Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Apologetics Annoys Me

My Baptist friend once told me that I should stop simply repeating what Catholic apologetics websites say.

I have come to enjoy apologetics alot, it's kind of where I live most of the time. But there is something that really bugs me about apologetics. When proving your point is more imporant to you than finding the truth. For example, there are Roman Catholic apologists I could think of who would probably still prefer us not to have a vernacular bible just so that everyone would be Catholic. Or as Tolstoy would put it, arrest Jesus for going against Magisterial Teaching if he came back.

Protestant Proof Texting:
It's not just something Roman Catholics do either, many Protestants are similarly guilty. Still using prooftexts like Romans 3:28 "For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law." against Catholicism when we clearly agree that faith apart from the Mosaic law justifies a man. Or one of my favourites 1 Corinthians 4:6 "do not go beyond what is written" as a proof text for sola scriptura. This verse is so raped of it's context that instead of refuting it, I'll just put a link to an entire essay refuting such use: .

Roman Catholic Patristic Deceptions:
Many Roman innovations like the Immaculate Conception are based on Patristic quotes taken completely out of context. I found one the other day which almost reached to the deception level of Melancthon's misquoting of St. Augustine's Letter and the Spirit in the Book of Concord. It was for the Immaculate Conception, and the proof-quote was Justin Martyr talking about Mary being the new Eve, etc. Well as I read J.N.D. Kelly I found out that Justin Martyr didn't believe in Original Sin (kind of obvious as this was pre-Augustine, but I missed it) and didn't believe it was that unbelievable that many holy characters were without sin. So while I may still be able to use my St. Irenaeus "new eve" quotes, I guess I'll have to throw out those Justin Martyr ones I read on a Catholic apologetics site.

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, I'm still praying for it, and I hope one day we will reach the point where we can all be honest in our investigation. Jaroslav Pelikan describes his hopefulness for the future of Church History by discussing developments that have occurred on both sides of denominational lines. He writes that in recent years Protestants who study St. Cyprian have found that he is even firmer than once thought in support of Ecclesiastical and Papal Authority, whereas Catholic studies have apparently gone the opposite way.

Anyway, let this be a reminder to stick to the Truth of Christ first and Traditional obligations afterwards.

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