WHY I’M CATHOLIC: THE PROBLEM WITH FOUNDATIONS

One the greatest church historians of the 19th century was the German Lutheran scholar Adolf Harnack. A university professor for decades, he bewailed and bemoaned the ignorance his mainly Lutheran students displayed of Catholicism.

I am convinced from constant experience of the fact that the students who leave our schools have the most disconnected and absurd ideas about ecclesiastical history. Some of them know something about Gnosticism, or about other curious and for them worthless details. But of the Catholic Church, the greatest religious and political creation known to history, they know absolutely nothing, and they indulge in its regard in wholly trivial, vague, and often directly nonsensical notions.

As a former Protestant minister who has now spent the last twenty-four years studying the Catholic faith, I can testify that while Harnack’s assessment may be harshly worded, it isn’t inaccurate.

When most modern evangelicals think about Catholicism, what they have in their minds isn’t Catholicism at all but an absurd caricature, a muddle of indistinct ideas and distorted images born of mistaken impressions and false assumptions. As to the inner logic of Catholicism as a system of thought—not to mention the case for it being true—the vast majority haven’t a clue.

This was true for me, as well. Although I knew something of what Catholics believed, I knew nothing of the case that Catholic theologians and apologists make for the truth of what Catholics believe. Like one of Harnack’s wayward students, I indulged in the Church’s regard “in wholly trivial, vague, and often directly nonsensical notions.”

And because of this, conversion involved a lot of learning. Actually, it involved the rethinking of my entire worldview as a Christian, from the ground floor up.

Of course this included thinking hard about what exactly the ‘ground floor’ consisted of for me as a Protestant.

Confusing Conversations

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of discussing Catholicism with a somewhat knowledgeable Protestant, you may have noticed how incredibly exhausting the conversation can be. Why is that?

Well, you say, it’s exhausting simply because there are so many issues about which we disagree. Where do you begin? Peter and the keys? Apostolic succession? The rule of bishops in the Church? The sacramental priesthood? Justification by grace through faithful obedience? Sacramental theology? Infant baptism? The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? The Mass as a sacrifice? Confession to a priest? The Marian doctrines? The communion of saints? Contraception? Monastic vows?

It’s true: the sheer number of issues upon which there is disagreement can make the conversation exhausting. But there’s more to it than that. There’s something else at play that makes the conversation not merely tiring but downright confusing.

After all, we’re both Christians. We both believe in the inspiration and authority of sacred scripture. And yet we seem to be coming from different places. We seem to disagree not only on what the true teachings of Christianity are, but on how to go about deciding what they are!

We’re like two carpenters debating the length of a board while using different standards of measurement.

We’re like two people standing on the beach, one wearing rose-colored glasses and other amber-colored, and arguing about the exact color of the sunset.

The Issue of Foundations

What’s going on that makes the conversation so confusing and difficult? The answer isn’t even controversial: Catholics and Protestants have different methods for determining the doctrinal and moral teachings of the faith. It isn’t too much to say that the worldviews of Catholics and Protestants have different foundations.

Gaining clarity on this helped me to understand early on where I needed to focus my attention in thinking about Catholicism. And since becoming Catholic, it has helped me to understand where I need to focus my attention when discussing Catholicism with my evangelical friends. Rather than exhausting the both of us, leaping back and forth between thirty different doctrinal disagreements, I find it far more illuminating, and effective, to focus the conversation on the root of the differences between us, the key issue that separates us, which is the issue of foundations.

Sola Scriptura

So what is the foundation of Protestantism? How do Protestants determine what the true teachings of Christianity are?

Protestant scholars Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie explain:

By Sola Scriptura orthodox Protestants mean that scripture alone is the primary and absolute source of authority, the final court of appeal, for all doctrine and practice…. However good they may be in giving guidance, all the church fathers, popes, and councils are fallible.  Only the Bible is infallible…. As to sufficiency, the Bible — nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else—is all that is necessary for faith and practice….

As I see it, three main assertions are being made here:

  1. Scripture is the Christian’s sole infallible rule for determining what we are to believe and how we are to live.
  2. Scripture is materially sufficient, meaning that everything God wants us to know is there in the pages of the Bible.
  3. Scripture is formally sufficient, meaning that what the Bible teaches is sufficiently clear that no infallible teaching Magisterium of the church is necessary to interpret it or to formally define Christian doctrine.

Reformed theologian Robert Godfrey put it like this:

The Protestant position, and my position, is that all things necessary for salvation and concerning faith and life are taught in the Bible clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand it.

The Key Issue

Now, none of what I’ve said here is in the least controversial. Sola Scriptura was the very ‘battle cry’ of the Protestant Reformation. This was at the heart of all that happened in the 16th century: the idea that no authoritative Church existed and that no authoritative Church was needed. The Bible—nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else—was seen to be all that is necessary for faith and practice.

This is the foundation of the Protestant worldview.

And because of this, when I began to look into Catholicism, although I was interested in everything—all the doctrinal differences and disputes that exist between Protestants and Catholics—the issue that interested me most was this issue of Sola Scriptura. Because I recognized it to be the key to everything else.

I saw very quickly that if Sola Scriptura is true, then Protestantism is true. Period. If it was our Lord’s intention for Scripture to function as the “sole and sufficient infallible rule of faith and practice” for the Church he established, then Protestantism is true.

Now, accepting the truth of Sola Scriptura, I might have to spend the rest of my life sifting through the arguments of various theologians to determine which version of Protestantism I believed to be most in line with Scripture—whether the Baptists, or the Presbyterians, or the Lutherans, or the Anglicans, or the Methodists, or the Church of Christ, or maybe the independent church down the street, formed around some bright, charismatic, convincing young pastor with his new angle on how to put the Scriptural pieces together.

But I will be Protestant!

At the same time, it was also clear to me that if Jesus did not intend for Scripture to serve as the “sole and sufficient infallible rule of faith and practice” for the Church, then Protestantism as a worldview is not true, and all of its various iterations collapse at once: Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Church of Christ, Independent—all come falling down together.

There was no doubt: this was the key issue.

Slip Sliding Away

At the time of the Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994, my family lived seven miles from the epicenter.

None of us will ever forget that morning. As I was bouncing back and forth against the walls of my hallway, trying to get to my kids’ bedrooms, I kept thinking the floor was going to tear open beneath my feet. I remember thinking one of us might die. I remember especially the sound of our house jumping up and down. It was like millions of tons of chain link being dropped repeatedly onto a wooden floor. It was unbelievable. When it was over, our living room was a pile of furniture and shattered glass.

There’s little that is more frightening than feeling the earth give way beneath your feet. After all, this is your foundation. This is what you’re standing on. If this goes, everything goes.

In a similar way, and for similar reasons, my conversion to the Catholic faith was traumatic. It began the moment I felt the foundation of my worldview as a Protestant slipping and giving way beneath my feet, the moment that first doubt entered by mind that Sola Scriptura was what Jesus intended for His Church.

As I focused on this key issue — the issue of authority, the most important issue of all — I came to believe over time that Sola Scriptura had not been the faith of the earliest Christians, that it was completely unworkable, having led since the time of the Reformation to the fragmentation of Protestantism in countless denominations and sects and independent churches, that it didn’t make sense logically, that it wasn’t even the teaching of the New Testament. In other words, I came to see that Sola Scriptura refuted itself.

It was at this point I knew I was on my way into the Catholic Church.

*****

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26 Comments

  • Mary Stevanus says:

    Wow, you have verbalized it so well! I try to write about my conversion to the CC from Nazarene, but nowhere so succinctly than you have done here. My story was published by CHN in January of 2012, but I wrote it from a personal emotive view, rather than theological – but most of those things you write about here, I also experienced, except perhaps living close to a major earthquake. There was very little about that event that could pull me away from the TV coverage (except the need for a paycheck) and the individual stories kept my tear ducts well exercised.

    Thank you for your post – these conversions solidify my own.

  • Everett says:

    There may be ten thousand Protestant sects, but there are tens of millions of Catholics who go through the cafeteria of Catholic doctrine and practice and pick and choose what they want to believe and how they want to live. They may attend mass regularly but their thoughts and lives are far from Church teaching. What’s the practical difference between the Protestant sects and the cafeteria Catholics? Aren’t the Protestant sects more honest than the Catholics who tacitly protest

    • Harold Koenig says:

      Honesty could be said to be “necessary but not sufficient.” If I and my too short for their weight friends agree honestly that jelly doughnuts are only 100 calories, we’re going to gain weight … honestly.

      Cafeteria Catholics lack honesty, but if they at least go to Sunday Mass, they are, so to speak, exposing themselves to the Mystery which can be the contagious cure for that and other moral disorders. There are generous liars and selfish but honest people. Both will be amended by grace. And maybe next Sunday a word from Scripture or from the pulpit, or even a languid glance at the elevated Host MAY wake them from their dreams.

      • Everett Bonds says:

        Harold,
        Apparently, you don’t share Christ’s contempt for hypocrisy and empty, formal religion; I do.

        • Ken Hensley says:

          Here is an example of applying passages of Scripture in a superficial and inappropriate way. Jesus was slamming those who believed that God was pleased with their “hypocrisy and empty, formal religion.” As I understood Harold, all he was saying was that even if someone’s faith is not deep, so long as they are in church and exposed to what is happening there, God’s grace can reach them. In fact, isn’t it quite obvious that this is what Harold meant by his comment?

          • Everett says:

            Ken,

            It should be obvious that being in church and exposed to what is happening there does not justify hypocrisy and empty, formal religion; it exacerbates it and makes it acceptable. How did I apply Scripture in a superficial and inappropriate way?

        • Ken Hensley says:

          What I meant was that the Lord was condemning phonies and Harold wasn’t advocating phoniness. He wasn’t saying, “I advocate hypocrisy!” He was saying, “I advocate nominal Catholics being in Church where they can hopefully be touched by God’s grace.” In that sense you were using the words of Jesus to condemn something he didn’t have in his mind at all.

          Let me put it like this: Protestant parents bring their children to church and have them in Sunday School and send them off to Christian youth camps — even when they know their kids do not yet have a vibrant living faith in Christ, or may even be in active rebellion against God. They bring them in the hope that they will hear something or see something or experience something that will move them toward Christ. The kids sit and listen and even sing along. According to your logic in this exchange, it seems you would say to those parents, “Ah, so you’re advocating hypocrisy and empty, formal religion!”

          • Everett says:

            Ken,

            I was raised in the religious atmosphere you described, and I would not hesitate to call it hypocrisy and empty, formal religion. I have been in scores of fundamentalists’ churches literally from coast to coast. Fundamentalists have, I believe, more hypocrites per capita than any part of the Church. They pay obeisance to Scripture as if it were a paper god, and then live as worldly as the world. Cafeteria Catholics are the same way. They need to be told to live a faithful, obedient life and stop pretending; it’s a reproach to the name of Christ.

        • Ken Hensley says:

          I want to quickly say that I don’t impugn your motives here. In fact, I see you wanting to defend truth Christianity. I just think you are mistaken in your thinking on this point.

    • Ken Hensley says:

      Hi Everett. Yes there are tens of millions of cafeteria Catholics as there are vast numbers of nominal Christians in the more liberalized mainline Protestant denominations. On a person-by-person basis there are tons of people whose “thoughts and lives” as you put it are far from the formal teachings of their respective churches. But I’m not talking about what may be true of this person or that. I’m comparing principles and at that level there is a critical different between the two systems and the kinds of division that exist in each system.

      Notice that division exists within the Catholic Church when individuals reject the Church’s principle of authority, which says that the Magisterium is the final interpreter and determiner or Christian doctrine. The more consistently individual Catholics hold to the Church’s principle of authority, the more unity. In other words, the principle leads to unity when it is applied. Disunity exists when it is rejected as with cafeteria Catholics.

      But with Protestantism, it’s the exact reverse. Protestant says that scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith and practice and the more individual Protestants apply this principle, the more division there is. In other words, the principle of authority in Protestantism actually LEADS to division when it is applied. Why? Because individuals study and come to varying points of view and since there’s no authority on earth to decide between them, they separate and form new churches. In a read sense, for unity to exist within Protestantism, individuals have to NOT practice sola scriptura but rather just submit to teaching of their pastor or denomination.

      Let me put it like this, because I think you raise a very good and important question: If every Catholic sincerely accepted the Church’s teaching on authority and lived in strict accordance with it, there would be no disunity. On the other hand, if every Protestant sincerely accepted the principle of sola scripture and lived in strict accordance with it, there would be ten times more denominations than there are.

      The one principle leads to unity; the other leads to disunity. That’s a big difference.

      • David says:

        I came across a quote once (which I can’t remember exactly), I think it was Chesterton of FJ Sheen maybe, anyway It went something like this: You don’t judge the effectiveness of a medication by those who DO NOT take it as prescribed.
        Basically, a million Catholics doing it wrong does nothing to disprove the truth of the faith. But when a Catholic lives in accord with what The Church teaches, you get a saint every time.

        • Everett says:

          David,

          What do you mean by The Church? The Church of Rome claims to be the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church; the Eastern Orthodox makes the same claim. In 1054, Pope Leo IX postumously excommunicated Orthodox patriarch Michael Cerulairius and his followers for not submitting to his claim of supremacy over the entire Church. A week later the patriarch did the same thing to the dead pope. Do we submit to the oldest part of the Church, the Orthodox, or the largest part of the Church, the Church of Rome? Both can’t be right; both can be wrong. I have known members of both Churches faithful to the teachings of their Churches; none were saints. I would urge you to read papal history written by someone other than a Conservative Catholic.

  • Seto Logologo says:

    Thank you Ken Hensley again for elucidating the faith. I get you are only confirming the teachings not just from the Apostles and the Early Church Fathers and the Magisterium, but up to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who founded the Universal Church: the Catholic Church. When the lines of grace are clear in a confusing world, all we can say is, Praise God!

  • Diana says:

    I think believing in Catholicism one needs humility. It takes humility to submit to authority, and it appeals to our fallen human nature and its intellect to search for its own meaning in biblical interpretation. Non-catholics protested against corruption which is understandable. However, Jesus knew the church would be made up of sinful people. All Christians sin but the first Church’s teaching on morals and doctrine never change. The Catholic Church put the bible together, and Jesus gave them that authority to do so. Jesus didn’t intend for private interpretation to be made. Scripture has many verses which are hard to understand. The Church fulfils scripture. I feel a deep peace now being at home in the true Church of the apostles.

  • Mary Lou says:

    Ken – I too find it so important to have a properly formed foundation so I love this blog for that reason. I must also say that your response to Everett was beautiful. The spirit of darkness has a goal of division for it creates weakness – missing links. Your ability to explain the differences that occur through two differing foundations is brilliant. Thank you.

  • Susan Shelko says:

    What, if any, are the limits to the authority of the Catholic Church? Or is there no limit to the Church’s authority? Is it possible that the Catholic faith began with proper reference and use of oral tradition and has since veered way off course in some of its doctrine and teachings? I think most of us would agree that the further one goes away from an original event the greater the likelihood for error and misinterpretation — even if one has the very best of intentions.

    I recently purchased David Bercot’s, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, and I see places where Catholicism is represented in the writings of the early church Fathers. But there are some doctrines and teachings that do not seem to be supported at all (i.e., prayers to and for the dead, the assumption and immaculate conception of Mary, purgatory and indulgences, papal infallibility). If the Church held these teachings, the early church Fathers surely didn’t seem to know about them.

    I see the problems that “scripture alone” have created; but there are also drawbacks and downsides to authority that has no limit and has no means of being challenged or of being changed. And I understand perfectly why, on an individual basis, many in the Catholic faith have taken the cafeteria approach. They don’t publicly protest or draw attention to their disbelief, but they don’t buy into the company store hook, line and sinker. I suspect this happens in both the Catholic and Protestant world.

    • Shaun says:

      If Jesus established a church, as He promised. And if, as He promised, He would be with that church until the end of time and that He would guide it into “all truth”, then one need not question the authority of His Church. That is the great gift our Lord gives to us; that, IN MATTERS OF FAITH AND MORALS, His Holy Spirit is doing the teaching and not the sinless men through whom He teaches.

    • Ken Hensley says:

      Hi Susan. Thanks for the comment and question. The question of ‘exactly’ where and how far the authority of the Church extends is a question the Church itself has wrestled with throughout the ages. But I think that when one walks through the New Testament and early Church the basic trajectory is clearly not one of each Christian studying his Bible and deciding for himself what he will accept as Christian doctrine.

      This post is the first in a series of 12 or so I will be sending out on this exact subject. There’s obviously a lot to it and I hope you will read along. But for now…

      I think of the fact that Christ established His Church, said He would be with His Church and that the gates of hell would not prevail. I think of Him breathing on his apostles and sending them out: the one who hears you, hears Me. I think of Him promising that although He would be leaving them, He would send the Holy Spirit who would guide them into all the truth. I think of the authoritative way in which the apostles led the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles. I think of how, when the first serious doctrinal dispute broke out in the Church, the apostles with the elders met, debated, decided the issue and sent out a letter saying, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” I think of how this letter, which was essentially a conciliar decree, was received with joy. No one said, “OK, we’ll study our Bibles and see if we agree.” I think of how the Apostle Paul, when he was preparing to leave this world, didn’t even talk about “writing” but rather encouraged Timothy to guard by the Holy Spirit everything he had “heard” Paul teach and pass it on to faithful men who would, presumably, do the same. I think of how the Church somehow existed for several centuries without even having a formally defined canon of Scripture and how even the defining of the canon was something that involved councils of the Church. I think of how little sense it makes to say, “I don’t trust the Church’s Magisterium to work through Scripture and Tradition and decide the essential doctrinal and moral issues, but I do trust myself or my pastor or the elders in my congregation to make those decisions.”

      Would you agree that even if one wasn’t sure of the “exact limits” of the Magisterium’s authority, what I have described above matches what we see in the New Testament and the early Church more than the image of millions of individual Christians reading their Bibles and forming congregations and denominations based on their assessment of Christian doctrine and morals?

      • Susan Shelko says:

        Actually, Ken, the Berean’s were commended for studying the scripture to make sure it confirmed what they were being taught by the apostles. And we are exhorted to study to show ourselves approved so that we rightly handle the Word of God. So I don’t think God wants us to have a blind faith, but rather I think God wants us to have an informed faith.

        Yes, I would agree with you that millions of individual Christians, each studying their Bibles and forming their own congregations and denominations, was not at all what Christ had in mind. In fact, Jesus prayed for unity among believers in John 17 — that we might all be one as he is one with the Father. I think the current state of the Church grieves Him deeply.

        In a sense, many of the Protestant denominations have a “Magisterium” of sorts. It comes in the form of established Catechisms and doctrinal statements from their respective governing bodies. And if there isn’t a Catechism or a doctrinal statement, then there are always Bible commentaries that one can consult. (That was a joke, or not.)

        There are two problems: (1) the doctrines and teachings among the various denominations are often at 180 degree odds with each other (which is true? Or are neither true?) and (2) the doctrinal statements may reflect “orthodox Christianity” (whatever that is) … but the actual practice and application in no way conforms to their stated and published doctrine.

        I trust the apostles and the early church a whole lot more than I trust the later church. I just finished David Bercot’s book, Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up (A New Look at Today’s Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity) ….. and I was literally blown away. Spoiler Alert: neither the Catholics nor the Protestants will be happy with this book.

        Yes, Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church. He didn’t promise that the Church would emerge totally unscathed (as in alive but battered and bloodied). Does the Catholic Church have 100% doctrinal purity as to faith and morals? I am sure many in the Church think so or would like to think so. Call me a skeptic and/or an agnostic.

        Thank you for your response. I appreciate your writing — the clarity and the analysis — and I look forward to the upcoming series. I especially liked your series on Baptism and on Luther Fundamentally Misunderstanding St. Paul. Susan

        • Ken Hensley says:

          Hi Susan.

          I’ll make one more stab and then give you the last word, although I’m sure we’ll talk more during this series.

          I think the Berean quote is misunderstood. Yes they were excited by what St Paul was teaching them and ran off to read their Old Testaments to see how what the prophets said matched up with what Paul was saying. But do you really believe that what this means is that the Scripture was authoritative and Paul’s teaching was not in itself? That Paul’s teaching was only authoritative in so far as the Bereans decided that it matched up with their Old Testaments? Of course, not knowing who Paul was, it makes sense they would test his teaching against what they already believed to be authoritative. But the REALITY was that Paul’s teaching was authoritative on its own. And anyway, he was telling them things they could not have matched up with some OT passage — things about the life and teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus. Point is: once they recognized his authority they would be bound to believe his teaching. They would not continue to think, “OK, I’ll listen to him but my REAL authority is the Scripture and so I will have to test each thing Paul says for the rest of my life and accept only what seems to me to fit with Scripture.”

          Similar situation with the authority of the Church. Here’s a good test question: It’s simply a fact of history that there was not perfect agreement among the early church on which books should be considered inspired and included in the canon of Scripture. Protestant scholar Bruce Metzger and others admit that around 25% of the NT was disputed to one degree or another. And then the issue was settled in a series of councils in the late 4th century (so strange to me that the Church would wait so long if they were thinking in terms of sola scriptura). Here’s the question: Do you accept the decisions of those councils on the 27 books in your NT? Do you believe the Holy Spirit led the Church such that the decision they came to is true and binding on you (authoritative) or do you accept those 27 books because you have studied the issue and decided book by book by book that those are the right 27 books?

          Seems to me that either you cross that line at some point and say, “I will accept the authority of the Church and live within that Church,” or you say, “Nope, those councils are fallible and I have no idea whether they chose all the right books. I will have to (in good Protestant fashion) examine the arguments for and against each book and create my own canon of Scripture.

          This is where I think the Protestant idea of sola scriptura logically leads. Not simply to every Christian decided for herself what the correct teachings of Christianity are, but every Christian deciding which books to consider inspired. Because the “Scripture” doesn’t tell us which books are inspired and which are not and if Scripture is our “sole” (only) authoritative rule, then how do you know?

          Thank you. I appreciate the discussion.

  • Mike Oliver says:

    If sola scriptura is true, then it follows that it should be no less available to the Magesterium than to individuals. Consequently the interpretation of scripture by the Magisterium cannot be assailed by another sola scripturist as being incorrect, incomplete, or unreliable. If anyone can, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, interpret the Scriptures, then doesn’t the very essence of sola scriptura prohibit an assertion that another’s interpretation is in error?

    And in keeping with that syllogism, if another’s interpretation is reliable and accurate, certainly I can rely on that interpretation in lieu of reinventing the wheel, unles sola scripturarequires that everyone must make their own interpretations and reach their own conclusions.

    And if the Magisterium interprets Scripture under the aegis of sola scriptura and concludes that the Scriptures require that Christians accept both the written Word and tradition as the basis for Faith and Salvation, then what standing does a sola scripturist have to deny those interpretations?

    • Ken Hensley says:

      Mike, you’re making an interesting point except that sola scriptura does not assert that everyone’s interpretation is true or that one interpreter cannot say that another interpreter’s interpretation is mistaken. It simply asserts that Scripture is the Christians only infallible rule and therefore that while the interpretations of pastors and theologian and denominational creeds and church councils may be helpful, they are not authoritative in any binding sense. Two logicians could agree that the laws of logic are the only binding authority and at the same time believe the other mistaken in his application of the laws of logic. While those who hold to sola scriptura pray from the Holy Spirit’s guidance, they don’t usually say, “I know that my interpretation is true because I prayed for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.” And they never say, “Since we’re all praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance our interpretations, even if they contradict one another, must all be true.”

      • Mike Oliver says:

        Ken,
        Thank you for the reply and clarification. My original comment was premised upon an assumption that sola scruptura essentially required individual interpretation of Scripture, as guided by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise the effect would be only to shift the authority of scripture interpretation from one group of extraordinary holy folks to another. If the Scriptures present the truths of faith and salvation “”….clearly enough for the ordinary believer to find it there and understand it” then the logical conclusion of such a statement is that the ordinary believer’s interpretations must be reliable.
        If individual interpretation is not an inherent pillar of <i<sola scriptura, then existing and increasing divergences in Protestant Christian theology would seem to discredit completely the premise that necessary truths regarding faith and salvation are taught in the bible alone.

  • AnDrew Rahn says:

    The name says it all, protest(ant) to sola scripture. Disunity in Christ’s name

  • Joseph says:

    Beautiful and helpful discussion…helps me on my journey of faith. As a cradle catholic, but also with my own doubts and since I wasn’t taught well I began to seek the truth because I (and many others) are confused by Protestants, I am in love with my Catholic Church as I find day in and day out it’s marvelous depth and beauty. Reading and hearing the Holy Spirit talk through: Hahn, Ray, M.Angelica, Barron, Grodie, and an unending list of godly men and women (including those within this blog) that is why I can’t but keep staying addicted to the words and discussions like this one and reading and listening to catholic teachers. It is apparent that you (as is apparent in this discussion by the lack of response in defense of Luther and company, you end up whittling down the resistance of those who do not want to lose their foundations of faith, and that is understandable…but may the HS use you for that end, because one more addition to Christs’ church is one more soul in heaven.

  • Tom Hanson says:

    Proof Reading: WHY I’M CATHOLIC: THE PROBLEM WITH FOUNDATIONS I’m using these as examples because this essay has obviously been well proofed. After I figured out that what looked like a lot of spacing problems really were spaced properly (by copying some of them into wordpad default font), and discovering they were all correct in the different font), I really had to search for problems, and finally found a very petty error, as well as a punctuation problem. I like your font generally but an italic “w” ending a word, for example, followed by a normal “w” or even worse another italic “w” beginning a new word will look very like a failure to space between words.

    IN: Slip Sliding Away:=how to find a possible error using Subheads.

    Par 2: (=paragraph two under Subhead Slip Sliding Away)
    As I was …trying to get to my kid’s bedrooms, : “kid’s” should be “kids’

    Par 3:
    foundation. : single word in italics for emphasis. The period after italic “foundation” should be a regular text period, not an italic period because it ends a regular text sentence. This is a really petty thing, and you should probably ignore it as not worth the trouble of correction, but you should probably correct the placement of the apostrophe to “kids’ ” to keep people feeling that yours is a professional site. Note that I added an additional space before the end quote mark to keep the apostrophe clear in my last sentence. This past sentence was letting you know that I know what I am doing. At any rate all decisions will always be up to you.

    Please let me know if you have any questions –ever– about what my habitual format might actually mean in any particular circumstance. There are now hundreds if not thousands of e-fonts available for use and I am only up only a few of them.

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