Skip to comments.THE PROTESTANT’S DILEMMA BY DEVIN ROSE: A REVIEW
Posted on 03/19/2014 1:32:10 PM PDT by rwa265
If a Protestant looking into the claims of Catholicism were to ask me, What one book should I read, where I can find a quick answer to any question I have? I would tell him to read Devin Roses new book The Protestants Dilemma. I would also recommend this book to Protestant apologists, even those of many years, well-skilled in polemics. It will remind them of the heavy burden of proof they face, and the weakness of their position on point after point. The truth may set them free and bring them home too. (It has happened.)
All this may seem like overstatement the obligatory praise from one Catholic blogger to another. But it is not.
Consider first the range of issues this book takes up. There are thirty-six chapters, each one on a different topic, from the papacy to sola scriptura, from the canon of the Bible to Purgatory, from confession to Eucharist to infant baptism. If something about the Catholic Church troubles you, this book has the answer. If you think you have found the point on which Catholicism fails, this book will show you why it is one more point upon which Protestantism fails.
Consider also the brevity. The book is just over 200 pages long, which means that Mr. Roses answers get to the root of the question without a knot of academic detail. It is harder to do than it might seem. This is the book of a man who has spent a long time studying the questions that divide Protestants and Catholics, and who knows how to present his case in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. At the same time, the book is useful for the professional apologist, for it recalls his mind to the basics.
(Excerpt) Read more at scottericalt.com ...
I never saw you post much before on RC versus Protestant debates in my years here on the RF, so I guess you might be excused for not knowing how often these RC attempts and their often parroted polemics have been refuted, so this one must be also, by God's grace.
Which logical conclusion of Rome's claims is what has actually refuted Rome so often here. I wish Mr. Rose would debate me here on that, but since you post it then you or others must stand in. Thus lets examine his arguments and ask some questions in so doing that his stand-ins need to answer.
A very foundational issue, so i am glad he begins here.
Wrong. The Roman Catholic looks to the magisterium of Rome to infallibly authoritatively tell him what constitutes Tradition and Scripture and history and what they mean. Thus Rome operates under sola ecclesia, that Rome as the One True Church® is the supreme standard for Truth. Which is contrary to Scripture as we will see.
Thus the first question: What is the basis for your assurance that Rome is the One True Church? If it is Scripture and history, then you are being like an evangelical, and do not need the magisterium for your assurance of Truth. In reality your assurance is based upon the premise of the perpetual assured infallibility of Rome. Which you know is true because Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares.
You may reason yourself into converting to and thus submitting to Rome, but once you have made the fallible decision (as it is a result of your fallible human reasoning), you are not to objectively examine evidence in order to determine the veracity of Roman Catholic teachings.
"The intolerance of the Church toward error, the natural position of one who is the custodian of truth, her only reasonable attitude makes her forbid her children to read or to listen to heretical controversy, or to endeavor to discover religious truths by examining both sides of the question. This places the Catholic in a position whereby he must stand aloof from all manner of doctrinal teaching other than that delivered by his Church through her accredited ministers." (John H. Stapleton, Explanation of Catholic Morals, Chapters XIX, XXIII. the consistent believer (1904); Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor Librorum. Imprimatur, John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York ; http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18438/18438-h/18438-h.htm)
Absolute, immediate, and unfaltering submission to the teaching of God's Church on matters of faith and morals-----this is what all must give..
The Vicar of Christ is the Vicar of God; to us the voice of the Pope is the voice of God. This, too, is why Catholics would never dream of calling in question the utterance of a priest in expounding Christian doctrine according to the teaching of the Church;
He is as sure of a truth when declared by the Catholic Church as he would be if he saw Jesus Christ standing before him and heard Him declaring it with His Own Divine lips. Henry G. Graham, "What Faith Really Means", (Nihil Obstat:C. SCHUT, S. T.D., Censor Deputatus, Imprimatur: EDM. CANONICUS SURMONT, D.D.,Vicarius Generalis. WESTMONASTERII, Die 30 Septembris, 1914 ); http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/faith2-10.htm]
Therefore as fellow Roman Catholic apologist Karl Keating states when trying to justify the lack of any actual Scriptural proof for the Assumption:
The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true. Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988), p. 275; http://www.catholic.com/tracts/immaculate-conception-and-assumption
Not only that, but we must decide what it is. With the Roman premise being that an assuredly infallible magisterium is necessary to provide that, and its meaning, with dissent from that authority being rebellion. But that this is necessary and that Rome is that magisterium must have a basis. Thus the 2nd question:
Do you hold (as Roman Catholics argue) that being the historical instrument and steward of Scripture (allowing Rome today to claim was that) means one is the infallible authority on that? If so, then how were both men and writings of God established as being so before Christ came? And since under the Roman model the historical instrument and steward of Scripture is to be followed, and Truth and assurance of it determined by it, and not by persuasion of Scriptural substantiation, then how could 1st century soils be correct in following a man in the desert who ate insects and an Itinerant Preacher from Galilee, when both of them were rejected by those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel? (Mt. 23:2)
And of which, unlike a church in Rome, Scripture affirms was the historical instrument and steward of Scripture. (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) And yet whom the Itinerant Preacher reproved by Scripture, and established His Truth claims upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the apostles and early church, (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)
For Scripture is abundantly evidenced as being the the assured Word of God and transcendent standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims, and thus the church actually began (as did America) in principled dissent over those, whom, like Rome presumed of themselves above that which is written. (cf. 1Cor. 4:6)
Which it is as regards salvation and basic growth, for one who is drawn of God should normally be able to read a message of salvation such as Acts 10:36-43 and become born again. And also read what those in Acts did in response, and basic commands to holiness.
However, holding Scripture as the sole infallible rule of faith does not mean it alone can be used, or is entirely formally sufficient, but that its sufficiency also pertains to material sufficiency, providing and sanctioning such things as the Holy Spirit's illumination, reason, the church, natural revelation, etc. And which Rose should have known before writing a yet another anti-Protestant book which parrots a favorite Catholic straw man polemic.
Which argument is based on the prior false premise, and that Rome's infallibly magisterium eliminates the problem of variant interpretations, which is does not. While those who most strongly hold Scripture as being the supreme standard as wholly inspired word of God are more unified in basic views than those Rome counts and treats as members, yet comprehensive doctrinal unity was ever a goal not yet realized. But while fundamental/evangelical churches require belief in core truths (contend for against cults) many of which Rome also affirms yet there are various degrees of disagreement outside that area.
What is lacking is a universal magisterium as seen in Acts 15, however, this was under manifest apostles of God, whose abundant supernatural attestation and virtue enabled the degree of unity it realized, but which was contrary to Rome, and which she stands in stark contrast to both in exercise and substance.
Meanwhile, the problem of interpretive differences is not solved even under the Roman alternative of sola ecclesia. RCs themselves must hold to certain core truths, yet not only these but most of what they believe and practice is open to varying degrees of interpretation. And the things Catholics can disagree on is extensive. One of which being what magisterial level (3 or 4 depending on who is explaining them) each of the Roman Catholic teachings fall under, which is necessary to understand what degree of assent is required, and of dissent, if any. As no infallible list of all infallible teachings is provided, nor of the level of each one of the rest belongs to, many RCs are encouraged to implicitly suibmist tot them all. Which is cultic.
Under sola ecclesia there are even formal divisions and sects, so that Rome herself in effect is like one more denomination, and while she holds the Eastern Orthodox as Catholic, the issues that divide them are substantial and many.
In addition, Rome's unity is limited and largely on paper, and James 2:18 teaches us that what one does constitutes what he really believes, and what Rome does is overall foster and implicitly sanction an overall liberal membership, exampled even by such notorious public examples as Ted Kennedy, whom the last pope (the conservative one) left with his apostolic blessing, not any manifest personal censure in his letter to him.
This is a further misrepresentation of reality, as if every evangelical type believer (which is being attacked her, not some wishy/washy close-to-Rome Anglican) is given no interpretive help and which he typically looks for, while in fact it is within that realm that the most comprehensive Godly help on interpretation of Scripture abounds as easily available, with classic commentaries such as Matthew Henry and others. And which type is in contrast with the modern liberal revisionism which Rome has sanctioned for decades (even on the Vatican's own web site) in its Bible helps within her own NAB!
This is simply another misrepresentation, a careless or purposely deceptive invocation of Westminster by a Roman Catholic apologist. The fact is that Westminster states,
The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture:..
.we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. - cps 6,7; http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/wcf.htm
Thus what is being taught is that no only are some things determined by the light of nature and sanctified common sense, in accordance principles seen in Scripture (creation reveals God, and the Lord appealed to Scripture-based reason), but rather than the Bible being clear to any who takes it up without any outside help, as all Scripture is not alike plain nor clear unto all, the due use of the ordinary means helps souls to understand, that meaning such thing as pastoral help, commentaries, etc. And as said, on the practical level where it counts, evangelical types testify to a greater basic unity overall than Catholics, despite the limited paper unity. And despite the external tribalism, among the former is realized both spontaneously and in ministries, a basic essential unity of the Spirit, based on a common conversion and Scriptural relationship with the Lord Jesus - Christ in them and they in Christ, (Jn. 17:21,23) and which transcends external divisions.
That is absurd, as he has as much help and more than that than RCs, who are told to look to their magisterium for such, but which at best have only infallibly interpreted a few verses of Scripture, and this is not one of them. That all do sin is an established evangelical truth, relegating those who disagree as being fringe, as it is with RCs, but how to reconcile these two texts will find disagreement among RCs, as in multitude other things. And if it is not infallibly taught, there can be some disagreement, and simply because some texts are invoked in the CCC does not mean this is an infallible interpretation.
In addition, adherents of SS cannot claim to be little pope, having assured infallibility, which is the height of sola individuala, but making the church to be the supreme authority over Scripture simply takes the problem of individual interpretations being supreme to a institutional level. For rather than one person leading others astray based on elitist claim of assured veracity, an entire church overall can be led into error based upon such. And thus Rome has become as the gates of Hell for multitudes.
That Catholicism is true is begging the question, but that the Bible was not intended to be studied in isolation from Scriptural tradition (a basic literal hermeneutic, versus liberal revisionism) and the teaching office is what Westminster affirms in principle,
" It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word." (CHAPTER XXXI )
So much for the straw man Rose makes to burn, while the difference is that an assuredly infallible magisterium is not what is promised in Scripture nor is shown to be necessary, but instead the church began in dissent, based upon Scriptural substantiation in word and in power. And the greater the claims, the more that is needed, and what the evidence warrants for Rome is contrary to that.
That is superficial reasoning, since even the interpreter often requires varying degrees of interpretation, and as said, this is really done by what one does. Thus a real apostle writes, the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? (1 Corinthians 4:20-21)
Written by a novice under the spell of manifestly specious and parroted argumentation. Actually, this is a amateurish and fundamentally erroneous attempt as provided here, while as one who became manifestly born again as a weekly mass-going Roman Catholic (raised devout), and remained in it for years after, i realized the profound difference between institutionalized religion and real regeneration (though i certainly need to grow more in grace). And having since examined to good and bad of Rome over the years, and have spoken to multitudes by God's grace, then the more I learn of her then the more fundamentally fallacious her elitist claims are shown to be.
Thank you for proving my point.
A distinction without a difference. Honestly. Asking is praying, and beseeching someone invisible in Heaven to obtain favors is certain what is seen in Scripture as praying. But which is NEVER exampled in Scripture as addressed to anyone in glory except the Lord.
Or taught. The Lord did not say "our mother who art in Heaven," nor does the Holy Spirit cry "mama, mama," but "abba, Father." (Gal. 4:6) Hearing multitudes of prayer is a prerogative, privilege and attribute only ascribed to almighty God, and is a mark of the Divinity of Christ, who alone is the mediator btwn man and God the Father. You cannot extrapolate support from this from praying to others hear on earth. More .
On infallibility, please check into how many dogmas have been pronounced infallible.
You tell us. How many infallible teachings are there total? Or is this yet another things RCs can disagree on?
So did this guy ---> me and my arrow
So first I don’t have a point, then I do in the exact same post. Do you read before you post?
For one, as said above, hearing multitudes of prayer is a prerogative, privilege and attribute only ascribed to almighty God, and is a mark of the Divinity of Christ, who alone is the mediator btwn man and God the Father, and ever lives to do so. And by Him believers have DIRECT access into the holy of holies. (Heb. 4:19; 7:25; 10:19) You cannot extrapolate support from this from praying to others hear on earth.
Thinking of souls above what is written. (cf. 1Cor. 4:6)
It should be kept in mind that my objection is not to Mary being honored as the holy chosen vessel to bring forth Christ, or even to allowing Gn. 3:15 to refer to Mary, but to the excess ascriptions, appellations, exaltation, and adoration (and the manner of exegesis behind it), ascribed to the Catholic Mary, whether officially or by Catholics (with implicit sanction of authority), and which uniqueness and exaltation parallels that of Christ:
For in the the Catholic quest to almost deify Mary, it is taught by Catholics*,
as Christ was sinless, so Mary was;
as the Lord remained a virgin, so Mary;
as Christ was called the Son of God, indicating ontological oneness, so Mary is called the Mother of God (which easily infers the same, and is not the language of Scripture);
as the emphasis is upon Christ as the Creator through whom God (the Father) made all things, including Mary, so it is emphasized that uniquely to her, Jesus owes His Precious Blood, shed for the salvation of mankind, (the logic behind which can lead back to Eve);
as Catholics (adding error to error) believe Christ gave His actual flesh and blood to be eaten, so it is emphasized that Mary gave Him this, being fashioned out of Mary's pure blood and even being kneaded with the admixture of her virginal milk, so that she can say, "Come and eat my bread, drink the wine I have prepared" (Prov. 9:5);
as Scripture declares that Christ suffered for our sins, so Mary is said to have done so also;
as Christ saves us from the condemnation and death resulting from the fault of Adam, so it is taught that man was condemned through the fault of Eve, the root of death, but that we are saved through the merits of Mary; who was the source of life for everyone.
as the Lord was bodily ascended into Heaven, so Mary also was;
as Christ is given all power in heaven and in earth, so Mary is surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven.
as the Father made Christ Lord over all things, so Mary is enthroned (all other believers have to wait for their crowns) and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things;
as Christ is highly exalted above all under the Father, so Mary is declared to be the greatest saint of all, and as having a certain equality with the Heavenly Father;
as Christ ever liveth to make intercession for the saints, so is Mary said to do so;
as all things come from the Father through the Son, so Mary is made to be the dispenser of all grace;
as Christ is given all power on Heaven and on earth, Mary is said to have (showing some restraint) almost unlimited power;
as no man comes to the Father but through the Son, so it is taught that no one can come to the Son except through Mary in Heaven;
and as the Lord called souls to come to Him to be given life and salvation, so (in misappropriation of the words of Scripture) it is said of Mary, He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord; that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary.
And as Christ is given many titles of honor, so Mary also is, except that she is honored by Catholics with more titles than they give to the Lord Himself!
Mary was a holy, virtuous instrument of God, but of whom Scripture says relatively little, while holy fear ought to restrain ascribing positions, honor, glory and powers to a mortal that God has not revealed as given to them, and or are only revealed as being possessed by God Himself. But like as the Israelites made an instrument of God an object of worship, (Num. 21:8,9; 2Kg. 18:4) Catholics have magnified Mary far beyond what is written and warranted and even allowed, based on what is in Scripture.
In addition, although (technically) Mary is not to be worshiped in the same sense that God is worshiped, yet the distinctions between devotion to Mary and the worship of God are quite fine, and much due to the psychological appeal of a heavenly mother (especially among those for whom Scripture is not supreme), then the historical practice of Catholics has been to exalt Mary above that which is written. As the Catholic Encyclopedia states, "By the sixteenth century, as evidenced by the spiritual struggles of the Reformers, the image of Mary had largely eclipsed the centrality of Jesus Christ in the life of believers." (Robert C. Broderick, ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia, revised and updated; NY: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987, pp.32,33)
The practice of praying to departed saints and Mary was one that developed, helped by pagan influences, for Scripture provides no example of any believer praying to anyone in Heaven by the Lord, and reveals that doing otherwise was a practice of pagans, including to the Queen of Heaven. (Jer. 44:17,18,19,25). The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that a further reinforcement of Marian devotion, was derived from the cult of the angels, which, while pre-Christian in its origin, was heartily embraced by the faithful of the sub-Apostolic age. It seems to have been only as a sequel of some such development that men turned to implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. This at least is the common opinion among scholars, though it would perhaps be dangerous to speak too positively. Evidence regarding the popular practice of the early centuries is almost entirely lacking..., (Catholic Encyclopedia > Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary) Yet, as expected, it imagines this practice came from the apostles and NT church, but which never exampled or instructed it, and instead showed that the believer has immediate access to God in the Divine Christ, (Heb. 10:19), who is the all sufficient and immediate intercessor between God (the Father) and man. (Heb. 2:17,18; 4:15,16) To the glory of God
You’re not “getting it”. lol
So once again we have this we-gave-you-the-Bible polemical assertion! It seems RCs must have it taped to the mirror, but they hardly ever answer, which is,
are you saying that being the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture means they are the infallible interpreters of it, so that dissent from them is rebellion against God?
Can any RC affirm or clarify this?
The problem is I “get it” all to well, you are the only one apparently missing the point.
Doctrine of the Church -Social Credit: applied Christianity
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
The Decline of Dogma and the Decline of Church Membership
The Three D's -- Dogma, Doctrine and Discipline [Ecumenical]
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
If the Embryo is Human, It is a Person: Vatican Doctrine Official
Radio Replies First Volume - Dogma and reason
Radio Replies First Volume - Development of dogma
Docility (on Catholic dogma and infallibility)
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
It is apparently important that RCs do not allow the reality of the emperors lack of clothes disturb their cherished fantasy.
Well, you will notice it is the incessant advertising and or promoting of elitist Rome that precipitates it, so if they keep setting them up then they keep getting knocked down.
The truth has been posted here by many good and faithful and knowledgeable Catholics. We are mocked, accused of duplicity and doublespeak, and derided as brainwashed pawns of an evil institution. Why exactly would time spent going over and over these same articles be of any use to me or the others?
Jesus said in Matthew 10:14, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”
Luke 9:, 3 And He said to them, Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.
Mark 6:8 These were his instructions: Take nothing for the journey except a staffno bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.
Whatever one thinks of what I said makes no difference to me at all. I have given many good replies and offered many honest answers to untruths and lies I have read here and they are rejected over and over. I have done as the Lord has asked and now do what He recommended be done when the message falls on deaf ears and hardened hearts.
Peace be with you.
Salvation, do you realize that your constant recourse to simply posting links when someone has worked to refute your assertion testifies to your inability or unwillingness to interact with what refutes you?
Your dozen+ links simply will be ignored instead.
Then you fail to see that it is not the humble and holy Mary of Scripture that is being attacked but the demigoddess stature of the Mary of Rome, which thinks of her "above that which is written," (1Cor. 4:6) and overall contrary to it. See above and here ..
Please pray for wisdom and understanding before demeaning Gods people.
You don't have one. Other than to proclaim the freeper Elsie is "not" a Christian.
Pretty much everything else you've been saying, is so seemingly deliberately obtuse, to be extremely trollish.
Par for the course, I take it. Man, I hate golf.
I do not need your priest to tell me something I already know.
I doubt the MONOPOLY of the RCC.
Not dead folks.
No, my new perspective is to understand that I know nothing and God knows everything. He alone knows why some are given acceptance of Truth and why others are not. It is the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts of those open to the message.
Jesus came and completed the mission He was given and then sent the Holy Spirit to continue to lead the Church. In whatever way I could, I have tried to be a bearer of the Good News to others, but I am not responsible for the actions of the hearers.
For the record, I did not call anyone a liar nor make any claim as to the origination of the untruths or deliberate lies that are repeated here by those who abhor the Church.
If what I said hits too close to home for some that is something for them to consider within themselves.
The author of the book and the one who posted the thread is offering a means of understanding the truth. If that is a hit piece to some, so be it.
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