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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: Iscool
We've done this before, AND I'll bet we'll do it again.

Difficult as it may be to imagine or believe, a few Catholics have actually heard that verse (since it's read in our worship from time to time.)

And those of us who have spent a little time with Greek think that Μενουν can't bear the freight you are asking it to carry, though it could bear the POSSIBILITY of that interpretation.

I would, myself, paraphrase the logion as "What you should say instead is, 'Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.'" Which is to say, don't use a natural or family relationship with me as a distraction from your call to hear the word of God and keep it.

I did a radio show once on the Immaculate Conception. What I took 15 minutes to say was,"IF you're envious of Mary because of the special Graces she received, you need to remember that God has a special vocation and special graces tailor-made for you and only you."

IN any event nobody has "kept" the Word of God more intimately that Mary, and as soon as Jesus learned to talk, she heard it a lot.

151 posted on 05/03/2008 9:58:11 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Huber

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.


152 posted on 05/03/2008 9:59:43 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Huber
So protestants are abandoning the extra-scriptura tradition of sola scriptura, while some protestants are arguing to maintain the reformation tradition of sola scriptura.

Precisely!
153 posted on 05/03/2008 10:01:11 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: LurkingSince'98
Same thing. (Except for the ones who were still worshipping Thor, Odin, Little Red Man, Reindeer Man and Herb Woman up until the late 1600s, maybe into the middle 1700s).

Do you know the history of your non-Christian ancestors? Do you have any idea why they became Christian? That's the real Apostolic succession ~ that your folks handed down the tradition, and the sourcebook of the moral standards that work out best. Absent that, no amount of church bureaucrats can help.

154 posted on 05/03/2008 10:10:17 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Mad Dawg

Are you just joking, or do you really have red-green colorblindness? I’m curious if my post #15 really does have red font in it or if it’s just a glitch on my end; no offense intended.


155 posted on 05/03/2008 10:10:39 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Mad Dawg

You continue to amaze me.

Honor is due.


156 posted on 05/03/2008 10:12:25 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: suzyjaruki
...the post was about how Catholics emphasize the physical/tangible and how non-Catholic Christians emphasize the spiritual.

That post was wrong.

157 posted on 05/03/2008 10:14:59 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: Campion
Hey, what about all the Baptists I know who dance, smoke, drink and go swimming in public pools with wimmen and men and out at the lake, even with animals?

Regarding Christmas, lots of folks avoid celebration on Christmas Day because, as it turns out, that's a very holy day. The celebrations are done earlier ~ December 5, December 15, December 24, or later, January 6 - 12 maybe (depending on ethnicity and time and place).

Now, have you abandoned that most ancient of customs ~ to make the home a holy place where no vile words are spoken and no evil acts are done?

That's the one that comes before keeping the Sabbath you know ~

If your home is not a place of peace then what is it?

158 posted on 05/03/2008 10:16:36 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: TradicalRC; suzyjaruki; betty boop; Dr. Eckleburg; Mad Dawg; pgyanke; hosepipe; Quix
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.

Indeed. But the point raised and discussed on the other threads is the difference that results from the perspective of the observer - physical or spiritual.

The Gospel of John reveals Jesus as God. The Gospel of Luke reveals Jesus as Man. Both are Truth. It’s not an either/or.

And each Apostle was unique. And each unique one was chosen specifically by Jesus Christ.

The gemstones in the foundation layers of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19-20) are a beautiful metaphor. Each layer of the foundation is named after an Apostle. And each gemstone is a different color.

When light passes through a gemstone, it will appear to have a different color. An emerald would shine green light, a sapphire, blue, a ruby, red, etc.

Likewise when the Light of God shines through us into the world (Sermon on the Mount et al) our own uniqueness will often “color” the Light.

Some saints are so surrendered to God they are like pure diamonds and we hardly notice them at all.

Following the revelation that God is Light (I John 1:5) - I used the metaphor of a seven-faceted diamond (God’s revelation to us) to illustrate the difference in perspective between Catholics and Protestants:

I see the difference between the Catholic and Protestant views as if two people are looking at the same seven-faceted diamond but from different facets.

The one sees images in the diamond - himself, his forebears, saints, etc. - and thus sees that to honor those images is to honor the Light which illuminates them. His emphasis is on the images, the physical. In this case, the physical Apostolic succession by laying on of hands.

The other looks into the diamond and is blinded by Light. He sees no images at all and thus, to him, seeing images in the diamond is to miss the revelation of God altogether. His emphasis is on the Light alone, the Spiritual. In this case, the Spiritual succession, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by the will of God alone.

It is the same diamond and the same Light. As long as the one is aware of analogical knowledge (the picture of a man is not the man, the statue of Christ on the cross is not Christ on the cross) - he will not fall into Spiritual error.

Protestants, for instance, focus on God accomplishing His will through men of His own choosing; Catholics, the submission of the saints to God’s will (e.g. Mary.)

And so on.

I submit that it is a matter of perspective – not either/or. For one to be “right” the other doesn’t have to be “wrong.”

God didn’t make us with a cookie cutter. Nor does He, the master artist, mix all the colors into one on His palette but rather has made a beautiful living masterpiece of all of us.

To God be the glory! I'm heading out now. See y'all later!

159 posted on 05/03/2008 10:22:43 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Iscool

The “rather” does not mean what you claim it to me. You ride on the English word in this way only by divorcing it from the original Greek.


160 posted on 05/03/2008 10:28:19 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: Iscool
We take it as Jesus meant it...

You do not.

It's another parable...

It is not.

161 posted on 05/03/2008 10:29:06 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: Mad Dawg

Yeah, what you said.

;O)


162 posted on 05/03/2008 10:30:12 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
I find validation for my beliefs in the Bible.

Who added the New Testament writings to Sacred Scripture? There is no directive from God or Jesus Christ to do so, nor did it just float down from heaven. By whose authority was this done?
163 posted on 05/03/2008 10:37:52 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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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.

That's inaccurate for several reasons. First, illiteracy was rampant among the general populace. Second, you have Johannes Gutenburg to thank for that more than Martin Luther. Prior to the invention of the printing press, it was virtually impossible to provide a copy of the Bible to the common man at a reasonable cost.
164 posted on 05/03/2008 10:42:29 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: Alamo-Girl
Not only are there different gemstones(crystaline structures) there are different qualitys of gemstones.. That is to say there differnt qualities of crystals.. Even with some gemstones there are various color and tints.. Like Topaz can be clear or in various colors.. As well as other stones.. even diamonds..

Who is to say one color or tint is better than others.. or one stone is better than another.. for they all are unique.. in sometimes subtle ways.. Its all how you look at it.. whether one stone is better quality than another..

God no doubt God sees each "stone" as unique.. and perfect for what they are.. Light refracting or reflecting or even EMITTING stones.. Different kinds of light(infra red, ultraviolet, or even microwaves) cause gemstones to react differently.. basically everyone is a preacher ugh errr.. light emitter..

165 posted on 05/03/2008 10:52:09 AM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Sister, you are one funny bunny.

I’ll pray for you.


166 posted on 05/03/2008 11:30:14 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: Mad Dawg
The doom remark was because I expect strong and unparliamentary resistance to your characterization.

Surprisingly, no one has taken the bait, so far...

167 posted on 05/03/2008 11:41:54 AM PDT by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: muawiyah
Uh, the Cathers did. The Menonites do. The Armenian church does as well as the ancient Christian church in India. Claiming descent from an apostle is a common element in the older model Christian churches. The newer models dispense with finding it a necessity ~ particularly those who claim the special guidance of the Holy Spirit.

It is not mere descent that is being lauded, but the lineage in union with the teaching. Despite being a Bishop and successor of one of the Apostles, no one would claim that Arius and his followers were a legitimate branch of Christianity because there teachings diverged from what had been believed since the beginning.
168 posted on 05/03/2008 11:55:42 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: muawiyah

You do know that Christmas is not Scriptural and based on the traditions of “men?”


169 posted on 05/03/2008 11:57:15 AM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: suzyjaruki

By virtue of God becoming incarnate, the spiritual became tangible. A separation of the two would be a false dichotomy and furthermore a grave misunderstanding of Catholic teaching. The emphasis is not on the physical - the emphasis is on synthesis of the two.


170 posted on 05/03/2008 12:01:14 PM PDT by mike182d ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?")
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To: Petronski

Did I ask you if it frosted your cookies? No.
Did I ask lurking? yes. Wasn’t meant to be collective.

As far as my “previously unforgivable anti-Catholic slur” is concerned, had I said it to anyone else other than you I’d probably feel bad.


171 posted on 05/03/2008 12:11:58 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: LurkingSince'98; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; Lord_Calvinus; 1000 silverlings; Quix; Alamo-Girl; ...
Dr.E: All of God's family is "full of grace."

Lurking: What a pile of post-reformation revisionism. Please quote even one other line where any biblical figure Mary were called "Full of Grace"

Read the Bible. Your answer is there on hundreds of pages.

Do you even know what the "grace of God" is? It is Jesus Christ given to us as a propitiation for our sins. It is Christ within all believing men and women. It is the unmerited gift of God to His family. We are saved by the grace of God within us through the faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth...

And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." -- John 1:14,16

Who has been filled with the grace of God?

Well, the first explicit notation in Scripture says it was Noah...

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." -- Genesis 6:8

On through all the saints of the Old Testament and into the New Testament -- all whom have been given faith in Jesus Christ are filled with the grace of God.

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God...

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" -- Romans 5:1-2,17


"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." -- 1 Corinthians 15:10


172 posted on 05/03/2008 12:17:02 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: Augustinian monk

Meant to ping you to 172.


173 posted on 05/03/2008 12:18:31 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: joseph20

That’s funny - I read the Scripture you posted and didn’t find the Roman Catholic Church mentioned. Did I miss somethin’?


174 posted on 05/03/2008 12:33:23 PM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Invincibly Ignorant

When you said “your tradition” you included all Catholics, since you are speaking about Catholic traditions, not just Lurking’s.


175 posted on 05/03/2008 12:48:09 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: Dr. Eckleburg

None of those say “filled with grace” nor I daresay did they say “Kecharitomene” in the Greek.


176 posted on 05/03/2008 12:53:43 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: suzyjaruki
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.

Beautifully and Scripturally articulated, Suzy.

AMEN!

177 posted on 05/03/2008 12:57:27 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: Invincibly Ignorant
As far as my “previously unforgivable anti-Catholic slur” is concerned, had I said it to anyone else other than you I’d probably feel bad.

In making it plural, you referred to more than just me.

178 posted on 05/03/2008 1:03:20 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: LurkingSince'98

“And the kecharitomene is the past perfect form meaning ALWAYS
full of grace.You cannot have always been full of grace andbe a sinner.”

First, Gabriel said, “ And he came in unto her, and said,
Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee”
- not Hail, full of grace. The word is a perfect participle -
showing she was a recipient of grace ie - “favored”.
And not a bestower of grace. The context also prohibits this.

Eph. 1:6 is the only other use of this word in the NT,
and is there rendered to mean, “made acceptable”.

You do know the difference between grace, holiness and
sinlessness? Mary received grace, but was not sinless
as a human.

They are quite different.

Mary should be exalted and esteemed, as God said.
She should not be worshiped. In fact, no where does
it say she should be prayed to or that she can even
hear a prayer of someone on earth.

In general, Protestants make too little of Mary and
Catholics too much.

best,
ampu


179 posted on 05/03/2008 1:08:06 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Petronski; Dr. Eckleburg
None of those say “filled with grace” nor I daresay did they say “Kecharitomene” in the Greek.

The same Greek construction of Luke 1:28 also occurs in Ephesians 1:6 and Sirach 18:17

verb indicative aorist active 3rd person singular GSN-5467

b'SHEM Yah'shua
180 posted on 05/03/2008 1:18:51 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

GSN-5487 correction


181 posted on 05/03/2008 1:20:34 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: mike182d
Most likely, but the very next generation after Thomas arrived in India was definitely into the "reincarnation" thing.

We can only imagine how other apostles' messages were slightly modified.

182 posted on 05/03/2008 1:21:02 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: XeniaSt

Thank you, but I was pointing out that the examples she cited did not involve “Kecharitomene.”


183 posted on 05/03/2008 1:23:30 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: Petronski; Augustinian monk; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; suzyjaruki; blue-duncan; Lord_Calvinus; ...
None of those say "filled with grace"

Sure they do -- many, many times.

Deny the grace of God in those who are His all you want.

That error could well be what Christ is describing as the "unpardonable sin."

"And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." -- Matthew 12:32

"Danger, Will Robinson."

184 posted on 05/03/2008 1:24:20 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: Dr. Eckleburg
Sure they do -- many, many times.

You cited four passages from Scripture. None of them say "filled with grace."

Deny the grace of God in those who are His all you want.

I did not do that. You bear false witness against me with stunning proficiency.

185 posted on 05/03/2008 1:30:42 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: aMorePerfectUnion
Gabriel said, " And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee" - not Hail, full of grace. The word is a perfect participle - showing she was a recipient of grace ie - "favored".

And not a bestower of grace. The context also prohibits this.

Eph. 1:6 is the only other use of this word in the NT, and is there rendered to mean, "made acceptable".

You do know the difference between grace, holiness and sinlessness? Mary received grace, but was not sinless as a human.

They are quite different.

Amen.

Adding further insult to the young woman God graced to bear the Christ child, the RCC labels Mary as the "Co-Redeemer" and "Dispensatrix of all Grace."

Along with viewing RC priests as "another Christ," that is as close to blasphemy as I've ever read or heard.

186 posted on 05/03/2008 1:31:41 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: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
You didn't find the exact name "Roman Catholic Church". Is that your complaint?

Jesus transferred His authority into Peter and the Church. He gave the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" to Peter and the Church. This is how the Catholic Church derives its authority. It was transferred from Jesus himself.

Or, do you think Jesus really meant to transfer all His authority into Rev. Timothy Lovejoy's First Church of Springfield?

Unlike the multitude of "churches" that have popped into and out of existence across the years, the Catholic Church actually traces its history back to Peter himself.
187 posted on 05/03/2008 1:32:48 PM PDT by joseph20 (...to ourselves and our Posterity...)
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To: XeniaSt
The same Greek construction of Luke 1:28 also occurs in Ephesians 1:6 and Sirach 18:17

verb indicative aorist active 3rd person singular

AMEN!

188 posted on 05/03/2008 1:33:15 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

Are you “filled with grace,” Petronski?


189 posted on 05/03/2008 1:34:28 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: Dr. Eckleburg

The appropriate question is, has an Archangel of the Lord appeared to me and told me that I am full of grace?

No.


190 posted on 05/03/2008 1:36:30 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: joseph20

Similarly, North America existed long before someone decided to call it North America.


191 posted on 05/03/2008 1:38:05 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: Dr. Eckleburg
XS>The same Greek construction of Luke 1:28 also occurs in Ephesians 1:6 and Sirach 18:17

verb indicative aorist active 3rd person singular

AMEN!

It is really lame to try to build theology on the English translation .
b'SHEM Yah'shua

DRA Sirach 18:17 Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a justified man.

192 posted on 05/03/2008 1:39:13 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: joseph20
Jesus transferred His authority into Peter and the Church.

Nope. Jesus maintains all authority over His church, as Paul tells us...

"And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." -- Colossians 1:18

The apostles had no successors for to succeed them one needed to be a witness of Christ's resurrection...

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection." -- Acts 1:21,22


193 posted on 05/03/2008 1:43:35 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

***I know you’ll enjoy reading this.***

I am and thank you for the notification.

***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.***

Shocking that the word of Jesus is, well, true.

***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.***

I think that the truth is, to a certain extent, getting through. And is scaring Reformers who possess grey matter.

***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. ***

May the Name of Jesus be praised.

***But what does this do to sola scriptura? It negates it.***

As does the Bible.

***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? ***

Because the Bible itself repudiates it.

***I urge my fellow evangelicals to seriously consider the consequences of rejecting sola scriptura as the formal principle of our theology.***

You may wind up with eternal salvation with God in Heaven.


194 posted on 05/03/2008 1:45:37 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: XeniaSt
The same Greek construction of Luke 1:28 also occurs in Ephesians 1:6 and Sirach 18:17 verb indicative aorist active 3rd person singular GSN-5467

Luke 1:28 uses the perfect past participle, "Kecharitomene."

195 posted on 05/03/2008 1:46:13 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: Petronski
The word of God tells us it is by the indwelling Holy Spirit that we know we are filled with grace.

So, are you "filled with grace," or not? It's not a trick question.

Any Christian should be able to answer it straight-away.

196 posted on 05/03/2008 1:47:17 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: sean327

***Whatever floats your boat big guy, but the last I checked we are just as much Christians as Baptists or what ever other Protestant denomination you want to name.***

In my ever so humble opinion, we are the Christians. Splitters and quitters don’t get to make the rules or call the shots.


197 posted on 05/03/2008 1:47:33 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Along with viewing RC priests as "another Christ," that is as close to blasphemy as I've ever read or heard.

You continue to use that metaphor as a bludgeon, and in doing so, speak volumes about your intellectual honesty.

198 posted on 05/03/2008 1:48:45 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: Dr. Eckleburg

“The Roman Catholic Church has tangibility”

Why not the Eastern Orthodox....I think they have more tangeability to claim to be “Christ’s Church” than the Vatican does?!


199 posted on 05/03/2008 1:49:22 PM PDT by mdmathis6
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To: MarkBsnr
Because the Bible itself repudiates it.

Where does the Bible "repudiate" sola scriptura?

The word of God repudiates the doctrines of men and the "vain janglings" of tradition.

200 posted on 05/03/2008 1:50:26 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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