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10/04/2018 9:08 pm  #1

What About Catholicism?


10/04/2018 10:43 pm  #2

Re: What About Catholicism?

What about Catholicism? What about Christianity? From Dr. Craig's Doctrine of Christ:

When you look at the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, they give virtually no clue that Messiah isn’t going to be this triumphant warrior king that was expected. This is what was supposed to happen. His government was supposed to be without end, and he was supposed to rule in Jerusalem. So scholars are generally agreed that you can’t explain the origin of the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection by saying they went back to the Old Testament and found these proof texts that would lead them to think that he is risen from the dead. Those proof texts just aren’t there.

I think we need to be quite candid with our Jewish friends and say apart from the event of Jesus and what happened, you wouldn’t ever think that these prophesies were talking about these things ...

[H]ow does Paul interpret this problem? He says, whenever Jews read the Scriptures, a veil lies over their minds so that they can’t understand it. He says only when a person comes to the Lord is the veil removed, and he says this comes from the Spirit of Christ.

Now prior to Jesus, [Isaiah 53] wasn’t read in that way. That wasn’t read as being a Messianic passage. Even in that passage, I think the resurrection is hinted at, but it is not something that you would infer unless you were looking for it. It says something like, “He shall prolong his days;” “He shall see his progeny and be glad.” It kind of hints at it, but you have got to put yourself back in the position of a first century Jew who has never heard of Christianity before. You can’t look at this in the rearview mirror of Christian history and ask yourself, “How would he have read these passages?” He probably would not have said, “Oh, this is teaching that he is going to be killed and then raised from the dead.”

I am only talking about two things here. That is, first, that the Messiah would be humiliatingly executed like a common criminal and defeated and, secondly, that he would be raised from the dead as an isolated individual in advance of the general resurrection. Those are the two things that I am saying no one would expect to read off of the Old Testament.

What I said was there wasn’t any clear concept in the Old Testament that Messiah would come and be humiliatingly executed as a common criminal rather than establishing the throne of David in Jerusalem and throwing off the enemies of Israel and the Gentiles and the Jews would be in submission to this great warrior king, who would be like a new David. That was what I was saying you don’t find in the Old Testament.

Thank you, Dr. Craig, for your honesty. All of the verses invariably cited involve affirmations of the consequent.

Last edited by 119 (10/04/2018 11:02 pm)


10/05/2018 3:38 am  #3

Re: What About Catholicism?

Craig represents the Mere Christianity approach, proudly so. This approach looks for the least common denominator to include as much of Christendom as possible. Usually that ends up with too much.

A more consistent approach would be to determine what doctrines are fundamental and what are not in order to distinguish false teachers from true ones. While this is more in line with the scripture, it is extremely difficult to follow through in practice, because you need actual procedures to exclude pastors/denominations from the fold and a protocol for when they have been excluded.

And, all along, everybody will disagree on the actual list of the fundamentals. The list better be short so as to avoid complications, but when short, it will be rather trying for Christian patience to tolerate whatever is not on the list - because whatever is not on the list of the fundamentals is not fundamental and non-fundamental disagreements must be tolerated.

One aspect that makes Catholicism fundamentally problematic is that it overstretches the list of fundamentals (called dogmas), such as including the Marian dogmas and papal infallibility which have no foundation. This already makes it questionable what exactly catholics are worshipping and based on what or on whose authority.

Not sure if the Mere Christianity approach can detect that as a serious difference and yield a program on how to treat the difference. Simple Christianity and watered down Christianity are not the same. Watered down Christianity would not even be Christianity.

Craig's Christianity still is Christianity, but more of a philosophically informed kind, instead of scripturally inspired kind. Some day one might have to draw a sharper line between these two kinds too.

Last edited by seigneur (10/05/2018 3:41 am)


10/11/2018 10:58 pm  #4

Re: What About Catholicism?


Has anyone actually bothered to reply to any of your posts like this on here, or do people pretty much just ignore them and keep on as if they didn't exist? Haha.


10/11/2018 11:15 pm  #5

Re: What About Catholicism?


You might find some of the Reformation disputes over the "rule of faith" interesting. Catholics tend to be massively overrepresented on here, to the point that a lot of protestants' arguments get completely ignored (e.g. Calvin's point about circularity arising from the Church deriving its authority from certain passages in the bible). I know we have protestant members, but they seem to have been cowed into silence.

My own view is that the dispute over the "rule of faith" amounts to variations on the old Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion and that neither Catholic nor protestant, ultimately, succeeds in blocking every argument against them.


10/12/2018 6:12 am  #6

Re: What About Catholicism?

People are also prone to confuse 'Protestantism', as in non Roman Catholic Western Christianity, with the tenets of the main historical Protestant movements e.g. the five solae, the denial of works, the rejection of Marian veneration et cetera.


10/12/2018 2:21 pm  #7

Re: What About Catholicism?

"Protestantism was probably brought about by G-d explicitly to present Catholicism with the same charges and attitude that Catholicism had been showing to Judaism for fifteen hundred years. Protestantism's arguments against Catholicism are identical to Catholicism's arguments against Judaism; Judaism's answers to Catholicism are identical to Catholicism's answers to Protestantism. In other words -- Catholicism preaches Protestantism to Jews and Judaism to Protestants."

A Primer on Fundamentalist Protestants


10/13/2018 12:26 am  #8

Re: What About Catholicism?

I'm not a Catholic, but the obvious Catholic retort is that Catholicism has a basis in the New Testament and early Church, whereas the Pharisees put forward man-made innovations.

Anyway, Protestantism, or at least Calvinism, seems to me quite clearly a product of its time. At best it's about a one-sided understanding of Christianity, based in a one-sided interpretation of Augustine. Its attempts to go back to the early Church don't seem to me well grounded in patristic thought.


10/13/2018 3:06 am  #9

Re: What About Catholicism?

And the obvious catholic retort simply asserts what it has to prove. Does this sound like a "man-made innovation":

If a matter eludes you in judgment, between blood and blood, between judgment and judgment, or between lesion and lesion, words of dispute in your cities, then you shall rise and go up to the place the L-rd, your G-d, chooses. And you shall come to the Levitic kohanim and to the judge who will be in those days, and you shall inquire, and they will tell you the words of judgment. And you shall do according to the word they tell you, from the place the L-rd will choose, and you shall observe to do according to all they instruct you. According to the law they instruct you and according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left. (Deuteronomy 17:8-11)

It sounds like a G-d-made innovation. HaShem is explicitly giving someone the authority to interpret Torah Law (like a Mosaic equivalent of the Apostolic Church). Wouldn't wise judges compare case X with similar cases? That's how courts work. The Divine Standard is the Torah; a specific group of judges are given the authority to interpret it. Wouldn't this necessarily involve something akin to innovations? "Case X1 differs from case X and case X2, so X1 is judged differently." Am I supposed to believe this is illigitimate, or intrinsically unlike the Eternal Catholic Church passing its never-changing [sic] judgments?   

In general, it helps to have some understanding of the Pharisee's side, rather than accepting the new testament's vicious slander as truth. Repeating lies doesn't make them true, not even after thousands of years.

Relevant to the thread: Why Do Catholics & Protestants Pretend It's One or the Other?

The Zionist Conspirator wrote:

Most of the things Protestants associate with Roman Catholicism are common to all the ancient historical churches that existed and continue to exist in the original chrstian heartland and the original chrstian ethnic groups.
There are at present four ancient historical liturgical traditions. Catholicism (both Roman and Eastern) are only one of those four. The other three are Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Nestorianism. Every one of these ancient churches has a priesthood, the sacraments, "the holy sacrifice," bishops who are venerated, rituals, rites, ceremonials, and of course good works, since every one of them pre-existed the Reformation invention known as penal substitution.
I'm sorry, but monks did not suddenly appear from nowhere in the mountains of Ethiopia in 313 because of Constantine. All the ancient manuscripts are products of these ancient communities and are written in their languages.
The Armenian Church became a state church in 301, seventeen years before chrstianity was so much as legalized in the Roman Empire (it didn't become the official Roman state religion till much later in the fourth century). The Armenian Church is not Protestant.
There were already monks and nuns long before Constantine. The pre-Constantinian Egyptians started monasticism. The Egyptians were also praying to Mary in the third century (before Constantine).
The apostle Thomas is supposed to have founded the chrstian community in southwestern India in the year 52. Guess what? When they were discovered by the rest of the world in the fifteenth century they had sacraments, priests, rituals, commandments, "the holy sacrifice"--the whole schmeer. There are Protestants among them now, but only because they were planted there after the Reformation.
I grew up believing the "Constantine founded baptized heathenism" thing too, but history simply does not bear this out. There is absolutely no record of there being anything even remotely similar to a Protestant church in the ancient, pre-Constantinian world. I'm sorry. It's not there. The only reason so many people believe it is because they are convinced the "new testament" was meant to contain absolutely everything one would ever need to know--a blatant and unexamined assumption. It is thus held for purely dogmatic reasons, and although I hope everyone understands that I respect dogmas and dogmatism, this is simply a dogma that began in the sixteenth century.
Still, both Catholics and Protestants like to pretend it's either one of them or the other. ... While the ancient churches have far fewer "denominations" than radical Fundamentalist Protestantism, they still have four of them, each of which makes perfect sense until you listen to one of the others.

Last edited by 119 (10/13/2018 3:10 am)


10/13/2018 3:19 am  #10

Re: What About Catholicism?

Jeremy Taylor wrote:

I'm not a Catholic, but the obvious Catholic retort is that Catholicism has a basis in the New Testament and early Church, whereas the Pharisees put forward man-made innovations.

This is exactly what Jews could have said to Jesus: Our faith has a basis in Torah but you hypocrite are putting forward man-made innovations.

Jesus criticized the established religion of his own time, particularly its departures from the scripture. Early protestants criticized the established religion of their time, particularly its departures from the scripture.

By now there is, in places, long-established state-church Protestantism, and obvious heretical factions of it. It's a good principle to examine the foundations of one's own faith and to seek good answers about truth.


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