How to Answer Catholic Apologists About Eary Church "Fathers' " Quotes

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Malachi, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Malachi

    Malachi
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    Hi there. My first post here. I look forward to many more. I am a Independant Fundamental Baptist looking for rebutals on Early Church "Father's" quotes used by Catholic Apologetics. Here are some I would like to hear rebuttal for. I will start with the "rebirth" and then go to the "Eurcharist". Here are some quotes about how they "viewed" the rebirth...as "baptismal regeneration". I look forward to your replies. Here is a CA quote:

    "Early Christians were very clear on "born again" in John 3:5 referring specifically to baptism: "Early Christians were very clear on "born again" in John 3:5 referring specifically to baptism:

    JUSTIN MARTYR

    "As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, and instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we pray and fast with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father . . . and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, 'Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'" (First Apology 61 [A.D. 151]).

    IRENAEUS

    "'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: 'Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'" (Fragment 34 [A.D. 190]).

    TERTULLIAN

    "[N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, 'Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life'" (Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203]).

    RECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT

    "But you will perhaps say, 'What does the baptism of water contribute toward the worship of God?' In the first place, because that which has pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so . . . you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus has the true prophet [Jesus] testified to us with an oath: 'Verily, I say to you, that unless a man is born again of water . . . he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'" (Recognitions of Clement 6:9 [A.D. 221]).

    CYPRIAN

    "[When] they receive also the baptism of the Church . . . then finally can they be fully sanctified and be the sons of God . . . since it is written, 'Except a man be born again of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God'" (Letters 71[72]:1 [A.D. 253]).

    COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE VII

    "And in the Gospel our Lord Jeus Christ spoke with his divine voice, saying, 'Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' . . . Unless therefore they receive saving baptism in the Catholic Church, which is one, they cannot be saved, but will be condemned with the carnal in the judgment of the Lord Christ" (VII Carthage [A.D. 256]).

    BASIL

    "This then is what it means to be 'born again of water and Spirit': Just as our dying is effected in the water [Rom. 6:3, Col. 2:12-13], our living is wrought through the Spirit. In three immersions and an equal number of invocations the great mystery of baptism is completed in such a way that the type of death may be shown figuratively and that by the handing on of divine knowledge the souls of the baptized may be illuminated. If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water, but from the Spirit's presence there" (The Holy Spirit, 15:35 [A.D. 375]).

    AMBROSE

    "The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ's blood. Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed, he must circumcise himself from his sins [in baptism (Col. 2:11-12)] so that he can be saved . . . for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the sacrament of baptism. . . . 'Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'" (Abraham 2:11:79-84 [A.D. 387])."
     
  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    I don't think you can rebutt. The Catholic is correct. According to documented Christian history, baptismal regeneration was the accepted view from NT times. Other protestants including Lutherans, Prebyterians and Methodists also hold to the historic doctrine of baptismal regeneration.

    Some baptists will argue for a persecuted "baptistic line" that was the "true church" who didn't hold to baptismal regeneration but left no documented history because of persecution from the Catholic church. Of course, an argument from a lack of evidence isn't really much of an argument.

    A more historically honest and theologically justified position could be that the historical church was wrong in its view of baptismal regeneration. Sola scriptura allows for this type of position.
     
  3. genesis12

    genesis12
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    Forget all those commenters. Go straight to The Book. Catholicism is Judaism in new robes ~~ maybe that's why they can't get it right.
     
  4. Malachi

    Malachi
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    We need to defend the faith, and the truth. If we cannot offer a rebuttal, we need to accept the teaching. No I am a "Born Again" christian. A new "Creature in Christ". I was Baptised "after" receiving the Holy Spirit. Became "regenerated" before Baptism.

    Are you saying the babies are regenerated a birth? That a "Born Again" experience as I know it wrong?
     
  5. Malachi

    Malachi
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    [/QUOTE]I don't think you can rebutt. The Catholic is correct. According to documented Christian history, baptismal regeneration was the accepted view from NT times. Other protestants including Lutherans, Prebyterians and Methodists also hold to the historic doctrine of baptismal regeneration.

    Some baptists will argue for a persecuted "baptistic line" that was the "true church" who didn't hold to baptismal regeneration but left no documented history because of persecution from the Catholic church. Of course, an argument from a lack of evidence isn't really much of an argument.

    A more historically honest and theologically justified position could be that the historical church was wrong in its view of baptismal regeneration. Sola scriptura allows for this type of position. [/QB][/QUOTE]

    I don't follow. Are we to accept the Catholic teaching about "Born Again"?
     
  6. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    No. But he is correct in that historically, the understanding of that phrase did include baptism. The separation of the concepts of being born again and baptism was a result of the popularization of the theology of symbolic baptism in baptist/evangelical North American Christianity and is a recent development. Just because a theology is recent doesn't mean it is wrong.

    I guess I should add that I was raised baptist and attend a baptist church which teaches symbolic baptism. However, I am sympathetic to historic baptismal regeneration theology because of the following verses that seem to suggest something more than symbolism.

    The biblical association of baptism with the forgiveness of sins is undeniable.

    NASB - Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    NASB - Acts 2:28 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    NASB - Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

    There are other passages that suggest something more than mere symbolism happening in baptism.

    NASB - Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    NASB - Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    NASB - 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
     
  7. Malachi

    Malachi
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    No. But he is correct in that historically, the understanding of that phrase did include baptism. The separation of the concepts of being born again and baptism was a result of the popularization of the theology of symbolic baptism in baptist/evangelical North American Christianity and is a recent development. Just because a theology is recent doesn't mean it is wrong. </font>[/QUOTE]But how then, if "their" understanding of the "rebirth" was not as we prescribe too, did "people" get saved? They had no Bible they could refer too. They were told that the rebirth came with baptism...so how were people saved?

    Also, so I hear what you are saying is that our reply should be that we conceed to the fact that that is what they believed and that it is wrong. Is that correct?
     
  8. Pipedude

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    I've always thought that the strongest argument against baptismal regeneration is that it doesn't work! The western world is crawling with degenerates who were baptized at some point or another.

    Unless you believe in regenerate degenerates, which would be a thread on a different topic. :cool:
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    That is one possible reply.

    Although my answer would probably more sympathetic of the Catholic view than yours would because of my more skeptical position on the theology of symbolic baptism.
     
  10. Pipedude

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    When I got saved at age 13, I didn't think that walking the aisle saved me. Yet, when my 16 year old sister asked me about getting saved without walking the aisle and embarassing herself, I told her that there was no other way!

    It's hard to "just" have faith. You have to do something, even if it's "bow your head and pray this prayer after me."

    If true believers were simply exercising their faith by obeying God and being baptized, they were getting saved.
     
  11. Malachi

    Malachi
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    When I got saved at age 13, I didn't think that walking the aisle saved me. Yet, when my 16 year old sister asked me about getting saved without walking the aisle and embarassing herself, I told her that there was no other way!

    It's hard to "just" have faith. You have to do something, even if it's "bow your head and pray this prayer after me."

    If true believers were simply exercising their faith by obeying God and being baptized, they were getting saved.
    </font>[/QUOTE]1st, in order to be a "true believer", one needs to be "born again". If noone was preaching that, how did anyone know that by repenting of their sins and trusting in Jesus' sacrifice as atonement for their sins, how were they saved?

    If they were told they were already reborn at infant baptism, than no need to look any further for anything else.
     
  12. mioque

    mioque
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    Malachi
    I've always found it interesting that while the NT is a rather Jewish book, in the sense that all of the symbolism, subject matter, methaphors and even some of the grammar used in it have more to do with 1st century A.D. Judaïsm than with 1st century Greek philosophy, the churchfathers interpret it like it is a Greek philosophy text.

    And I agree with Pipedude and Gold Dragon.
     
  13. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    Malachi, I also wanted to welcome a fellow Canadian to the BB. [​IMG]
     
  14. Malachi

    Malachi
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    eh?

    Thank you nice to be here.

    I canno tbelieve that we do not have any respectuble rebuttal to the early church christians' writtings. This blows my mind. How are we a) suppose to witness to RC. (if need be [​IMG] ) b) if we cannot rebute them, why aren't we Roman Catholic?

    I have been spending some time on the CAtholics Answers website, their Apologists are very well versed. I would have hoped as non-Catholics, were are equally versed.

    I mean if we cannot discredit or doisprove, shouldn't we then accept?

    Thank you for the welcome.
     
  15. mioque

    mioque
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    Oops, wrong button. [​IMG]
     
  16. mioque

    mioque
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    Malachi
    "b) if we cannot rebute them, why aren't we Roman Catholic?"
    "
    Because we can make a good case that baptism is not intended for babies? Because it says nowhere in Scripture that the bishop of Rome is the seatwarmer of Jezus prior to the 2nd coming?
    Because you don't like the smell of incense?

    "I have been spending some time on the CAtholics Answers website, their Apologists are very well versed."
    "
    Actually they aren't. Most apologists (on both sides) who haunt the internet are either amateurs, or hucksters. During my university days I've ran into a few people who could make their case for or against the RCC a lot better than anything I've ever seen on the internet.
     
  17. mioque

    mioque
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    Malachi
    "I canno tbelieve that we do not have any respectuble rebuttal to the early church christians' writtings. This blows my mind."
    "
    Simple.
    -The Churchfathers are not immune to being wrong.
    -All of them believed in stuff the RCC disagrees with.
    -On a couple of side issues they all agree to disagree with later theologians. A clear case of cultural bias.
    Problem is, whose framework is more correct? The Greek philosophers viewpoint of the Churchfathers, or the western civilization viewpoint of later theologians? Both are analyzing a text that is written from a very different worldview to their own.

    "How are we suppose to witness to RC. (if need be)"
    "
    Show the person that he is not yet a born again Christian. In the end, being saved has not all that much to do with your denomination.
    A lot of RC parishes however are not conductive for sound Christian living. Spending to much time burning candles in front of statues and playing bingo.
    A saved Christian who is a member of such a parish should seriously consider moving on to a more fitting church.
     
  18. JackRUS

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    The Early Church Fathers quotes and writings have been kept mostly by the Catholic Church, and some are considered to be spurious. They are not equal anyway to the Scriptures that God Himself kept.

    They could have easily have altered quotes in order to keep the people under their thumb. They came up with the Donation of Constantine and other forgeries before for this purpose:

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/donatconst.html The Donation of Constantine
    http://users.aol.com/rcchurch/donate.htm
    http://historical.benabraham.com/html/donation_of_constantine.html Painting of DOC at Vatican
    http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/decretals.aspx Decretals of Isidore (forgery)
    http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/iv.v.lxxiv.htm Catholic forgeries

    http://users.aol.com/rcchurch/rcchurch.html False Catholic history
    http://www.acts1711.com/forgery.htm Forgeries (Early Fathers, etc.)
    http://www.angelfire.com/ky/dodone/Forgery.html Forged Catholic papers (ECF)

    They sold indulgences, and have always wanted to be a sort of exclusive franchise for salvation. That is ample reason for them to deceive their followers. And of course the simple reason is money. How do you think that they came up with all the money to build the Vatican and to collect it's treasures and art work?

    Here are some web sites that refute baptismal regeneration:

    http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/RobertsonsWordPictures/rwp.cgi?book=joh&chapter=003&verse=005&next=006&prev=004
    www.evangelicaloutreach.org/baptism.htm
    http://www.ovrlnd.com/FalseDoctrine/baptizmalregen.html
    http://www.dokimos.org/immersed.html?origin=main&c
    http://www.fundamentalbiblechurch.org/Tracts/fbcbaptr.htm
    http://www.carm.org/questions/baptnec.htm
    http://www.biblebelievers.net/FalseTeaching/kjcbaptr.htm
    http://users.htcomp.net/gatewaybc/on_line_articles/baptismal_regeneration.htm

    I would say to your Catholic friend that you don't find their quotes to be reliable do to the RCC's long established history of forgeries. And even if some quotes are reliable, then they don't square up with the Word of God, and tell him why.

    BTW, here are some quotes from the Early Church Fathers that claim that Peter is not the Rock, that Jesus Christ is:

    http://www.christiantruth.com/fathersmt16.html

    You might want to ask him why the Catholic Church picks and chooses what to belive from their writings. It's always good to the ECF back in their faces. (which should look something like this: [​IMG] )
     
  19. mioque

    mioque
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    JackRUS
    "They could have easily have altered quotes in order to keep the people under their thumb. They came up with the Donation of Constantine and other forgeries before for this purpose:"
    "
    I'm always surprised about the contempt there is for our own scholars in some circles. By now we know pretty well where the forgeries are among the corpus of ancient Christian texts.
     
  20. JackRUS

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    Good. Give me a list of them please. :D
     

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