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7 Step Reason to be Catholic II; Revitalizing Faith in the Wake of Scandal and Dissent
Coming Home Network ^ | Jerome D. Gilmartin

Posted on 06/22/2003 3:13:08 PM PDT by NYer

The 7-Step Reason to be Catholic


1. Science does not deny the existence of God ; The Intelligent Designer Science does not deny that God exists. The National Academy of Sciences states "Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.(Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science; FAQ; © 1998) http://search.nap.edu/readingroom/books/ evolution98/evol5.html
The Catholic Church does not deny the possibility that scientists may some day conclude, beyond reasonable doubt, that evolution played some part in how we came to be. To do so convincingly, however, they will have to overcome the formidable challenges to macroevolution presented by Intelligent Design scientists like astrophysicist Hugh Ross, Ph.D. (astonishing evidence of design, from atom to cosmos); biochemist Michael Behe, Ph.D. (cellular Systems of irreducible complexity); and biologist Jonathan Wells, Ph.D. (Ten warning labels for biology textbooks. Wells has also refuted exaptation). An important Intelligent Design Web site is www.arn.org. Also see:
www.doesgodexist.org/Charts/EvidenceForDesignInTheUniverse.html.
In any case, the Church teaches that "Every spiritual soul is created immediately by God . . .The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primal event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.(CCC par. 366; 390). Intelligent Design: Other Informative Web Sites:

www.creationsafaris.com/crevnews.htm
www.arn.org/docs/insight499.htm
www.reasons.org/about/index.shtml?main
www.lassp.cornell.edu/sethna/KinkTunneling/KinkTunneling.html.
www.origins.org/articles/ross_modgoliath.html
www.world-of-dawkins.com/Catalano/box/behe.htm# reviews
www.arn.org/behe/mb_response.htm
www.discovery.org/crsc/fellows/MichaelBehe/
www.iconsofevolution.com/
www.nmsr.org/text.htm#preface
www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html
www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-west121702.asp
www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-winnick101802.asp
www.arn.org/wells/jwhome.htm
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu:7521/projects/ IB160/VDG/Fall94Wells/
Wells.html

In Fundamentals of the Faith, Peter Kreeft suggests skeptics pray as follows: "God, if you are really out there, please . . . somehow . . . let me know . . . I want to know".

2. Other than I AM of the Old Testament, no other founder of a religion is comparable to Jesus.

True respect for others is important, regardless of what religion they practice. However, it is important that students and others become aware of this: With the exception of Jews (and Christians) who speak of I AM of the Old Testament - the Messianic prophecies of which Jesus fulfilled

No authoritative spokesperson for any non Christian religion claims that its founder or reformer is comparable to Jesus in the way he manifested the authority of the Creator including his power over death itself.

Other than I AM, of all founders of a religion Jesus Christ alone manifested the authority of the Creator Only Jesus did all of the following: (a) fulfilled the many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament; (Y'shua; Moishe Rosen); (b) proved by his works that he had the authority of the Creator; (c) acknowledged that he was God (Jn 20: 28 29); (d) died on the cross to redeem us and make possible our salvation; (e) rose from death on the third day, appeared to many, and ascended into heaven; (f) said he would be judge us after death (Jn 5:22 23) and; (g) said no one comes to the Father except through him (Jn 14:6).


3. History affirms the Jesus of the Bible

Until about three decades ago, the historical reliability of the Gospels was widely accepted including the apostle-eyewitness authorship of Matthew and John, which include the primary biblical/historical foundation of the Church and the Papacy: Mt 16:18-19, Mt 26:26-29, Mt 28:16-20 and Jn 21:15-17.
About two centuries ago, however, some biblical scholars began an effort to see if the Bible itself might be viewed in such a way as to undermine its own credibility. Over time, a series of self-admitted assumptions and other actions were successfully promoted by some scholars misusing the historical-critical method, including:

(a) ignoring the long-recognized Semitic (primarily Hebrew) sayings and speech patterns of the Gospels. These Semitisms indicate very early dates of origin of the source documents for all four canonical Greek Gospels (A.D. 40-70), thus giving them strong historical credibility Fr. Jean Carmignac has shown that there are many Semitisms that cannot be explained as the author's attempt to imitate the Septuagint, or attributed to the author's mother tongue.

www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/CERTHYPO.TXT ;
www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/May97/gospels.html.
The Birth of the Synoptic Gospels; Fr. J. Carmignac; © 1987 by Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago; ISBN 0-8199-0887-8.
The Hebrew Christ; Claude Tresmontant © 1989 by Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago; ISBN 0-8199-0876-2.

(b) virtually ignoring the extrabiblical testimony of Early Church Fathers, and other near-contemporaries of Jesus;

(c) wrongly assuming that the four Gospels were first written many decades after Christ and that none was authored by an eyewitness (i.e., Matthew and John).

Papyrologist Carsten P. Thiede concluded that during the 60s the Gospels of Matthew and Mark had already been copied from scrolls onto codices. (Eyewitness to Jesus, p.16; © 1996, Thiede Ancona; Doubleday).
www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/May97/gospels.html.

Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 1988 Erasmus Lecture, was critical of liberal Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars alike. The Cardinal said that, in addition to their great achievements, they had brought forth great errors. He then stated that texts must be viewed in light of the total movement of history and in light of history's central event, Jesus Christ. (Origins)
Emphasis on authentic biblical/extra-biblical history is essential in Catholic education at all levels as well as in Catholic seminaries. Compromise of such history has been associated with heresy and scandal. (See Goodbye, Good Men; © 2002, Michael S. Rose; Regnery,)
In response to criticism of Early Church Fathers, Ven. John Henry Newman,
while an Anglican priest, wrote as follows in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845):

History is not a creed or a catechism. It gives lessons rather than rules; still no one can mistake its general teaching in this matter, whether he accept it or stumble at it. Bold outlines and broad masses of colour rise out of the records of the past. They may be dim, they may be incomplete, but they are definite. And this one thing at least is certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says or unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism and Protestantism has ever felt it so. To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant. (Image Books © 1960) www.newmanreader.org/works/development/introduction. html (Web site of Bob Elder). Newman became a Catholic and an esteemed Cardinal.

www.newadvent.org/fathers

4. Jesus founded, and protects from error, one Petrine Church.

God loves all his children, including our separated brethren (CCC par. 822), many of whom pray and practice their Christian faith with great fervor. But did Jesus not pray that all may be one (Jn 17:17-23) and say, "there shall be one flock, one shepherd"(Jn 10:16)?
Clearly, the Bible indicates that Jesus founded only One Church, and Jesus: (a) founded his Church on Peter alone (Mt 16:18, Lk 6:46 49); (b) gave the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter alone (Mt 16:19); (c) said "Feed my lambs . . . tend my sheep . . . feed my sheep" to Peter alone (Jn 21:15 17); (d) provided for papal and apostolic succession (Isa 22:22), in which the key indicates authority transferable to a successor) and; (e) protects his Church from doctrinal error (CCC par. 888 892). www. ewtn.com/library/scriptur/POPE.TXT (Scott Hahn).
When Jesus said, "Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18), he would have spoken in Aramaic, his native language. In Aramaic, the only meaning this statement can have is the Catholic interpretation. On this, linguistic scholars of all faiths are in virtually unanimous agreement.

In the full light of history, to be a true Bible Christian is to be Catholic.

5. After giving Peter primacy, Jesus commissioned the apostles to make disciples of all nations Having given primacy to Peter, the risen Jesus commissioned the eleven apostles (all but Judas Iscariot): "Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them all I have commanded you" (Mt 28:18 20).
Do the important differences between Catholic and non Catholic teaching mean "different gospels" are preached? Note Paul's words on this (Gal 1:6-9).

6. The Pope and Catholic bishops successors of Peter and the apostles continue to make disciples of all nations


Those apostles and, with Peter's approval, Matthias and Paul, followed this directive of the risen Jesus. Through the solemn "laying on of hands" through the ages, their successors the Pope and Catholic bishops of today continue to carry out this mandate of Jesus. "The sole Church of Christ . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.(CCC par. 816).


7. There is no biblical escape clause to reject the one Church founded by Jesus

Protestant minister Marcus Grodi was haunted by a dilemma: Each Sunday I would stand in my pulpit and interpret Scripture for my flock, knowing that within a fifteen-mile radius of my church there were dozens of other Protestant pastors - all of whom believed that the Bible alone is the sole authority for doctrine and practice - but each was teaching something different from what I was teaching. Especially troubling for Grodi was the knowledge that "Every Protestant minister I knew had a different set of criteria that he listed as necessary for salvation." After much reading, particularly of the Early Church Fathers and Karl Keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Grodi realized that . . . the Protestant answer to church renewal was, of all things, unscriptural, and that the single most important issue was authority. (Surprised by Truth; pp. 38-51). Grodi and his wife Marilyn became Catholic. He founded the Coming Home Network www.chnetwork.org (800 664-5110) and hosts The Journey Home weekly call-in program on EWTN.
With the foreknowledge that Peter would deny him three times and abandon him at Calvary, Jesus gave Peter primacy among the apostles as noted in 4 a, b and c above. Jesus promised to be with the One Church he founded until the end of time; not even the Gates of hell would prevail against it.
Certainly, through the Bible, Jesus would have let us know if he intended the divided Christianity of today, with its more than 33,000 denominations and its many contradictory teachings on matters on which one's very salvation may well depend. And yet the most careful search of the Bible reveals nothing other than this:
Other than those led by Peter, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus authorize anyone to "make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:18-20) and the Bible includes no "escape clause" by which Jesus authorizes anyone to reject Peter or his successors to form, or join, a different Church. The exorcist in Mk 9:38 did not preach a contrary gospel. Nor do two or three embrace such a gospel if truly gathered in his name (Mt 18:20). (Also see Mt 7:21-23). Paul has ominous words for those who preach a gospel contrary to that of Christ (Gal 1:6-9). And Peter warned against private interpretation of Scripture (2 Pet 3:16) which has led to the proliferation of non-Catholic Christian denominations we see today.

For each of us, life on earth will one day end. Except for that of Jesus (and I AM), the tomb of every founder/ reformer of a religion is occupied, or will be, as someone has said. Do we close our eyes rather than prayerfully seek the Church to which Jesus calls us?
Doesn't it make sense to belong to the One Church founded by Jesus, knowing that Jesus himself will judge us at death, affirming our ultimate choice of heaven or hell based not on the decisions we might then wish we had made, but on the decisions we actually made during our life on earth? (See CCC Par.1033; 1020 1050).
The false idea that God's everlasting love for us (e.g., Is 54:8) guarantees our salvation is widely believed. But the clear teaching of the Church regarding God's everlasting or "unconditional" love can be summarized as follows: God loves us unconditionally and will do so eternally whether we are in heaven or in hell. God's unconditional love does not mean unconditional salvation (CCC par. 1035).
The fullness of the means of salvation - i.e., all seven Sacraments including the EUCHARIST, "without which you shall not have life in you (Jn 6:53-59)," as well as the spiritual leadership of the successor of Peter is found only in the Catholic Church. The great importance of becoming and remaining Catholic is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Par. 846 848) and in the Companion to the CCC (Par. 847).
"Observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do," said Jesus in regard to those who sat on Moses seat. (Mt 23:2-3). Surely this applies to any in the Church whose scandalous behavior mocks their preaching. Not all popes proved personally worthy of the office. But, as with Judas Iscariot, Jesus did not suppress the free will of Peter, other apostles, or their successor popes/ bishops. But no pope has destroyed the fabric of doctrine of the One Church to which the Father, in the name of Jesus, sent the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26; Acts 2:1-4).
In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II states that the Documents of Vatican II are to be interpreted using the authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Catechism was also indispensable in order that all the richness of the teaching of the Church following the Second Vatican Council could be preserved in a new synthesis and be given a new direction. Without the Catechism of the universal Church this would not have been accomplished. (p. 164; Knopf; © 1994).
CCC Search Engine: www.kofc.org/faith/catechism/catechism.cfm;


When asked to consider another religion . . .

The first question you might ask is: "Who was the founder of your faith, or the first to promote or reform it? If that person was not Jesus, ask:
(a) "What signs did he (she) manifest to show that he had the authority of the Creator, and how do those signs compare with those of Jesus?" Other than I AM of the Old Testament, the Messianic prophecies of which Jesus fulfilled, no authoritative apologist for any other religion claims that their founder manifested signs comparable to those of Jesus. See Step 2, (a) through (g) above and "Other Religions." In the Old Testament Hebrew, God is Elohim (masculine plural, meaning the strong ones) implying plurality, not Eloah, the singular form. Similarly in Gen 1:26, "Let us make man in our image"
(b) "Did your founder/reformer indicate or acknowledge that he/she was God, as Jesus did?" (Jn 20:28-29). Even if some others may have made this claim, their tombs are all occupied, or will be. Wonder workers are found in all cultures, but history could never remain silent about another like Jesus.
(c) And finally, ask: "Does it make sense, really, to follow someone other
than Jesus, the ONLY ONE who manifested the power to keep, in the hereafter, the promises he made to us?"

If the founder was Jesus, note Steps 3 to7 above. Then ask:
(a) "What is the pillar and bulwark of the truth?" Paul's answer is not Scripture, but the Church of the living God (1 Tim 3:15).
(b) On whom did Jesus found his Church? On Peter alone (Step 4). Jesus differentiated between the "foundation" (Himself), and the "Rock" on which the foundation is laid (Lk 6:48-49, and Mt 7:24-27).
(c) "To whom did Jesus give the keys of heaven?" To Peter alone (Mt 16:19). Luther affirmed this Catholic position long after his excommunication, but denied the papal authority of Peter's successors. Calvin, attempting to duplicate The Keys, misquoted Jesus in Luke. Show how Isaiah 22:22 and Mt 28:20 indicate apostolic/papal succession.
(d) Ignatius - Bishop of Antioch, martyr and hearer of John the Apostle - described the Eucharist as "the flesh of Christ", "the medicine of immortality."
(e) Note that there is no biblical Escape Clause to reject the One Church Jesus founded and promised to be with always. Against it, even the gates of hell will not prevail. By encouraging a Catholic to leave that Church, or discouraging anyone from joining it, is that person not attempting to "prevail against it" (Mt 16:18)?
Next, I suggest that you and your well-meaning non-Catholic friend explore together the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. Using the index, you can quickly find the answer to virtually any question about what the Church teaches. Extensive footnotes provide the biblical basis for these teachings.

Old Testament/New Testament or Koran?

God made a covenant with Abraham (as with Adam, Noah, Moses and David - preceding the New Covenant of Jesus (Mt 26:26-28)) and promised to establish it with Isaac. (Gen 17:21) Although God made no covenant with Ishmael, he was conceived after Sarai (Sarah) gave Hagar to Abraham as a wife Gen: 16:3). God named Ishmael God hears (Gen 16:11), blessed him (Gen 17:20) and promised to make him a great nation (Gen 17:2). Isaac and Ishmael went their separate ways, but their bond as sons of Abraham endured. When Abraham died, at age 175, together these half brothers buried him next to his wife Sarah (Gen 25:7-10). True descendants of Abraham/ Isaac - and of Abraham/Ishmael strive to come together in peace as sons and daughters of a common father.
About 2,400 years later, in about A.D. 610, Muhammad began to dictate The Koran (Q'uran) - messages he believed came from Allah through an angel. It is said that the ancestry of Muhammad can be traced to Ishmael through Kedar, his second son (Gen 25:13). Today there are more than 70 separate Islamic denominations.
Several suras of the Koran appear to refer favorably to the Bible, Jews and Christians, e.g.: Allah sent Jesus and gave him the Gospel in which there is light and guidance (5:46); Muslims are to forgive the People of the Book (Christians/ Jews) who attempt to convert them (2:109); Jesus was a prophet (2:86, 136) with whom Allah made a covenant (33:7). Muslims honor Jesus as a prophet.
In contrast to the Koran, however, are the following biblical words and acts of Jesus: (a) turned water into wine (forbidden; sura 5:90) at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1-11); (b) said of a cup of wine "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood (forbidden; 5:3) of the covenant" (Mt 26:27); (c) warned his followers not to follow future desert prophets (a veiled reference to Muhammad?) (Mt 24:24-26); (d) said, "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30) and "Before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn 8:58), implying equality with the Father/Allah; (e) replying to Thomas, Jesus acknowledged that he was God (Jn 20:28-29) and; (f) unique in world history, Jesus manifested the power and authority of the Creator (Step 2).
The following suras cause Catholics and other Christians to reject the Koran as Divine revelation: (a) Jesus was not God and not the Son of God (4:171); (b) Jesus was just one of several prophets preceding Muhammad, The Prophet (4:163, 2:136) and; (c) Jesus was not crucified (4:157-159).
Clearly, one must choose: Bible or Koran? Jesus or Muhammad? One's eternal salvation may well depend on making the right choice and living accordingly. Why? Because Jesus said unequivocally that he would be our ultimate judge and said no one comes to the Father except through him (See Baptism; CCC Par.1213-1284). By what standard will Jesus judge us? To gain eternal life, Jesus said we must keep the commandments (Mt 19:16-17; 22:36-39). We must love our enemies. God will forgive us only if we forgive others (Mt 5:43-44, 6:15); and we must forgive "from the heart" (Mt 18: 35). How will Jesus judge those who engage in violence toward innocent Jews, Christians, Muslims and others? Within Islam as well, such acts are condemned. Although they saw Palestine as a separate case, The Organization of Islamic Conferences declared, "We unequivocally condemn acts of international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations", (#7; Kuala Lumpur, 1-3 April, 2002). www.oic-oci.org.


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; dissent; islam; protestant; scandal
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7 Step Reason to be Catholic II; Revitalizing Faith in the Wake of Scandal and Dissent

A Summary and Study Guide for Part I of this
3-part book: The 7-Step Reason to be Catholic

Part II of the book addresses scandal and dissent within Catholicism today.
Part III of the book addresses key points of doctrinal incompatibility with other faiths.

© 2001, 2003; Jerome D. Gilmartin - gilmartn@nep.net

Offered in the belief that the truly ecumenical Catholic is one who can
graciously and concisely explain the importance of being Catholic.

An important supplement to Catholic university, college and high school education, as well as diocesan and parish programs in Catechesis, RCIA, RENEW Campus Ministry, Prison Ministry, Bible Study and other
programs for Catholic youth and adults.


An introduction to Catholic Apologetics

Imprimatur: Granted 1/16/01 for the book, (1st ed.), by
Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D.D. Bishop of Scranton

Nihil Obstat: Granted 1/16/01 for the book, (1st ed.), by
Rev. Msgr. David Bohr, S.T.D., Censor Librorum

1 posted on 06/22/2003 3:13:09 PM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
This may well be an excellent gift to your pastor for his DRE. They are always looking for inspirational materials to use in catechisis. Several times this past year, certain students told me they had been invited by their protestant friends to attend a Sunday service at the new evangelical church. They had many questions. Since I will not be teaching this year, I plan on giving this book to the DRE to share with the other teachers.
2 posted on 06/22/2003 3:21:06 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
I was fine until #4...then you lost me. Way too many assumptions in the interpretation...and for me, it goes down hill from there, despite what Martin Grodi says. As a Protestant, he was obviously poorly taught.
3 posted on 06/22/2003 3:31:23 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: LiteKeeper
I was fine until #4...then you lost me.

Was it the CCC that caused confusion? CCC refers to the Catechism of the Catholic Churdh. This is currently being posted to the forum, twice a week. It is a lengthy book and we are only 11 weeks into its posting. You can follow it here (at least what has been posted so far.)

Past CATECHISM CC Series threads

4 posted on 06/22/2003 3:53:27 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
When the article says the pastor thought about all of the churches teaching something differnt than he was teaching, a Catholic church was one of those churches. He does not explain why the Catholic church is the one that is correct. I could sit in a Catholic church, as I have on many occasions, and think the same thing. Other churches are teaching something differnt. The trick is to find the one you think is correct.
5 posted on 06/22/2003 3:55:10 PM PDT by ACAC
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To: NYer
One problem you may have is that non-Catholics don't believe in the CCC. Therefore, when you try to prove a point by quoting it, others will say that is not the Bible, it is just the Vatican's opinion.
6 posted on 06/22/2003 4:02:54 PM PDT by ACAC
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To: NYer
Was it the CCC that caused confusion?

No...it was the interpretation of the verses mentioned in this point. There is a mighty leap of assumption to #3 to the claims of #4. Although the interpretations of the verses in #4 are one possible view, they are not universally accepted. To assume the Roman Catholic Church is THE fulfillment of these verses is rejected by many in the Body of Christ. And of course, since that assumption leads to the other conclusions, the rest of the points must follow this line of thinking...sorry, I cannot accept the resulting contention that the Roman Catholic Church is the only church.

7 posted on 06/22/2003 4:19:29 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: ACAC
One problem you may have is that non-Catholics don't believe in the CCC. Therefore, when you try to prove a point by quoting it, others will say that is not the Bible, it is just the Vatican's opinion

Exactly...much of the world, and me included, do not accept the authority of the CCC. Basically, we reject non-Biblical citations.

8 posted on 06/22/2003 4:25:38 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: LiteKeeper
That is why, as a protestant, I do not place much stock in what the early church fathers wrote. It is not inspired and it is not in the Bible. Jesus had to correct his followers many times while he was on earth. Therefore, why should I believe someone who wrote something 100 years after he died?
9 posted on 06/22/2003 6:22:33 PM PDT by ACAC
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To: ACAC; LiteKeeper
That is why, as a protestant, I do not place much stock in what the early church fathers wrote.

Many of these men walked with the Apostles and were taught directly by them. Polycarp and Papias, for instance, are considered to have been disciples of the Apostle John. Doctrinal authority during this period rested on two sources, the Old Testament (O.T.) and the notion of Apostolic succession, being able to trace a direct association to one of the Apostles and thus to Christ. Although the New Testament (N.T.) Canon was written, it was not yet seen as a separate body of books equivalent to the O.T. Six church leaders are commonly referred to: Barnabas, Hermas, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Papias, and Ignatius (Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines, 37). Although these men lacked the technical sophistication of today's theologians, their correspondence confirmed the teachings of the Apostles and provides a doctrinal link to the N.T. Canon itself. Christianity was as yet a fairly small movement. These Church Fathers, often elders and bishops in the early Church, were consumed by the practical aspects of Christian life among the new converts. These men clearly believed that Jesus was God as was the Holy Spirit, but they had yet to clarify in writing the problems that might occur when attempting to explain this truth.

The early Church Fathers had no doubt about the authority of the O.T., often prefacing their quotes with "For thus saith God" and other notations. As a result they tended to be rather moralistic and even legalistic on some issues. Because the N.T. Canon was not yet settled, they respected and quoted from works that have generally passed out of the Christian tradition. The books of Hermas, Barnabas, Didache, and 1 and 2 Clement were all regarded highly (Hannah, Lecture Notes for the History of Doctrine, 2.2). As Berkhof writes concerning these early Church leaders, "For them Christianity was not in the first place a knowledge to be acquired, but the principle of a new obedience to God" (Berkhof, History of the Christian Church, 39).

Although these early Church Fathers may seem rather ill-prepared to hand down all the subtle implications of the Christian faith to the coming generations, they form a doctrinal link to the Apostles (and thus to our Lord Jesus Christ), as well as a witness to the growing commitment to the Canon of Scripture that would become the N.T. As Clement of Rome said in first century, "Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit" (Geisler, Decide For Yourself, 11).

10 posted on 06/22/2003 6:53:29 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
Thank you for that. I just know that Jesus even had to correct his own disciples many times regarding the faith. If that is true, then the people who came along in the next generation were even more apt to be wrong. I am just too conservative to use anything except the Bible.
11 posted on 06/22/2003 7:16:09 PM PDT by ACAC
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To: NYer
Sounds like excellent apologetics to me.
12 posted on 06/22/2003 7:37:12 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
**Certainly, through the Bible, Jesus would have let us know if he intended the divided Christianity of today, with its more than 33,000 denominations and its many contradictory teachings on matters on which one's very salvation may well depend.**

Very important statement here. Jesus said, "I am the Way." What He founded was the Catholic Church.

Not 30+ thousand churches!!!!!
13 posted on 06/22/2003 7:42:16 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ACAC
**One problem you may have is that non-Catholics don't believe in the CCC. Therefore, when you try to prove a point by quoting it, others will say that is not the Bible, it is just the Vatican's opinion.**

Have you every looked at the Catechism of the Catholic Church to see all the references to Scripture? You excuses don't even hold water. Educate yourself, please.


14 posted on 06/22/2003 7:44:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: LiteKeeper
**Exactly...much of the world, and me included, do not accept the authority of the CCC. Basically, we reject non-Biblical citations.**

See my post to ACAC above. Educate yourself, please.
15 posted on 06/22/2003 7:45:16 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: LiteKeeper; ACAC
Do you say a Profession of Faith in your churches?
16 posted on 06/22/2003 7:46:08 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
No
17 posted on 06/22/2003 10:01:11 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: ACAC
Amen. But, the indoctrination of the Roman Church for so many years has blinded too many for too long

sola scriptura

18 posted on 06/22/2003 10:03:24 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: NYer
Bookmarking. Great resource.
19 posted on 06/23/2003 4:28:20 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: LiteKeeper
sola scriptura

Where's that in the Bible?

20 posted on 06/23/2003 4:30:17 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Salvation
***Very important statement here. Jesus said, "I am the Way." What He founded was the Catholic Church.***

Better remind John Paul II !

21 posted on 06/23/2003 4:33:01 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej; Aquinasfan; Salvation
When the Pope Kissed the Koran

By Stephen Hand

Back in 1999, on the 14th of May, according to the Patriarch of the Chaldeans, at the end of an audience between the Pope and some delegates of the Islamic Shiite and Sunni factions, the Pope bowed as “a sign of respect” toward a copy of the Koran which was presented to him as a gift. When the book was officially “presented to him,” the Pope, perhaps a bit perplexed concerning the appropriate protocol for such an official gesture, kissed it; again, as a “sign of respect toward the 34 million followers of Islam”. The event was reported by the Fides news service. It turned out to be more controversial a sign than the Pope and Vatican ever expected, since both Neomodernist and Integrist reactionaries pounced on it. The former to suggest that all religions were essentially one, and the latter to suggest that the Pope had, well, er, left the Faith.

Both, of course, were utterly wrong, and both---who are temperamentally and psychologically joined at the hip in not a few ways---refused to look long at the Church’s actual teachings, the texts which clearly explain what the Church’s attitude toward other religions is-----and is not.

It is the reaction of the latter which concerns us here.

Every religion, sadly, has its Pharisees, the ones who are more royal than the king, the (only) “true” believers. It is an attitude, a psychological type, which comes in degrees of severity and is tied up with legalism, a preference for the letter as opposed to the spirit of the law. What the Taliban is to Islam, Integrism approximately is to Catholicism.

Pharisees, thinking themselves the only true observers of the law, love to debate, to bait and trap the unwary victim, as they tried to do with our Lord on many an occasion. This attitude finds its logical completion in the Essenes who broke off entirely from the Temple (unlike Jesus, His Mother and St. Joseph) and fled to the desert proclaiming themselves the true temple, the remnant of Israel. They are, it is obvious, seldom aware of the pride which feeds such behavior or the logs in their own eyes.

In Catholicism, if the Neo-modernists are the Saducees, i.e., the rationalists who tend to doubt articles of Faith, then the Integrists are very clearly our modern Pharisees, the ones who fancy themselves the true interpreters of the “fathers” and of the letter of the law.

The Pharisee wants an easy, hyper-logical world, a world of airtight Yes-No compartments, where people are either “in” or “out”. In Our Lord’s day they considered Jesus lax with sinners and heathen, dubious in doctrine, fickle regarding the inviolable law. They viewed him with suspicion and ultimately felt he had to be removed altogether. They preferred a religion where the question of the "spirit," or the heart of the law----the ultimate telos / goal to which the law tends----was not welcome, despite the warnings of the major and minor prophets. For the Pharisee it is easy: The woman sinned against her husband? Stone her. The Pope kissed the Koran? Throw him out, follow the law. Such is the spirit of the Pharisee, then and now.

The Pharisee is more comfortable with executing judgment than mercy which is considered a complicating factor. He prefers a simple world where one always knows what to do. That makes debating easier; and our modern Pharisee loves to debate. He wakes up in the morning and aims straightway for the computer to either engage the debate or aid his fellows in it. His religion often exists in chat rooms or on email lists where he seeks to draw the first blood. Mercy is like an ‘X’ in the equation of justice and makes the Pharisee uncomfortable. Just the same with love and the kind of religion as described in Isaiah 58 or Matt 5-7. Such concepts complicate their neat rule book (though most of these guys have never been trained in Catholic theology and hermeneutics).

The Pope Kissed the Koran

The Pope kissed the Koran. Our new version Pharisee immediately salivates. He is ready to pounce and add such an indictable emblem to his files. And what does it prove? That the Pope is a secret Muslim maybe? That the Pope doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ maybe? That the Pope is a relativist, perhaps? A syncretist for sure? That all religions are one in the Pope’s mind? The Pope also kisses the ground upon landing in various countries on pastoral visits. A secret pantheist?

The Pope, of course, teaches the very opposite everywhere. The facts are well known, if one would take the time to learn. Yet the Pharisee has a penchant for turning ones eyes from anything that will reveal his opinion to be an absurdity. Even authoritative texts matter little if they can be simply brushed under the rug of bigotry.

Yet facts are stubborn. The gesture of the Pope by no means indicates syncretism, relativism, or anything of the sort. Cynical Integrists simply seek to make hay of it, as they do of everything else. It is the way of the Pharisee. That way they sell their papers to the gullible. They would rather not believe that the kiss was merely a gesture, as one would bow before a king, or a President, or even kiss the Pope’s ring. They would rather put the worst and most absurd construction on it, like with everything else. Had they been there they would have sent the Three Wise Men---heathens---packing; the Roman Centurion whom our Lord helped too (pagan). And the good Samaritan would have been viewed very simply as a dismal heretic. I know rigroist Feeneyites who must first baptise (in their minds) the good thief on the Cross before they will concur with our Lord's pronouncement concerning him. Legalism...

I adduce the following texts, from innumerable others, not for debate, but to show those confused by them that the Pope’s teaching is nothing like the accusations and framing of the Integrists.

For the Holy Father, dialogue does not substitute for evangelism/mission, but is a part of that mission of evangelism, divorced from neither love nor truth.

The emphasis is mine throughout below.

NOSTRA AETATE

2. From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense. Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)

From Redmptoris Missio:

55. Inter-religious dialogue is a part of the Church's evangelizing mission. Understood as a method and means of mutual knowledge and enrichment, dialogue is not in opposition to the mission ad gentes; indeed, it has special links with that mission and is one of its expressions . This mission, in fact, is addressed to those who do not know Christ and his Gospel, and who belong for the most part to other religions. In Christ, God calls all peoples to himself and he wishes to share with them the fullness of his revelation and love. He does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression, even when they contain "gaps, insufficiencies and errors."(98) All of this has been given ample emphasis by the Council and the subsequent Magisterium, without detracting in any way from the fact that salvation comes from Christ and that dialogue does not dispense from evangelization.(99)

In the light of the economy of salvation, the Church sees no conflict between proclaiming Christ and engaging in interreligious dialogue. Instead, she feels the need to link the two in the context of her mission ad gentes . These two elements must maintain both their intimate connection and their distinctiveness ; therefore they should not be confused, manipulated or regarded as identical, as though they were interchangeable

CDF’s Dominus Iesus: See CDF document here

4. The Church's constant missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism, not only de facto but also de iure (or in principle). As a consequence, it is held that certain truths have been superseded; for example, the definitive and complete character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, the nature of Christian faith as compared with that of belief in other religions, the inspired nature of the books of Sacred Scripture, the personal unity between the Eternal Word and Jesus of Nazareth, the unity of the economy of the Incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit, the unicity and salvific universality of the mystery of Jesus Christ, the universal salvific mediation of the Church, the inseparability — while recognizing the distinction — of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ, and the Church, and the subsistence of the one Church of Christ in the Catholic Church.

6. Therefore, the theory of the limited, incomplete, or imperfect character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, which would be complementary to that found in other religions, is contrary to the Church's faith. Such a position would claim to be based on the notion that the truth about God cannot be grasped and manifested in its globality and completeness by any historical religion, neither by Christianity nor by Jesus Christ.

7. ...Thus, theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance.

Most critical to our concern:

8. The hypothesis of the inspired value of the sacred writings of other religions is also put forward. Certainly, it must be recognized that there are some elements in these texts which may be de facto instruments by which countless people throughout the centuries have been and still are able today to nourish and maintain their life-relationship with God. Thus, as noted above, the Second Vatican Council, in considering the customs, precepts, and teachings of the other religions, teaches that “although differing in many ways from her own teaching, these nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men”.23

The Church's tradition, however, reserves the designation of inspired texts to the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, since these are inspired by the Holy Spirit.24 Taking up this tradition, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council states: “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 3:15-16), they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself”.25 These books “firmly, faithfully, and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures”.26

Nevertheless, God, who desires to call all peoples to himself in Christ and to communicate to them the fullness of his revelation and love, “does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals, but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression even when they contain ‘gaps, insufficiencies and errors'”.27 Therefore, the sacred books of other religions, which in actual fact direct and nourish the existence of their followers, receive from the mystery of Christ the elements of goodness and grace which they contain.

It is very clear, then, that neither the Pope nor Vatican II promotes doctrinal relativism, much less syncretism. This is why the neo-modernists consider the Pope a veritable inquisition. They can read. Yet the joyless Integrist can be counted on to always put the worst possible construction on any event or text (even if they usually prefer to simply ignore than compare texts). Thus they alleviate some of their anxiety for airtight security, even if it means fleeing from the vulnerability and suffering of the cross in our time. The Integrist is never so gleeful as when in [the diversion of] debate. Those of us who have known them intimately consider this one of their most striking and constant characteristics. To debate them is to feed their pride. Better to sincerely pray for them often. It is tragic beyond words when truth itself is inconsequential to the act of debating.

The Church, then, rejects nothing which is good, true or holy in other religions, but condemns all syncretistic theology as it did with Frs. Anthony de Mello's and Tissa Balasuriya's writings; see also the CDF's warnings to the bishops of India regarding syncretism and erroneous christologies; also its warnings about eastern meditation, etc.



22 posted on 06/23/2003 6:45:19 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
***The Church, then, rejects nothing which is good, true or holy in other religions***

What is holy, good and true in the Koran? Islam is a road to Hell.

Do you applaud JPII for this action? Or would you prefer he had simply thanked them for the gift without the bow and the kiss?

23 posted on 06/23/2003 6:53:54 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: Salvation
I was trying to explain the problem with citing the CCC to make a point to non-Catholics.
24 posted on 06/23/2003 7:11:26 AM PDT by ACAC
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To: Salvation
I have read the CCC on a few occasions. The woman I married was Catholic, so I read the CC to answer some of my questions. The church we go to is the Lutheran church-Missouri Synod. We do say a profession of faith during every service. I was raised Baptist and we did not do anything like that.
25 posted on 06/23/2003 7:13:39 AM PDT by ACAC
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To: NYer
Thanks for the info regarding the infamous "Koran kiss." My intuition that the Pope kissed the Koran in the same way that he kisses the ground when he visits a country has proven to be pretty much correct. Adding to this explanation the fact that he was confused regarding protocol, the act becomes even easier to understand.
26 posted on 06/23/2003 7:33:04 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Aquinasfan
Kissing the Koran is like kissing the ground in visiting a country?

Kissing the ground honors a country. The parallel with the Koran is a big stretch. I ask you what I asked NYer...

***What is holy, good and true in the Koran? Islam is a road to Hell.***
27 posted on 06/23/2003 7:38:45 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
What is holy, good and true in the Koran? Islam is a road to Hell.

While I do not support radical fundamentalist Muslims, I refuse to judge a race of people who follow their Muslim faith. In all fairness, have you read the Q'uran? Are there NO truths in it whatsoever?

Ecumenism, like politics, begins with acknowledging that which is shared. Vatican Council II, noted this when it wrote ... “although differing in many ways from her own teaching, these nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men”.23

28 posted on 06/23/2003 7:51:20 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
***I refuse to judge a race of people who follow their Muslim faith.***

Is Islam a road to hell or not? Is the gospel contained in the Koran or a false path?

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." -- Galatians 1:8

Accursed not kissed!

***In all fairness, have you read the Q'uran? ***

Yes.
29 posted on 06/23/2003 7:55:33 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: Salvation
**Certainly, through the Bible, Jesus would have let us know if he intended the divided Christianity of today, with its more than 33,000 denominations and its many contradictory teachings on matters on which one's very salvation may well depend.**

Very important statement here. Jesus said, "I am the Way." What He founded was the Catholic Church.

Not 30+ thousand churches!!!!!


Better 30+ thousand churches based on the very words of God, than one united church sinking deeper and deeper into error.

As it is, ... at least one has a choice between truth and error.

30 posted on 06/23/2003 8:18:57 AM PDT by Quester
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To: drstevej
Well, like every country whose ground he kisses, there's probably something good in it. Anyway, like the article says, it was a mistake, a confusion over protocol.

I'm certain that he did not intend to give the impression that he considers the Koran to be on the same level as the Bible.

31 posted on 06/23/2003 8:43:17 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: NYer
I see no particular exclusivity to the claim that any of these reasons would justification for being Catholic. Christian in general, possibly, but Catholic? Why? That said, however....

2. Other than I AM of the Old Testament, no other founder of a religion is comparable to Jesus.

Quite incorrect. Looking aside, for a moment, that it is easily debatable that Jesus founded no religion, the parallels between he and the Buddha are manifold and obvious.

No authoritative spokesperson for any non Christian religion claims that its founder or reformer is comparable to Jesus in the way he manifested the authority of the Creator including his power over death itself.

Claptrap. This is posing the question in a dishonest light from the get-go. No 'authoritative' 'spokesperson'? And what is this based on? How does one know that such a person doesn't make the claim?

3. History affirms the Jesus of the Bible

Surely. But it affirms none of the miracles attributed to him, co-opted from earlier traditions.

32 posted on 06/23/2003 8:45:20 AM PDT by Pahuanui (when A Foolish Man Hears The tao, He Laughs Out Loud.)
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To: NYer
Stephan Hand proves nothing. The Pope indeed says a lot of nice things. He recently issued an encyclical on the Eucharist that once more affirms the dogma of the Church and condemns the liturgical abuses which now abound. The trouble is, the Pontiff doesn't practice what he preaches. It isn't hard to find some of the worst abuses in the Pope's own Masses.

In the same way it isn't hard to see that it's a lyric leap from asserting in his writings that all religions have a kernal of truth, to making a gesture that has shocked the Christian world and been universally interpreted as a sign of affirmation of the Muslim religion. Priests kiss the Bible in the Liturgy because it is the inspired Word of God. How can we not associate the kissing of the Koran with this same theological notion?

Of course a gesture is open to myriad interpretations as Hand says. But the Muslims have surely taken the papal kiss as a further indication of the rightness of their own faith in opposition to our own--and that is offensive to any Christian. It cannot be a pope's intention to confirm others in their own errors--and yet this is exactly what this pope has done.

In any case, what is offensive is the attempt to suggest that criticism of this colossal blunder on the Pope's part is beyond the pale. It is not. The gesture is emblematic of much else--Assisi I and II, the pouring out of libations with animists in the Tojo Sacred Forest, the dancing of Aztecs during a canonization Mass in Mexico, the praying in a synagogue with Jews their prayer for a different messiah. These are some of the disturbing features which characterize this papacy.
33 posted on 06/23/2003 9:06:10 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: Pahuanui
Looking aside, for a moment, that it is easily debatable that Jesus founded no religion, the parallels between he and the Buddha are manifold and obvious.

Really? Did the Buddha claim he was God, was the Buddha's life and death prophesied? Was the Buddha born into royalty ( compared to Jesus' meager upbringing)? The dissimilarities are more obvious. What are the parrallels that should be obvious to me?

34 posted on 06/23/2003 9:23:16 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: NYer
I'm always impressed by Stephen Hand's comprehensive understanding of matters and his ability to articulate them. Not only does he explain the circumstances around the "kiss", but he delves accurately into the minds of those claim to be so shocked and awed. Good post. Thanks.
35 posted on 06/23/2003 9:30:58 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck
Good post. Thanks

Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Hand's article. As is often the case in the forum, the usual dissidents just had to spew their venom. Your comments are appreciated.

36 posted on 06/23/2003 9:57:51 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: Aquinasfan
Is Islam a road to hell or not? Is the gospel contained in the Koran or a false path?

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." -- Galatians 1:8

Accursed not kissed!
37 posted on 06/23/2003 10:19:52 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: St.Chuck
Really? Did the Buddha claim he was God, was the Buddha's life and death prophesied? Was the Buddha born into royalty ( compared to Jesus' meager upbringing)? The dissimilarities are more obvious. What are the parrallels that should be obvious to me?

They are quite striking, actually.

Buddha's birth was prophesied.
He was of royal descent.
He was given gifts at birth.
His birth was signaled by a star.
He was born of a virgin (Maya, considered the 'Queen of Heaven').
Crushed a serpent's head.
Came to fulfill the law.
Performed miracles.
Healed the sick.
Fed a large mass of people from only a small basket of cakes.
Healed the sick.
Was transfigured on a mount (Mindhamma Hill).
Was tempted in isolation by the devil (Mara) and resisted.
Ascended into heaven/nirvana
Many, but certainly not all, traditions have him returning again in the future.

All in all, especially in light of Buddhism predating Christianity by about 500 years and that there were Buddhist missionaries sent by Emporer Asoka in the mediteranean area before the birth of christ, I'd say the similarities are quite interesting.

38 posted on 06/23/2003 10:23:23 AM PDT by Pahuanui (when A Foolish Man Hears The tao, He Laughs Out Loud.)
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To: drstevej
Accursed not kissed!

A good reason to seek out the Church that Christ founded, the "pillar and foundation of truth."

39 posted on 06/23/2003 10:27:15 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: Aquinasfan
Avoidance, grade reduced one letter.

***A good reason to seek out the Church that Christ founded, the "pillar and foundation of truth."***

Maybe if JPII had whipped out a Holy Bible at that ceremopny and planted a wet one on it it might be clearer to a watching world where truth resides.
40 posted on 06/23/2003 10:30:41 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: St.Chuck; NYer; Aquinasfan; ultima ratio; sinkspur; american colleen; Polycarp; Tantumergo; ...
Would you like to see the Pope make this a regular practice? How about a papal Holy Books of the world kissing tour?

Or is this an attempt at rationalizing an embarassing situation.

I have no history of bashing JPII on FR, but this event should not be reationalized. It was a mistake and it's wiser to admit it rather than try to justify it as noble. Popes don't need to be perfect. Why not acknowledge that this was a bad decision and a bad example? And then move on...
41 posted on 06/23/2003 10:37:51 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
Is Islam a road to hell or not? Is the gospel contained in the Koran or a false path?

The truth is not as black or white as the Calvinist would wish it to be. We do not believe Original Sin is death, only disabling. Consequently, other cultures, including that of Islam, are operating at a great deficiency, but they are not dead or totally in the dark.

There can indeed be great "good" done by Muslims, as it can be done by Hindus or athiests.

I realize this conflicts with your Calvinism, but such is the way we view things. One can say the Koran and Islam are false paths to salvation. But one can not say that therefore the Koran contains nothing that is true, and that Muslims have accompished absoutely nothing good and decent in the attempt to follow their faith.

You will respond that all enelected men are entirely dead and that nothing that they do is pleasing to God.

I will note that the Samaritan's actions were pleasing to God, even if his attempts to follow and udnerstand God were less than perfect.

SD

42 posted on 06/23/2003 11:05:01 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: NYer; drstevej; St.Chuck
"As is often the case in the forum, the usual dissidents just had to spew their venom antidote."

It simply amazes me that anyone with a godly, christian faith, firmly rooted in God's Word, that differs from yours is "spewing venom". Many of us have been raised in the RCC and were very "devout" RC's. So why did we come out of her?

God knows why and, it is our duty before God not to shrink back from telling others. You also know why. However, the "fear" of leaving has control of you. It is this very same demon of "fear" that had control of me.

I thank God for truth and reality and deliverance.

43 posted on 06/23/2003 11:06:21 AM PDT by Ex-Wretch
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To: Pahuanui
No the claptrap is what you have just asserted: that history does not affirm Christ's miracles. What rationalists do when they claim this is to reason backwards. Since they believe miracles can't happen, they come to the conclusion the Gospels must lack historical validity. But this contradicts the rules of the historical methods used for determining the historicity of other ancient documents. The Gospels clearly deserve to be judged like these, not according to rules especially devised to deal specifically with them.


44 posted on 06/23/2003 11:06:25 AM PDT by ultima ratio
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To: Pahuanui
Thank you for your reply. The similarities are interesting. I have been reading Huston Smith's account of the Bhudda. He mentions no prophesy fortelling his birth, but does tell of fortunetellers being assembled after his birth.

One unique feature about Jesus was that he was the only person born in this world, not to live, but to die. Anyway, thanks for piquing my interest. I will read on.

45 posted on 06/23/2003 11:10:32 AM PDT by St.Chuck
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To: Ex-Wretch
Many of us have been raised in the RCC and were very "devout" RC's. So why did we come out of her?

I have no idea why you came out.

Can you tell me with which of the 7 steps listed in the above article, you disagree and why?

46 posted on 06/23/2003 11:13:32 AM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: SoothingDave
***The truth is not as black or white as the Calvinist would wish it to be.***

OKie fine. 

Listen to Jesus and Peter then.

John 14:6 [JESUS] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12 [PETER] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Do you believe these passages? This isn't a Calvinist issue, that's a red herring.

***There can indeed be great "good" done by Muslims, as it can be done by Hindus or athiests.***

That was not and is not the point. Atheism, Hinduism, and Islam are paths to eternal destruction. 

***But one can not say that therefore the Koran contains nothing that is true, and that Muslims have accomplished absolutely nothing good and decent in the attempt to follow their faith.***

That again is not the point. The Satanist Bible has some true statements in it. In fact, the essence of deception is to include enough truth to make the error palatable.


47 posted on 06/23/2003 11:21:12 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
Do you believe these passages?

I never said I didn't, did I? I do believe in a merciful God who might forgive invinbile ignorance, so my reading is not quite as literal as most. But in general, yes I agree.

***There can indeed be great "good" done by Muslims, as it can be done by Hindus or athiests.***

That was not and is not the point. Atheism, Hinduism, and Islam are paths to eternal destruction.

Sure, it was the point. If the Pope was showing respect for the good in Islam, this is what it is. If a Calvinist wants to believe there is no good in Islam, then he won't see this.

I can recognize that those religions are paths to destruction without having to individually condemn every single teaching and every single adherent. For example, if I was to believe that all of you Protestants were going to hell, that wouldn't at all lessen my appreciation for the good works you do. When you do good, it is for the glory of God.

But one can not say that therefore the Koran contains nothing that is true, and that Muslims have accomplished absolutely nothing good and decent in the attempt to follow their faith.

That again is not the point. The Satanist Bible has some true statements in it. In fact, the essence of deception is to include enough truth to make the error palatable.

Now we come to it. You have grudgingly admitted that there could be some good contained in the Koran. So we don't have to argue about it.

SD

48 posted on 06/23/2003 11:27:52 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: ultima ratio
No the claptrap is what you have just asserted: that history does not affirm Christ's miracles.

Ah, excellent. I eagerly await your historical sources of proof for walking on water, loaves and fishes, etc.... Please do not utilize self-referential documents, since that would defeat the purpose. Further, please explain with this evidence the extraordinarily close parallels between the biblical accounts and those of Buddhism that predate them by 500 years.

What rationalists do when they claim this is to reason backwards. Since they believe miracles can't happen, they come to the conclusion the Gospels must lack historical validity.

Who is making that claim here? I am asserting nothing either for or against the possibility of miracles. What I stated is that there is no historical evidence for them.

But this contradicts the rules of the historical methods used for determining the historicity of other ancient documents. The Gospels clearly deserve to be judged like these, not according to rules especially devised to deal specifically with them.

You are conflating the Gospels with teh miracles attributed to Christ.

49 posted on 06/23/2003 11:29:25 AM PDT by Pahuanui (when A Foolish Man Hears The tao, He Laughs Out Loud.)
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To: St.Chuck
Thank you for your reply. The similarities are interesting. I have been reading Huston Smith's account of the Bhudda. He mentions no prophesy fortelling his birth, but does tell of fortunetellers being assembled after his birth.

Huston Smith is indeed a good author. For much more exact and intimate details of the Buddha's life, however, you'll have to resort to a much more comprehensive and dedicated work than the sort that Smith usually writes.

One unique feature about Jesus was that he was the only person born in this world, not to live, but to die. Anyway, thanks for piquing my interest. I will read on.

Glad to have posted something you find interesting.

50 posted on 06/23/2003 11:31:59 AM PDT by Pahuanui (when A Foolish Man Hears The tao, He Laughs Out Loud.)
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