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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « A Biblical Theology of Christian Mission | Main | Objection and Reply to "Images of the Savior" »

    2,000 Years of Jesus' Catholic Church?

    A quote from Dr. James White's blog at www.aomin.org

    "We all heard the "2,000 years of Jesus' Catholic Church" mantra last year when John Paul II died, and it was almost never challenged. I would ask our writer to name, please, a single bishop at the Council of Nicea who believed as he believes on each of these topics: Marian dogmas (Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, Bodily Assumption), Papal Authority (infallibility), Purgatory, transubstantiation. Any semi-serious reader of history knows he would not be able to find such a person, so the claim of "2,000 years" may sound impressive, but it has the truth value any advertising slogan carries: none. It may sound great to those ignorant of history, and to those who wear the glasses Rome provides that filters out all the extraneous problems and issues, but for anyone with an even semi-decent grasp of the past, it is a hollow, shallow claim."

    Posted by John Samson on August 8, 2006 12:11 PM

    Comments

    "It may sound great to those ignorant of history, and to those who wear the glasses Rome provides that filters out all the extraneous problems and issues, but for anyone with an even semi-decent grasp of the past, it is a hollow, shallow claim."

    Perhaps it also sounds good to those who are charitable, those who aren't inextricably entangled in the historical perspective (and latent primitivism) of modernity, and those who recognize that the opinions of each individual are not the final words on doctrine.

    To directly reference the Reformed tradition, of which I am myself a part, what we have to be careful about is how we understand the 'priesthood of all believers.' It is not the "preacherhood of all believers," it is not the "interpretational autonomy of all believers," it is the "prayerhood of all believers." That is, we need no intermediary in our relationship with God. Outside of that, as Calvin and others could well attest, a little order and heirarchy never hurt anyone...

    WTM,

    I agree with you for the most part. My problem with the slogan is that it rather simplistically and naively makes Jesus into the founder of a church ... and, specifically, this particular church in our particular time. I think we need to hear the early Barth from the Romans commentary, that just because God's revelation created certain channels and craters in the wake of hearing God's word does not mean that those same channels and craters will remain the ones God uses to communicate the grace of God.

    That said, I appreciate the Catholic Church greatly, and we cannot reduce it to some of its wayward doctrines.

    The one factor missing in your account is any mention of the 12 disciples - those chosen by Jesus to initiate and lead the group of people whom would arise in the wake of his life and work. Apostolic succession is not something to be tossed away lightly.

    The Roman Catholic Church has to be considered as a system, who on the whole fails to accomplish what the mission of the church of Christ has on this earth: preach the Gospel of grace and teaching the believers all the counsel of God. The Gospel is best summarized in the five solas, who in one stroke exclude ALL the teachings and the practices of the Roman Catholic Church, and this alone suffices to say that it doesn't deserve any appreciation by a true Reformed, biblical believer, but recognition of her total apostacy and rebellion to the revealed Gospel of Christ.

    Francesco,
    You stated that the mission of the church of Christ is to "preach the Gospel of grace and teaching the believers all the counsel of God." Who defines Christ's Gospel of grace? Who defines the counsel of God? There are hundreds of interpretations! You tell me which one is correct. Please.

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