Counter-Reformation, the Roman Catholic efforts directed in the 16th–17th century against the Protestant Reformation and toward internal renewal. in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.”(430, 1992). During the tempestuous time of the rise of Protestantism following the Reformation, the Catholic Church needed advocates who would defend the faith against calumnies and distortions, while at the same time militating for needed reform. Opposition to religious imagery was a feature of proto-Protestant movements such as the Lollards in England.. And the number of Bible manuscripts is far greater than those referring to anyone else of that time. Pro-tip: it helps to do real research first about a religion before attacking it. even though every ancient source who discusses the question says it was Peter. Walls’ argument is half-right. But you also have to ignore a bigger question: given that the Apostle John is still alive in 96 AD, why are the Corinthians writing to Rome to settle an internal church dispute? The real question is why Walls rejects irrational skepticism in regards to the Resurrection, but accepts it in regards to St. Peter’s successors. Why not? Of the three that he cites, Eno views the evidence as inconclusive, but leans against the idea of there being an unbroken line of succession from St. Peter. This list was in peaceful possession in the Western Church until the Reformation, and it was necessary to reaffirm it at the Council of Trent (DS 1502–03) and at Vatican I (DS 3029). (Many Protestants become Catholics and give their reasons for doing so along with their misunderstandings of Catholicism. But let’s consider what Lampe and Walls’ theory entails. **Surprised by Truth! Christians would not accept an argument that because of these things, Israel was not God’s chosen people – for it would contradict Scripture. First, both men seem to be genuinely interested in the truth. There are so many arguments against the Catholic Church that are false or skewed. his is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print. 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). are less convincing to the set of Christians than the arguments for Christianity, so if that’s the standard, no one can meet it. Well, no we don’t. The fact that the Church had a decision to make in regard to the Scriptures is documented and clear. Is he also lying about this? But they are pious romance, not history, and the fact is that we have no reliable accounts either of Peter’s later life or of the manner or place of his death. 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. If they’re not true, then nobody should be a Catholic.” So if Walls has a clear proof that the papacy is false, that really would be the strongest argument against Catholicism. There’s actually a lot to like about the video. It’s a fact of history that Suetonius wrote about the messenger, but this miraculous appearance isn’t actually part of history. Scripture cannot be any more clear! Walls’ argument, in a nutshell, works like this: the Resurrection is foundational to Christianity, and so we should expect it to be historically well-supported, and it is. Remember the story of Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon? Are all of them lying, or rewriting history? 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 world of the late medieval Roman Catholic Church from which the 16th-century reformers emerged was a complex one. ‘If Christ be not Raised’; If Peter was not the First Pope: Parallel Cases of Indispensable Doctrinal Foundation. But the absence of evidence of (2) is itself striking. “Search and Rescue: How to bring your family and friends back – or back into – the Catholic church” by Patrick Madrid. 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. These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early Church—Origen, Ambrose, Augustine. But there’s a second problem with this reasoning as well. @BishopBarron @WordOnFire My issue arrived today. 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. But Ignatius’ seventh letter is to the Romans, and it is markedly different in tone. Walls treats the historicity of the Resurrection as generally accepted, although he acknowledges “that there are numerous scholars on the other side who are more skeptical, or who strongly deny the resurrection.” But this isn’t some skeptical fringe: secular historians in fact tend to treat the Resurrection as fictional, for the simple reason that it describes a supernatural event. That's all well and good, but there are Protestants who have genuine and well thought out arguments. points out: A first problem with this scenario is its lack of historical plausibility. It’s Ignatius setting his final affairs in order as he approaches certain death. Walls supports this claim principally by citing two Catholic historians, Fr. But if he’s not, they’re just writing to a slightly-bigger and slightly-less ancient local church on the other side of the Empire instead of to an Apostle, and the decision is baffling. Learn more about the history, key reformers, educational and missionary endeavors, and legacy of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. I’m not sure I’m getting you. God bless Bishop Barron. 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. And, as always, if you have any questions about anything listed in the picture above, just ask. The process of canonization of the Scriptures is documented. When Bertuzzi points out that this seems to just be an argument from silence, Walls replies: How so? 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. Likewise, the Catholic Church does not teach that we are saved by Catechisms, candles, holy water, and most of the other things listed on there. This is called the sacrament of confession (or penance). Dr. Horrell explains, “Usually, it’s related to… the large house of cardinals and the leading theologians in the movement; but finally, that all comes under, of course, the pope himself.” Besides providing a trusted, unified voice to guide Catholics, this body also allows the church to make official pronouncements on contemporary issues which Scripture might not directly address. Matthew 16:17-19, Luke 22:26-32, Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 13:47-50, John 21:1-17, Acts 21:4, Acts 11:26, Acts 26:26, Apologetics, Catholic Church, Papacy, Protestantism. Comfort and Joy: Spiritual Lessons in the Final Days of Advent. In his book Religion of the Protestants, Chillingworth asserted that "There have been popes against popes: councils against councils: councils confirmed by popes against councils confirmed by popes: lastly the church of some ages against the church other ages" [1]. But since Walls is focused on the evidence from the first 200 years of Christianity, I’ll do likewise. However, salvation is not a one time event. “Did Jesus have a last name? And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter, and he by Eleutherus. Edwards is seeking to defend the historicity of the Protestant Bible, and protect it against criticisms from both Catholics and modern Biblical critics. That fragment itself dates to 170, and it’s describing the 140s, so both it and the testimony of Hegesippus seem to debunk the idea that this is all a fabrication or anachronism from the 180s. Now, I would argue, and I suspect that Walls would agree, that this rejection of the supernatural is actually irrational. As far as I can tell, Brown is the only one who both has expertise in the area and rejects the Catholic claim to apostolic succession. Likewise confession is part of God’s plan. A Protestant might go about trying to rebut this evidence directly, showing that none of it actually means what it seems to mean. But in fact, Ignatius does mentions bishops in his letter to the Romans, twice. And it also ignores the historical context: the Muratorian fragment, a biblical canon from around the year 170 explains that the Shepherd of Hermas isn’t considered Scripture because “Hermas wrote the Shepherd very recently, in our times, in the city of Rome, while bishop Pius, his brother, was occupying the [episcopal] chair of the church of the city of Rome.” The author uses this detail, not to prove that Pius I was Bishop of Rome from 142 to 157, but simply to explain when the book was written, and by whom. Protestants and American Conservatism: A Short History by gillis harp oxford, 336 pages, $36.95. 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 . 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].”. And it requires assuming that these twentieth-century skeptics had a better idea of what the Church looked like in Rome in the first and second century than did the actual Christians of the second century (including both Roman Christians and visitors to Rome, like Hegesippus). To hold to this position, you have to ignore the fact that several other (seemingly independent) ancient sources all tell us that Clement was the Bishop of Rome: St. Irenaeus says so in c. 180, Tertullian treats it as well known history in c. 200, Eusebius (265-339) talks about it in his discussion of the history of the popes in Book III of Church History, and St. Jerome mentions it in his biographical sketch of the life of Clement. Answering Anti-Catholic Arguments (and showing why they are wrong). 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). 25:31-46 and many others), and we must follow the commandments (Mt.19:17-21) and do God’s will (Mt. 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. Was the Reformation a mistake? As stated above, most of these assertions are just made up – invented. If you read it, you’ll find the Catholic church teaches things which are contrary to … (126) Capturing Christianity, Cameron Bertuzzi’s YouTube platform, recently released a 90-minute video called “The STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism w/ Dr. Jerry Walls.” In it, Bertuzzi sits down with Dr. Jerry Walls, a philosopher at Houston Baptist University, who presents what he views as the best argument against the Catholic claim. He remarks on how “God has deemed me, the bishop of Syria, worthy to be sent for from the east unto the west.” And Ignatius’ request for prayers for the church in Syria only makes sense if the Romans know that there is only one bishop per church, for he writes to them about how Antioch “now has God for its shepherd, instead of me,” and how “Jesus Christ alone will oversee it” in his absence. 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 … Some are so far off that it is hard to take them seriously. So how does Walls handle such explicit evidence for apostolic succession and papal authority? 13:47-50; John 21:1-13); the promise that he will gather the Gentiles into the Church so that there will be “one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16) followed by his commissioning of Peter (individually) to “feed my lambs,” “tend my sheep,” and “feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth. Well, of course only Christ saves you. In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.” So notice that each of these authorities says that all of the apostolic churches keep lists like this: that fact will become salient in a moment. For example, the Catholic Church does not teach that we are saved by Peter or that Peter gets us to heaven. In the mid 17th century English Protestant divine William Chillingworth derided the concept of an unbroken apostolic tradition. https://twitter.com/WordOnFire/status/1334627488014667776, @WordOnFire Great reading!!! It’s whether, given that you’ve accepted Christianity, you accept the distinctive claims of Catholicism, or Orthodoxy, or any of the various forms of Protestantism. There is not even a peep of dissension, of one side saying that the other side just made up the episcopacy or the papacy. Period. 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. **The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. 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. Acts 26:26). Since Duffy is reliant on Brown, saying “Duffy and Brown say x” tells us nothing more than “Brown says x.”. After all, disagreements about governance structure are the cause of schism today (it’s the defining feature distinguishing Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians from one another), and it’s hard to overstate how seriously this question was taken in the first two centuries of the Church. This book is especially relevant as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation draws near and discussion of the arguments made against the Church during that time in history receive renewed interest. But it’s more baffling than that: Hegesippus talks about being in Rome during the pontificates of Anicetus, Soter, and Eleutherus. And your works help me much to combat this activity of the protestant. 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. However, it is not just an intellectual belief only that saves you but a living, breathing, working faith. I am a catholic working as extra ordinary lay minister of the catholic church, part of my work is to explain the words of God in our Basic Bible Seminar to the faithful in our parish, your works help me much…..i need literature or readings as my day to day simplified reference in apologetic work. Only His body and blood forgives us our sins, and without it, we cannot be saved. A Catholic and a Protestant debate Two theology professors — one Catholic, one Protestant — get to the heart of … He doesn’t bother to make any arguments or give any evidence. Analogously, the Church has never taught that Mary saves us or died for us, or anything of the sort. 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. Walls is a graduate of Notre Dame, so it is perhaps worth pointing out that in the 1967 Land O’ Lakes Statement, the heads of several Catholic universities (headed by Notre Dame’s Fr. I’ve actually written a book on this very subject, which is why Word on Fire asked me to respond to his claims. Duffy acknowledges that Christians of the second century, along with the “greatest minds of the early Church” in the third and fourth century, accepted particular historical claims about Peter, the most important of which is that he died during Nero’s persecution in AD 64, in the city of Rome. 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. And if not, on what basis are we compelled to accept his claims about the evidence for the papacy or apostolic succession? “On a mission: Lessons from St. Francis de Sales” by Patrick Madrid. There’s a third witness to this, as well: one Hegesippus (c. 110-180), a chronicler whose writings are now mostly lost to us. Continue Reading. 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. That leaves Walls with exactly one argument: that since Clement doesn’t explicitly say that he’s the Bishop of Rome in his letter dating to c. 96 AD, therefore he wasn’t, and there must have been a plurality of bishops. 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. ++, **My recommendations based on this article. This is common among anti-Catholics who quickly sling Bible verses at Catholics but almost always take them out of context. T oday, conservative critics of liberalism tend to be Catholic. So how does Walls’ “STRONGEST argument against Catholicism” hold up? The picture above quotes one verse that says we are saved by “believing in Jesus,” which is true. It is Christ who saves us this way and anti-Catholics try to tie His hands claiming He cannot. 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. It’s worth recognizing that this is simply an argument from authority: Walls isn’t giving any evidence, other than that the scholars he’s hand-picked say what he wants them to say. Catholicism ftw. . Jesus Himself gave men the power to forgive sins (Jn. Nor was it only Rome: every apostolic church made similar claims about apostolic succession. 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. An evangelical discovers Catholic Tradition” by Mark Shea. Capturing Christianity, Cameron Bertuzzi’s YouTube platform, recently released a 90-minute video called “The STRONGEST Argument Against Catholicism w/ Dr. Jerry Walls. (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). 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. Raymond Brown, appears in his article), and saying that this constitutes a scholarly consensus. I dropped out of a Protestant seminary, enrolled in RCIA, and delved deep into the Catechism, Catholic theology, and Catholic literature. The final defense is that these scholars are Catholics. 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. The crux of Walls’ claim goes something like this: Christ establishing the papacy upon Peter is the distinctive claim that Catholicism makes relative to all other forms of Christianity; but this claim is poorly-supported by the evidence of the early Church, where (he claims) there wasn’t even a Bishop of Rome until nearly 200 AD. But as St. Thomas Aquinas notes, “The proof from authority is the weakest form of proof.” (And if Aquinas says it, it must be correct . I mean, where did someone even concoct this from? Thank you. 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. **Rome Sweet Home (Militant anti-Catholic becomes Catholic, **Where We Got The Bible, by Henry Graham –. If Clement is the pope, the Corinthians’ decision makes sense. Rome accurately understands the Protestant position and unapologetically anathematizes it. Ignatius’ seven letters are written on his way from Antioch (the city over which he was bishop) to Rome (the city in which he was martyred), and were written somewhere around AD 107. A PROTESTANT DEFENSE OF SOLA SCRIPTURA. I alluded to the biblical evidence above, and would refer you to my book if that piques your interest. 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! The term “magisterium” refers to the official teaching body of the Roman Catholic Church. But the other, more obvious reason that Ignatius’ letter to the Romans sounds different is that he is on his way to be martyred in their presence, and he is writing to them to ask them not to intervene to try to prevent his martyrdom, and to pray for the church in Syria that he is to leave behind. In place of that evidence, there’s no evidence pointing in the other direction. Different list of books were circulating during the fourth century, and a definitive list was drawn up in the African councils at the end of that century and by Pope Innocent I in 405. Most of the texts themselves have been translated into English for over a century, and few of the disputes hinge upon esoteric questions of Greek grammar or the like. . Brown knowing Greek and being well-read doesn’t make his argument any stronger. So he mentions bishops in every other letter, he’s almost obsessed with the authority of the bishop. 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