Is James White BFFs With Martin Luther?

Update: After reflecting on the way I came across in the video, I have decided to remove it. If I expect James White to show respect and consideration toward me, I need to do the same to him. I will make another blog post sometime in the next few days discussing the situation, the response, and what transpired with regard to the radio discussion.

And immediately a Protestant Christian jumped in criticizing something I pointed out; namely, that James White hypocritically quotes Martin Luther on the back cover of the book. The Protestant Christian argued, with some merit, that just because a person disagrees with another on various issues, does not mean they can’t quote them when they do agree.

True enough, if that were the whole story, though one should be careful quoting people whose views in general are suspect. But White’s quote of Luther is as follows:

The Word comes first, and with the Word the Spirit breathes upon my heart so that I believe.
— Martin Luther

An okay quote, as far as it goes. But the problem with it for White is that Luther is talking about his own faith and beliefs, how the Word and the Spirit combine to bless him with his (implicitly great) faith.

Yet James White utterly rejects many of Luther’s beliefs: sacramental union (consubstantiation), the dismissal of four New Testament books, Marian veneration and her perpetual virginity, infant baptism, and especially Luther’s beliefs on justification and baptism.

bab1The quote then, where Luther describes how God has enlightened him with such faith, is a bizarre one to use by White, as their two faiths contradict one another on important doctrines. This is what I criticized in my video.

Of course, the solution to this puzzle is simple: White wants to connect himself with the founder of Protestantism and so add a patina of historical credibility to his own thoroughly innovative beliefs. In fact White likes the quote because he applies it to himself, and not to Luther. The irony of such a reappropriation is palpable, but in truth White is doing what Luther set the stage for: everyone their own ultimate interpretive authority. In spite of the hypocrisy, White truly is the spiritual descendant of Luther, just in a way that neither of them would want or own up to.

But How Could White’s Book Respond to Mine?

James White was informed about my video and argued that I said something silly: namely, I explained that his book didn’t rebut any of my book’s arguments. He pointed out that his book was written years prior to my book, so how could it rebut my arguments?

Seems reasonable, but what if I told you that White’s book was rebutted 400 years earlier by two Catholics? Their names are St. Edmund Campion and St. Francis de Sales. They lived in the 1500s and 1600s and already saw the root flaws of Protestantism. Their arguments get to the heart of the differences and completely undermine White’s book.

If White’s arguments were true, they would be timeless, and so his book would be speaking to timeless truths, like St. Edmund’s and St. Francis’ did. It could then answer a book such as mine, no matter when it was written. But his arguments are not true, and so they are not timeless at all. So my criticism of his book on this matter stands as well.

My book faces the toughest issues and gets to the heart of the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. White’s skirts the edges and studiously avoids the heart of the issues.

65 thoughts on “Is James White BFFs With Martin Luther?”

  1. There are all kinds of things in the RCC that are not supported in Scripture. The Marian dogmas, church office of priests and indulgences. We could also look at the lack of scriptural and early church history for the papacy.

    1. In all do respect Jay, where in Scripture does it say everything done in Gods household has come from Scripture? Also, the papcay is directly linked to the Apostles via Scripture.

      1. Clint,
        Not sure what you mean by “where in Scripture does it say everything done in Gods household has come from Scripture?” Can you give me some examples of what you mean?
        We can say though that if something is not something the apostles taught then that doctrine, teaching, tradition or discipline is not apostolic.

        There is no link with the apostles and the papacy. We don’t find Peter for example claiming to be the supreme of the church nor that apostles recognizing him as such. Nor do we find any bishop in the first few centuries claiming to be the supreme leader of the entire church.

        1. Jay, what I mean is where in the Bible does it say all of Christianity must follow only the Bible? And what about what the Apostles taught their successors?

          Also, all through the Acts of the Apostles, it is very clear that Peter is authoritative over everyone.

    2. All of what you mentioned, Jay, are completely found explicitly and implicitly in the Bible. Apparently you just need to study it more. Why not actually read what the Catholic Church teaches and why and you will see that we are the ONLY Bible-believing Church, the one Christ founded.

      1. Tim,
        Many of the doctrines of the RCC are not taught in Scripture. Indulgences, Mary’s immaculate conception, her perpetual virginity, papacy etc are not found in Scripture.

  2. Before I converted to Catholicism, I use to listen to James White constantly. I’ve listened to numerous debates of his, read many of his books and listeded to many of his Dividing Line programs (I even called in several times). For this reason, I’m always interested in interaction between Catholics and James White. Have you considered debating him, Devin?

      1. Jay,

        Sounds great. Start with your biggest objection to Catholicism, the Scriptures you believe that refute the Catholic position, as well as any Patristic sources, and I will respond.

        1. Let’s start with something simple like the immaculate conception of Mary. There is no mention of her conception or birth in Scripture. None of the apostles mention her being without sin.

          1. Jay, none of the Apostles mention the Trinity within the Bible, but we rest assured they believe in what now refer to as the Trinity. Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to man being protected from sinning before the fact:

            “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. “(Jude 24-25)

            1. I agree the Scripture does not mention the word Trinity but there is excellent scriptural support for it.

              If Jude 24-25 is about keeping someone from sinning their entire life then there must be millions of Christians who have never sinned. After all, even in Scripture it never mentions the sins of most of the people it identifies.
              Is this what you believe?

              1. If we stop and think about the feasibility of the Immaculate Conception, truly it is not that hard to understand that God the Father is a loving, all powerful God. Why WOULD God create His Son in a womb ( Ark ) that had any sin at all? I use the term *Ark* because that is precisely what Mary was – the Ark of the New Covenant. In the New Testament, the new Ark is not an inanimate object, but a person, Mary. How much more pure would the new Ark be when we consider the old ark was a mere “shadow” in relation to it (see Heb. 10:1)? This image of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant is an indicator that Mary would fittingly be free from all contagion of sin to be a worthy vessel to bear God in her womb.

                Original sin is not something we do; it is something we’ve inherited. Can God not create His Son in a womb free of sin? Contradiction to Scripture, what about “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “if any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 1:8)? Wouldn’t “all” and “any man” include Mary? This way of thinking carried to its logical conclusion would list Jesus Christ in the company of sinners as well. No faithful Christian would dare say that. No Christian can deny the plain texts of Scripture declaring Christ’s full humanity either. So, to take 1 John 1:8 in a strict, literal sense would apply “any man” to Jesus as well. Hebrews 4:15: “Christ was tempted in all points even as we are and yet he was without sin.”

                To answer your question, no, that is not what I believe. I believe that Mary was set aside from every other human being ever created and she was created without original sin. I believe she is the new Eve. If Mary were conceived in sin, she would be inferior to Eve who was created in a perfect state, free from all sin. But we know that is not true because she said yes, where Eve said no.

            2. While Trinity is never mentioned, the reference of such is a constant in the OT and NT.
              John 1:1,14
              John 8:58
              Isaiah 7:14
              Isaiah 6:6

          2. You’re right, Jay. In fact, Mary admitted she had original sin when she offered a sin offering in Luke 2:22-24. In response to this, one might say that Yeshua (Jesus) kept the Passover and He was sinless (which is true). But it is also written, in accordance with His being sinless: “And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.” (Exodus 23:15) Whereas, with Mary’s offering, it says nothing like that.

            1. Luke 2:22-24 by no means suggests Mary suffered from sin. It points to the fact that her and Joseph were honorary Jews. They upheld the Mosaic Covenant. Jesus indeed keep the Passover, this is precisely what the Paschal Mystery is.

              1. Concerning Mary’s offering, it doesn’t say that none should come empty-handed. That was my point. She made the offering, admitting she was born a sinner.

  3. This quote really nails down just how it is that we ought take Luther, and his various and sometimes confusing or even contradicting quotations:

    “Anyone who is but a little familiar with Luther knows that his different thoughts are not strung together like pearls in a necklace, united only by the bond of a common authority or perhaps by a chain of logical argument, but that they all lie close as the petals of a rose about a common centre, they shine out like the rays of the sun from one glowing source: the forgiveness of sins. We should be in no danger of misleading the would-be student of Luther, if we expressly gave him the rule: Never imagine you have rightly grasped a Lutheran idea until you have succeeded in reducing it to a simple corollary of the forgiveness of sins.”

    from Our Calling by Swedish theologian Einar Billing

  4. Very funny article – especially in the light of the fact that “Scripture Alone” is written 10 years before “The Protestant’s Dilemma”. If one of the books are not adressing the other, it is the newest one which is evading the older one.

    Devin, you should read “The Roman Catholic Controversy”, which is a book that is actually written to address this issue.

    Just because I am curious, have you seen all the debates James White has done with Roman Catholic apologists?

    For a comment on James White’s blog:

    For a rebuttal of the 34 points you make in your book:

    1. Truth doesn’t change Mathias. St. Edmund and St. Francis de Sales rebutted White 400 years ago.

      I’ve read and watched lots of White’s stuff.

      The link you post does not rebut my book’s 34 arguments. It is at best a cursory attempt to respond to my book. He inaccurately portrays my position and basic premises.

      How long did the blog post’s author even have my book in his possession? One day? Hardly enough time to read it and actually attempt rebuttals.

      1. Hi again David,

        I agree that truth does not change, but the RCC has changed its opinion over time. Which must mean that they do not have the truth. Or was your intention to communicate that whatever the RCC says at any point in time, even though it develops over time, is true when it is spoken “infallibly”?

        I guess you agree with every sentance that De Sales and St. Edmund ever wrote since you lean on their works, and that they are your BFFs?

        But since you argue that Rome has the “reason”, why don’t you challange James White to debate your 34 points? I heard he was looking for a catholic debate.

        I suspect that in your opinion nothing can rebut your position, as long as it is from a non-catholic perspective. But at least the article responded to your book. And it was even written after your book was written, so it could interact with what you wrote, which was impossible for “Scripture Alone” to do, as you stangely expected it would have done.

      2. Another thing,

        “How long did the blog post’s author even have my book in his possession? One day? Hardly enough time to read it and actually attempt rebuttals.”

        According to the clock on your blog, you could not have used more than 30 minutes to read his rebuttal. That is hardly enough time to read it and decide that it is an unworthy rebuttal.

        1. Mathias,

          His rebuttal was about 50% copy-paste of my statements, Bible verses, canons of councils, or other things I am already familiar with. The actual substance of his “rebuttal” perhaps 3,000 words.

          My book is probably twenty times longer and much more well thought out. So your comparison is apples to oranges.

  5. Clint,
    Where in the NT is Mary ever referred to as the ark? Now if Christ was going to be contaminated by sin because Mary was a sinner how did Mary come into the world without being tainted by the sin of her mother? The fact is that Mary is included in the fall since there is nothing in Scripture that Mary “was set aside from every other human being ever created and she was created without original sin.”

    Actually the reason Christ did not inherit Adam’s sin nature was because when Christ was conceived it had nothing to do with a man. It is through Adam (the man) that sin is passed on. ” Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—” Romans 5:12

    Actually Christ is prefigured in the Ark and not Mary. In Christ we have the embodiment of the Law, the jar of manna and Aaron’s rod. Mary is never said to be the embodiment of the law, the manna from heaven or being a leader as Aaron’s rod signified.

    1. Jay: this is becoming a circular argument, again, where in Scripture does it state everything done within Christianity – Gods anointed household – has to, or is, specified solely within Scripture? Seeing Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant requires looking at Sacred Scripture with a typological lens, something that is not contrary to Scripture. For brevities sake, I will borrow from Steven Ray these biblical types. Please take the time to whole-heartedly look over this and understand this is not a mere coinencedensce, indeed, this is Gods salvational history at its finest. I will number them so they will be easy to read: ~~
      TYPE 1.
      – The ark traveled to the house of Obededom in the hill country of Judea (2 Sam. 6:1-11).
      – Mary traveled to the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah in the hill country of Judea (Luke 1:39).
      TYPE 2.
      -Dressed as a priest, David danced and leapt in front of the ark
      (2 Sam. 6:14).
      -John the Baptist – of priestly lineage – leapt in his mother’s womb at the approach of Mary (Luke 1:41).
      TYPE 3.
      -David asks, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9).
      -Elizabeth asks, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43).
      TYPE 4.
      -David shouts in the presence of the ark (2 Sam. 6:15).
      Elizabeth “exclaimed with a loud cry” in the presence of the Mary (Luke 1:42).
      TYPE 5.
      -The ark remained in the house of Obededom for three months (2 Sam. 6:11).
      -Mary remained in the house of Elizabeth for three months (Luke 1:56).
      TYPE 6.
      -The house of Obededom was blessed by the presence of the ark (2 Sam. 6:11).
      -The word blessed is used three times; surely the house was blessed by God (Luke 1:39-45).
      TYPE 7.
      -The ark returns to its home and ends up in Jerusalem, where God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple (2 Sam. 6:12; 1 Kgs. 8:9-11)
      -Mary returns home and eventually ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple (Luke 1:56; 2:21-22)

      Mary as the Ark Revealed by Items inside the Ark:

      Inside the Ark of the Old Covenant-
      -The stone tablets of the law – the word of God inscribed on stone
      -The urn filled with manna from the wilderness – the miraculous bread come down from heaven
      -The rod of Aaron that budded to prove and defend the true high priest

      Inside Mary, Ark of the New Covenant-
      -The body of Jesus Christ – the word of God in the flesh
      -The womb containing Jesus, the bread of life come down from heaven (John 6:41)
      -The actual and eternal High Priest, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, Emmanuel.

      It is clear that Luke has used typology to reveal something about the place of Mary in salvation history. In the Ark of the Old Covenant, God came to his people with a spiritual presence, but in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, God comes to dwell with his people not only spiritually but physically, in the womb of a specially prepared Jewish girl.

      Also, when the ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord ( the Shakinah ) covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-35; Nm 9:18, 22). The verb for “to cover” or “to overshadow” and the metaphor of a cloud are used in the Bible to represent the presence and glory of God. It’s easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary ( Luke 1:35 ), between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

      God was very specific about every exact detail of the ark (Ex 25-30). It was a place where God himself would dwell (Ex 25:8). God wanted his words—inscribed on stone—housed in a perfect container covered with pure gold within and without. How much more would he want his Word—Jesus—to have a perfect dwelling place! If the only begotten Son were to take up residence in the womb of a human girl, would he not make her flawless?

      1. If Mary is some type of ark of the covenant why is it that not one of the authors ever hint at her being this? Where do we see in Scripture Mary being referred to as the manna of heaven? Where do we see in Scripture her being referred to as the fulfillment of the law of God? Where do the Scriptures refer to Mary as the mercy seat given that it was part of the ark? Where do the Scripture point us to her to find mercy?

        Where does your church officially and infallibly interpret the various passages you use to mean that they are types about Mary that you promote here?

        You still have not addressed how Mary could be sinless if her parents were sinners? How did she avoid being contaminated by their sin?

    2. One other thing Jay, lets not forget Adam & Eve were indeed created WITHOUT sin. You said, “Actually Christ is prefigured in the Ark and not Mary” … Christ is prefigured WITHIN the Ark as manna, the Bread of Life. Yes, Aaron was the High Priest and this is shown/proven via his blooming rod, also held WITHIN the Ark. Yes, Christ is our High Priest. The stone tablets also held WITHIN the Ark representing Yahweh’s righteous Law – indeed, Christ is our Lawgiver. In all respect Jay, it seems what your not seeing here is all these things were CARRIED inside the Ark – this is precisely why Mary is the NEW Ark – she carried God within her womb. Everything that prefigured Jesus was WITHIN the Ark. Sorry for the capitalization, I wasn’t trying to yell at you, lol, I just couldn’t figure out how to italicize certain words in this blog.

    3. Jay: You said and quoted:
      “Actually the reason Christ did not inherit Adam’s sinful nature was because when Christ was conceived it had nothing to do with a man. It is through Adam (the man) that sin is passed on. ” Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—” Romans 5:12

      Question friend: Why would God in the form of the Holy Spirit come to dwell in a sin-polluted womb? Mary’s sinlessness derives from the fact that she is the human vessel through which God himself became man. It was from her flesh that Christ received his human nature.

      1. Clint,
        Sin does not have physical properties. God is greater and more powerful than sin and so would not be polluted by sin in Mary’s womb. We know throughout Jesus’s life that He touched sinners and that did not cause Him to stumble nor become polluted by their sins.

        It is amazing that on the cross Christ became sin for us and yet He still remained pure and sinless Himself. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor 5:21

        The ark included those 3 things I mentioned. If Mary is the new ark what does it mean when the ark is emptied of these things with the birth of Christ? If Mary is the new ark, that means she is an empty ark. Right?

        In Hebrews 9 it mentions the ark and various things related to the temple. Why is there nothing in this chapter about Mary or the mother of the Messiah being a type of ark?
        In Revelation the ark is also mentioned briefly but Mary is not mentioned in connection with it. Again, if it is true that Mary is a type of ark why don’t we see any reference any hint of Mary here?

        1. Jay! Before I go any further, I need you to point out where in Scripture does Scripture say that all business conducted in God’s anointed Household has to be written in Scripture? Where is tradition and the authority of the Church NOT found in Scripture?

          1. Clint,
            Nothing in Scripture that says “all business conducted in God’s anointed Household has to be written in Scripture”.
            However, if a doctrine or practice is not grounded in Scripture it cannot truly be said to be apostolic or scriptural.

            Tradition is mentioned in Scripture but it never says in Scripture that tradition is equal to Scripture i.e. inspired-inerrant. The danger with traditions is that they can easily supplant the Scripture as being authoritative and binding.

  6. Jay, I’m sure you already know that the Roman Catholic Church has a Pope lineage which traces back to the first Pope being Peter. You can google it, but the earliest of this list can be found in St. Irenaeus’s book “Against Heresies,” a second century Bishop and Church Father. I wish I had more space and time to tell you more about the Early Church Fathers. If you want historical and scriptural background about the early Christian Church I highly recommend researching the Church and Apostolic (church fathers who were direct disciples of some of the Apostles) Fathers and read their ancient writings. Most which were written much before the Bible was put together. I’m talking late first, second and third centuries! Born and raised a Catholic I first heard about the Church Fathers just last year from my Parish Priest. I’m so excited to know that not only do we have the Holy Bible to back us up, but HISTORY as well! I have never been so in love with my faith and eager to learn more as I am now.
    On another note, my husband is Protestant and has many of the same questions and concerns you do. I totally understand where you’re coming from because I deal with it everyday at home. We attend both Catholic Mass and Protestant service each weekend. Tiring I know, especially with two toddlers! Anyway, if you’re on this thread and site it must be for a reason. Maybe it’ll lead you home, maybe not. Whatever God has planned for you I hope it leads you to the truth. If anything then to give you a richer understanding of the Catholic faith. God Bless.

    1. Lorena, thank you so much for these kind and thoughtful words. And it is so nice to hear from a female in the midst of all us guys:) You perspective on this is greatly appreciated! God bless you!

    2. Lorena, actually the Word doesn’t back you up at all. And, history? What, because of the RCC’s conveniently kept documents that exclude the writings of the true Montanists, those in favor of Nisan 14, those for the Iconoclast, to name just a few?

    3. Lorena,
      I know it is claimed by RC’s that they can trace the papacy back to the NT but the facts don’t support that. Peter never refers to himself as the supreme leader of the church nor do the other apostles refer to him as such. He was a leader, but no one in the NT recognizes him as the supreme leader of the church. Even at the first council of the church in Acts 15 he is not the one who gives the ultimate decision. It was James. See Acts 15:19.

      When you also look at the church of the first few centuries you do not see anyone claiming to be the supreme leader of the church nor do you see other churches acknowledging someone to be.
      Let’s take Linus who supposedly was the next pope after Peter. What command or encyclical did he write to the entire church that must be obeyed? What other churches looked to Linus as the supreme head of the entire church? The answer is: none.

      Of all the church fathers who interpret Matthew 16:18; John 21:17 not one of them applies it to the Roman bishops as Peter’s successors. The first bishop of Rome who appeals to Peter for his authority was not until around 250 AD with Stephen.

  7. Devin, the anti-Semitic Luther was NOT the founder of Protestantism. What about the true Montanists, those for Nissan 14, those for the Iconoclast, and others like Tyndale and Hus predating Luther?

    1. Luther is one of Protestantism’s founders. Yes some people preceded him like Hus, and you can find some similarities in heresies from previous centuries, but Protestantism as a movement began with Luther, Zwingli, and the other reforming movements, many of which ended up schisming from the Church.

      1. The true Montanists: They spoke in tongues and prophesied. Since the RCC is “the Apostolic Church”, then why didn’t she continue to speak in tongues even though Scripture talks of the subject quite often?
        Those for Nissan 14: Read 1 Corinthians 5:8. Since the RCC is “the Apostolic Church”, then why didn’t she continue to celebrate the feast?
        Those for the Iconoclast: Never once did Jesus or any of His followers do anything that those for icons do. Never. Never once did He venerate/pray to some saint or anything of the like. Since the RCC is “the Apostolic Church”, then why does she venerate relics, statues, saints, and the like even though there is no records whatsoever of any of Jesus or His disciples doing such a thing?
        That said, in a sense, the RCC is actually the protestants.

  8. Mr. Rose says, “An okay quote, as far as it goes. But the problem with it for White is that Luther is talking about his own faith and beliefs, how the Word and the Spirit combine to bless him with his (implicitly great) faith.”

    First, the quote is actually a Table Talk statement, not a direct quote. Second, Luther isn’t simply “about his own faith and beliefs.” Rather, the context is about how people have the Holy Spirit and don’t always immediately realize it.

    Here’s a tip to budding apologists: Always check the context before pronouncing on it.

  9. This is my third attempt to post my comment so I’ll just give you the short modified version.
    Jay, you are correct that there are no written works of St. Linus that exist today anyway. I’m pretty sure that much more was written during that era. The earliest accounts of St. Linus as Pope we have today are from St. Irenaeus in “Against Heresies,” which was written during the late 2nd century. He even mentions St. Linus as the same Linus in 1Timothy4:21. Irenaeus says, “The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistle to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted bishopric…” (pg. 279). Pope Clement I however did write Epistles, three which survive today. You can pull them up online yourself, but I do want to note that at one point he says that if a recipient does not obey then he is sinning. He was not teaching any new doctrine, but dealing with current issues with the Church of Corinth and reminding them of the traditions that were taught and handed down by the Apostles. His Epistles are considered the earliest of Christian Literature outside of the NT and were taught alongside Epistles we find today in our Bible.
    Regarding Acts 15, Peter was the one who addresses the group and James was reaffirming and agreeing with what Peter had previously said. Notice how he quotes Peter then the Prophets in Acts 15:13. It seems like James merely gave an idea on how to get their point across to the Gentiles. I don’t see how this one passage makes James the leader. However, being part of the Apostleship I can see him having a bit of leadership in his role as an Apostle but not at the same level as Peter. The evidence that I find pointing to Peter as Pope outweighs this one small passage which some Protestants claim that James was the leader of the Council of Jerusalem.
    Lets go back to Mat 16, we know that Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter. In the OT whenever God changed someone’s name it denoted a special calling, a new vocation. Why did he single Peter out from the rest of the Apostles and why would Jesus give him the keys which are a symbol of authority? If you look at Isaiah 22:22 it sounds a bit like Mat 16 and again you see keys as a symbol of authority.
    I don’t know how you search for your info because I’m finding many writing from Church Fathers in regards to Papal succession much earlier than 250 AD with Stephen. Even Tertullian who was considered a heretic at some mentions how “Apostolic churches transmit their lists…” (Demurrer Against the Heresies 32:2 [A.D. 200]). I’m just say’in…
    I do have a question to my Protestant friends since my hubby doesn’t know how to answer this. Where and how do you prove that “Sola Scriptura” is Biblical and true? As a believer of Sacred Tradition I understand that there are many things not mentioned in the Bible, but for someone who doesn’t believe in Sacred Tradition how do explain that which is not even hinted in the Bible? Thank you and I look forward to your answers/opinions. 🙂

    1. Here is what James says about his decision in Acts 15 about what the church will do. “Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, ..” Acts 15:19 This clearly shows that it is James who is the leader of this council and not Peter.

      As for Linus in your statement “committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate.” does not mean he was the supreme leader of the church.

      Even Clement does not claim to be the supreme leader of the church in his letters. Nor do any of the churches at the time acknowledge him as such.

      Christ does give Peter the keys of the kingdom. We see him in Acts 1-2 opening the kingdom up to all who would believe in Christ. This authority does not make him the supreme leader of the church.

      The connection you have to make historically is to show that the bishop of Rome alone are given the keys alone. The facts of history don’t support this. In fact in the first few centuries there was not one bishop who was head of the Roman church. Consider this from RC scholars:
      “We must conclude that the New Testament provides no basis for the notion that before the apostles died, they ordained one man for each of the churches they founded…”Was there a Bishop of Rome in the First Century?”…the available evidence indicates that the church in Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than by a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, p. 80,221-222).

      Also..”there is no evidence that before his death Peter actually served the church of Rome as its first bishop, even though the “fact” is regularly taken for granted by a wide spectrum of Catholics and others (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., pp. 25,29). ”

      I’m having a discussion on Sola Scriptura at:
      You are welcome to join us.

      Before I can answer your question “Where and how do you prove that “Sola Scriptura” is Biblical and true?” I need you to define what you mean by the term.

      What is Sacred Tradition and is it equal to the Scripture? What are some examples of it?

      Look forward to your responses.

      1. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been having internet problems (we live at 9,200ft altitude in CO) and when I hit sent late last night I got the “no internet connection” screen argh!

  10. Clint,
    Please define what you mean by Sola Scriptura. Most people I have engaged on this don’t quite understand what is meant by it. Then I will respond to your question.

    1. Jay:

      Simply stated, the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”) teaches that every teaching in Christian theology (everything pertaining to “faith and practice”) must be able to be derived from Scripture alone. This is expressed by the Reformation slogan Quod non est biblicum, non est theologicum (“What is not biblical is not theological,”

      Sola scriptura (“by scripture alone”). If a teaching isn’t explicit in the Bible, then non-Catholic Christians ( that are in full Communion with the Magesterium ) don’t accept it as doctrine. This bedrock Protestant teaching claims that Scripture alone is the sole rule of faith and morals for Christians.

      It is contrary to reason. One cannot prove the inspiration of Scripture, or any text, from the text itself. The Book of Mormon, the Hindu Vedas, the Qur’an, the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, and other books all claim inspiration, but this does not make them inspired.

      Where is sola scriptura itself taught in the Bible? Most Protestants find sola Scriptura in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

      “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

      This passage (or any other) does not even hint at Scripture being the sole rule of faith. It says that Scripture is inspired and necessary—a rule of faith—but in no way does it teach that Scripture alone is all one needs to determine the truth about faith and morals as a Christian.

      1. The best case for sola scriptura is, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28) Notice how it just happens to be after someone praised Mary when Jesus was right there? It explicitly refutes praying to Mary, and it explicitly okays sola scriptura. Period.

  11. Ok. Let’s start with the nature of Scripture itself. Is the Bible inspired-inerrant? Is there anything else in the world that is inspired-inerrant and if so what?

    1. “Inerrancy” simply means the state of being free from error?

      The Catholic Church has always taught that Sacred Scripture is inerrant. Since all the books of the Bible were composed by human authors who were “inspired” by the Holy Spirit ( Jn. 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 3:15-16), they truly have God as their author, and communicate without error Our Heavenly Father’s saving truth.

      I would say that the Church is inspired-inerrant. Why? Because this is what Christ taught and what He established in the Gospels. After this, does it not boil down to interpretation? All matters seem to point back to authority. It thus becomes an issue of interpretation.
      How are we to know which interpretations are correct? The same Church that authenticates the Bible, that attests to its inspiration, is the authority established by Christ to interpret his word. Acts 8:30-31

  12. Clint,
    I agree that the Scripture is inerrant (without error) in its original autographs and inspired. The writings are inspired i.e. meaning God-breathed. Thus the origin of Scripture is God, not man; it is God-breathed.

    No where in Scripture does it say the church is inspired-inerrant. Men can and have erred in all dimensions of their lives. The only exception would be the Lord Christ.

    We know popes have erred and been condemned for doing so.

    In regards to the authority to interpret Scripture, where has your church officially-infallibly interpret the Scriptures? How do you know the official-infallible interpretation by your church for Acts 8:30-31? How has your church interpreted these verses and where can I see this interpretation?

    BTW- if something is inspired-inerrant then it follows that it is the highest authority for Christians in relation to doctrine and practice. By we can determine that which is of God and Christ and that which is not.

  13. Speaking of the lineage of Popes. Those who study church history are aware of rival Antipopes in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. By the end of this conflict, the Council of Constance brought an end to this in 1417 and elected Martin V, whose papal line is the legitimate one that the RCC accepts today. There were still problems a couple of decades later with Eugenius IV, who was deposed by the Council of Basil, etc, etc. With all this confusion, I would like to quote someone on this subject. “For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side.”
    Sounds like an anti-catholic. This quote comes from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in Principles of Catholic Theology. Why would someone like him, who we all know would become Benedict XVI, cause him to say something like this? Does Rome then have the right lineage? Rome obviously, would say yes, but Ratzinger is not so sure. Rome’s defenders would say that he was speaking as a private theologian and he was not pope at the time of writing this book. Thank you.

    1. Arturo, the valid Pope at the time of Constance was Pope Gregory XII. The Council of Constance was made ecumenical because, and only because, Pope Gregory approved it and gave it explicit authority to choose the new pope. He also formally resigned as pope so that the Council could elect a new one.

      The Council of Pisa a short time prior had tried to do the same thing but did so illegitimately, without the sanction of the Pope. That council resulted in just another anti-pope being added to the first one. The difference was that the Pope did not approve Pisa.

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