By Dave Armstrong
Fifteen dialogues loosely in keeping with encounters of a Catholic apologist with Protestants, over the process approximately 5 years of web discussions on lists, bulletin forums, and personal correspondence. crucial and basic concerns that divide Protestants and Catholics are handled: the connection of Bible and culture, the authority of the Church, even if the Church and culture should be infallible just like the Bible, how one is stored, the connection of religion and works, even if Catholics think in "salvation by way of works," grace on my own, and so on.
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Extra resources for Bible conversations : Catholic-protestant dialogues on the Bible, tradition, and salvation
Unity of doctrine is the guarantee of fidelity to Scripture. This is precisely what Protestantism lacks, yet it continues to assert (in a logically circular fashion) that it (whichever version) is somehow faithful to the Bible, whereas Catholics and Orthodox and others who accept Tradition are not. What gives? P: According to the dictionary, there are two basic meanings of authority: I. Power to enforce obedience and II. Power to influence action, opinion, belief. The first meaning might be characterized as authoritarian, while the second is authoritative.
You, to the contrary, seem to equate that outcome with its glory. P: Those things which God has made clear in Scripture are able to be known with absolute certainty. C: Which things are those? And who decides that, and how? P: Incomplete knowledge is not the equivalent of relativism. C: I didn't say it was. When I make the charge of relativism, it is always in reference to competing, contradictory truth claims within the Protestant fold (even if one restricts that "fold" to evangelicalism). P: At least you are honest enough to admit that your epistemology entails two different, distinct infallible sources.
The same argument can be made about all the passages in John 14-16 concerning the Spirit of truth. ” Then in 16:13, Jesus says “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . ” I say that in context, this is clearly referring to spiritual and theological truth, not exhaustive knowledge. ” Since Jesus (as far as we know) stuck to "religious" subject matter, it is safe to guess that the Holy Spirit basically would, too. We know that this is how God has chosen to communicate to the human race, in His revelations, encapsulated in the Bible.