Friday, July 06, 2007

Roman Catholics vs. Evangelical Protestants

Justin Taylor, quoting Biola's Robert Saucy on the difference between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Protestants:
They’re the same as they were at the Reformation. There are three significant ones.

First is the question of final authority. Protestants hold to sola scriptura [Scripture as their final authority]. For Catholics, the final authority is Scripture as interpreted by the church, that is, the magisterium (the pope and bishops). That’s where Catholicism gets its teachings that can’t be found in Scripture, like veneration of Mary, indulgences and purgatory.

Second, Catholics view the church as an extension of Christ’s incarnation. For them, the church is divine as Christ was divine. One result of this is the Catholic proclamation: “Come to the church for salvation, for faith in the church and faith in Christ are one act of faith.”

That leads to the third difference: salvation. The Catholic catechism makes it very clear that you are born again and justified through baptism. That means faith plus a certain rite — which is administered by the church — is necessary for salvation. So, the church essentially grants salvation. Although this salvation is “by faith,” additional grace enables us “to work” to attain eternal life.

And that’s the problem with saying we speak the same gospel. One of them is clear: Christ did it; we can’t add anything to that. The other one is: Christ did it, but to actually avail yourself of what Christ did you have to do this and this.


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Timothy said...


Justin Taylor and Robert Saucy, not being Catholics, have passed on to you some errors regarding the Catholic faith.

>"That’s where Catholicism gets its teachings that can’t be found in Scripture, like veneration of Mary, indulgences and purgatory."

All Catholic doctrine is found 100% in the Bible, either explicitly or implicitly.

The honor and veneration of Mary derives from the commandment to honor thy father and mother. (Exodus 20:12, Deut 5:16). If Christ is our brother and Mary is His mother, then Mary is our mother also and due honor per the commandment. Very Biblical.

Indulgences stem from the Church's authority to bind and loosen. (Matthew 16:18-19)

Purgatory came into Christianity from Judaism and it implicit in 1 Cor 3:15.

Now, Justin and Robert can argue about their private falible interpretation of these passages as much as they desire, but their personal interpretations do not change the truth that Catholic doctrine is found 100% in scripture.

Regarding Salvation, the Church has long taught that salvation is from God's grace. The Catholic and Lutheran churches as much agrred on that fundamental point in their joint declaration:


God bless...

At 4:22 PM, Blogger RevGoT said...

Wouldn't biblical protestants also say the Church is the Body of Christ, an extension of his incarnation?

At 9:07 PM, Blogger pilgrim said...

"All Catholic doctrine is found 100% in the Bible, either explicitly or implicitly."

The Jehovah's WItnesses could say the same--so could various groups.

I could debate the legitimacy of your references for veneration of Mary, indulgences and purgatory.
I would say they are based on misunderstandings of the Bible at best.

But where is the Assumption of Mary in the Scriptures.

I've asked that many times, and never heard an answer that made sense. At most I've been given precedent such as Elijah or Enoch, but at most that's precedent--not anything to base a dogma on.

(By the way, I am a former RC, I have learned about all these doctrines from RC sources, and I have learned the reasoning behind them.)


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