Skip to comments.THE CHURCH FATHERS: A DOOR TO ROME (fundamentalist warns saying they sound too Catholic)
Posted on 08/30/2009 2:03:16 PM PDT by NYer
Updated August 18, 2008 (first published June 4, 2008) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
Many people have walked into the Roman Catholic Church through the broad door of the “church fathers,” and this is a loud warning today when there is a widespread attraction to the “church fathers” within evangelicalism.
The Catholic apologetic ministries use the “church fathers” to prove that Rome’s doctrines go back to the earliest centuries. In the book Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, David Currie continually uses the church fathers to support his position. He says, “The other group of authors whom Evangelicals should read ... is the early Fathers of the Church” (p. 4).
The contemplative prayer movement is built on this same weak foundation. The late Robert Webber, a Wheaton College professor who was one of the chief proponents of this back to the “church fathers” movement, said:
“The early Fathers can bring us back to what is common and help us get behind our various traditions ... Here is where our unity lies. ... evangelicals need to go beyond talk about the unity of the church to experience it through an attitude of acceptance of the whole church and an entrance into dialogue with the Orthodox, Catholic, and other Protestant bodies” (Ancient-Future Faith, 1999, p. 89).
The fact is that the “early Fathers” were mostly heretics!
This term refers to various church leaders of the first few centuries after the apostles whose writings have been preserved.
The only genuine “church fathers” are the apostles and prophets their writings that were given by divine inspiration and recorded in the Holy Scripture. They gave us the “faith ONCE delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The faith they delivered is able to make us “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We don’t need anything beyond the Bible. The teaching of the “church fathers” does not contain one jot or tittle of divine revelation.
The term “church fathers” is a misnomer that was derived from the Catholic Church’s false doctrine of hierarchical church polity. These men were not “fathers” of the church in any scriptural sense and did not have any divine authority. They were merely church leaders from various places who have left a record of their faith in writing. But the Roman Catholic Church exalted men to authority beyond the bounds designated by Scripture, making them “fathers” over the churches located within entire regions and over the churches of the whole world.
The “church fathers” are grouped into four divisions: Apostolic Fathers (second century), Ante-Nicene Fathers (second and third centuries), Nicene Fathers (fourth century), and Post-Nicene Fathers (fifth century). Nicene refers to the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 that dealt with the issue of Arianism and affirmed the doctrine of Christ’s deity. Thus, the Ante-Nicene Fathers are so named because they lived in the century before this council, and the Post-Nicene, because they lived in the century following the council.
All of the “church fathers” were infected with some false doctrine, and most of them were seriously infected. Even the so-called Apostolic Fathers of the second century were teaching the false gospel that baptism, celibacy, and martyrdom provided forgiveness of sin (Howard Vos, Exploring Church History, p. 12). And of the later “fathers”--Clement, Origen, Cyril, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Theodore, and John Chrysostom--the same historian admits: “In their lives and teachings we find the seed plot of almost all that arose later. In germ form appear the dogmas of purgatory, transubstantiation, priestly mediation, baptismal regeneration, and the whole sacramental system” (Vos, p. 25).
In fact, one of the Post-Nicene “fathers” is Leo the Great, the first Roman Catholic Pope!
Therefore, the “church fathers” are actually the fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. They are the men who laid the foundation of apostasy that produced Romanism and Greek Orthodoxy.
The New Testament Scriptures warns frequently that there would be an apostasy, a turning from the faith among professing Christians. The apostles and prophets warned said this apostasy had already begun in their day and warned that it would increase as the time of Christ’s return draws nearer.
Paul testified of this in many places, giving us a glimpse into the vicious assault that was already plaguing the work of God. Consider his last message to the pastors at Ephesus (Acts 20:29-30). Paul warned them that false teachers would come from without and would also arise from within their own ranks. Consider his second epistle to Corinth (2 Cor. 11:1-4, 12-15). The false teachers who were active at Corinth were corrupting three of the cardinal doctrines of the New Testament faith, the doctrine of Christ, Salvation, and the Holy Spirit; and the churches were in danger of being overthrown by these errors. Consider Paul’s warnings to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1-6 and 2 Timothy 3:1-13 and 4:3-4.
Peter devoted the entire second chapter of his second epistle to this theme. He warned in verse one that there would be false teachers who hold “damnable heresies,” referring to heresies that damn the soul to eternal hell. If someone denies, for example, the Virgin Birth, Deity, Humanity, Sinlessness, Eternality, Atonement, or Resurrection of Jesus Christ he cannot be saved. Heresies pertaining to such matters are damnable heresies. The corruption of the “doctrine of Christ” results in a “false christ.”
John gave similar warnings in his epistles (1 John 2:18, 19, 22; 4:1-3; 2 John 7-11).
In addressing the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, the Lord Jesus Christ warned that many of the apostolic churches were already weak and were under severe stress from heretical attacks (Rev. 2:6, 14-15, 20-24; 3:2, 15-17).
Thus the New Testament faith was being attacked on every hand in the days of the apostles by Gnosticism, Judaism, Nicolaitanism, and other heresies.
And the apostles and prophets warned that this apostasy would increase.
Paul said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). This describes the course of the church age in terms of the spread of heresy!
Therefore it is not surprising to find doctrinal error rampant among the churches even in the early centuries.
Further, we only have a very partial record of the early centuries and the surviving writings have been heavily filtered by Rome. The Roman Catholic Church was in power for a full millennium and its Inquisition reached to the farthest corners of Europe and beyond. Rome did everything in its power to destroy the writings of those who differed with her. Consider the Waldenses. These were Bible-believing Christians who lived in northern Italy and southern France and elsewhere during the Dark Ages and were viciously persecuted by Rome for centuries. Though we know that the Waldenses have a history that begins in the 11th century if not before, their historical record was almost completely destroyed by Rome. Only a handful of Waldensian writings were preserved from all of those centuries.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the extant writings from the early centuries are ones that are sympathetic to Rome’s doctrines. This does not prove that most of the churches then held to Roman Catholic doctrine. It proves only that those writings sympathetic to Rome were allowed to survive. We know that there were many churches in existence in those early centuries that did not agree with Roman doctrine, because they were persecuted by the Romanists and are mentioned in the writings of the “church fathers.”
A LOOK AT SOME OF THE CHURCH FATHERS
Ignatius (c. 50-110)
Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch in the early second century. He was arrested in about A.D. 110 and sent to Rome for trial and martyrdom.
1. He taught that churches should have elders and a ruling bishop; in other words, he was exalting one bishop over another, whereas in scripture the terms “bishop” and “elder” refer to the same humble office in the assembly (Titus 1:5-7).
2. He taught that all churches are a part of one universal church.
3. He claimed that a church does not have authority to baptize or conduct the Lord’s Supper unless it has a bishop.
These relatively innocent errors helped prepare the way for more error in the next century.
Justin Martyr (c. 100 – c. 165)
When Justin embraced Christianity, he held on to some of his pagan philosophy.
1. He interpreted the Scriptures allegorically and mystically.
2. He helped develop the idea of a “middle state” after death that was neither heaven nor hell. Eventually this doctrine became Rome’s purgatory.
Irenaeus (c. 125-202)
Irenaeus was a pastor in Lyons, France, who wrote a polemic titled Against Heresies in about A.D. 185.
1. He supported the authority of the bishop as a ruler over many churches.
2. He defended church tradition beyond what the Scripture allows. For this reason he is claimed by the Roman Catholic Church as one of their own.
3. He taught the Catholic heresy of “real presence,” saying, “The Eucharist becomes the body of Christ.”
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 230)
1. Clement headed the allegorizing school of Alexandria from 190 to 202. This school was founded by Pantaenus.
2. Clement intermingled the philosophy of Plato with Christianity.
3. He helped develop the doctrine of purgatory and believed that most men would eventually be saved.
Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 255)
Tertullian lived in Carthage in North Africa (located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in modern Tunisia, between Libya and Algeria).
1. Though he fought against Gnosticism, he also exalted the authority of the church beyond that allowed by Scripture. He taught that the church’s authority comes through apostolic succession.
2. He believed that the bread of the Lord’s Supper was Christ and worried about dropping crumbs of it on the ground.
3. He adopted Montanism, believing that Montanus spoke prophecies by inspiration of God.
4. He taught that widows who remarried committed fornication.
5. He taught that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.
6. He classified sins into three categories and believed in confession of sins to a bishop.
7. He said that the human soul was seen in a vision as “tender, light, and of the colour of air.” He claimed that all human souls were in Adam and are transmitted to us with the taint of original sin upon them.
8. He taught that there was a time when the Son of God did not exist and when God was not a Father.
9. He taught that Mary was the second Eve who by her obedience remedied the disobedience of the first Eve.
Cyprian (? – 258)
Cyprian was the “bishop of Carthage” in Africa.
1. He was tyrannical and wealthy and he wrote against the Novatian churches for their efforts to maintain a pure church membership.
2. Cyprian defended the unscriptural doctrine that certain bishops had authority over many churches and that all pastors must submit to them.
3. He supported the heresy of infant baptism.
No wonder Cyprian was made one of the “saints” of the Catholic Church.
Though he endured persecution and torture for the cause of Christ under the emperor Decius in 250, Origen was loaded with false teachings. Origen’s character is described by the Lutheran historian Mosheim as “a compound of contraries, wise and unwise, acute and stupid, judicious and injudicious; the enemy of superstition, and its patron; a strenuous defender of Christianity, and its corrupter; energetic and irresolute; one to whom the Bible owes much, and from whom it has suffered much.”
We do not agree that the Bible owes Origen much, but there is no doubt that it suffered much at his hands.
Following are some of the strange heresies of Origen:
1. He denied the infallible inspiration of Scripture.
2. He rejected the literal history of the early chapters in Genesis and of Satan taking the Lord Jesus up to a high mountain and offering him the kingdoms of the world (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. III, p. 614). Durant quotes Origen: “Who is so foolish as to believe that God, like a husbandman, planted a garden in Eden, and placed in it a tree of life ... so that one who tasted of the fruit obtained life?”
3. He accepted infant baptism.
4. He taught baptismal regeneration and salvation by works. “After these points, it is taught also that the soul, having a substance and life proper to itself, shall, after its departure from this world, be rewarded according to its merits. It is destined to obtain either an inheritance of eternal life and blessedness, if its deeds shall have procured this for it, or to be delivered up to eternal fire and punishment, if the guilt of its crimes shall have brought it down to this” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers).
5. He believed the Holy Spirit was possibly a created being of some sort. “In His case [that of the Holy Spirit], however, it is not clearly distinguished whether or not He was born or even whether He is or is not to be regarded as a Son of God” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers).
6. He believed in a form of purgatory and universalism, denying the literal fire of hell and believing that even Satan would be saved eventually. “Now let us see what is meant by the threatening with eternal fire. ... It seems to be indicated by these words that every sinner kindles for himself the flame of his own fire and is not plunged into some fire which was kindled beforehand by someone else or which already existed before him. ... And when this dissolution and tearing asunder of the soul shall have been accomplished by means of the application of fire, no doubt it will afterwards be solidified into a firmer structure and into a restoration of itself” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers).
7. He believed that men’s souls are preexistent and that stars and planets possibly have souls. “In regard to the sun, however, and the moon and the stars, as to whether they are living beings or are without life, there is not clear tradition” (Origen, cited by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers).
8. He believed that Jesus was a created being and not eternal. “He held an aberrant view on the nature of Christ, which gave rise to the later Arian heresy” (Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, “Origen”). That Origen believed Jesus Christ had an origin is evident from this statement: “Secondly, that Jesus Christ Himself, who came, was born of the Father before all creatures; and after He had ministered to the Father in the creation of all things,--for through Him were all things made” (Origen, quoted by W.A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers).
9. He denied the bodily resurrection, claiming that the resurrection body is spherical, non-material, and does not have members. “He denied the tangible, physical nature of the resurrection body in clear contrast to the teaching of Scripture” (Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, “Origen”). He was condemned by the Council of Constantinople on this count.
10. Origen allegorized the Bible saying, “The Scriptures have little use to those who understand them literally.” In this he was one of the fathers of the heretical amillennial method of prophetic interpretation, which was given further development by Augustine and later adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. This destroyed the apostolic doctrine of the imminency of the return of Christ (Mt. 24:42, 44; 25:13; Mk. 13:33) and the literal Tribulation and Millennial Kingdom. It also did away with a literal fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel and set the stage for the persecution of the Jews by the Roman Catholic Church.
Eusebius of Caesarea (270-340)
1. Eusebius collected the writings of Origen and promoted his erroneous teachings. “Whatever proof exists that Origen and his school deteriorated the correctness of the text, it is to the same extent clear that Eusebius accepted and perpetuated that injury” (Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney, I, p. 387).
2. Constantine the Great, who had joined church and state in the Roman Empire and had thereby laid the foundation for the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, hired Eusebius to produce some Greek New Testaments. Frederick Nolan and other authorities have charged Eusebius with making many changes in the text of Scripture. “As it is thus apparent that Eusebius wanted not the power, so it may be shewn that he wanted not the will, to make those alterations in the sacred text, with which I have ventured to accuse him” (Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, p. 35).
3. Many of the noted omissions in the modern versions can be traced to this period, including Mark 16:9-20 and John 8:1-11. After intensive investigation, Frederick Nolan concluded that Eusebius “suppressed those passages in his edition” (Nolan, p. 240). In fact, many textual authorities have identified Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the manuscripts so revered by modern textual critics, as two of the copies of the Greek New Testament made by Eusebius. These manuscripts also contained the spurious apocryphal writings, Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas. Origen had considered these two uninspired and fanciful books as canonical Scripture (Goodspeed, The Formation of the New Testament, p. 103).
Jerome (Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus) (340-420)
Jerome was called upon by Damasus, the Bishop of Rome, to produce a standard Latin Bible. This was completed between A.D. 383 and 405 and became the Bible adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. It is commonly called the Latin vulgate (meaning common).
Modern textual critic Bruce Metzger says that the Greek manuscripts used by Jerome “apparently belonged to the Alexandrian type of text” (Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p. 76). This means they were in the same family as those underlying the modern versions. Kenyon and Robinson also affirm this (Kenyon, The Text of the Greek Bible, p. 88; Robinson, Ancient Versions of the English Bible, p. 113).
This means that the Jerome Latin vulgate adopted by Rome represents the same type of text as the critical Greek text underlying the modern versions. These commonly remove “God” from 1 Timothy 3:16 and contain many other corruptions.
Jerome was deeply infected with false teaching:
1. Jerome followed the false teaching of asceticism, believing the state of celibacy to be spiritually superior to that of marriage, and demanding that church leaders be unmarried. James Heron, author of The Evolution of Latin Christianity, observed that “no single individual did so much to make monasticism popular in the higher ranks of society” (Heron, 1919, p. 58).
2. Jerome believed in the veneration of “holy relics” and the bones of dead Christians (Heron, pp. 276, 77).
3. Jerome “took a leading and influential part in ‘opening the floodgates’ for the invocation of saints,” teaching “distinctly and emphatically that the saints in heaven hear the prayers of men on earth, intercede on their behalf and send them help from above (Heron, pp. 287, 88).
4. Jerome taught that Mary was the counterpart of Eve, as Christ was the counterpart of Adam, and that through her obedience Mary became instrumental in helping to redeem the human race (Heron, p. 294). He also taught that Mary was a perpetual virgin (Heron, pp. 294, 95).
5. Jerome believed in the blessing of water (Heron, p. 306).
6. Jerome justified the death penalty for “heretics” (Heron, The Evolution of Latin Christianity, p. 323).
As for his spirit and character, Jerome is described, even by a historian who had high respect for him, with these words: “such irritability and bitterness of temper, such vehemence of uncontrolled passion, such an intolerant and persecuting spirit, and such inconstancy of conduct” (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, III, p. 206).
It is obvious that Jerome had imbibed many of the false teachings and attitudes that eventually became the entrenched dogmas and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
Ambrose was bishop of Milan, in Italy, from 374-397. Because of his commitment to many early doctrinal heresies, his writings have been appealed to by popes and Catholic councils. Ambrose had a strong influence upon Augustine. The Catholic Church made him a saint and a doctor of the church.
1. Ambrose used the allegorical-mystical method of Bible interpretation, having been influenced by Origen and Philo.
2. He taught that Christians should be devoted to Mary, encouraged monasticism, and believed in prayers to the saints.
3. He believed the church has the power to forgive sins.
4. He believed the Lord’s Supper is a sacrifice of Christ.
5. He taught that virginity is holier than marriage and whenever possible he encouraged young women not to marry. His teaching in this helped pave the way for the Catholic monastic system.
6. He offered prayers for the dead.
Augustine was polluted with many false doctrines and helped lay the foundation for the formation of the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason Rome has honored Augustine as one of the “doctors of the church.”
1. He was a persecutor and the father of the doctrine of persecution in the Catholic Church.
The historian Neander observed that Augustine’s teaching “contains the germ of the whole system of spiritual despotism, intolerance, and persecution, even to the court of the Inquisition.” Augustine instigated persecutions against the Bible-believing Donatists who were striving to maintain pure churches after the apostolic faith. He interpreted Luke 14:23 (“compel them to come in”) to mean that Christ required the churches to use force against heretics.
2. He was the father of a-millennialism, allegorizing Bible prophecy and teaching that the Catholic Church is the kingdom of God.
3. He taught that the sacraments are the means of saving grace.
4. He was one of the fathers of infant baptism. The ‘council’ of Mela, in Numidia, A.D. 416, composed of merely fifteen persons and presided over by Augustine, decreed: “Also, it is the pleasure of the bishops in order that whoever denies that infants newly born of their mothers, are to be baptized or says that baptism is administered for the remission of their own sins, but not on account of original sin, delivered from Adam, and to be expiated by the laver of regeneration, BE ACCURSED” (Wall, The History of Infant Baptism, I, 265). Augustine thus taught that infants should be baptized and that the baptism took away their sin. He called all who rejected infant baptism “infidels” and “cursed.”
5. He taught that Mary did not commit sin and promoted her worship. He believed Mary played a vital role in salvation (Augustine, Sermon 289, cited in Durant, The Story of Civilization, 1950, IV, p. 69).
6. He believed in purgatory.
7. He accepted the doctrine of “celibacy” for “priests,” supporting the decree of “Pope” Siricius of 387 that ordered that any priest that married or refused to separate from his wife should be disciplined.
8. He exalted the authority of the church over that of the Bible, declaring, “I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic Church” (quoted by John Paul II, Augustineum Hyponensem, Apostolic Letter, Aug. 28, 1986, www.cin.org/jp2.ency/augustin.html).
9. He believed that the true interpretation of Scripture was derived from the declaration of church councils (Augustine, De Vera Religione, xxiv, p. 45).
10. He interpreted the early chapters of Genesis figuratively (Dave Hunt, “Calvin and Augustine: Two Jonahs Who Sink the Ship,” Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views by Dave Hunt and James White, 2004, p. 230).
11. He taught that God has pre-ordained some for salvation and others for damnation and that the grace of God is irresistible for the true elect. By his own admission, John Calvin in the 16th century derived his TULIP theology on the “sovereignty of God” from Augustine. Calvin said: “If I were inclined to compile a whole volume from Augustine, I could easily show my readers, that I need no words but his” (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, chap. 22).
12. He taught the heresy of apostolic succession from Peter (Hunt, ibid., p. 230).
John Chrysostom (347-407)
Chrysostom was a leader in Antioch, in the Greek part of the Catholic church of that day, and became “patriarch” of Constantinople in 398.
1. He believed in the “real presence” of the mass, that the bread literally becomes Jesus Christ.
2. He taught that church tradition can be equal in authority to the Scriptures.
Cyril was the “patriarch” of Alexandria and supported many of the errors that led to the formation of the Catholic Church.
1. He promoted the veneration of Mary and called her the Theotokos, or bearer of God.
2. In 412, Cyril instigated persecution against the Donatist Christians.
A WARNING OF THE POWER OF THE CHURCH FATHERS TO LEAD TO ROME
Having seen some of the heresies that leavened the “church fathers,” it is not surprising that a non-critical study of their writings can lead to Rome. That is where they were all headed! And for the most part we have only looked at the more doctrinally sound “church fathers”!
In the late nineteenth century JOHN HENRY NEWMAN (1801-90) walked into the Roman Catholic Church through the door of the church fathers. Newman, an Anglican priest and one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, is one of the most famous of the Protestant converts to Rome. He said that two of the factors in his conversion were his fascination with the church fathers and his study of the lives of the “English saints,” referring to Catholic mystics such as Joan of Norwich. He converted to Rome in 1845 and was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.
In more recent days many are following Newman’s lead.
SCOTT AND KIMBERLY HAHN, Presbyterians who joined the Roman Catholic Church, were influenced by the church fathers. In their influential autobiography, Rome Sweet Rome, Kimberly recalls how that Scott studied the “church fathers” when he was still a Presbyterian minister.
“Scott gained many insights from the early Church Fathers, some of which he shared in his sermons. This was rather unexpected for both of us, because we had hardly ever read the early Church Fathers when we were in seminary. In fact, in our senior year we had complained loudly to friends about possible creeping Romanism when a course was offered by an Anglican priest on the early Church Fathers. Yet here was Scott quoting them in sermons! One night Scott came out of his study and said, ‘Kimberly, I have to be honest. I don’t know how long we are going to be Presbyterians. We may become Episcopalians’” (Rome Sweet Rome, p. 56).
In fact, they became Roman Catholics, and the influence of the “church fathers” on that decision is obvious.
In 1985 THOMAS HOWARD became another famous Protestant convert to Rome. In his 1984 book Evangelical Is Not Enough Howard had called upon evangelicals to study the church fathers. Howard was a professor at Gordon College for 15 years and is from a family of prominent evangelicals. His father, Philip, was editor of the Sunday School Times; his brother David Howard was head of the World Evangelical Fellowship; and his sister Elizabeth married the famous missionary Jim Elliot, who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Ecuador.
The church fathers were also instrumental in the conversion of PETER KREEFT to Rome from the Dutch Reformed denomination. Kreeft, a very influential Catholic apologist, studied the church fathers as a student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes:
“My adventurous half rejoiced when I discovered in the early Church such Catholic elements as the centrality of the Eucharist, the Real Presence, prayers to saints, devotion to Mary, an insistence on visible unity, and apostolic succession. Furthermore, THE CHURCH FATHERS JUST ‘SMELLED’ MORE CATHOLIC THAN PROTESTANT, especially St. Augustine, my personal favorite and a hero to most Protestants too. It seemed very obvious that if Augustine or Jerome or Ignatius of Antioch or Anthony of the Desert, or Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, or Athanasius were alive today they would be Catholics, not Protestants” (“Hauled Aboard the Ark,” http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/hauled-aboard.htm).
Kreeft is absolutely right. Many of the “church fathers” do smell more Catholic than Protestant!
The books Surprised by Truth edited by Patrick Madrid and The Road to Rome edited by Dwight Longenecker and Journeys Home edited by Marcus Grodi contain many examples of this phenomenon. One of the testimonies is by SHARON MANN, who says,
“I started reading the early Church Fathers and realized that whatever they believed, they surely were not Protestant. Catholic themes peppered the landscape of Church history. I couldn’t deny it...” (Journeys Home, 1997, p. 88).
This is true, of course. Catholic themes do pepper the landscape of the “church fathers.” What she should have understood is that they were not doctrinally sound and they have absolutely no authority. Whatever they were, they are not our examples and guides. She should have compared them to the infallible truth in the Bible and rejected them as heretics.
Instead, she allowed the “church fathers” to stir up her curiosity about Roman Catholicism and she ended up at a Mass. There she had a powerful emotional experience when the crowd knelt to idolatrously “adore” the blessed host as it passed by in its “monstrance.” She began weeping and her throat tightened and she couldn’t swallow. She said:
“If the Lord was truly passing by, then I wanted to adore and worship Him, but if He wasn’t, I was afraid to be idolatrous. That weekend left a very powerful imprint on my heart, and I found myself running out of good arguments to stay Protestant. My heart was longing to be Catholic and be restored to the unity with all Christendom” (Journeys Home, p. 89).
When she speaks of the Lord passing by, she is referring to the Catholic doctrine that the wafer or host of the Mass becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus when it is blessed by the priest and thereafter it is worshipped as Jesus Himself. Following the Mass the host is placed in a box called the tabernacle and Catholics pray to it. The host is the Catholic Jesus.
Roger Oakland describes an experience he had in Rome at the feast of Corpus Christi when Pope Benedict XVI worshipped at the Major Mary basilica:
“Finally, after almost three hours of standing and waiting, the pope and his entourage arrived. The pope was carrying the Eucharistic Jesus in a monstrance. Earlier that day during a mass at St. Peter’s, this Eucharistic Jesus had been created from a wafer that had been consecrated. Later in the say, the same Jesus was transported to St. John’s for another ceremony. Finally, for a finale, the pope transported Jesus to the Major Church of Mary. The pope took the monstrance, ascended the stairs of the church, and held Jesus up for the masses to see. Then this Jesus was placed on an altar temporarily erected at the top of the steps. A cardinal then opened the glass window of the monstrance, removed the consecrated wafer (Jesus), and hustled him inside the church where he placed Jesus in a tabernacle. This experience gave me a sobering reminder of this terrible apostasy” (Faith Undone, p. 126).
Mother Teresa exemplified this. She stated plainly that her Christ was the wafer of the Mass. Consider the following quotes from her speech to the Worldwide Retreat for Priests, October 1984, in Vatican City:
“I remember the time a few years back, when the president of Yeman asked us to send some of our sisters to his country. I told him that this was difficult because for so many years no chapel was allowed in Yemen for saying a public mass, and no one was allowed to function there publicly as a priest. I explained that I wanted to give them sisters, but the trouble was that, without a priest, without Jesus going with them, our sisters couldn’t go anywhere. It seems that the president of Yemen had some kind of a consultation, and the answer that came back to us was, ‘Yes, you can send a priest with the sisters!’ I was so struck with the thought that ONLY WHEN THE PRIEST IS THERE CAN WE HAVE OUR ALTAR AND OUR TABERNACLE AND OUR JESUS. ONLY THE PRIEST CAN PUT JESUS THERE FOR US” (Mother Teresa, cited in Be Holy: God’s First Call to Priests Today, edited by Tom Forrest, C.Ss.R., 1987, p. 109).
“One day she [a girl working in Calcutta] came, putting her arms around me, and saying, ‘I have found Jesus.’ ... ‘And just what were you doing when you found him?’ I asked. She answered that after 15 years she had finally gone to confession, and received Holy Communion from the hands of a priest. Her face was changed, and she was smiling. She was a different person because THAT PRIEST HAD GIVEN HER JESUS” (Mother Teresa, Be Holy, p. 74).
It is a great spiritual blindness to think that the Lord Jesus Christ can be worshipped legitimately in the form of a piece of bread!
A more recent convert to Rome is FRANCIS BECKWITH, former president of the Evangelical Theological Society. In May 2007 he tendered his resignation from this organization after converting to Rome. His journey to Rome was sparked by reading the church fathers. He said, “In January, at the suggestion of a dear friend, I began reading the Early Church Fathers as well as some of the more sophisticated works on justification by Catholic authors. I became convinced that the Early Church is more Catholic than Protestant...” (“Evangelical Theological Society President Converts,” The Berean Call, May 7, 2007).
Again, he is correct in observing that the church fathers were very Catholic-like, but that proves nothing. The truth is not found in the church fathers but in the Bible itself.
This is a loud warning to those who have an ear to hear the truth. We don’t need to study the “church fathers.” We need to make certain that we are born again and have the indwelling Spirit as our Teacher (1 John 2:27), then we need to study the Bible diligently and walk closely with Christ and become so thoroughly grounded in the truth that we will not be led astray by the wiles of the devil and by all of the fierce winds of error that are blowing in our day.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).
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So when Paul says “all Scripture” he is referring to the books of the Old and New testament, including Revelation which might not have been written yet, as compiled and declared canonical some time after he died?
Where may I go to find that this is what he meant?
It must have been that there were a lot of “Billy Bobs” in the days of St. Paul or Justin Martyr. In any case, The evangelical view of the Eucharist is far more elitist and abstract than the doctrine of transubstantiation. At least if they follow the likes of Zwingli, who was very much the rationalist. Calvin’s teaching his Institutes is a strained version of the Real Presence,placing the “power” of Our Lord to be present in the bread and wine while remaining Himself “in heaven.” Going by the his actual words, or at least my impression of them, he was closer to Trent than many present day Catholic theologians. Of course, most Calvinists—and most Lutherans—moved away from the actual beliefs of Calvin and Luther toward those of Zwingli. However, my guess is that the devout Southern Baptist approaches the reception of Holy Communion with much the same faith as he/she does when being dunked during Baptism. To them it seems to be more than a “sign”and that they get the meaning of Flannery O’Connor when she said, “if it is only a sign, than the hell with it. If it is a “sign” it must mean a sign of God’s presence.
It would be kind of nice if those few Catholics who aren't threatened by the historical truth of the "old testament" occasionally stood up to your much louder, more numerous brethren.
I doubt any evolutionist, higher critical Catholic or Orthodox on FR doubts the real presence. It's too important to disagree with "Billy Bob" about something.
Ever notice that these people never mind agreeing with liberal Protestants about anything?
It would be wonderful if we could discuss a religion subject on FR without resorting to disparaging words like “laughable”, “ridiculous”, “nonsense”, etc. when referring to another’s views. I've been called worse, too, and it does nothing but turn me off to responding to anything that person posts. It does get personal here, at times, and shouldn't.
Shhh! Don't tell anyone!
Oh, come now! You're one of the few around here with an original perspective. A guy's gotta keep on his toes with you around. :)
It's really kind of you to say that, though I doubt I articulate my beliefs very well.
I wish wideawake were here. Not only was he totally, consistently, and unashamedly literal, but he was one of the most intelligent posters on FR. He could duel with anyone about theology, philosophy . . . even hip hop. He was a true champion.
Here again, just as with the opposition between Physical and Spiritual, an opposition which steers directly past Catholic teaching on the Eucharist, we have a kind of hidden pre-definition of God-breathed which enhances the likelihood that the conversation will miss what we really teach.
I'm beginning to suspect there is some connection between these instances of talking past one another and the regrettable temporary triumph of Nominalism or Realism in western thought.
I DO know that when somebody confuses "substance" with the modern idea of the stuff things are made of that that person is not going to be reliable for a criticism of Catholic thought. I mean no offense. I just mean that the argument doesn't come near what we say. It's irrelevant. If somebody insists that I think something I know I don't think, I tend to quit listening.
Where may I go to find that this is what he meant?
Ping me when you get an answer to this one, I'd love to see how this gets spun.
I would also love to know why, in light of 2 Timothy 3:16, Luther dismissed the Epistle of St. James as the "gospel of straw", declared the Revelation (Apocalypse) of St. John to be "neither apostolic nor prophetic" and actually removed the Apocrpha from canon.
And I might ask how you can lump all Catholics with Loisy just because they find nothing in evolution as a secondary cause that is incompatible with Scripture. The original meaning of evolution after all is “unfolding,” as in the unfolding of a flower, or, the process that leads from seed to fruit. What happened, of course, is that infidels like Huxley attached a biological theory to the cause of unbelief, and a century of demotion of the Bible from history to myth.
a few people can get back from the cudgel swinging and try to take a look together at the issues which divide -- and do so with the intention N OT to win b ut to be vanquished by the truth.
I know that when somebody says Leo the great was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church there is no intention for the article to be any kind of dialogue with Catholics. We think Simon Peter was the first Pope of the Church (whether or not the term "pope" was in use), and while of course people may disagree, when somebody presents the idea that someone who "reigned" generations after Peter was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, we know right away he's talking about us, not to us.
You are forgetting much of the Bible. Jesus also made fun the disciples by calling them offensive names, pretending to be a cannibal, and telling them to throw away their stuff.
No, you articulate them very well.
I’ve earned praise from you on occasion for my literalism, although I think my “evolutionism” probably dooms my stance fatally in your eyes.
I haven’t worked out my own stance on Creation to my satisfaction...like Augustine I end up asking more questions than I answer. Yet, I am convinced of this. Assuming that God has breathed his Truth into the Sacred Word, Sacred Tradition, and Sacred Creation, and assuming that we understand all three correctly insofar as our puny intellect can allow, I do not see how it is in any way possible that these three not harmonize.
St. Augustine, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, Book II "Question of the phase in which the moon was made" 15, 30The philosophical underpinnings are there I think. Besides, Augustine postulated just such a process at work with flies and other creatures which he thought were created potentially and not actually during the hexamaeron.
"God, after all is the author and founder of things in their actual natures. Now whatever any single thing may in some way or other produce and unfold by its natural development through periods of time that are suited to it, it contained it beforehand as something hidden, if not in specific forms and bodily mass, at least by the force and reckoning of nature, unless of course a tree, void of fruit and stripped of its leaves throughout the winter, is then to be called imperfect, or unless again at its origins, when it had still not yet borne any fruit, its nature was also imperfect. It is not only about the tree, but about its seed also that this could not rightly be said; there everything that with the passage of time is somehow or other going to appear is already latent in invisible ways. Although, if God were to make anything imperfect, which he then would himself bring to perfection, what would be reprehensible about such an idea? But you would be quite within your rights to disapprove if what had been begun by him were said to be completed and perfected by another."
Yes Jesus took great joy in ridiculing those closest to him.
And don’t forget that, though they were actually entrusted with the care of GOD, nothing was going to divert Joseph and Mary from focusing on their sex lives.
2 Timothy 3 does not say "sufficient". It says, "profitable" or "useful". The goal is to have the "man of God" perfected, and the scripture is useful for that goal. No one argues otherwise, the scripture is extremely useful.
What else us useful? Why tradition is, that which St. Paul taught Timothy orally (2 Tim. 1:13, 2:2). In fact, St. Paul made a reference to the tradition first in 3:14, and after that he turned his attention to the scripture in verses 15 and following.
The last sentence is apt if one is opposing the “Darwinian notion that since human nature is mere accident that we can by taking thought perfect it in accord with our present conceits. I refer of course to eugenics, and the idea that
scientists have the right to play the role Darwinists deny to God.
“Ping me when you get an answer to this one”
The word translated ‘all’ in the NASB means “each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything”. So an expanded translation would be “(each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything) Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness...
I would also suggest you read White’s entire debate...a paragraph I cut out for space reads, “It is common for Roman Catholic apologists to follow an error made by John Henry Cardinal Newman, with reference to this passage. Indeed, Karl Keating, Patrick’s associate at Catholic Answers, makes the same mistake in his book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism. And he repeated it again only recently during a debate on this subject in Denver during the papal visit. Newman said that if this verse proves the sufficiency of Scripture, it proves too much, for Paul is talking here only of the Old Testament, which would leave the New Testament as an unnecessary addition. But such is not Paul’s point at all. Scripture, Paul’s point is, if it is Scripture at all, is God-breathed. Paul is not speaking about the extent of the canon but the nature of Scripture itself as originating in God. All Scripture then, including the New Testament, is God-breathed.”
No need to thank me - you are welcome.
“I would also love to know why, in light of 2 Timothy 3:16, Luther dismissed the Epistle of St. James as the “gospel of straw”
Actually, he wrote that COMPARED TO ROMANS, James is like straw. Since Luther advocated memorization of the entire book of Romans, this isn’t much of a slam.
And no, Luther removed no books from the canon. He questioned the canon, as any Catholic scholar of the day was free to do - as did Erasmus - but his translation included the entire New Testament.
I solemnly promise to look for your posts from now on. Reading them on this thread has been more fun than I have encountered here in a long time. God bless you and yours!
“I DO know that when somebody confuses “substance” with the modern idea of the stuff things are made of that that person is not going to be reliable for a criticism of Catholic thought.”
“(b) In the mind of the Church, Transubstantiation has been so intimately bound up with the Real Presence, that both dogmas have been handed down together from generation to generation, though we cannot entirely ignore a dogmatico-historical development. The total conversion of the substance of bread is expressed clearly in the words of Institution: “This is my body”. These words form, not a theoretical, but a practical proposition, whose essence consists in this, that the objective identity between subject and predicate is effected and verified only after the words have all been uttered, not unlike the pronouncement of a king to a subaltern: “You are a major”, or, “You are a captain”, which would immediately cause the promotion of the officer to a higher command. When, therefore, He Who is All Truth and All Power said of the bread: “This is my body”, the bread became, through the utterance of these words, the Body of Christ; consequently, on the completion of the sentence the substance of bread was no longer present, but the Body of Christ under the outward appearance of bread. Hence the bread must have become the Body of Christ, i.e. the former must have been converted into the latter. The words of Institution were at the same time the words of Transubstantiation. Indeed the actual manner in which the absence of the bread and the presence of the Body of Christ is effected, is not read into the words of Institution but strictly and exegetically deduced from them. The Calvinists, therefore, are perfectly right when they reject the Lutheran doctrine of Consubstantiation as a fiction, with no foundation in Scripture. For had Christ intended to assert the coexistence of His Body with the Substance of the bread, He would have expressed a simple identity between hoc and corpus by means of the copula est, but would have resorted to some such expression as: “This bread contains my body”, or, “In this bread is my Body.” Had He desired to constitute bread the sacramental receptacle of His Body, He would have had to state this expressly, for neither from the nature of the case nor according to common parlance can a piece of bread be made to signify the receptacle of a human body. On the other hand, the synecdoche is plain in the case of the Chalice: “This is my blood”, i.e. the contents of the Chalice are my blood, and hence no longer wine.
Regarding tradition, the earliest witnesses, as Tertullian and Cyprian, could hardly have given any particular consideration to the genetic relation of the natural elements of bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ, or to the manner in which the former were converted into the latter; for even Augustine was deprived of a clear conception of Transubstantiation, so long as he was held in the bonds of Platonism.”
You haven't actually answered the question.
Actually, he wrote that COMPARED TO ROMANS, James is like straw. Since Luther advocated memorization of the entire book of Romans, this isnt much of a slam.
So, ALL Scripture is inspired by God, but SOME Scripture is more profitable than other? And what about the Revelation of St. John?
And no, Luther removed no books from the canon. He questioned the canon, as any Catholic scholar of the day was free to do - as did Erasmus - but his translation included the entire New Testament.
Did it include the entire Old Testament or are you saying he included the ENTIRE Apocrypha?
The Bible claims to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith for the Christian Church. The Scriptures are not in need of any supplement. Their authority comes from their nature as God-breathed revelation. Their authority is not dependent upon man, Church or council. The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self- authenticating.
This is a very, very bold authoritative statement. As a result, I would expect it to be found clearly and consisely in scripture. Please show me where scripture says this.
As an aside, I do love how many Protestants deny real presence even though Christ states unequivically "this is My body, this is My blood" but will take strained approaches to scriptural interpretation when finding basis for sola scriptura, sola fide, etc.
Let's not forget that IF all Scripture was "self-interpreting" there would be exactly ONE Protestant church. The disagreements that Protestants have over varying interpretation of Scripture is, in itself, proof of the fallacy of "sola scriptura".
Who is supposed to believe this counterhistorical spin?
It says, “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
Scripture is breathed by God, and useful to teach, reprove, correct and train so that “the man of God may be competent (”having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified), equipped for every good work.”
Or as the NIV translates it, “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What is it ‘useful’ for? Teaching and training so that a man may be fully equipped for every good work. Thoroughly equipped seems the best translation, but even adequately equipped (all that is needed) for every good work, not just some.
Verse 14 doesn’t set up “tradition”, but says, “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.”
Now if you have traditions handed down from the Apostles, fine. Timothy knew them and was taught by them orally. Indeed, they then WROTE most of the NT! However, what Catholic tradition came from the Apostles? Purgatory? Not hardly. Indulgences? Not hardly. Primacy of the Pope? Not hardly.
Those innovations came about hundreds of years later. Transubstantiation took nearly 1000 years.
If you have some tradition from Peter or Paul, I’m all ears...and that is a metaphor. But traditions from a medieval monk? No thanks - not unless those traditions align with scripture.
“When Luther published his Bible, a layman found the entirety of the canon. Luther expressed his thoughts on the canon in prefaces placed at the beginning of particular Biblical books. These prefaces were not out of the ordinary. Luther was not engaging in any sort of outrageous scholarly behavior:
In providing prefaces for the books in the German Bible, Luther was simply following a traditional practice. The inclusion of a prologue illuminating the main thoughts of a treatise was a practice associated with the best in scholarly exposition as far back as Aristotle. Jeromes Vulgate had prefaces to almost every book in the Bible, plus others for groups of books such as Pauls epistles and the seven catholic epistles.... The second edition of Erasmus New Testament in 1518 began with one hundred twenty folio pages of introductory material.”
The full article may be read here: Luthers View of the Canon of Scripture By James Swan,
For example, the first paragraph of Luther’s intro to James is, “Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle; and my reasons follow.
Scriptures are the Bible. The Bible is Scripture.
He bound them in the book, but stated they were not Scripture.
You mean a medieval monk like Martin Luther? You know the monk you came up with this idea of "sola scriptura" which CANNOT be found in the Bible or in ANY Church writings up to this point.
Transubstantiation may have been first DEFINED much later, but that doesn't mean that nobody believed it. There is complete Biblical support for the Real Presence and ZERO support opposing it.
But I'm curious, why are the writings of a medieval monk that YOU believe more valid than the writings of a medieval monk that WE believe? And I am fairly certain that Catholics agree with far more of Martin Luther's writings than non-Lutheran Protestants do. If you don't believe me, consider the FACT that Luther accepted the Real Presence (though his belief differed slightly from transubstantiation), he considered the Blessed Virgin Mary to be ever virgin and the Mother of God (he uses this phrase in the 95 Theses), and the 95 Theses acknowledge that St. Peter was the Pope.
That comment refers to the Apocrypha. Along with Luther and my fellow Baptists, I agree they are not scripture.
Why does Luther want to hide those seven books of Scripture?
That’s all quite fascinating, but, while factual (I don’t know that ANYONE has ever questioned the prerogative of a translator to include prefaces), does NOTHING to support your claim that Luther didn’t remove any books from the Bible.
In fact, the quoted passage specifically states that Luther removed seven books from his translation of Scripture, sticking them in the back and deprecating them as non-Scripture.
“...unless those traditions align with scripture”
A rather important caveat...
Using scripture for authority is extremely well taught in scripture. Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Paul and the Bereans, the writer of 2 Peter...the NT writers quote the OT nearly 300 times as authoritative.
Yet you claim it is made up?
In fact, he did no such thing. Every edition had the entire NT.
He did downplay the Apocrypha, for good reason - as Jerome would have acknowledged.
I believe that First and Second Esdras were removed entirely.
He didn’t “downplay” the Deuterocanonicals, he said they are not Scripture.
That removes them from Scripture.
Why does he want them hidden?
A rather important caveat...
The fact that they might not align with YOUR interpretation of Scripture DOES NOT mean that they don't align with Scripture.
Well, I’m giving the benefit of the doubt.
I don’t tend to spend much time reading altered, redacted Bibles.
No, he downplayed James, Hebrews and the Apocalypse. He declared that the Apocrypha wasn't actually Scripture and (as far as I know) didn't bother to print 1st and 2nd Esdras.
How about the fact that a vast majority of Catholics, both in the world at large and here at FR, are inordinately loud-mouthed evolutionists who are continually shooting off their bazoos about how their church, unlike "Billy Bob's Glory Barn," understands that the souls of scientists and intellectuals are far superior to the souls of simple people so that if someone is going to be alienated from the "universal religion" it is going to be the latter and not the former? And of course it doesn't help when the few inerrantist Catholics left in the world (I'm willing to grant that the other ancient churches were never inerrantist because their religion is purely mythological and symbolic and they have never canonized a Bible in the first place) never demonstrate any disagreement or discomfort with said loud-mouthed brethren?
And btw, you seem to misunderstand my objection to evolution. There are plenty of anti-evolutionists who interpret Genesis allegorically. I object to evolution because it conflicts with the Biblical narrative and because there is no ancient immemorial tradition that agrees with it.
Fine. SHOW me WHY my interpretation is wrong.
But when someone takes a verse in Luke and fixates on the past perfect participle in Greek to suggest scripture teaches Mary was sinless, or uses 1 Corinthians 3 to teach Purgatory (which even the NAB commentators admit wasn’t the purpose), or pulls indulgences out of thin air - then I reserve my personal right to adhere to the plain teaching of scripture.
Because they are not scripture? Because Jesus and the Apostles don’t quote them, save one illustration in Jude, vs nearly 300 quotes for the OT?
So claims Luther. That's why he deleted them.
You are not adhering to the plain teaching of Scripture. You are adhering to your own personal interpretation of an incomplete version of Scripture.
I havent worked out my own stance on Creation to my satisfaction
There is no need to understand the workings of creation, which only G-d can do. The problem is with dismissing historical events described by G-d (ie, the creation narrative in Genesis) as didactic mythology or fables because "stuff like that just doesn't happen." Of course stuff like that doesn't happen!!! It doesn't happen because the universe now exists! But before it existed it was created in the manner described in Genesis. Where is the difficulty? Science has nothing to say about creation whatsoever. Cosmogony is not a scientific field at all. It is theological and historical, not "scientific."
Some time back I had a very heated argument with a very fanatical Darwinist Catholic who, ironically, described the situation far more perfectly than I ever had. He distinguished between the creation of the universe (the instantaneous "big bang") and its formation (millions and millions of years of purely natural processes with no Divine "interference" whatsoever). I insist that the universe's formation is part and parcel of its creation--that the formation of the universe until the creation of Adam and Eve was the creation factually described in the first two chapters of Genesis. Ironically, the fact that Genesis begins in the construct state, often taken by higher critics and evolutionists as falling out on their side of the argument, seems to me to actually be teaching exactly what I have just said--that the creation and formation are one and the same. There was a "beginning" to the creation process, and it didn't "end" until Adam and Eve had been created. All this constitutes the "creation of the universe," and Genesis narrates the history of these events just as it narrates the events of Joseph's life in Egypt.
I realize you must regard me as a simpleton, but I honestly do not see the difficulty with accepting Genesis literally.
The philosophical underpinnings are there I think. Besides, Augustine postulated just such a process at work with flies and other creatures which he thought were created potentially and not actually during the hexamaeron.
So now you're going to fall back on an actual erroneous belief, biogenesis, in order to defend evolution? Smart move.
As I understand it, Augustine did not teach that things "evolve" but that everything was created at once in the first instant. This constituted the problem with the six days in his eyes.
There you folks go again.
I do not believe in sola scriptura, but what is the difference between Protestants rejecting the real presence and you folks rejecting everything else?
Why? I'm not even telling you not to use YOPIOS. If you're satisfied with it, that's great.
It may have escaped your notice that Catholics basically never go onto Protestant threads on FR that have nothing to do with Catholicism and condemn Protestant beliefs or force them to justify them.
The scripture is useful, and so the tradition is useful. Together they produce the perfect, thoroughly equipped man of God (a priest? a monk?). This is what that passage says, in context.
You are correct that not all tradition is of apostolic origin. The lives of Mary, of early saints, the beliefs and practices of the early Church are, by definition. Some are medieval in formulation. Transubstantiation would not make sense without the philosophical apparatus of scholasticism; but the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is something we read about in the scripture itself and in the early texts such as Ignatius of Antioch or Didache. So transubstantiation, while a late doctrine, is not a new doctrin out of nothing, but it is a refinement of the existing apostolic doctrine.
Incidentally, re-read the appearance of Christ on the road to Emmaus episode and tell me it does not suggest transubstantiation. A stranger — a fellow pilgrim — explains the scripture. The disciples ask him to stay with them longer, and instead he offers them bread, and then they see Jesus. This is a figure of the Eucharist.
We saw that there is enough in the scripture to at least contemplate an intermediate state of the soul on her way to heaven. And sure enough, you can find similar beliefs in Origen and in St. Gregory of Nyssa. The doctrine of purgatory is another refinement.
There are traditions that are regional and for that reason do not rise to the level of dogma. For example, in the East leavened bread is used for the Eucharist, and in the West — unleavened bread. Some are quite late, like for example, the use of musical instruments in worship.
The point remains that 2 Timothy 3 does not say that scripture alone is sufficient for the formation of clergy, or anyone else. given the context, it says just the opposite.
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