The separation, which became known as the "Protestant Reformation", was initiated when Martin Luther (1483-1546), a Catholic priest, began to publicly challenge numerous teachings of the Catholic … Such as the Jesuits creating Islam or that the Pope made Friday meat-free in order to let his fisherman brother make more money. In the mid 17th century English Protestant divine William Chillingworth derided the concept of an unbroken apostolic tradition. Many Protestants think Roman Catholics teach a works-gospel that cannot save, while Roman Catholics think Protestants teach easy-believism that requires nothing more than an emotional outburst brought on by manipulative preaching. With that said, let’s look at each argument in order: There are a lot of places in the Bible in which Jesus seems to treat Peter as the head of the Apostles: the famous scene in which he seems to build the Church upon Peter in Matthew 16:17-19; the time that he says to “let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” and then calls Peter to serve the other Apostles by strengthening them (Luke 22:26, 32); the multiple fishing miracles and teachings in which Jesus seems to treat Peter as the fisherman, the Church as the net, and the laity as the fish (cf. The Protestant response at this point is often an attempt to use the same argument against the Catholic. Generations of uncatechized Catholics have been killing the Church and giving it a bad name. You don’t need to be an expert to realize that this is a catch-22: that whether or not Ignatius mentions bishops, this is taken as “proof” that there weren’t bishops before c. 100. For protestants, the highest authority is Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura), but for Catholics there’s a tie between Scripture and the Holy See, the body of Catholic representative authorities who impart tradition and issue authoritative decrees. Opposition to religious imagery was a feature of proto-Protestant movements such as the Lollards in England.. That is not the case. However, this is incorrect. We should expect to see evidence of both (1) and (2), but there is literally none. Protestants will always find something to find fault with in Catholic thinking, no matter how far fetched their justification is for their own position. Nor was it only Rome: every apostolic church made similar claims about apostolic succession. For now, though, I want to turn back to Irenaeus, who says that Peter and Paul founded Rome, and lists their successors down to his own day (c. 180): The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. The most obvious evidence is from St. Irenaeus, who responds to heretical arguments by appealing to apostolic succession, saying “we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about.” Tertullian likewise says that if any heretics want to claim apostolicity. These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early Church—Origen, Ambrose, Augustine. Indeed, Walls (a graduate of Notre Dame) has written a book defending the idea of Purgatory from a Protestant perspective. even though every ancient source who discusses the question says it was Peter. It is a life long journey of Christ saving us. However, it is not just an intellectual belief only that saves you but a living, breathing, working faith. Likewise confession is part of God’s plan and Jesus Himself gave men the power to forgive sins (Jn. Catholics are not uncomfortable at all because they understand that Christ saves us, but He chooses to use different means to do so, like Baptism. Later legend would fill out the details of Peter’s life and death in Rome—his struggles with the magician and father of heresy, Simon Magus, his miracles, his attempted escape from persecution in Rome, a flight from which he was turned back by a reproachful vision of Christ (the ‘Quo Vadis’ legend), and finally his crucifixion upside down in the Vatican Circus in the time of the Emperor Nero. By definition, each of these groups of Christians accept the evidence for the Resurrection but reject the particular claims of each of the other groups. As for the Shepherd of Hermas, it’s a mystical vision, not a description of the local church of Rome. But on this particular issue, on whether the local church is governed by a single bishop or a committee of elders, there’s literal unanimity. The notion of a church choosing its church order is unheard of in Christian tradition until the sixteenth century with the Reformation in Switzerland, and the choice between presbyteral and episcopal government is church-dividing to this day. This is the same Suetonius that Christians often point to when citing extra-biblical evidence for the historicity of the Jesus story. Likewise confession is part of God’s plan. I would like to ask the person who made this picture above where the Catholic Church teaches that candles, tithing, or holy water, for example, saves a person in place of Jesus, or at all. Solidifying me as the best son-in-law ever. Really BAD arguments against the Catholic Church As stated above, most of these assertions are just made up – invented. That's all well and good, but there are Protestants who have genuine and well thought out arguments. And the number of Bible manuscripts is far greater than those referring to anyone else of that time. By disregarding it as fake, on the authority of the Lutheran scholar Peter Lampe: Lampe argues that this list “is with highest probability a historical construction from the 180s, when the monarchical episcopacy developed in Rome.” In other words, it anachronistically imports into earlier decades what was emerging in the 180s. The STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism w/ Dr. Jerry Walls. It’s a fact of history that Suetonius wrote about the messenger, but this miraculous appearance isn’t actually part of history. Joe Heschmeyer is an instructor at the Holy Family School of Faith Institute for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, and blogs at Shameless Popery. In other words, the initial picture says we must believe in Jesus, which is true, but it is taken out of context and forced to mean something that it does not. (Note: Lutherans and other Protestant groups agree with Catholics on this; they believe that Christ saves through Baptism which regenerates us). So Walls’ argument from silence is actually built on two fallacies: first, that we would expect Ignatius’ letter to the Romans to sound like all of his other letters; and second, that the letter to the Romans never mentions bishops. 7:21). points out: A first problem with this scenario is its lack of historical plausibility. Capturing Christianity, Cameron Bertuzzi’s YouTube platform, recently released a 90-minute video called “The STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism w/ Dr. Jerry Walls. It’s time! Against Gnosticism, Catholics and Protestants jointly affirm that man is not saved by wisdom, but by God’s action in history in the person of Jesus Christ.Second, both evangelicals and Catholics believe salvation is moral and spiritual. Analogously, the Church has never taught that Mary saves us or died for us, or anything of the sort. this outweighs the biblical evidence for the papacy, the passage of his book in question has only one footnote, the Virgin Birth and physical Resurrection of Jesus, Bob Seidensticker explains the crux of the problem well, this seems to just be an argument from silence, Tertullian treats it as well known history, St. John of the Cross and the Divine Alchemy, Juan Diego’s Proof of Mary Amid the Aztecs, “The Crown” Season Four: Past Glories, Bleak Futures, Voyage Comics: Evangelizing the Culture Through Heroic Stories. Thanks to the Word on Fire team. Ignatius is the only direct evidence that Walls spends any significant time on, but he briefly throws out several other possible leads: Other witnesses, who were writing about the Church of Rome, you’ve got Clement, who lived in the late 90s, I’ve already mentioned Ignatius, the Shepherd of Hermas, and then you’ve got Justin Martyr, who lived in the later part of the second century. Now, I would argue, and I suspect that Walls would agree, that this rejection of the supernatural is actually irrational. And again, so far as I’m aware, this represents the consensus among Catholic historians: that Peter was not the first bishop of Rome, there was not a continuous succession of bishops following Peter, as Vatican I would have it. Moreover, it requires assuming that the Apostles established a Protestant-style church in Rome, but that the Christians got rid of it and replaced it with an episcopal/papal structure, all while paying lip service to the apostolic origins of their structure of governance. For his part, Bertuzzi appears to be on his way towards the Catholic Church, and seems to be genuinely trying to sort out the competing claims of Protestantism and Catholicism. But my point is that these days, any argument with a Catholic can be neatly avoided—and often is by the Church's most vigilant opponents—by devolving to the Westboro Baptist Church’s self-proclaimed “air-tight, three word case against the Catholic Church”: priests rape boys. Among low-church² Protestants, there are two — no, three — no, probably more, but I’m going to tackle only three — three major arguments made against the Catholic view of the saints. When Bertuzzi points out that this seems to just be an argument from silence, Walls replies: How so? But believing in evolution on scientific evidence is a far cry from rejecting apostolic succession simply because Fr. As convincing as these arguments may seem to a devout Catholic, they are devoid of substance. Therefore, it would hardly be surprising were Ignatius not to mention bishops. So the real question is not why the Resurrection is better attested than the papacy. Catholics believe that Jesus died once and for all on the cross to save us from our sins. Robert Eno and Eamon Duffy (a third, Fr. **“A Biblical Defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. (One additional reason to trust the early Christians over modern skeptics is that the early Christians had access to many primary sources, including both ancient texts and the living witness of the Christians of second-century Rome, that are unavailable to us today). He argues instead that the pope couldn’t be part of an unbroken line of bishops going back to St. Peter, because Rome didn’t even have a bishop until the late second century. Given that he could have chosen any of the apostolic churches, why does Irenaeus choose Rome? However, salvation is not a one time event. Duffy is convinced that there isn’t an unbroken line from St. Peter, but he is a historian of the fifteenth to seventeenth century, not of the early Church, and his arguments are heavily reliant on that third scholar, Fr. Moreover, in his letter from 96 AD, Clement wrote of how “Christ, therefore, was sent out from God, and the Apostles from Christ; and both these things were done in good order, according to the will of God,” and how the Apostles “appointed their firstfruits to be bishops and deacons over such as should believe, after they had proved them in the Spirit.” Clement doesn’t clarify whether there is one or many bishops per city, but he does show that the structure of the early Church was not something that they invented, but that they received from the Apostles (and ultimately, from Christ). Pro-tip: it helps to do real research first about a religion before attacking it. The fact that the Church had a decision to make in regard to the Scriptures is documented and clear. Scripture alone is obvious a Protestant only sentiment as the Catholic Church did not publish the Bible until the end of the fourth century. **The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. Remember the story of Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon? Answering Anti-Catholic Arguments (and showing why they are wrong). The arguments for Catholicism or Protestantism or Orthodoxy (etc.) It is but one of a million that present a completely false and ignorant view of the Catholic Church. The final defense is that these scholars are Catholics. Some are so far off that it is hard to take them seriously. In both his article and his conversation with Bertuzzi, Walls makes much of the fact that St. Ignatius of Antioch doesn’t mention the Bishop of Rome in his letter to the Romans. The atheist blogger Bob Seidensticker explains the crux of the problem well: Christians correctly point out that the historical grounding for the Jesus story has some compelling points. The world of the late medieval Roman Catholic Church from which the 16th-century reformers emerged was a complex one. For example, there are not one but four gospel accounts. I’m not sure I’m getting you. . This is called the sacrament of confession (or penance). There’s like 40-some references scattered throughout these letters. There are also numerous other places in which Peter is listed first among the Apostles, and even as somehow distinct from the other Apostles (e.g., calling the Twelve “Peter and the Eleven,” [see Acts 2:14]), etc. I am not Roman Catholic because Rome denies the gospel. Raymond Brown says so. The issue being that it is a completely stupid argument against the Church. Five of his letters are to the Christians in these provinces: to the churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Philadelphia, and Smyrna, along with a sixth to St. Polycarp, Ignatius’ friend and the bishop of Smyrna. As Duffy admits, the proponents of this theory can’t actually point to a first pope, they just have to argue vaguely that there must have been one, and that it must not have been St. Peter . To accept any version of Walls’ argument, you would have to believe that (1) the original structure of the Roman church was something like a group of co-equal elders, and (2) at some point [the 180s, according to Lampe and Walls; no later than the 150s, according to Duffy], this apostolically-established structure was superseded or replaced by a single, powerful bishop who became the first pope. 10:9); we must live out our faith in good works (Mt. He explains that it is because “it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority [potiorem principalitatem].”. For any doubters out there, here is some official Catholic teaching on it: Catechism of the Catholic Church: Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men.” … “Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”. When Protestants read a verse like that, they immediately get uncomfortable and retract saying, “No, only Christ saves you.”. This picture not only makes multiple errors regarding Catholicism, but the Catholic Church herself does not even teach half of the things listed on it. The historian Suetonius reported that Julius saw a divine messenger who urged him to cross. A Protestant might go about trying to rebut this evidence directly, showing that none of it actually means what it seems to mean. And, as always, if you have any questions about anything listed in the picture above, just ask. Edwards is seeking to defend the historicity of the Protestant Bible, and protect it against criticisms from both Catholics and modern Biblical critics. –. Seven years ago, I myself was an emotional and excited Protestant convert to Catholicism (though also a revert, as my parents left the Church shortly after my first communion). His letter to the Roman church, however, says nothing whatever about bishops, a strong indication that the office had not yet emerged at Rome.” So Walls’ whole argument comes down to the idea that. Brown knowing Greek and being well-read doesn’t make his argument any stronger. We see no clear evidence of change, and no one bemoaning (or praising, or even acknowledging) some change in governance structure. Don’t tell no one @WordOnFire bit I got this for my mother-in-law for Christmas. So how does Walls handle such explicit evidence for apostolic succession and papal authority? Catholics Worship Mary as a Goddess. Answers in Genesis, the Evangelical, Young-Earth Creation group responsible for the series, normally charges $12.99 for this talk , … Acts 26:26). In short, Walls makes three arguments: Walls gives something of an abbreviated version of his argument to Bertuzzi. Here’s the argument from Eamon Duffy that Walls finds so convincing: The tradition that Peter and Paul had been put to death at the hands of Nero in Rome about the year AD 64 was universally accepted in the second century, and by the end of that century pilgrims to Rome were being shown the ‘trophies’ of the Apostles, their tombs or cenotaphs, Peter’s on the Vatican Hill, and Paul’s on the Via Ostiensis, outside the walls on the road to the coast. The process of canonization of the Scriptures is documented. A PROTESTANT DEFENSE OF SOLA SCRIPTURA. 16:16 – “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”). Counter-Reformation, the Roman Catholic efforts directed in the 16th–17th century against the Protestant Reformation and toward internal renewal. Share this post with others, Protestant or Catholics, that need to know more about the truth of the Catholic faith. The picture above quotes one verse that says we are saved by “believing in Jesus,” which is true. In place of that evidence, there’s no evidence pointing in the other direction. Is he also lying about this? In fact, the Catholic Church teaches the opposite and states that only Jesus saves us and that He alone justifies us by His body and blood on the cross. The Bible itself says “Baptism saves you” (1 Peter 3:21) speaking of a water baptism. Catholicism, by contrast, teaches that God ultimately accepts people because Christ’s righteousness is poured into them (infused or imparted), thus making them actually righteous. To the work of Christ it adds the work of Mary. If Clement is the pope, the Corinthians’ decision makes sense. And if not, on what basis are we compelled to accept his claims about the evidence for the papacy or apostolic succession? In it, the author mentions “apostles, bishops, teachers, and deacons, who have lived in godly purity, and have acted as bishops and teachers and deacons chastely and reverently to the elect of God,” as well as “the presbyters who preside over the Church.” Assuming that these presbyters are the same as bishops, and that there are multiple bishops per city, just begs the question. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”. in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.”(430, 1992), Margaret Sanger Eugenics (Planned Parenthood and the Master Race) – PART 2, Evidence for the Existence of God (Part 1 – Something from Nothing), Catholic and Orthodox (Emotional Argumentation vs. Duffy says that “there is no sure way to settle on a date by which the office of ruling bishop had emerged in Rome, and so to name the first Pope, but the process was certainly complete by the time of Anicetus in the mid-150s, when Polycarp, the aged Bishop or Smyrna, visited Rome, and he and Anicetus debated amicably the question of the date of Easter.”. The problem with the first defense is that the arguments in question are not particularly technical: claims are made about how much weight should be given to what certain Church Fathers said (or often, didn’t say). Christians would not accept an argument that because of these things, Israel was not God’s chosen people – for it would contradict Scripture. Hesburgh) issued a sort of declaration of independence, arguing that “the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself.” Brown, for instance, says that the Virgin Birth and physical Resurrection of Jesus are “doctrines for which there is slender basis in Scripture.” Since he’s a Catholic, are we likewise required to believe that? An evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” by Mark Shea. If so, the reliability of Christianity itself is in serious question (since why trust apostolic Christianity if you can’t trust any apostolic Church?). Actually, it is not an argument at all, it is specifically the avoidance of any argument… Instead, he just dismisses them out of hand as “later legend” and “pious romance, not history.” This is precisely the same dismissiveness with which skeptical scholars reject the Resurrection: it doesn’t matter how many people said it happened, because it just sounds too fantastical to them. “Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” by Peter Krett, Ronald K. Tacelli. This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print. And the focus is specifically on whether or not Peter had successors as the Bishop of Rome. And that leads to the second part of Walls’ case, the argument from skepticism. Let us look at a few of them. We would expect Ignatius to mention bishops in his letter to the Romans; Ignatius says “nothing whatever about bishops” in this letter; Therefore, there must have not have been a bishop in Rome at the time that Ignatius wrote (c. 107 AD). Of the corresponding process of canonization of the episcopate, there is, on other hand, no trace whatever. And that’s applicable here: one of the major arguments that Brown relies upon (which we’ll look at in more depth) is that, since St. Ignatius of Antioch frequently mentions bishops in his writings to the churches of Asia Minor, this “insistence” shows that the episcopacy must be some new thing that he is trying to defend; and that since he (allegedly) doesn’t mention bishops in his letter to Rome, the episcopacy must not exist there. Intellectual Argumentation). I have a library of books (Catholic and anti-Catholic) that I have read, and I’m passing it on to you…, As always, thanks for reading! I guarantee that if you read a few of those books, your faith fill not only grow, but Catholicism will become more exciting and fulfilling! He doesn’t bother to make any arguments or give any evidence. God bless you, fellows at @WordOnFire. It requires assuming this because we see no evidence of the imagined “before” picture, and no evidence of when or why there was a change. The Sacred Heart of Jesus – How God thirsts for our love! According to Catholics, the highest human authority on earth, the Pope, can even speak new revelation giving a new law from the seat of his authority (i.e., “ex … “If Protestantism is true: the reformation meets Rose” by Devin Rose . Rather, this picture is the creation of ignorance, an anti-Catholic who did not even understand the Catholic faith before creating something about it. The time gap from original manuscripts to our oldest complete copies is relatively small. Well, no we don’t. 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