no other cause than grace itself. such that any “cooperation” on our part must be attributed to grace and not to ourselves.") (quotes from Orange provided below)
From the Council:
Canon 4. If anyone maintains that God awaits our will to be cleansed from sin, but does not confess that even our will to be cleansed comes to us through the infusion and working of the Holy Spirit, he resists the Holy Spirit himself who says through Solomon, “The will is prepared by the Lord” (Prov. 8:35, LXX), and the salutary word of the Apostle, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
Canon 5. If anyone says that not only the increase of faith but also its beginning and the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly and comes to the regeneration of holy baptism — if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, it is proof that he is opposed to the teaching of the Apostles, for blessed Paul says, “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). And again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). For those who state that the faith by which we believe in God is natural make all who are separated from the Church of Christ by definition in some measure believers.
Canon 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).
Canon 7. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).
…could it be that you are subscribing to a simplistic view?
Could you cite a text that demonstrates that pagans Believed that the Word Became Flesh/Incarnate or that shows them Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection?
…just because your name may have been used before in the annals of history does not mean that you or your family stole the name from “xyz” or are practicing “xyz’s” culture or understanding of that name–unless concerted efforts are in play!