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Why Scripture and the Facts of History Compel Me to Remain a Committed Evangelical Protestant
Christian Resources ^ | William Webster

Posted on 05/10/2013 7:36:49 PM PDT by boatbums

I’ve read with interest Francis (Frank) Beckwith’s book, Return to Rome, because like him, I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic, attending parochial schools through my primary grades and a preparatory school run by a Benedictine monastery throughout my high school years. And, like Dr. Beckwith, in my teens I turned away from the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity altogether but was converted in my early twenties and began attending a Protestant Evangelical church. And for the past thirty seven years I have been a committed Evangelical Protestant. I was also quite interested in reading Dr. Beckwith’s book because he had been President of the Evangelical Theological Society at the time of his decision to revert to the Church of Rome and I was intrigued to learn the reasons that had formed his decision. After reading his book it became clear to me that Beckwith’s decision to return to Rome was based on his conviction that the Protestant Evangelical church is deficient on two important points. He is convinced that the Roman Catholic Church can claim historical validation for being the one true church established by Christ and that the Evangelical church is therefore a schismatic movement. He believes the Roman Church is the ultimate authority established by Jesus and that her teachings are therefore authoritative. He says:

Unless I capriciously cherry-picked the Catholic tradition, I could not justifiably accept the Early Church’s recognition and fixation of the canon of scripture—and its correct determination and promulgation of the central doctrines of God and Christ (at Nicea and Chalcedon)—while rejecting the Church’s sacramental life as awell as its findings about its own apostolic nature and authority. I was boxed into a corner, with the only exit being a door to a confessional. At this point, I thought, if I reject the Catholic Church, there is good reason for me to believe I am rejecting the Church that Christ himself established. That’s not a risk I was willing to take…It occurred to me that the burden was on me, and not on the Catholic Church, to show why I should remain in the schism with the Church in which my parents baptized me, even as I could think of no incorrigible reason to remain in the schism.1

And secondly, and more importantly, he believes the Protestant Evangelical faith is deficient biblically with respect to its overall teaching on the gospel, justification and salvation. It is the subject of justification and salvation that Beckwith devotes most of his attention to in his book. He says:

…it is the Reformation notion of imputed righteousness that, ironically, puts the Reformers partially in the Pelagian camp. This is because the Reformers and Pelagians agree that God’s infused grace is not necessary for justification…For me, all things considered, the Catholic view has more explanatory power than the Protestant view. This is why it made sense to me that the Early Church Fathers…were so Catholic in their teachings. They held to a view that, I believe, does the best job of accounting for all the New Testament’s passages on justification and sanctification.2

And so, being convinced that the distinctive Roman Catholic dogmas can be historically validated and that Rome’s salvation teachings are fully consistent with Scripture, Beckwith has issued a challenge to Evangelicals to give serious consideration to the claims of Rome and reconsider their commitment to their Protestant faith and the legitimacy of the Reformation and to follow him into the embrace of Roman Catholicism:

Thus, there is a heavy burden on the part of Reformed writers to show that the ascendancy in the sixteenth century of a Reformation thinking that had no ecclesiastical predecessors may be attributed to a return to the true understanding of Christianity.3

Dr. Beckwith quotes approvingly from Carl Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, from his review of Noll and Nystrom’s book, Is the Reformation Over? Frank personally italicizes his comments for emphasis, as a clear challenge to Evangelicals:

When I finished reading the book, I have to confess that I agreed with the authors, in that it does indeed seem that the Reformation is over for large tracts of evangelicalism; yet the authors themselves do not draw the obvious conclusion from their own arguments. Every year I tell my Reformation history class that Roman Catholicism is, at least in the West, the default position. Rome has a better claim to historical continuity and institutional unity than any Protestant denomination, let alone the strange hybrid that is evangelicalism; in the light of these facts, therefore, we need good, solid reasons for not being Catholic; not being a Catholic should, in others words, be a positive act of will and commitment, something we need to get out of bed determined to do each and every day. It would seem, however, that if Noll and Nystrom are correct, many who call themselves evangelical really lack any good reason for such an act of will; and the obvious conclusion, therefore, should be that they do the decent thing and rejoin the Roman Catholic Church…(emphasis added).4

And then in these comments, by implication, he is challenging evangelicals to consider that they have no legitimate reasons to remain in what he calls “schism” with the Church of Rome:

Professor Trueman’s reasoning would serve as a catalyst for reorienting my sense of whether the Catholic Church or I had the burden in justifying the schism in which I had remained for over thirty years…I could think of no incorrigible reason to remain in the schism.5

Now, I take such a challenge seriously. I have asked myself the same questions that Beckwith himself asked and over the years through the challenge of Roman Catholic apologists such as Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid and others, I have been motivated to study and research the pertinent doctrinal and historical issues related to Roman Catholicism and the Reformation covering the general subject of authority and salvation. I have sincerely sought to answer the question, Can the teachings and claims of the Roman Catholic Church be validated biblically and historically? Is this Church truly the one true Church established by Jesus Christ? That study has been going on now for more than twenty five years and I remain a committed Evangelical Protestant precisely because of the truth of Scripture and the facts of history. This study has resulted in the writing of several books on the gospel and particular historical issues related to the history of the development of doctrine and the writings of the Church fathers on subjects such as the authority of scripture, the canon, the papacy and the Marian dogmas. In this research I have been able to bring to light much information that had previously been unavailable in the English language in the writings of the church fathers. So I have approached the reading of Return to Rome with great interest indeed. After reading the book, I must say that my overall reaction was one of deep sadness and disappointment. Frank Beckwith is winsome, obviously very bright and seemingly very sincere. But his arguments historically and biblically in support of Rome and which form the basis of his decision to embrace that church are unconvincing. Historically, Beckwith demonstrates a superficial understanding of the church fathers. There are a great many historical facts that he is either ignorant of or has chosen to turn a blind eye to. Ignorance can forgiven to some degree because he himself admits that he had no training and very little exposure to the writings of the church fathers. He says he gave only about three months of study to their writings prior to his decision to revert to Rome. And from the references he gives in his book it would seem that this study was under the direction of Roman Catholic apologists who are well known for proof–texting the writings of the church fathers giving anachronistic meaning to their writings that was foreign to what they actually say. For example, Roman Catholic apologists see the term tradition in the writings of the fathers and immediately import a present day Roman Catholic understanding to the term that the church fathers did not embrace. Or they will read a church father extolling the person and position of the apostle of Peter and immediately jump to the conclusion that such appellations apply to the bishops of Rome in support of the dogma of the papacy when the fathers themselves never make such an association in their writings. This approach applies to numerous examples that Beckwith references in his book such as prayers to the dead, confession and the doctrine of the Real Presence. Beckwith titles the section on historical doctrine, I Hear the Ancient Footsteps, in which he seeks to defend distinctive Roman Catholic teachings historically. I can personally say, that after twenty five years of research, as opposed to three months, that I also hear ancient footsteps and they do not point in the direction of the present day Roman Catholic Church and its dogmatic teachings. The fact of the matter is, Rome has added dogmas to the ancient rule of faith that was supported by the unanimous consent of the fathers and which was grounded in the written Scriptures. Dogmas which can find no warrant either in Scripture or the tradition of the church, and which in some cases completely contradict the ancient tradition of the Church, and which the Roman Catholic Church declares are necessary for salvation. But the most serious problem with Dr. Beckwith’s book and the one that caused me such disappointment is his caricature of the Reformed Evangelical faith in its teachings on salvation and secondly his assertions regarding the official teachings of Roman Catholicism on justification and salvation. He claims to have a thorough understanding of the teaching of the Reformed faith. He says:

To be sure, I was fully aware how Protestant theologians made their case, and I was capable of following their reasoning. But I no longer found their case convincing.6

Throughout his book Beckwith makes confident assertions about the salvation teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and he is convinced that these teachings are much more consistent, as was pointed out above, with Scripture than those of the Protestant Evangelical and Reformed faith. As a Reformed Evangelical and former Roman Catholic I have thoroughly read and studied all the official Roman Catholic documents on salvation including the Council of Trent, Vatican One, Vatican Two, The Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as papal decrees and official catechisms and the writings of Ludwig Ott. Having read Beckwith’s book, I am appalled at the blatant misrepresentation of both the Reformed teaching as well the teaching of Roman Catholicism. His lack of knowledge on historical issues is forgivable, given his ignorance, but to misrepresent and caricature the Reformed faith and to misrepresent the salvation teachings of Rome is simply irresponsible and dishonest. In this presentation I want to deal with a number of historical issues related to doctrine and dogmas that Beckwith alludes to that impinge upon the subject of the authority and the nature of the church and then address in a summary fashion the issues related to the gospel and salvation for that subject will be taken up in much greater detail by others.

Authority

The subject of authority is foundational to an understanding of Roman Catholicism and directly impinges on the issues of the gospel and salvation in two ways. Firstly, in that the authority claims of Rome, which involve the teachings on the papacy, scripture and tradition and the canon, have been elevated to the level of dogma by Rome. What this means is that these teachings embody essential doctrines which define the meaning of saving faith. That is, unless a person fully submits to and embraces them he does not possess saving faith and he cannot be justified. Vatican I, for example, states that it is necessary for salvation that men and women not only believe all that is revealed in scripture but also everything which is defined and proposed by the Church as having been divinely revealed. To reject anything taught by the Roman Church is to reject saving faith and to forfeit justification and eternal life:

Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed. And since, without faith, it is impossible to please God, and to attain to the fellowship of his children, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will any one obtain eternal life unless he shall have persevered in faith unto the end.7

Roman Catholic theologian, Ludwig Ott, explains the relationship of Dogmas defined by the Church and faith in these words:

By dogma in the strict sense is understood a truth immediately (formally) revealed by God which has been proposed by the Teaching Authority of the Church to be believed as such...All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God written or handed down and which are proposed for our belief by the Church either in a solemn definition or in its ordinary and universal authoritative teaching. (Vatican I). Two factors or elements may be distinguished in the concept of dogma:

A) An immediate Divine Revelation of the particular Dogma...i.e., the Dogma must be immediately revealed by God either explicitly (explicite) or inclusively (implicite), and therefore be contained in the sources of Revelation (Holy Writ or Tradition) B) The Promulgation of the Dogma by the Teaching Authority of the Church (propositio Ecclesiae). This implies, not merely the promulgation of the Truth, but also the obligation on the part of the Faithful of believing the Truth. This promulgation by the Church may be either in an extraordinary manner through a solemn decision of faith made by the Pope or a General Council (Iudicium solemns) or through the ordinary and general teaching power of the Church (Magisterium ordinarium et universale). The latter may be found easily in the catechisms issued by the Bishops.

Dogma in its strict signification is the object of both Divine Faith (Fides Divina) and Catholic Faith (Fides Catholica); it is the object of the Divine Faith...by reason of its Divine Revelation; it is the object of Catholic Faith...on account of its infallible doctrinal definition by the Church. If a baptised person deliberately denies or doubts a dogma properly so-called, he is guilty of the sin of heresy (Codex Iuris Canonici 1325, Par. 2), and automatically becomes subject to the punishment of excommunication (Codex Iuris Canonici 2314, Par. I). As far as the content of justifying faith is concerned, the so-called fiducial faith does not suffice. What is demanded is theological or dogmatic faith (confessional faith) which consists in the firm acceptance of the Divine truths of Revelation, on the authority of God Revealing...According to the testimony of Holy Writ, faith and indeed dogmatic faith, is the indispensable prerequisite for the achieving of eternal salvation (emphasis added).8

This kind of teaching should give great pause to anyone considering conversion to Roman Catholicism. This Church is claiming the authority to bind men’s souls eternally by the promulgation of doctrines such as he Assumption of Mary that have neither scriptural nor traditional support based solely on her own supposed authority. Certainly there are many, many Roman Catholics who though they have never been formally excommunicated are nonetheless informally in that state since they do doubt and even deny certain dogmas and are thereby guilty of heresy. Secondly, the authority claims of Rome impinge on the issues of the gospel and salvation because she claims to be an infallible interpreter of Scripture as the one true church established by Christ and therefore whatever she authoritatively decrees is infallible. Thus, whatever Rome teaches regarding the gospel and salvation is infallible, divine truth.

Ultimate Authority and Historical Claims to Be the One True Church Beckwith states that he is convinced that the Church of Rome is the one true church established by Jesus Christ. This, of course, is the claim of the Roman Church herself. And that claim is set forth by both allusions to and expositions of Scripture and by appeals to historical practice and the writings of the church fathers. The question is, Do the Scriptures, the facts of history and the writings of the church fathers support the Roman Catholic claims for authority in her teachings of papal rule and infallibility and her claims to the one true church? The papal teachings which are foundational for Roman Catholic authority were given dogmatic definition by the First Vatican Council in 1870 where that Council asserted its claims for papal primacy and papal infallibility. This was the first instance of the teaching of papal infallibility being dogmatically defined but the teaching of papal primacy was dogmatized many centuries previous to Vatican I in 1302 by Pope Boniface VIII in his Bull, Unam Sanctam. So with regard to papal primacy and rule Vatican I is simply reaffirming a dogma that had been decreed by the bishop of Rome some five hundred and eighty years previous. Unam Sanctam states:

And this body he called one body, that is, the Church, because of the single bridegroom, the unity of the faith, the sacraments, and the love of the Church. She is that seamless shirt of the Lord which was not rent but was allotted by the casting of lots. Therefore, this one and single Church has one head and not two heads—for had she two heads, she would be a monster—that is, Christ and Christ’s vicar, Peter and Peter’s successor. For the Lord said unto Peter, ‘Feed my sheep.’ ‘My,’ he said, speaking generally and not particularly, ‘these and those,’ by which it is to be understood that all the sheep are committed unto him. So, when the Greeks and others say that they were not committed to the care of Peter and his successors, they must confess that they are not of Christ’s sheep, even as the Lord says in John, ‘There is one fold and one shepherd’…Furthermore, that every human creature is subject to the Roman pontiff,—this we declare, say, define, and pronounce to be altogether necessary to salvation.9

Vatican I set forth its teachings on the basis of the exposition of three major passages of Scripture related to the apostle Peter, Matthew 16:18-19, John 21:15-17 and Luke 22:32. It also reconfirmed the teachings of the Council of Trent in the 16th century and the principle defined by Trent of authoritative interpretation and the ‘unanimous consent of the fathers’. This principle states that the Roman Church alone has the authority to interepret Scripture and that it is illegitimate to interpret Scripture that contradicts what it calls the ‘unanimous consent of the fathers’. Trent states:

Furthermore, to check unbridled spirits, it decrees that no one relying on his own judgment shall, in matters of faith and morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, distorting the Holy Scriptures in accordance with his own conceptions, presume to interpret them contrary to that sense which holy mother Church, to whom it belongs to judge their true sense and interpretation, has held and holds, or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers, even though such interpretations should never at any time be published.10

Of the three passages of Scripture used to support Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the most important is Matthew 16:16-19:

And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’

The basic Roman interpretation of this passage is that the rock refers to Peter leading to the conclusion that the Church of Christ is built upon him personally. The keys represent his authority to rule the church and to define truth. And since it says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church that she will be infallible in what she teaches and proclaims. Additionally, it is stated that in this passage Christ is establishing successors to Peter in the bishops of Rome who were given authority to rule the Church universal until He returns. Vatican One states that very the very beginning of the establishment of the Church this doctrine was understood and believed including Vatican One’s exegesis of the Petrine passages. But neither biblically nor historically in the practice of the church or in the patristic interpretation of the rock of Matthew 16:18 does one find an affirmation of these teachings. Vatican I is in fact guilty of contradicting the very principle it reconfirmed from the Council of Trent of never interpreting Scripture in any way contrary to the ‘unanimous consent of the fathers’. We will examine the biblical arguments and then the historical.


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; christianity; evangelicals; historicity; historicityofchrist; historicityofjesus
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Please take the time to read the entire essay by Webster. In the effort of many Roman Catholics to persist in calling all Christians "back home" to Catholicsm, this work is very helpful in that it assures Christians, who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, that they are already "home" and will spend eternity with him in Heaven.
1 posted on 05/10/2013 7:36:49 PM PDT by boatbums
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To: boatbums; Old Sarge; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; fellowpatriot; MarineMom613; ..
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

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Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

2 posted on 05/10/2013 7:38:09 PM PDT by narses
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To: boatbums
The basic Roman interpretation of this passage is that the rock refers to Peter leading to the conclusion that the Church of Christ is built upon him personally. The keys represent his authority to rule the church and to define truth. And since it says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church that she will be infallible in what she teaches and proclaims. Additionally, it is stated that in this passage Christ is establishing successors to Peter in the bishops of Rome who were given authority to rule the Church universal until He returns. Vatican One states that very the very beginning of the establishment of the Church this doctrine was understood and believed including Vatican One’s exegesis of the Petrine passages. But neither biblically nor historically in the practice of the church or in the patristic interpretation of the rock of Matthew 16:18 does one find an affirmation of these teachings. Vatican I is in fact guilty of contradicting the very principle it reconfirmed from the Council of Trent of never interpreting Scripture in any way contrary to the ‘unanimous consent of the fathers’. We will examine the biblical arguments and then the historical.

Wrong. The Fathers' interpretation is exactly the same as the interpretation today. The Bishop of Rome is an equal amongst the senior Bishops. The first among equals definition is yet to be determined in negotiations inside the Church.

3 posted on 05/10/2013 7:41:49 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: boatbums
Why Scripture...

LOL. This clown only cited Matthew 16 in all his verbosity, and that supports Catholicism.

4 posted on 05/10/2013 7:57:00 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: MarkBsnr

I am a born again Christian and I have never been, nor will I ever be a Catholic. I am assured in scripture that I will be with my Savior, Jesus Christ, in heaven.


5 posted on 05/10/2013 7:58:59 PM PDT by shankbear (The tree of Liberty appears to be perishing because there are few patriots willing to refresh it.)
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To: boatbums

Some people define themselves and their faith by their opposition to the Catholic Church. Cute, but no, thanks.


6 posted on 05/10/2013 7:59:56 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: MarkBsnr
Wrong. The Fathers' interpretation is exactly the same as the interpretation today. The Bishop of Rome is an equal amongst the senior Bishops. The first among equals definition is yet to be determined in negotiations inside the Church.

Except that is not what Vatican I said nor is it what the early theologians believed. From the Vatican I documents:

    Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world….

    So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema.

7 posted on 05/10/2013 8:00:41 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: shankbear

Huh?

“Unless you eat by Body and drink my Blood you will not have life everlasting.” This is the Eucharist — words of Jesus.

Are you a Catholic and do you receive the transubtantiated bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ?


8 posted on 05/10/2013 8:01:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: annalex

You obviously failed to read any more from the link I provided. There are MANY scripture passages used. Perhaps if you had done so before rushing to call the author a “clown”, you might not look so clownish yourself?


9 posted on 05/10/2013 8:04:41 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: shankbear

I am as well, praise the Lord. Though I was born into the Roman Catholic Church, God opened my eyes and heart to the truth of the Gospel of the grace of God and I received His gift of eternal life.


10 posted on 05/10/2013 8:07:43 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Salvation

Huh?

Evangelical Christians do believe in the Eucharist, just not transubstantiation. Usually if an evangelical Christian says they believe in and take communion.


11 posted on 05/10/2013 8:10:48 PM PDT by madison10
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To: Revolting cat!
Some people define themselves and their faith by their opposition to the Catholic Church. Cute, but no, thanks.

That's not how I define my faith.

Funny, but I don't recall the same from you to the Catholics that post nearly daily threads that are in opposition to the non-Catholic Christians here. Why is that?

12 posted on 05/10/2013 8:11:06 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums
I really have had to hold myself back but then I just couldn’t resist. This is all so much gobbly gook of man made religion and all it’s man made doctrines. Yahshua is going to laugh at all of you...The faith He left us was the one He created in the Torah. You all have missed it by a MILE! I’m not here to argue but let me just say to prove my point...When the new Jerusalem comes down there will be TWELVE GATES! and over each GATE the name of one of the TWELVE TRIBES. Now get this, THERE IS NO CHURCH GATE!!!!
That’s just the first piece of the puzzle, read your Bible, the rest of the pieces are in it. But you Romans and Evangelicals are way way off.
13 posted on 05/10/2013 8:14:05 PM PDT by ladyL
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To: boatbums

“I am as well, praise the Lord. Though I was born into the Roman Catholic Church, God opened my eyes and heart to the truth of the Gospel of the grace of God and I received His gift of eternal life.”

+1


14 posted on 05/10/2013 8:14:09 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: Salvation; shankbear
Huh? “Unless you eat by Body and drink my Blood you will not have life everlasting.” This is the Eucharist — words of Jesus. Are you a Catholic and do you receive the transubtantiated bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ?

Do you think that ONLY Catholics have the right interpretation of that passage of Scripture? Are you aware that the early church understood Jesus' words to mean a "by faith" receiving of Him and that "eating his flesh and drinking his blood" meant they had believed in Him? This article examines the writings of Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, Irenaeus of Lyons, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, and a contribution from Origen in order to show that the ancient church never believed, taught or even conceived any doctrine like the real presence dogma:

http://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/.

15 posted on 05/10/2013 8:18:13 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Revolting cat!
Some people define themselves and their faith by their opposition to the Catholic Church. Cute, but no, thanks.

Reaaly?

Personally, I've never meant such an individual.

Must be a regional thing.
16 posted on 05/10/2013 8:18:16 PM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: boatbums
Funny

What's the punch line, so we can all laugh? And no, I don't recall seeing any threads here started by Roman Catholics in opposition to the Protestants, though obviously they do respond to threads such as this one defending their church. But RCs don't seem to be interested in the Protestants as the latter are interested in proving the RCs wrong and the tools of the devil.

And no, no one expects those who define themselves in oppostion to the RC to admit it, even as it is obvious (as in this thread) that they do so.

Finally, explain to us, if you will, how "God opened my eyes". I assume it was God himself and not a man, and not a reading of something or other written by man. Thanks.

17 posted on 05/10/2013 8:19:35 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: boatbums

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “


18 posted on 05/10/2013 8:20:52 PM PDT by narses
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To: ladyL

Do you accept any of the New Testament writings as God-breathed sacred Scripture?


19 posted on 05/10/2013 8:20:56 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Salvation
Jesus said, "my food is to do the will of Him who sent me".

Did Jesus eat the Father's body?

20 posted on 05/10/2013 8:21:21 PM PDT by what's up
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To: boatbums

BUMP for the later time I will take to read.


21 posted on 05/10/2013 8:23:57 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Revolting cat!
And no, I don't recall seeing any threads here started by Roman Catholics in opposition to the Protestants, though obviously they do respond to threads such as this one defending their church. But RCs don't seem to be interested in the Protestants as the latter are interested in proving the RCs wrong and the tools of the devil.

Here's one from today for example: Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic – Conversion Story of David B. Currie

Finally, explain to us, if you will, how "God opened my eyes". I assume it was God himself and not a man, and not a reading of something or other written by man. Thanks.

I'd be delighted to. I was about sixteen years old and visiting a Southern Baptist Church my grandparents attended. In a Sunday school class, the teacher handed me a Bible and showed me John 10:27-30. It said:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

Reading the words, "I give to them eternal life and they shall never perish." is what hit me between the eyes and I KNEW I was hearing the truth. I understood what Jesus was saying to ME and I believed and received Him from that day forward. I knew I was going to heaven because of what Jesus did for me and not because I was good enough to deserve it. That is what started my faith journey and I have not once had any desire to go back to the church I was raised in (Roman Catholicism).

Now, this may seem like I am attacking your church, but, in truth, I am speaking to those people out there reading this that just might be in the same place I was, looking for truth.

22 posted on 05/10/2013 8:34:25 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: boatbums; All
What a convoluted joker this Mr Webster.

Here is Augustine unequivocally writing about Peter as the Rock in context.

St. Augustine (410 A.D.): "These miserable wretches, refusing to acknowledge the Rock as Peter and to believe that the Church has received the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, have lost these very keys from their own hands." (Augustine, Christian Combat).

"...Why! a faggot that is cut from the vine retains its shape. But what use is that shape if it is not living from the root? Come, brother, if you wish to be engrafted in the vine. It is grievous when we see you thus lying cut off. Number the bishops from the See of Peter. And, in that order of fathers, see whom succeeded whom. This is the Rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer. All who rejoice in peace, only judge truly." --St. Augustine, Psalmus Contra Pertem Donati.

23 posted on 05/10/2013 8:39:51 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All

http://catholicbridge.com/catholic/pope_peter_rock.php


24 posted on 05/10/2013 8:40:47 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: boatbums; All

http://catholicbridge.com/downloads/Papacy_early_fathers_debate.pdf


25 posted on 05/10/2013 8:42:28 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: boatbums

Mark for tomorrow


26 posted on 05/10/2013 8:43:41 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: boatbums

I remember back in the 1990s using Webster’s seriously flawed book The Church of Rome at the Bar of History (or whatever it was called) to help convert Protestants to the Catholic faith. It was fairly easy if they were willing to look at a few overheads. I used to type out his quotes from the Fathers and then photocopy them onto transparencies (ah, the days before LCD projectors). Then I would show them transparencies with the actual full quotes. Anti-Catholics have a nasty habit of hiding an awful lot of text in ellipses!!!

Most Protestants were shocked that a Protestant “historian” (Webster has a B.A. in history if I remember correctly) could be so dishonest.


27 posted on 05/10/2013 8:47:15 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: ladyL; boatbums
>>THERE IS NO CHURCH GATE!!!!<<

There doesn’t need to be. The church “the bride of Christ” rules with Christ.

28 posted on 05/10/2013 8:47:46 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: johngrace
I think God trumps the Catholic church even if they don’t think so.

Deut. 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

2 Sam. 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

Psalm 18:31, "And who is a rock, except our God."

Isaiah 44:8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none."

29 posted on 05/10/2013 8:52:37 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: boatbums

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “


30 posted on 05/10/2013 8:53:15 PM PDT by narses
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To: boatbums; All
 photo ZZZZ.jpg

Mr Webster should stick to Fashion sense only.

31 posted on 05/10/2013 8:53:21 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: CynicalBear; johngrace

Tell us about Easter and Christmas again Pope CB, go ahead. And that whole “all churches are corrupt” thing.


32 posted on 05/10/2013 8:54:15 PM PDT by narses
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To: Salvation

John 6 does not use the same word for flesh or body that Jesus used in the Last Supper.

John 6 is NOT talking about the eucharist.

Word for *flesh* in:
John 6:51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56
http://bible.cc/john/6-51.htm
John 6:63
http://biblos.com/john/6-63.htm
The word for *flesh* is the same in BOTH verses.
http://biblesuite.com/greek/4561.htm
sarx: flesh
Short Definition: flesh, body
Definition: flesh, body, human nature, materiality; kindred.
It is the exact same word used in Galatians 5 and Romans 8. There is also much more commentary at this link:http://biblesuite.com/greek/4561.htm
which I would post but would show up in HTML and mess up a simple post.
***************************************************************
However, it is NOT the same word as used in the Last Supper....
Matthew Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, Matthew 26:26, 1 Corinthians 11:24, 27, 29
soma: a body
Short Definition: body, flesh
Definition: body, flesh; the body of the Church.
There is also a more in depth analysis of the word *soma* at this link: http://biblesuite.com/greek/4983.htm


33 posted on 05/10/2013 8:56:59 PM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: narses; boatbums; Old Sarge; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; Finatic; fellowpatriot; ...
This guy ought to relax.

Lots of today's best Protestants are Catholics. It's sort of like having a Mother who's a bit of a family outcast and living in an overly ornate house in a bad neighborhood and has notions with which you are presently in strong disagreement.

And don't feel so bad about it all. After all, the Catholics had the only game in your town for what, 1500 years? As with any human organization, it went a bit rotten. (v our government) Get over what you have to get over, and remember that even Martin Luther didn't give up praying the Rosary and reading his Roman Breviary.

Seeya in Heaven.

34 posted on 05/10/2013 8:58:22 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
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To: Revolting cat!; boatbums
And no, I don't recall seeing any threads here started by Roman Catholics in opposition to the Protestants, though obviously they do respond to threads such as this one defending their church.

You really need to get out more then.

35 posted on 05/10/2013 8:59:25 PM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: ladyL
/I really have had to hold myself back but then I just couldn’t resist. This is all so much gobbly gook of man made religion and all it’s man made doctrines. Yahshua is going to laugh at all of you...The faith He left us was the one He created in the Torah. You all have missed it by a MILE! I’m not here to argue but let me just say to prove my point...When the new Jerusalem comes down there will be TWELVE GATES! and over each GATE the name of one of the TWELVE TRIBES. Now get this, THERE IS NO CHURCH GATE!!!!
That’s just the first piece of the puzzle, read your Bible, the rest of the pieces are in it. But you Romans and Evangelicals are way way off.

No, the Torah is not the way to salvation, or even "acceptable christian living" -- indeed, here is what the early church, being led by the Holy Spirit, sent to the new gentile converts:

Acts 15:1-35
15 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.[a] 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16
“‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
     and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[b] of mankind may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
     says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’


19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers[c] who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you[d] with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.[e] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

So then, if the Holy Spirit laid no such burden as the Mosaic law (Torah) on Gentiles why do you? And by what authority?

36 posted on 05/10/2013 9:01:36 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: CynicalBear

C. B. - At least your in scripture even if I think your wrong on your balance of verses from the text of scripture. But Mr. Webster loves to make the Early Church Fathers into something they never declared when you read them in context. The whole idea of this guy is quoting the early fathers texts as evidence too. I had a computer with a Faith Data Base concordance of early church Fathers. I used it when I first encountered this man’s writings. He is so wrong it is pathetic. I also asked the same people who liked to post this man’s so called work if they ever read the original material that he purports to get it - from the so called source. Not one at the time ever admitting to reading the original outside Webster’s words. Very sad.


37 posted on 05/10/2013 9:07:22 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: MarkBsnr; boatbums
The Bishop of Rome is an equal amongst the senior Bishops.

So your liberal side is showing, in that you disagree with other RCs that the authority of pope is supreme, and he needs not the ratification of councils for his ex cathedra statements to be infallible, but they need his, and he cannot be deposed by them?

And you believe all Fathers' interpreted Mt 16 as the rock referring to Peter?

Be back you in the AM God willing.

38 posted on 05/10/2013 9:13:32 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Kenny Bunk

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem;
Creatorem caeli et terrae.

Et in Jesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum;
qui conceptus est
de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria virgine;
passus sub Pontio Pilato,
crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus;
descendit ad inferos;
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;
ascendit ad caelos;
sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis;
inde venturus est
iudicare vivos et mortuos.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum;
sanctam ecclesiam catholicam;
sanctorum communionem;
remissionem peccatorum;
carnis resurrectionem;
vitam aeternam. Amen.

In English:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
he will come again
to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen


39 posted on 05/10/2013 9:14:34 PM PDT by narses
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To: Salvation; shankbear
“Unless you eat by Body and drink my Blood you will not have life everlasting.” This is the Eucharist — words of Jesus. Are you a Catholic and do you receive the transubtantiated bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ?

So one cannot have eternal life unless he/she believes in the Eucharist and literally consumes Jesus body and blood physically?

That would be consistent with your unequivocal understanding of the verse, but want to make sure.

40 posted on 05/10/2013 9:17:24 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212

“Unless you eat by Body and drink my Blood you will not have life everlasting.”

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “

Pretty clear language. Either Our Lord is God and He means it, or not.


41 posted on 05/10/2013 9:19:05 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses

Amen.


42 posted on 05/10/2013 9:19:23 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
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To: narses

It seems that God would want us all to love each other as we love ourselves.

At this ominous time in our history, would it not be good for us Christians, although we see things from different perspectives, to love and strengthen each other?


43 posted on 05/10/2013 9:21:46 PM PDT by pax_et_bonum (God Bless America)
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To: All

Previous post meant for All.


44 posted on 05/10/2013 9:22:49 PM PDT by pax_et_bonum (God Bless America)
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To: boatbums
That is so convoluted by a "lawyer" it is pathetic. Go read the original source material. Even in the quotes the article is wrong. Astonishing.

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html

45 posted on 05/10/2013 9:34:07 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: johngrace

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html


46 posted on 05/10/2013 9:34:22 PM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: johngrace; boatbums; All
Your resort presumes the father's were all consistent in their exegesis, and could not adapt other interpretations. Webster does not claim Augustine did not believe Peter was the Rock, but argues his interpretation, at least in one place, is that the rock was Peter's confession, which your own CCC also allows for.

The ‘unanimous consent of the fathers’ actually opposes the Roman Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 and its attendant ecclesiology. Augustine is typical of the fathers as a whole in this interpretation of Mt. 16:18:

Remember, in this man Peter, the rock. He's the one, you see, who on being questioned by the Lord about who the disciples said he was, replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On hearing this, Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you...‘You are Peter, Rocky, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of the underworld will not conquer her. To you shall I give the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall also be loosed in heaven’ (Mt 16:15-19). In Peter, Rocky, we see our attention drawn to the rock. Now the apostle Paul says about the former people, ‘They drank from the spiritual rock that was following them; but the rock was Christ’ (1 Cor 10:4). So this disciple is called Rocky from the rock, like Christian from Christ...Why have I wanted to make this little introduction? In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer.14

These comments by Augustine are highly significant. He does state that Peter is the rock. But he goes on to explain what he means by that statement. It does not mean that the Church is built on Peter’s person but on his confession of faith in Jesus Christ. http://www.christiantruth.com/Beckwith-Response-to-Return-to-Rome.html

You may disagree, and I myself do no make CFs determinative of doctrine (nor does Rome actually), but if had have read what he said before you could have more accurately presented his polemic.

Later

47 posted on 05/10/2013 9:36:01 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: MarkBsnr

Exactly so. Boatbums can claim all he wants, but he needs to provide some actual evidence to support his position.

I thank Boatbums for providing an accout of my friend Francis Beckwith. I didn’t know all the particulars. It’s good to know that we have some excellent and thorough biblical scholars on our side.


48 posted on 05/10/2013 9:38:15 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: boatbums

“this work is very helpful in that it assures Christians, who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, that they are already “home” and will spend eternity with him in Heaven.”

Hm...do we need anything but scripture to tell us this?


49 posted on 05/10/2013 9:39:16 PM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: narses
“Unless you eat by Body and drink my Blood you will not have life everlasting.” “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “ Pretty clear language. Either Our Lord is God and He means it, or not.

So if clear, then you are unequivocally (as you must to be consistent) affirming that no one may have eternal life unless they physically consume the literal body and blood of Jesus?

You also believe that Jn. 20:21-23 was only stated to the apostles?

Later

50 posted on 05/10/2013 9:40:43 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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