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The End of Protestantism :(non-Catholic Author)
FirstThings.com ^ | Nov 8, 2013 | Peter J. Leithart

Posted on 11/07/2013 10:07:49 PM PST by RBStealth

The Reformation isn’t over. But Protestantism is, or should be.

When I studied at Cambridge, I discovered that English Evangelicals define themselves over against the Church of England. Whatever the C of E is, they ain’t. What I’m calling “Protestantism” does the same with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can.

Mainline churches are nearly bereft of “Protestants.” If you want to spot one these days, your best bet is to visit the local Baptist or Bible church, though you can find plenty of Protestants among conservative Presbyterians too.

Protestantism ought to give way to Reformational catholicism. Like a Protestant, a Reformational catholic rejects papal claims, refuses to venerate the Host, and doesn’t pray to Mary or the saints; he insists that salvation is a sheer gift of God received by faith and confesses that all tradition must be judged by Scripture, the Spirit’s voice in the conversation that is the Church.

(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian
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Peter J. Leithart(Author) is on the pastoral staff of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho, and senior fellow of theology and literature at New St. Andrews College.

Some Protestants don’t view Roman Catholics as Christians, and won’t acknowledge the Roman Catholic Church as a true church. A Reformational Catholic regards Catholics as brothers, and regrets the need to modify that brotherhood as “separated.” To a Reformational Catholic, it’s blindingly obvious that there’s a billion-member Church of Jesus Christ centered in Rome. Because it regards the Roman Catholic Church as barely Christian, Protestantism leaves Roman Catholicism to its own devices. “They” had a pedophilia scandal, and “they” have a controversial pope. A Reformational Catholic recognizes that turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church is turmoil in his own family.

1 posted on 11/07/2013 10:07:49 PM PST by RBStealth
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To: RBStealth

Seems a bit poorly thought out to me. Protestants don’t just look at the Catholics and do the opposite, that is just ludicrous. Protestants still have plenty of customs that are Catholic in origin, but they have abandoned the ones they don’t view as biblically sound. At this point, there are plenty of Protestants who don’t even know what a lot of the Catholic customs are, because they aren’t paying much attention.

As for “reformed Catholics”, this seems like more of a theoretical construct the author wishes existed, rather than a real thing. Catholics certainly don’t view any Protestants as “catholic”, reformed or otherwise. Opinion on the Protestant side about how to view the Catholic church is divided, but generally, they don’t view any denomination as “catholic”. Instead, membership in the universal church is held to be an individual matter, not a corporate one.


2 posted on 11/07/2013 10:23:15 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: RBStealth

“To a Reformational Catholic, it’s blindingly obvious that there’s a billion-member Church of Jesus Christ centered in Rome. “


Depends. If they trust in their own righteousness to be saved, and think that they are earning or keeping salvation based on their obedience, then they are damned, since they do not trust in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. By Grace alone, by faith alone, by Christ alone, for God’s glory alone, are not negotiable doctrines for Reformed Christians, and whoever does not hold to them isn’t Reformed at all, even if they try to bastardize the term by adding “Catholic” next to it. And so, whoever does not hold to them, is certainly in profound danger. If they despair of themselves and trust in Christ for the full work of their salvation, the imputation of His righteousness (not their own) being placed upon them, then they do well, even with all their flaky doctrines, even if they themselves do not understand all the thelogical jargon which they are unaware of.

Though I do notice that, most of the time, God pulls people out of these organizations, and I would be suspect of a person’s salvation who does not eventually leave these groups, whether the RCC, or Seventh Day Adventists, etc.

All Christians need to seriously examine their own faith, to see whether or not they are IN the faith to begin with. This means studying the Holy Scriptures, and not remaining slack in their responsibilities. But I have confident that all whom the Father has given to the Son will surely come to the Son, one way or the other.


3 posted on 11/07/2013 10:31:44 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: RBStealth

“I discovered that English Evangelicals define themselves over against the Church of England. Whatever the C of E is, they ain’t. What I’m calling “Protestantism” does the same with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can.”

Maybe that’s how it is in England. But in the US, most protestants and evangelicals I know don’t spend much time at all thinking about the Catholic church. When it comes up, I and virtually every protestant I know think of Catholics as our brothers in Christ, despite doctrinal differences. Personally, I feel much, much more kinship with Catholics than I do with the secular world.


5 posted on 11/07/2013 10:51:25 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: RBStealth

he obviously overlooks traditional conservative denominations.

oh well. i supose it wouldn’t have fit the story he desired to write.


6 posted on 11/07/2013 10:56:05 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Boogieman; RBStealth
. Protestants don’t just look at the Catholics and do the opposite, that is just ludicrous.

Well,the author errs by making a blanket statement not all "Protestants" (whatever that term defines) are like that, however, some are -- and I know a couple personally who did that (now they are back to The Church)

you are correct that there are many non-Catholics who don't know anything about the Church, but among those are many who have perceived (wrong) ideas.

7 posted on 11/07/2013 11:26:42 PM PST by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: Boogieman
Catholics certainly don’t view any Protestants as “catholic”, reformed or otherwise.

A blanket statement errs. I view Lutherans as close to us in catholicity (I prefer the term orthodoxy)

For other denominations, it depends on specifically which sub-denomination we are talking abotu

8 posted on 11/07/2013 11:28:23 PM PST by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: ModelBreaker

I’m gratified to hear that you personally feel the kinship. But it’s strange though that the author is ,i>Peter J. Leithart is on the pastoral staff of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho, and senior fellow of theology and literature at New St. Andrews College</i>


9 posted on 11/07/2013 11:31:10 PM PST by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: F15Eagle
Depends on the person. Some of the most fervent and holiest people I knew were simple illiterate folks who just heard the Word of God and believed. They truly and completely believed and gave their complete and utter trust in God, Jesus Christ.

others require more.

This is different for different people -- but Jesus opens His hands for all

10 posted on 11/07/2013 11:35:50 PM PST by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: ModelBreaker

“Personally, I feel much, much more kinship with Catholics than I do with the secular world.”

Agreed, and it’s because there isn’t the history of sectarian violence in this country that beset Europe for hundreds of years. The pilgrims that left England to come here fled persecution from the Church of England, not the Roman Catholic church.


11 posted on 11/07/2013 11:39:23 PM PST by Stingray (Stand for the truth or you'll fall for anything.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Cronos

“I view Lutherans as close to us in catholicity (I prefer the term orthodoxy)”

The official view is something like “well, they’re pretty close”, but they aren’t considered Catholic by any stretch of the imagination. The liturgy is deemed similar enough, but if you were to go up and take the Lord’s Supper in a Lutheran church, your church would view that as illicit. Nor is a Catholic priest allowed to serve communion to a Lutheran in a Catholic church. So, clearly, you can’t really view them as true brethren, if you can’t share the most basic expression of Christian unity.

As for your personal view, what does that matter? Catholicism is a rigidly dogmatic sect. If your personal opinion differs from the church, then you yourself are voicing unorthodoxy, and so you can’t speak for Catholics if that is the case.


13 posted on 11/08/2013 12:08:08 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
“To a Reformational Catholic, it’s blindingly obvious that there’s a billion-member Church of Jesus Christ centered in Rome. “

1/6th of the world's population as Christian? I don't think so.

14 posted on 11/08/2013 12:19:49 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: RBStealth

A matter of semantics I think. Obviously protest-ants are “protesting” against Catholicism, but that kind of anti-catholiticism has been on the decline for centuries - after all the behaviors of the Catholic Church that inspired it have also sharply declined (thank goodness).


15 posted on 11/08/2013 12:27:17 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: ModelBreaker

I’m English and I live in England and it certainly isnt how it is. My experience (and thoughts on the matter) are exactly the same as yours.


16 posted on 11/08/2013 12:29:20 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: RBStealth

At this point in life I would be worried if I stopped being criticized.

Like: Err-Hrr?


17 posted on 11/08/2013 1:15:18 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
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To: Cronos

Among the Baptists I’ve met, I’ve never encountered anyone who gave significant thought to Catholic theology, unless they had a Catholic neighbor or coworker. In 40 years of listening to sermons, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Catholic Church mentioned. It may have been at some point somewhere, but it certainly was NEVER the subject of a sermon. I’ve never heard it mentioned in doctrinal discussions.

In terms of what to believe, the discussion always centers on “What does the Bible say?”, not, “What do Catholics think?”

The idea that we define ourselves as ‘the opposite of Catholicism’ is ludicrous.


18 posted on 11/08/2013 2:18:06 AM PST by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: RBStealth

I always thought reformed Catholics became Protestants, not the other way around. At least that’s what it used to mean.


19 posted on 11/08/2013 2:25:50 AM PST by Fzob (Jesus + anything = nothing, Jesus + nothing = everything)
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To: OneWingedShark

Wiki lists Christians as 2.1B (which is around 1/3 world population), Muslims at 1.5B, Hindus at 1.2B, etc.

Huge disagreement as to how to count “believers.” Who qualifies? But that applies to all groups, not just Christians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations


20 posted on 11/08/2013 3:17:15 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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