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Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome
CIC ^ | April 2008 | Bob DeWaay

Posted on 05/02/2008 2:09:51 PM PDT by Augustinian monk

Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome

The Abandonment of Sola Scriptura as a Formal Principle

By Bob DeWaay

The February 2008 edition of Christianity Today ran a cover story about evangelicals looking to the ancient Roman Catholic Church in order to find beliefs and practices.1 What was shocking about the article was that both the author of the article and the senior managing editor of CT claim that this trip back to Rome is a good thing. Says Mark Galli the editor, “While the ancient church has captivated the evangelical imagination for some time, it hasn’t been until recently that it’s become an accepted fixture of the evangelical landscape. And this is for the good.”2 Chris Armstrong, the author of the article who promotes the trip back to the ancient church, claims that because the movement is led by such persons as “Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and living and practicing monks and nuns,” that therefore, “they are receiving good guidance on this road from wise teachers.” This he claims shows that, “Christ is guiding the process.”3

Apparently, contemporary evangelicals have forgotten that sola scriptura (scripture alone) was the formal principle of the Reformation. Teachings and practices that could not be justified from Scripture were rejected on that principle. To endorse a trip back to these practices of ancient Roman Catholicism is to reject the principle of sola scriptura being the normative authority for the beliefs and practices of the church. In this article I will explore how modern evangelicalism has compromised the principle of sola scriptura and thus paved smoothly the road back to Rome.

New “Reformations” Compromise Sola Scriptura

Today at least three large movements within Protestantism claim to be new “reformations.” If we examine them closely we will find evidence that sola scriptura has been abandoned as a governing principle—if not formally, at least in practice. To have a new reformation requires the repudiation of the old Reformation. That in turn requires the repudiation of the formal principle of the Reformation. That’s where we’ll begin.

Robert Schuller and Rick Warren In 1982, Robert Schuller issued a call for a new Reformation with the publication of his book, Self Esteem: The New Reformation.4 Schuller issued this fervent call: “Without a new theological reformation, the Christian church as the authentic body of Christ may not survive.”5 He was apparently aware that his reformation was of a different type than the original: “Where the sixteenth-century Reformation returned our focus to sacred Scriptures as the only infallible rule for faith and practice, the new reformation will return our focus to the sacred right of every person to self-esteem! The fact is, the church will never succeed until it satisfies the human being’s hunger for self-value.”6 The problem is that Schuller based much of his self-esteem teaching on psychological theory and did not provide a rigorous Biblical defense of the idea. Thus his reformation was a de facto denial of the Reformation principle of Scripture alone.

For example, Schuller criticized the Reformation for a faulty doctrine of sin: “Reformation theology failed to make clear that the core of sin is a lack of self-esteem.”7 But Schuller does not discuss the many verses in the Bible that define sin. For example: “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1John 3:4). It is not hard to see that Schuller’s reformation constituted the abandonment of sola scriptura as a formal principle.8

In one sense, since Schuller’s call for a reformation based on self-esteem was made 26 years ago, one could argue that it never happened. Of course the idea of self-esteem is still around and taught by many evangelicals, but it never became the one key idea of the church. In another sense, however, Schuller’s reformation was broadened and transferred to others. In 2005 Schuller claimed the following as noted alumni of his institute: Bill Hybels, John Maxwell, Bishop Charles Blake, Rick Warren, Walt Kallestad, and Kirbyjon Caldwell. Bill Hybels himself credited Robert Schuller as a key person who influenced his ideas.9 Though Rick Warren disputes Schuller’s influence on his theology, he has carried forward Schuller’s idea of creating a church that meets people’s felt needs and thus attracts them.

But what interests us here is that Warren is now proposing yet another reformation:

And we've actually created what we call clinic-in-a-box, business-in-a-box, church-in-a-box, and we are using normal people, volunteers. When Jesus sent the disciples – this will be my last point – when Jesus sent the disciples into a village he said, “Find the man of peace.” And he said, “When you find the man of peace you start working with that person, and if they respond to you, you work with them. If they don't, you dust the dust off your shoes; you go to the next village.” Who's the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they're open and they're influential? They don't have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they're open and they're influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that's going to bring the second Reformation.10

The problem is that solving the world’s five greatest problems as Warren defines them11 using anyone willing to help regardless of religion, cannot be justified on Biblical grounds. If sola scriptura were the formal principle in Warren’s theology, then he would provide vigorous, Biblical analysis using sound exegesis to ground his reformation on the authority of Scripture. But his teachings and public statements are not characterized by sound Biblical exegesis.

As I documented in my book on the Purpose Driven Movement, Warren’s reformation compromises sola scriptura in many significant ways.12These include the use of loose paraphrases that go so far as to change the meaning of various passages, the integration of unbiblical, human wisdom, serious misinterpretation of Scripture, and an unbiblical philosophy of ministry. Warren has an orthodox statement about the authority of Scripture on his church Web site. In fact, most evangelicals other than those who convert to Roman Catholicism do not overtly reject Scripture alone. But is it practiced?13

There is reason to believe that Warren’s reformation is the continuation of Schuller’s in a modified form. Warren has made finding one’s purpose the lynchpin of his teachings and practices. Finding purpose may not be identical to finding self esteem, but the idea is at least a first cousin. Also, both concepts derive their power from outside Scripture.

C. Peter Wagner

Another proposed reformation of the church is C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation. As I argued in a recent CIC article,14 Wagner sees the presence of apostles who speak authoritatively for God as the key to the church fulfilling her role in the world. He even speaks approvingly of the “apostles” of the Roman Catholic Church. Wagner and the thousands of apostles and prophets in his movement have shown as little regard for sola scriptura as any non Roman Catholic Christian group apart from the Quakers. So their reformation is a de facto repudiation of the Reformation. Their writings and messages show little or no concern for sound, systematic Biblical exegesis. If they were to adopt sola scriptura as a formal principle and rigorously use it to judge their own teachings and practices, their movement would immediately come to an end.

The Emergent Church

The third (if we count Warren’s reformation as a current replacement for Schuller’s) proposed reformation is that of the Emergent Church. In their case sola scriptura dies a thousand deaths. As we saw in the previous issue of CIC, Rob Bell denies it using the same arguments that Roman Catholics have used. The Emergent Church and its postmodern theology is noteworthy for being a non-Catholic version of Christianity that forthrightly assaults the type of use of the Bible that characterizes those who hold sola scriptura as the formal principle of their theology. The Emergent Church adherents reject systematic theology, and thus make using the principle impossible. For example, defending the doctrine of the Trinity using Scripture requires being systematic. I have read many Emergent/postmodern books as I write a new book, and each of them attacks systematic theology in some way.

The Emergent Reformation rests on the denial of the validity of foundationalism. Gone are the days when Christians debated the relative merits of evidential and presuppositional apologetics—debates based on the need for a foundation for one’s theology. Either one started with evidence for the authority of Scripture and then used the Bible as the foundation of one’s theology; or one presupposed the Bible as the inerrant foundation. But today both approaches are mocked for their supposed naïveté. To think that one can know what the Bible means in a non-relativistic way is considered a throwback to now dead “modernity.” The Emergent mantra concerning the Bible is “we cannot know, we cannot know, we cannot know.” Furthermore, in their thinking, it is a sign of arrogance to claim to know. For the postmodern theologian, sola scriptura is as dead and buried as a fossilized relic of bygone days.

So the Protestant (if the term even means anything today) world is characterized by reformations that have either rejected or compromised sola scriptura as the formal principle for their theology. No wonder few voices of concern are raised at Christianity Today’s proposed trip back to Rome to find beliefs and practices. Once sola scriptura has been rejected, there remain few reasons not to go back to Rome. If religious traditions can be considered normative, then why not embrace those with the longest history?

Dallas Willard Leads Us Back to Rome

The cover of the CT article reads, “Lost Secrets of the Ancient Church.” It shows a person with a shovel digging up a Catholic icon. What are these secrets? Besides icons, lectio divina and monasticism are mentioned. Dallas Willard, who is mentioned as a reliable guide for this process, has long directed Christians to monastic practices that he himself admits are not taught in the Bible.15 Willard pioneered the rejection of sola scriptura in practice on the grounds that churches following it are failures. He writes, “All pleasing and doctrinally sound schemes of Christian education, church growth, and spiritual renewal came around at last to this disappointing result. But whose fault was this failure?”16 The “failure,” according to Willard is that, “. . . the gospel preached and the instruction and example given these faithful ones simply do not do justice to the nature of human personality, as embodied, incarnate.”17 So what does this mean? It means that we have failed because our gospel had too little to do with our bodies.

The remedy for “failure” says Willard is to find practices in church history that are proven to work. But are these practices taught in the Bible? Willard admits that they are not by using an argument from silence, based on the phrase “exercise unto godliness” in 1Timothy 4:7. Here is Willard’s interpretation:

“Or [the possibility the phrase was imprecise] does it indicate a precise course of action he [Paul] understood in definite terms, carefully followed himself, and called others to share? Of course it was the latter. So obviously so, for him and the readers of his own day, that he would feel no need to write a book on the disciplines of the spiritual life that explained systematically what he had in mind.”18

But what does this do to sola scriptura? It negates it. In Willard’s theology, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Biblical writers, forgot to inspire them to write about spiritual disciplines that all Christians need. If this is the case, then we need spiritual practices that were never prescribed in the Bible to obtain godliness.

Having determined the insufficiency of Scripture, Willard looks to human potential through tapping into spiritual powers: “It is the amazing extent of our ability to utilize power outside ourselves that we must consider when we ask what the human being is. The limits of our power to transcend ourselves utilizing powers not located in us—including of course, the spiritual—are yet to be fully known.”19 So evidently our spirituality is to be discovered by various means that are not revealed by God in the Bible.

If the Bible is insufficient in regard to the spiritual practices that we need in order to become sanctified, where do we find them? Here is Willard’s solution: “Practicing a range of activities that have proven track records across the centuries will keep us from erring.”20 This, of course leads us back to Rome. Catholic mystics spent centuries experimenting with spiritual practices without regard to the Biblical justification for such practices. If evangelicals are going to join them in rejecting Scripture alone, AGAIN they might as well not reinvent the wheel—go to the masters of mystical asceticism.

Willard admires the monastics and suggests that solitude is one of the most important disciplines. He says, “This factual priority of solitude is, I believe, a sound element in monastic asceticism. Locked into interaction with the human beings that make up our fallen world, it is all but impossible to grow in grace as one should.”21 If it is impossible to grow in grace without solitude, why are we not informed of this fact by the Biblical writers? In Willard’s mind sola scriptura is a false idea, so therefore God failed to reveal to us the most important way to grow in grace! Willard says that solitude is most important even while admitting that it is dangerous:

But solitude, like all the disciplines of the spirit, carries its risks. In solitude, we confront our own soul with its obscure forces and conflicts that escape our attention when we are interacting with others. Thus, [quoting Louis Bouyer] “Solitude is a terrible trial, for it serves to crack open and bust apart the shell of our superficial securities. It opens out to us the unknown abyss that we all carry within us . . . and discloses the fact that these abysses are haunted.”22

This danger was shown by the early desert fathers, some of whom came under demonic torment in their solitude. Before following people whose practices are dangerous and not prescribed in the Bible, wouldn’t we be better off sticking to the safe ground of revealed truth?

Spirituality for the Unconverted

The fact is that the various ancient practices of the Roman Catholic Church were and are not unique to Christianity. The meditative techniques that make people feel closer to God work for those who do not even know God. Thomas Merton (who is recommended by Dallas Willard) went to the East to find spiritual practices. They work just as well for those who do not know Christ, probably better. Many ancient Roman Catholic practices were invented at times when many illiterate pagans were ushered into the church, sometimes at the point of a sword. Those pagans were not exactly the type to search the Scriptures daily in order to find the things of God.

But why are literate American Christians running away from sola scriptura at a time when searching the Scriptures (especially using computer technology) has never been easier? On this point I am offering my opinion, but there is good evidence for it. I believe that the lack of gospel preaching has allowed churches to fill up with the unregenerate. The unregenerate are not like “newborn babes who long for the pure milk of the word” (1Peter 2:2). Those who have never received saving grace cannot grow by the means of grace. Those who are unconverted have not drawn near to God through the blood of Christ. But with mysticism, it is possible to feel near to God when one is far from Him. Furthermore, the unconverted have no means of sanctification because they do not have the imputed righteousness of Christ as their starting point and eternal standing. So they end up looking for man-made processes to engineer change through human works because they have nothing else.

Those who feel empty because of the “pragmatic promises of the church-growth movement” as the CT article calls them, may need something far more fundamental than ancient, Catholic, ascetic practices. They may very well need to repent and believe the gospel. Those who are born of the Spirit will find that this passage is true: “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2Peter 1:3).

Conclusion

Perhaps the best antidote to rejecting sola scriptura and going back to Rome would be a careful study of the Book of Hebrews. It describes a situation that is analogous to that which evangelicals face today. The Hebrew Christians were considering going back to temple Judaism. Their reasons can be discerned by the admonitions and warnings in Hebrews. The key problem for them was the tangibility of the temple system, and the invisibility of the Christian faith. Just about everything that was offered to them by Christianity was invisible: the High Priest in heaven, the tabernacle in heaven, the once for all shed blood, and the throne of grace. At the end of Hebrews, the author of Hebrews points out that they have come to something better than mount Sinai: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). All of these things are invisible.

But the life of faith does not require tangible visibility: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The Roman Catholic Church has tangibility that is unmatched by the evangelical faith, just as temple Judaism had. Why have faith in the once-for-all shed blood of Christ that is unseen when you can have real blood (that of the animals for temple Judaism and the Eucharistic Christ of Catholicism)? Why have the scriptures of the Biblical apostles and prophets who are now in heaven when you can have a real, live apostle and his teaching Magisterium who can continue to speak for God? The similarities to the situation described in Hebrews are striking. Why have only the Scriptures and the other means of grace when the Roman Church has everything from icons to relics to cathedrals to holy water and so many other tangible religious articles and experiences?

I urge my fellow evangelicals to seriously consider the consequences of rejecting sola scriptura as the formal principle of our theology. If my Hebrews analogy is correct, such a rejection is tantamount to apostasy.

Issue 105 - March / April 2008

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End Notes

Chris Armstong, “The Future lies in the Past” in Christianity Today, February 2008. I wrote a critique of Armstrong’s article here: http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3174/Bob_DeWaay Mark Galli, “Ancient-Future People” in Christianity Today February 2008, 7. Armstrong, 24. Robert H. Schuller, Self Esteem The New Reformation, (Waco: Word, 1982). Ibid. 25. Ibid. 38. Ibid. 98. I wrote an article some years ago about Schuller’s self-esteem reformation: Robert Schuller, Your Church as a Fantastic Future, (Ventura: Regal Books, 1986) On pages 227, 228 Hybels testifies of Schuller’s influence. http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=80 page 16. [Accessed 8/27/2005] The five are spiritual darkness, lack of servant leaders, poverty, disease, and ignorance. Bob DeWaay, Redefining Christianity—Understanding the Purpose Driven Movement, (21st Century Press: Springfield, MO, 2006). My claim is that sola scriptura no longer serves as the formal principle of their theology in practice. This is seen whenever important religious claims (such as the need for a reformation) are not accompanied by rigorous, systematic, Biblical exegesis on the topic at hand. I say that because by implication, Scripture alone means that beliefs and practices are normative if—and only if—they can be shown to be Biblical. Binding and loosing have to be in accordance with the teachings of Christ and His apostles. Warren’s practice belies his statement of faith.

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue103.htm I critique Dallas Willard’s theology as taught in his popular book The Spirit of the Disciplines in CIC Issue 91: http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue91.htm Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, Understanding How God Changes Lives, (HarperCollins: New York, 1991). 18. Ibid. emphasis his. Ibid. 95. Ibid. 62. Ibid. 158. Ibid. 162. Ibid. 161.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; evangelicals; rome
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
The RCC adds burdens on people, claiming they are from God.

You mean like Baptists who condemn dancing, smoking, social drinking, and mixed-sex swimming?

Those burdens would, of course, be directly revealed by God in the clear words of Scripture, right? Maybe in the First Letter of Paul to the Confusions, around chapter 4?

Protestants haven't a leg to stand on when it comes to adding burdens on people; they do it all the time and have for centuries. Ask the Puritans about all the freedom they'll give you to celebrate Christmas.

101 posted on 05/02/2008 8:24:16 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Petronski
I didn't know you'd been let back after your previous unforgivable anti-Catholic slur.

Of course.

Catholics thank God for the profound gifts of the Old Testament.

Nice. Wasn't my point however.

102 posted on 05/02/2008 8:29:17 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: LurkingSince'98
During the latter half of the first half of the Dark Ages the true Christian spirit was maintained by the monks working out of Ireland, not Rome (in the West); and the East continued on under the tutelage of several different Orthodox organizations.

You guys are always trying to make out that Rome was in top form when the rest of the Western Empire was prostrate ~ but it wasn't.

103 posted on 05/02/2008 8:34:40 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: LurkingSince'98
BTW, the best extant contemporary texts of materials that've made it into the Bible were discovered a few years back in the ancient drived out remains at the bottom of what had been a public toilet in Egypt.

You going to claim that as one of the secret libraries kept by the church?

104 posted on 05/02/2008 8:36:19 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: LurkingSince'98
BTW, my particular "splinter" differs from yours in only a couple of items ~ you have a Pope, and you have a church hierarchy.

Otherwise it's pretty much the same thing.

You folks should learn to "do church" without the assistance of the specialists. Time to grow up, stand up and move on.

105 posted on 05/02/2008 8:39:12 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Very engaging insights! Thank you so much for the ping, dear sister in Christ!
106 posted on 05/02/2008 8:40:19 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Invincibly Ignorant
Wasn't my point however.

You claimed Catholic resentment for the preservation of the OT by Jews.

That was your point and your claim is false.

107 posted on 05/02/2008 8:43:16 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: Augustinian monk

In Christ alone my hope is found.
Not by organizations founded by man.

Those organizations should only exist to bring us to the feet of Christ.
If they attempt to do any more, then they have circled back and are no better than the Pharisees and others that Jesus condemned.


108 posted on 05/02/2008 8:45:27 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland ("We have to drain the swamp" George Bush, September 2001)
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To: Petronski
You claimed Catholic resentment for the preservation of the OT by Jews. That was your point and your claim is false.

What the hell thread you readin'? I was speaking to an individual. Dang dude, I may have to rethink naming myself ignorant.

109 posted on 05/02/2008 8:46:31 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Augustinian monk
Aren't you ever struck by the obvious contradiction in Protestants, on the one hand, asserting that the Scriptures are clear and perspicuous to every believer; and, on the other, denouncing, not only Rome, but each other as heretics and apostates ... as this article itself does????

This has been a built-in, Mack truck-sized hole in your theology and ecclesiology from the very beginning. It's not a new thing, and it didn't start with Robert Schuller and Rick Warren.

It started with Martin Luther, or even before him. Luther insisted that he had every right to call the Pope antiChrist and decide for himself what Scripture meant, but before his death, he bitterly complained that every milkmaid was now claiming the same right that he had claimed previously! (Of course, to justify himself and his rebellion, he had already had to claim for the milkmaid precisely the right he now expected her not to exercise.)

Protestants who are coming to Rome because they've thought things through carefully often enough are coming because they see the same glaring illogic that bothered Luther.

The only resolution possible within the Protestant framework is to either set up a de facto Pope (either one's denomination, or one's minister, or one's self), or to simply walk away from the idea that truth is objectively knowable.

The first one just pushes the contradiction a bit further away, it doesn't really solve it.

The second one ultimately destroys any semblance of Christian faith. And it's going down that road that has destroyed any number of mainline Protestant denominations, and will continue to do so. It isn't crypto-Catholicism, nor is it really a repudiation of the reformation. It's following reformation ecclesiology to its logical and self-destructive end.

110 posted on 05/02/2008 8:49:49 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Augustinian monk
the new reformation will return our focus to the sacred right of every person to self-esteem!

AM I allowed to puke now?A pious and well-informed Calvinist believes that God, the source of the only values that matter, values him as worth the blood of Christ. He knows that this valuation does not depend on his works, but on the unmerited but unshakable love of God Almighty.

In this knowledge he is free, as few on earth are (but I would include catholics among the free) to see his sinfulness with clear and unfrightened vision, because what really matters, his "being right with God" is not affected by his sinfulness.

Consequently, as far as theology is concerned he is (a)ABLE to do what, in the human sphere can be done to sin less often and to live into deeper holiness;
(b)UNAFRAID, and also not compulsive or panicky about taking (after the flesh) responsibility for his actions; and
(c) Eager, because of the always astounding and wonderful love of God which can only call forth gratitude from his heart, to be as good a person as he can be.

I have my difference with Calvinists, but, by heaven, if some bozo says that Calvinism needs to be abandoned for something else for the reason that it doesn't support psychological health, I will go to bat for the Calvinists.

That kind of remark gets my dander up.

Newsflash: no one has a "RIGHT" to self-esteem>

'Nother newsflash: If you believe that God loves you enough to die for you and that His love is strong enough to be raised from death, you don't need no feelthy, steenkin' "right". You HAVE it, and no one can take it from you.

Dawg the Papist, comin' out swingin' for the Calvinists.

111 posted on 05/02/2008 8:51:33 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: FourtySeven

(Sometimes being red-green colorblind is a good thing. What red font?)


112 posted on 05/02/2008 8:55:24 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: fwdude
If the early, primitive Church was complete and equipped with all it needed, all additions are superfluous dross.

An acorn is complete and equipped with all it needs. And what an acorn does with all that "equipment" is grow into an oak "and birds nest in its branches".

I'm not pretending this is some devastating refutation. (I'm dumb, but not THAT dumb.) I'm suggesting a different understanding of "complete"

113 posted on 05/02/2008 9:03:12 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Great points.

Thanks.


114 posted on 05/02/2008 9:12:17 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: mike182d; Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Nothing that leads one closer to God is a burden.

We Papists are so vicious. We serve banquets, but insist that people eat. We serve the purest water and the richest wine, and then severely require people to drink.

The ancient offer stands: grain and water, milk, bread and wine, at no cost. But then we cruelly ask that people eat and drink. What sadists we are!

115 posted on 05/02/2008 9:12:17 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Huber
Cute. Good work.

This thread was doomed from the start.

116 posted on 05/02/2008 9:13:06 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: muawiyah

The difference is: We have been eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His Blood as He commanded consecrated by the same priests ordained by the same bishops in the same manner for the last two thousand years.

What has your spinter been doing for the last two millenium.


117 posted on 05/02/2008 9:26:33 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: LurkingSince'98

What’s a “spinter”?


118 posted on 05/02/2008 9:36:25 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: Invincibly Ignorant
lol.

I love frosted cookies. Twice the fun.

119 posted on 05/02/2008 9:47:12 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: fwdude

Thank you for your comment about the primitive church. I think it is a middle ground between sola scriptura and the extravagances of the Catholic Church. But, as you may know, striving to imitate the primitive church has produced a lot of strife and division, as well. As a guiding principle, though, I think it is a worthwhile effort to find the nucleus of faith and practice of the contemporaries of the Apostles.


120 posted on 05/02/2008 9:48:18 PM PDT by Chaguito
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To: BnBlFlag

sorry spinter = splinter


121 posted on 05/02/2008 9:50:45 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: LurkingSince'98; fishtank
All of God's family is "full of grace."

And everyone of them, including Mary, was and is a sinner in need of a Savior.

When the multitude informed Christ His mother had arrived, Jesus corrected them...

"There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." -- Mark 3:31-35

And this story is so important three of the four Gospels mention it exactly as written here...for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

122 posted on 05/02/2008 9:56:45 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: LurkingSince'98
We have been eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His Blood as He commanded consecrated by the same priests ordained by the same bishops in the same manner for the last two thousand years.

Yes, the RCC has been "doing it" wrong for a long, long time.

123 posted on 05/02/2008 9:57:59 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

Cute cartoon, and your a Rummy fan. I love you.


124 posted on 05/02/2008 10:16:54 PM PDT by baa39
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To: Campion
Protestants who are coming to Rome because they've thought things through carefully often enough are coming because they see the same glaring illogic that bothered Luther.

Not to mention the barrenness of using theater as a cheap imitation for the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of congregants.

125 posted on 05/02/2008 10:23:24 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
All of God's family is "full of grace."

Only one was saluted by an archangel with that title.

126 posted on 05/02/2008 10:36:23 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Campion
God decided that Christ would be born of a woman.

From that simple fact the RCC extrapolates so much foolishness. The RCC didn't even declare Mary's supposed "assumption" until a century ago.

The idolatrous adornment of Mary continues to snowball beyond redemption to where she is now tagged as the "co-redeemer" and "dispensatrix of all grace."

There must be Catholics on this planet who recoil from those titles just as much as Protestants do. They need to speak up. Better yet, they can just leave the errors behind.

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them." -- Mark 6:11

127 posted on 05/02/2008 10:53:14 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Petronski

The monk you are referring to is Martin Luther. I thank God for courageous and godly Christian men like him. If it weren’t for people like Martin Luther, I would not have copies of the Bible in English. I would not be able to read and study the Bible for myself. i would have to depend on the clergy to interpret it for me. I would not like that.


128 posted on 05/03/2008 12:09:28 AM PDT by kevinw
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To: mike182d

I find validation for my beliefs in the Bible.


129 posted on 05/03/2008 12:11:56 AM PDT by kevinw
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

How do you personally obey Christ’s unambiguous command to “Eat my flesh and Drink My Blood”??

and how can you have “life within you” when you don’t??

It is a definite, direct command of Christ, if your take the bible literally how can you duck that directive??

You guys have missed the boat.

Lurking’


130 posted on 05/03/2008 5:50:34 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

How do you personally obey Christ’s unambiguous command to “Eat my flesh and Drink My Blood”??

and how can you have “life within you” when you don’t??

It is a definite, direct command of Christ, if your take the bible literally how can you duck that directive??

You guys have missed the boat.

Lurking’


131 posted on 05/03/2008 5:50:35 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

All of God’s family is “full of grace.”

What a pile of post-reformation revisionism.

Please quote even one other line where any biblical figure Mary were called “Full of Grace”, let alone by an angel.

Lurking’


132 posted on 05/03/2008 5:54:00 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Catholics=John 6:53-58 Everyone else=John 6:60-66)
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To: Invincibly Ignorant
What the hell thread you readin'?

Must really frost your cookies that Jews preserved 2/3rd's of your writings 1500 years before your tradition existed. --You, post 97.

133 posted on 05/03/2008 6:14:06 AM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: kevinw
If it weren’t for people like Martin Luther, I would not have copies of the Bible in English.

You really believe that. Amazing.

134 posted on 05/03/2008 6:15:24 AM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: Mad Dawg; NYer; narses; Augustinian monk; Gamecock

Well isn’t the author fundamentally suggesting that sola scriptura is part of the magesterium of protestantism?


135 posted on 05/03/2008 6:15:57 AM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: mike182d
"Which man founded the Catholic Church?"

Mathew 16:18-19:

18 "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."

19 "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The Word, straight from Jesus himself.
136 posted on 05/03/2008 6:41:48 AM PDT by joseph20 (...to ourselves and our Posterity...)
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To: Augustinian monk

The article is rather ridiculous.


137 posted on 05/03/2008 7:08:21 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Alamo-Girl
But the life of faith does not require tangible visibility

Thanks for the ping to this article. For a short while this morning, I looked for an excellent post made by Alamo Girl on another thread--now 5,000+ posts long. I could not find it, but I remember that the post was about how Catholics emphasize the physical/tangible and how non-Catholic Christians emphasize the spiritual.

In a society that needs constant sensual stimulation, is it any wonder that people would desire physical/tangible in worship? God knows the difficulty of loving an unseen spiritual being. In fact, we cannot love him unless he first loves us. And after that first love, we need the Holy Spirit to work in us through his word that we may continue to love what only can be seen by faith.

138 posted on 05/03/2008 7:10:18 AM PDT by suzyjaruki (Why?)
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To: Augustinian monk

I figured when a lot of protestant denoms started accepting homosexuality and birth control that Scripture was being left behind and a more worldly philosophy was being embraced.


139 posted on 05/03/2008 7:26:17 AM PDT by TradicalRC ("...just not yet.")
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To: suzyjaruki
Thank you oh so very much for sharing your insights, dear suzyjaruki!

Is this post 1345 the one you were seeking?

140 posted on 05/03/2008 7:33:21 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: CaspersGh0sts
I also tend to refer to anyone not Catholic or Orthodox as a Protestant by default.

With few exceptions, that is generally correct. You will however, find Copts in Egypt, Mormons in America and Protestants who are trying to distance themselves from protestantism by merely calling themselves "Christians".

The assumption used to be that it was understood that everyone was Christian and that the distinction was in the denomination.

Now, all the denominations should call themselves Christian so then the follow-up question can be; what kind of Christian are you?

141 posted on 05/03/2008 7:45:03 AM PDT by TradicalRC ("...just not yet.")
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To: suzyjaruki
I found another place whether we were discussing the difference in perspective. Perhaps this one is it?
142 posted on 05/03/2008 8:20:12 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Campion
All of God's family is "full of grace."

Only one was saluted by an archangel with that title.

Luk 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

But all of us Christians were given that title by Jesus, Himself...

If your're a Christian, you're more blessed than Mary...

143 posted on 05/03/2008 8:22:50 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
Add not to God's words does not mean God's words only???

Does that apply before or after the Church added the Gospels, Pauline epistles and other letters to the existing Sacred Scripture?

There was no directive by God for them to do so...
144 posted on 05/03/2008 8:33:26 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: LurkingSince'98
How do you personally obey Christ’s unambiguous command to “Eat my flesh and Drink My Blood”??

We take it as Jesus meant it...It's another parable...

That's the way Jesus talked to the believers when unbelievers were around...Says so Himself...

and how can you have “life within you” when you don’t??

Because we believe what happened to Cornelius...He believed and was filled with the Holy Spirit...

It is a definite, direct command of Christ, if your take the bible literally how can you duck that directive??

You guys have missed the boat.

We have missed YOUR boat...We don't want on your boat...

We may have missed your boat but you missed the rest of the scripture...

You ignore the rest of the scritpure in the entire chapter of John 6...

Here's an example:

Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Be careful...Yer boat's got a lot of holes in it...

145 posted on 05/03/2008 8:36:02 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: e.Shubee
I have no problem understanding God’s word and I don’t need the pope to think for me.

And therein lies the real issue.

Every Christian tradition has an infallible interpreter of God's word. It's either the Bishop of Rome, or yourself. Simply denying the authority of the Pope doesn't remove the office of the papacy. It merely puts you in its chair.
146 posted on 05/03/2008 8:36:14 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: mike182d

Very well stated.


147 posted on 05/03/2008 8:36:56 AM PDT by tioga
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To: suzyjaruki
I remember that the post was about how Catholics emphasize the physical/tangible and how non-Catholic Christians emphasize the spiritual.

In a society that needs constant sensual stimulation, is it any wonder that people would desire physical/tangible in worship? God knows the difficulty of loving an unseen spiritual being.

Isn't it funny that God bothered to become incarnate and live in the flesh among us? It's just so terribly physical/tangible of Him.

148 posted on 05/03/2008 8:38:46 AM PDT by TradicalRC ("...just not yet.")
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To: BnBlFlag
What’s a “spinter”?

My understanding is that as we get older we risk the loss of spinter control.

149 posted on 05/03/2008 9:39:55 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
I think you got it exactly right AND you expressed it elegantly (which is what I meant by "cute" -- sorry if I sounded sarcastic.)

The doom remark was because I expect strong and unparliamentary resistance to your characterization.

150 posted on 05/03/2008 9:40:03 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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