Post Number: 36
|Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 6:55 pm: || |
My sister is a converted, devout Catholic. Today we were talking about my quest to find a church to attend since leaving Adventism. She is well-meaning, but every time we talk she interjects her plugs for the Catholic faith. From what I know of Catholocism, it is a "works" religion, and the Council of Trent even declared justification to be "an anathema." Anyway, I told her that one important question I have been asking as I research churches is regarding whether scripture is viewed as innerrant. She commented that Protestants place too much emphasis on this, because the church that Jesus started began without scripture and it continued for 1000 years using a verbal tradition before what was to be scripture was decided upon by the church. I wasn't sure how to respond to this and am asking for ideas here. Thanks.
Post Number: 995
|Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 7:43 pm: || |
Ah, she doesn't know what she's talking about, for one. First, when the NT church started, it already had a complete OT canon inherited from Judaism. This canon was used as authoritative in the NT church. Paul--who is clear that the Christian is not under the OT Law--refers to the OT several times to substantiate his theology. Surprisingly, he most notably does this in Galatians and Romans when showing that the Christian is not under the Sinaitic Law, but I digress.
When one reads the Church Fathers, one finds they base their arguments and theology squarely on the OT and the epistles written by the apostles. These epistles were copied and spread widely among the early church, even while the apostles were still alive. Paul refers to this when he tells one of the churches to share their letter with another (forget the exact reference, but I'm sure someone can help me out).
So the Fathers use the Bible exhaustively, using it (and occasionally mis-using it as even the best of us do) as the foundation of any theological arguments. For instance, I have been reading Athanasius's "On the Incarnation of the Word of God," which is considered one of the greatest Christian books ever written. This book was written in the 300s AD, long before the 1,000 years your friend claimed it took for the Bible to be formed. In that book Athanasius appeals to Scripture, including especially the Pauline epistles, as the basis for his doctrine. In fact much of the book almost reads like a commentary on the first five chapters of the book of Romans. So the Fathers understood and supported the idea that Scripture--the OT plus the epistles and Gospels--are the foundation for Christian doctrine.
Furthermore, the basic structure of the Canon was agreed on for quite some time before it was officially sanctioned in the late 300s AD. And by the way, that official sanctioning happened a lot sooner than 1,000 years after Jesus. As I said, there was almost complete unanimity within the church on what was considered authoritative, God-breathed Scripture. The councils only ratified what most everyone already agreed on. Only a few books were controversial.
Finally, on the principal of Sola Scriptura, Paul himself affirms this when he tells the Church at Corinth, "Nothing beyond what is written." Evidently, by his words to the churches he included his epistles in "what is written," and Peter affirmed this as well, calling Paul's writings "Scripture." So even early on there appears to be an understanding that only God-breathed Scripture is the basis for Christian belief.
When the Reformers said Sola Scriptura, they were not introducing an innovation, but recognizing and returning to a principal that had been verifiably at work in the Early Church, and was commanded by God. It is the cults who innovate by disclaiming the Sola Scriptura principal.
Post Number: 14039
|Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 9:46 pm: || |
Thank you, Bskillet. Very clear answer. Goodday2u, here is an article in a recent Proclamation that addresses the total reliability of Scripture as well: http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/proclamation/2012/2/bibleisabsolutel.html
Post Number: 37
|Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 9:55 pm: || |
Thank you Bskillet and Colleen.
Post Number: 2834
|Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 10:16 am: || |
That religion ADDS to the gospel the same way Adventism does. It would be like becoming an SDA again to become a Catholic.
Post Number: 724
|Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 12:58 pm: || |
Catholicism is very far from being Christian, coming from one that lives in a Catholic country.
If you want more details, there are plenty of websites out there.
Try Richard Bennett (an Irish ex-RC priest and monk) at BereanBeacon. Ok, he may have a certain amount of bitterness, but what he has to say is worth listening to.
As people have said before, if you want to understand a movement that claims to be Christian, don't just talk to the present proponents of such, but also to those who have left and are now "evangelical".
Post Number: 725
|Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 1:08 pm: || |
A propos what I just said, a British Christian tevevision show has just put out these programmes on SDA. I have quite often enjoyed other things broadcast by these people, but they put out an earlier programme on Adventism in which they had an Adventist as guest in discussion with a first day Sabbatarian. I wrote to them that this was not the best idea, and they should have used the new covenant approach, but I did not get a reply.
I must admit, that I have not had the stomach to watch these all the way through (as yet), but if anyone wants to, here is the chance:
My question again is:
Why do they not ask people who have left the Adventists and are now evangelicals?
If Adventism is evangelical, why do people who accept the gospel get kicked out of the church?
Anyway, see what you think.
Post Number: 14044
|Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 11:42 pm: || |
Adrian, thank you for your clarity. I haven't watched the youtube videos, but I totally agree with your assessment. It always baffles me why people think those who have left and embraced the gospel are somehow not believable.
Post Number: 2835
|Posted on Friday, October 19, 2012 - 2:15 pm: || |
Doc; It's as if Ellen White studied the Catholic catechism because towards the end of Richard Bennett's testimony, he says:
"Our basic problem as Catholics was that personal worth and dignity was ingrained into us. We believed that could respond to the help God gives us to be right in His sight. This presupposition that many of us have carried for years is aptly defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) #2021, “Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons....” With that mindset, we were unknowingly holding to a teaching that the Bible continually condemns. Such a definition of grace is man's careful fabrication, for the Bible consistently declares that the believer's right standing with God is “without works” (Romans 4:6), “without the deeds of the Law” (Romans 3:28), “not of works” (Ephesians 2:9), “It is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8). To attempt to make the believer's response part of his salvation and to look upon grace as “a help” is to flatly deny Biblical truth, “...if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace...” (Romans 11:6)."