Roman Catholic Apologists

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Gromit, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Gromit

    Gromit
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    Rather than focusing on doctrinal / theological points per se, I think one can learn a lot from reading critiques about Roman Catholic *apologetics*.

    I would encourage all Baptists and Protestants to read the following works. I mean you *really, really* need to read these. Here they are~

    Evangelical Answers, by Eric Svendsen. Copies are available from amazon.com

    Eric Svendsen also has material online (he has many other essays, I am listing only a few here):
    Roman Catholic Corner
    30,000 Protestant Denominations?
    Question 2 of the Roman Catholic Challenge


    Timothy Enloe: Apologetics and Epistemology
    pay special attention to:

    What is Truth? How Some Roman Catholic Apologists are Their Own Worst Enemies

    And I'm sure most are already familiar with James R. White's work. If not, here's the link~
    Alpha and Omega Ministries on Roman Catholicism

    ----------------
    Lion of Judah Christian Apologetics: Now at a NEW location!
     
  2. MikeS

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    I encourage everybody to read the one and only review at Amazon on this book. It's too too perfect!

    Papist Pig-Dogs Rebutted
     
  3. dumbox1

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    That can't be serious (I hope).
     
  4. MikeS

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    But the fact that you even have to ask the question says a lot, doesn't it! :eek:
     
  5. CatholicConvert

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    Well, isn't this special! :rolleyes:

    Yeah, and that's right....I'm the same for the Church. :D
     
  6. thessalonian

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    This quote seems appropriate to this thread:

    "A man can join any other movement, group, or cult without provoking hositle comment from his neighbors and friends; he can even found some esoteric sun cult of his own and be tolerated as a citizen exercising his legitimate freedom and satisfying his own religous needs. But as soon as anyone joins the (catholic) Church, hatred, opposition appear."--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

    Amen to that!

    Blessings
     
  7. MikeS

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    I'll toss in:

    The worthy merchant of the middle class, the worthy farmer of the Middle West, when he sends his son to college, does now feel a faint alarm lest the boy should fall among thieves, in the sense of Communists; but he has the same sort of fear lest he should fall among Catholics.

    Now he has no fear lest he should fall among Calvinists. He has no fear that his children will become seventeenth-century Supralapsarians, however much he may dislike that doctrine. He is not even particularly troubled by the possibility of their adopting the extreme solfidian conceptions once common among some of the more extravagant Methodists. He is not likely to await with terror the telegram that will inform him that his son has become a Fifth-Monarchy man, any more than that he has joined the Albigensians. He does not exactly lie awake at night wondering whether Tom at Oxford has become a Lutheran any more than a Lollard. All these religions he dimly recognises as dead religions; or at any rate as old religions. And he is only frightened of new religions. He is only frightened of those fresh, provocative, paradoxical new notions that fly to the young people's heads. But amongst these dangerous juvenile attractions he does in practice class the freshness and novelty of Rome.


    -- G.K. Chesterton, "The Catholic Church and Conversion"
     
  8. BrianT

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    Does anyone have any pros/cons (affirmations/rebuttals) of the authors listed in the first post? I am interested in weighing, as objectively as I can, the validity of these sorts of apologetics.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  9. CatholicConvert

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    Brian --

    Did you miss my post. I took issue with some of the things that Eric Svendson said.

    There is simply too much to respond to, and in respect to our hosts, it would take far too much bandwidth to do so.

    However, there is a common starting point for all apologia coming from Protestantism against the Church. That starting point is to try to make claims that will prove that the Church is not the Church, but instead merely an association of like minded feeble thinkers who have been thoroughly duped by Rome. The reason for this should be obvious: the Church is the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, and carries therefore the AUTHORITY of Christ when She speaks. Therefore, it is ESSENTIAL to Protestant apologetics to discredit the Church and Her authority. This is what Svendson tries to do as well as every other anti-Catholic.

    The only problem is that history is far against them. The reader of history will find only ONE body on earth which was the Church prior to the 1500's. The theological novums of Protestantism were neither known nor taught, and those who try to say so must find esoteric quotes from heretics who were out of communion with the Church upon which to rest such claims. Either that, or they will quote the Early Fathers out of context and attempt to build a straw palace from those quotes.

    Very poor scholarship all in all.
     
  10. BrianT

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    No, I didn't miss it. [​IMG] I was asking for more (both pro and con), and I wasn't clear I guess. [​IMG]

    True, I'm not looking for people in this forum to pick apart or affirm everything from the links of the first post, I'm looking more for already established websites that critique (positively and negatively) the authors in general.

    This is true, but understandable. I think "authority" is basically what it all boils down to, so I personally think it's one of the key issues to establish for both sides. For if the CC does carry that authority, the rest of the doctrines fall into place by default. But if it doesn't, the rest are suspect.

    I largely agree, it has given me much to think about, and I believe it even partially ties into the "authority" issue.

    Do you know of any specific critiques? For example, I have James White's other book (the one against KJV-onlyism), and the scholarship is pretty good (there are some points that are weak, but in general it's very good). In other words, I have already decided that White isn't an idiot. [​IMG] I have not read his anti-Catholic book, so I don't know if it's on the same level or not (even if I read it, my weak knowledge of the CC for myself would make it difficult for me to evaluate it objectively) - thus I'm looking for critiques. [​IMG]
     
  11. Gromit

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  12. Ray Berrian

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    CatholicConvert,

    You said, 'However, there is a common starting point for all apologia coming from
    Protestantism against the Church.

    The Protestant Churches are also the church, just as some of us accept the Catholic Church as making up some of Christ's Bride. We don't know how many people in Protestant Churches or Catholic Church are really saved and fit for Heaven.

    You said, 'That starting point is to try to make claims that will prove that the Church is not the Church, but instead merely an association of like minded feeble thinkers who have been thoroughly duped by Rome.'

    There are many Catholics who are brilliant but they refuse to believe that the traditions of the Catholic Church could be wrong. This is what keeps the blind leading the blind. My faith does not rest in any papal chair or one who sits on that throne; my faith is in the One Who is seated at the right hand of God. [Hebrews 1:3] This enthroned Majestic One is much better than angels [1:4 a,b] or any finite, human, heir to the throne at the Vatican.

    Who died for our sins? Was it the spin-masters at the Vatican or Jesus Christ?
     
  13. Gromit

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    Re: the amazon book review.

    I didn't like the review. It was written by an aggressive, hostile, unintellecutal hyper- fundamentalist (who else would've written such a goofy review?)

    I, however, have read the book myself and can assure everyone here that the tone of Mr. Svendsen's book, 'Evangelical Answers' is not that of the amazon reviewer's.

    If you go to the NT Ministries site, you can read excerpts from the book and see for yourself, as Mr. Svendsen sometimes quotes from his own book when answering questions from site visitors,
    Eric Svendsen's Q and A Page Re Roman Catholicism
     
  14. Gromit

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    I disagree very much. Every cultic group (and yes, I count Roman Catholicism among them) claims to be a special martyr.

    Mormons do this. They love the "oh pity us" attitude, and they will label anyone who disagrees with their beliefs as being "anti Mormon." They go on and on about how some or their earliest followers (was it Smith?) was imprisoned or whatever.

    KJV Onlyists do this kind of thing as well (except they also claim the the KJV itself has undergone hatred and persecution).

    I find it funny for Roman Catholics to act like victims or oppression or what not, since the trials and tribulations of the Inquistion -- where the Roman Church imprisoned and killed people -- is a matter of historic record, i.e. The Inquisition: A Study in Absolute Roman Catholic Power

    At any rate, the articles I linked to (in my initial post) which show the shortcomings of Roman Catholic apologetics are not hateful in tone.
     
  15. Gromit

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    Not necessarily so.

    You're kind of painting the wrong picture here. It is the RC Apologist who begins the whole mess by trying to push sola ecclesia.

    It is the RC apologist who tries to chip away at the Protestant belief in sola scriptura in order to win converts, and they chip away at sola scriptura by trying to fool the potential convert into thinking that the Roman Church is the end-all, be-all.

    One strategy that is utilized...

    You try to get them to interpret Bible verses in such a manner that they have to conclude that the Roman Church is the only true one, and that we all (supposedly) need the Pope and magiserium to lead us into all truth, to tell us what the Scriptures really say, to get us to accept tradition (as the Roman Church practices it), etc.

    So, quite naturally, the Protestant apologist not only has to defend against such nonsense, but has to go on the offensive to show how Rome does not have any true authority.

    I read of this before and figured some of it out on my own, but all of this (and more) is summarized in the following article:
    Sola Scriptura in Dialog (long article, but it exposes techniques used by RC apologists)

    The article makes its points by presenting a quasi-fictional story of a Protestant family who is considering converting to the Roman Church.
     
  16. BrianT

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    Thanks for the links Gromit, although I warned you not to drown me with information. ;) It looks like I have a busy weekend ahead of me. [​IMG]
     
  17. Gromit

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    Papal infallibility or Mary's bodily assumption, perpetual virginity, etc. cannot be traced back 1500 - 2000 years.

    Svendsen did no such thing. I read the man's book. Why would he waste his time trying to refute RC beliefs that RCers don't actually hold? He wouldn't.

    This is like Gail Riplinger whaling on James White and fellow KJV Onlyist David Cloud for daring to expose her faulty methods.

    I would not willingly or knowingly recommend such a book where I know that the author lied or recommend a book that is excessively sloppy -- at least one member in this forum *knows*, for example, that I would not, I would NEVER, recommed a book like Gail Riplinger's "New Age Bible Versions" for example. NABV is probably THE WORST researched, dishonest book to ever be printed in the history of the world.

    Additionally, your criticisms of Svendsen's book are a bit off mark. It seems to me that what he does, mainly, is to critique the *arguments of Roman Catholic apologists*.

    His aim was not to just out- and- out discuss Church history, Roman theology, etc. He may of course touch on those subjects, but that isn't the big thrust of the book.

    That is why I think books such as that one would be more beneficial and eye opening that just reading the standard "Protestant Verses Catholic teachings" type things.

    That is WHY I did not tell folks to go get a copy of James R. White's *book* on Catholicism and on Mary, which I could've easily done (I've read both, BTW, and both are pretty good).

    I gave a link to White's RC page since he has some articles regarding the types of arguments one hears from a Roman Church apologist, and where such arguments are flawed.

    I don't think Protestants or Baptists would be suckered into converting to RCism if it wasn't for the new apologetics used by the Roman Church over the past few decades.

    Let's face it, before the new RC apologetics, Prots and Baptists knew the doctrines of the RCC and knew to stay away from it. But now you have the apologists all smooth and slick with crafty arguments which sounds good and convincing to some Prots/Baptists.

    It's like how the Mormon church got tired of being called a "cult" so sometime around the 1970s, they began airing those commericals in the United States, where they tried to make themselves look like a mainline Christian denomination.

    A change in p.r. and apologetics can fool and sucker some of the people, people who before would've not been taken in.
     
  18. MikeS

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    Not necessarily so.

    You're kind of painting the wrong picture here. It is the RC Apologist who begins the whole mess by trying to push sola ecclesia.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Show me a Catholic apologist who "pushes" (or even believes in) sola ecclesia.

    Sola ecclesia is just an invention by Protestants trying to come up with a Catholic equivalent of sola Scriptura to then tear down.

    Scripture. Sacred Tradition. Magesterium. It's as easy as 1-2-3!
     
  19. Gromit

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    Not necessarily so.

    You're kind of painting the wrong picture here. It is the RC Apologist who begins the whole mess by trying to push sola ecclesia.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Show me a Catholic apologist who "pushes" (or even believes in) sola ecclesia.

    Sola ecclesia is just an invention by Protestants trying to come up with a Catholic equivalent of sola Scriptura to then tear down.

    Scripture. Sacred Tradition. Magesterium. It's as easy as 1-2-3!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Of course you don't *believe* that the Roman Church teaches that, but that is the reality and the practical outcome.

    No, it's isn't 1 - 2 - 3 , as in a flat/vertical system. The reality is they have a hierarchal system as follows:

    AUTHORITY ACCORDING TO RCC AND IN PRACTICE:
    1) The Church (i.e., pope and magisterium)
    2) church tradition (which #1 defines)
    3) Bible (which #1 gets to interpret and define making it an authority over #3)

    Instead of complaining at me, read the White article I linked to-- he has addressed your objections already. That is why I gave the link to begin with. Here's the link to that essay again:
    James White article sola scriptura
     
  20. Gromit

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    Dude, I was posting this recent stuff mostly in response to the Catholics on this forum. Whether you want to read it or not is up to you.

    I really didn't want to get dragged into this. I thought I swore off RCC debating a couple of years ago. Sad to see that not many other Baptists want to debate the guys. Getting Baptists to show up at my old RCC debate board was like pulling teeth.
     

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