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Author Topic: My encounter with two radical Protestants  (Read 17908 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: September 07, 2009, 01:43:04 PM »

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

It caught my eye that Piper quotes, and not from the Bible:
Quote
For as Jonathan Edwards says...I find the effort of Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), a chaplain to Henry Cromwell and non-conformist pastor in London, to be balanced and helpful in holding the diverse scriptures on God's will together....Similarly Jonathan Edwards, writing about 80 years later comes to similar conclusions with somewhat different terminology....The way I would give an account of this is explained by Robert L. Dabney in an essay written over a hundred years ago....

Quote
This decision should not be made on the basis of metaphysical assumptions about what we think human accountability requires. It should be made on the basis of what the scriptures teach. I do not find in the Bible that human beings have the ultimate power of self-determination. As far as I can tell it is a philosophical inference based on metaphysical presuppositions. On the other hand this book aims to show that the sovereignty of God's grace in salvation is taught in Scripture.

Not great stuff.  Well over a millenium and a half too late to touch the continuous teaching of the Church.
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« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2009, 05:54:36 PM »

If talking to these guys, I would "reframe the debate."  Take it to the grounds of church history and unity, which will be the Achille's Heel of most Protestants.  And I don't say this just cause it's a good strategy, but because it's something that these young men should think about.  Now concerning what they were teaching (Calvinism)...

1) Are these teachings true? To which they'll respond...
1A) Yes. (Then go to question 2).

2) Are these teachings so important that they should effect what church we belong to and/or justify a breaking away from the Church to start a new church?
2A) No. (Then how is their groups breaking away from the Catholic Church justifiable?)
2B) Yes. (Then go to question 3).

3)Did the early Church Fathers, save St. Augustine, teach this?
3A) Yes. (This is not correct and ask them bring you quotes next time around with the sources. Also, you can discuss the Council of Orange that occured to clear up some of the things St. Augustine was teaching and condemned much of what these young men are saying.)
3B) No. (Then go to question 4).

4) If the early Church Fathers didn't teach this, does this mean that the Church was universally in heresy?
4A) Yes. (Then go to question 5).
4B) No. (Then how can you justify splitting/remaining separated from the Church over a matter that isn't a matter of heresy?)

5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

In essence, you're trying to get them to realize that regardless of what they think the Bible says, the Early Church Fathers thought quite differently, something that St. Augustine himself admitted.  Does this then mean that they, or their spiritual forefathers then have the right or obligation to go start a "true church" that teaches these things?  If so, then how do they square that with the Lord's desire for us to be one, with His promise that the Church would not fall prey to Satan and His promise of the Spirit to lead us into Truth, with Paul's command to come together and be in agreement on every issue, with Paul's statement that the Church is the pillar and grounding of Truth?
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« Reply #92 on: September 08, 2009, 07:22:54 AM »

If talking to these guys, I would "reframe the debate."  Take it to the grounds of church history and unity, which will be the Achille's Heel of most Protestants.  And I don't say this just cause it's a good strategy, but because it's something that these young men should think about.  Now concerning what they were teaching (Calvinism)...

1) Are these teachings true? To which they'll respond...
1A) Yes. (Then go to question 2).

2) Are these teachings so important that they should effect what church we belong to and/or justify a breaking away from the Church to start a new church?
2A) No. (Then how is their groups breaking away from the Catholic Church justifiable?)
2B) Yes. (Then go to question 3).

3)Did the early Church Fathers, save St. Augustine, teach this?
3A) Yes. (This is not correct and ask them bring you quotes next time around with the sources. Also, you can discuss the Council of Orange that occured to clear up some of the things St. Augustine was teaching and condemned much of what these young men are saying.)
3B) No. (Then go to question 4).

4) If the early Church Fathers didn't teach this, does this mean that the Church was universally in heresy?
4A) Yes. (Then go to question 5).
4B) No. (Then how can you justify splitting/remaining separated from the Church over a matter that isn't a matter of heresy?)

5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

In essence, you're trying to get them to realize that regardless of what they think the Bible says, the Early Church Fathers thought quite differently, something that St. Augustine himself admitted.  Does this then mean that they, or their spiritual forefathers then have the right or obligation to go start a "true church" that teaches these things?  If so, then how do they square that with the Lord's desire for us to be one, with His promise that the Church would not fall prey to Satan and His promise of the Spirit to lead us into Truth, with Paul's command to come together and be in agreement on every issue, with Paul's statement that the Church is the pillar and grounding of Truth?

Unfortunately, I suspect this argument would simply confuse many of its putative audience. Won't they simply be bewildered as to why you're so interested in the early Church and the Fathers? And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?
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« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2009, 11:49:48 AM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
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« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2009, 02:58:32 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
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« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2009, 03:30:25 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.
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« Reply #96 on: September 10, 2009, 03:53:12 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?
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« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2009, 04:38:20 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 04:38:46 PM by Schultz » Logged

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« Reply #98 on: September 10, 2009, 04:41:07 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
I would argee with a resouding "AMEN".
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« Reply #99 on: September 10, 2009, 04:52:46 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley
Exactly!
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« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2009, 09:30:16 PM »

Piper deals with most of these passages in the link I referenced earlier. Not great stuff.

Why do you people condemn proof texting but then attempt to use proof texting against people you call Calvinists?

It caught my eye that Piper quotes, and not from the Bible:
Quote
For as Jonathan Edwards says...I find the effort of Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), a chaplain to Henry Cromwell and non-conformist pastor in London, to be balanced and helpful in holding the diverse scriptures on God's will together....Similarly Jonathan Edwards, writing about 80 years later comes to similar conclusions with somewhat different terminology....The way I would give an account of this is explained by Robert L. Dabney in an essay written over a hundred years ago....


Make no mistake, Calvinists have their saints, some of whom are represented by the quotes given above. They don't paint icons and venerate their saints the same way that we do. But they most assuredly venerate their saints by quoting them, reading them, extolling them and elevating their words as close and akin to scripture as it is possible for protestants to do.

Some of their chief saints:
John Calvin, the patriarch
BB Warfield
the Hodges
Jonathan Edwards
George Whitfield
Charles Spurgeon
Dabney
Machen
maybe Van Til
maybe Abraham Kuyper
(the last two at least for Dutch Calvinists)

generally one has to have passed away at least 50 years ago, battled liberals (or at least Arminians), become popular enough of an author to be quoted alot to be "canonized" (by popular acclamation). Calvinists will assure you they adhere to sola scriptura, but they will quote their theolgian-saints more than any cradle Orthodox would quote the Fathers.

The Calvinists described in the OP must have been some rare, independent baptist ones because all the Calvinists I knew were generally against proof-texting for the same reasons we are and preferred theological argument based on the "whole teaching of scripture." This is also why Calvinists lionize their systematic theologians and are wary of (even their own) New Testament scholars (who they always think have a tendency to isolate passages and atomize scripture rather than reconcile seeming differences among the biblical authors. Whereas systematic theologians
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« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2009, 10:16:50 PM »

You left out Augustine as one of the Calvinist saints... I consider him the "patron saint" of the Protestant Reformation.

As for infant baptism, in the West this was linked to Augustinian notions of Original Sin though it may not have been so in the beginning. But the notion is that "we don't know" where unbaptized babies go (Augustinians say hell, Scholastics suggest "limbo", the current Catholic teaching... leaves them to the mercy of God). But certainly "limbo" and "hell" for those poor sinless unbaptized was an impetus to get them baptized to preclude that from happening. Because nothing with sin (including original sin) can enter paradise. Baptize them as fast as you can.

The Mormons (who claim Christianity apostasized and point to Augsutine and neo-Platonism/Greek philosophy) reject infant baptism... well, mainly because they oppose Original Sin.

I'm gong to go out on a limb and suggest that the evolution of Catholic teaching on "limbo" stems in a significant part from the untold millions upon millions of unborn children who are aborted every year through legal infanticide. Where do they go?

Quote
5) If the early Church was in heresy both before and after St. Augustine, then what do we do with the words of Our Lord when He said, "the gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church?" and where he says the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and where Paul tells Timothy (I think) that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the Truth?"

Mormon apologetics heavily is tilted in favour of the thesis that Greek philosophy corrupted the true Christian faith, and one of their favourite targets is Augustine, although they attack other fathers for the same and even the Nicean creed. Needless to say, their response to the question is, "wait for Joseph Smith to restore things." Still, I do get a twinge of joy when I read some of their material on the Saint of Hippo.


« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 10:25:21 PM by John Larocque » Logged
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« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2009, 09:47:54 PM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 
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« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2009, 01:06:55 AM »

Welcome to the forum!  It's great to have you here!
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« Reply #104 on: September 17, 2009, 01:38:10 AM »

Welcome to the forum!  It's great to have you here!

Thank You for the Welcome!
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« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2009, 06:44:26 AM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 

Welcome! I am also one of the Protestant crowd, though not very radical, so I feel a bit presumptuous saying welcome when I'm actually a guest myself - but this forum is a great place and it's good to have you here!

Liz
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« Reply #106 on: September 17, 2009, 09:58:59 AM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 
Hello,

Welcome to the forum. I'm not Eastern Orthodox but Catholic; however, I think that this forum is a great place to learn about Eastern Orthodox, the Eastern Fathers, and Eastern Spirituality in general.
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« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2009, 05:34:43 PM »

Hello,

Introducing myself as one of those guys, well not the actual guys, but I do live in Albuquerque and I am a Member in good standing of a Reformed Presbyterian Church.  I am brand new to the board and looking forward to reading about Orthodoxy.  I have a Paperback "Orthodox Study Bible" from several years back from Ancient Faith Radio that I just read through and I have been listening to Dcn Michael Hyatt on AFR as he was an Ordained Elder in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination.  I'm excited to learn more about the Orthodox Church in the days and months ahead.  Nice to make your acquaintances. 

Welcome to the forum!

~Maureen
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« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2009, 11:05:29 PM »

And won't they just find the doings of the early Church irrelevant to them?

I wonder, since the impetus for most of them is restorationist, rescuing Christianity from the corrupting influence of "traditions of men" and restoring it to the purity of the early Christians
Isn't that the argument for "believer's baptism" anyway? That the early Christians didn't do infant baptism?
So apparently this is a fairly common notion.
Are we certain that the Early Christians didn't do infant baptism?

I'm not, but they are. According to them, there was only believer's baptism, but then practically as soon as St. John was buried, Christians went all crazy and apostate and started baptizing babies. This seems to have happened without any evidence or discussion.

Maybe it was just a very human response to feeling scared? They were persecuted; maybe they just felt afraid and wanted to protect babies without thinking through the theology?

Or maybe the simplest explanation (and therefore probably the most historically accurate) is that this had been apostolic practice all along.  Smiley

Amen!
Look! Jews circumcized male BABIES. making them a part of God's covenenant community BEFORE they could have any sort of cognitive semi-adult-personal response, affirmation or acceptance.

Christians were MORE INCLUSIVE!!!!!! They baptized male AND FEMALE  babies, making them a part of God's covenenant community.

Look again! Human will changes and circumstances change. Every person, whether baptized infant or adult convert (from another religion or paganism) baptized as an adult daily makes a decision to confirm or deny their baptism. Adult converts who have been baptized have turned away and aposticized and cradle infant baptized persons have turned away and aposticized.

The adult baptism argument proves absolutely nothing. It is falacious to argue from a circumstance where a totally new paradigm is coming into existence. That fist generation Christians were baptised as adults? No duh! What did you think? Ala Nicodemus they would transport themselves back through time into their mothers wombs, then transport their mothers forward through time to become Christian converts, baptize their kids and then transport back in time to have them on their real birth date?

Of course first generation Christians were baptized as adults. The signers of the Declaration of Independence signed as adults. Their CHILDREN became AMERICAN citizens (not English) by birth.

If you want to know what the first generation of Christians did for their children, look at what their predecessors did (the early Christians in the first generation did not have any great disconnect with Judaism; they were followers of the The Way and part of the Jewish community. Some hard-liners like Saul persecuted them; but the total disconnect did not come about until the destruction of Jerusalem, a generation after Christ's resurrection and ascension). The first generation of Christians would have looked back to the practice of their ancestors who circumcised male babies for their guidance on baptism (the new covenant sign); they would also have considered that women converts were also baptized and therefore conclude they should also baptize female infants.

This is so obvious that I cannot even fathom how the baptist sect came into existence at the time or the reformation.

The practice of the covenenant people of God (Jews; and also Christians from the earliest generations after the apostles) is clear, consistent and unambiguous - INFANT CIRCUMSICISION/INFANT BAPTISM. Christians were more inclusive in including females with the covenant sign.

Is it any wonder that the Apostles were barely cold in the grave before the Church started baptising infants?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 11:33:42 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
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« Reply #109 on: September 20, 2009, 12:16:05 AM »

The Nicene Creed was mentioned a few pages back, I think as something truthstalker agreed with, but I could be wrong.

One thign that has confused me since accepting Orthodoxy for myself is when Protestants (mostly Reformed and other denominations that hold some value for Church history and hierarchy) accept the Nicene Creed - or even revere it as a Symbol of Faith, as we'd say.

I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".
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« Reply #110 on: September 20, 2009, 12:24:18 AM »

The Nicene Creed was mentioned a few pages back, I think as something truthstalker agreed with, but I could be wrong.

One thign that has confused me since accepting Orthodoxy for myself is when Protestants (mostly Reformed and other denominations that hold some value for Church history and hierarchy) accept the Nicene Creed - or even revere it as a Symbol of Faith, as we'd say.

I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".

Protestants believe in the INVISIBLE CHURCH. You can't slice it, dice it, shake it or stomp it out of them. One holy (only pure church is the invisible church of true believers, since the institutional Church, even their denomination, has impurities), catholic (the universal, invisible Church of true believers) and apostolic (of course what John Calvin taught was the apostolic faith; no further inquiry into Church history is required).
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« Reply #111 on: September 20, 2009, 01:23:41 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.
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« Reply #112 on: September 20, 2009, 06:51:14 AM »


I'm always interested in their explanations for "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church" because Protestantism doesn't admit that kind of Church in the way the Council meant it.  For Protestants, the Church is not "one", "catholic" (universal), or especially "apostolic".

Well, we could argue that refusing communion to others is not especially catholic.  Wink


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If you're a strict constructionist with the Creed, it cannot possibly be used to describe Protestantism. The only unity is in the belief in Jesus, which includes Mormons and other non-Christian groups.  I have never heard a reasonable argument for "apostolic".

Apostolic= continuing in the tradition of the Apostles.

Btw, the Trinity is usually used as a yardstick of those who are Christian.

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« Reply #113 on: September 20, 2009, 06:53:21 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

The word 'church' refers to the people in it (as 'ecclesia' originally means 'gathering'). Therefore the Church is only 'invisible' if you think that millions of people are invisible. I am not convinced this is a Humanist notion (thought it is, of course, the notion the Apostles had, whose 'Church' was meetings in each others' houses and the spreading of the faith).
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« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2009, 08:59:38 AM »

Ont thing the Invisible Church IS a rationalization for is the existence of the plethora of denominations within Protestantism. Of course the institutional church cannot remain pure for long (the argument goes) so the reformed Church is always reforming (creating new subsidiaries, if you will). But even in the crusty old denominations there are still true Christians. God knows who they are because the Church is invisible.

The most generous protestants would even characterize some of us among that invisible Church within crusty old denominations! Wink
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« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2009, 09:05:56 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

I am inclined to agree regarding enlightenment rationalism.

The difference is that the Greek Fathers constructed a vast edifice of Christian theology that still defines Christian dogma today (the Nicene-Constantopolitan Creed and the conclusions of the Ecumenical Councils among them). Protestant rationalism has de-constructed vast portions of this edifice. It is like finding a castle and then tearing everything down except for the walls and the guardhouse. Then you fill the moat with whatever your denomninational distinctive is (believers baptism; hyper-Calvinism; congregationalism; insert distinctive here)
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« Reply #116 on: September 20, 2009, 09:27:17 AM »

Oh yes, the Invisible Church. I'm already forgetting my Protestant concepts. Wink

For all the flak Orthodoxy gets for being associated with Greek philosophy, from my now-Orthodox perspective it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.  Such is the reductionist way, I suppose.

The word 'church' refers to the people in it (as 'ecclesia' originally means 'gathering'). Therefore the Church is only 'invisible' if you think that millions of people are invisible. I am not convinced this is a Humanist notion (thought it is, of course, the notion the Apostles had, whose 'Church' was meetings in each others' houses and the spreading of the faith).




Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here? He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.

We Orthodox agree with you that the Church refers to people - the gathered people of God. "Liturgy" means "the work of the people."

But when people gather theselves into groups (such as congregations or parishes) and interact and fellowship with other groups (other parishes or congregations in their region - what we would call a diocese) they by necessity have to institutionalize for the sake of order, stability and the practical aspects of mission and charity.

We see those problems arising almost immediately in the distribution to widows (hence the appointment of the first deacons); in the establishment of elders (we would see that as preists - presbyters and bishops; Presbyterians would see that as ruling and teaching elders; baptisits would see that as preachers and deacons) in cities where new churches were formed; and the issues of church order in I Corinthians. So these problems did not just arise after the death of the apostles and then human institutional mechanisms were imposed upon a pneumatic church by later generations of Christians who had lost the Spirit.

So the question is whether there is one institutional church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, or many institutional churches? For us, it strains the meaning of the words to see it as referring to many institutional churches.

For us the question centers around which ancient Church can lay claim to the original one holy, apostolic and catholic Church designation: Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism. Obviously most of us have wrestled and come to believe that it is Orthodoxy. Some who have posted have come to the conclusion that it the RCC. Roman Catholics are more likely to see themselves as 1 and Orthodox as 1A in this matter. Orthodox are more likely to see the RCC as so much in error as to have lost the claim to be part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

BTW most Orthodox and RCC would consider protestants to be Christians who worship and fellowship in bodies that lack sacramental grace but not saving grace fot the individuals in those bodies.
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« Reply #117 on: September 20, 2009, 09:40:36 AM »



The practice of the covenenant people of God (Jews; and also Christians from the earliest generations after the apostles) is clear, consistent and unambiguous - INFANT CIRCUMSICISION/INFANT BAPTISM. Christians were more inclusive in including females with the covenant sign.


Sorry to quote myself, but two more things on the baptism issue.

We have accounts of adult converts going through lengthy and rigorous preparations during Great Lent to be baptised and received into the Church on Easter Sunday. Keep in mind that the Church was still evangelizing a vast empire of which the Church was a minority for the first three hundred years. Christians were probably still not a numeric majority of the population at the time of Constantine's edict. So of course there would be adult baptisms (there have been a few in my parish just in the 6 years I have been Orthodox).

Secondly, the Apostles baptised whole households as Christians!! No one can convince me that every single child, servant and slave in that household had a personal, free-will, informed understanding and embracing of the Christian evangelistic message and personally "received Christ."
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« Reply #118 on: September 20, 2009, 11:31:26 AM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.

What was said was,
Quote


it seems like the Protestant idea of the Church is itself little more than a giant philosophical construct and system of rationalizations, borne out of the humanism of the Renaissance.


One problem I have with this is that (as I have indicated in bold), Bogdan seems to find it noteworthy that an idea should be a philosophical construct and system of rationalizations. I have to say that this is indeed what most ideas are. The Protestant reality of the Church, or the Protestant faith in the Church are different things, and you could legitimately attack them if you thought they were mere intellectual speculation with no substance.

The second problem I have is that I remain unclear as to what Humanist thinking is being referred to here. Could I have some quotations please? I'm not well up on Humanist theology. However, I would observe that although many Humanist ideas influenced the developing Protestant sects, Humanism is not, in my view, a Protestant movement, nor do all Protestants now continue to be influenced by Humanist thinking.
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« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2009, 01:58:21 PM »

I meant humanist in terms of the general Rationalist outlook of the Renaissance era and afterwards. Maybe that wasn't the best term to use.

What I was getting at is that Protestants tend to strip the faith down to bare minimums to make sure no one is excluded. There needn't be unity on anything except a few basic points. The various Protestant denominations are not united in any visible way, which is unlike the Church of old. They were united in hierarchy as well as doctrine, it was one distinct body. A very visible unity.

Protestants see the Church as the collection of all the people who say they are Christians, while historically it was that, but it was checked against the universal teachings of the Church, and they had a single unified system of governance, so it was assured that all Christians believed the same things. There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).

Basically there is no way to define what a Christian actually is unless there is one distinct Church body. It comes down to personal opinion, which isn't a good measure of such things. It only makes sense that the Church should define its own members, and a church of 38,000 denominations cannot logically do that in any universal way. You can have a creed, but people can't even agree with what it means.

[edit]
Analogy: If I am a Wesleyan and get myself excommunicated, I can join the Baptist church down the road and still consider myself a Christian. In the ancient Church, that would have been impossible.  A church where that is possible is not "one" or "catholic".
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« Reply #120 on: September 20, 2009, 05:35:39 PM »

I meant humanist in terms of the general Rationalist outlook of the Renaissance era and afterwards. Maybe that wasn't the best term to use.

Perhaps not. Sorry - I was just quite confused. I don't think that the Humanists were all that Rationalist, nor that Rationalism came in with the Renaissance. But I'm not sure where Rationalism comes in this argument either.

Quote
What I was getting at is that Protestants tend to strip the faith down to bare minimums to make sure no one is excluded. There needn't be unity on anything except a few basic points.

Do you have any particular Protestant group in mind? I have certainly heard people such as David Young on this forum being quite concerned to discuss issues of faith such as whether wine or grape juice may be used at Communion. To me, that doesn't seem like a 'basic point'. I think you may be meaning that some Protestant groups are more willing than the Orthodox to accept differences of opinion, but that doesn't mean that Protestants have fewer points of faith than anyone else.

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The various Protestant denominations are not united in any visible way, which is unlike the Church of old. They were united in hierarchy as well as doctrine, it was one distinct body. A very visible unity.

Well, why should the denominations be united? The Orthodox are not united with the Catholics, either.


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Protestants see the Church as the collection of all the people who say they are Christians,
Really? To which Protestants do you refer?


Quote
while historically it was that, but it was checked against the universal teachings of the Church, and they had a single unified system of governance, so it was assured that all Christians believed the same things. There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).

Again, you seem to think there is some reason why all Protestants should hold common doctrine. Why should they so?

Quote
Basically there is no way to define what a Christian actually is unless there is one distinct Church body. It comes down to personal opinion, which isn't a good measure of such things.

I would venture to hint that it might come down to God? Moreover, the Catholic Church is a distinct Church body. So too, no doubt, is the latest Evangelical sect down the road from me, who have three church buildings and are are in total agreement on doctrine. Both are distinct Church bodies, but I fail to see that that makes them Christian.

Quote
It only makes sense that the Church should define its own members, and a church of 38,000 denominations cannot logically do that in any universal way. You can have a creed, but people can't even agree with what it means.


[edit]
Analogy: If I am a Wesleyan and get myself excommunicated, I can join the Baptist church down the road and still consider myself a Christian. In the ancient Church, that would have been impossible.  A church where that is possible is not "one" or "catholic".

I hope it has become clear in the course of my post, but you are arguing from a misunderstanding about what Protestantism is. It is not one large Church, but many Churches, some of which have no more reason to agree with each other on doctrine than do the Orthodox and Catholic, or Orthodox and Anglican, Churches.
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« Reply #121 on: September 20, 2009, 06:23:01 PM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.



Liz
no one said ALL protestants adhere to the invisible church idea. But the invisible church is decidedly NOT an Orthodox or RCC concept. It IS a protestant concept and that is ALL that anyone has identified it as such. NO ONE said ALL protestants adhere to this view.

When comparing ecclesiologies a certain amount of generalizing may come into play and I apologize for that where it doesn't apply to you or your communion.

Also, except for high Church Anglicans and maybe some Lutherans, any particular protestant eccesiology will in general have MORE in common with all other protestant ecclesiologies than with Orthodox or RCC ecclesiology. Although certain aspects of Presbyterian ecclesiology [with Presbyteries analogous to diocese and synods to the larger Church body (of course the PCUSA added the General Assembly overtop the Synod); however, the locus of authority would be quite different].
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« Reply #122 on: September 20, 2009, 06:27:44 PM »

There is no such thing in Protestantism, unless you strip it down to "I believe in Jesus", which many non-orthodox (small O), self-styled "Christians" also believe (Mormons, etc).


Let's not go that far. There is absolutely nothing in common between what even the most self-styled, independent church Jesus-only unitarian believes and the theology of the mormon denomination.
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« Reply #123 on: September 20, 2009, 06:29:19 PM »


Liz, aren't you refuting the invisible church concept here?

Um, yes, I am refuting the invisible church concept. As is probably wearyingly obvious from other threads, I object when people trot out some over-generalized and sometimes mistaken idea and attribute it to 'Protestants'. There are many stands of Protestantism. The Church is not invisible: how can thousands of people gathering together to worship be invisible? Do you really think Protestants are all that stupid?

Quote
He is saying the invisible concept is a humanist construct.



Liz
no one said ALL protestants adhere to the invisible church idea. But the invisible church is decidedly NOT an Orthodox or RCC concept. It IS a protestant concept and that is ALL that anyone has identified it as such. NO ONE said ALL protestants adhere to this view.

When people say 'Protestants do x' or 'Protestants think x', the implication is that all Protestants are being discussed. It's a bit offensive to generalize like that, especially when - as I felt to be the case here - 'Protestantism' was being brought up as a straw man to attack. But I am am grateful for your apology and I accept it.

Quote
When comparing ecclesiologies a certain amount of generalizing may come into play and I apologize for that where it doesn't apply to you or your communion.

Also, except for high Church Anglicans and maybe some Lutherans, any particular protestant eccesiology will in general have MORE in common with all other protestant ecclesiologies than with Orthodox or RCC ecclesiology. Although certain aspects of Presbyterian ecclesiology [with Presbyteries analogous to diocese and synods to the larger Church body (of course the PCUSA added the General Assembly overtop the Synod); however, the locus of authority would be quite different].

I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.
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« Reply #124 on: September 20, 2009, 06:34:43 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
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« Reply #125 on: September 20, 2009, 06:51:59 PM »






I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.

Acrtually, I imply nothing of the sort; their ecclesiologies are parallel (bishops, diocese, high liturgy) but again the locus of authority would be quite different.

Furthermore, Anglicans see themselves as the middle way between Orthodoxy/RCC and all other protestants. Again, there might be some highly liturgical Lutherans that appear to be similar to Orth/RCC but both Anglicans and Lutherans would not have the same understanding and acceptance of Holy Tradition that Orth/RCC have. Nor would they recognize the distinct ecclesiology of Orth/RCC (which is only divided by the role of the Pope of Rome; RCC sees the Pope as the supreme pontiff ruling with his magisterium of bishops but the pope is pre-eminent; Orthodoxy sees the pope as first among equals and all bishops rule together collegially. But all bishops rule by virtue of their Apostolic succession. The difference between RCC/Orth. is interpretation over HOW the bishops rule and whether one bishop is the supreme pontiff or first among equals). NO Protestant is going to accept the premises of that discussion/disagreement, whether Anglican, high liturgical Lutheran, or low church baptist.

Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.

In the end, a rose is still a rose, sorry to be so blunt.

Actually, most protestants, i would venture to say, would lump us together (Orth/RCC).
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« Reply #126 on: September 20, 2009, 06:59:27 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.
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« Reply #127 on: September 20, 2009, 07:05:41 PM »


I agree; but it is slightly rude to imply thereby that the 'high Church Anglicans and Lutherans' to whom you refer are somehow not really Protestants, or automatically excluded when you speak of Protestants. It's similar to the way in which ignorant people used to ask whether or not Catholics were Christian, though obviously not so bad.

Moreover, why is the amount different Protestant sects have in common important? There are many ways in which the Orthodox Church is similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure you wouldn't be especially flattered if a Protestant of any denomination lumped the two together and discussed them as one.

Acrtually, I imply nothing of the sort; their ecclesiologies are parallel (bishops, diocese, high liturgy) but again the locus of authority would be quite different.

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that, in the discussion above, the general term 'Protestants' had been applied to a set of beliefs that were not particularly characteristic of high Church Anglicans and Lutherans (thus prioritizing the term 'Protestant' in such a way that high Church Anglicans and Lutherans were seen as anomalous to Protestantism).


Quote
Furthermore, Anglicans see themselves as the middle way between Orthodoxy/RCC and all other protestants. Again, there might be some highly liturgical Lutherans that appear to be similar to Orth/RCC but both Anglicans and Lutherans would not have the same understanding and acceptance of Holy Tradition that Orth/RCC have. Nor would they recognize the distinct ecclesiology of Orth/RCC (which is only divided by the role of the Pope of Rome; RCC sees the Pope as the supreme pontiff ruling with his magisterium of bishops but the pope is pre-eminent; Orthodoxy sees the pope as first among equals and all bishops rule together collegially. But all bishops rule by virtue of their Apostolic succession. The difference between RCC/Orth. is interpretation over HOW the bishops rule and whether one bishop is the supreme pontiff or first among equals). NO Protestant is going to accept the premises of that discussion/disagreement, whether Anglican, high liturgical Lutheran, or low church baptist.

So you are saying that Catholicism and Orthodoxy have more in common than Protestantism and Orthodoxy? Fair enough (though I don't personally agree) - but you're only answering half my question. I'm asking, why should different Protestant denominations be expected to agree on doctrine? The reason I compared this to the situation between Catholics and the Orthodox is because the Schism between the latter two is so familiar, I thought it might make clear that, in the same way, different Protestant sects are separate from each other.


Quote
Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.

In the end, a rose is still a rose, sorry to be so blunt.

What is your point? How does this relate to the question of the 'invisible Church'?


Quote
Actually, most protestants, i would venture to say, would lump us together (Orth/RCC).

That's sad. I know my Church would not, but it's a shame if other Churches do.
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« Reply #128 on: September 20, 2009, 07:11:24 PM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.

Well, part of the problem is that I was addressing points made by Bogdan, and you are not he!

I am grateful to you for objecting to the things you mention. Is it too much to ask that you should capitalize 'Protestants'?

The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.

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« Reply #129 on: September 20, 2009, 09:16:38 PM »



 


So you are saying that Catholicism and Orthodoxy have more in common than Protestantism and Orthodoxy? Fair enough (though I don't personally agree) - but you're only answering half my question. I'm asking, why should different Protestant denominations be expected to agree on doctrine? The reason I compared this to the situation between Catholics and the Orthodox is because the Schism between the latter two is so familiar, I thought it might make clear that, in the same way, different Protestant sects are separate from each other.


Quote
Furthermore, the vast majority of the afore-mentioned Anlicans and Lutherans will bail out when it comes to dogma regarding the Blessed Virgin or the saints.



What is your point? How does this relate to the question of the 'invisible Church'?


 

The ecclessiology of RCC and Orthodoxy make them closer to one another than either to protestantism; their soteriology and views on justification/sanctification and sacramental theology would be closer to each other than to protestantism, in my opinion. Same with thier views on Mary and the saints. That is quite alot of common ground.

Regarding your last question to me, my comment has nothing to do with the invisible church; it was in reference to still showing you that I wasn't placing Anglicans/Lutherans in a separate category.

But regarding the invisible church, I have heard Billy Graham use that terminology and I heard that terminology at the evangelical seminary I attended.
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« Reply #130 on: September 20, 2009, 09:36:02 PM »

Also, Liz
In answer to another of your points, I suppose I do not think that all protestants should agree on their dogmas. By nature, they really cannot.

I think why Orthodox people always bring that issue up is because initially the Reformation was an institutional attempt at reforming and cleaning up the Church. There was the Lutheran response the continental Reformed/Scottish Presbyterian response and the Anglican response.

But within a few generations it spun out of control and anybody who disagreed with anyone else started their own sect. To Orthodox people that is proof of the fallacy of protestantism.

But you are correct in reminding us that TO A PROTESTANT, the reality of all these differing theological emphases and persuasions is expected and when we bring it up one's response would be: "and your point is?"

Actually, protestant unity is more across theological spectrums: conservative evangelicals have more in common, whether baptist, presbyterian, methodist, free church etc. than they do with mainline protestant liberals. The exact same statement could be made about Calvinists, whether baptist, presyterian, congregational or continental reformed. Social action evangelicals have more in common with mainline liberals in many ways than they do with their more conservative evangelical brethren, but also have much in common with  confessions in the pacifist churches. Fundamentalists would be suspect of evangelicals and downright skeptical about social justice evangelicals. Charasmatics and pentecaostals have more incommon with each other than they do with either fundamentalists or evangelicals (although they have aspects in common with both - a very conservative theology like the fundies, but more cultural engagement, like the evangelicals; also an independent church charasmatic might find more in common with a Catholic charasmatic than with evangelicals).

Please note that in no way do I use the term evangelicals like the mainstream media does.
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« Reply #131 on: September 20, 2009, 09:44:50 PM »

Use of capitalization
You, Liz are a Protestant. But my commentary on protestantism no more requires caps than a comment on democracy.

I the post above, in a descriptive, comparative note such as I was making, for that discussion, presbyterianm, baptist, charasmatic, evangelical, fundamentalist, were all descriptive terms rather than titles, for the sake of THAT paragraph.


in other instances I have capitalized those denominational names. I see that I did capitalize Calvinism, however. We can all be  inconsistent at times!
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« Reply #132 on: September 21, 2009, 01:29:56 AM »

Liz, if I have over-generalized and offended, I apologize. Looking back at my post I was probably not as charitable as I should have been.

I've been in several PRotestant denominations (and non-denominations) in my life, and perhaps I think too much of my own personal experience. I do have a tendencey to universalize particulars. But what I have described has generally been the attitude of the churches I have been part of, and that of most of the Protestant Christians I know when I talk to them about Orthodoxy.

Your main question of me seems to be, "Why should Protestants be united on doctrine?"

When I was a Protestant, I would have agreed with you. Now I see things with a new set of eyes and realizing, first, the desire of Christ for His Church to be united in a very clear way, and second, that the Church was united in that way for almost a millennium before it started to break down, and another half before it started to completely fall apart in the West.

The Church must be united because there can only be one truth. The way I see it, every denomination (not to mention the unconstrained non-denoms) can't be right if they aren't in agreement on the core issues - which Protestants are not.

For instance, Apostolic Succession cannot be simultaneously important and unimportant. The Eucharist cannot be Jesus' body and blood and not Jesus' body and blood. You can't die and go to Heaven, and go to Purgatory, and go to Hades.  You can't be able to lose your salvation and not be able to lose your salvation.

Sure, we all agree on the need for a Savior, which is a great starting point. THat isn't enough though, in my opinion.

To take another analogy, if doctrine was a multiple choice test with questions on each issue, I see myself as suggesting that each question has only one correct answer.  Protestantism as a whole, with no need for doctrinal unity, essentially says that answers A-F are all acceptable, because once upon a time someone decided they didn't like answer B.  I can't wrap my head around that.

(I hope I'm not coming across as angry or argumentative. I do genuinely want to understand how you are seeing things.)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 01:34:52 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #133 on: September 21, 2009, 02:42:21 AM »

Liz


The invisible church idea is a protestant idea. The seeds of it was started by Saint Augustine, and it was developed by the protestant Reformers, and over here in America, it is a very well known protestant concept.

Thus it is a protestant idea, now does this mean that "all" protestants believe in this doctrine? No! The Stone & Cambellites (churches of christ / disciples of christ) are an exception....and there maybe others as well.

Not that I trust Wiki, but whoever wrote this there did a decent job on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_church







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« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 02:44:37 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #134 on: September 21, 2009, 02:59:13 AM »

I would also like to know which Protestant denomination believes in 'the invisible Church', and how they formulate that concept. I admit I'm sceptical here: the concept as described in this thread sounds like a garbled version of something I have heard of, which is the doctrine that there are people both within the speaker's Church, and without, who are in fact true Christians. This, however, is not a belief held only by Protestants, and on this forum Douglas has a particularly nice way of putting it, that 'not all the sheep are within the fold, nor all the wolves without'.
Liz
I grew up with this view in the Christian Missionary Alliance  and Presbyterian Churches. It was common among evangelcals in mainline denomiations.

I am not making it up or persenting straw men. I honestly grew up being taught this concept.

PS read my posts on this board - I am one of the most harsh sticklers in terms of calling out my fellow Orthodox for setting up straw men, lumping all protestants together, or confusing historic evangelicals with fundamentalists, post-seventies tv preachers or health and wealth gospelers.

Something got in your craw here and you are missing the point.

Well, part of the problem is that I was addressing points made by Bogdan, and you are not he!

I am grateful to you for objecting to the things you mention. Is it too much to ask that you should capitalize 'Protestants'?

The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.







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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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