Sunday, June 24, 2007

Random Answers to John

John (jswranch) left a rather long comment in reference to a post on Challies site called The Appeal of Roman Catholicism. Unfortunately the comment section there was turned off so John left his rebuttal here.

I will attempt to answer some of John’s comments even though I didn’t write the original article and even though I know my answers will not be good enough. I don’t have the time for an attempt at an intense, scholarly response but hopefully some answer is better than none at all.

Perhaps when I am done John can answer one of my comments that went unanswered.

(John’s comments are in italics:)

He might be surprised to find out that about 2 Protestant Pastors/Theologians become Catholic every week over the last 15 years (~1,500 last 15 years).

Really? 1500? Name fifty for me.

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19

When a Catholic becomes protestant, it is usually a layman these days…However, when a Protestant becomes Catholic, they are usually Protestant scholars and leaders

Can you provide me with a percentage value for the word “usually”? If you want to say usually = 90%, then 90% of millions of laypeople is obviously a much larger final number than 90% of thousands (scholars/leaders).

I don’t have access to any facts nor do the titles impress me, but yes, I believe MANY more RCs become Protestants than vice versa. Whether they are laypeople or scholars it doesn't matter - more in the kingdom is great no matter who they are.

We now go to Catholic bible studies, fellowship groups, etc full of ex-Protestants.

Again, I would love to hear some actual numbers. Do a quick survey at your next group and tell me how many former Protestants there are versus cradle Catholics.

Please name me 4 Protestants who lived between 100-300 AD.

I can go even earlier than 100AD…Paul, Peter, John and James. They didn’t use the term “protestant” obviously, but these men did follow God’s word as written through their own hands.

John, you get hung up on the word Protestant. People who use God’s Word as their only authority (Protestants) have been around since the time of the apostles because that is what the apostles taught. God always has a remnant.

You seem to care more about the writings of 100-300AD than those before 100AD, in other words, the early church fathers seem to carry more weight than Scripture. If error was already creeping into the churches during the Apostolic age, what makes you think the writings of later, fallible men can be trusted?

Now, while the ECFs don't carry any weight with me, I think there is still a fair amount of gymnastics to make them entirely Roman Catholic-like. This quote from Irenaeus is a good example:

"We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge," as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, book 3, 1, 1)

Even when I read some of the ECF quotes from the link you sent me, I wasn't very impressed. I think the interpretation of the quotes based on the category to which they have been placed is quite a stretch and requires a fair amount of presumptions.

We can get into a battle of ECF quotes to support our sides, but neither will win that way, and who really cares. Until you can prove to me that the ECFs were either inerrant or infallible, it is basically irrelevant.

More later…

1 comment:

Gojira said...

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