Roman Catholic apologetics

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by luvroftheWord, Feb 29, 2004.

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  1. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm curious. How exactly would you guys go about debating a Roman Catholic on the issue of authority (i.e., infallibility of the church, authority of the church in biblical interpretation, etc.).

    I'm not looking for book recommendations here. I'm just wondering how you would respond if a RC approached you personally and said "let's talk about this".
     
  2. Gregg

    Gregg Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:39a9398fdc][i:39a9398fdc]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:39a9398fdc]
    I'm curious. How exactly would you guys go about debating a Roman Catholic on the issue of authority (i.e., infallibility of the church, authority of the church in biblical interpretation, etc.).

    I'm not looking for book recommendations here. I'm just wondering how you would respond if a RC approached you personally and said "let's talk about this". [/quote:39a9398fdc]

    Reply...

    On other boards I go to, the Catholic apologists usually make the protestant apologists look pretty lame because the protestants only wish to sling mud and really don't know much at all about the Catholic faith or the CCC. Also most of the Catholic apologists run circles around the protestants in their knowledge of the scriptures. You can't really tell somebody their wrong if you don't know their doctrine.

    The best way to discuss issues is to know what they really believe and to discuss things in a rational manner (instead of telling people their condemned because their Catholic).
     
  3. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I was wondering about something like this. The presupp arguemtn seems to make alot of sense when confronting non-Christian worldviews. But how would it work against Roman Catholicism or Arminianism who also presuppose a Christian world view though warped.
     
  4. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    What do most RC's say when you point to the inconsistencies in the church councils? I've never known any RC's personally to be able to interact with them, so I have no idea. I've just always been interested in this issue.
     
  5. MICWARFIELD

    MICWARFIELD Puritan Board Freshman

    You're right Gregg. Back in '95 I remember sitting around a table with a Baptist, a Reformed presbyterian, a calvary chapelite, and Roman Catholic apologist James Akin debating various issues. James had to spend most of his time defending himself against accusations of things that catholics dont even believe. Every brother at that table completely mis-represented what the catholic church believes. If you get your understanding of catholicism from "The Two Babylons" or Jack Chick you will most likely be mis-informed. If you want to know what catholics believe on an issue you might want to check out www.catholicanswers.org . My friend James Akin is on the staff there. But be careful. It's made up of ex-protestants who are very zealous for catholicism. They have quite a record of "converting" protestants into catholics.

    Mike
     
  6. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:fd9c99c4dd][i:fd9c99c4dd]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:fd9c99c4dd]
    [quote:fd9c99c4dd][i:fd9c99c4dd]Originally posted by luvroftheWord[/i:fd9c99c4dd]
    What do most RC's say when you point to the inconsistencies in the church councils? I've never known any RC's personally to be able to interact with them, so I have no idea. I've just always been interested in this issue. [/quote:fd9c99c4dd]

    most don't care...actually. People love to live with their contradictions as long as their comfortable.
    [/quote:fd9c99c4dd]
    This has been my experience too. Most Catholics I've talked to, even if they know their traditional authorities contradict, don't seem to care. In fact, at the Jesuit college I went to, I met a few divinity students, and a former preist and nun, who didn't even affirm the RC doctrine of Christ's divinity or even the infallibility of the Scriptures. They were all liberals. To them, it was all a tradition or personal way of expressing faith in "something." Unfortunately, I never used the opportunity to interact with them...
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    Craig:

    I would do the following:

    [1] Admit that most Protestants have a woefully weak (incorrect) view of the organized church.

    [2] Examine the history of the papacy.

    [3] Examine the history of doctrinal development in the Roman church.

    [4] Take an in-depth look at Acts 15.
     
  8. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    "If you want to know what catholics believe on an issue you might want to check out www.catholicanswers.org."

    I would clarify. Most Catholics (at least American Catholics) do not believe what Catholic Answers teaches. CA is very conservative and most Catholics are functionally mainline secularists (it is interesting that Roman Catholic Peter Kreeft chose Roman Catholic John F. Kennedy to represent the secular view in his fictional apologetic book Between Heaven and Hell). Half of Massachuessets is Catholic, for example. Yet, that is where gay marriage has its first foothold. The state has had a weak reaction to the court's ruling. These are not people shaped by a conservative Catholic view of the world, like CA advances.

    Anyway, CA represents a view of Catholicism that is almost dead in America, especially since Vatican II.

    Now, CA is not as extreme as Latin-only traditionalists, like Mel Gibson, Gerry Matatics, et al.

    Scott
     
  9. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Craig:
    You know that I am not, or at least don't profess to be, a presuppositionalist. So I think I would probably answer differently than Paul. But I think that I would also answer a RC differently than the way Gregg suggests that many make answer. Too often that scenario is true, and doesn't really help at all.

    I would try to talk to the individual's interests, and not to the church's. There is, after all, only one gospel, and the is the main objective is to present that to the person. Whether that undermines the RCC teachings or my own will come out. I am comfortable enough with the assurance that the comparison of the two for a serious questioner will have only one result, and that gives me confidence. If I have to measure my abilites against that of a quasi-apologist, then I will give up before I start, because then I will merely end up just where Gregg said I would, because he most likely right about this. There is no sense seeking a mud-slinging fest. What possible good would it do the gospel if my ego came out on top?
     
  10. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have found through listening to radio programs, etc. that an interesting point in this whole debate is that in the OT, Israel did not have an infallible interpreter of the Scriptures. This is only to counter Rome's argument that an infallible interpreter is needed to interpret the infallible Scriptures. But if this was not true in the OT, why is it true in the NT?

    I listened to Scott Hahn try to answer this question once on a call-in radio program. I can honestly say I've never heard a more confusing response. Neither my roommate nor myself were able to figure out what he was talking about. So as far as I'm concerned, I have never seen a Catholic deal with this argument in any reasonable way.

    What sayest ye?
     
  11. Gregg

    Gregg Puritan Board Sophomore

    I never really understood infallability (Pope). I guess I still don't.

    [Edited on 3-1-2004 by Gregg]
     
  12. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    Craig:

    I think this is a great approach. The Reformers would often draw on these parallels.

    It is helpful, for example, in refuting RC arguments about the necessity of a conciliar decision or papal approval of the canon of scripture. Jesus relied on a canon that did not have such a source. Rather, it was something recognized collectively by the people of God.

    Scott
     
  13. A_Wild_Boar

    A_Wild_Boar Puritan Board Freshman

    The hardest part of depating an RC is getting past the sola scriptura element of the debate. Because, if you cant convince them that Scripture is the sole authority, you will get no where in the debate with them. They rely heavily on authority and structure within the framework of the RCC.

    [Edited on 3-4-2004 by A_Wild_Boar]
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Puritan Board Graduate

    Boar:

    One way to help defuse that is to confuse them by bringing up different Catholic authors who advocate different views of authority. Historically, RCs have recognized at least three different view of authority. You can ask him which of the three he sees as right and why. Unless he is fairly learned, he will probably be at a loss.

    Keith Mathison's book The Shape of Sola Scriptura outlines the three historical RC views and provides sources for each.

    The two source theory, which was advocated in Trent, is rarely adovcated anymore.

    Scott
     
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