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Jeff Allen

Puritan Board Freshman
Ben

You are too young to be so argumentative, or maybe it is because you are so young.

Join a bowling league or something similar and get to know some people in a non threatining environment. Accept them just as people and then show Christ instead of arguing Christ.

Just a thought from an much older fellow.
 
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Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Confessor,

Hey guys, what are some verses that demonstrate that good works are an effect of saving faith?
Ephesians 2:8-10 is a good passage:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them [NASB].

Notice how we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, not that we do good works in order to be created in Christ Jesus. Also, verses 8-9 are good bring up to a Roman Catholic concerning Justification by Faith Alone.

God Bless,
Adam
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
Confessor,

Hey guys, what are some verses that demonstrate that good works are an effect of saving faith?
Ephesians 2:8-10 is a good passage:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them [NASB].

Notice how we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, not that we do good works in order to be created in Christ Jesus. Also, verses 8-9 are good bring up to a Roman Catholic concerning Justification by Faith Alone.

God Bless,
Adam
I remember looking at Eph. 2:8-10 and thinking that a Catholic would probably reply that it says we are created to do good works in the sense that that is our purpose, but for whatever reason I totally ignored the part "which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I agree with Adam and use the following also when explaining my conversion to Protestantism, justification by faith alone and my renunciation of Roman catholicism.

In grace,
Dudley

or Ephesians 2:8-10 is a good passage:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them [NASB].

Notice how we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, not that we do good works in order to be created in Christ Jesus. Also, verses 8-9 are good bring up to a Roman Catholic concerning Justification by Faith Alone.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Maybe one of the folks more experienced in responding to Romanist views than myself can point out some even better short works on Justification.
Well, like I said, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott is a must read. It was my Jesuit seminary text back in the late seventies.

Also, please review the posting here:
http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1721709&postcount=1

As they represent what I think to be the standard pro-Catholic arguments by someone who I have interacted with at length. Note: the TOL site is a concentrated nest of open theists mostly following the lead of one Bob Enyart of the Denver Bible Church.

If I have violated a rule by posting a link to another discussion site, rebuke me and delete this portion of my post.

AMR
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe one of the folks more experienced in responding to Romanist views than myself can point out some even better short works on Justification.
Well, like I said, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott is a must read. It was my Jesuit seminary text back in the late seventies.

AMR
Do you, or have you, ever participated on this Catholic forum, AMR?

Seems you would be a most informed witness there.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
I don't know what it is. I have come to the conclusion that conservative Roman Catholics can't do exegesis, because they already have their exegetical conclusions handed to them by the Papal decrees and ecumenical councils. Yes, it is important to be able to interact with historical arguments, but you can't take them for granted! It almost seems like, with these guys, if you lived before 500 A.D., you were an infallible exegete.
I do think you are right in your conclusion "that conservative Roman Catholics can't do exegesis," but I think the reason needs a bit of fine tuning. As much as Romanists love to claim that "an infallible Bible requires an infallible interpreter," the reality is that there are only a handful of biblical texts that have been officially defined by the Roman communion as to what the text itself means. Those few officially defined texts, then, are "exegetical conclusions."

But by and large it is official church teaching that precludes members of the Roman communion from doing exegesis with any kind of sound hermeneutical approach, i.e., church teaching not drawn from the text of Scripture, but church teaching that renders exegesis unnecessary, and for all intents and purposes, irrelevant. To put it bluntly, most hardened Romanists don't sweat that "Bible stuff."

I think some of the following quotes demonstrate what I'm saying...

Catholic Encyclopedia: (a) Defined Texts.—The Catholic commentator is bound to adhere to the interpretation of texts which the Church has defined either expressly or implicitly. The number of these texts is small, so that the commentator can easily avoid any transgression of this principle. The Council of Trent teaches that Rom., v, 12, refers to original sin (Sess. V, cc. ii, iv), that John iii, 5, teaches the absolute necessity of the baptism of water (Sess. V, c. iv; Sess. VII, De bapt., c. ii), that Matt., xxxvi, 26 sq. is to be understood in the proper sense (Sess. XIII, cap. i); the Vatican Council gives a direct definition of the texts, Matt., xvi, 16 sqq. And John, xxi, 15 sqq. Many more Scripture texts are indirectly defined by the definition of certain doctrines and the condemnation of certain errors. The Council of Niceaea, e.g., showed how those passages ought to be interpreted on which the Arians relied in their contention that the Word was a creature; the Fifth (Ecumenical Council (II Constantinople) teaches the right meaning of many prophecies by condemning the interpretation of Theodore of Mopsuestia. Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, Exegesis (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913), p. 699, 2nd column.

Catholic Encyclopedia: It is well further to explain: (a) that infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error; (b) that it does not require holiness of life, much less imply impeccability in its organs; sinful and wicked men may be God’s agents in defining infallibly; (c) and finally that the validity of the Divine guarantee is independent of the fallible arguments upon which a definitive decision may be based, and of the possibly unworthy human motives that in cases of strife may appear to have influenced the result. It is the definitive result itself, and it alone, that is guaranteed to be infallible, not the preliminary stages by which it is reached. Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, Infallibility (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1913), p. 790, 2nd column.

Roman Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid: . . the dogma being defined here is Peter’s primacy and authority over the Church — not a formal exegesis of Matthew 16. The passages from Matthew 16 and John 21 are given as reasons for defining the doctrine, but they are not themselves the subject of the definition. As anyone familiar with the dogma of papal infallibility knows, the reasons given in a dogmatic definition are not themselves considered infallible; only the result of the deliberations is protected from error. It’s always possible that while the doctrine defined is indeed infallible, some of the proofs adduced for it end up being incorrect. Patrick Madrid, Pope Fiction (San Diego: Basilica Press, 1999), p. 254.

Ludwig Ott, while commenting on Pius IX’s papal bull Ineffabilis that defined the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary, wrote: “The Bull does not give any authentic explanation of the passage [i.e. Gen. 3:15]. It must be observed that the infallibility of the Papal doctrinal decision extends only to the dogma as such and not to the reasons given as leading up to the dogma.” Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, ed. James Canon Bastible (Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., reprinted 1974), p. 200.

Johann Adam Möhler states: Catholic theologians teach with general concurrence, and quite in the spirit of the Church, that even a Scriptural proof in favour of a decree held to be infallible, is not itself infallible, but only the dogma as defined. Johann Adam Möhler, Symbolism: Exposition of the Doctorinal Differences between Catholics and Protestants as evidenced by their Symbolical Writings, trans. James Burton Robertson (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997), p. 296.

Raymond E. Brown: Roman Catholics who appeal explicitly to Spirit-guided church teaching are often unaware that their church has seldom if ever definitively pronounced on the literal meaning of a passage of Scripture, i.e., what the author meant when he wrote it. Most often the church has commented on the on-going meaning of Scripture by resisting the claims of those who would reject established practices or beliefs as unbiblical. Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997), p. 31.

Raymond E. Brown: To the best of my knowledge the Roman Catholic Church has never defined the literal sense of a single passage of the Bible. Raymond E. Brown, The Critical Meaning of the Bible (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), p. 40.

Maurice Bévenot, S.J.: But very few indeed are the Scripture texts of which the Church authorities have defined the meaning, and even there, their intervention has generally been to say what Scripture does not mean, otherwise leaving open what it does. See his chapter “Scripture and Tradition in Catholic Theology” in F.F. Bruce and E.G. Rupp, eds., Holy Book and Holy Tradition (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1968), p. 181.

Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.:
When one hears today the call for a return to a patristic interpretation of Scripture, there is often latent in it a recollection of Church documents that spoke at times of the ‘unanimous consent of the Fathers’ as the guide for biblical interpretation. But just what this would entail is far from clear. For, as already mentioned, there were Church Fathers who did use a form of the historical-critical method, suited to their own day, and advocated a literal interpretation of Scripture, not the allegorical. But not all did so. Yet there was no uniform or monolithic patristic interpretation, either in the Greek Church of the East, Alexandrian or Antiochene, or in the Latin Church of the West. No one can ever tell us where such a “unanimous consent of the fathers” is to be found, and Pius XII finally thought it pertinent to call attention to the fact that there are but few texts whose sense has been defined by the authority of the Church, “nor are those more numerous about which the teaching of the Holy Fathers is unanimous.” (fn. 24) Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Scripture, The Soul of Theology (New York: Paulist Press, 1994), p. 70.

Speaking of the difficulty of the so-called Unanimous patristic consent as a reliable locus theologicus in Catholic theology, Cardinal Congar wrote: “Application of the principle is difficult, at least at a certain level. In regard to individual texts of Scripture total patristic consensus is unnecessary: quite often, that which is appealed to as sufficient for dogmatic points does not go beyond what is encountered in the interpretation of many texts. But it does somethimes happen that some Fathers understood a passage in a way which does not agree with later Church teaching. One example: the interpretation of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16.16-19. Except at Rome, this passage was not applied by the Fathers to the papal primacy; they worked out exegesis at the level of their own ecclesiasiological thought, more anthropological and spiritual than juridical. . . . Historical documentation is at the factual level; it must leave room for a judgment made not in the light of the documentary evidence alone, but of the Church's faith.” Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and a Theological Essay (London: Burns & Oats, 1966), pp. 398-399.

And Cardinal Congar even goes on to insist “It is the Church, not the Fathers, the consensus of the Church in submission to its Saviour which is the sufficient rule of our Christianity.” Yves M.-J. Congar, Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and a Theological Essay (London: Burns & Oats, 1966), p. 399.

Saving the best for last, here is sola Ecclesia with a vengeance...

Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892): It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine. How can we know what antiquity was except through the Church? No individual, no number of individuals can go back through eighteen hundred years to reach the doctrines of antiquity. We may say with the woman of Samaria, ‘Sir, the well is deep, and thou hast nothing to draw with.’ No individual mind now has contact with the revelation of the Pentecost, except through the Church. Historical evidence and biblical criticism are human after all, and amount to no more than opinion, probability, human judgment, human tradition.
It is not enough that the fountain of our faith be Divine. It is necessary that the channel be divinely constituted and preserved. But in the second chapter we have seen that the Church contains the fountain of faith in itself, and is not only the channel divinely created and sustained, but the very presence of the spring-head of the water of life, ever fresh and ever flowing in all ages of the world. I may say in strict truth that the Church has no antiquity. It rests upon its own supernatural and perpetual consciousness. Its past is present with it, for both are one to a mind which is immutable. Primitive and modern are predicates, not of truth, but of ourselves. The Church is always primitive and always modern at one and the same time; and alone can expound its own mind, as an individual can declare his own thoughts. ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God.’ The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour. Henry Edward Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, reprinted with no date), pp. 227-228.

DTK
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Maybe one of the folks more experienced in responding to Romanist views than myself can point out some even better short works on Justification.
Well, like I said, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott is a must read. It was my Jesuit seminary text back in the late seventies.

AMR
Do you, or have you, ever participated on this Catholic forum, AMR?

Seems you would be a most informed witness there.
No, I have not. I am over subscribed in the forums I already participate in to date. It has also been my practice to cast few pearls to those that are decidedly entrenched in their views.

AMR
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
That quote from Manning would undercut all the Romanists' appeals to the Church Fathers, wouldn't it?
 

louis_jp

Puritan Board Freshman
Based on DTK's quotes, it seems to me that it would be nearly impossible to argue with Catholics on any point of faith or doctrine. The bible simply means what the Catholic Church says it means; and this foundational principle of the Church's authority is itself not subject to proof or testing of any kind -- not historical, textual, or otherwise. They can give you reasons for Papal infallibility, but those reasons need not be accurate, and yet the conclusion is still true.

In other words, Catholic authority seems to be taken as a matter of faith, as Cardinal Archbishop Manning says: "It is not enough that the fountain of our faith be Divine. It is necessary that the channel be divinely constituted and preserved.... The Church contains the fountain of faith in itself." There can be no appeal to any authority outside the Church itself, not even to God's own Word, as the Word is bound up with the Church.

If that's the case, then one can argue scripture, history, logic, exegesis, etc., all day long and not get anywhere. Either you accept the Church's authority as a presupposition or you don't.

Is this correct? If so, how does one get around this?
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
... Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott is a must read. It was my Jesuit seminary text back in the late seventies.
Must have been a fairly conservative Jesuit seminary. Ott's book is hardcore Tridentine Romanism (a far cry from the theology of most American Jesuits since Vatican II).
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Cardinal Archbishop Manning says: "It is not enough that the fountain of our faith be Divine. It is necessary that the channel be divinely constituted and preserved.... The Church contains the fountain of faith in itself." There can be no appeal to any authority outside the Church itself, not even to God's own Word, as the Word is bound up with the Church.

If that's the case, then one can argue scripture, history, logic, exegesis, etc., all day long and not get anywhere. Either you accept the Church's authority as a presupposition or you don't.

Is this correct? If so, how does one get around this?
Not every Romanist would agree with Manning, and he didn't speak for the Roman communion as a whole.

Nonetheless, every committed Romanist begins with the presupposition that Rome is the one, true infallible church, and it is that presupposition which must be exposed as error.

DTK
 

Reformed Thomist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Nonetheless, every committed Romanist begins with the presupposition that Rome is the one, true infallible church, and it is that presupposition which must be exposed as error.
Indeed. There is an old RC saying -- I can't remember which 'saint' said it -- that goes something like "I would believe that the blue sky above is red, and that 1+3=7, if the Magisterium of the Church so taught."

This is what we are dealing with.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Indeed. There is an old RC saying -- I can't remember which 'saint' said it -- that goes something like "I would believe that the blue sky above is red, and that 1+3=7, if the Magisterium of the Church so taught."
I suppose a Jesuit said it best...

Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, Rule 13: That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which appears to our eyes to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black. For we must undoubtingly believe, that the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of the Orthodox Church His Spouse, by which Spirit we are governed and directed to Salvation, is the same; . . .” Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church, 2nd ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), p. 260.

That is the presupposition of Romanism.

DTK
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
DTK,

Yes, thank you for clarifying. I read through your quotations, and the attitude is exactly what you see lying behind the exegesis of the likes of Patrick Madrid, James Akin, Karl Keating, and the like. I have never seen a group that can read more foreign things into a text than the Roman Catholics.

In fact, I remember Karl Keating saying that the only way he knows that the scriptures are inerrant is because the church says so. So, for the Roman Catholic, even the inerrancy of scripture rests on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

This is why, while Justification is a vitally important issue, one almost wonders if the first issue one should bring up with a Roman Catholic is the issue of Sola Scriptura vs. Papal Infallability. Of course, this is the one issue I have seen Roman Catholics argue in an extremely unfair fashion. I had to study postmodernity in semantics when I took a class in hermeneutics, and it was amazing how the arguments that postmodernists use against protestants are the same arguments that Roman Catholics use against protestants. Of course, take those arguments out to their logical conclusion, and they destroy Roman Catholicism, because, in postmodernity, there is no meaning in anything, even the Roman Catholic Church.

The way they escape this is by a double standard. The only way we know God is in so far as he reveals himself to us. That is why postmodernism's arguments have bite, simply because it tries to start with man alone, and then get to meaning. Roman Catholics, however, want to allow God to reveal himself to us through the Roman Catholic Church, but will absolutely refuse to allow that same condescention for scripture. They will force the Protestant into a position of having to start with man and scripture [instead of God and scripture] in order to get to meaning in the text, and then, when meaning is destroyed, they will present and argument starting with God and the Roman Catholic Church.

I have found that, in order to show this to a Roman Catholic, you simply apply their arguments against their own position, and show that their arguments don't just destroy meaning in scripture, they destroy meaning altogether. Then, when they try to make an appeal to God's alleged relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, point out the double standard. Yes, the way out of postmodernity is God condescending to his people. However, if you are going to use that argument for the Roman Church, you have to allow it for scripture too, otherwise you are engaging in a double standard.

In fact, using this methodology, I remember getting one Roman Catholic to tell me that we cannot be absolutely certain of anything. He told me that we couldn't be certain about scripture or the Roman Church. All I can say is, at least he was honest about the consistency of his arguments. I only wish that, when this was pointed out to him, that he would have simply allowed for God to condescend to his people in his word, and leveled the playing field that way. Then we could have dealt with the scriptures such as Matthew 15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

God Bless,
Adam
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Adam said :"Roman Catholics, however, want to allow God to reveal himself to us through the Roman Catholic Church, but will absolutely refuse to allow that same condescention for scripture."

I would offer other roman catholics the following testimony in addition the scriptural basis to Justification by faith alone as an example of how roman catholicism holds the person in bondage to the church of rome and her pope.It is why I renounced both the pope and roman catholicism upon being received into the Presbyterian church and embracing the Reformed Protestant faith, the true ancient faith of the aposles and Jesus Christ.

I am today a Reformed Protestant and a Presbyterian. I have said in other posts I am also an ex roman catholic. Today July 10th is the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. How do you think he would have wanted it celebrated? I celebrate it by proclaiming my experience of having experienced a true Protestant conversion as did John Calvin.

It is Christ alone who is salvation to our souls, not the Church of Rome or the Pope"

It is Christ alone who is salvation to our souls. Rome taught at the time of the Reformation that there was no salvation outside the Church of Rome. Unfortunately She is now reverting to that same false claim. The Reformers regarded the Church of Rome to have seceded from Christ and the Apostolic Church. The aims of the Reformers were to return to the pure Gospel and practices of the Early Church. I left Roman Catholicism for the same reason. As a Roman Catholic I was a slave to the Institutional Roman Church. Now as a Reformed Protestant I am a servant of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As a Roman Catholic I had to go to Jesus through the priest and the church as a Presbyterian and a Protestant I go to my Lord and Savior directly. As a Protestant the church is there to assist me not to direct and control me.

I Acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Why I became a Protestant and why I became a Presbyterian. After I left roman catholicism I was an Episcapalian for a while. It was the sacramental church without the pope.who I innitially renounced and why I at first became a Protestant. However I began doing an extensive study of the Protestant Reformation from the perspective of Protestant writers and Theologians. I centered a lot on the reformers Luther, Calvin and Knox. I studied Luther's Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone and I began concentrating on the Reformed Theology of Calvin and Knox. I then read the Westminster Confession of Faith and the short and long catechisms of the Presbyterian Church. I started to attend services a 3 different Presbyterian churches a few months later.

I now believe in the Presbyterian reformed teaching of The Lord's Supper. That it was instituted by Jesus the same night he was betrayed, to be only a symbolic remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death and for our spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, and as a bond and pledge of our communion with him, and with each other. I submit and believe as a Protestant and a Presbyterian that there are only 2 sacraments, Baptism and the Lords Supper, not 7 as I was taught in the Roman Catholic Church. I use to believe as a Roman Catholic that the bread and wine became the body and blood of Christ at the mass. They call that Transubstantiation. It is a Roman Catholic doctrine, which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest. I now renounce that belief and I now believe it is repugnant not to Scripture but even to common sense and reason. It destroys the true nature of the ordinance or sacrament of the Lords Supper. I now am able to see the notion and teaching of Transubstantiation, the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Christ is ludicrous and a denial of Christ dying for all our sins. Now that I have understood the Protestant doctrine of Justification I also can see the apostasy and of the Roman Catholic Eucharist and the Mass. Roman Catholicism says the Mass is a reenactment of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. The adoration of a "bread wafer” in a monstrance is in itself idolatry. I now believe as a Protestant that the Mass is the greatest possible blasphemy of the “once for all”; all sufficient, all atoning, all completed blood shedding of Christ on the Cross. The teaching of Transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the Mass I now renounce the practice of both, as did Calvin and many other reformers.

I studied the Protestant Reformation with fervor and I became convinced and a believer in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. When I accepted the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and realized that salvation is by grace alone could no longer say I was a Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian. I renounced also the ecclesiastical authorities of both churches. I renounced the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Christ’s head of his church on earth. I fully understood that only Christ heads his church. When I renounced the Ecclesiastical structure, I searched and found Calvin, Knox and the Presbyterian denomination. I knew I was a Protestant but not yet a Presbyterian. I wanted to find a Protestant denomination that I believed had the purest form of the Gospel.

It was in that search I became a Presbyterian in faith not only a Protestant.

As a roman catholic I needed to belong to the Roman Church to be saved. I had to do good works and work with much effort and much guilt to save myself. I know now as a Protestant that none of this could save my soul. Salvation was bestowed because of God’s mercy. Salvation by Faith alone...the Protestant doctrine of Justification. I now understand the scripture when it says
In Titus Ch. 2 v. 11, I read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
These words make it very clear that Salvation is by Grace. It is God reaching down to the helpless sinner, revealing to him that He loves him so much that He sent His Son to the cross. There, He took the sinner’s place by becoming his substitute. He paid the penalty for sin that the sinner should have paid.

The following also attests to the Protestant doctrine of Justification. It also attests to me why the Church of Rome is wrong in condemning the Protestant doctrine and distorting the truth. It is why I am now a Protestant and why I renounced the RC church like John Calvin and all the reformers.

In Titus Ch. 3 v. 4 - 5, I read: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”.

The words of Romans Ch. 3 v. 24, summed it all up. They read: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I could now see that God gave Salvation FREELY to sinful man. The sinner was not required to work for it.

I decided to become a Presbyterian because I asked myself "Either the Catholic Church is very right, OR if it’s not, it’s very wrong?" I knew it was wrong and a false teacher of the true Gospel of Christ and there can no in-between on this issue. I always knew that Transubstantiation denied the sovereignty of God. The reformed theology is the only Protestant theology that praises the sovereignty of God and the governmental structure is biblically sound. I believe the Presbyterian Fold is the pure and true Christian church. It’s why I want to profess my faith as a Presbyterian. I’m now a Protestant and a Presbyterian. Some Reformed Protestants and I believe some Presbyterians don't understand that we are both Protestant but also Presbyterian. That is very important for Presbyterians to understand. As a former Roman Catholic who searched hard for that truth I cherish it! I am so happy that I have found the truth of salvation. It is why I left the Roman Catholic Church and its distorted teaching of tradition along with the Bible and its papacy and its pope. I renounced the Roman church and its view of the Bishop of Rome as the final authority and head of the church. As a Protestant I believe the Bible is the final Authority. As a Protestant I believe Christ alone is head of his church. As a Presbyterian we are all members of the Priesthood of Christ. It is why I am now an evangelizing Protestant who looks forward to professing my faith publicly as a Presbyterian.

In grace,
Dudley

-----Added 7/10/2009 at 06:48:11 EST-----

A Reformed Protestant friend sent me the following article today and I believe it can have much value for Ben, Confessor when dialoging with Roman Catholics on their forum.

The following is the article:

A Roman Catholic theologian and professor of religious studies at Siena College, (a Franciscan college in NY) Fr. Dennis D. Tamburello, in an article on Reformed-Catholic dialogue, concurs with Calvin’s emphasis on piety, in which the goal is not to know God theoretically or intellectually but to give glory and praise to God, who is the “fountainhead and source of every good.” He applauds Calvin’s teaching on the centrality of Christ where Calvin wrote in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, “Christ, when He illumines us into faith by the power of His spirit, at the same time so engrafts us into His body that we become partakers of every good.”
Tamburello cites Calvin’s teaching on the Sacraments, especially on the Eucharist (or Lord’s Supper) as a major contribution. He highlights the fact that Reformed Protestants hold to the “real presence” and not just an empty symbolic remembrance of Christ in communion and notes that in the Reformed-Roman Catholic joint statement on “The Presence of Christ,” both traditions hold to “belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” Of course, there are some significant differences here because Calvin and Reformed Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Calvin and Reformed Protestants believe that in receiving the elements of communion as believers we are drawn up into the life of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and thus our communion with Christ is both spiritual and real.

Lutheran theologian and Academic Dean of Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, IN), Lawrence Rast wrote that though there are differences between Luther and Calvin, Calvin had a deep and abiding respect for Luther and even as he pushed the Reformation beyond Luther, Calvin sought to remain authentic to Luther’s purpose, even though this did not mean unequivocal agreement with Luther’s exegetical or doctrinal conclusions. Rast states they “worked in the same context, and even shared the same road at times.” Of additional interest is the fact the Luther wrote far more on doctrine of predestination than did Calvin, even though Calvin’s theology is often summarized (incompletely) by that doctrine.

Retired Episcopal Bishop C. Fitzsimmons Allison credits Calvinism in the works of Anglican evangelicals beyond the statement on predestination found in the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. Allison notes the works of Anglicans Augustus M. Toplady who wrote the hymn “Rock of Ages,” John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace” and the preaching of George Whitefield as drawing heavily upon the theology of John Calvin.

As a Reformed theologian I believe as we commemorate the 500th. birth date of John Calvin, we should be reminded that the vitality of his teachings lie in the fact that they are an exact and logical theology, warmed by the intensive fires of devotion to the Holy Scriptures. John Calvin zealously proclaimed the free grace of God to a world blind to His ineffable glory. Calvinists hold that a Christian’s greatest comfort is in knowing that we are not citizens of this world trying to make it into heaven, but rather we are citizens of heaven trying to make it through this world.

Therefore, on this 500th. anniversary year of Calvin’s birth, no one need take any great pain to convert the world to Calvinism. Rather, for those of us (Protestants and Catholics alike) who love the Word of God and who in it have found Jesus Christ to be the revealer of the Father, we can best honor Calvin, not by giving honor to him, but by always rendering to his Lord our complete and undivided love, honor and service. In short we can best honor Calvin (or for that matter any great Christian past or present) by honoring Christ alone.

In grace,

Dudley
 

Stomata leontôn

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yes to both. :D I have basically refuted the latter thus far.
You are argue very extremely well!! You won, but they continue to argue away.

I looked at the first page and I saw typical Roman confusion of justification with sanctification. This, as is usual in my experience, is the crux of their problem.

The true catholic faith (ie, Reformed), never confuses the two concepts. When Romanists confuse the two, they arrive at the heresy of Pelagius.

To correct this Roman heresy, it is necessary to distinguish justification from sanctification.

Only Jesus Christ can justify our sins.

Only the Holy Spirit can transform us.

Thus, no works we do can either justify or sanctify us. Only God can do these. Only Jesus Christ can save us.

If we think that we are justified by our good works, then Christ died for nothing.

If we think we our sanctified by our good works, then we no longer make sense. One's sinful nature can never produce good works; one must be sanctified to some degree first.

In other words, we neither justify or sanctify ourselves, only God does these. Only Jesus Christ saves. Thus good works never lead to salvation.
 

Confessor

Puritan Board Senior
One thing that might seem kind of obvious, but I never really ask Catholics, is what part of the Catholic faith is the Gospel? How is works-salvation "good news"? It doesn't differentiate from the thinking of unreached heathens.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Answer really none...

One thing that might seem kind of obvious, but I never really ask Catholics, is what part of the Catholic faith is the Gospel? How is works-salvation "good news"? It doesn't differentiate from the thinking of unreached heathens.
Answer really none... the roman catholic faith distorts the Gospel. It teaches a message that is contrary to the Gospel.

The following also attests to the Protestant doctrine of Justification. It also attests to me why the Church of Rome is wrong in condemning the Protestant doctrine and distorting the truth. It is why I am now a Protestant and why I renounced the RC church.

In Titus Ch. 3 v. 4 - 5, I read: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”.

The words of Romans Ch. 3 v. 24, summed it all up. They read: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I could now see that God gave Salvation FREELY to sinful man. The sinner was not required to work for it.

Dudley
 

Dovecat

Puritan Board Freshman
Confessor... While I applaud your efforts to shine the light of truth into the dusty halls of tradition I would like to suggest to you that you temper your language in love. When I began chatting on IRC and reading forums back in the 90's I was still in the church of my childhood (UMC). I can assure you I didn't arrive where I am today from being debated into it. I am forever thankful to two reformed individuals that took the approach of digging into scripture with me and allowing the truth therein to speak rather than beating me about the head with doctrinal terms and quotations. Let me also say that their love of God was so evident that it added weight to their words.

I'm sure most Roman Catholics are in the church of their childhood. That is their reference point. It doesn't mean they will necessarily remain there. Keep a humble spirit, show love and respect for the individual, and above all let your love of God be evident in all you say. Maybe someday one of them will be posting here saying how a "reformed person" gently showed them the truth.

God Bless your Efforts!
 

ExGentibus

Puritan Board Freshman
One thing that might seem kind of obvious, but I never really ask Catholics, is what part of the Catholic faith is the Gospel? How is works-salvation "good news"? It doesn't differentiate from the thinking of unreached heathens.
As an ex roman catholic, I guess one common answer - though not that of the educated apologist - would be that the "Gospel" is merely the New Testament, which replaces the OT because Jesus Christ removed the hindrance of the Father's wrath for the whole umanity. We can now forget about those frightening Old Testament stories, which were intended for the Jews anyway, and just love our neighbours, because God is love.
This is pretty much what I heard from most catholic pulpits in 20 years.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
If that's the case, then one can argue scripture, history, logic, exegesis, etc., all day long and not get anywhere. Either you accept the Church's authority as a presupposition or you don't.

Is this correct? If so, how does one get around this?
Sorry, I overlooked this question until a friend called my attention to it.

In spite of this presupposition, Romanists themselves will attempt to present a picture of church history that harmonizes with their presupposition, and they usually don't think "out of the box" of their basic presupposition when trying to make a case for their position.

I think what you have to do is to demonstrate the error of their presupposition by showing that it doesn't "square" with the facts as they presuppose them to be in their favor. I think that you also have to show that their claim to that "infallible" human magisterium for the interpretation of the Bible is a theory that in reality does not even exist for them in any kind of practical way that would prove their claim. Practically speaking, no infallible human magisterium exists for them, as such, because their own communion has never produced anything close to an infallible commentary on the Bible. It's an empty claim.

I usually then proceed to show them that even the ECFs appealed to the Holy Scriptures themselves for the adjudication of theological controversy rather than some human magisterium.

As I indicated before, not all Romanists are as unashamed as Manning was to put forth his dogmatic claim so blatantly, though they all hold to his presupposition. They have been taught that the history of the church substantiates Rome's claims, and believe that to be the case even though, as a general rule, they've never investigated those claims historically for themselves. There is indeed a great disparity between history as they wish it to be and history as it is.

But as Reformed churchmen, we must always trust in the spirituality of God's inscripturated word to accomplish efficaciously the purpose for which God gave it...and to do so in the prayer that the the Divine Author Who gave us the Scriptures will convict and convince them persuasively with His own word.

DTK
 
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dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Try again to be gentle when dialoguing with the roman catholic

Pastor D. T. King said:"As I indicated before, not all Romanists are as unashamed as Manning was to put forth his dogmatic claim so blatantly, though they all hold to his presupposition. They have been taught that the history of the church substantiates Rome's claims, and believe that to be the case even though, as a general rule, they've never investigated those claims historically for themselves. There is indeed a great disparity between history as they wish it to be and history as it is." I concur completely.

Another friend here on the PB who like me is an ex roman catholic and now a Reformed Presbyterian Protestant wrote me earlier today and said" :"Pope Benedict is "roman catholic" to the core for sure and will be a polarizing figure which is what the Protestant faith needs."

I left the roman catholic church in January 2006 and initially became an Episcopalian because I was comfortable with the similarities to the Roman church and while I began to reject the pope I was still very Roman catholic in many ways and also wanted a sacramental church like Roman Catholicism but without the pope, Anglicanism and The Episcopal church was what made sense to me.

However even before the summer of 2007 I began to question roman catholicism entirely and began a study of the Protestant Reformation. What led me on a deeper search for the truth was however a statement made by The Vatican and the pope in July 2007 that the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as “not proper Churches.” I was appalled and as I said I left Roman catholicism at first because I believed the current pope was going back to pre Vatican II teachings.

The document said:"that the Orthodox church suffered from a “wound” because it did not recognize the primacy of the Pope. The wound was “still more profound” in Protestant denominations, it added. It was “difficult to see how the title of ‘Church’ could possibly be attributed to them,” said the statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Roman Catholicism was “the one true Church of Christ.”

The document also said that the Second Vatican Councils opening to other faiths – including “ecclesial communities originating with the Reformation” – had recognized there were “many elements of sanctification and truth” in other Christian denominations, but had also emphasized that only Roman Catholicism was fully Christ's Church."

I began to see that nothing new was really said, but that document in my mind did clarify the way in which the Vatican has torn apart Christianity because of its lust for power. They remind us that in their view that to be a true church one has to accept the ludicrous idea that the Pope is in some special way the successor of the apostle Peter and the supreme earthly leader of the Church.

I had already begun to understand that these claims cannot be justified, biblically, or historically, yet they had been used not only to divide Christians but to persecute them and put them to death.

It was then that I openly stated and wrote to many that I renounce the errors and pretensions of Roman Catholicism and its false teachings and I further disclaim her bishop of Rome, the pope to be the successor of Peter and the head of Christ's church. It was then I began to not only renounce the pope but Roman Catholicism entirely.

I believe now that it takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. To live by the truths of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today's context.

I have mentioned in other papers that I never thought I would leave Roman Catholicism and become a Protestant. My faith Journey from roman catholic to Presbyterian Protestant has now also led to my becoming anti papacy and anti pope.

I began doing an extensive study of the Protestant Reformation from the perspective of Protestant writers and Theologians. I centered a lot on the reformers Luther, Calvin and Knox. I studied Luther's Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone and I began concentrating on the Reformed Theology of Calvin and Knox. I then read the Westminster Confession of Faith and the short and long catechisms of the Presbyterian Church. I started to attend services a 3 different Presbyterian churches in February 2007. I joined a Westminster class at one congregation and in the process discovered my beliefs were Calvinist and I knew I was in soul by Gods amazing grace a Reformed Protestant.

I continued to study the Protestant Reformation with fervor and I became convinced and a believer in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. When I accepted the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and realized that salvation is by grace alone I could no longer say I was a Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian. I renounced also the ecclesiastical authorities of both churches. I renounced the authority of the Bishop of Rome, the pope, as Christ's head of his church on earth. I fully understood that only Christ heads his church. When I renounced the Ecclesiastical structure, I searched and found Calvin, Knox and the reformed Protestant Presbyterian faith. I knew I was a Protestant and was experiencing as did Calvin "a true Protestant conversion." It was shortly later that I became a confessed Presbyterian by public affirmation and confession of faith.


It was in my own guided search by I believe the hand of the Holy Spirit that I became a Presbyterian in faith not only a Protestant.

Help the roman catholic question his beliefs and be gentle. help them discover the truth of our Reformed Protestant faith by guiding them to research and discover for themselves that it was Rome that deviated and left the true church of Christ and the apostles. All the reformers were like me at first devout roman catholics. They questioned and then knew that in order to return the church to its uncorrupted pure and true gospel foundations they had to Protest the heresies of roman catholicism and her pope. Protestants are for the truth and we protest apostasy and false teachings which run contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the process all the reformers found it fruitless to try and change Rome and her popish traditions from within they were all forced by conscience to ultimately renounce roman catholicism and her pope.
I ultimately did the same.

I renounced roman catholicism, her pope and its false teachings and became a Presbyterian in 2007.

I wrote the following to the elders and the Presbyterian minister and brought it to a meeting I had to be examined by them before making a Public confession of faith a few Sundays later in the Sunday service. It was not required but I wanted to do it.

I have encouraged the other roman catholic converts to do something similar and they have. I do because I believe that a roman catholic needs to reject openly roman catholicism and her pope to be truly free and experience a true Protestant conversion after being born again by Gods amazing grace. I renounced my roman catholic faith "and it's doctrine because it has a 'Christian" appearance while not being Christian at all."

I Dudley Davis reject all the traditions and teachings of the Roman Catholic church and as a Protestant I accept, embrace and believe the following as part of my Christian Reformed Protestant faith

I believe in the God of the Bible
I believe that the bible is the inspired word of God
I believe God is trinity, one God in three persons
I believe Jesus Christ is very God of very God
I believe that the Christ has come in the flesh
I believe in the resurrection of the dead
I believe in eternal judgment

I believe in a heaven and a hell and that all who are elected by the saving grace of God and accept Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and thus are born again in Jesus Christ as believers of His Gospel and live the life of evangelizing his good news will be with his Father in Gods Kingdom of Heaven for all eternity.

I believe in justification by faith alone.

I sincerely receive and adopt the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Presbyterian church as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures and I submit to the teachings of the Presbyterian Protestant tenets and doctrine.

I believe the Bible as the word of God and the only and final authority and path to salvation I submit in discipline to the doctrines of John Calvin and the teachings of the Presbyterian Church in doctrine and life.

It is Christ alone who is salvation to our souls, not the Church of Rome or the Pope"

I believe in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and practice and that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

I believe now as the Reformers who realized as they studied the Scriptures that the great central doctrine of the gospel was expressed in the comprehensive sentence, “Christ died for our sins.” The death of Christ was the great center from which the doctrine of salvation sprung.

As a roman catholic I needed to belong to the Roman Church to be saved. I had to do good works and work with much effort and much guilt to save myself. I know now as a Protestant that none of this could save my soul. Salvation was bestowed because of Gods mercy. Salvation by Faith alone...the Protestant doctrine of Justification.

I now understand the scripture when it says in Titus Ch. 2 v. 11, I read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

These words make it very clear that Salvation is by Grace. It is God reaching down to the helpless sinner, revealing to him that He loves him so much that He sent His Son to the cross. There, He took the sinner’s place by becoming his substitute. He paid the penalty for sin that the sinner should have paid.

Try again to be gentle when dialoguing with the roman catholic guide them to the sources let them discover for themselves and God and the Holy spirit I believe will do the rest.

In grace,
Dudley
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
DTK,

I was wondering something about all of this.

The other day I was thinking about a statement that John Martignoni made. He called the Bible a "Catholic book." I wondered how that could be, given that, according to Rome, you need church tradition to accurately understand the Bible, both in the partim partim and material sufficiency viewpoints.

Then, something hit me. You see, what that means is that the Bible is not Catholic unless one has the traditions of the church to understand it. This seems to reek gnosticism. The gnostics believed that you needed their secret knowledge in order to understand the scriptures. The reason I bring this up is because I know that other scholars have argued that other dogmas of the Catholic church have came from gnosticism, such as the perpetual virginity of Mary for example. To your knowledge, has anyone ever postulated the idea that the Roman Catholic view of epistimology has its roots in Gnostic thought?

God Bless,
Adam
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
To your knowledge, has anyone ever postulated the idea that the Roman Catholic view of epistimology has its roots in Gnostic thought?
The answer to your question is yes...

Gerhard Maier: To summarize: enscripturated revelation maintains that it is accessible and sufficiently clear for every person to understand. True, it links comprehensive understanding and existential transformation to the gift of the Holy Spirit. But philological understanding and the essential content lie open to every person. The Christian community itself requires no special class of people “in the know” who alone are competent to open up Scripture’s meaning to the rest. Therefore, we abide by the principle of the perspicuity of Scripture in the double sense alluded to above.
The protest against the perspicuity of Scripture has traditionally come from three quarters: from Gnosticism, from the champions of the Catholic teaching office, and from historical-critical theologians. Gerhard Maier, Biblical Hermeneutics, trans. Robert W. Yarbrough (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1994), p. 183.

Another who made this observation is the man to whom we indebted for the massive and only Greek Patristic Lexicon, G. W. H. Lampe...

G. W. H. Lampe: In Gnosticism, therefore, we encounter for the first time the idea of unwritten tradition as an authority for doctrine. Unlike orthodox tradition, it is neither the raw material, as it were, of what is to become Scripture, nor the explication of what is contained in Scripture. It is wholly independent of Scripture and is even superior to it, since only in the light of the tradition can Scripture be understood. Doctrine and practice alike are founded upon it. It claims to be apostolic tradition, handed down in succession from the apostles. The Gnostic theory was reasonable enough, given the doctrinal principles of the movement. Having denied the historical basis of the gospel, the Gnostics seek to reinterpret it in alien terms with the aid of a spurious tradition. A similar theory of tradition, however, adopted from different motives, is by no means unknown today. Quoted from his essay in F. W. Dillistone, ed., Scripture and Tradition (London: Lutterworth Press, 1955), p. 40. Lampe does not specifically mention Romanism, but in the context of his article there is no doubt that he had it in mind.

The late Peter Toon also draws the same parallel in his own observation with respect to Gnosticism and the claims of Roman Catholicism. After speaking of the first century Church, which viewed the teaching of Scripture as being in essence identical to Tradition, he then proceeds to note...

Peter Toon: Later in the history of the Church a need was felt to supplement Scripture by teaching from Tradition and this is the ‘supplementary view’. Gnostics adopted this position in the second century and it was the commonly held view in Roman Catholicism from the sixteeth to the nineteeth century. Peter Toon, Evangelical Theology 1833-1856: A Response to Tractarianism (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1979), p. 138.

And then we have the following words from Augustine himself, who does not mention Gnosticism explicitly, but does identify this elitist mentality of special knowledge as heretical...

Augustine (354-430): And yet all these utterly senseless heretics, who wish to be styled Christians, attempt to color the audacities of their devices, which are perfectly abhorrent to every human feeling, with the chance presented to them of that gospel sentence uttered by the Lord, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now:” as if these were the very things which the apostles could not then bear, and as if the Holy Spirit had taught them what the unclean spirit, with all the length he can carry his audacity, blushes to teach and to preach in broad daylight.
It is such whom the apostle foresaw through the Holy Spirit, when he said: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate XCVII, §3-4.

Romanists use the very biblical passage that Augustine cites above as a basis for their attempts to prove unwritten tradition as supernatural revelation. But Augustine interprets that passage in a very different way (as you can see) than Romanists do.

DTK
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Interesting, I'm not very well trained in Church history, Pastor King, but I recently made the observation that their approach to the issue of Sola Scriptura resembles the nature of the early Gnostics. Thank you for the confirmation.
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
Confessor... While I applaud your efforts to shine the light of truth into the dusty halls of tradition I would like to suggest to you that you temper your language in love. When I began chatting on IRC and reading forums back in the 90's I was still in the church of my childhood (UMC). I can assure you I didn't arrive where I am today from being debated into it. I am forever thankful to two reformed individuals that took the approach of digging into scripture with me and allowing the truth therein to speak rather than beating me about the head with doctrinal terms and quotations. Let me also say that their love of God was so evident that it added weight to their words.

I'm sure most Roman Catholics are in the church of their childhood. That is their reference point. It doesn't mean they will necessarily remain there. Keep a humble spirit, show love and respect for the individual, and above all let your love of God be evident in all you say. Maybe someday one of them will be posting here saying how a "reformed person" gently showed them the truth.

God Bless your Efforts!
I think Dovecat is quite right here. You can never be too careful how you speak and how you present your case. Even on a site such as this, no atheists/agnostics/alienated former Church-members may be able to register but you can be certain that they will be looking at it. Therefore we have to remember at every moment whom we are representing, and do anything rather than risk causing anyone to stumble.
Jeff Allen -- well said too.
I have no Thanks button yet or I would have clicked on it!
 
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