Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Friends,

What does one do when a very good defender of Romanist doctrines poses arguments that seem legitimate, and one is not able to answer them?

I have built a library of works (concentrated on the 1600’s) that systematically refute Romanism doctrine by doctrine in order that you can quickly skim through them, find your subject matter, and find in-depth, reformed, catholic, material refuting that exact point of Romanism, no matter how minute:


Is the Roman Church, though apostate, a part of Christ’s visible Church? Is the Roman ministry and Romish baptism valid?

The near-universal reformed consensus during the Reformation and puritan eras to these questions was ‘Yes’. Find out the Biblical reasons for this. The established Reformed Church largely defended the validity of her ministers on the validity of the Roman Church being a Church. Yet they also were convicted the Protestant separation from Romanism was morally and Scripturally necessary.

And lastly, may Romanists be saved? Read the classic reformed answers to these questions on this new page, which has an Introduction:

I would ask the Thornwellian Southern Presbyterians who may respond below, who do not believe the Roman Church to be a Church, to read the material by Rutherford on the webpage before arguing against the classic Reformed view, so that you do not answer a matter before you have heard it, per the Proverbs.
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe it is a church and that her baptism is valid Christian baptism, but I would probably strain from calling their ministry valid/proper, due to the perversion of the gospel. I would still maintain the baptism is valid despite their apostasy (WCF 27.3)
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
...but I would probably strain from calling their ministry valid/proper, due to the perversion of the gospel. I would still maintain the baptism is valid despite their apostasy (WCF 27.3)

Thanks for your thoughts Warren.

As for myself, I believe there is quite a difference between what 'valid' connotes and what 'proper' connotes: valid referring to the least common denominator of what constitutes the essence of something, whereas proper, it would seem to me, would normally refer to the regular or ideal state of something.

Also, do note that according to WCF 28.2, a valid 'minister of the gospel, lawfully called thereunto' is necessary to a valid baptism.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
@Travis Fentiman ,

Thank you so much for your work on this. I'm looking forward to skimming through it. I have heard some people talk about the legitimacy of Rome up until a certain point, but they think that Vatican II changes how we formally regard them, even to the point where (re)baptism is initiated for a former Catholic. Do you have any insight/thoughts into this line of thinking?

Blessings, friend!
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
...some people talk about the legitimacy of Rome up until a certain point, but they think that Vatican II changes how we formally regard them, even to the point where (re)baptism is initiated for a former Catholic. Do you have any insight/thoughts into this line of thinking?

Hi Tim,

I am not an expert on Vatican 2, but it seems to me that Vatican 2 holds a candle to the Council of Trent as regarding apostateness. That is, if Rome ever apostatized officially at a given point, according to some persons viewpoint, it was at Trent, they anathematizing Justification by Faith alone, etc.

However I, and most of the reformers and puritans believe the Roman fold apostatized long before Trent, namely in the Middle Ages. Paul says in 2 Thess. 2:3,7 that the mystery of iniquity which would lead to that apostasy, was already working in his day in the Apostolic Church.

2 Thess. 2 makes clear, I believe, that the Church that the Man of Sin sits in the midst of, usurping over, was the same Church that was in the apostles' day, and would last as the Church till Christ comes again. That is, while the Roman fold remains the Great Whore of Rev. 17, yet she was a Church, is a Church, and will remain a Church until Christ comes again. Durham argues this on p. 539, section 2.


And the RCC post-Vatican 2 is no worse off, I think, than the Ten Northern tribes of Israel, or the Jewish Church in Christ's day (much of the teaching ministry of which was rank pelagian and condemned justification by faith alone). Yet God calls them 'my people' in the book of Hosea over and over again and they were in the Covenant and their circumcision was valid (unless one would claim Christ's circumcision was not valid?).

And as I mentioned to someone else, the fundamental root issue, I think, is that people just need to read the puritans on the issue. There is no one that holds a candle to their in-depth arguments.

Blessings to your dear family, friend.
 
Top