FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums
debate with a Luther sympathizer - Printable Version

+- FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums)
+-- Forum: Archives (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=6)
+--- Forum: Theology and Philosophy (https://www.fisheaters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?fid=13)
+--- Thread: debate with a Luther sympathizer (/showthread.php?tid=36296)

Pages: 1 2


debate with a Luther sympathizer - legendofheasty - 05-14-2010

A good friend of mine recently sparked a debate between us.  I've been doing pretty well and could handle this latest exchange, but he's brought up some hotbutton issues that I figured you guys could equip me to fight:

(he agreed that Luther was out of line separating the Church instituted by Christ, and should have worked to reform instead of revolt, but...)
Quote:ever think it's possible though that the Lutheran movement was a net benefit? I really see the doctrine of grace stemming from that unfortunate schism. As you may be aware, Catholics are often said to emphasize the works part of the equation, and Protestants the faith side, and I guess there's something out there almost perfectly in between. I think that Protestant draw to faith, or, Sola Fides, helped the church to finally understand that there was nothing we could do as humans to change our salvation. So that's one of the advantages I see in occurrence of Lutheran. But on the other hand, I'm sure somebody in the Catholic church may successfully injected that idea into church doctrine somewhere down the line.

I'd like to share with you one of my biggest beefs with the Catholic doctrine, and this may sound a little silly to you, but I vehemently disagree with the reverence of Mary and particular saints. It seems a little pantheistic, no? Maybe you can offer some input, and maybe you yourself don't buy into it. But I have spoken to Catholics who do the whole saints thing, and when they explained it to me, I just nodded along with a smile, but thought to myself, "Holy crap, this is so unorthodox!" (My orthodoxy being strict adherence to Scripture.)  Moreover, Mary didn't have to be sinless because God chooses the least of us to do his greatest works, right?



Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - 3Sanctus - 05-14-2010

As for combating the sola fides  heresy, that's simple enough.  Point out the Book of James and how James talks about faith and works ("faith without works is dead").  Of course, Protestant heretics tend to ignore any Catholic argument concerning sola fides, many claiming the Book of James is really too Jewish and not indicative of Christian dogma.

As for the veneration of saints, check out the CA information on doctrine (don't shoot me for mentioning that site, at least some of the information they have on there is good and helped me a lot - I'm a convert).  They have loads of references to Church Fathers and scripture.  The best is to find it in scripture and Saint Augustine, since Protestants tend to love him.  Just point out how he really was Catholic.  Keep in mind lots of Protestants, as mentioned above, will have excuses for why the Church is wrong on everything.  Then you just point out that their way of doing things is a 500 (a best) year-old offshoot of the 2000 year-old Catholic Church.  Lots of them try to argue against this, but obviously it's all nonsense.


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - JayneK - 05-14-2010

There is not something perfect between Catholic and Protestant views of salvation.  The Catholic view, properly understood is correct.  It is however, usually misunderstood or misrepresented by non-Catholics.  We are not indebted to Luther for the idea the faith has something to do with it.:
Quote: Clement of Rome: "We also, being called through God's will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, neither through our own wisdom or understanding, or piety, or works which we have done in holiness or heart, but through faith" (Epistle to Corinthians).
    *

      Ignatius: "His cross, and his death, and his resurrection, and the faith which is through him, are my unpolluted muniments; and in these, through your prayers, I am willing to be justified (Epistle to Philadelphians). Note: "muniments" are title deeds, documents giving evidence of legal ownership of something.
    *

      Polycarp: "I know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ (Epistle of Philippians).
    *

      Justin Martyr: "No longer by the blood of goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of a heifer...are sins purged, but by faith, through the blood of Christ and his death, who died on this very account (Dialogue with Trypho). "God gave his own Son the ransom for us...for what, save his righteousness, could cover our sins. In whom was it possible that we, transgressors and ungodly as we were, could be justified, save in the Son of God alone? ...O unexpected benefit, that the transgression of many should be hidden in one righteous Person and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors" (Letter to Diognetus).
    *

      Ireneus: "Through the obedience of one man who first was born from the Virgin, many should be justified and receive salvation."
    *

      Cyprian: "If Abraham believed in God and it was imputed to him for righteousness, then each one, who believes in God and lives by faith, is found to be a righteous person."
    *

      Athanasius: "Not by these (i.e. human efforts) but by faith, a man is justified as was Abraham."
    *

      Basil: "This is the true and perfect glorying in God, when a man is not lifted up on account of his own righteousness, but has known himself to be wanting in true righteousness and to be justified by faith alone in Christ."
    *

      Ambrose: "Without the works of the law, to an ungodly man, that is to say, a Gentile, believing in Christ, his "faith is imputed for righteousness" as also it was to Abraham."
    *

      Origen: "Through faith, without the works of the law, the dying thief was justified, because...the Lord inquired not what he had previously wrought, nor yet waited for his performance of some work after he should have believe; but...he took him unto himself for a companion, justified through his confession alone."
    *

      Jerome: "When an ungodly man is converted, God justified him through faith alone, not on account of good works which he possessed not."
    *

      Chrysostom: "What then did God do? He made (says Paul) a righteous Person (Christ) to be a sinner, in order that he might make sinners righteous... it is the righteousness of God, when we are justified, not by works...but by grace, where all sin is made to vanish away."
    *

      Chrysostom: "Again, they said that he who adhered to Faith alone was cursed, but he shows that hewho adhered to Faith alone, is blessed."
    *

      Augustine: "Grace is give to you, not wages paid to you...it is called grace because it is given gratuitously. By no precedent merits did you buy what you have received. The sinner therefore received this grace first, that his sins should be forgiven him...good works follow after a justified person; they do not go before in order that he may be justified...good works, following after justification, show what a man has received."
    *

      Augustine: "Now, having duly considered and weighed all these circumstances and testimonies, we conclude that a man is not justified by the precepts of a holy life, but by faith in Jesus Christ,--in a word, not by the law of works, but by the law of faith; not by the letter, but by the spirit; not by the merits of deeds, but by free grace."
    *

      Anselm: "Do you believe that you cannot be saved but by the death of Christ? Go, then, and ...put all your confidence in this death alone. If God shall say to you, "You are a sinner", say to him, "I place the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and my sin.""
    *

      Bernard of Clairvaux: "Shall not all our righteousness turn out to be mere unrighteousness and deficiency? What, then, shall it be concerning our sins, when not even our righteousness can answer for itself? Wherefore...let us flee, with all humility to Mercy which alone can save our souls...whoever hungers and thirsts after righteousness, let him believe in thee, who "justified the ungodly"; and thus, being justified by faith alone, he shall have peace with God."

(All these are from a Protestant website  that is using them in an attempt to proselytize Catholics)




Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - James02 - 05-14-2010

Quote:I really see the doctrine of grace stemming from that unfortunate schism. As you may be aware, Catholics are often said to emphasize the works part of the equation, and Protestants the faith side, and I guess there's something out there almost perfectly in between..... helped the church to finally understand that there was nothing we could do as humans to change our salvation.

Typical Protestant, all over the place.  Of course there is something we can do to change our salvation, we can sin grievously.  (You can quote MANY vs. from the Bible.  Here's one:)
Heb 10 Wrote:For if we sin wilfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins (The Mass no longer avails to those in mortal sin), 27 But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries. 28 A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said: Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people.

And note he jumps back and forth between Faith and Grace.  So which comes first, Faith or Grace?  Note Prots are divided over that question.  Show him this.  Note the Prot website.  Note the date.  Yep, without Luther, we never would have known about Grace:

http://www.reformed.org/documents/canons_of_orange.html


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - Credo - 05-14-2010

JayneK Wrote:It is however, usually misunderstood or misrepresented by non-Catholics.

... and not a few Catholics to boot.


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - INPEFESS - 05-14-2010

Has your friend ever been to Rome? If he hasn't, he might be surprised to know that, engraved in the walls of the catacombs, are the ancient Christians' prayers for the intercessions of S. Peter and S. Paul. These requests are typically written as "S. Peter, pray for us" and other similar formations, but the marks are still there as they have been for nearly two thousand years.

Also, I'm not sure why asking your friend to pray to God that you make the winning field goal and asking S. Sebastian to do the same thing is any different. The only difference is that one soul is still animating a body, the other is not (presently). Since when did mortality limit immortality? Since it's pretty well established that these saints aren't burning in hell, why does it matter whether a soul in heaven offers to God your request or a soul on earth offers the same request? Wouldn't the soul in heaven have a little more weight with God anyway?


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - Historian - 05-14-2010

(05-14-2010, 01:42 PM)legendofheasty Wrote:
Quote:I'd like to share with you one of my biggest beefs with the Catholic doctrine, and this may sound a little silly to you, but I vehemently disagree with the reverence of Mary and particular saints. It seems a little pantheistic, no? Maybe you can offer some input, and maybe you yourself don't buy into it. But I have spoken to Catholics who do the whole saints thing, and when they explained it to me, I just nodded along with a smile, but thought to myself, "Holy crap, this is so unorthodox!" (My orthodoxy being strict adherence to Scripture.)  Moreover, Mary didn't have to be sinless because God chooses the least of us to do his greatest works, right?

Martin Luther didn't think that.

Tell him that no matter what individual qualities he finds in protestants, they are all floundering and constantly changing with each generation. The Church teaches the same since it was established and it continues to do so, even if people get periodically confused.

Also, don't debate particulars with him (it won't work...it is just a distraction). Just point out that his proposition that Jesus was born out of a sinner is disgusting.

Here is a good site for some citations: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/blessed_virgin_mary.html


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - SouthpawLink - 05-15-2010

(05-14-2010, 03:20 PM)James02 Wrote:
Quote:I really see the doctrine of grace stemming from that unfortunate schism. As you may be aware, Catholics are often said to emphasize the works part of the equation, and Protestants the faith side, and I guess there's something out there almost perfectly in between..... helped the church to finally understand that there was nothing we could do as humans to change our salvation.

Typical Protestant, all over the place.  Of course there is something we can do to change our salvation, we can sin grievously.   (You can quote MANY vs. from the Bible.  Here's one:)
Heb 10 Wrote:For if we sin wilfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins (The Mass no longer avails to those in mortal sin), 27 But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries. 28 A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said: Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people.

And note he jumps back and forth between Faith and Grace.  So which comes first, Faith or Grace?  Note Prots are divided over that question.  Show him this.  Note the Prot website.  Note the date.  Yep, without Luther, we never would have known about Grace:

http://www.reformed.org/documents/canons_of_orange.html

Bingo. The Catholic Church already had the true doctrine concerning grace, long before the Reformation. On the other hand, I don't see how the further splitting of Christendom was of any benefit. Yes, good can come from evil, but that never renders the event as being "good." How many souls have gone to hell for their adherence to false religions?

As for the friend doubting the efficacy of praying to the saints, there is actually some scriptural evidence to support it (or at least lead to the logical conclusion that it's fitting and right), but what's more, there's the early practice of the Church venerating the relics of the martyrs and saying masses in honor of them on their anniversaries (admittance into Heaven). And the one reported priest (Vigilantius) who dared to question the practice was quickly shot down by St. Jerome. Your friend should know that besides Scripture there is an Apostolic Tradition that predates it, and has been handed down in the Church since the beginning. The doctrine of sola Scriptura was invented during the Reformation, and so had never been previously seen in all the history of the Church (nor had the doctrine of eternal security, until John Calvin invented it).

The Catholic Encyclopedia (NewAdvent.org) has excellent articles on these issues, as well as detailed historical accounts of many important doctrines.

See also http://www.cin.org/users/jgallegos/contents.htm for a patristic defense of the Catholic Faith.


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - glgas - 05-16-2010

As for the doctrine of predestination Luther's teaching is very similar to that of St Thomas Aquinas. Sometimes in the nineties the Lutherans and the Vatican agreed on this

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html

As for the faithing, your friend's behavior 'nod smilingly' is the proper resolution. Matters of faith, like the Immaculate Conception can not be proven by rational arguments, and it is unwise to fight with slogans that this is pantheism.


Re: debate with a Luther sympathizer - Historian - 05-16-2010

(05-16-2010, 08:00 AM)glgas Wrote: As for the faithing, your friend's behavior 'nod smilingly' is the proper resolution. Matters of faith, like the Immaculate Conception can not be proven by rational arguments, and it is unwise to fight with slogans that this is pantheism.


It can be proved with rational reasoning. The problem is that rational reasoning is not how humans make decisions. We have free will and choose what we will, not what is logical.